fisherman is throwing spoon of fly rod in water

TOP 12 Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks Reviewed 2019

An item to keep track of your fishing accessories is useful for any school of angling, but it’s especially important when it comes to fly fishing, whether that’s in a stream or on a float tube.

After all, the nature of the craft is such that it requires more equipment than usual, on account of the techniques involved.

Unfortunately, the market is absolutely saturated with these items, and it can be a little overwhelming trying to research on your own.

That’s why I’ve decided to review my best fly fishing sling packs available today. Along with fishing vests, they’re some of the most convenient ways to keep your accessories within reach.

At the end of the list, I’ve added a buyer’s guide to help you conduct your own research, as well as an FAQ section.

Let’s get straight into it.

Here are the 12 best fly fishing sling packs and backpacks available in 2019, reviewed.

TOP 12 Best Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks 2019

El Bolso Fly Fishing Sling Pack

Review: Featuring a range of extra D rings and tactical molle webbing to clip your fly fishing gear into place, this sling pack includes 2 carabiner clips to clip either your fly rod, combo, or rod tube to the pack.

There’s even room allotted for a backup fly rod. 3 zippered pockets contain perfect spots for leaders, fly boxes, and other fly fishing accessories.

Pros

  • Comes with a ton of versatility.
  • Balances functionality with being lightweight.

Cons

  • None.

Takeaway

Priced reasonably and coming with all the features you could want to make fly fishing a breeze, this is one of the very best fly fishing sling packs of 2019.

Allen Company Daypack Cedar Creek Sling Pack

Review: Designed to keep your gear on your back but able as well to swing around to the front for easy access, this product comes with a shoulder strap organizer to keep all your essentials neat and tidy.

A wide-mouth opening allows easy access to the main compartment, while a zip-down work station with tippet tender and a fly patch is featured as well.

The pack has a high visibility lining to keep you safe in low lighting conditions and can fit multiple tackle boxes.

Pros

  • Multiple D-rings for accessories.
  • Heavy-duty zipper.
  • Water bottle pocket.

Cons

  • Not the biggest.
  • Takes some getting used to.

Takeaway

While it’s not the most intuitive product on the market, once you get used to this backpack you’ll never go back.

Maximumcatch Maxcatch Fly Fishing Vest Pack

Review: Constructed from high-grade polyester and featuring an innovative design which allows for quick access to all of the zippered compartments, this bag has a nylon waist strap for support, as well as various loops which are custom-built for storing nets or other accessories.

The fabric is breathable and lined with mesh, keeping the wearer from overheating at all times, while the one-size-fits-all adjustable shoulder and waist straps ensure everybody can find a way to use it.

Pros

  • Very inexpensive.
  • Lightweight and comfortable.
  • Accommodates multiple fly boxes.

Cons

  • Zippers could have been made better.
  • Not very big.

Takeaway

If you’re shopping on a budget, this is one of the best fly-fishing sling packs for the money you’ll spend on it, although it’s not likely to last as long as some of its competitors.

Orvis Safe Passage Sling Pack

Review: Made out of 410D nylon and coated on the bottom with PU, this sling pack allows access from the front and contains a water bottle pouch.

There’s one zippered main pocket, two zippered front pockets, one forced sheath, and a variety of internal pockets to boot.

The lightweight material keeps the user cool and collected, no matter how warm the conditions they’re fishing in are, and there’s plenty of room to store all the accessories you could need for a day’s fishing.

Pros

  • Well-constructed zippers.
  • Lightweight and breathable.

Cons

  • It’s not waterproof, but it doesn’t claim to be either.

Takeaway

Even though it’s not the very cheapest fishing sling pack out there, this is a well-made item with more than enough utility to support a day spent out on the water.

KastKing Sling Fishing Bag

Review: Up to 2 3600 sized lure boxes can be stored in this fishing sling pack, which is made from durable, water-resistant 600D polyester fabric.

As well as the multiple pockets on offer for organizing your equipment, the bag only weighs 10 ounces and has been designed with function at the forefront of the concept.

Molle straps work well to attach pliers, line clippers, and leader lines, while the loop zipper pulls can be operated with one finger. A padded back pad, designed to cushion the load even further, rounds off the product.

Pros

  • Long-lasting and resistant to the elements.
  • Composite clips ensure long-term performance and reliability.

Cons

  • The bag could do with being a little bigger.

Takeaway

Although it’s not quite as spacious as some might like, if you can economize the amount of equipment you’re bringing with you this bag, which is one of the best fly fishing packs, won’t let you down.

Fiblink Waterproof Shoulder Fishing Tackle Bag

Review: Made entirely out of high quality 1000D heavy-duty nylon fabric, this fishing sling pack is covered with waterproof coating, while the high-density ribbon helps provide added resistance to tears and abrasion.

Making use of a KAM buckle and SBS zippers, the bag has multiple storage compartments as well as exterior pockets.

The back of the item is lined with breathable mesh, while the shoulder pads have been lengthened and widened in order to relieve fatigue or shoulder pain, confirming this product as one of the best fly fishing backpacks available today, as well as probably the best waterproof fly fishing backpack around.

Pros

  • 3 external zippered pockets are included.
  • There’s a space for a water bottle.

Cons

  • Not quite as waterproof as the company claims.
  • The cords can get tangled.

Takeaway

Given that this bag is in the middle of the price spectrum, you might expect a little more durability, and the lack of waterproof functionality is a real downside.

FanBellFly Fishing Chest Pack

Review: Featuring an adjustable padded neck strap and waist belt which allows for a perfect fit across all body types, this product allows you to keep all your frequently used gear within easy reach.

The zippered main pocket includes a mesh compartment inside to hold fly boxes and smaller accessories, while there’s a zip down fly bench that makes use of replaceable foam located in the front pocket for straightforward access.

There is an assortment of loops and tabs on the outside of the bag for attaching even more accessories.

Pros

  • Very roomy.
  • This is a lightweight bag.

Cons

  • The zippers are cheaply made and won’t last.
  • The body strap has a tendency to unravel.

Takeaway

It’s a shame that the company appears to have compromised on the finer details and design quality, because apart from the poor zippers this had the potential to be an excellent fishing sling pack.

Blisswill Outdoor Tackle Bag

Review: A multifunctional item that comes with three adjustable and detachable straps, this bag can be worn as a backpack, a shoulder bag, or a handbag.

The 1000D nylon material used in the construction ensures a long-lasting, lightweight outer frame, while the multiple storage compartments and exterior pockets make it easy to keep your lures, pliers, pole, fishing boxes, wallet, keys, and any other assorted accessories organized and tidy. There’s a fixing strap included to fix your fishing rod to the outside of the pack.

Pros

  • There’s a storage pocket at the bottom.
  • This is a cheap product compared to the competition.

Cons

  • Not nearly as big as it should be.

Takeaway

If you’re new to fishing and don’t have much gear, this could be a good starter pack, but experienced anglers will find that there’s not enough room to accommodate everything they need.

Simms Freestone Ambidextrous Fishing Sling Pack

Review: Optimized for fishing, this item has an adjustable front panel that comes with dedicated tippet and floating storage, as well as a magnetic docking station for tools.

Compression straps keep the fishing rod itself sturdy and well-attached, while the ergonomic fit allows for the rotation of the bag around to your chest in order to easily access all of the accessories.

As an ambidextrous product, it allows the wearer to carry their equipment on either shoulder, which is a level of versatility not often found in fishing sling packs.

Pros

  • The warranty offer is generous.
  • There’s a ton of room.

Cons

  • The bag isn’t waterproof.

Takeaway

While the lack of waterproofing coating really lets it down, this is still an innovative item that makes use of a clever design scheme, and as such is well worth consideration.

Kingfisher Teton Lightweight Fly Fishing Sling Pack

Review: Strategically placed pockets and attachment points make it possible to carry a day’s worth of gear conveniently and comfortably.

An EVA foam work station that is pocket-zippered comes along with an interior zippered pocket to hold smaller items like keys and money, while the two velcro pockets make it possible to contain a removable ripple foam fly patch.

There’s a water bottle sleeve included, as well as loops that allow easy access to the most used tools from the outside of the product.

Pros

  • It dries quickly.

Cons

  • It’s not the cheapest product on the market.

Takeaway

A relatively untested product, this item—which is one of the best sling bags for fly fishing—nonetheless looks to be very promising and has a wide range of helpful features.

Kylebooker Fishing Tackle Bag Sports Shoulder Bag

Review: Making use of high-quality zipper fasteners and a metal hook which is convenient for a water bottle or other accessories to make use of, this product from Kylebooker features an adjustable buckle and padded ergonomic shoulder strap to make sizing easy.

There are multiple pockets and compartments included, and given that the bag itself is compact, it’s never too heavy, no matter how much gear you have packed into it.

Pros

  • High-quality materials have gone into the design.
  • The bag has a unique, visually appealing aesthetic.

Cons

  • If you’re on the shorter side, you may find it difficult to make this bag sit properly on your waist.

Takeaway

Assuming you can manage to make it fit, this is one of the very best fishing sling bags on the market today and comes highly recommended from almost all of its users.

SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack

Review: Made out of lightweight polyester material, this bag comes with a medium tackle box and can hold up to two in total. There’s a spacious main compartment to balance out the two zippered pockets for additional storage, as well as a front organizer pocket and a special place for storing sunglasses.

The padded sling strap is adjustable to either the left or the right-hand side, while the front tool holder is closed with Velcro for ease of access.

Pros

  • Compact and intuitive to use.
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty.

Cons

  • The shoulder strap is a little too big.
  • The pockets are in the wrong location for swinging it around to your front.
  • No rod holder.

Takeaway

Let down by the lack of a rod holder and the size of the shoulder strap, this is nevertheless a strong, all-around option when it comes to picking out a top-rated fly fishing sling pack.

Buyer’s Guide to Fly Fishing Sling Packs and Backpacks

Weight vs. Practicality

It stands to reason that the more items and fishing accessories you need to put into your fishing sling pack, the heavier it’s going to be.

While novice fishermen and women won’t need a ton of gear, more experienced anglers are likely to appreciate the added functionality of being able to pack in every last item they could possibly need.

When you’re deciding on which is the best backpack for fly fishing, it’s important to keep a few things in mind: how far are you expecting to travel with the pack on your back, and how many kits you need to bring with you depending on your level of fishing knowledge and experience.

Consider, too, whether you’re going to be using another kind of fishing garment in conjunction with the pack, like vests or fly fishing waders.

By balancing up the amount of weight you can handle with the amount of functionality you need from your pack, you should be able to narrow down the list to only items that will suit your particular situation.

man in fishing vest

Pricing Considerations

Everybody knows that a more versatile product is going to cost more. The same goes for a product that looks better or a product that has a more prestigious brand name.

But when you’re deciding on which pack is going to suit your needs, you need to consider even more factors related price than you would normally.

For one thing, even the most durable of fishing sling packs are unlikely to last forever. It’d be nice if they did, but given the amount of wear and tear these items can experience, that’s just not a reality.

It logically follows that you should be making your decision full in the knowledge that you probably will need to replace it in the future. Of course, more expensive bags will generally last longer, but not even they will be by your side forever.

Sizing

Many fishing tackle bags, sling packs, and backpacks come with a one-size-fits-all claim.

That is, by making use of the adjustable shoulder and waist straps, the idea is that you don’t need to have a sizing chart because anybody with any body type is going to be able to make the bag fit.

While this sounds great on paper, the reality is often not quite as glamorous as the manufacturers would have us believe.

For example, it’s not enough for a bag to fit your shoulders. That on its own doesn’t guarantee a fit—just about everybody could fit into every bag if that were the sole criterium.

The most important thing to keep in mind when you’re thinking about sizing is the way the bag will fit on your hips/back. You don’t want it to sit too low, because you risk opening yourself up to back pain.

Nor do you want it to sit too far up your back because that will compromise the bag’s functionality and utility; especially because so many of the products on the market are designed to swing around from back to front for ease of access.

man fishing in lake

FAQs

How Full Should I Make My Fishing Sling Pack?

The answer to this question will depend on your level as an angler, as well as on the type of fishing you’re performing.

Fly fishing requires a lot more stuff, for one thing. And an experienced fly fisherman will know how to use more types of flies than a novice.

A good general rule is to take at least one extra fly or lure for each one you’re planning on using. This is a safe way to make sure no matter what happens, you won’t miss out on time that could be spent fishing.

What Kind of Thing Should I be Packing?

The most important things to bring are lures, bait, flies (if you’re fly fishing), a rod (obviously!) and a set of pliers.

Most of the models above are designed to hold tackle boxes, which themselves come with a range of different fishing accessories, so we’re not going to go into an extensive list here, but anything you could conceivably use on a fishing expedition should be packed into the bag.

One final consideration is that not all bags are waterproof, so if there are pieces of equipment that could get damaged by exposure to water, you’re probably better of leaving them at home.

How Do I Pack My Fishing Sling Pack?

While researching this article, I came across a really cool video in which the creator goes through which essentials are in his fishing backpack.

This is great for two reasons: for one, you can see firsthand what kind of thing people typically bring, and for another because you can see how he has each item packed into his back.

Here’s the video. I really recommend checking it out.

Summary

I hope this article has helped narrow down some of the incredible amounts of choices out there for fishing sling packs.

You got to read through my personal list of the best fly fishing sling packs, and I also included a buyer’s guide to help you make your own decisions and an FAQ section to tackle some of the most frequently asked questions.

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