However in winter when I have another 3 layers of warm clothing on they restrict my movement and I feel uncomfortable wearing it and get bored with it after a very short time, and I dont need to carry as much fly fishing items as I would during the summer months so what are the alternatives?
Im not one of these anglers who stop off at a truck stop or shop on route to the river and gorge myself on breakfast, It just doesn't have any appeal to me, Id rather still carry my small flask and a sanny/piece/bait/ lunch whatever you want to call it depending on which part of the country your from, to have halfway through the day.
A bag... too cumbersome and Id be wanting to constantly take it off.
A Rucksack, OK if not fly fishing and constantly needing to change over flies etc.
A chest-pack...too small
A roving belt-pack...have one but tend only to use it in summer when the rivers are low and not much deep wading is required.
so this leaves me with the sling-pack option, I must admit I haven't been that keen on them in the past if I were to be honest but recently after a few conversations with a fly fishing friend I made whilst in Singapore last year I decided to try one he uses.
Like most people I like bargains and what he recommended sounded just the item, as long as it does the job and doesn't fall apart I will give it a go and that's exactly what I did.
Manufactured in china,
(arent most things these days)
Its their version of a sling pack and I have to say I was quite impressed when I received it.
On the front of the pack there are 4 zip pockets placed strategically for easy access, one of which folds out and has a fly pad fixed to it, two fixed zingers, an elasticated front pouch and a slip pouch behind the main pocket.
The rear of the sling has 3 zipped pockets, 2 small ones and a larger full length one which easily accommodates my flask and a lunch with room for a lot more, but the most important factor for me...
It doesn't impede my fishing, even when wearing all the extra layers of winter clothing, as you can see from my male catalogue pose below.
The uppermost zip pocket accommodates my sunglasses and my spectacles comfortably, attached to this is one of the 2 fixed zingers which I have my clippers attached to and these slip behind the retaining strap and stop them flapping around.
Inside the larger main pouch there is enough room for my 4 slim nymph boxes, and a 35mm film container which I keep used flies in when I've taken them off the tippet, and enough room for 4 spools of tippet material. Behind the main pouch is a slip pocket where I keep a set of forceps on a zinger, tucked away out the way and my rod holder attached to another zinger for when Im mid stream and need to use both hands.
The smaller front pouch is the drop down fly patch pouch which currently I dont use but have pre tied tippet casts in a wallet stored.
The next pouch around the sling contains my various sighters and indicators, this is where the 2nd fixed zinger is which I dont use.
It really is a comfortable sling to wear and still allows access to my jacket pockets where I keep my camera and car keys
The back pockets sit in the middle of your back and are quite comfortable due to the padding on the inside of the sling and as you can see from the picture it doesn't interfere with my net which I have attached to my jacket by way of a magnet clip, I have this resting where its most comfortable for me but it can be pulled higher up your back should you want to go deeper wading, Im quite happy wading at waist depth and really dont go any deeper.
The sling connector fittings are heavy duty plastic with enough strap length to wrap around you twice! I simply folded them up to the desired length when it was comfortable and taped them down with some black insulation tape, saving them flapping around and keeps the straps from slipping, as you can see in picture 1 & 2.
You only need to unclip the large fastener to get on/off, the 2nd smaller one to the left is purely to keep it tight to your body.
The sling is quite well made and all the stitching is tight and everything works, its logically thought out in the positioning of the pockets, the uppermost fixed zinger is well placed and although I dont use the lower zinger its positioned quite well also with an elasticated retainer for anything that you fit to the zinger.
Comfortable to wear, well though out, build quality is good, it doesn't impede my fishing & its light in design.
They say its fully waterproof, I wouldn't want to put it to the test, Id say its like my fishpond vest & most chest-packs / vests, showerproof but not fully waterproof.
Straps are excessive in length but easily rectified with insulating tape.
Prices vary depending on where you buy it from I've seen them as high as £36 and the lowest I've seen is £25, which is the price I bought mine for from a UK dealer.
I was sent the link to the Chinese manufacturer by my friend in Singapore and they sell them to the trade at $15 and after inquiring with them on postage it was $15 and they said 4 weeks for delivery so that takes it into the region of £25 - £30 with recent conversions against the dollar.
There are a few different companies, persons selling them so shop around before buying. Is it worth the money? I think so.