I’m a huge fan of changing up systems to become more efficient. I also understand that sometimes changing a current system to “try” to be more efficient doesn’t always work.
This year, I decided to adjust my normal fishing vest to something completely different. I got very tired of tackle boxes falling out of my unclosed vest pockets and also forgetting where all my different boxes were located. Not to mention all the unbelievably annoying zippers. So I chose to go ultra-light. I was skeptical.
I was with my dad at our local Bass Pro Shop and found the White River Fly Shops Tight Line Chest Pack . I went with the two pocket, as I don’t typically carry a huge amount of tackle, particularly in Missouri’s trout parks. I needed room for two boxes, and some miscellaneous other small items.
This pack has a ton of features that I truly appreciate.
I got mine on sale, but regular price comes in around $25. Even if you choose the larger model (Around $30) you still come in under a traditional fishing vest cost.
Next, overall comfort. The neck strap and waist strap are both independently adjustable. This allows for a comfortable fit that won’t wear you down during the long days on the stream. I spent 6-8 hours per day on our last trip wearing mine and didn’t have any discomfort because I could adjust accordingly. The neck pad at the top of the harness is comfortable but slightly bulky. That said, I feel like if it were designed with any less material, you could run the risk of sacrificing durability. The zippers on this pack are operated by large loops that are easy to use, even wearing fishing gloves. They have a nice rubberized top that is easy to grab with very cold or slippery fingers.
Storage was actually perfect for my application. Overall size of the pack is 9″ x 4″ x 7″. If I were going on a more remote trip, where I would need more tackle, I would choose the larger waist pack model. This pack fit two 4-5/8″ x 2-7/8″ x 1″ boxes in the rear pocket. The front pocket was a great place for other small items.
As with most hunting or fishing gear, there are a couple qualities with this pack that are lacking. First, while it’s made of very heavy duty tarpaulin fabric that sheds minimal amounts of water, don’t trust this pack to keep your phone or keys dry. A quick downpour on my last trip soaked everything inside the pack. This could be helped (not solved) with a simple treatment of silicone water repellant. On the flip-side, we are fishing after all. Wet is a reality.
Next, if you carry some sort of net, you will have to engineer how you will be carrying it. There are no stringer or net loops on the pack that are typically standard equipment on a vest. I wouldn’t call that a design flaw. My application usually includes taking a few fish home with me, so I simply ran my stringer through on the of the strap adjustment loops, and carried my net across my body. Problem solved.
The General Consensus
At the end of the day, this pack performed much better than I could have imagined. It’s very easy on-and-off. It’s has quick access to tackle and quick action to secure it. I’m very happy with the durability and design, and I look forward to seeing how it performs throughout the rest of this year.
If you’re looking for something new for your ultralight fishing, I definitely recommend the White River Fly Shops Tight Line Chest Pack from Bass Pro Shops.