Welcome to my first review, and this one is a doozy!
A couple things you should know about me first and foremost. Number 1, I am a gear whore, and not the kind that just holds on to everything he owns! I am the kind of gear whore that will purchase a product I think I will like, I will then hate it with every bone in my body, and one of my buddies will benefit by getting it for free or extremely cheap. Number 2, I hate Orvis, I hate their products, and don’t believe they are truly a fly fishing company. Now that may piss some of you off, and thats fine, however it is my belief. It wasn’t until the Helios 2 that I felt that they had finally produced a rod worth purchasing. However I digress, this isn’t an Orvis bashing blog post, it is rather an awakening. Let me explain.
A while back, I was searching on the google machine just reading anything that involved fly fishing, and I came across this YouTube video of some guy unboxing his brand new Orvis Guide Sling Pack. My interest was peaked, and so I watched it. My initial impression was, “This pack looks worthwhile to at least take a look at.” So on a trip to the San Juan River in New Mexico back in April, I stopped off at the local shop there and put my hands on this pack, needless to say in my gear whorish ways I bought it. It is the first fly fishing item I have bought at full retail in almost 9 months, and it kind of hurt. This is my review!
I fucking love it! Not the kind of way you love your fiance or pets, no this is a special kind of love. The kind where I will purchase probably 2 more in the coming weeks, just to make sure I have some backups for when it gets discontinued, because lets be honest, once a company does something right with a product they always discontinue it. Once I have some backups, I will cheat on them with my other Orvis Guide Sling Packs, because I don’t want one of my beloved packs to feel unloved.
I’m a sucker for Digital Camo, and this pack is all decked out in Digital, not to mention the new Orvis logo is pretty damn sexy. It looks good and is functional.
You always hear the phrase, “The problem with a large pack is that you will fill it to the brim.” In this case, you can seriously fill this thing. I think on my recent trip I packed it full with 4 slim magnet fly boxes, 4 C&F Design fly boxes, 50 packs of leaders, cell phone and snacks! And that was just the main compartment. In the secondary pocket I put a water purifier, splitshot, indicators, spare cups of flies, floatant, dry shake and spare tippet. As you can see from the picture above, I have my spools of tippet hanging as well as my net, and a Nalgene full of water. “God damn,” you say, “that is a lot of shit.” You’re right it is a lot of stuff, and it didn’t make a single difference in how comfortable the pack was. I have now worn it on multiple fishing trips, and it is still as comfortable as I remember it. It doesn’t hinder your casting, it is easy to access the compartments and all of your gear. But what really blows my mind about this pack is the storage for your hemostats. On the front shoulder strap there is a small sheath that has a magnet clasp that holds on to your hemos, making them easily accessible for when you need them.
So I don’t know if you can read between the lines while reading this review. This thing is amazing! It’s comfortable, holds everything I need it to, everything is accessible without much effort, and it is just logically built. Whoever designed this pack should lead the design on everything Orvis makes, because he/she obviously is a fishy dude/dudette! I have now worn this while fishing the San Juan River, Walker River, Truckee River, Quemado Lake, Pyramid lake, and multiple small streams in Arizona and I will continue to take it everywhere with me. I refuse to use any other pack at this moment in time.
- Looks Sexy
- Fits everything and then some
- Easily Accessible
- Doesn’t get in the way of casting
- I wish it had a D-Ring for a net
So kudos to Orvis. You guys killed it, and hopefully you continue to do so. I don’t work for an Orvis dealer and yet I still send everyone who asks about packs to an Orvis store to check it out. So back to thing you should know about me number 2. Orvis isn’t all bad. I love this pack, their slim magnet boxes are pretty slick too, and I find myself migrating to those as well. So maybe it’s time to change what you should know about me number 2, to something like, “I like some things from Orvis, but I sure do LOVE Simms, Sage and Abel.”