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A Guide to Choosing a Fly Fishing Vest

Choosing a Fly Fishing Vest

Fishing Vests

Many consider a fly fishing vest to be the ultimate fly fishing accessory. It allows you to carry everything needed for a successful day on the water in an organised and convenient way. Vests are most popular with trout fishers – for salmon anglers may find that they can fit everything into the pockets on their wading jacket. I find a vest useful in summer conditions for salmon when it is too warm for a jacket. For saltwater use in the UK a vest is perfect – although it pays to select one with saltwater resistant fittings.

Bag or vest?

There are two disadvantages with a traditional fishing bag – they are hard to pack in such a way that you can find things easily without emptying the contents and there is always a great temptation to leave the bag hanging on a tree and wander off to fish elsewhere. You then need to change a fly or take a photo – a vest solves these problems and is definitely the way forward.

Which vest will suit me?

Here are a few things to think about:

  • You will need to think through carefully how much gear you will carry. Mesh vest are great on hot summer days but lack the capacity of other vests.
  • Some of our technical vests have over thirty pocket options so being organised is the key to living happily with your vest. Everything in its place and a place for everything is the key phrase.
  • I tend to keep a larger pocket free to put things in that I need to replace in so when I get home I remember to order anything that runs out, gets damaged or needs to go in the bin.
  • I carry lightweight waterproof jacket/trousers in the back pocket in summer in case there is a shower.
  • Always carry a Aquapac waterproof pouch for your mobile and keys in case you fall in – it happens to the best of us sooner or later!

Guide by Sportfish expert Steve Hunt

Still need help?

For more help and information on purchasing your new fly fishing vest please contact Sportfish on 01544 327111 or email

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