Best 10 Fly Fishing Vests – Everything At Your Fingertips

Fly fishing is one of the most popular types of fishing in North America, but it does require some specialized equipment to really be successful. Of particular use is a high quality fly fishing vest - have everything available at your fingertips means that you don't need to keep travelling back to the bank or your camp. This gives more time with your fly in the water and less chance of scaring away the fish.

If you are looking to make your fly fishing adventures more fun and catch more fish, then I highly recommend looking to upgrade your vest.

In this article we have put together a buyer's guide to help you make your decision and learn more about what and why you should care about a vest.

We have also put together a list of the top 10 bestselling fly fishing vests to get you started.

Why You Need a Fly Fishing Vest?

Fly fishing requires a lot of small tackle and tools, and keeping them available at all times helps you to keep your lure in the water for longer and hence increase the chance of putting it in front of a hungry fish. But all of this gear can get heavy and bulky - a vest will put all this weight onto your shoulders and keep your arms free to cast. You will certainly notice the difference in how tired your muscles get after a long day's fishing.

Fly fishing vests have pockets for absolutely everything - you will never get caught out missing that ideal lure or length of leader.

What to Put in Your Fly Fishing Vest?

  • Small flies like tiny terrestrials, midges and minute nymphs
  • Mixed flies
  • Wet box for storing nymphs and minnows
  • Snacks and food
  • Bottled water
  • Leader
  • Fly line dressing
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock - SPF 30 or better
  • Fishing multitool
  • Flash light
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Thermometer for checking water temperature
  • Scissors
  • Dry bag for your valuables
  • Cell phone
  • Spare fly fishing line

Honestly, there are no wrong answers about what you can store in your vest. Everything that you could ever need during a day standing in cold water. Personally I would prefer to keep it to a minimum - you don't need unnecessary weight to tire you out over a long day.

A good idea is to make note of everything that you don't use during a fishing adventure, and if you notice the same thing over and over again then you might want to remove it before the next trip.

Buyer's Guide

We have put together a guide to help you choose which brand and model of fly fishing vest to purchase. They all have different features, quality, and cost - so selecting the product that suits your requirements can be the difference between a good and a poor day of fishing.

Whether you are going bass fishing or salmon fishing, you will have to take into consideration all of your personal needs to select the best vest for your requirements.

The Number of Pockets and Storage Locations

One of the biggest differences between fly fishing vests is the number of size of the pockets and mesh storage locations. While it may seem like the best idea is to pick the most pockets, the better idea is to pick one that has the exact number of volume of pockets for your circumstances.

If you intend to go back to your camp for lunch then you don't need to have large pockets to store your food. 

Or if you don't intend to swap lures very frequently then you don't need to keep every fly you own on your body at all times.

Personally I would recommend a lot of small pockets so that you know where everything is and you don't have to hunt through big pockets to find that particular lure or fly.

Keep in mind - the more you put in your vest the heavier it becomes. So store everything you will need and nothing more.

Go through the list above of all the things you may want to store and cross off everything you don't need - this will give you a good starting point for the number of storage locations you will need.

Comfort

You are going to be adding a lot of weight to your shoulders, so comfort can be the difference between an enjoyable fishing trip and a week of sore muscles. This can be particularly difficult to predict when looking online at photos. A good idea is to make sure it has extremely wide and padded shoulder straps.

A breathable mesh backing is also a good idea if fishing in hot locations to keep you cooler.

Also have a look at the balance of pockets - if they are all on one side or all at the top or bottom of the vest then you could get a lop sided weight distribution that becomes uncomfortable over time.

Material - Mesh or Fabric

Another part of the comfort question is the material of construction - do you want a mesh material or fabric?

The material also changes the durability with the fabric proving to last longer than mesh and is more durable to cuts and scrapes. The best way to get good value for money out of any product is to make sure it lasts a long time.

The mesh can make the vest more breathable and more comfortable. We generally recommend looking for mesh in isolated areas to help it breath rather than the entire product construction. The mesh also stretches as you move and can give you better maneuverability in your casting motion.

Fly Fishing Vest Selection Video

The video below gives a good overview of some key considerations to think about when making your selection:

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Best Selling 10 Fly Fishing Vests [This Month]

SaleBestseller No. 1
Bassdash Strap Fishing Vest Adjustable for Men and Women, for Fly Bass Fishing and Outdoor...
  • Adjustable suspension system – adjustable shoulder and waist straps, allows custom fit
  • Lightweight material, dries faster and breathes better
  • Padded air mesh shoulder straps provide the ultimate in comfort and breathability
Bestseller No. 2
Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest Pack Adjustable for Men and Women with Breathable Mesh, Trout Fishing...
  • HIGH LEVEL OF COMFORT: This vest made of high-quality light mesh fabric and premium rips top breathable polyester shell to stay sweat absorbency, light weight as well as breathability.
  • EXPANDABLE STORAGE WITH FISHING ROD HOLDER: Large and expandable to store more gears (pliers, fishing lure boxes, wallet, phone, keys and other accessories you need in your life.
  • MULTI-ZIPPED POCKETS: Four generous chest pocket, four zipped front pockets, two inside pocket, four side mesh pocket, and one generous back pocket in total. It can distribute your fishing accessories...
Bestseller No. 3
Zhusheng Men's Mesh 16 Pockets Photography Fishing Travel Outdoor Quick Dry Vest Breathable...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT: Travel fishing vest are made from a lightweight fabric blend that’s designed to offer a minimal amount of waterproof protection, it’s the ideal vest for those drizzly and damp, early...
  • BREATHABLE & DURABLE: Poplin style vest is thin; Linen style is ventilated betterly; Mesh style vest with plenty of breathable mesh incorporated into design. These jackets are well ventilated as well...
  • MULTI-POCKETS: Fishing vest with 16 varying sized pockets, including secure zippered pockets and velcro fastening pockets, you can handily store all your personal possessions. Also ensuring that your...
Bestseller No. 4
Anglatech Fly Fishing Vest Pack for Trout Fishing Gear, Adjustable Size for Men and Women
  • PLENTY OF STORAGE - Keep your fishing gear and equipment well-organized and quickly within reach.
  • ADJUSTABLE SIZING – Adjustable shoulder and waist straps for the perfect fit.
  • COMFORTABLE – Breathable mesh back allows for air to flow freely so you can stay cool and dry.
SaleBestseller No. 5
Kylebooker Fishing Vest Mesh for Men and Women(Army Green)
  • 【Lightweight and Comforable】This fishing vest only 23 oz weight .It is made of lightweight breathable fabric . Mesh back allows for air to flow freely so you can stay cool and dry. Especially in...
  • 【Professional Design】This Fly Fishing Vest with 17 exterior and interior pockets and rod holder loops & a variety of accessory loops to hold all your gears.Gear attachment tabs, cord loops, D-ring...
  • 【Adjustable】One Size fits Most – Adjustable shoulder and waist strap design suspension structure to fit with most shapes and sizes.
SaleBestseller No. 6
Bassdash Fly Fishing Vest Multi Pocket Waistcoat Adjustable Size for Men Women (Style Three - Army...
  • Ergonomic design for comfort and load spread
  • Numerous pockets all cleverly engineered to accommodate fly fishing tackle
  • Straps and string loops to attach your gadgets; Back D ring to attach your fishing net; Rod holder loops
SaleBestseller No. 7
Allen Gallatin Ultra Light Fishing Vest & fly fishing vest
  • Lightweight design with maximum storage capacity
  • Padded neck-strap with net D-ring
  • Zip-closure front pockets hold large fly boxes
Bestseller No. 8
Magreel Fly Fishing Vest for Men and Women, Comfortable Fishing Vest with Adjustable Shoulder &...
  • Comfortable Wearing: The waist and shoulder positions can be adjusted for perfect fit according to different sizes. Padded shoulder and breathable back built with sandwich mesh provide comfortable and...
  • Multiple Pockets: The fly fishing vest is designed with 18 pockets in total, among which there are 14 zipper pockets for holding various fishing lines, fishing lures and other fishing accessories.
  • Versatile Design: Back with D-ring design is to hang fishing landing net. Front with accessory attachment ladders is to hang fishing tools like fishing pliers, line holder, line clippers and so on.
Bestseller No. 9
Simms Freestone Fishing Vest, 19 Pocket Sleeveless Vest, Smoke, Medium
  • FREESTONE FISHING VEST: Simms' Freestone Vest takes inspiration from the unimpeded beauty of freestone rivers. The streamlined design includes 19 intuitive organizational pockets.
  • MULTI-POCKET OUTDOOR VEST: This fishing vest includes 19 pockets for your terminal tackle and fishing gear. Pockets include: 4 Chest Pockets, 2 large front vertical side-entry pockets, 4 waist...
  • WATER-RESISTANT ZIPPERS: This sleeveless vest is designed with YKK water-resistant zippers. The YKK nylon zippers ensure your zippers will not corrode or rust over time.
Bestseller No. 10
LOOGU Outdoor Fly Fishing Vest with Multi-Pockets for Fishing,Hunting, Hiking, Climbing, Traveling,...
  • Material: 90% cotton + 10% polyester with mesh, breathable, softable, durable, lightweight and comforatble, suitable for all seasons.
  • Humanized & Practical Design: Front 6 zipper pockets and 7 velcro pockets, Inside 2 big inner zipper pocket, Back 1 big pocket. It is convenient for storage cell phone, keys, tools, wallet, fishing...
  • Sizes: The size tag of our fishing vest is mark Asian size, we have changed the size to US size for you to choose on listing, please don't worry when you receive product found that size is wrong....

Conclusion

Getting a high quality vest for your fly fishing needs will make your life easier for years to come. You won't realize how useful a vest is until you try it. No more stirring up the water and scaring the fish every time you want to change flies or grab some pliers.

There are also some other buyer's guide on the internet to learn more about fly fishing vests that you might find useful like this one.

If you have tried some of these fly fishing vests then please let us know what your thoughts are in the comments section below.

Happy fishing!

Russ Egan
 

Russ is an avid angler. He has fished all over the world, primarily for Saltwater game fish but also for local prize fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Tyrnos for an overhead reel or a Shimano Curado for a baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.

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