|A beautiful native brook trout I landed while testing The SimpliFLY.|
I switched to a sling pack, but it kept getting in the way when I was climbing under trees and such. It would slip off of my body when I would be crouching to try and be undetected from wild trout in the blue lines that I love to fish. Because of its orientation and my absent mindedness, I found myself leaving pockets unzipped and had tools, flies, etc falling out. It was a pain but also caused unintentional litter, wich was a major issue to me. The sling pack was a decent option for me, but still was not what I was looking for.
My very first impression when I saw a photo of The SimpliFLY in a Facebook post was, "What the heck is this yuppy laser tag looking thing??" Looking past its non conventional appearance, I began to see its functionality. The SimpliFLY intrigued me. I am not really a gear junky when it comes to fly fishing, and like to stick to the basics. I am not one to jump on a fad or use the latest & greatest "insert buzz word here" gear that hits the market. I am not one who hits up companies to become a pro staff member or something like that either. To me The SimpliFLY was different. I decided to give it a look. Would this different looking pack be the answer I have been looking for? I decided that I would go ahead and order one to give it a try. Like everything else, before I do a review, or give a full opinion on a product I put it through a gauntlet of testing. I tested every feature of the pack in every type of weather condition I could think of. Below is my review from using this pack over the last 6 months.
|Trying on The SimpliFLY for the first time|
When I watched the video of The SimpliFLY certain things caught my eye instantly. The first thing was how the pack secured to your chest and back. This would eliminate the issues that I had with the sling pack sliding around on me. Sure you could tighten the sling pack, but then when you would attempt to get your items out of the pack it would be more difficult to spin and access the zipped compartments.
The next feature that caught my eye was the built in zip lines. These would be perfect for a pair of forceps, and a pair of nail clippers. Having these built into the pack and hidden was a great feature. You wouldn't have to worry about a pin breaking and losing your tool. Also this would mean they would not get caught on brush and other obstructions while you switch locations. I like the magnet location to allow a larger pair of forceps to be carried without having them falling all over the place.
|Some small stream and panfish flies in a fly box insert.|
|Fly Box Inserts (photo courtesy of The SimpliFLY)|
|The SimpliFLY Back Pack|
You can also store these extra boxes in the optional back pack that is offered. The backpack connects directly to The SimpliFLY check pack. I was surprised at how roomy this pack is. This pack is perfect for storing extra fly boxes, drinks, and even a hoodie or long sleeve shirt for those early spring trips where you may need to remove an article of clothing as the temperture climbs. The material feels pretty rugged to me and has a tactical like feel to it. Installation is pretty easy, and removal is fast.
|The SimpliFLY fly box insert lays flat. I found this a great feature, especially in the snow. If you drop a fly it lands back in the box and not in 6" of snow.|
|A brush lined PA Class A wild trout stream. Was nice to not get hung up on brush and jagger bushes.|
|A hold over winter Rainbow from West Central PA.|
|The SimpliFLY Stock set up works well for spinning tackle as well for those of us who like to do all sorts of fishing?|
|The lure box insert will work both for lures, and larger wire diameter flies like bass poppers and larger streamers.|
(Photo provided by The Simplifly)
|A beautiful Perch I caught while testing The Simplify in January. She took a white crystal lead eye streamer.|
|A chilly winter day putting The SimpliFLY in cold temperatures.|
|The new tippet holder design. Adding clips and removing the half moon hole alleviated any issues with the durability of the tippet holder clips.|
For durability of the pack I am going to give a 9.5 out of 10. Again the only issue was mentioned above. I don't care about aesthetics with my gear so I am not going to offer a rating on that. I purposefully let the pack slide around in the back of my care to test the packs durability. I have never seen any issues to my tools, flies, etc. that were stored inside of the pack. The tools and flies stayed exactly where I had stored them.
I feel that if aesthetics are the only reason you don't consider this pack in your search you are really missing out. For me the functionality of the pack far outweigh its non conventional looks. As far as weight, and comfort I give the pack a 9 out of 10. The pack is heavier than many of the packs out there, but with the increased weight you get the added durability of the hard plastic. I like the breath-ability of the pack, and found it to be quite cool to wear over conventional fishing vests. The open strap design does not allow heat to gather and make you sweat. The hard plastic also relieves heat from you chest compared to cloth style packs.
All in all I don't think you can go wrong with giving this pack a try, or at the very least add it to your list of potential packs. I put this pack to the test with a variety of fishing styles, in every environment I can think of, and targeted multiple species of fish, and it shined for me.