April 05, 2012
Everyone has some favorite pieces of gear. Most favorites have ties to memorable fishing trips or are simply so durable and well designed that you can't help but love them. In this post let's cover THE gear holder e.g., vest, chest or fanny pack.
I was once a vest kind of guy, then I tried a Filson Strap Vest, loved it, wore it out and couldn't fit quite enough gear in it so I went back to a vest. Next came a Filson Guide Vest. It was great too, but weighed a ton (mostly because I can't help but fill every available pocket) and I wore holes in it. To lighten things up but still have a fair bit of storage I purchased a Simms Guide vest. It was much lighter than the Filson products, had ample storage and I didn't wear it out. The Simms vest is still one of the best designed products available, but when I started having a bit of upper back pain while fishing (not the vest's fault, just poor posture, I'm a bit of a slouch) I decided to search for an option that would carry most of the gear weight on my hips or shoulders. After routinely soaking everything in hip/fanny packs I tried a William Joseph Gear Bag Chest. I enjoyed the Gear Bag Chest so much that I bought two, just in case I wore one out and they stopped making the design. The GB Chest kept everything high enough to allow deep wading without soaking my gear and supported most of the weight with my shoulders. When the time came to update the pack, Willy J tweaked its looks and improved the design but kept the same name. Again, I purchased the new GB Chest and again loved it. The GB Chest is the grandfather of my current favorite pack, the William Joseph Confluence. About a year ago, my final GB Chest was wearing out. The once gray colored straps were fading to a purple, some of the zippers had broken and the velcro was no longer staying connected. That pack saw more days on the water than any two or three of it's predecessors.
The Confluence was originally available with zippered front pockets but Willy J came up with a quicker way to access the packs contents. They call it "zip-no" technology. By replacing the standard zippers on the front of the pack with magnetic closures the "zip-no" is quite possibly the fastest way to get in and out of a chest pack. I'm a believer, and have really enjoyed the way the pack is setup. Check one out the next time you visit your local William Joseph dealer or click on the link below to see one online:
After reading through this post, I realized that this sounds a bit like a commercial for Willy J. Please note that I am not monetarily compensated by any of the companies listed above, but I am open to entertaining the idea....;)