GAIA instructor John Boon gives you the lowdown on the Fishpond Summit Sling.
Fishpond Summit Sling
For years I have been trying to find the ultimate way in which to carry my fly boxes and accessories whilst out on the water. My main considerations are comfort and space, as like most anglers I tend to carry more than I need, just in case. Other considerations include ease of access, and well thought out features. I have tried everything over the years, and eventually decided that the sling pack was the best option for me. Having tried a few from a multitude of companies, the Fishpond Summit Sling definitely comes out on top.
The comfort aspect of this pack is simply superb. The shoulder strap is very well padded, and ergonomically designed to comfortably fit across your shoulder. The sling is attached via quick release clips, in two points, one for the shoulder strap and one for the waist strap. The straps are easily adjustable to allow the pack to sit exactly how you want it. Made from recycled fishing net nylon material (Cyclepond), the sling pack boasts a showerproof element, which will keep everything inside dry expect for in the most atrocious weather. The Cyclepond material is tough and durable, as well as being one of those neat little extras that make you feel good about using it, knowing you are in a small way helping to protect the planet. The showerproof nature of this material is reinforced by the use of YKK water resistant zippers, which are strong and smooth.
The outside of the pack is littered with features making life much easier when out on the water. Firstly, there are multiple attachment points for zingers, and forceps. The attachments points are designed to be used with Fishponds swivel retractors, although they work just as well with ordinary zingers. Just below each attachment point is a retainer to stop your accessories from swinging about when not in use. In addition, there are three Velcro docking points, primarily designed for attaching accessories such as fly patches, or floatant holders, though they double up nicely as a fly holder.
On the back is a conveniently placed D-ring for a net retractor, allowing for easy and quick access. There is also a specifically designed slot in which to place a long handled net.
The three compartments have been well thought out. The largest will store multiple fly boxes, and accessories and even holds just enough room for a small waterproof jacket. The slightly smaller compartment is perfect for a snack, sun cream, and other small accessories. The smallest has a hard shell exterior for added protection, as inside is a foam fly holder/dryer, which I find extremely valuable, as no longer do I run the risk of losing flies on external fly patches. There are also a couple of small zippered pockets inside the compartment, for small extras such as split shot.
On the bottom of the pack is a water bottle holder, which comes with a retaining strap. I found that without the strap, sometimes bottles will fall out, but once the strap has been placed around the neck of the bottle it stays securely in place. The pack also comes with straps for rod tubes, which is useful for long hikes or for when travelling.
There are many different options out there when it comes to packs, but I can’t recommend this one enough. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to comfort and performance, as well as style and design. If you are looking for a new system then this product is well worth a look.