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Thread: fishpond highcountry or doublehaul

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    Default fishpond highcountry or doublehaul

    anyone use either of these two rigs? which do you like better? i centerpin, so the chest pack cant be in the way too much. which do you prefer? thanks, Adam

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    It depends on why you're looking at a pack. If you're looking for something to hike in and camp with, fishpond packs are options although a traditional framed hiking backpack may be your best bet. If you typically don't hike far to fish or you tend to go on short day trips and float trips, these packs are probably more than you'll need.

    That said, The highcountry, when packed, sticks out fairly significantly from your chest. Both the doublehaul and highcountry packs felt limited in the storage space, which is why I personally have the Wildhorse tech pack. It has the most storage of the fishpond packs with the exception of their backpack. It's big enough to fit a 2 person tent and a camping stove if need be, or for more practical purposes to pack plenty of extra layers and a couple meals. It has multiple waterproof pockets for keys/phone/camera etc. and one of my fave features, a built in raincover that can be deployed from the bottom of the pack if things get soggy. The downside is it's not modular like some of the other fishpond gear, and if you load it up it with a tent and stove it's fairly uncomfortable to hike with and borderline dangerous to wade with. Being all one piece, it's bigger than you'd need for your average drive in fishing or any float trips (boat = storage), which is why I have a chestpack for those normal fishing days. I believe all of Fishpond's packs are compatible with the camelback reservoir which is really nice for long days on the water.

    If you're looking for something that you can haul everything you need for a full day hiking and can hold all your layers plus lunch and a change of clothes, Wildhorse is for you. It's perfect if you plan to hike/wade a longer stretch of river and need to keep everything with you. In my opinion, having used it for a year and a half, it is "capable but less than ideal" for overnight trips, and a smaller pack (doublehaul or highcountry) would make this problem even worse. If I plan to stay out for extended periods and need a tent and a stove, I just use my framed hiking backpack and bring my chestpack for fishing. I leave the backpack at the camp or hang it from a tree (bears) when I wade. The fishpond packs lack a frame and get uncomfortable and unbalanced after prolonged hiking, and it isn't practical to be carrying a bunch of heavy stuff out into the river with you while you are wading anyway.

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    Default

    i should say i mostly go on day trips. i carry everything in a standard fly vest, and it just barely fits everything i need. i wont carry camping gear. a chest pack is mainly because the vest kills my shoulders. a backpack on the back is a plus for me because i carry 2 of the clear plano boxes for floats and pre rigged shot lines.

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    Member jakec5253's Avatar
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    Default fishpond

    Have you thought about a hip pack instead of the chest pack? I bought the Fishpond Shooting Star a few years ago, and after a few trips, I hated the chest pack. I felt it was always in the way, getting my line wrapped on it, it just didn't work for me. it also rides very high on my chest, and I had a hard time seeing into the chest pack. I switched to a hip pack, the Waterdance Guide pack from Fishpond, and absolutely love it. I took the shoulder strap off of it, and just wear it as a belt. When I am not getting stuff out of it, I slide it around to my back, and it is never in the way. It holds a lot more stuff than the chest pack did, and is more comfortable to me. If I am going to be hiking all day, I wear a backpack and the hip pack, and have more than enough room for all the stuff I need.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jakec5253 View Post
    Have you thought about a hip pack instead of the chest pack? I bought the Fishpond Shooting Star a few years ago, and after a few trips, I hated the chest pack. I felt it was always in the way, getting my line wrapped on it, it just didn't work for me. it also rides very high on my chest, and I had a hard time seeing into the chest pack. I switched to a hip pack, the Waterdance Guide pack from Fishpond, and absolutely love it. I took the shoulder strap off of it, and just wear it as a belt. When I am not getting stuff out of it, I slide it around to my back, and it is never in the way. It holds a lot more stuff than the chest pack did, and is more comfortable to me. If I am going to be hiking all day, I wear a backpack and the hip pack, and have more than enough room for all the stuff I need.


    Jake
    only problem i see with that is a do a lot of deep wading to get to some of my spots. i would think a fanny pack would almost be to bouyant and throw my balance way off. maybe not. any insight on this?

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    My first Fishpond was the Shooting Star. I didn't like the chest pack in the way, so I bought the Gore Range and I really like it. It doesn't have the big back pack like the Shooting Star, but I have worn the Shooting Star backpack with the Gore Range.

    But now I also have the Wastach for when I need pack room.

  7. #7
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    Default hip pack

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Gibbs View Post
    only problem i see with that is a do a lot of deep wading to get to some of my spots. i would think a fanny pack would almost be to bouyant and throw my balance way off. maybe not. any insight on this?
    I haven't had any problems wading, but I usually only wade past waist deep to cross to the other bank. If the water is that high, I just carry the hip pack in one hand, and my fly rod in the other.


    Jake
    All the romance of trout fishing exists in the mind of the angler and is in no way shared by the fish.

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    I use the Fishpond Shooting Star, have had it for about 3-4 years now. I can't see using anything else personally. I hated how the vest was either swinging around wildly or I had to zip it up, everything fell out of it or was a pain to access, I just hated that dang thing haha.

    The chestpack holds everything I need and still has room for things I don't. I can fit a lot more in there than I can my old vest and it's more organized and easier to access. I like how the pockets, when unzipped, form a little tray and catch things I drop haha. I made my fly box insert system (see the make it yourself forum for the post and pics) based on the front insert that comes with the chestpack, now I can put any of my fly box inserts in there depending on where I'm at and what's hatching. I have never had an issue with it being in the way, even when I'm winter fishing in 10 layers and a large coat. As for wading deep, I haven't had any problems with balance or it pulling me, but be aware everything in it will get pretty wet, it's not waterproof. As for it being on your chest, I think it's something either you don't notice and like, or it's in the way and you hate it. The double haul chestpack is a bit smaller, a buddy has that one, he's sold on them too.

    The Shooting Star backpack is awesome. For ice fishing I stuff everything and anything in it, then pull the built in rain cover over the bag and lay it down on the ice, keeps everything dry. Also nice for hiking in rain obviously. I hike fairly often in the early summer, mostly day trips 10-12 miles round trip, so I bring a water filter, food, stove, survival stuff, clothes, fly gear, spinning gear, sometimes waders and boots, and I'm sure I'm forgetting lots. The point is, it's a day and 1/2 bag if you know how to pack and are carrying the right stuff. The built in place for a water bladder is nice if you bag isn't packed full.

    The biggest disadvantage for me is hiking. I don't usually have the chestpack with me because it's just plain too big. So I take out what I need and put it into the backpack, who wants an extra 3lbs on their chest hiking up up to 12,000ft+ elevation in the heat!

    I think the double haul chestpack would be a lot more ideal for hiking, but the double haul backpack is pretty dang small. You can't fit a whole lot in there, especially if you use the water bladder, but....it's big enough you can easily do road fishing, or use it on shorter day trips where you don't need to bring much. Sounds like that's more what you do and the double haul should be a great option IMO. When I had a vest my shoulder blades and neck used to kill me after fishing all day, now they don't bother me at all from that. I was a bit concerned because the chestpack appears to pull on your neck, but wearing it, I don't notice or have any issues.

    The fanny pack is a good option too, I know lots of guys and guides that love those. I still can't believe how much stuff they hold, they hold a ton. I don't like things around my hips like that and was concerned about the wading aspect as well, so it just didn't work for me. Another concern is where to hang your net out of the way if you wade fish a lot. Just like the chestpack everyone feels differently depending on what you like or don't and how you'll use it most.

    If you know anyone with either, you should get out and try them out, IMO they are completely different feels, especially while wading.

    Hope this helps

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    Default Vests, chest/hip-fanny packs...

    Quote Originally Posted by jakec5253 View Post
    I haven't had any problems wading, but I usually only wade past waist deep to cross to the other bank. If the water is that high, I just carry the hip pack in one hand, and my fly rod in the other.


    Jake
    Many helpful comments obviously from guys with experience.
    I'll chime in with the hip/fanny pack crowd. I use an earlier version of Sage fanny pack- smaller than the current DXL Lumbar Fanny Pack; just enough room for two fly boxes, rigging, shot, bug dope/net, toothbrush, small light, bandanna.

    I spin it around for access, then back to lumbar position when casting, which keeps it out of the way. Tippet spools store inside when not in use, then clip to outside on-stream. Some conflict with separate wading belt especially if wading staff, which I sometimes use if wading alone, is attached. I have dunked my stuff a couple of times, but like Jake posted,
    usually have time to carry the bag up high when crossing deep.

    Vests are handy when not overloaded, but I don't use b/c I carry lunch, raingear, water in a light backpack, so don't need the capacity. I like having chest area clear to minimize conflict with fly line and shoulder holster. Each storage system offers advantages - as described by others.
    I guess it's time to dig out my stuff, restock it and plan that first outing.
    Good luck this year.

  10. #10
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    I have the Waterdance Guide pack from Fishpond. I like it much better than my old fly vest. It holds plenty for on the water use and if I am making a longer day trip I will take a small backpack. I rarely wade past my waist anyway, because I can't cast well in deeper water. If I am crossing deeper water, I take it off and sling it over my shoulder, to keep my hands free.
    It ain't about the # of pounds of meat we bring back, nor about how much we spent to go do it. Its about seeing what no one else sees.

    http://wouldieatitagainfoodblog.blogspot.com/

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishnPhil View Post
    If you know anyone with either, you should get out and try them out, IMO they are completely different feels, especially while wading.
    Best advice I've read so far. If at all possible, try before you buy.

    I've got the fishpond high country and it's perfect for me. I've tried my buddy's shooting star and it's a nice pack but it's much bigger than I need, and I tend to fill the space I have. The high country holds my gear, an extra layer, and lunch, but doesn't give me a ton of extra room to fill with heavy things that I don't really need. For my buddy who likes to carry his DSLR with multiple lenses in waterproof bags the bigger shooting star is a good fit.

    When I switched from just shoving my gear in my waders above the wading belt to wearing a chestpack/backpack combo it was a bit of an adjustment, but I love the chestpack now. The chest pack seemed kind of big at first, but now I think its just the right size.

    Again, if at all possible, give them a test drive before you put down the money on one of them.

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