Simms Flyweight Pack Fishing Vest

David Anderson weighs up the ins and outs of Simms lightweight vest

The Simms Flyweight Pack Fishing Vest is a very light pack at only 350g. Sure, the weight thing is getting to the point of splitting hairs, but I doubt there’s a lighter option if it’s that important to you.

Though this is called a ‘pack vest’, the vest elements are stripped right back and suited to more minimalist tackle types that can pack light. 

The pocket layout includes one front pocket with side zip and two mesh outside stash pockets. The outside pockets aren’t huge but they have a lot of stretch and hold more than you might think.

That suits me just fine as one fly box, a couple of tippet spools and a few gadgets are all I need when travelling upstream — light and fast. I can also see this being well suited to hot weather, land-based bass, barra and beach fishing. 

Actually, who am I kidding? I can always find the want, if not the need, for more gear.

I would highly recommend also getting the Flyweight Small Pod pictured here attached to the left shoulder strap on the HEXGRID system that runs through the Flyweight range. It is a very clever minimalist tackle pouch with two vertical zippered compartments. There’s also a thin shoulder strap included for carrying on its own. With the pod attached, the vest should have enough space for even us, errrr, maximalist minimalists.

The backpack itself has a simple roll-top closure that can be cinched down on smaller loads or expanded to a full pack. It is made of 210-denier nylon ripstop material with a polyurethane coating and is weather resistant. Fully adjustable with two front straps, the pack also comes in two sizes — small/medium or large/extra-large.

In overall size, the pack is day-trip ready with enough room for lunch, a rain jacket, a spare fly box or two and even a jumper if the top is expanded a bit. There’s the option to have water on board too, with the 2-litre bladder included that fits in a pocket inside the pack. A long hydration tube runs over the shoulder and tucks into a front mesh pocket. 

As expected from Simms, the Pack Vest is well designed for fly fishing and, even when loaded up, full casting movement is achieved without impediment. It remains comfortable through the day in the more physical small streams I like, and sits high on the back and well out of harms way through deeper water.