When I go fishing I spend the majority of the day out on the water. This means that I like to carry all my flies, leaders, tippets as well as all the random stuff that goes into a day of hiking and fishing in the Utah high country. I am a huge fan of a sling style pack for my gear. I thought I had found the right solution in the form of the Orvis Guide Sling. However, I was wrong. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not the most stable or confident wading angler. After the 100th time of pulling all my gear out of the pack because I fell while wading, I decided it was time to investigate the water-resistant pack offerings on the market. Enter the Fishpond Thunderhead Sling. Below you will find my thoughts:
Burly Construction: The Thunderhead sling is one of the offerings within the Westwater Collection from Fishpond. These pieces have a lot in common. They all feature heavy-duty YKK #8 water resistant zippers, as well a TPU coated 1600 Denier Nylon that gives each piece a really tough construction. The Thunderhead sling can be considered fully submersible if no gear is found in the second (smaller) pocket. With that in mind this bag is not fully waterproof. I have had a chance to use this bag for some time now and it has seen some tough conditions, the worst of those conditions coming in the form of a rainstorm while tarpon fishing in Mexico. The rain didn’t last long; however, I was never concerned. The 1600D TPU nylon did its job and kept the water out with the contents inside staying bone dry.
Integrated Net Holster Sleeve: Carrying a net is a new concept for me but I found the integrated net holster on the Thunderhead to be a welcome addition. For the longest time, I kept my net tucked into my wading belt at an angle. Which proved to be a pain in the butt. The design on the sling keeps the net out of the way when fishing but also easy to access when needed.
Internal Storage: This section should actually be titled “lack of storage”. Don’t get me wrong, the Thunderhead sling has a TON of internal space. However, there really isn’t much to it on the inside. Apart from a small pouch with a clear front, presumably for a license or wallet, this bag doesn’t have any other internal organization. Which can lead to some frustration when searching for specific boxes or hard goods.
External Pockets: My only other gripe with this pack is the fact that it does not have any external pockets. I would love to see a pouch where I could stash a water bottle at least. Until then, my water bottle hangs out with everything else in my pack.
Fishpond builds their gear to last and I hope to be using this pack for some time to come. Even though the pack is simple in its configuration, it gets the job done when tasked with keeping my gear dry. If you are looking for a new sling pack, or wanting to try something different. Look no further than the Thunderhead Sling from Fishpond.