The world of personal fly tackle storage has never been more convoluted than it is presently. Sling, chest and hip packs, vests, lanyards, satchels and more occupy shelves in fly shops and it has reached the point that anglers will go through two, three or more before finding one that suits their needs.

Vests and bags are a very personal thing and actually become an integral part of our outfit but with so many to choose from, how does one decide? Typically, style and functionality are at the top but are very subjective and both depend on the individual and their requirements. A professional guide for instance will generally carry far more equipment than the average dude but that is because he doesn’t know what his sport will show up with and although he or she will usually have a finger on the pulse of what is going on in terms of hatches and so on, they still must remain ready for anything. The average to avid recreational angler on the other hand will be somewhere between the minimalist and the pro and for that guy, Fish Pond has the vest!

The two Vaquero vests (Nylon and Waxed Cotton) are the perfect blend of functionality and style. The 12 pocket vests are well laid out with two large, front pockets capable of carrying very large boxes, 4 secondary pockets for smaller boxes (all zippered) and 4 larger than average tippet spool pockets (brass snaps). They are adorned with lots of clips and hangy things for the many accessories that we love to carry (floatants, line cutter, forceps etc.) plus the strongest net hanger in the industry. Finally 2 rear pockets, a large cargo space and a smaller secondary pocket round out these very attractive vests. The workmanship is second to none as is the case with all Fishpond gear and these vests give up nothing when it comes to comfort. The straps are wide and very nicely padded to distribute weight accross the shoulders and the “One size fits most” adjustability makes for very easy conversion from trimmed down summer fishing to bulked up winter attire.

Did I mention that they are attractive? Let’s just say that when you first lay eyes on the waxed cotton version, you will likely know how your wife feels at the sight or even mention of a Prada purse. It is just flat out cool and a perfect blend of old school style and modern functionality.

Fishpond hit it out of the park with this product and although it sits at a premium price ($190.00 Cnd) it is vest that will last for years and years and even at that price, it is hands down a better product than it’s more expensive competitors.

GRO Rating

  • If there is a downside to this product, we can’t find one but we have a hard time giving 5 to anything when it comes to performance and functionality. 4.5
  • Durability 5
  • Cool factor 5
  • Value 4.5 (We gave it a 4.5 as the initial price tag may seem high but if you factor in the durability, the value is very good with this product. We expect even the most avid anglers to get tired of this vest before it ever wares out.)