Here are 7 tips to keep in mind when buying your fly fishing vest:
1. What weather conditions dominate in the area where you will be fly fishing? Weather and temperature are two important factors when it comes to buying your fishing vest. Get a mesh vest that is more ventilated if you will be fishing predominantly in warm weather conditions. For colder weather, buy a vest that is large enough to allow for layers underneath!
2. Fly fishing involves doing a lot of wading in water. For this reason, it's better to purchase a vest with a short waist. This way, your equipment will be above the waterline so you will avoid damaging it.
3. Take into consideration how much you will be taking with you. Large number of pockets is fantastic, but if you fill all of them up with equipment that is not necessary, you are going to weigh yourself down. On the other hand, try to find a vest with different sizes of pockets to hold the different things you will be taking with you.
4. It's very important that you can easily open and close the pockets in your vest. If at all possible, you should be able to do that with just one hand. Fly fishing vests that come with Velcro to seal pockets are the best option. It's a good idea to buy one with a "D-ring" on the back where you can put your net.
5. Once you fill your vest with the equipment you plan to carry with you, make sure that you can move easily. If you are weighed down too much, casting will be extremely complicated.
6. Vests are available in a variety of colors, and you will want to choose one that blends excellently with the vegetation of the area you will be fly fishing. Tan is recommended for fishing in the West and green will tone with the plant life of the East.
7. This last tip is very important. Get a vest with hardly any places where your line can get caught during casting. Lines and leaders often get caught on things that stick out on your vest such as fly patches, zippers, sunglass holders, etc.
Locate a vest that you can afford that meets these basic guidelines and you are ready to go.