The Best Fly Fishing Vests - (7 Fishing Waistcoats Reviewed)

best fly fishing vests

One of the most frustrating experiences in any type of fishing is to find that an essential piece of equipment is needed quickly and is not to hand.

This could be a knife, a disgorger, tweezers, hooks, shot, floats, flies – the list is endless.

In this article we explore a simple, practical solution - the use of a fishing vest which will allow swift and easy access to whatever piece of kit is needed. 7 of the best fly fishing vests are revealed.

Strapped For Time?

If you haven't got the time to read the full article. This is what this section is for. So the answer to the question is as follows...

The best fly fishing vest on the market today is a quality vest made by Maximum Catch. This vest is lightweight, breathable and has a multitude of storage options. It really is a quality piece of kit!

There are other worthy options so read on to find out more or skip straight to the products here.

Why Bother With A Fishing Vest?

So you maybe reading this article to decide whether or not you actually need a fishing vest in the first place. If you are and you need convincing then there are of course many advantages to owning one.

Having everything to hand is important for a mobile angler especially one that may be wading down a river. A vest ensures no more returning to the bank to locate the item needed and no more rummaging around in bags.

The main benefit of a fishing vest is the ability to get your line back in the water as soon as possible. This is particularly so in fly fishing when you are in your waders and some distance from the bank. However they are equally as useful for speed and convenience when fishing reservoirs and lakes.

We also consider the use of a vest as a garment to be worn under a sleeved jacket in very cold conditions which could be the difference between you staying or calling it a day.

The best fly fishing vests will ensure that you will the benefit of warmth in the colder months but not overheat in warmer weather.

Other Names For Fly Fishing Vests

A variety of names may be used to describe these items: sleeveless jackets, waistcoats, gilets. All these terms can be used to describe garments that may or may not be designed for angling.

For the sake of simplicity, suitable items are referred to in this article as fishing vests but not just any vests, the best fly fishing vests!

What To Look For In The Best Fly Fishing Vests

Anglers are like magnets – they attract large quantities of kit! Whilst it is possible to keep many items of tackle on the bank (unless you are wading down the river) a good many of these items must be to hand as they could be needed at very short notice.

For this reason, a fishing vest with numerous pockets to store all the bits and pieces is a godsend.

Fly fishing brings with it special needs that do not necessary apply to other fishing types. One such need is the requirement to accommodate fly boxes comfortably. Another is to ensure that the vest is of a suitable length to allow for free, unimpeded movement when wearing waders.

Lightness of weight is a particular requirement for fishermen who spend a large part of the day standing in water. If you have a particular fly rod & reel combo that is on the heavy side, a light vest can help lighten the load.

The following video available is worth a watch as it addresses the special needs that come with fly fishing:

List of The Best Fly Fishing Vests

The Best Overall Fly Fishing Vest


This brilliant product by MaximumCatch is easily one of the best fly fishing vests we have tested to date. There is ample storage with the 16 external / internal pockets at differing sizes to fit all required gear into.

The breathable mesh on this vest allows for good ventilation and will keep you cool and dry throughout your trip. A nice touch to this vest is the two zip-down fly benches with replaceable foam to keep the vest 'fresh'.

A D ring at the back of the vest and the adjustable shoulder straps are two more key features that adds to the overall quality.

Made of ripstop nylon for durability and weighing in at just over 600g you should hopefully see why this is clearly one of the best fly fishing vests on the market.

Other Recommended Fly Fishing Vests

KEVITEVD - Multi-Pocket Fly Fishing Vest

This vest has 16 pockets in all. A fishing vest that comes in five sizes with either velcro or zip fastenings. Made of quick drying, breathable fabric (polyester with nylon lining), this durable item comes in a variety of colours including army green and khaki.

FREIESOLDATEN - Multi-Pocket Waistcoat

as of 23 June 2024 14:13

As it is made from mesh and polyester, this versatile garment is light in weight. It boasts numerous pockets, including a large one to the back of the vest. A professional piece of kit with a couple of D rings for hanging various items of equipment.

BASSDASH - Adjustable Fly Fishing Vest

as of 23 June 2024 14:13

This fishing vest not only has numerous pockets to the front and back, it also features two mesh side pockets, both rod hanging and accessory loops and a hip strap for securing the vest. This particular article appears to be designed mainly with the fly fisherman in mind but would also be great for coarse fishing.

OCHENTA - Thin Fly Fishing Vest

Weighing in at just 680 grams, the Ochenta can be fastened up using zip and/or quick release straps. It also benefits from a swivel hook suitable for securing a variety of items. Comes in a choice of five colours.

MEMORYEE - Breathable Fly Fishing Vest

Available in 8 colours, this lightweight, breathable vest benefits from a mesh back, making it ideal for those hot summer days. Water resistant and boasting 15 pockets, it also features 4 loops to safely hold slender items. An attractive-looking item that can also double as a travelling vest.

Cold Weather Option


This vest has an 80% down and 20% feather lining for extra warmth. The zip fastening comes right up to the chin and there are two useful side pockets which also have zip closures for securing personal items.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best fly fishing vest can make all the difference in terms of efficiency and effectiveness on the bank.

Hopefully our suggestions will point you in the direction of choosing the best fly fishing vest for your fishing situation and will ultimately lead to more enjoyable trips and, more importantly, more fish caught.

If you are need in some footwear to compliment your vest please check out our full guide on the best fishing boots right here. 

Likewise, if you are in need of a decent pair of polarised sunglasses for your fishing, checkout our detailed article here.

Tight Lines!

All of the fishing tackle featured in this article can be found at one of the following online shops...

Total fishing tackle

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