Gear Review – Simms Headwaters Mesh Vest

I used to think that a vest was nothing more than an accessory for those that wanted to look like better fishermen than they are.  After six months with this vest, I’m considering buying another one to teach in.
My slight hyperbole might be directed toward the usefulness of any vest while fly fishing, but with 15 pockets, 2 built in retractors and a solid D-ring in the back for attaching a net, this vest has eliminated the need for a day pack. Pockets match a variety of different boxes which seems obvious, but isn’t to all companies. I filled all the pockets with everything from fly boxes to tippet to a GPS and a hoagie sandwich, and the thing still wasn’t too bulky to get in the way of casting. It was heavy, but that was my fault.
The mesh keeps heat down in the summer and weight down when fighting the incessent rain of Southeast Alaska. I have felt better mesh on vests that cost twice as much, but some of them didn’t even have retractors or had funny pockets. Who cares if there is a waterproof cell phone holder? Aren’t you supposed to be fishing?
If you’re going to sacrifice gas and food money for a vest, it better be for something special, or on sale and if you really want your cell phone or wallet not to get wet, you can buy a whole box of Ziploc bags for a fraction of the markup for that feature in a vest.

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