August 27, 2012
Fishing Gear Review: Vedavoo Tightline Sling
By Kirk Deeter
My favorite business stories in fly fishing are the ones that go something like this: Person genuinely loves fly fishing and realizes a need or an opportunity to make something cool, based on their experiences. Person then goes "all-in" with an investment to chase that goal. Person doesn't compromise their values, manufactures in the United States, and maintains a focus on innovation and the interests of the customer. Person's company is successful.
I'm pretty sure that's how the script is going to play out for Vedavoo, maker of slings, packs, bags and the like for anglers. Vedavoo is a small operation, but it made a strong impression a couple weeks ago at the International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show in Reno. (The name Vedavoo is an alternate spelling of “Vedauwoo”--an outdoor park with notable natural rock features in southern Wyoming; company founder Scott Hunter attended the University of Wyoming.)
A few years ago Hunter took the dregs of his checking account and bought a sailmaking machine on Craigslist. From there, he branched into designing and stitching together simple, functional gear items for anglers. My favorite is the Tightline Sling. It costs $99, though it is made in America out of durable Cordura fabric. Of all the sling concepts I've seen in the past few years, this one is the most comfortable to wear, the easiest to adjust, and the best though-out in terms of fish-ability.
That's coming from a 30-year vest man who would sooner have worn a baby sling (and that didn't happen when my son was an infant) than give up the fishing standard. But the more I endeavor to be a minimalist fisherman, the more I appreciate the ability to have my gear literally out of sight and out of mind (on my back) when I'm fishing, and at my fingertips when I want it with the slide of the sling. I don't carry much more than a couple fly boxes, some leaders, weights, floatant, sunscreen, hemostats/scissors, nippers, a nail knot tool and this sling carries all that (you can clip items to it) easily.
If you never warmed to the chest pack, but you find a vest too warm, this option is worth checking out.