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What's In Your Daypack?

by John Evans
(San Antonio, TX)

ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Guide Sling and the Normal Items I Carry

ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Guide Sling and the Normal Items I Carry

What do you carry in your daypack for a morning’s worth of fishing? We’re not talking about a backpacking expedition in the remote mountains here. I’m thinking about the common trip most of us are able to take on the spur of the moment . . . when the mood strikes us . . . and we have the urge to fish. Think about a little day trip to your favorite stream.

I thought it might be cool to list what I usually carry along and then compare it with fellow tenkara anglers. So, here goes, in no particular order . . .

The pack is the superb ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Guide Sling that receives constant use and is still in like-new condition. You gotta get one of these from Chris Stewart if you don’t already have one because it’s a wonderful piece of gear! The more I use it, the more I like it.

Two of the excellent rods that I carry from TenkaraBum include the Suntech GM Keiryu Special 27 and the Nissin Zerosum 360.

Next, comes the necessary water supply. For a quick morning jaunt, I love my Sawyer mini-filter, one full water bladder, plus an empty spare should I actually need to filter some stream water.
I also carry one tiny, plastic fly box stuffed with Utah Killer Bugs, Herb’s Black Thread-and-Hen, some Czech Nymphs, some Elk Hair Caddis, and an assortment of black foam beetles and red ant patterns.

I always carry along a mint tin of emergency items, such as antiseptic wipes, a fire starter, a tube of antibiotic cream, some band-aids, medical tape, gauze, over-the-counter pain pills, sunscreen, and a little gizmo called a “Splinter Out” to remove splinters. If I get a splinter in my hand, it bothers me all morning until I take it out.

Next, I have a small waterproof pouch for my cell-phone, keys, fishing license, wallet, and Nikon Coolpix camera.

Attached to the strap of the guide sling I have nippers, floatant, and hemostats on a zip line.
Miscellaneous items include peanuts, an emergency rain poncho, two spare tenkara lines, two spools of tippet, and a container of mummy worms.

All of these items are comfortable and comforting. What an angler carries in his daypack evolves over time as he discovers what he does and doesn’t need. For example, right now I don’t use a net, but that could change in the future. These are the items that work for me.

So, what’s in your daypack?

Comments for What's In Your Daypack?

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Sep 23, 2017
for me it's
by: BKCooper

I personally like sling packs which is what I use. My floppy hat and my rod, just the one. Usually 2 boxes of various flies most of my own creation though the basic wet fly style is the main theme, just works better for me. A couple of bass flies or at least bigger versions, just in case(hey who could resist right). a snack bar of some sort and a bottle of water. I am very utilitarian as I think most tenkara fisherman are so what I carry I carry 2 of but that is it including line and tippet etc. My trips are 3 hours max usually,and my wife knows exactly where I'll be. I actually take her to the places I go fishing just so she knows just in case although I carry my phone as well.

Sep 25, 2017
Pack light
by: Jay Guarneri

I use a Patagucci vest front sling pack. Usually only carry one rod, selected based on the size of fish I think I'm after that day, a box of too many flies, two line winders with a long and short range level line, and a spool each of 5x and 10lb tippet. For tools, I I have a pair of scissor pliers and a net, and I just started carrying floatant. Next,I always carry a water bottle and a headlamp. I have a pair of clear safety glasses so I can fish as it gets dark and not worry about sticking my eye. If I'll be out for a while,I will throw in a snack or a sandwich. I use my smartphone for pictures, that lives in a lifeproof case so I keep it in the front pocket with my fly box. Everything lives in the pack, so I can just pick my rod, fill up my water, and go.

Oct 04, 2017
Thanks John!
by: Les A.

I forked out the bucks for the ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Guide Sling Lite, and gulped as I have several fly fishing vests. It was one of my best investments! John this thread has given me some great guidance as to what I need in my pack! For me, up to this point my longest fishing session has been 3 hours using the pack and stream wandering.

I need to get some waterproof bags.

I carry a secret weapon inside of my bag now. The Diawa Kiyose SF 30 that fits nicely inside the pack. This has saved the day twice on new streams that were too brushy for the TenkaraBum 40. I normally carry two rods on the outside of my bag depending on where I am fishing, I chose the rods.

I added a ZimmerBuilt Tenkara Micro Pack to the strap where I keep my tippet lines. I also added a Daiwa Folding Net to the strap. After about 5 minutes of fishing, I don't even know I have the pack on.

Inside the pack I have an apple, 3 Clif bars, and two bottles of water. My flies are not as organized as they should be. I carry 4 boxes of flies. I carry two boxes of hooks. I carry at least 3 different Mummy Worms. I carry floats, Keiryu markers, a small pack of a variety of split shot. My favorite Dinsmores #10 shot. The Daiwa Tankei 1500SK was the best $36.00 I have spent so far to keep lines organized. I carry a spool of 2.5, 3, and 4.5 level line.

It seems like I always forgetting something, so I just adapt! My goal is to be as minimal as possible. Again, thanks John and others, I will continue to refine my Daypack. If you don't have a ZimmerBuilt, you are really missing out! Right now, I could grab my Daypack and head out fishing. It is ready to go with 3 rods minus the apple. Most of the time, I cruise by the Worm Ranch with my bait holder and snatch a couple of dozen worms too.

Oct 04, 2017
Fine Products by ZimmerBuilt
by: John Evans

All of the items I have bought that were made by ZimmerBuilt have been excellent. I've used my Guide Sling that I purchased from TenkaraBum for the past year, and it's really been an exceptional daypack. The Sling Lite is also great.
The one thing I've noticed is that, when I display all the stuff on the outside of the pack, as in my photo, it looks like a lot. When it's all safely tucked inside, however, it seems like nothing.

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“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten” – Benjamin Franklin

"Be sure in casting, that your fly fall first into the water, for if the line fall first, it scares or frightens the fish..." Col. Robert Venables 1662

As age slows my pace, I will become more like the heron.


The hooks are sharp.
The coffee's hot.
The fish are slippery when wet.

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