Viking Lars (well known on this site mainly for Denmark or Bust, the Bulletin Board and, most recently, his London Plunder visit has a "bag fetish" and as such is perfect for a Sexyloops review - Paul :-)
William Joseph "Emerger" Fanny Pack
When I go fishing I need to carry some stuff: the bare essentials. For years I preferred the fishing vest, which is a great vehicle
for all the stuff I need, but more importantly,
in this context, also for all the stuff I don't. It had a tendency to get filled up with all sorts of items that seemed essential
when I first bought them, and stuck them in my vest, but as time went by I came to think of it, how many things were there that I
used regularly? Not many actually. The vest was full of the weirdest items.
It was then that I took my first step forward and bought a chestpack. This was great because in a small chestpack it's not possible to carry half so much stuff as in a vest! The bare essentials came a closer to being just that.
The limited carrying ability was not the reason for my purchase however; I just thought it looked cool :-) With the addition of a turtle pack option (which is basically a small backpack added to the chestpack), I can also carry the water I need and a raincover. “It was cool” – I now began looking at other forms of bags and carry systems and that's when it began…
Alright, I may as well admit to it right away: fishing bags are an obsession. I'm almost as obsessed about them as I am with my rods, lines and flies. I've tried different bum-bags. The first was too small for my bare essentials (so I gave that one to Paul). Then there was the North Face, which didn't sit very well (probably because it was overloaded!). And finally there was the William Joseph.
Based in Utah this company seems very ambitious and very committed to making some seriously cool equipment (not that staying in Utah automatically makes you serious – or maybe so?). On their website they state this: “…after a day on the river with the Emerger, everyone just sat there quietly, which basically meant we had a winner”.
The material is a soft cordura-like nylon. The backside of the pack and the belt is padded with hard, moulded foam, which makes the pack sit extremely well and very comfortably. It even allows some sweat to pass. The pack is equally comfortable when fully packed or when just loaded with a few flyboxes and a spare reel. The underside is made of sturdy black PVC-rubber – protecting the pack if one needs to lay it on the ground, as well as helping to keep everything inside dry when wading that inch deeper to reach a fish.
Zippers are also sturdy and the handles on the zippers are very large and very easy to find. This is one of the really good features of the pack: even cold and wet hands will find these zipper handles – in the dark!
On each side of the pack are two bottleholders and bottles are included (the bottles that came along with mine are black, which probably isn't all that brilliant :-)). Each bottle is held in place by an elastic cord that whips around the neck of the bottle. The bottom of the bottleholder is made of two pieces of crossing webbing.
Included with the main pack is a small, detachable, extra pack that can be worn around the neck. This small pack will hold a small flybox and clipper etc. It is useful when only a few flies and equipment are needed or as a fold down workstation in combination with the main pack. If needed, the small pack will clip onto the front of the fanny pack. A retractor can also be found on the topside of the workstation. This detachable pack is a very nice feature.
The main pack is comprised of two main compartments. The one against ones back is divided into three compartments and will hold items like a raincover, some food, a small camera, leader material, sinking agent, thermometer, compass (if hiking) etc, and still have room left for whatever other items the reader might feel he or she can't fish without (This is Viking speak ;-) – Paul).
The belt has a d-ring on each side, a webbing ring and a Velcro snap-lock for keeping different items ready at hand.
The WJ “Emerger” is the best I've used so far. I think it could do with a few extra features: most importantly, I think a few compression straps would make a valuable addition to the already good features on this pack. The large compartment against ones back has a double zipper, but the front compartment has a standard “one-way” zipper. Since this front compartment holds your flyboxes it should the equipped with a double zipper as well. The main pack would also welcome the addition of yet another retractor, should one choose not to carry the detachable workstation.
All said, I do feel the pack is a very good buy and worth the expense. Its main feature is the comfort; it sits so well (even when fully loaded) and is a very pleasant wear. It will hold all the stuff one needs to carry and it appears very durable.
Lars Chr. Bentsen
Their whole range of can be checked out at this web-address: www.williamjosephfishing.com. The UK importers are Lyttle's of Dunchurch and the Emerger costs £86.50
Lars Chr. Bentsen (Viking Lars) (email@example.com) is a medieval archeologist
flyfisherman - possibly the first. When not plundering, he either flyfishes the salt "concentrating at all times" or else
investigates ruined castles, abbeys and burial mounds (this is true-life stuff). He is an FFF Certified (or at least certifiable) Master Flycasting Instructor and has a bag fetish. Lars lives with Pauline and their daughters, Anna and Elvira, and they try to live with him.