The Smithfly Switch Belt and Digi pouch, Fly Fishing Gear That I Can’t Live Without

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Keeping it Dry  Photo by Louis Cahill

Keeping it Dry Photo by Louis Cahill

Every now and then a product comes along that changes your life.

An innovation that suits your needs so exactly that you wonder if you’ve been talking in your sleep. Some gadget, like your iPhone, that leaves you wondering how you lived without it.

Well, I have been talking. For some time and not in my sleep, to every manufacturer of fishing packs I know about making a truly waterproof pack that I can trust and is large enough to carry my camera. No one listened.

As it turned out though, I was not the only one thinking about this problem. While I was talking to the big guys, a clever fellow in Ohio by the name of Ethan Smith was solving my problem. There in the shop at Smithfly, Ethan was changing my life.

As you might guess I carry an insane amount of gear when I’m on the water. Along side my fishing pack with its six fly boxes, eight spools of tippet, split shot, line dressing, water bottle, net, and so on, there are two Nikon DSLRs, an array of lenses, a flash, batteries, data cards, lens cloth and the kitchen sink.

This all started out in a backpack containing a waterproof Pelican case that weighed forty pounds. Try hiking, wading and fishing with that for a day. Not only was it killing me but it took forever to get to my camera and I missed too many shots. I eventually discovered small dry bags made for kayakers and they were an improvement but I had to carry four of them and they were so small that I couldn’t carry the camera with the lenses I wanted on it. I had to assemble the camera, in the river, every time I took it out of the bag.

Then I discovered the Smithfly Digi Pouch. The Digi Pouch is a super heavy duty dry bag that offers not only safety for your gear but amazing versatility. It works as part of the Smithfly modular system and attaches securely to the Smithfly Switch Belt. The system is brilliant in its simplicity.

Ethan figured out that there are guys out there who actually carry more gear than fly fishermen and in even tougher conditions. Our boys in the US military. The military solved the problem of how one man could carry an unreasonable amount of gear without undue fatigue and without losing any of it. It’s called the Molle System. A versatile system of modular packs that can be easily customized to meet a soldier’s individual needs. And it is, of course, Army tough.

Ethan adapted the Molly System for fly fishermen, creating a ‘build your own pack’ concept that allows you to have the fishing pack you need. Not the pack some marketing exec wants you to buy. It’s a simple idea. Let the customer have what they want. “Rocket Science!”

In the spirit of giving the customer what they want, the Smithfly Switch Belt accepts not only the Smithfly fishing accessories, but all of the cool stuff that Uncle Sam and other manufacturers make too, making this, by far, the most versatile fishing pack in existence.

Not only versatile, it’s comfortable too. The seven-inch wide Switch Belt distributes the weight across your hips so you never feel it. Its ergonomic design never digs in and the open cell foam and webbing on the inside is incredibly breathable. It is by far the most comfortable waist pack I have ever used and I put way too much weight in it.

My switch belt is set up with two waterproof Digi Pouches, each with the removable foam and webbing camera padding for extra safety. A Smithfly 2X pouch for batteries, data cards etc. and a hard Otter box designed for my Nikon flash. That’s right, an off-the-shelf Otter box that snaps right onto my Smithfly belt without modification. Pretty cool huh?

The Digi Pouch is great even if you aren’t carrying a camera. It’s perfect for anything that needs to stay dry. In the spring and fall I will use one of my Digi Pouches for a down jacket. When the day warms up, I stuff it in the pouch and when it gets cold again in the evening it comes back out dry and warm. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy that.

Whether you’re looking for a safe, comfortable way to carry your camera or just an efficient, light weight pack for your fishing gear the Smithfly system is hard to beat. Infinitely customizable, ultimately functional and Army tough this little pack gets it done, your way.

I don’t know how I lived without it.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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9 thoughts on “The Smithfly Switch Belt and Digi pouch, Fly Fishing Gear That I Can’t Live Without

  1. I rock the Smithfly gear too, as part of Ehan’s stream team. The 2x pouch is awesome for quick trips to the bass pond or brookie creek. The switch bag is the shiznit for the range or fall steelheading. The stuff is durable, well built and Hecho en USA.

  2. Pingback: Great Write up of the SmithFly Digi-Pack by Louis Cahill on Gink and Gasoline blog. | The Fiddle and Creel

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