Search the patent office database and you’ll find thousands upon thousands of inventions that are guaranteed to help you catch more fish. Most have never made it to market, because fish are infinitely smarter than anglers.
I’m one of the dummies, but I do think the most marketable incarnations are the ones that make life easy for the fly fisher, like allowing he or she to travel in comfort and convenience; to carry all those useless fly fishing implements with ease. Do that and shops will sell more of the needless things; prosperity reigns supreme. If it’s water-resistant, you don’t soak the camera when you tumble into the river – you hence catch those background images you desperately need for the hero-shot Photoshop jobs – again, victory. Finally, make it extra spacious, and the roadside burrito cart vendor wins too. If you add all of these elements together someone might accuse you of conducting espionage at some top-secret military installation. Or just being the designer of the Fishpond Westwater Sling Pack.
If I knew exactly what technique Fishpond used to weld the seams on the Westwater Sling, you probably wouldn’t care anyway. Let’s leave the techno-babble to those geeky marketing types who are clueless as to what actually matters, and just say those seams are welded tight, look great, and feel like they don’t exist at all.
While Fishpond doesn’t bill the Sling as “waterproof” – they opt for “water resistant” – the Sling was clearly built to keep the wet stuff out. I spilled a half can of beer on it, and splashed it with water to clean it off. When I unzipped it to grab another beer, all was nice and dry on the inside. What more proof does an angler need?
The Westwater Sling is contructed of 1680d TPU fabric i.e. very tightly-weaved with a thermoplastic polyurethane laminate. It should be very tough, and nearly waterproof. I loaded it up for numerous trips, did some bush whacking, carelessly tossed it on gnarly rocks, and threw it in a river. Much to my dismay, the Sling took this abuse in stride. After that, I emptied the pack, carted it into the backyard, and stomped all over it while watching South Park re-runs on my mobile timesuck device. The pack lived, and could still hit the blacktie charity circuit.