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bare fishing co sling

This U.S.-Handcrafted Fishing Sling Holds All Your Basics In One Streamlined Package

Fly-fishing slings have been on the market for several years now, and it’s easy to glance at one and merely write it off as just another fishing sling. The idea of a sling for fishing is practical, certainly. It’s a way to carry necessary items—flies, tippet, flotant, wallet, keys, and phone—without being weighed down by a backpack or a traditional fishing vest. Many manufacturers, however, have taken the “bring it all with you” idea to the extreme, resulting in awkward slings that, when fully loaded, are too heavy to remain in place and wear comfortably. 

Enter the Fishing Sling by the Bare Fishing Company. Even at first glance, the sling stands apart from its counterparts. Stripped-down, lightweight, and incredibly customizable, the Bare Sling is perhaps what other fishing slings all want to be when they grow up: practical and ready to stay out of the way, while still comfortably toting the basics. 

It was that idea that drove Bare Fishing Company founder Jason Riley to establish the business in 2022, a year that was focused on product development and research, before the product launched online in May 2023. Based in St. Louis, Missouri, The Bare Fishing Company is a small-batch manufacturer of hand-crafted fly-fishing slings and packs. All their products are made in the USA, and crafted to be lightweight with a focus on ergonomics and access. In short, the gear is designed to keep anglers’ minds on the fishing, and not unwieldy bags migrating down their backs. 

Riley notes, “When I started fly fishing ten years ago, I did what anyone new to a sport does: I researched and bought all the gear I saw others using on the water to get started. The problem was, I bought way too much and felt like I weighed 300 pounds wading through the water. As I continued to fish, I became more thoughtful about my gear choices, packing just enough and no more. I wanted a minimal fly-fishing system that could easily adapt to different fishing scenarios, and that’s when Bare Fishing Company was born.” 

The Bare Fishing Sling 

Riley chose to craft the Sling Pack from lightweight, durable, and water-resistant materials, incorporating a military-inspired MOLLE (ladder strap) into the design for easy gear placement. Anglers can customize their load-out with the brand’s removable packs, and the MOLLE system also accommodates packs and bags from other brands using carabiners or other attachment tools. 

Bare Fishing Sling

The Sling Pack itself comes with the sling, a “Bare Pack” with built-in attachment straps, allowing the user to choose where they would like the pack to rest on the strap. It also comes with two foam fly pads, ready to help organize a day’s worth of flies in a compact space. Various Velcro patches throughout accommodate add-on fly patches (or you can do what I do and just jab flies right into the loop side of the Velcro), paracord loops are sewn in two locations for vertical or horizontal tippet holder placement and D-rings are included for additional attachment options.  

Bare Fishing Sling

A Versatile System

In Riley’s words, “The Bare Fishing Sling Pack is versatile for any fishing scenario due to its minimal design and modular pack system. I use it when kayaking, wet wading, or waist-deep in the Ozark Mountains. It’s also designed to break down easily and roll up into a carry-on for longer overnight trips. Since my favorite Missouri streams hold trophy smallmouth and trout within the same eight-mile float, I usually wear a smallmouth pack and a trout pack on my sling so I can switch tactics with minimal effort.” 

In an era of overdesigned bags, the sheer simplicity of the kit is both refreshing and infinitely practical. The care in the design process is readily apparent, as is the made-in-the-USA craftsmanship. The design allows customization with varying placement of packs and gear, something I especially appreciate as a woman who often finds the men’s designs a little uncomfortable in places. The whole thing packs down rather compactly, making it ideal for the traveling angler who is facing a car trip or plane ride before arriving at their target river. 

Bare Fishing Sling

Bare Fishing Fly Fishing Sling
Owner Jason Riley on the water with his Bare Fishing Sling. For more information and to dive into the “Bare Cave Blog,” please visit barefishingco.com.

Riley notes, “We believe that functionality and aesthetics should go hand in hand.” It’s a philosophy that’s easy to see reflected in the Bare Fishing Sling, and I look forward to enjoying its minimalist design on the river this summer and fall. I’ve no doubt it will be in my fly-fishing gear quiver for many years to come. 

Top Saltwater Fly-Fishing Experiences
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