I often use a stripping basket and find the waist packs are uncomfortable when worn with the basket. I currently use a Camelbak MULE pack. I realized that the heaviest and most difficult item for me to carry when fishing on foot was an ample supply of water. I went with the pack that was best suited to carry water. The MULE has plenty of pocket space for leader material, a big fly box, tools, etc. and can comfortably carry up to 3 liters of water for those long days on foot in August.
I've been through a couple Simms and Sage waist bags, and while they are nice enough, they are just over priced fanny packs. I also used to go for water resistant stuff, but if your wading any where near waist deep water or rough water your contents are gonna get soaked. Now I just use waterproof boxes for things that don't need to get wet and wade with the intention of the bag getting soaked, just give it a good flushing with the rest of the gear. One thing that I wanted was a water bottle (beer) holder, and that's normally only found on hiking waist packs.
I ended up ordering the smaller Sage Typhoon and I found the Simms Headwaters from last year on sale, so I got one of those as well. Got the Sage pack today...I'm blown away. What an awesome pack. It's just as cool as can be and is plenty big enough, in fact I'd not want anything larger. The Simms pack should be here Monday or Tuesday, but we're icing up here, so it'll be next spring for carp that I get to use them. Thanks for the recommendations.
Got my Simms Headwaters in the mail yesterday. Very nice pack as well. It's got alot going on...almost too much. My girfriend said, "man, what is all this stuff for?" and I had trouble telling here what I'd put into all the respective pockets!
Ok, I have a stupid question...how am I supposed to use the neck straps on these packs? Is that for conversion to a sling method of wearing them, or wearing them on the front and the strap around my neck? They're really nice, padded straps, but you obviously don't wear them with the pack where I plan to wear it...on my backside. I understand it's there to help with loadbearing, but I'm curious how I'm "supposed" to wear it and use it. And of course they're removable, so I don't have to use them, but seeing as most every fanny pack has them now, they must be there for a reason. My last time wading fishing was probably 5-6 years ago before all these neck straps showed up so now that I'm seeing them on everything...fill me in.