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I have a pretty nice Willie J chest pack but am thinking that I would like to try out a waist pack. Anyone have any experience with a particular brand being any better than any others.

How about the waist strap system? Some are advertised as providing lumbar support. I am kinda looking at the Sage series of waist packs but am interested in any experience that anyone has that makes one better than any other models/brands. Any advise is greatly appreciated.
 

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Boy, there are as many waist packs out there as there are manufacturers.

I have a Fishpond Blue River waist/chest pack and have had for about 5 years now. Really have enjoyed it. Have crammed tons of stuff in there, have room for about 2 bigger boxes, 2 or 3 smaller boxes, a gazillion leaders, split shot, indicators, tools, have my tippet toggle on there with about 8 sizes of tippet, sun screen, floatant, dry shake, snacks, etc.

Newer styles have room for a water bottle, some come with them - nice add. I also wear a wading belt from FP and it's got fifty million D rings on that - and a 'fanny pack' bubble to accommodate the water filter - so hydration is ok. Would have loved to have water bottle on the pack though.

I wear my pack more bandolier style - I can grab what I need, tie up a rig, etc, and then spin it out of the way so I don't get line snagged on it (remember the tools?) while I'm fishing. Works ok for me. I usually use the neck strap instead of the waist belt - the narrower strap is more comfortable over my shoulder.

Kind of depends on what and how much stuff you're used to hauling, and how you fish. I have seen several styles, water proof, water 'friendly' - at least drains fairly well - etc. Evaluate like you would a vest - and yes, everybody loads theirs differently. Having a 'drop down' fly bench/foam is a very nice and useful thing. I've seen a few that you can load multiple tippet spools into the pockets and dedicate a grommet to a particular size of tippet. Also, think about what all you're trying to carry with you... boxes vs line, tools, etc.

Several guides I've met, especially the younger ones, are really on to the waist pack thing. Really great if you wade and fish places where it gets hot. Less stuff to sweat under.

Another thing to think about - are you gonna spin it around a lot when you're fishing? Lumbar support is cool, but sux if it's not in the right place a lot of the time. Given, I wear it waist pack style when out in the float tube - can't spin it to my back as the seat back is kinda in the way - slide it over to the side when I'm in the tube. (Got a pontoon for this year and am still figuring out how I want to deal with that now - 'toon has a hard seat!)

By all means, check out some shops that carry a lot of different styles and makes of packs - will help you make a decision you'll be happy with.
 

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I just got a W&J Catalyst. It seems great.. Still not as much room as my vest, but SO much easier to handle. I like there is two water bottle holders and the neck strap. I use the neck strap while walking long distances when the water is full and the pack is heavy... then while I am fishing, I move everything to my back and release the neck strap. I like it a lot so far... but that is usally the case at first!
 

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I just picked up the Simms Headwaters waist pack. I haven't gotten it loaded up yet, but I can tell already that it's gonna hold everything I need for a whole day, and will probably hold my rain gear to boot. I can't wait to try it out. I know I'm gonna love it much more than my vest.

Something I've read about on this particular pack is that the webbing belt is too narrow, and can dig into your skin on longer hikes to the water. I found a guy online who took a home depot tool belt and sewed it in, which fixed that problem.

There are a couple things on the belt part of this pack that I just cant' figure out what they're made to hold. If anyone has this pack, let me know so I can pick your brain, por favor.

Eli
 

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Funny you say that theo... my buddy had that problem and so he used a belt from a fishpond one and put it on that one... he now loves it.
 

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Don't I know it, Theo. Now what I've used some of the pockets for, well, maybe they weren't designed for that, but I know where my keys are (inside clip), and fruit snacks (back pocket). Even has a landing net loop on the back of the neck strap... my measure net is a little ridiculous and am thinking of getting a different landing net. I think there's an honest 'pliers pocket' (tips of the Leatherman just fit through to drain when unfolded). Beyond that, it's like some of the vests out there - like anybody really remembers where they put everything in their vests?!? ;)
 

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Oyey said:
Funny you say that theo... my buddy had that problem and so he used a belt from a fishpond one and put it on that one... he now loves it.
Call me Theo....ONE more time. :p (Nancy gets a pass).

Pliers! That 's prolly what these little loops are for. They're loops, tapered near the bottom, but open. They have a strap that velcros over the top. Pliers are the only thing I can think of (now that you mention it) that work for those loops.
 

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dammit ELI!!! Sorry man... It does bring a smile to my face now that you react though... You might be stuck with that nickname! HAHAAHHAHAAA!!!!! :p :p :p ;D
 

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DozerF350 said:
Oyey said:
Funny you say that theo... my buddy had that problem and so he used a belt from a fishpond one and put it on that one... he now loves it.
Call me Theo....ONE more time. :p (Nancy gets a pass).

Pliers! That 's prolly what these little loops are for. They're loops, tapered near the bottom, but open. They have a strap that velcros over the top. Pliers are the only thing I can think of (now that you mention it) that work for those loops.
Sheesh....what's wrong with Theo today? Grumpy?
 

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hahaha, you cracked me up. Yep, I'm SURE I'll be mid cast and hear "hey THEO...blah blah" just to mess me up. :D


...aaaaand it's already started. Ya gotta encourage him, Riv?
 

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DozerF350 said:
hahaha, you cracked me up. Yep, I'm SURE I'll be mid cast and hear "hey THEO...blah blah" just to mess me up. :D


...aaaaand it's already started. Ya gotta encourage him, Riv?
I knew I liked you Theo.
 

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My first waistpack was a Fishpond. I used it a few times and decided I didn't like it. It extended out from my body too far, so any weight in it became uncomfortable. I switched to a Wright & McGill that is taller and does not extend as far out. I like it far better.
 
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