I think many anglers are in my situation. We fish various types of water and it's difficult to find a pack that works for everything. I have been struggling for a while to find a pack that held all my gear and wasn't too big. I first tried the Glacier Glove River Pack.
I really wanted to like this pack. It is very large and has several compartments. One is waterproof so you can keep things from getting wet. It also has a special area for holding wading boots. The pack would have been great for long hikes or even a long day hike. In the end it was just too big for me. I don't do enough of that type of hiking. The pack covered my whole back torso and I can imagine it would get very hot after hiking.
This next pack was actually made for snowboarding. There is a sleeve on the outside that is used to hold your snowboard.
I couldn't really tell if the pack was waterproof. I have used this pack a few times and it has plenty of storage. The back sleeve wasn't really great for holding a net. Mainly because the sleeve is open at the top and bottom. I thought it was more like a pouch before I bought it. I can get everything I want in the bag the hard part is getting stuff out. I have to sling the bag around and dig for stuff. It also gets pretty hot after awhile.
Recently I picked up the William Joseph Flux Pack.
There is a really good review of the pack here. The main thing that caught my eye and made this pack different is the stripping basket.
When I'm fishing for bass I walk a lot and cast at the same time. Many times I have a ton of line all over the place. I can't tell you how many times I have had line tangled around my feet. I hate it. This stripping basket should resolve those issues. I really like the drink holders on the side as well. I wore this for my recent brookie excursion. I had two small drinks on the side and a bunch of fly boxes, tippet and other things in the pack. I thought it was going to be really heavy and cumbersome at first. I can honestly say after hiking for about 5min I forgot I was wearing the pack. The pack didn't move at all while I scaled down trees and scrambled over boulders. I was really impressed at the end of the day. I think I finally found a pack that I can use on small streams, lakes and big rivers. It's definitely a great replacement pack for my small William Joseph Mini that recently has been retired. The only negative thing I have to say about this pack is there are no zingers or lanyard type things. I have figured out ways around this to hold nippers and I use the side belt pockets to hold tippet, dry shake and forceps. There is a magnetic pocket in the back that works great for getting to things you use all the time. You never have to remember to zip it up. Just hit it with your hand and it closes. The pocket stays securely closed. It actually takes a good deal of pressure to open it. I think in the future I may look into William Josephs Mag series. All of the pockets on those packs are magnetic. The only reason I didn't pick one up right now was the price.
Here's how you get the deals
I buy a ton of what I use through Sierra Trading Post. I think they have some of the best deals on the internet. I'm not sure who they have doing their programming for marketing but they are pretty smart. If you sign up for their mailing list you'll get info about their sales almost everyday. Here's the thing. Don't bite on those emails. This is what you want to do. If you see they have a killer sale. Go and look at something you want but don't buy it. Just look at it. I'm almost positive they have their site programmed to tabulate that you've looked at something. With in 24hrs you'll receive another email that will be an even better deal. Something like take 35% off the already sale price of one item. This is what you want to bite on. If you get their credit card you only pay $2.95 for shipping. Doesn't matter how much you order. I got this pack for under $60 and it retails for over $115. If you're looking for a good pack do yourself a favor and check the WJ Flux Pack.