Whether you are long-time fishing and outdoor enthusiast or someone just getting into this incredibly popular activity, you already know that you require a lot of gear. In fact, you may already know that having your gear packed and on hand often makes the difference between a great day of fishing and a generally frustrating day on or near the water. That’s why the a fishing backpack is such a savvy investment.
In this article, we are going to look at the best options in fishing backpacks currently on the market. You may feel that they won’t vary much between the different models, but that’s just not so. You’ll see that there are options for a backpack with tackle boxes, an angler backpack, a tackle backpack with rod holder and even some options with device charging components to keep your phone or other gear ready for use.
We are going to first look at the specs on 11 of the best fishing backpack options and then we’ll break down the factors you’ll need to prioritize when you are investing in such a key component of your fishing gear.
Table of Contents
The Best Fishing Backpack
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag Outdoor Shoulder Backpack Cross Body Sling Bag
If you are eager to have a versatile bag, this ranks as one of the top options for you. Designed as a sling bag to be worn across the body, it can also be converted and worn as a crossbody backpack, a basic sling bag, a chest bag and even a handbag.
Made of durable 1000D high-density nylon, it is water resistant and abrasion resistant. It features full-length double zippers and KAM buckles that are indestructible. There are two adjustable and detachable straps that allow easy conversion and its multi-function interior lets you pack in the tackle (including lure boxes – not included), electronics and more. Three sections in the body of the bag along with side pockets large enough for water bottles and tools, and two extra rod belts, make this a definite go-to when in the market for the fishing backpack. Reflective tags and panels make sure you are seen in even dark conditions.
- Large and spacious
- Plenty of room and exterior storage/transport options
- Rugged materials
- Convertible carrying style
- Works with tackle boxes but does not include them
- Water resistant but not waterproof
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack Large Waterproof Tackle Bag
Described by the manufacturer as a giant fishing tackle backpack, it is the ideal fishing backpack for the heavily equipped enthusiast. Water resistant and made of 1200D high density nylon, it features eleven individual sections that can be divided into 18 individual holding areas. The adjustable main area even features a removable bag to make it even more efficient.
There is a KAM buckle as well as SBS zippers to ensure you get durability and years of performance, and this fishing backpack is designed to be up to 20% more water resistant than competitors.
Ergonomic in design, it features four padded straps, a molded sunglasses pocket, and rubber feet. There is a waterproof pocket for electronics and it arrives with four vinyl tackle trays that ensure you keep your gear divided and protected as you like. Available in four colors
- One of the largest fishing tackle backpacks
- Up to 18 individual storage areas
- Made with premium workmanship
- No rod or pole pockets or straps
- Not entirely waterproof
KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
This fishing tackle backpack is designed with ergonomics in mind and is the perfect backpack if comfort, fit, function and no fatigue are important. It has a padded back and waist straps to offer full support. It features both rod and tool storage along with larger central compartments. It has two rod pockets as well as one reel handle tie down and rubber coated mesh pockets to hold keys and other small items.
Unlike many fishing backpacks, this one has a removable false bottom that boosts interior storage capacity, a fleece lined sunglasses area, and unique organizational pockets. Sized to hold up to four 3600 tackle boxes (not included), it is carefully made of 420D rip-stop nylon that was chosen to guarantee long-term use and reliability. It is water repellant and features a layer of PVC on the interior of the backpack to offer additional protection.
This brightly colored pack also has an array of d-rings integrated into the straps as well as self-healing loop zippers that make it amazingly helpful as a fishing backpack, but also as a day pack for an avid outdoors enthusiast.
- Durable materials
- Water repellant and lined with PVC
- Large storage area and lots of accessories for gear storage
- Not the largest option in the list
- Comes without any tackle boxes
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack Large Waterproof Tackle Bag
Another of the largest options in a fishing backpack, this is the best option for the true outdoor enthusiast since it comes in a modern, digital camouflage print and features an astonishing range of storage areas and options.
This backpack tackle box is constructed with 86 different sewing procedures that ensure the 1200D high density nylon gives the kind of long life and years of use desired. It features SBS zippers, thickly padded back, and an ergonomic design that will make a delight to use whether for a long weekend or a single afternoon.
There are 11 storage compartments that can be further expanded into 18 spaces, and the removable compartment at the bottom of the main bag only increases the amount of storage available. It also features a hard molded sunglass pocket, rubber feet to protect it from water, breathable mesh panels and a waterproof pocket ideal for a phone. There is a rigid upper storage area ideal for food or electronics, too
Meant to be among the most functional fishing back packs, it has a protective rain cover in the same digital camouflage and it arrives with four tackle boxes to streamline your storage.
- One of the largest available
- Designed to be comfortable and ergonomic
- Comes with rain cover
- Not fully waterproof
- Some complaints that tackle boxes are not up to the same quality as the fishing backpack
Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack
This stylish fishing backpack provides a complete array of solutions, including multiple pockets and premium materials. Made to the ultimate angler backpack, it has an upper pocket for personal items, and a middle area that makes it a fishing backpack with cooler for bait or even food and drinks. The lower area stores the three medium tackle boxes that arrive with the pack.
This is the perfect fishing bag for those enjoy daytrips and includes the large, dividable inner compartment that can convert into three separate section. There are also accessory pockets, removable rod holders on both sides, a foam and molded sunglasses area and ergonomically designed straps. This fishing tackle backpack also sits flat and upright when placed on the ground or the bottom of a boat.
- Large and well-designed
- Full of flexible storage areas
- Ideal for anglers
- Not waterproof
- May be more of a daypack and less of a fishing backpack than some require
KastKing Fishing Sling Tackle Storage Bag – Saltwater Resistant Fishing Bag
Although this is one of the smaller fishing backpacks on the list, it doesn’t come up short on storage. It is designed to manage all that a fishing or outdoor enthusiast might need and is designed in a crossbody style for optimal comfort and movement.
There is an insulated water bottle pocket, padded shoulder straps, mesh back pad made of breathable fabrics, and a dizzying range of interior pockets to hold of your gear. Designed for fresh and saltwater fishing, it has rod/reel pockets and clips, and is crafted from 420D rip-stop nylon. This ensures long-lasting performance and durability.
It features a water repellant coating and a PVC lining making it almost impervious to water. It closes with a double loop and self-healing zipper that promises many years of protection. It arrives with a single 3600 tackle box and offers an array of zippered pockets to keep personal and fishing gear neat and organized.
- Crossbody styled for comfort
- Loads of interior and exterior storage
- Great for day hikes as well as fishing
- Water repellant, not waterproof
- Only a single tackle box is included
Wild River 3508 Multi-Tackle Small Backpack
This one rates as one of the top options for its amazing amounts of storage and its ergonomic design. It features a large, upper storage area that can be easily adjusted using the removable center divider. It offers a front pocket cover that folds down to use as an actual work surface, and it features a large, clear internal pocket to keep licenses and other items dry.
It comes with a weatherproof cover and rubber feet that keep this fishing backpack clean and dry. The lowest tray compartment zips open and stores up four of the larger tackle boxes, and it also features four oversized side compartments, two with rod holders.
The padded straps are fully adjustable and you get to choose an array of colors. When you want a large backpack tackle box that can go from hiking to fishing or combine to help with both, this is a good choice.
- Loads of storage
- Adjustable and flexible compartments
- Rain cover and rubber feet
- Not made of waterproof materials
- May sacrifice gear storage for personal item storage
SHIMANO BLACKMOON Fishing Backpack
Another angler backpack designed for optimal portability and comfort, it features extra-thick padded shoulder straps that are placed to eliminate fatigue. This fishing backpack has a shape unique from others and features a more rounded look.
Made of heavy-duty materials, it offers one large exterior pocket with a separate sleeve at the front, a rod pocket and tabs along Both sides, an easy access side panel that allows you to reach the 2 Plano 3750 tackle boxes included.
Available in two different sizes, this is a great choice for the angler who wants options and lots of flexibility in their storage space.
- Heavy duty construction
- Ideal for anglers
- Padded for comfort
- Not the largest options at only 15” X 10.5” X 9” and 16” X 17” X 8.5”
- Only two tackle boxes included
Wild River by CLC WT3606 Multi-Tackle Large Backpack
Another of the larger options in this list of fishing backpacks, it features a huge tackle box area at the base and comes with two medium sized boxes to get you off to a good start. You receive two #3600 trays with the bag. It features built-in rubber feet and an array of mesh panels that can help to keep the pack dry and functional.
The top of this durably made bag features a sunglasses case with a waterproof pocket for your license and other items. There is a built-in work surface that appears when you unzip the large front pocket. Two side pockets feature mesh panels, and tabs for tools, while the larger pockets can hold reels and offer tabs for rod transport.
With padded shoulder straps and a sternum strap to ensure proper weight distribution and balance, this is a great option for well-equipped fishing enthusiast.
- Roomy and flexible, it can adapt to many items
- Padded straps and sternum clip for balance
- Built in work surface
- Only comes with two tackle trays
- Not fully waterproof
BLISSWILL Outdoor Tackle Bag Multifunctional Water-Resistant Fishing Bag
Of the many fishing backpack options on this list, this may be the one for those seeking a multipurpose bag. Designed with a single, adjustable strap, it is worn in the crossbody style for optimal comfort and movement. A complement of removable straps lets you adjust how you wear it and you can opt for a chest or back position.
Shoulder pads can be lengthened and widened, the full length double zippers will never let you down and the triangle strap design along the top of the pack will almost entirely eliminate neck and shoulder fatigue, no matter how big the load.
With multiple storage compartments inside and out, it will easily accommodate everything from pliers to poles and reels, it has a center compartment big enough for rigid tackle boxes (none are included), but also small pockets ideal for ID and even electronics.
This backpack tackle box is made of 1000D water resistant nylon fabric as well as breathable fabrics along the back padding.
- Complete array of storage options
- Ergonomically designed
- Adjustable wear style
- Does not come with tackle boxes
- Water resistant but not waterproof
Wild River Nomad by CLC
This fishing tackle backpack easily rates as one of the top choices for its remarkable array of storage options. While the interior can easily hold two to four tackle boxes (two are include), it is utterly unique because it features a built in USB charging system.
This means that it is a lighted tool pack that has an integrated 5000mAh rechargeable USB power supply. Use it to power devices or get them charged without calling it a day! It includes four power adapter tips that allow you to charge Apple devices as easily as others. It also features a clip-on solar panel that ensures continuous power even if you opt to stay out for an overnight fishing adventure.
And while that alone may make you eager to invest, it features water resistant materials, four side pockets that can accommodate reels and rods as well as pliers and other tools, a set of rugged rubber feet to keep the pack upright and dry, and upper pockets ideal for personal items or additional gear.
- Innovative USB charging and LED lighting
- Solar panel
- Lots of storage space
- Water resistant but not waterproof
- May not be large enough for some
What to Know in Order to Choose a Fishing Backpack for Your Needs
It may sound odd, but the choice of a fishing backpack is actually a personal decision. No two fishing enthusiasts are exactly alike, and while you may be thinking about optimal portability and movement (such as the use of a crossbody style), someone else may really go for the bells and whistles and find themselves enchanted by the thought of USB charging capabilities.
And while those sorts of elements can be very useful when seeking to narrow things down, we have a few more criteria that you have to consider before choosing one over another.
Most important is the type of fishing you do. Experts will agree that all fishing enthusiasts can benefit from some sort of portable, organized storage. This is true whether you are a purely land-based or shore fishing enthusiast, a fly fishing enthusiast, a backcountry angler or a “co-angler”. No one wants to lug around a bulky, old-fashioned tackle box and they don’t want a big, oversized pack that keeps them off-balance or struggling.
Thus, fishing tackle backpacks are the optimal solution. They allow everything from the rods and reels to be easily carried through brush and woodlands, marshy waters and even in fishing kayaks or traditional fishing boats. They can initially appear very similar to one another, but there are actually quite a few variations on the them.
The reviews of fishing backpacks done above looked at some with elaborate straps and pads meant to reduce fatigue and crossbody styles that could be adjusted and worn a few ways. You also saw that some fishing backpacks can be worn at the back or front. And all of these variations are why it is important to start the decision making process with one question: What is the most common type of fishing I will do using this pack?
Now, if you say that you do more than a single type, it could be that you want a very flexible fishing backpack with adjustable pockets and storage areas. It might also be a good idea to invest in a different bag for each type of fishing you do. This is not elaborate or extreme if you find yourself constantly packing and unpacking your gear before an excursion.
So, what should you look at as the most important points as you choose a bag or two, or three? The factors that will end up mattering the most include:
- Total Weight – The perfect fishing backpack should start out as light as possible to ensure you can bring along as much gear as you would like. The options in the reviews above never exceed six pounds when empty (including empty tackle boxes), and so you will want to pay a lot of attention to empty or net weights if you also intend to bring a lot of gear with you on any fishing excursions. Keep in mind, though, that lighter may mean less is expected of it, and that can translate to less durable materials or sewing techniques.
- Total Space – Naturally, fishing backpacks are all about optimal storage space. Yet, it isn’t just the measurements. Be certain that the fishing tackle backpack that you consider has organized storage as well as lots of it. For example, you could just toss everything into a classic bucket-style pack and call it a day. However, that could be a real headache. That is why those who have a lot of gear and who want to keep it as organized as possible will want to explore how the bag is laid out, if the main body can be divided into two or more sections, and just how well organized that total space might be. After all, measurements can be deceptive and it could be that a smaller fishing backpack can hold more of your gear because it is better organized
- Total Resistance – Is the pack water repellant, water resistant or waterproof? We can tell you that none of the fishing backpack options we found were fully waterproof. We did see some that where water repellent and lined with PVC, meaning almost waterproof. Still, just water resistance paired with a rain or weather cover may do the trick. Remember too that you want the zippers to be water resistant and it really helps if the fishing tackle backpack has rubber feet that help it remain both upright and out of dirt or water. If you will be heading out in a boat and not just staying on land or wading into the water, the more water resistance, the better.
- Total Comfort – Ergonomics are a big deal and they can often make the difference between arriving home at the end of a day of fishing feeling great or being super sore in the neck and shoulders. Naturally, it often boils down to the amount of gear you intend to carry with you, and if you are apt to have heavier loads then it is of the utmost importance that you also look at the ways that straps are laid out. Adjustable straps and adjustable wearing styles can also be a big issue for those who have concerns about comfort and ergonomics. Remember too that a comfortable pack can encourage movement rather than inhibit it.
- Materials and Construction – This should go without saying, but we’ll take a few minutes to remind you here, that it you really do get what you pay for where materials and construction are concerned. Any of the fishing backpacks are going to find themselves coming up against the elements on a constant basis, and if they are not rip-stop, resistant and sewn together well, they’ll never live up to your needs. We noted that some of the options used more than 80 different sewing methods in construction, and that may sound excessive, but if you think about what a pack has to do, it makes sense.
- Rod and Reel Storage – We tried to uncover if any of the fishing backpacks neglected to include rod sleeves and reel pockets. Most included them, but it will really pay off for you to always take the time to double and even triple check that you’ll get the right amount of storage for such essential gear. There is nothing more upsetting than to try to carry you rod and reel in your hand as you attempt to navigate along the water’s edge or through rough terrain. So, be absolutely certain that a pack has adequate and secure storage for these items.
- Sleeves and Rings – A lot of fishing backpack manufacturers have gotten wise to the inclusion of d-rings on the straps and exterior sleeves for gear. You will want to consider if this works for you. As an example, sleeves for pliers on the outside of the bag as well as d-rings for keys or gear may save you a lot of interior space while making it amazingly easy to get to essential items without opening the pack.
- Warranty – We did not delve into the issue of warrantees as we researched fishing backpacks. However, you should because many of the best manufactures offer them in periods of up to a year or more. Because you may be guaranteed certain kinds of performance (water resistant or mud proof), you want to be sure you get a refund if it does not deliver.
- All the Rest – And in addition to those factors, we also encountered some other details that included sunglass pockets, waterproof pockets for electronics, cooler or insulated pockets, and even the USB charging option. These are wonderful extras that you shouldn’t overlook or ignore, but don’t put them towards the top of the list. One exception to that rule exists in the fold down workspace. This is a newer innovation in the world of fishing tackle backpacks and you may want to consider it if you do any sort of field cleaning or even tie flies in your leisure time on the water.
And what about pricing? That is a factor, but it really should not be the most significant. We have said that you get what you pay for, and there is great truth in that, and particularly where outdoor sports gear is concerned. However, it is also entirely possible that you find yourself paying for a name more than superior quality. Definitely set a budget, because it is altogether too easy to overspend on hobbies and activities as fun and full of equipment as fishing. Just use that figure as a sort of stopping point.
With the information you have here, you can start to narrow down the options. Most are within a very affordable price range and offer a comprehensive array of options. The key, as we have explained, is to choose yours based on your actual needs, budget and amount of use you expect the backpack to take. As a key part of your outdoor gear, and often as the make or break factor in whether you have a good time or end up frustrated, it really pays to explore the options.
Ryan is an extreme kite surfer. When Ryan isn’t shredding in on the waves he spends time with his riding his bike, canoeing, and surfing.