Best Fishing Backpack (carry your tackle the right way!)
With so many different backpacks on the market it can be difficult to know which one will be best for you to take fishing. So how do you know which bags are suitable for fishing trips?
We have put together a guide to help you choose the best backpacks for a fishing trip. We have looked at the different features and designs that will make your fishing trip more organized and more comfortable.
Top Fishing Backpack Picks:
(clicking these will take you straight to Amazon. More on each below)
Reasons Why You Should Take A Backpack When Fishing
A backpack can be as essential a part of a fishing trip as a rod can be. Not only will they store your fishing gear but they will keep all your other items safe.
When taking a pack with you on a fishing trip you’ll be able to store a lot more gear in it than if you were simply wearing a fishing vest. With the larger compartments in a fishing backpack there will be room for your tackle boxes as well as your lunch and snacks.
Many backpacks have designated pockets to keep your sunglasses safe and waterproof compartments for your valuables.
Wearing a backpack to fish means you have all your gear close to hand but you still have the use of both hands to, well....erm.... fish! The weight of your gear is distributed across your back and shoulders, so it may be more comfortable to wear than a fishing vest.
Another good reason for taking a backpack on a fishing trip is that you can pack it full of all your fishing gear so that it’s ready to head out whenever you are.
You can also easily take the bag off while you’re fishing and have it sit on the shoreline or on the deck of your boat, so you can still keep everything close without having to wear it.
Features To Consider When Buying A Fishing Backpack
When choosing a pack for a fishing trip there are a few things you may need to consider that you might not need from a regular backpack.
When you’re heading out for a day of fishing, being comfortable is going to be high on your list of priorities. You are not going to want a bag that you’re going to struggle to carry or one that is going to be awkward to fish with.
Your bag should fit you properly, both in length and at the shoulders. While many backpacks do have adjustable shoulder straps, you will need to consider the width and design of the shoulder straps and whether or not they will conform to your size and shape.
The last thing you want is to find shoulder straps that dig in or restrict your movement, especially if you’re wearing the bag for long periods of time.
It’s possible to get bags that have built in suspension systems in the shoulder straps as well as spine support channels that help to distribute the load across your back and away from your shoulders.
Having good padding in the shoulder straps will also improve the comfort of carrying the pack. You should also make sure that the fabric on it is breathable, particularly on the back panel and the shoulder straps, as this will prevent moisture from building up and causing you to sweat.
One of the most important features of a fishing backpack will be its resistance to water. When you’ve packed all your valuables and essential fishing gear into your bag the last thing you want is for all your stuff to get soaked and potentially ruined.
Whether it’s raining or it falls in the water, making sure your bag or equipment is waterproof is a good idea. With a waterproof or water-resistant pack you can even pack a change of clothes so if you get wet you know your spare clothes will be staying dry.
A waterproof bag is also beneficial for storing all your gadgets safely. Your phone, your GPS system, car keys or anything else you might have will be protected against the elements if you’ve packed them into a waterproof compartment.
A lot of fishing backpacks are also crafted with a mud resistant fabric as well as being water resistant, which means you won’t need to spend quite as much time cleaning it.
While many bags may not be completely waterproof, a lot of them will have water resistant pockets or pouches and may even come with protective jackets that will cover the bag to give it extra resistance.
Right Size For You
The size of pack you will need will depend on the type of fishing you’re going to do, as well as the length of time you plan on being out there.
Obviously, if you’re planning a multi-day fishing trip you’re probably going to need a large bag. For day trips you could get away with a smaller one. But you will need to keep in mind all the essentials that you’ll need regardless of the length of time you’re fishing for.
Most backpacks will have a large main compartment for you to store your gear and fit in extra clothing or food, so if you’re planning on a multi-day trip you may want to consider that the size of the main compartment be large enough for everything you’ll need in addition to your fishing gear.
A good fishing pack will have lots of compartments so that you can store your smaller items and still access them easily. In addition to the main compartment, a fishing backpack will also usually have a designated compartment for your fishing tackle boxes.
This lets you keep the boxes separate from the rest of your gear and means you can access them easily without having to unpack the whole bag.
Another feature you might want is a compartment for your sunglasses. Usually positioned at the top of a backpack, this lets you store your sunglasses safely so that you can have easier access to them and it prevents them from being squashed by other heavier items in your pack.
You will also need to make sure that there are enough outer compartments for storing your tools or extra lines; smaller compartments that won’t require you to root around for the items you need.
Another important feature you might find on a fishing pack is space for your rod. Many bags will have exterior loops and hooks for you to secure other items to your load, without them taking up additional space inside the pack.
You might find that there are hooks and loops that will let you secure your fishing rod to the bag, meaning you’ll free up your hands to carry other items, such as a cool box or camping equipment.
Best Fishing Backpacks
1: Wild River by CLC WT3604 Tackle Tek Nomad Lighted Backpack
This backpack is designed to carry all the gear you’ll need on your fishing trip. It features a molded compartment on the top to keep your sunglasses safe and handy, as well as the additional feature of a built-in LED light, so you can fish at any time of day.
This pack can store up to 4 medium size trays and has plenty of exterior hooks and loops for you to store your tools, including a removable plier holder that you can attach to your belt.
While this bag is not waterproof, it does come with a waterproof rain cover that goes completely over the backpack to protect it. It also benefits from having base pads that are waterproof and will help to keep your pack clean on the ground.
Another handy feature of this backpack is that one of the front pouches opens up and becomes a small work surface. It also features adjustable, padded shoulder straps and a padded top carrying handle.
2: Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack W/ 3 Medium Utility Boxes SPB006
This fishing bag can pack a lot into its compact size. Featuring 3 inner compartments, there’s plenty of space for all the gear you’ll need for a day of fishing.
One of the best features of this fishing backpack is that the middle compartment is a cooler, so you can store your food or drinks and keep them cool and fresh. It’s also ideal for storing your bait.
The bottom compartment is designed to store your tackle boxes and it even comes complete with 3 utility boxes, so you’re ready to go. The top compartment is ideal for storing the rest of your gear, such as a change of clothing.
It also has plenty of exterior pockets and pouches for your smaller items, as well as a removable fishing tool holder and a molded sunglasses case. You can also store a rod on either side of the backpack, meaning you can just pack up and head out.
Another benefit is that it has a flat bottom, so it will stand up without tipping over and it has a comfortable mesh back panel and mesh covered shoulder straps for breathability.
3: Fiblink Waterproof Sports Single Shoulder Fishing Tackle Bag Backpack
This can be a good bag if you’re looking to travel light and are just planning on doing some light fishing. It’s compact and easy to carry, with its single shoulder strap that sits across your body, helping to distribute the weight, which can also be adjusted and switched from left to right.
It also has a mesh covered back panel and back support to make it easier to carry. It benefits from having a total of 10 compartments distributed between the interior and the exterior, including 2 exterior zippered compartments for smaller items.
This bag features water resistant fabric so it’s designed to keep your gear safe and dry in the rain. Another feature of this bag is that it has exterior loops so you can easily attach more of your gear to it.
4: Shimano Blackmoon Compact Fishing Backpack
This pack offers a lot of extra storage options and is designed to hold all the gear you might need for a day’s fishing trip, meaning you won’t need to carry as many additional bags. It also has rod holders on either side of the backpack, so your hands will be free to carry other items.
There are plenty of pouches and pockets for both large and small items, as well as space for your tackles trays, and there are exterior loops to attach other items and tools. It has a durable exterior, although the fabric is not waterproof.
The pack benefits from having comfortable padded shoulder straps that can be easily adjusted to fit and there is also a reinforced top carry handle.
5: Wild River by CLC WT3605 Tackle Tek Nomad XP Lighted Backpack
If you’re looking for an all around fishing backpack then this one could be a good option. Featuring padded mesh covered shoulder straps that can be adjusted, this pack is designed for all day comfort. It also has lumbar panels for additional comfort on the back panel.
There are plenty of storage compartments for both large and small items, including up to 4 medium trays and 2 small trays, so there’s plenty of space for a full day of fishing.
A great feature of this bag is that it has a USB charging system that is ideal for charging your phone, fish finder, or any other small gadget you might have. Not only that, but it also features an LED light so you can easily find your specific tools even in low lights.
It has plenty of hooks and loops to attach tools to the exterior and it has a durable base that helps to protect the backpack from wear and tear on the ground. However, the bag is not waterproof, but it does come with a rain jacket that will sit over the bag to give it rain protection.
6: Piscifun Sports Shoulder Bag Fishing Tackle Bag (Budget Option)
This bag can be a good value option if you’re looking for a practical bag without the fuss. With a mesh covered padded shoulder strap and a mesh covered back panel, this cross body shoulder bag is comfortable to carry, as well as breathable.
Featuring one single shoulder strap that can be adjusted, it can be conveniently swung around to the front to get items out, without you needing to take it off. There are lots of pockets, including a handy side zippered pocket.
This bag also has hooks and loops for you to store small items or attach tools, meaning you can still pack extra stuff even if it won’t fit in the pockets. Because of it compact size it can be a good choice if you’re planning to travel light or are heading out on your kayak.
7: Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle Large Backpack
This large pack is comfortable to wear, with adjustable mesh covered shoulder straps, as well as an additional sternum strap for extra support.
Featuring base pads to keep your bag dry and clean, this storage solution could be a good choice for an extended fishing trip. There is plenty of room, with a large main storage compartment that has removable dividers to accommodate larger items.
There is also a tackle tray storage compartment at the bottom, which can hold up to six 3600 style trays. It also features an interior waterproof pocket, which is ideal for storing your phone or keeping maps dry.
There are lots of exterior storage options, such as zippered pockets for your smaller items and hooks and loops for your tools and extras, making everything easier to find. A handy feature of this bag is the front pouch folds down when open and can be used as a convenient work surface.
8: TackleTime Fishing Backpack
If you’re planning on having a long day of fishing, this pack could be an ideal choice. Not only does it have adjustable, padded shoulder straps but it also has a reinforced top carry handle.
This lightweight, durable bag has a large main compartment that can store tackle trays and extra clothing, and it benefits from being able to expand for larger items. There are places to attach extra gear to the exterior of the backpack, as well as exterior zippered pockets for tools and sunglasses.
One of the main features of this pack is the insulated zippered compartment. It will let you keep drinks or other items cool or hot, meaning it’s a good idea if you’re packing a picnic. It can also be used to store a hydration reservoir.
This backpack also benefits from protective base pads as well as PVC fabric on the bottom, boosting its water resistancy.
What Should I Put In My Backpack?
Depending on the size of your backpack you should put in whatever you think you’ll need. Some important things to include will likely be tackle boxes, with a selection of lures and hooks, as well as spare lines, pliers and whatever else you might need.
You could also pack in a towel, cleansing wipes, a change of clothes, rain gear or even your lunch and a couple of bottles of water.
Can They Carry Fishing Rods?
You’ll probably find some backpacks that are designed to carry fishing rods, often with pockets somewhere on the exterior.
Even if your backpack doesn’t have designated rod holders, you could fashion your own using water bottle holder pouches on the side and/or compression straps on the backpack.
I See There Are Single Strap Backpacks. Are They Any Good?
A single strap backpack can be useful if you don’t plan to carry particularly heavy gear, as a single strap may not have the strength of two straps and the bags will often tend to have a smaller capacity.
But this type of backpack might be ideal if you’ll be carrying lighter, smaller gear or heading out kayak fishing.
Can I Pack A Sleeping Bag In One?
This depends on the size of your backpack and how compact your sleeping bag is. A larger backpack might be able to hold a sleeping bag in the main compartment.
Or you may find you could attach it to the exterior of the backpack, securing it with straps to built-in rings or attachment points.
Ok, Do I Actually Need A “Fishing” Backpack?
Because fishing backpacks will generally have dedicated space for different types of fishing gear, they can be beneficial for a fishing trip.
However, with a little bit of tinkering, you could transform a regular backpack into a fishing backpack.
Now that you know a little bit more about what you might need from a fishing backpack you should feel more confident about purchasing one, and you should also have a better idea of the different types of bags that are available.
Remember, you need to consider the size that you might need, the type of fishing that you’re going to do and whether or not you’re planning on making it a multi-day trip.
All these factors will affect the type of bag you’ll need. But as long as you plan in advance, you will be able to find the ideal backpack for your fishing trip. Just make sure that it suits you specifically and is a comfortable fit, especially if you’re going to be wearing it packed to capacity for several hours.
Do you use a backpack when you go out fishing? Tell us more about why you love them in the comments below...