No matter the type of fishing you do, there’s always a lot of gear to bring with you. If your hands are busy carrying rods, your tackle box, and your catch, you might need something else to carry the rest. A backpack is an ideal solution. Even if you already have a travel backpack, it’s worth investing in a specific fishing backpack to keep everything together. You can even carry food, water, or anything else you might need for your outing. Backpacks for fishing hold rods and other pieces of your gear. Some even include tackle boxes. Our reviews of the 12 best fishing backpacks, along with our Buyer’s Guide and frequently asked questions, give you a good idea of what’s available to help choose which backpack is best for you.
BEST FISHING BACKPACKS IN 2023
- SPIDERWIRE Fishing Tackle Backpack
- PISCIFUN Fishing Tackle Backpack with 4 Trays
- KASTKING Day Tripper
- CALISSA OFFSHORE TACKLE Blackstar X-Large Fishing Backpack
- WILD RIVER Multi-Tackle Large Backpack
- WILD RIVER Nomad Lighted Backpack
- BLISSWILL Outdoor Fishing Backpack
- ANGLATECH Fly Fishing Vest Pack
- CHAOS READY Waterproof Fishing Backpack
- GHOSTHORN Fishing Tackle Backpack
- PISCIFUN Cross Body Sling Bag
- BASSDASH Fishing Tackle Backpack 3600
ALL THE FISHING BACKPACKS THAT WE TESTED
PISCIFUN Fishing Tackle Backpack with 4 Trays
The Piscifun Fishing Tackle backpack is anything but ordinary in a sea of competition.
The bag, which is crafted of 1200D high-density nylon, strives to provide anglers with enough storage compartments and pockets to pack their entire collection. And with room for four 3600 tackle trays, it nearly accomplishes that goal.
However, the bag certainly does more than just haul tackle trays, as it also has specialized pockets for sunglasses, pliers, and cell phones. Yet, the bag is also equipped with mesh padding on the shoulder straps and back, in order to accommodate anglers that pack heavy items.
Though it is not specifically built for the cold, the 1200D nylon bag is an ideal choice for winter angling, which any ice fishing backpack review would attest to. Nevertheless, the pack is ideal at nearly any time of the year, regardless of rain, snow, or sunshine.
WEIGHT: 3.5 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Medium. Padded shoulder straps
STORAGE: 17.7” x 12.6” x 7.9”
WATER RESISTANCE: Advanced. 1200D high density nylon
- 1200 high density nylon for water resistance
- Reflective exterior for safety
- Molded sunglass case
- Rubber bottom for durability
- Included tackle trays are poor quality
KASTKING Day Tripper
The KastKing Day Tripper is the best fishing backpack currently available.
Nearly all of KastKing’s fishing products are nothing short of amazing. The quality of material, functionality, and appearance allow each product to stand out in a sea of competition.
Consequently, the Day Tripper is yet another product that ticks all of those boxes. The ultra-comfortable bag is equipped with dual rod pockets, a sunglass compartment, general organization pockets, and side storage for four 3600 utility tackle boxes.
Furthermore, the bag is designed with 420D rip-stop material, which is coated with a hydrophobic sealant.
Overall, the bag looks great, and functions just like it should. Anglers heading to the lake or streamside can certainly count on the day trooper, as it really is the best pack for fishing in 2023.
WEIGHT: 3.09 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Great. Dual shoulder strap, waist strap, and padded back
STORAGE: 21.25” x 13.4” x 9.25”
WATER RESISTANCE: Advanced. 420D rip-stop nylon with hydrophobic coating
- Incredible level of comfort
- High quality 420 rip-stop nylon
- Self healing zippers
- Sunglass compartment
- Double rod pockets
- No hatch-style storage pockets
CALISSA OFFSHORE TACKLE Blackstar X-Large Fishing Backpack
Anglers heading to the surf with the Blackstar X-Large can surely rely on the spacious travel bag to safely transport all of their goods and needed tools.
The Blackstar X-Large offers an impressive amount of storage, as it has the capability to store four 3650 large tackle boxes. Such boxes are ideal for holding saltwater lures and jigs, which require far more space than small or medium-sized boxes.
Though the Blackstar isn’t a tackle backpack with a rod holder, it is one that makes up for it in numerous other ways. For instance, the bag has a fast access trapdoor, which allows tackle boxes to be slid in and out in a shelf-like fashion. In addition, the pack is incredibly lightweight for its size, as it barely weighs even 5 pounds. Though the Blackstar isn’t loaded with fancy features, it is a pack that just works right, and allows anglers to pack all of their goods without worrying about transport.
WEIGHT: 5 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Moderate. Padded straps and back piece
STORAGE: 20” x 17” x 9”
WATER RESISTANCE: Mild. Corrosive resistant fabric for saltwater
- Included rain/sea cover
- Storage for four large 3650 tackle boxes
- Fishing backpack with cooler compartment for bait/food
- Removable board for increased storage
- No rod holders included
- Lack of waterproof treatment
WILD RIVER Multi-Tackle Large Backpack
Wild River does a great job creating bags that provide enough space for an angler to pack their whole arsenal of goods. Nearly all are created with slide-in storage compartments for tackle boxes, and various side pockets for reel or tool storage.
The Multi-Tackle pack certainly doesn’t deviate from the norm, as the bag provides a hefty amount of space for both tackle and tools. The lower hatch allows anglers to store as many as four 3600 tackle boxes, while another section allows for the storage of two more. However, that barely scratches the surface of the storage, as there are four side pockets, and two front pockets to store smaller items such as reels or pliers.
But with all of the gear, one might think such a bag would be uncomfortable to wear. Thankfully, Wild River took the weight factor into consideration, and padded the shoulder straps, while also offering a cross-chest sternum strap. As a result, the bag can be worn for countless hours without experiencing fatigue or discomfort. Due to its superior design, the Multi-Tackle is a bag that is always being mentioned on every new tackle backpack review.
WEIGHT: 4.9 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Great. Padded straps and sternum strap
STORAGE: 17.5” x 15.2” x 9.5”
WATER RESISTANCE: Minimal
- Sternum strap for added comfort
- Storage for six 3600 tackle trays
- Clear dry pocket for license/phone
- Hatch-style pocket for easy tackle access
- Plastic zippers to prevent rust
- No rain cover
WILD RIVER Nomad Lighted Backpack
The Nomad Lighted Backpack is a premium tier fishing bag offered by Wild River.
At first glance, it is easy to see how much time has been taken to design the pack. Nearly every pocket and compartment seems meticulously well planned, in order to host a specific tool or good.
To illustrate, there is a designated plier holder on the exterior, to provide easy access to the tool. Similarly, there is a retractable lanyard attached to the back of the bag, which makes using small tools such as clippers a breeze.
However, there is also plenty of storage space for tackle boxes, as four 3600 tackle trays can be slid into the front hatch-style compartment. Even with all of the other neat features, quite possibly the most useful is the attached LED, which allows anglers to sort through gear at dawn or dusk.
Overall, the Nomad is a great option for a saltwater fishing backpack, as it provides plenty of storage and functionality for the angler on the go.
WEIGHT: 7 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Medium. Padded shoulder straps
STORAGE: 18.5” x 17” x 8.5”
WATER RESISTANCE: Moderate
- Built-in LED for nighttime angling
- Removable barrier for increased storage
- Included rain cover
- Designated plier holder
- Retractable lanyard
- Heavy standard weight
BLISSWILL Outdoor Fishing Backpack
This outdoor fishing backpack can be worn in a number of ways -as a sling bag, a chest bag, or a handbag, all because of the detachable straps.
Fashioned out of quality and water-resistant material like nylon, Blisswill’s outdoor fishing backpack won’t get soaking wet in rainy weather, plus, its breathable fabric ensures the longevity of the gear. This outdoor fishing backpack uses long double zippers, and a triangle-shaped shoulder strap that ensures suitable and comfy wear for longer periods of time. The interior compartment is lined with multiple storage pockets to neatly store accessories like fishing boxes, pliers, keys, lures, and whatnots.
WEIGHT: 1. lbs
CARRYING COMFORT: Medium
STORAGE: 12 x 8.7 x 6 inch
WATER RESISTANCE: Water-resistant 1000D heavy duty nylon fabrics
- Eco-friendly materials
- Might be small in size
- Heavy when fully loaded
ANGLATECH Fly Fishing Vest Pack
Thanks to its organizing compartments and pockets, this vest will have all of your tidbits within reach. Anglatech’s fishing vest comes with adjustable shoulder and waist straps, so it will always fit nicely, no matter how tight or loose you want it to feel. Plus, boasting a breathable mesh means that air can flow freely, without making you feel constrained and sweaty. Designed from high-quality materials, Angatech’s fishing vest is lightweight yet sturdy, making it a fan-favorite among fishing enthusiasts, both men, and women.
WEIGHT: 1.5 lbs
CARRYING COMFORT: Medium
WATER RESISTANCE: Nylon, water-proof pockets
- Water-proof pockets
- Fashionable design
- Adjustable sizing
- Smaller compartments compared to a backpack
- Zippers might lose strength over time
CHAOS READY Waterproof Backpack
Constructed by professionals for true heavy-duty performance, Chaos Ready’s waterproof backpack is designed to endure all water-related weather conditions. Accidental drops, rain drizzle, or heavy pour will mean nothing to Chaos Ready’s waterproof backpack. Designed with premium materials, this backpack feels light on you and is foldable, so you don’t have to worry you might crease the fabric.
Other than being flexible, this waterproof backpack is particularly durable – that’s why it comes with a lifetime warranty. Loved for its sleek design and form, the high-quality mesh side pockets and the designated space for a water bottle ensure things are within reach for you.
WEIGHT: 1.4 lbs
CARRYING COMFORT: Medium to High
STORAGE: 22L in the main compartment
WATER RESISTANCE: 500 PVC Tarpaulin, 100% waterproof
- 100% waterproof
- Lifelong warranty
- Zippers are not that sturdy
- Elastics might lose shape over time
GHOSTHORN Fishing Tackle Backpack
Those looking for the best fishing tackle backpack at the fairest price can turn to the Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Backpack.
Though the bag is relatively small compared to much of its competition, it is well-designed to make up for the lack of space.
The fishing tackle bag consists of two rod belts, an exterior MOLLE web pocket, and multi-functional clip buckles. Furthermore, the material is fashioned of high-end nylon fabric, to prevent water from entering and creating issues.
At first glance, the bag may not seem like anything out of the ordinary. However, the piece hides one incredible factor – which is its adjustability. Anglers can alter the straps on the bag to make it either a sling or small fishing pack. Either way, it offers plenty of storage, at a price that is extremely fair.
WEIGHT: 1.5 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Moderate. Adjustable padded strap for sling/backpack
STORAGE: 13.4” x 9” x 5.1”
WATER RESISTANCE: Advanced. High density nylon fabric
- Waffle fabric for breathability
- Dual rod storage pockets
- Adjustable shoulder bag to sling option
- Water resistant nylon material
- 1 year warranty
- Small carrying capacity
PISCIFUN Cross Body Sling Bag
Versatility is the name of the game with the Piscifun Cross Body Sling Bag.
Piscifun may be a new brand trying to make a name for itself, but that certainly doesn’t mean that its products are sub-par. In fact, it currently offers some of the very best fishing items on the entire market.
The Cross Body Sling Bag is prime evidence of that, as the small-sized sling bag is ideal for day and weekend trips. The piece is outfitted with 13 separate pockets, which are all custom-fitted for various different tools and equipment. Some of the more notable pockets include a compartment for pliers, a water bottle, a laptop zipper, and tow external rod belts.
However, what makes the product so impressive is the sheer quality of materials which it is fashioned from. The 1000D nylon fabric rolls water off without a problem, whereas the KAM belt buckles provide unrivaled durability for the external belts. Yet, what may be even more impressive is the bag’s four different carrying styles. The outer strap can be adjusted to make the bag a sling, crossbody, chest, or handbag.
Due to the 1000D nylon, the Cross Body Sling Bag may be the best waterproof fishing bag that money can buy.
WEIGHT: 1.65 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Great. Extra thick shoulder strap to distribute weight
STORAGE: 11.8” x 8.3” x 3.9”
WATER RESISTANCE: Advanced. 1000D high-density nylon
- Wide shoulder strap for comfort
- 1000D nylon with water resistance
- Four distinct carrying modes
- Dual rod belts
- KAM buckles for increased strength
- Small size limits storage capacity
BASSDASH Fishing Tackle Backpack 3600
Pursue fish in the most remote areas imaginable with the Bassdash 3600 Fishing Tackle Bag.
The 3600 is designed with the mobile angler in mind. The bag is equipped with a storage compartment for three 3600 tackle boxes, a hard molded sunglasses case, and a built-in rain cover that folds into the top pocket.
Those who crave organization can also find peace with the 3600, as it offers countless pockets and compartments for the various tools that often end up on a fishing journey. As such, there are specialized pockets for pliers, knives, and food items.
However, what truly makes the bag so desirable is its superior level of comfort. The back is supplemented with mesh webbing for breathability, whereas the shoulder straps are fortified with padded materials. Though it lacks a backpack fishing rod holder, the 3600 is the ideal choice in nearly every other way.
WEIGHT: 2.3 lbs.
CARRYING COMFORT: Great. Mesh padding for breathability
STORAGE: 19.7” x 15.7” x 7.9”
WATER RESISTANCE: Advanced. 600D polyester
- Designated knife and plier pockets
- Tough and durable polyester material
- Built-in rain cover
- Molded sunglass case for protection
- Storage for tackle box is tight fit
BEST FISHING BACKPACKS
What is a fishing backpack?
A fishing backpack is a bag that is specifically designed for anglers who wish to transport all of their goods to and from fishing destinations. Backpacks for fishing are remarkably different from standard backpacks, as they have numerous containers and pockets precisely designed for storing angling equipment.
The size, shape, and dimensions of a rod holder backpack resemble that of an ordinary school bag. However, the interior and sides are typically equipped with pockets to hold the various different tools that fishing requires.
In many cases, the bags may even include tackle boxes, and pockets to store them. Hunting for large ocean fish often requires such spaces, as well as additional pockets. A surf fishing backpack with rod holder can carry the copious amount of equipment needed when angling from the seaside or jetties.
Sling vs. Backpack
The two main types of gear bags are slings and backpacks. Though the two serve the same purpose, they are quite different, and are best used at fairly different times.
A sling, which is usually just a bag with one strap, can be tossed over a shoulder or back to transport small amounts of gear. Slings are often best for fly fishing, when an angler just needs a few basic flies and hooks to enjoy a day on the water.
On the other hand, a fishing backpack with rod holders is better used when going for longer journeys, or pursuing larger fish. Such a bag can be used to transport rods, reels, bait, pliers, tackle boxes, and much more. The multiple needed tools often require something with a large number of pockets, in order to store everything efficiently. And that’s where a fishing backpack with rod holder can be of serious use.
Nevertheless, both backpacks can be used for either purpose, and are somewhat interchangeable as many other fishing backpack reviews would argue.
A quick trip to a local pond requires a relatively small amount of equipment. Conversely, a four day fishing and camping trip entails a hefty amount of gear.
Therefore, it’s incredibly important for an angler to evaluate what sort of volume they regularly pack, and purchase a bag that has enough storage for that volume. Anglers with a few days’ worth of plans can choose a large scale fishing backpack with a cooler, whereas those on a short day trip can rest their faith in a simple sling.
Additionally, there are mid-size bags available that a large percentage of anglers choose, as they are perhaps the best backpack for fishing from docks, lake sides, or creeks. The average model is similar to that of a school bag, and merely appears like an ordinary backpack with rod holders.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Unfortunately, the catchy old saying doesn’t truly apply to fishing back packs, as they are generally liked by all – or none. Though comfort is all in the eyes (or shoulders) of the wearer, a few basic features can make a bag significantly more comfortable. Those features are padding, breathability, and weight distribution.
Shoulder padding can be a make or break feature for fishing backpacks. A solid level of padding, which is usually comprised of foam, can prevent the straps of a bag from digging into a wearer’s shoulders.
The second key feature is breathability. Many of the best fishing backpacks have porous mesh woven into the straps and back to increase the airflow. Bags that don’t possess any porous features often end up feeling more like a sweaty boxing punching bag, rather than a fishing tackle backpack.
The third, yet equally important feature to search for is weight distribution. A backpack which places all of the weight in a certain area may dig into the back, or even cause pain and discomfort.
At the end of the day, those who have long treks to their destinations certainly need a well fitted and cozy angler backpack to ensure that the fun was worth it.
Type of Angling
Those pursuing crappie and bluegill can certainly pack less gear than those pursuing deep water marlin. Consequently, the best tackle backpack for each type of angler will vary.
Though it isn’t the official term, ‘backpack fishing’, can often require far more items than just an ordinary rod. When fishing for small panfish, an angler can toss in just a few small hooks, rubber worms, and pliers – and have a great day on the water.
On the other hand, an angler searching for bluefin tuna or marlin must pack pliers, leader line, hooks for live bait, a fighting belt, and much more. The sheer volume of equipment is enough to require a full-size fish backpack, rather than just a small sling or tote.
BEST FISHING BACKPACKS
1. Why is a fishing backpack necessary?
A fisherman’s backpack can be one of the most useful tools in angler’s arsenal when heading to the water.
Unlike many other hobbies, fishing is a recreational sport that requires a copious amount of equipment. Rods, reels, tackle, pliers, hooks, and various other tools need to be packed nearly every time. Even just carrying a rod and tackle box is often enough to require two hands.
Thus, nearly every angler needs a fishing backpack with rod holders in order to transport their gear to and from the water. With one, handlers can easily stash away and organize their gear for another excursion. Such a bag has multiple pockets and zippers to store bait, tackle boxes, rods, and personal goods, such as food or drink.
2. What should I pack in the fishing backpack?
No fishing trip would be complete without an ample amount of beef jerky and soft drinks. Aside from those obvious factors, there are some necessary tools that should always be included in a fishing pole backpack.
The first, and most obvious feature, is the fishing rod itself. Rods that can be detached into two pieces are often the best for those who travel by foot, as they are less likely to be snagged on shrubbery.
Another key item to pack is a tackle box. The handy little cases can be used to store anything such as sinkers, hooks, worms, jigs, lures, and even top-water spinners.
Finally, anglers should pack the essential fishing tools such as a pair of pliers, a file, and a spare spool of line.
While the main purpose of the bag is to pack fishing gear, it can also be used to store food and personal goods. A standard bass fishing backpack usually has enough room to throw in a rain jacket, pair of gloves, and lunch box. Another practical alternative to transporting all your fishing gear in one go would be the use of a fishing cart (Ideal for any shore-based fishing from the beach or along a pier).
3. Who needs a fishing backpack?
Not every angler may need a fishing backpack, but the reality is, using one to and from that water makes the journey a whole lot easier. Even just a small fishing backpack is enough to support a day trip to a local pond or lake.
Those with boats can usually just store their equipment in a vessel, rather than lugging it around by bag. However, a backpack can also be used by those who have boats, as a bag can easily be tucked away in a storage compartment or unused corner.
Yet, those who benefit the most from having such a bag are those who often fish from shorelines, banks, or ice holes. Attempting to bring all of the needed fishing tackle to a location can be a serious pain if there is more than one piece of equipment to carry. As such, the best ice fishing backpacks allow anglers to pack all of their gear, while simultaneously giving them the chance to store their hands away from the cold.
Furthermore, a bag can be used by anglers who have accumulated a large amount of gear. Those who don’t have access to storage can easily toss all of their gear in a bag, and store it in an empty closet or corner. Overall, just having a designated backpack for fishing is just incredibly handy.
4. What is the best fishing backpack?
The best fishing backpack is the KastKing Day Tripper Backpack.
KastKing has made some big waves in recent years, as nearly all of the brand’s modern products are impressively high-quality. Thus, it only makes sense that their premiere backpack is nothing short of excellent.
The KastKing Day Tripper backpack is built for anglers that crave comfort, durability, and organization. The bright orange and grey bag is fitted with countless useful pockets, such as a sunglass compartment, a rod pocket, two full-length storage pockets, and a rod pocket.
Yet, the abundance of features is only second to the overall quality of the bag, as it is fashioned of rip-stop nylon and a layer of PVC. The outer layer is treated with a hydrophobic coating, in order to prevent water from creeping in and damaging tools.
However, the most desirable trait that the Day Tripper has is its tackle capacity, as it can fit four 3600 utility boxes into the side pockets. Such capacity allows anglers to bring nearly every type of lure or jig imaginable.
5. What is the best tackle box?
The best backpack tackle box is the Plano ProLatch Stowaway Bulk Storage, in size 3600.
Plano is the go-to storage brand for seasoned anglers, as their products are tough, reliable, and fully adjustable. The ProLatch Stowaway is certainly another great addition to that lineup, as it works exactly how it is designed to.
The Stowaway 3600 is comprised of transparent plastic, in order to give anglers a preview of the contents locked inside. To keep things locked inside securely, it is fitted with ProLatch closures, that ensure the boxes never open and unload contents. To top things off, its interior dividers are entirely adjustable, allowing handlers to design the box in any way they see fit.
However, the most important aspect of the box is its size, as most fishing bags are designed to store size 3600 tackle boxes. Overall, the Stowaway is truly worthy of being the top contender on any backpack tacklebox review.
6. How to attach my fishing rod to a backpack?
These days, most quality fishing backpacks come with built-in rod pockets. The pockets, which typically align along the side of the bag, make storage as easy as 1,2,3.
However, before a rod can be packed, it must be broken down into multiple pieces. Thus, the rod must be collapsible, and comprised of either two or three pieces. Packing a one-piece rod is nearly impossible, as the transport is immensely difficult.
Once a rod is broken down, it can be slid into the side pockets. Most bags have Velcro straps, or bungee cords which are used to tighten the rod against the bag. Conversely, countless other bags have Velcro straps on the bottom which carry the rod directly under the bag. In such situations, anglers need to be cautious when setting the bag down on the ground.
7. How to better organize my fishing backpack?
In order to make the most out of a fishing bag, an angler must properly organize it. Correct organization can make accessing tools far easier, while simultaneously saving loads of time.
The most essential step to organizing a bag is evaluating which tools will go inside of it. Many of the necessities such as pliers, clippers, and files must always be included. As such, it is important to designate a small pocket or series of pockets for those tools.
After the small gear has been packed away in the side or exterior pockets, then the tackle boxes can be added to the mix. Most fishing bags have special compartments for such boxes, where they can be placed without any confusion. A backpack tackle box with rod holder can also be used to store rods on the side, as there are designated pockets for the rods.
Finally, an angler must add the non-essential goods such as food, a rain jacket, or sunblock. Due to the size of each object, storing them in the largest pocket available is usually the best way to go.
As always, we create our content with you, fellow adventurers, in mind. So, how’d we do? Did you find this informative? Did it help you make a decision? Did we miss anything? We’d love to hear from you below. Thanks for reading and we hope your next adventure is a great one!