10 Best Fishing Backpacks (2022)
The roaming angler appreciates the impact a fishing backpack will have on the kind of fishing day they have. They often find themselves carrying their entire arsenal of fishing gear to a remote stream where the fish will have retreated to avoid human contact.
A certain level of agility is required, so you are not exhausted before the main activity. Your choice of fishing backpack has a significant impact on how fresh and alert you will be when you get to the sweet spot.
This article exhaustively reviews some of the best fishing backpacks available on the market, capturing their strengths and shortcomings. At the end of it, we will have enough information to know the perks to watch for when scanning the best fishing backpacks, including their features and the value they provide an angler. Read on for all the bells and whistles.
Best Fishing Backpacks – Winners
Check out our quick recommendations here, or keep scrolling for detailed reviews:
- Best Overall Fishing Backpack: Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad Lighted Backpack
- Best Budget Fishing Backpack: Bass Pro Shops Stalker Sling Pack
- Best Fly Fishing Backpack: Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack
- Best Fishing Backpack Tackle Bag: Kingdom Multi-Functional Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Best Fishing Backpack with Rod Holders: KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Best of the Rest:
Best Overall Fishing Backpack
Capacity: 6 #3600 tackle trays and 4 #3500 tackle trays
Size: 18.5” H X 17” W X 8.5” D
Weight: 7 lbs.
- Multiple storage compartments for gear organization
- Comfortable design
- Permanent sunglasses holder
- Water-resistant rain cover
- Integrated LED light
- A bit heavy
This soft backpack allows many organizational possibilities with a bottom compartment capable of holding up to 4 medium #3600 trays, a large, open easy access upper compartment that can hold up to 5 smaller #3500 trays or carry your fishing reels, and four side pockets for extra gear.
The upper storage area has a removable divider that can be detached to convert the fishing bag to a full-size backpack when carrying larger items. Internal and external mesh pockets enable you to view the contents easily and pick what you need.
It is designed to help you handle the weight with large adjustable padded shoulder straps that will not dig into your shoulders and a sternum strap bringing the weight closer to your body to make carrying easier.
It also has a padded back and lower lumbar area and contouring fit to let the body breathe and ease the strain. The Tackle Tek Nomad also comes with a base pad that keeps it clean and dry when the wetness eventually gets to it. In addition, the pad gives the backpack shape and reduces wear and tear.
The front pocket cover can be folded down to provide a convenient work surface that removes the need to place your lures on the ground where they are easily misplaced. It is held by straps at 90% to form a platform.
You need not worry about losing your sunglasses as there is a permanently mounted molded sunglasses holder on top of the backpack. It also has a removable plier pouch that can be attached to the belt when the pliers are in use.
The package includes a rain cover built into a pocket at the top to keep your gear dry and light when facing the water, or in case it rains. A self-retracting steel cable lanyard is available for easy access to your tools
It has an integrated LED light that illuminates the bag and your work area when faced with darkness so you can fish in the evening and early morning, optimizing your success potential. The light is powered by 2 AAA batteries that are included in the package.
Best Budget Fishing Backpack
Capacity: 314 cubic inches
Size: 13” H X 7.5” W X 4” D
Weight: 15 oz.
- Lightweight and portable
- Durable reinforced material
- Water-resistant coating
- Comes with two quality tackle boxes
- Limited capacity for big fishing expeditions
The backpack is made of tough 900-denier reinforced nylon. It has been polyurethane-coated to ensure it doesn’t get ruined yet remains flexible, breathable, lightweight, and water-resistant. The reinforcement makes it resistant to tears, kinks, and abrasion for sustained rip-free performance.
It has a padded shoulder strap made of breathable mesh that spreads the load and makes it bearable for long fishing treks. This is supported by hip webbing, which distributes the weight for better posture. You can haul your essential gear comfortably to your secret fishing spot, fish for hours, and carry them back home together with your catch of the day.
The stalker sling pack has strategically placed internal and external pockets for effective gear management and a mesh pocket with a divider. The ability to separate your hooks, tackles, and lines saves a lot of time when you are out fishing. The package even comes with two quality 3650 Plano ProLatch tackle boxes, giving you a head start in tackle management.
This fishing sling pack integrates perfectly with Bass Pro Shops Stalker Backpack when you are going for big angling excursions, and you should consider it your next project as you stock up on fishing gear.
Best Fly Fishing Backpack
- Balances the weight of the load
- Multiple storage options
- Incorporated water bladder for hydration
- Comfortable design
- May get uncomfortable on an exceptionally hot day
This fly fishing backpack is actually a vest combo which is a creative way of adding extra storage space while maintaining the balance. The front pockets where you will find the fly storage compartments are for carrying items you will need to reach easily.
Your hooks and lines can all fit and be within arm’s reach the entire time. They have even included a forceps holder so you can conveniently clip those lines. Two of the front pockets are waterproof with water-resistant zippers for your valuable items like smartphones which can be damaged by water.
The back has expandable storage for more fishing gear which is compactly supported by compression straps so that the weight is balanced close to the body, and the backpack is supported when it is not full.
It has adjustable straps that you can tighten and loosen for the perfect fit on your body. It can be adjusted at the shoulders and the girth. Mesh fabric on the interior allows your body to breathe and cool down when you wear it on a hot day. It is padded at the back to protect you from getting poked by the rigid contents of the backpack.
A 2-liter water bladder ensures you can constantly hydrate without laying down your fishing rod all the time. It has a detachable hose with a lockable valve to control the water supply. The backpack has a ring at the top rear to attach a fishnet.
It is made out of Ripstop nylon fabric, which promotes durability by defying tears and scratches.
Best Fishing Backpack Tackle Bag
Size: 20.5” H X 11.8” W X 7.5” D
Weight: 3.52 lbs.
- Detachable for optimization of usage
- Large manageable storage space
- Wear-resistant waterproof construction
- Ergonomic, comfortable design
- The depth is sufficient for #3600 and above tackle boxes
This backpack is made out of 1000 denier high-density nylon fabric that is tear, scratch, and water resistant, making it durable and tough enough to deal with freshwater and saltwater conditions. It has been fitted with premium YKK zippers that are also built to last and run smoothly. In addition, it has a base pad that is water-resistant and can withstand the abuse of the fishing ground, ensuring the fishing bag is clean and dry.
It has two main pockets designed to accommodate lure boxes and fit fishing lines and other accessories. These pockets come with removable dividers, which are used to separate them into two when you are not carrying large items for better gear management. It has a water bottle holder on the left and another pocket on the right for any other items you require quick access to.
The backpack can be separated into two: the top part remaining as a smaller backpack and the lower part becoming a handbag or a single shoulder bag once you hook up a shoulder strap that comes with the package. You only unzip one zipper to detach the two sections. This means you don’t need to haul the entire 3.52 lbs. when you are not using its full capacity.
The miniature versions of this fishing tackle bag can accommodate two fishing reels and a small lure box inside. The full package comes with Velcro straps which enable you to carry up to 2 fishing rods and tools like fishing pliers on the side. They have thrown in a neat little phone bag for you to carry your phone safely.
It has been optimized for comfort with a thick, padded back panel that is easy on your back and padded shoulder straps making it easier to bear the weight. The padding is made out of breathable foam, enabling you to haul your gear for extended periods and get to that sweet fishing spot before fatigue checks in.
Best Fishing Backpack with Rod Holders
Capacity: 25.2 liter/ 4 #3600 tackle boxes
Size: 21.25” H X 13.4” W X9.25” D
Weight: 3.09 lbs.
- Elaborate rod storage method
- Ergonomic, comfortable design
- Tough, durable, water-resistant material
- I-year warranty from the manufacturer
- The false bottom is Velcro and can’t hold weight when the bottom half is empty
This fishing tackle backpack is also called the Day Tripper because it facilitates excellent tackle management and allows you to carry all your fishing gear, including the rods, hands-free so you can stay mobile.
It has molle straps and exterior pockets to accommodate the tools that either don’t fit inside the storage compartments or you may want easy access to. Your storage options include a large main compartment for gear, two side pockets, two front slash pockets, and three rubber-coated mesh pockets.
The main compartment has a false bottom which enables you to separate the top from the bottom. The top section is ideal for rain gear, lunches, a camera, fishing tools, or additional tackles and tackle boxes.
The lower section can be accessed from a side zipper and can hold four #3600 tackle boxes that you will have stuffed with your lures and rigs. You can also remove the false bottom so that it is one big compartment capable of holding large gear and slide everything in from the top.
The outside has also been optimized for hauling gear with a hide-away double rod holder securing rods or rod combos from two rod pockets on the side. They are secured with two rod tie-down bungee lines and a reel handle tie-down bungee line on the opposite side. They have integrated D-rings on which you can attach fishing pliers or line clippers and a fleece-lined sunglasses compartment at the top.
The backpack is made from a 420-denier ripstop nylon fabric known for its resistance to tears and scratches and its durability. It has been treated with a hydrophobic coating to repel moisture from the outside and has an added PVC layer on the inside for double protection of the bag’s contents should you run into bad weather. The material is reinforced with self-healing loop zippers which are repairable, so your bag doesn’t become useless when a zipper splits
Its ergonomic design combines efficiency and comfort; it has adjustable chest and waist straps to secure the shoulder straps for optimal load alignment and balancing. All these straps and the back pad are wide and padded.
The result is reduced fatigue on a long day of fishing, allowing you to pay full attention to the fish. The waist straps have rubber-coated mesh pockets that can hold your fishing pliers, soft bait, and terminal tackle for easy access.
KastKing offers a 1-year warranty against defects in materials or workmanship. To boost your confidence further and give you peace of mind, they even offer beyond-warranty support.
Best of the Rest
Capacity: 6 #5007 tackle boxes
Size: 19” H X 11.5” W X 10” D
Weight: 7.45 lbs.
- Package comes with three #5007 Flambeau utility boxes
- Multiple storage options for effective gear management
- Unique, durable G-hook closure
- Comfortable carry straps
- Tends to get heavy at full capacity
The large main compartment holds up to 6 #5007 Flambeau utility boxes with Zerust dividers, allowing you to travel fully equipped on long fishing trips. The six external zippered pockets and two internal saddlebag style pouches offer the angler various platforms to keep their gear neatly separated and organized.
The zippered pocket saddlebag pouches are a brilliant innovation from Flambeau Outdoors. They fold to the side and sit out perfectly so the angler can easily pick out their soft plastics. The capacity is further boosted by two external mesh pockets and an external Velcro pliers holster to keep the tool within reach.
Their unique zipperless lid design makes it easy to access the backpack contents. They have used a double G-hooks closure which is more durable than plastic snap buckles or Velcro. The rugged material is also durable
Comfortable padded shoulder straps with a sternum strap make the backpack easy to carry to and from the water. The shoulder straps have molle loops that can accommodate extra tools or gear.
They come with three #5007 Flambeau utility boxes and Zerust dividers featuring Flambeau’s Zerust tackle tray technology which offers fully infused anti-corrosion protection for extreme marine environments.
One of the side pockets has a line spool port that secures the spool within the angler’s reach. Bright zipper pulls that are easy to spot make the backpack useful in poor lighting scenarios.
The Heritage backpack has successfully combined a classic throwback look with a modern twist for added functionality.
Capacity: 8 #3600 utility boxes
Size: 18” H X 16” W X 8” D
- Easy access to the main compartment thanks to a large opening
- Durable abrasion-resistant material
- Ergonomic design
- Comes with four #3600 tackle boxes
- The sternum strap is uncomfortably high
The backpack is designed to allow you to stack your tackle trays, resulting in the ability to stack up to 8 #3600 utility boxes on a small 16 by 8-inch footprint. The small footprint means the weight center is closer to the body, making the bag easy to carry even at full capacity. The padded back and adjustable shoulder straps complement the ergonomic design for added comfort.
The main compartment has a large opening to allow easy access to the contents within. Plastic inserts support the backpack’s structure such that it maintains its shape. As a result, the upper compartment will hold its weight even when the lower compartment is not fully loaded.
It has six zippered pockets for fishing tools, baits, and other accessories, two at the front and two on each side. The side pockets have mesh pockets that can be used for quick access tools and accessories.
It is made out of heavy-duty 600-denier polyester that is abrasion resistant, has a great tensile strength to carry heavy loads, and is stable.
The backpack comes with four #3600 Bass Pro Shops Extreme Series tackle boxes, giving you a head start in accessorizing.
Capacity: 5 #3600 StowAway tackle boxes
Size: 18.5” H X 12.2” W X 7.9” D
- Comes with all 5 utility boxes
- Multiple compartments for optimal gear management
- Padded straps and back for comfort
- Aesthetically appealing in a rugged way
- The metal snaps are hard to close when hauling the bag using the top handle
Plano Molding maintained the same rugged-looking premium fabric which can withstand tough outdoor conditions from the original A-series in this 2.0 tackle backpack. They then spruced it up with futuristic tackle storage solutions, which see you making optimal use of all the pockets and added a few soft faux leather touchpoints and pulls for aesthetic appeal.
This backpack can keep up to five Plano StowAway #3600 tackle boxes. They are included in the package with adjustable dividers for added flexibility when customizing your tackle storage organization. The spacious main compartment can hold four of these as the fifth one fits in a large exterior pocket at the backpack’s front.
The main compartment has an internal divider separating the top from the bottom. While the bottom takes care of the stows, the top has a separate zippered gear bag for the rest of your fishing needs.
The other two exterior pockets on the sides can be used for assorted soft plastics, spools, other tools, and personal items. All three exterior pockets are conveniently closed via a metal snap that can be adjusted based on the size of their contents. There are lash tab attachments on each side of the backpack on which you can add miscellaneous accessories that will be within easy reach of your arms.
Padded shoulder straps and back cushioning add comfort and distribute the weight of the load for long durations on the water, making transportation effortless. They also have oversized molded zippers that are durable and easy to use.
Capacity: 8 #3600 tackle trays
Size: 18” H X 16” W X 7.5” D
Weight: 5.34 lbs.
- Tough rigid construction
- High capacity provides unlimited tackle management opportunities
- Large opening to main compartment for easy access
- Designed for comfort
The backpack is made from tough 600-denier polyester with a rigid wall construction that sees the backpack stand on its own even when empty. This rigidity makes it possible to haul the backpack using its padded top carry handle so you can use the backpack like a traditional tackle bag.
It is a high-capacity double-decker that holds up to 4 #3600 tackle trays in the top compartment and four in the front-loading bottom storage compartment. Additionally, three #3600 trays are included in the package. This is sufficient storage for organizing your tackle regardless of the duration of the trip. Your options for ferrying hooks and lures are limitless.
The largemouth opening enables quick access to the bag’s contents, and gusseted exterior zipper pockets provide additional storage options. It also has an exterior EVA plier holster on the side pocket, ensuring your pliers are always easy to access.
To lessen the load, the Outdoor double-decker has padded backpack straps with an adjustable sternum strap which you can use to adjust the weight to the most comfortable position.
Size: 17.7” H X 12.6” W X 7.9” D
Weight: 56.4 oz.
- Adjustable main compartment
- Ergonomic design for comfort
- Reflective strips for safety in poor light
- Covered by a 1-year warranty
- Small restrictive top opening
It is made from a high density 1200-denier nylon fabric using 86 sewing procedures, resulting in extra water resistance, toughness, and durability. This is supported with KAM buckles and SBS zippers, all top-quality premium bag accessories.
The SBS zippers have been used to divide this backpack into 11 independent compartments that can be broken down into 18 units, offering limitless tackle management options. The main compartment has a clapboard that can be collapsed to have a large room for storing big tackle.
It has padded back and shoulder straps which are both breathable for extra hauling comfort. They even have reflective strips for safety, so you are noticeable at night. In addition, they have incorporated a hard molded sunglasses case at the top and a protective rain cover.
It comes with a 1-year warranty for extra peace of mind.
Fishing Backpacks Are Very Different Than Standard Backpacks
There are many beneficial or even essential features in a fishing backpack that a regular backpacker would not appreciate as much. These are the qualities the professional anglers on whose experiences this fishing backpack review is based on found to be exceptionally useful.
Plastic Lures/ Bait Trays (or Boxes)
The more lure boxes can be held, the more options you have for tackle management. You can separate them into more specific categories for easy differentiation. The size of the tackle box also matters because bigger tackle boxes can accommodate more divisions.
Fishing Rod Holders
This is an important feature as it helps to have the hands free when you are not angling, so you don’t get wrist fatigue before you get on the water. It also helps to hold the extra rods that are not in use at the moment. Most rod holders will be on the outside due to the shape and size of the rods.
Waterproof and Structure
Because of the constant exposure to water, a fishing backpack should have some degree of water resistance to protect its contents against the effects of the elements. It should also be hardy enough to withstand the weight of your gear and resist scratches and tears.
A backpack that provides a platform to rig your tackles helps keep your fishing gear and tools off the ground for easy management. By maintaining the arrangement, you are better able to manage your tools and minimize losses.
As you can see, the best fishing backpacks can make a big difference on your next fishing trip. Not only can they hold a ton of your essential gear, but they are also easy to carry and won’t add unnecessary weight.