Best Fishing Backpack For Tackle And Gear

Every angler knows the importance of staying organized whilst out on a fishing trip.

The last thing you want to happen is to find out where all the fish are but not be able to find the right lures and tackle! Having the best fishing backpack will ensure all your gear is properly organized, right on hand, and well protected from the elements.

Fishing backpacks aren’t like your conventional backpack that you’ll see someone wearing whilst walking down the street or wearing to work.

There should be more than enough pockets and storage areas to hold all your important tackle and sometimes even quick access pockets and clips to hold things you need on hand such as fishing pliers and hook removal tools.

Some fishing backpacks will even have a rod holder. The way I see it, the best fishing backpack should allow you to head on down to the water carrying nothing else other than your rod, reel, and backpack.

The Best Fishing Backpack at a Glance

  1. Wild River Fishing Tackle Backpack (Best Fishing Backpack)
  2. Wild River Multi-Tackle Large Backpack (Next Best)
  3. KastKing Pond Hopper Fishing Sling Backpack (Best Sling Fishing Bag)
  4. Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack (Best Value Tackle Bag)
  5. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
  6. Fiblink Waterproof Fishing Backpack
  7. Piscifun Fishing Backpack with 4 Tackle Trays
  8. Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack
  9. Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Backpack

Why do you need a backpack for fishing tackle?

fishing backpack

Any fishing trip, especially one you want to be successful (every one!) requires the correct equipment. When it comes to fishing there are dozens of pieces of equipment you need to take along with you e.g. spare line, hooks, bait, lures, etc.

It’s impossible to carry all this with you in your hands or your pockets. This makes the need for a backpack even more apparent.

A fishing backpack gives you the ability to easily carry everything you need for your fishing trip.

Every angler knows that you cant always rely on one line to withstand an entire trip or that you’ll only need one or two lures.

One of the main benefits of a backpack is that you can carry all of your extra gear to ensure you’ve got everything you need on hand when you need it.

A backpack can come in especially handy whilst you are fly fishing. Fly fishing requires the angler to stand in the water for long periods of time.

Wearing a fishing backpack allows you to access all of your gear without having to exit the water to grab it from the riverbank, you can just reach around and take it out of your best fly fishing backpack.

Not only can you take along your fishing gear in a backpack but you can also carry other essentials such as sunscreen and your electronics. What’s also great is that most of the backpacks are water resistant so you know your electronics will stay safe even if it rains.

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What to look for when purchasing a fishing backpack

backpack for fishing

So if you have decided that a fishing backpack is going to improve your experience whilst out on your fishing trips, you need to make sure it’s the right backpack for you and your needs. It’s important to make sure the backpack is durable, lightweight, can store all your required gear and easy enough for you to carry.

There is tonnes of options out on the market which can soon leave your head spinning if you start comparing them all. This is exactly why we create these articles which we pour hours of independent research into to ensure you can make the best informed choice without getting confused.

So below we would like to list what we look out for when deciding if a backpack is worth buying or not. These tips should give you an insight into our decision making process and make the whole thing slightly easier for you when you make the choice for yourself.

What is the fishing backpack type? 

There is a few different types of fishing backpack that you will come across on the market. It basically comes down to how you actually wear the bag on your body. The main variations include a sling bag which is worn across one shoulder, a waist pack, a chest bag and a backpack.

If you are wanting to carry small amounts of fishing gear with you then a chest pack will probably get you by. It’s big enough to fit some spare line, hooks and probably a few lures.

You often see fly fisherman wearing a chest pack to carry the essentials as they can quickly access it whilst out in the water.

However, a chest pack will not be big enough to carry a few days trips worth of gear along with you.

Sling packs are a step up in size and allow you to carry more gear and weight, they are thrown over one shoulder to help you take the load easier. The great thing about the sling pack is that you still retain your full range of motion whilst fishing so you will be able to wear it and still have full casting ability.

Waist packs are the smallest of the bunch and will only fit a really small amount of gear. Personally i’ve never used one, however I can see how they would be useful for keeping items such as pliers and hook removers close by.

Backpack is a… backpack. Everyone knows what a backpack is. If I was purchasing one i’d opt for a decent sized one which I can fit all of my important gear in.

Essentially you should buy a fishing backpack that allows you to spend a full day or even a few days trip away, without worrying about not taking any fishing tackle along with you.

Storage Space

Storage is probably the most important thing to consider when buying a fishing backpack. After all what is the bag for? Storing things!

The amount of storage and bag design you ultimately decide on comes down to personal preference. Some bags have many smaller pockets and mesh pockets etc. Where as some bags have a singular larger pocket which can be great for fitting larger tackle boxes and maybe even spare reels in.

Some backpacks on the market even come with specially designed lure and tackle trays which are the perfect size to slide and out of the bag. These can come in handy when organising your lures, bait and hooks.

If you can see yourself hiking longer distances to get to the better fishing spots then you could also opt for a backpack which has a rod holder to store your rod whilst you walk. It can even be used to store a spare rod whilst you are fishing.

Water Resistance

As someone who has been fishing for a long time, I can confidently say that at some point, no matter how hard you try… your bag and belongings will have a run-in with some water.

Whether that’s dropping your bag in the water or getting caught in an unexpected downpour.

Usually, it’s not an issue as your fishing gear is made to get wet however if you are taking along valuables such as your wallet/purse or your electronic devices such as a camera or mobile phone then you’ll want your bag to have a certain level of resistance to water so everything is protected.

Some fishing backpacks will claim to be 100% waterproof, these usually have extra protection at the seams and zips to prevent water from entering in the bags weak points. If you are stood in the water whilst fly fishing, these can be a great choice in case you accidentally slip and take a dip.

Other bags will be made from water resistant materials but aren’t 100% waterproof. This is common so don’t worry. Just make sure that these bags come with a rain cover which is easy to slip on and off.

Backpack Durability 

To make life carrying the backpack easily I would always say go for the lighter version but sometimes this will compromise on durability by using thinner materials.

Make sure the backpack is produced from durable materials which are tear resistant and wont tear whilst put under stress.

It’s likely you’ll be placing the back down on some shoreline rocks at some point, you don’t want to pick it back up to realize it’s been scuffed or torn.

Seams of the backpack are also another important thing to consider. Double stitch seams will be much stronger than single stitch and allow you to carry much more weight in the backpack without worrying about it failing.

Make sure the zippers are made from corrosion resistant and strong materials such as Stainless Steel. The last thing you want is to find the best fishing backpack for your needs and it break at the zipper!


The best fishing backpacks are comfy on your back and easy to wear for long periods of time. Look out for padded shoulder straps and back support.

It’s also a bonus if the back material is made from breathable fabric to ensure you don’t get too hot and sweat a lot. If you can find a backpack which sits comfortable on the contours of your body that is ideal as it will allow you to cast properly and maintain a good range of motion.

Fishing Tackle Bag FAQs

Are LED backpacks worth it?

Whilst shopping around, it’s likely that you’ll come across a some fishing backpacks with a built in LED light. Every angler knows that it’s very easy to get lost in the moment and lose track of the time whilst you are fishing.

And LED backpack makes sure that you will always be spotted whilst out fishing, it’s also useful if you’re actually in the water for example when you are fly fishing.

If you enjoy night fishing, an LED backpack also has the benefit of lighting up your backpack in the dark so you can easily see all of your tackle.

What type of fishing rod should I pack?

Some rods come in up to 3 or 4 separate parts, these are especially popular amongst people who enjoy travel fishing. These are great to insert into your backpacks rod holder or can be easily strapped to your bag if it doesn’t have a specific rod holder.

Other fishing rods can even fit inside your backpack. Yes inside! These are the hugely popular telescopic fishing rods which take up a minimal amount of space in your bag whilst still remaining a high performing fishing rod.

If you opt for a more traditional fishing one or two piece rod then that is absolutely fine, most backpack rod holders can accommodate these rods, you’ll just have to ensure it’s not scraping along the ground as you walk!

Which fishing essentials should I be putting in my fishing backpack?

There is the most obvious essentials such as a fishing reel. Be careful putting your reel into the bag as certain types can be quite delicate.

You’ll want to make sure you pack all of your tackle such as lines, lures, hooks, bobbers, bait, sinkers, swivels, your pliers, hook removal tool and anything else you think is necessary to take along with you.

Don’t forget to pack all of your other essentials that might not correlate directly with fishing such as your snacks, drinks, extra clothing, and maybe even a compass.

Depending on the season you’ll definitely want to remember to pack your waterproof jacket! The last thing you want is to get caught out in the rain and have to end your fishing trip short due to getting soaking wet.

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