man in fishing gear on bridge

TOP 13 Best Fishing Backpacks and Tackle Bags Reviewed 2019 + Buyers Guide

While every fishing enthusiast understands the need for a convenient way to handle their tackle, traditionally they’ve only had one option: the tackle box.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with tackle boxes. They’re easy to use and reliable, not to mention the fact that most of us grew up using them.

Lately, however, there’s been a new arrival on the fishing equipment scene—the fishing backpack.

But which product is the best backpack for fishing?

All of a sudden the market has been saturated with these new products, and the volume of choice available can make deciding on a particular model difficult. For example, just look at how many fishing vests are available.

The possibilities are staggering.

That’s why I’ve decided to put together a list of the very best fishing backpacks and tackle bags around today.

At the end of the list, I’ll include a Buyer’s Guide, which will help you to make your own decisions, and an FAQ section to hopefully pre-empt some of the most common concerns anglers have when getting used to fishing backpacks.

So let’s get into it and decide which is the best fit.

TOP 13 Best Fishing Backpacks and Tackle Bags 2019

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

Review: This fishing tackle storage back is water resistant on account of the 1000D high-density nylon fabric used in its construction.

The KAM buckle and SBS zippers (which are full-length double zippers) are both abrasion resistant and indestructible, guaranteeing that this product is durable enough to survive whatever the weather has to throw at it.

The adjustable and detachable shoulder straps offer a range of possible uses for the bag: it can be either used as a sling shoulder bag, a backpack, a handbag, a chest bag, a traveling bag, or a standard fishing tackle bag.

Pros

  • Serious versatility offered by the innovative design.
  • Two-rod belts included, to hold fishing rods.
  • Reflective sticker ensures safety in low-light conditions.
  • Multiple storage compartments and pockets.

Cons

  • Pockets are too small to fit a water bottle.
  • Inside storage is a little lacking compared to competing products.

Takeaway

For the price, this is an incredibly versatile and durable product. Unfortunately, it’s let down by storage constraints.

Wild River by CLC WT3604 Tackle Ten Nomad Backpack

Review: As a lighted fishing tackle backpack, this item includes an integrated LED light system so the user can fish at any time during the day.

A mounted molded sunglass holder is included to keep your glasses safe, while it also comes with a removable plier holder so that crucial tool is never too far away.

A protective rain cover helps keep the contents safe from the elements, while the front pocket cover folds down to provide a handy work surface.

Pros

  • Front fold-down cover design is brilliant.
  • Can store up to 4 medium #3600-style trays.

Cons

  • It’s quite heavy.
  • It’s expensive compared to other bags.

Takeaway

If you can afford it and you don’t mind the back pain from carrying a heavy bag around, this one-stop-shop product from Wild River provides everything you could want from a fishing backpack.

Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack

Review: Made out of 100% polyester, this backpack comes with 3 medium utility boxes included.

As well as a fishing rod holder / carry system, an advanced organizer compartment makes sure your equipment is always kept neat and tidy, while the foam molded sunglasses case has a soft lining to prevent your shades getting unnecessarily scratched.

The adjustable main compartment can be divided into 3 separate inner compartments too, adding even more versatility to the product.

Pros

  • Flat bottom allows the bag to always sit upright.
  • The cooler compartment keeps drinks, food, and baits cold.

Cons

  • Zippers aren’t as tough as you might like them to be.

Takeaway

If bang for your buck is the most important thing when it comes to choosing a fishing backpack, this item from SpiderWire won’t let you down.

Shimano Blackmoon Fishing Backpack

Review: Built for anglers who walk to their local lake or river for a day of fishing, this item is equipped with thick padded shoulder straps that provide top-notch comfort while simultaneously working to reduce fatigue.

Made out of heavy duty and durable textured fabric, this long-lasting backpack has a zippered front opening and zippered side pockets, providing easy access and a ton of storage for accessories. 2 Plano 3750 utility boxes are included with the purchase.

Pros

  • Built in mesh rod holders are available on each side of the pack.
  • Plastic envelopes included are ideal for soft plastic lures.

Cons

  • The backpack sits a little strangely on the back.
  • Some features, like the 4 spool line dispenser, are pretty much redundant.

Takeaway

If you’re used to trekking long distances to your favorite spot, this item (which was designed to reduce fatigue) could be a great choice for you.

The X-Large ‘Blackstar’ Fishing Backpack

Review: This corrosion-resistant back was made from lightweight, breathable polyester, and the bag and zip themselves have been designed to prevent damage from extended exposure to saltwater.

Sturdy feet on the underside make sure the waterproof bag stays dry on deck, sand, or ice. Designed to fit 4 #3650 containers (which come included with the purchase of the backpack), the bag also has a removable section between the top and bottom compartment, in case your tackle is bigger than usual.

Pros

  • Fast-access trapdoor is a great feature.
  • The hard-shell sunglasses case, as well as the plier holder and the clear pocket (for your fishing license), are all innovative designs.

Cons

  • The included tackle boxes are poorly made and don’t always close properly.

Takeaway

While it’s on the expensive end of the pricing spectrum, this is a great, well-rounded fishing backpack, and owing to its durability, it’s one of the best surf fishing bags on the market.

KastKing Outdoor Lightweight Single Shoulder Bag

Review: Designed to be versatile, this fishing gear bag has the flexibility to adapt to your fishing needs, whether that’s for freshwater or saltwater.

It was made to be easily carried, offering functionality for hiking, canoeing, or kayaking, and offers all the essential features necessary for the management of rods, tools, lures, and tackle.

Water-resistant and tough, it’s constructed from 420D rip-stop nylon material, making it perfect for long term performance and overall reliability.

Pros

  • Double loop zipper pulls can be operated with one finger.
  • Adjustable strap length means it can be made to fit a range of body types.
  • The integrated rod/bottle holder offers a secure method for transporting rods or bottles.

Cons

  • It only comes in one color, so if you don’t like orange you’re out of luck.

Takeaway

It’s hard to criticize this product, apart from the color. Otherwise, it’s an excellent, well-thought-out take on the concept, and one of the best fishing backpacks available.

Plano E-Series 3600 Tackle Backpack

Review: A product from the granddaddy of fishing gear manufacturers, Plano, this tackle backpack comes equipped with three 3600 Stowaway boxes.

The tackle itself is protected by the pack’s durable, water-resistant exterior, while air mesh straps and a padded back cushion help to provide extra comfort.

There are mesh pockets located on the interior as well as the exterior, and it even comes with a soft felt pocket for sunglasses or a cell phone.

Pros

  • Allows for hands-free tackle storage.
  • The included tackle trays have adjustable partitions for added customizability.

Cons

  • The waterproof rubberized bottom doesn’t extend high up enough along the backpack to prevent water damage.
  • Mesh manufacture was obviously done cheaply.

Takeaway

An otherwise impressive bag is let down by poor design decisions and sub-par mesh quality, which is a shame because it could have been one of the best fishing tackle bags of 2019.

Leo Fishing Tackle Storage Bag

Review: Made out of 1000D rip-stop nylon material (which goes a long way towards ensuring exceptional performance and reliability), this backpack can be worn as a standard backpack bag or a crossbody bag, on account of the widening and thickening shoulder strap, which offers comfort for even the largest loads of tackle.

Boasting 20.3L of storage space, there’s more than enough room to include your rod, line, lure box, reel, and anything else you might need when headed out on a fishing trip.

Pros

  • High quality buckle is made from high-strength ABS material.
  • Lifetime warranty included.

Cons

  • Relatively untested as it’s a new product on the market.

Takeaway

While this backpack hasn’t been around as long as some of its competitors, it offers an impressive range of features at a reasonable price, making it one of the best fishing backpacks in 2019.

Aumtisc Fishing Backpack

Review: Featuring SBS zippers, adjustable shoulder straps, and heavy-duty materials used in its construction, this fishing backpack uses a front zip and a side pocket zip for easy carrying as well as providing plenty of extra storage for accessories.

There’s a movable clapboard in the middle of the main bag, which allows for the storage space inside to be adjusted according to the individual angler’s personal requirements.

Pros

  • A lifetime 100% customer satisfaction guarantee is on offer with this bag.
  • The design is rugged and breathable at the same time.
  • Protective rain cover and 4 trays of tackle boxes are included.

Cons

  • The tackle trays are low-quality and difficult to use.

Takeaway

This bag does the basics well but doesn’t provide much in the way of additional, more advanced, features.

Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack

Review: Made out of 600D polyester, this bag has an adjustable main compartment that can be divided into 2 separate inner compartments.

Daisy chain webbing at the front offers attachment points for the hard molded sunglasses compartment, and the generous front and side pockets have been sized specifically to fit most box styles and measurements, as well as accommodating other accessories or personal items.

Pros

  • Built-in rain cover keeps the bag’s contents safe from the elements.
  • The ergonomic design prevents back pain.

Cons

  • There are no rod holding attachments.

Takeaway

This backpack handles almost everything perfectly well but is let down by the lack of rod holders. Even so, it’s one of the best fly fishing backpacks.

Kingdom Multifunctional Fishing Backpack

Review: Premium quality 1000D water-resistant nylon fabrics ensure that this bag is durable enough to go the distance, while the high-quality adjustable buckle and sturdy YKK zipper work in conjunction with the extra firm stitches to create an all-around tough fishing backpack suitable for a variety of functions.

The multi-story inner compartment makes it easy to store all of your fishing accessories.

Pros

  • A mobile phone case is included.
  • The bag is multifunctional and can be adjusted to fit a range of styles.

Cons

  • The interior is not as waterproof as claimed.
  • Shoulder straps can be uncomfortable.

Takeaway

Apart from the fact that if the inner part of the bag gets wet it’ll stay wet, this is an excellent all-round product offered at a reasonable price.

AnglerDream Fly Fishing Pack

Review: This one-size-fits-all backpack contains main pockets for storing outdoor tackles and commodities safely, while there are plenty of zippered pockets in order to ensure you can remain hands-free at all times.

Various outside loops allow for further customizability with regards to accessory attachment, while the polyester fiber used in the construction of the pack guarantees that it’s solid and durable.

Pros

  • Rod holders are provided.
  • A triangle ring in the back of the pack makes it easy to store a fishing net.
  • The mesh is breathable.

Cons

  • The zippers are incredibly flimsy.

Takeaway

The terrible quality control with regards to the zippers makes this a poor choice, which is unfortunate because otherwise, it’s very versatile and durable.

Better build quality would have put this item in the running to be the best fishing tackle bag.

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

Review: Another offering from Piscifun, this tackle bag is made from high quality water-resistant 1200D high-density nylon fabrics. 86 sewing procedures offer 20% higher water resistance and toughness.

Divided into 11 independent spaces by high-quality SBS zippers, the storage can be further divided to create a total of 18 separated areas in total.

The back padding is deliberately thick in order to increase comfort, while reflective strips keep the night-fishing enthusiast safe at all times, even when it’s pitch black.

Pros

  • It’s very cheap considering the range of features.
  • A hard molded sunglasses case is included.

Cons

  • The boxes included aren’t big enough to hold larger accessories.
  • There’s no plier holding attachment.

Takeaway

For the low price, this is one of the best waterproof fishing backpacks available, as the quality of manufacture is top-notch and guaranteed to last.

Buyer’s Guide to Fishing Backpacks and Tackle Bags

Design Choices

The backpacks mentioned in the above list come in a variety of styles.

While some have obviously been deliberately designed to take advantage of the classic backpack concept, there are others which can be customized to fit a range of purposes: from sling packs to chest packs, and even all the way to a handbag, to mention but a few.

But which is the right way to way the bag for you?

If you have back pain, or if your tackle is especially heavy, it’s probably safest to stick with the classic backpack design, and—if possible—opt for an option with thick straps and ergonomic design principles.

On the other hand, sling bags are easier to wear, and the rod holders are often more accessible.

Other styles, like handbags and chest packs, will fit other uses. If possible, it’s best to experiment with a backpack you already have before you order your project, to ensure that you wind up with the best possible option for your needs.

man in jacket fishing

Durability vs. Weight

Put simply, the more durable a fishing backpack is, the heavier it’s likely to be.

Similarly, a breathable, lightweight bag is likely to experience more wear and tear.

If you’re used to traveling long distances to get to your favorite fishing spot, a heavy bag will hurt your back and could substantially damage the fun involved. If that’s the case, a lightweight fishing backpack may be a better option, even if it doesn’t last quite as long in the end.

Space

Even the most cursory reading of the list above (or, indeed, of the fishing backpacks available on the market today) will reveal that one of the most considered elements that go into the construction of these products is the amount of space available.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? The backpack, after all, needs to be able to hold your tackle.

But how are you to make sense of the staggering array of options available? Is it better to have a bag with set compartments, or are the customizable backpacks a better idea?

To make life easier, I’m going to advise against the options with removable dividers. In my experience, they’re a good deal flimsier, and I personally have never had any trouble with keeping my equipment organized in a non-customizable fishing backpack.

Of course, this is up to you entirely, but whether or not the durability you’re going to have to sacrifice by opting for a product with the dividers is worth the added versatility is a serious question, and there’s no clear-cut answer one way or the other.

FAQs

How Long Can I Expect My Fishing Backpack to Last?

This is going to vary from product to product, but most well-made fishing tackle bags should last you a few years.

If it’s falling apart in a matter of months (or weeks, or even days), and you haven’t been doing anything too crazy with it, that’s a seriously defective product and you should consider contacting the company and asking about return policy.

My Bag Doesn’t Have Enough Rod Holders. What to Do?

As it happens, there is.

Here’s a wonderful video I found on YouTube while writing this article. It’s from a guy who breaks down, step-by-step, the process of customizing a fishing backpack for another rod holder.

Should I Use the Tackle Boxes That Came With my Purchase?

A lot of products these days come with an offer of a few free tackle boxes upon purchase of the backpack itself.

While this can seem appealing, it’s often not worth the extra trouble.

The tackle boxes included with the fishing backpacks are seldom as good as items you’ll buy on your own.

The plastic can be flimsy, the latches can fail too easily, and, worst of all, the boxes themselves can spill open, sending all of your carefully-organized lures and other accessories all over the place.

Tackle boxes aren’t expensive compared with most of the other pieces of kit needed to fish, so you’re really doing yourself a favor by picking up some of your own separately.

man in fishing gear on bridge

Summary

I hope you enjoyed this run-through of what exactly a fishing backpack is, what you should look out for when you’re buying one, as well as the list of my top 13 products available on the market today. One of them is bound to be the best fishing backpack for you.

The FAQ section accounts for some of the most regularly asked queries, but if there’s something I missed, do get in touch and let me know so I can update the next article with as much helpful information as possible.

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