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10 Best Fishing Backpacks of 2021

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Fishing backpack or tackle box? This debate divides anglers like no other. A backpack is a worthy choice if you want something you can easily carry over long distances, as backpacks distribute their weight evenly across the shoulders, unlike a tackle box that you’d have to carry by one hand.
Below, we take a look at the ten best fishing backpacks in 2021. All of them are capable of lasting the remainder of your fishing career. They also offer enough storage solutions for your entire gear. In addition to the reviews, we’ve included tips on how to choose a fishing backpack.

Fishing Backpacks Comparison Chart

Our Picks
Best Overall Fishing Backpack
Best for Fly Fishing
Best with Rod Holders
Best for Surf Fishing
Best Waterproof
Best with Rain Cover
Best Sling Pack
Best Small Sized
Best With Numerous Compartments
Best Multi-Use Bag
Wild River by CLC WT3604
Wild River WT3604
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Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag Outdoor Shoulder Backpack
Piscifun Outdoor
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KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
KastKing Tackle
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KastKing Pond Hopper Fishing Sling Tackle Storage Bag
KastKing Pond Hopper
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Elkton Outdoors Rolling Fishing Tackle Box X-Large Waterproof Storage Bag Backpack
Elkton Outdoors Rolling
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Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
Piscifun Tackle
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Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Backpack Storage Bag
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SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack
SpiderWire Sling
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YVLEEN Fishing Tackle Backpack
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PLUSINNO Fishing Tackle Backpack Storage Bag
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Suitable forPliers, reels, tools and other small tackleFly fishingSaltwater fishingA day or two of fishingSaltwater fishingMulti-species angler who needs to carry a lot of gearSaltwater fishingA day or two of fishingFly fishingHiking and fly fishing
What We LikeThe Wild River by CLC WT3604 features an integrated light, comes with 8 storage compartments and has a self-retracting steel cable lanyard for clippers and small tackle.The Piscifun fishing tackle storage bag features rust-resistant zippers and buckle, has a light-reflecting design to help you stay safe in the dark and is water-resistant.The KastKing fishing tackle backpack comes at an affordable price. It is treated with a hydrophobic coating (and has an inner PVC liner) to prevent water intrusion.The KastKing Hopper Sling Bag is made out of a sturdy fabric, offers more storage options than you’d need on a weekend fishing trip and is available at an affordable asking price.The Elkton Outdoors Rolling Fishing Tackle Box is incredibly easy to carry, thanks to its telescopic handle and two heavy-duty wheels. Plus, the fact that it’s waterproof has also won this fishing bag plaudits.The Piscifun fishing tackle backpack is spacious and high quality yet affordable. It features rugged construction and offers enough storage compartments to hold most of your tackle.This Ghosthorn fishing tackle backpack is an incredibly budget-friendly option. Still it offers high-end features like an adjustable design, various storage options and high-density nylon construction.The SpiderWire Sling fishing backpack offers enough storage space to come in handy for a weekend fishing trip. Plus, it comes with a front tool holder to keep your hands free.This large-size fishing backpack offers loads of storage space. Its main compartment can hold up to 2 3700-size utility tackle boxes. It also offers plenty of hooks and loops and zippered pockets.This PLUSINNO fishing tackle backpack is made of a water-resistant fabric, offers storage options for gear small and large and has still managed to keep its asking price below-average.
ProsRemovable plier holder; integrated lighting; adjustableWater-resistant; durable zippers; customizable shoulder straps; convertibleWater-resistant; comfortable to put on; built-in rod holdersWater-resistant; large storage space; zippered bottle holderCan bear extended load; telescopic handle; removable traysExtended warranty; multiple storage compartments; durable constructionMulti-purpose; water-resistant; expandableVarious storage options; separate cooler section; doesn’t get toppled overMultiple pockets; heavy-duty zippers; durable buckle; rod holderHeavy-duty construction; loads of storage space; multi-purpose; budget-friendly
ConsZipper is susceptible to rustWater bottle holder is too smallCarry handle feels cheapFabric doesn’t feel sturdyExpensiveCan’t remove dividersNothing to keep the rod inside the rod holderZippers are cheapRuns smallLacks utility tray
MaterialThick fabric1000D high-density nylon420D rip-stop nylon420D rip-stop nylonThick fabric1200D NylonHigh-density nylonPolyester1000D nylon600D nylon
Number of Compartments813979185667
Rod HolderNoYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Water ProtectionWater-repellentWater-repellentWater-repellentWater-repellentWaterproofWater-repellentWater-repellentWater-repellentWater-repellentWater-repellent
Dimensions18.5 x 17 x 8.5"14.96 x 10.24 x 4.33"21.25 x 13.4 x 9.25"17.7 x 12.6 x 6"15.7 x 9.6 x 18.7"12.6 x 7.9 x 17.7"14.5 x 8.2 x 5.1"9.8 x 22.8 x 5.1"14.17 x 10.24 x 4.72"16.5 x 11.8 x 5.5"
Weight6.3 oz.
56.4 oz.3.1 oz.1.3 oz.11.8 oz.3.53 oz.1.9 oz.1.32 oz.2.2 oz.1.7 oz.

4 Tips for Buying Fishing Backpack

  1. Choose the right size
    Make sure your fishing backpack is big enough to store all your tackle. This means thinking about what you need to bring before you buy the bag. That, in turn, will depend on the type of type of fish you’re trying to hook and the gear you’ll need to do it.
  2. Choose waterproof backpack
    It might seem like a no-brainer, yet it’s surprising how many anglers overlook this feature – your fishing backpack must be waterproof. The market has a lot of options to offer, from nylon to polyester, but whatever you pick, make sure it’s robust and doesn’t let water through.
  3. Make sure it’s durable
    Durable, sturdy backpacks are priceless – you don’t want a backpack that will break out whilst you’re in the middle of nowhere. Look for reinforced, woven fabrics like nylon and polyester, and also make sure they feature double stitching, as it translates to hard-wearing seams.
  4. Make sure it’s comfortable
    Unlike your tackle box, which are made to stay in one place, fishing backpacks allow you to be mobile with your gear. It’s imperative then for the backpack to fit you properly, both at the shoulders and in length, as the last thing you need while you’re fishing is a backpack that restricts your movement.

Best Fishing Backpacks

1. Wild River by CLC WT3604

Wild River by CLC WT3604

✅ Has a removable plier holder
✅ Self-retracting steel cable lanyard
✅ Integrated LED light system
✅ Adjustable and padded shoulder straps

⛔ Saltwater may affect zipper

Outstanding Features:
The Wild River WT3604 features an integrated LED light system. Mounted at the back of this fishing tackle backpack, features three settings (high, medium, and green) and comes in incredibly handy if you fish at night, or when you intend to lure your first catch at dawn and the last at dusk.
This fishing tackle backpack is padded on the back and the spine, which means it isn’t going to wear on you. Ultra-wide shoulder straps help distribute its weight evenly across your shoulders and it’s also got a sternum strap to keep the shoulder straps from slipping off.
A molded sunglass holder at the top is padded from the inside to protect your eyewear. Next comes the work surface beneath the light. It’s gusseted on the sides to keep stuff from outside and offers enough space to hold all gear of a fly fisherman.

Storage Compartments & Pockets:
The Wild River WT3604 comes with 8 storage compartments and pockets. The biggest among them is the bottom compartment that can hold up to six 3600 size boxes. You also get 4 side pockets for your tackle, a top pocket to store your sunglasses so they won’t get broken and a massive upper compartment divided by a removable divider.

Design and Construction:
This fishing tackle backpack is built with thick material and strong stitching. It also features base pads to reduce wear and keep the bag clean and dry. Keep in mind, though, that its zippers may be affected by saltwater, even though they won’t let water through easily.

2. Piscifun Outdoor

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag Outdoor Shoulder Backpack

✅ Made of water-resistant fabrics
✅ Full-length SBS zippers
✅ Adjustable and detachable shoulder straps
✅ Can be converted into a handbag

⛔ Water bottle holder could have been larger

Outstanding Features:
The Piscifun Outdoor fishing tackle backpack is one of the sturdiest out there. It’s made with water-resistant nylon fabric, features full-length SBS zippers and an indestructible KAM buckle. The last two are top of the line and are capable of withstanding saltwater environments.
Both its left- and right-handed straps can be exchanged, adjusted, and detached. The main strap can be extended all the way up to 4’+, while the associated strap can be elongated to up to 3’. That’s why you can use this bag as a backpack, sling shoulder bag, chest bag, or even a hand bag.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
You get 13 storage compartments with this fishing tackle backpack. The main pocket features 3 compartments to let you organize your stuff. Three external zippered pockets are spacious enough to hold your valuables. There are also two pockets on the sides for water cup/bottle and tools.

Design and Construction:
The Piscifun fishing tackle storage bag is constructed of 1000D high-density nylon fabric and features a KAM buckle and SBS zippers. The former has made this bag water-resistant. The latter, meanwhile, are rust and corrosion-proof.
As for its design, a reflective sticker will help you stay safe when it’s dark out there by reflecting lights. A rear breathable mesh design plus a widened shoulder strap would allow you to stay comfortable while traveling with this backpack on your back.

3. KastKing Tackle

KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack

✅ Prevents water intrusion
✅ Has adjustable chest straps
✅ Comes with integrated rod holders
✅ Features a removable false bottom

⛔ Carry handle isn’t sturdy

Outstanding Features:
The KastKing tackle backpack features a hydrophobic coating that has made it water-resistant and ensures its contents remain bone dry. Its main storage compartment is big enough to store four large-size tackle boxes, keeping your fishing tools and fishing lure well-organized.
It will also keep your hands free with two side pockets for your rods. Adjustable bungee loops and straps give you everything you need to attach your fishing tackle to this backpack. Plus, thanks to its padded back pad and shoulder straps, you’d be able to easily carry your tackle.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This saltwater fishing bag comes with 9 storage compartments. Apart from the large main compartment for most of your gear, it features 2 side pockets, 2 front slash pockets, 1 sunglasses compartment, and 3 rubber-coated mesh pockets.

Design and Construction:
This extra-large backpack is made out of 420D rip-resistant nylon material. The material has been given water-repelling treatment which, together with the PVC layer on the inside, does a fine job of keeping moisture away from the bag’s inner contents.
What’s more, it features self-healing loop zippers that make sure that this backpack won’t be rendered useless by an accidental split zipper. Unfortunately, the carry handle is fragile and looks at if it’s only a matter of time before the seams holding it together from both ends would come off.

4. KastKing Pond Hopper

KastKing Pond Hopper Fishing Sling Tackle Storage Bag

✅ Is water-resistant
✅ Has an integrated rod holder
✅ Can hold two 3600 size tackle boxes
✅ Zippered bottle holder

⛔ Material could have been a little thicker

Outstanding Features:
The Kastking Pond Hopper sling bag has built-in loops on the front for your casting pliers, braids, scissors, etc. This makes the tools easy to access as well as saves space inside the backpack. Its main storage compartment can hold up to two 3600 size trays, one of which comes alongside the bag.
Both the side pockets feature zippers to securely hold a water bottle, rod, or combo. You can unzip the right side pocket, place the rod butt, and then secure it with the built-in adjustable bungee loop at the top of the bag. Plus, you can attach the sling to either side of the backpack as per your preference.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This sling backpack offers seven storage compartments. Two of them – the main pocket and the left side pocket – are secured with a double zipper. The rod holder on the right side has a single zipper, while a Velcro is protecting the front pocket.
The remaining two pockets are on the inner side of this bag’s main cover. Granted, they aren’t as big as the other ones, but these pockets are still ideal for your wallet or keys.

Design and Construction:
The KastKing Pond Hopper is made out of 420D rip-stop nylon. A hydrophobic coating on the outside and an inner PVC liner does enough to protect your gear from the elements. An ergonomically designed padded back pad and adjustable shoulder straps help reduce fatigue.

5. Elkton Outdoors Rolling

Elkton Outdoors Rolling Fishing Tackle Box X-Large Waterproof Storage Bag Backpack

✅ Can hold up to 26.5 lbs
✅ Retractable telescopic handle
✅ Comes with 5 removable tackle trays
✅ Has 4 rod holders (two on either side)

⛔ Pricey

Outstanding Features:
Elkton Outdoors Rolling backpack offers more storage space than any other in this review. Its main compartment can hold up to five 3600-size trays, at least one more than most other backpacks. Together with the three zippered pockets, the main compartment enables this backpack to hold up to 26.5 pounds.
Despite carrying so much weight, this bag is easy to carry, mainly because of its heavy-duty wheels and an extendable handle. However, if the surface beneath isn’t amenable to wheels, you can simply retract the handle and turn to the padded shoulder straps.
Four rod holders won’t only keep your hands free but will also keep your rods in excellent condition. An adjustable chest strap will help transfer the bag’s weight evenly across your back. And this bag comes with five transparent 3600 tackle trays at no extra cost to you.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This fishing bag comes with nine storage compartments. Its large upper compartment can be further subdivided into 2 to 3 sections based on your needs. The middle compartment has enough space to hold five 3600-size tackle trays that are included in the bag’s package.
Four PVC fishing rod holders (two on either side of the backpack) keep your hands free. And three additional zippered pockets – one inside the front cover, one on the back, one under the top cover – offer enough room for your lures, sinkers, hooks, leaders, etc.

Design and Construction:
This waterproof bag is made of thick fabric. It features metal zippers which, while not necessarily corrosion-proof, won’t be catching rust anytime soon. And while its wheels aren’t large-size, they are heavy-duty and won’t easily break down under this bag’s weight.

6. Piscifun Tackle

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

✅ Backed with one-year warranty
✅ Has 18 storage compartments
✅ Made from 1200D high-quality nylon
✅ Features SBS zippers and KAM buckle

⛔ Dividers aren’t removable

Outstanding Features:
The Piscifun tackle fishing tackle backpack features comfortable shoulder straps and a thick padded backing that make it easy to carry. Its main compartment has a non-adjustable divider to give you two equally divided rooms for more organized storage.
Its SBS zippers are saltwater- and rust-resistant and the bag’s durable KAM buckle won’t give way regardless of how roughly you treat it. Plus, its bottom is breathable mesh, allowing air in and out of the backpack to keep the inner humidity at a minimum.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This salt water backpack comes with 18 storage compartments in total. Among them, 11 are in the main storage space, divided by zippers. The rest include 3 side pockets, a top sunglasses holder, a top-left retractable bottle pocket, and two front-facing small-size pockets.

Design and Construction:
The Piscifun tackle fishing backpack is made from 1200D high-density nylon. It also features superior stitching, SBS double zippers, KAM buckle, and rubber feet. This construction is the reason why it can hold so much heavy load, and it also makes it 20% more water-resistant than similar fishing backpacks.

7. Ghosthorn

Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Backpack Storage Bag

✅ Multi-use design
✅ Water-resistant and durable
✅ Expandable water bottle pocket
✅ Abrasion-resistant zipper

⛔ Black color

Outstanding Features:
Everything about the Ghosthorn bag except its color (which is black and makes it difficult to notice when it’s dark out there) is outstanding. It is spacious enough to keep 1 3600 tackle box, lures, pliers, wallet, and phone without getting too bulky.
The side pockets might not be transparent but their excellent design allows you to easily retrieve your gear while fishing. The side pockets are big enough for small tools, water bottle, fishing license, and keys. There also clip buckles to hold your raincoat, hat, jackets, and shirt.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
You get 1 main pocket, two side pockets, one slanted pocket at the back, and one front pocket with this fishing backpack. Both the slanted back pocket and the front pocket can hold one small-size utility tray, each. The main and side pockets’ capacity is already mentioned.

Design and Construction:
This fishing backpack comprises high-density nylon construction. A 10.6 x 7.8 inch mesh back panel imparts it with a breathable design. Padded shoulder straps, which can be detached, let you easily change its design from a backpack to a chest bag, sling shoulder bag, and traveling bag.

8. SpiderWire Sling

SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack

✅ Lots of storage options
✅ Features a cooler compartment
✅ Flat bottom minimizes risk of toppling over
✅ Backed by a lifetime guarantee

⛔ Cheap zippers

Outstanding Features:
SpiderWire Sling tackle backpack comes with a middle cooler compartment that keeps your drinks and baits fresh and cold. Its top compartment is excellent for valuables and other gear and the bottom compartment can hold three medium-size tackle boxes (1 included in the package).
It also comes with lots of zippered pockets for smaller fishing tackle, as well as fishing rod carriers, fishing tool holders, and a molded sunglasses case. You can access its main compartment from the top and bottom. Adjustable bands on both sides ensure your stuff remains secure.
On top of everything else, this backpack is comfortable to hold. The waist and chest straps offer even weight distribution, so you can sling it over your shoulder and go about on a hike without back pain or muscle discomfort. Plus, having a flat bottom means it won’t topple over when placed on the ground.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This sling fishing backpack offers six storage compartments. The biggest among them is the central compartment, capable of holding three middle-size tackle boxes. It also includes a front organizer pocket, two additional zippered pockets, 1 sunglasses pocket with fleece lining, and a tool holder.

Design and Construction:
The SpiderWire Sling fishing backpack is 100% polyester. Its solo strap features enough padding to prevent any discomfort. That’s where the good news ends. None of its multiple zippers are metal – they’re all plastic and looks susceptible to catching rust if exposed to saltwater.


YVLEEN Fishing Tackle Backpack

✅ Multiple storage options
✅ Anti-rust SBS zippers
✅ Durable KAM buckle
✅ Integrated rod holder

⛔ Smaller than it looks

Outstanding Features:
Nothing that will go into the YVLEEN backpack will come out without your permission. Its anti-rust SBS two-way zippers, super-sturdy KAM buckle, and durable triangle elastic fasteners will make sure of that. Together with the 1000D nylon fabric, they have made this bag water-resistant, too.
The waffle mesh air cushion fabric on the back has breathable, sweat-proof functions to ensure your comfort and prevent humidity from building up inside the bag. And since this bag has detachable straps, you can convert it into a backpack, tackle box, tackle bag etc.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
You get six storage options with this fishing backpack. They include a water bottle pocket (w/ an elastic cord), specialized fish gripper, and a specialized fishing rod holder. The main compartment is capable of holding two 3700-size utility tackle boxes, and the two buckles on the bag’s left side will let you secure your fishing rod, thereby freeing up your hands.

Design and Construction:
The YVLEEN fishing tackle backpack comprises 1000D nylon construction. Heavy-duty SBS nylon zippers and KAM buckle further add to this bag’s durability. Its detachable, padded straps let you play with this backpack’s design and convert it into a backpack, sling bag, handbag, etc.


PLUSINNO Fishing Tackle Backpack Storage Bag

✅ Durable and rugged construction
✅ Ample storage space for tackle
✅ Multi-purpose for hiking, camping and fishing
✅ Available at a budget-friendly price

⛔ Doesn’t come with utility tray

Outstanding Features:
The PLUSINNO fishing tackle backpack combines comfort and functionality. Its comfort comes from the fact that you can quickly change it to a sling shoulder, and vice versa, due to its left/right exchangeable and adjustable shoulder straps. You can also convert it into a chest bag, handbag, etc.
Next comes functionality. This fishing backpack is big enough to store all your tackle, gear, wallet, keys, phones and any other accessories that are with you in the outdoors. Two side pockets can hold a water bottle and a fishing rod, too.

Storage Compartments and Pockets:
This fishing backpack has 2 smaller compartments within the main storage compartment. It has 3 external zippered pockets. The left and right side pockets are for water bottle/cup and rod storage. The bag also features a buckle for holding fishing pliers. It also has hidden pockets at the bottom for more tools. Plus, there are detachable braided straps to secure the fishing rod.

Design and Construction:
This fishing tackle bag is made from water-resistant 600D nylon fabric. Its construction features extra-firm stitching to stand up to different types of uses and fishing styles. Full-length double zippers and abrasion-resistant buckle further add to this model’s durability.

Fishing Backpack Buying Guide

best fishing backpack
It’s an exciting time! You have your reel, rod, and all the accessories. Now you need to carry them around. Finding a great backpack that fits all your needs isn’t as daunting as you think. With some pre-decision making sorted out you can figure out what you want and don’t want in a backpack quickly enough.

Firstly, why do you need a fishing backpack anyway? Any successful fishing trip will require you to have all the necessary tools. Ask any angler and they will tell you that you need A LOT of tools. From Bait to lures to extra reels. The list goes on and the more you fish the more you will find that you need to make your expedition a success with extra things.

Undeniable Reasons to Have a Fishing Backpack

Some of the other reasons fishing backpacks are essential for any serious angler are:

  • It enhances your flexibility.
  • Increases your range of motion- freeing you up to turn, bend or squat if needed.
  • If you go on a fishing trip for a few days, you have a central, organized place to keep your important tools- much like hunting, if you don’t have the tools you won’t be successful.
  • Backpacks should be waterproof- if you don’t have a place where you can store your tools, that is water-resistant, well you can imagine what can happen. You won’t be impressed. Especially after the first water-related accident.
  • Many fishing backpacks have a large compartment for tackle box storage. It’s not convenient to carry a box around with you by hand.

Components of a Fishing Backpack Usually Consist of

  • LED light – So you can see in the dark or when lighting conditions are dim.
  • Sunglasses hardened pocket on the top – So that you have a place to put your sunglasses and they won’t get broken.
  • A flip-out pocket that has a clear waterproof film – Where you can stick your fishing licenses, permits, and cell phone.
  • Retractable lanyard – For your easy to reach and put back keys, tools, and equipment
  • Retractable workplace – Fold-out parts of the backpack that can be utilized and are a flat service to work on.
  • Fishing rod holders – 2 pockets at the side that can hold fishing rods while you get to your fishing destination.
  • Large storage area – Usually at the base of the backpack there is a large area where you can put lots of gear, tackle box in, etc.

Top 6 Factors to Consider When Buying a Fishing Backpack

fishing tackle backpack reviewsIn a general sense, good fishing backpacks should be designed to support a reel, rods, baits, or lures. There are a lot of models and designs out there. So, what should you be looking for in a great, versatile backpack?

There are a few critical elements that are a tell-tale sign that you have found yourself a bag that will be suitable for your needs. Let’s take a quick look at features that should certainly stand out!

  1. Size and Storage:

    Picking the appropriate size for your fishing needs is important. First assess what you will be bringing, what fish you will be trying to catch, and what tools that require. It may be wise to start with a bigger bag to give yourself some wiggle room, but added size is added weight. You might feel that weight after a while and your neck and back will not be as forgiving as you think.

    • Your backpack should have more than enough room to house all your gear and tools.
    • Make sure your backpack comes with lots of options for a variety of compartments, side pockets, and pouches. Many of the better-designed backpacks come with convenient side pockets that make reaching for tools easy as you are mid-cast and need things fast.
  2. Shoulder straps that are well designed:

    The shoulder straps on your fishing backpack should be well constructed with an emphasis on ergonomics and the proper weight-bearing ratio

    • As a rule, the wider the strap placement is on your shoulders, the better the weight distribution will be.
    • Avoid narrow straps on a backpack- they will cause lower back pain because of most of the weight is carried in that area.
    • Make sure the straps and backing have a meshed material- because this will allow you to be more comfortable and not sweat as much.
  3. Weather resistance/Waterproof:

    All different backpacks with different materials, from nylon to polyester, can be treated to be water-resistant.

    • Look for a backpack that is built with strong materials that offer the most waterproofing possible, internally and externally.
    • Waterproofed backpacks also offer stain resistance from mud and other dirty things.
    • They don’t hold in the musky smell that untreated bags have. You will appreciate this after the first trip is made.
    • Weatherproof bags also will protect the investment you have made in all the tools and gears (not to mention your delicious sandwiches and snacks). It’s like having anti-rust treatment on your car. Just buy it.
  4. Comfort and Convenience:

    These two categories are just as important as size and weatherproofing.

    • You want to get a backpack that is extremely comfortable with the right amount of padding at the back and with padded shoulder straps- because you will be out on the water for long stretches of time and you will be fatigued without the appropriate level of ergonomic design.
    • Even weight distribution is a must- you don’t want to get back and neck issues/strains using the wrong pack.
    • You need a backpack that provides the right amount of support but with not a lot of extra bulk.
    • Versatility is important in your fishing backpack. You want a bag that will give you options with compartments, pouches, extra pockets, and dividers inside the bag to make storing different tools a breeze. You will save yourself a lot of time looking through a bigger bag when you know exactly where everything is and is presented to you immediately.
    • Look for easy to unzip bags with strong, weather-resistant zippers.
    • Many manufacturers offer backpacks that seem like“swiss army knives”- with LED lights, folding trays, and lay flat designs. Look for those. You will appreciate the options as you fish through the different seasons and times of the day.
    • One additional feature to watch for when buying your backpack is a mesh backing and mesh backing on the shoulder pads because this will allow your body to “breathe” better with the backpack being on all day and furthermore reduces annoying, uncomfortable sweating. No one wants that.
  5. Construction/Design:

    Durability and strength of materials are very important. You don’t want a bag that will break on you halfway through a trip or shortly after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

    • Look for resilient designs with woven, reinforced fibers such as nylons and strong polyesters.
    • You will have sharp and pointy items in your backpack, therefore, make sure it has a strong lining infernally as well to prevent things from damaging the bag.
    • Look for bags with poly or molded zippers for anti-corrosive protection.
    • Stitching on a bag should be double or even triple stitched to provide the best protection from the seams bursting open from all the gear you will put in it.
    • Look for smartly designed bags with a thoughtful purpose behind the construction- easily reachable pockets? Check. Individual compartments inside the bag? Check. Different manufacturers have different thoughts on what the backpack should be doing for you. Look to buy one that has really put a fine touch on the details. It will make the fishing experience that much better for you.
  6. Compartment for cooling:

    Not the first thing you think about when looking for a fishing backpack. But, think about it. You need to keep your bait from rotting from being out all day, you also need to keep your snacks and food cool and avoid spoilage during the long days out on the water you no doubt will be having. It’s not something you should overlook as you don’t want to be carrying a separate cooler with you all around your fishing trip.

    • Get a bag with a large, sealed compartment or removable lightweight cooler with enough space to keep your food safe and bait fresh.
    • Look for a design with 2 separate chambers. You certainly don’t want your bait mixing with your food.

Waterproof Fishing Backpack Buying Tips

waterproof fishing backpackWaterproofing is certainly critical in a fishing backpack. One part of the purpose of a fishing backpack is to make carrying around all your gear easier and to put less strain on your body. The other purpose is to protect your valuable equipment from the harsh elements.

The main element anglers like yourself deal with is water. Water will rust, corrode, and damage your stuff, therefore you need to find a backpack that will protect all of it.

A List of the Most Important Waterproof Fishing Backpack Features

Here are the most noteworthy factors to look out for when sourcing out your next fishing backpack.

  • Look for a strong, water-resistant treated fabric- like polyester or reinforced nylon. The more braiding in the nylon the better
  • Higher quality fishing backpacks offer additional water resistance in the inner lining of the bags. This will help give you even more protection in case any water does get in.
  • Waterproof zippers. Look for reinforced zippers made with anti-rust materials (think stainless steel) that are strong and not flimsy.
  • Manufacturers that make waterproof backpacks will have submersion test ratings on the labeling. Such as, “2-minute submersion guarantee “
  • Look for a backpack that has smart pocket locations and a well thought out design- less water will get into your backpack if you don’t have to open more pockets than you should to get your stuff. Think large side pockets for easy retrieval of reels, etc. in contrast to an inner compartment where you need to unzip your backpack and reach in.
  • High-quality bags that will last you more than one season will have a thick, strong material with a reinforced bottom and sturdy, water-resistant pegs acting as “legs”. You want to be able to put your backpack down and make sure that is that it doesn’t get wet or anything else. Less exposure the better.

Benefits of Rod Holders on Fishing Backpacks

Another component to a fishing backpack that makes a big difference in the experience when lugging around all your gear, are rod holders. They free up your hands so that you don’t have to hold the rod while you are hiking to the location where you will be fishing.

Some notes about them are as follows:

  • Most fishing backpacks will have least 2-rod holders on each side of the pack.
  • Perfect if you are using multiple poles to fish with- consequently you can put a few in the rod holders and decide which one to use when you get to the water source.
  • Designed usually with a strong mesh material to last.


  1. Q: What to Put in a Fishing Backpack?
    Good question! Everything and anything is the answer. Everything that you will need on your next fishing trip. Let’s list out the common things anglers put in their fishing backpack:

    • Tackle box – All your extra stuff like lures, flies, extra lines, sinkers, and different hooks, etc.
    • Reels – Extra reels so that you have some variety and choice in case you want to switch fishing methods mid-way through your day.
    • Rods – You can carry extra rods with you to use with those extra reels. Give yourself as many options as possible.
    • Documents – Carry safety around water and dirt, your fishing permits, ID, cell phone and license.
    • Bait – Store your bait to catch those big fish. Look for a fishing backpack that has a cooler compartment so you don’t end up with rotted bait (and dealing with the smell and clean up).
    • Food/Snacks – Don’t forget your sandwiches and snacks! The cooling compartment will come in handy for those. Plus, your drinks.
    • Accessories – Don’t forget your sunglasses. That blazing sun will do a number on your eyes. Sunblock, extra money in case you need to pay for something on site. Extra small towels for cleaning up. Also, a small first aid kit will go a long way.

    You really can put anything you want in your new fishing backpack. Once you get the fundamentals out of the way (tacklebox, reels, rods, bait, documents) you can certainly personalize the bag and put whatever you need for your trip. If this is your first trip, you will have a better idea on your next trip as to what you need to make sure you have going forward.

  2. Q: Do I really need a fishing backpack? Can’t I just use my normal one?
    A: Yes, you do and no you certainly cannot. A regular backpack will not be able to withstand the pressures from a regular fishing excursion.
    Everything from the water ruining your equipment to the snares and extra hooks destroying and poking holes through the regular fabrics of a normal backpack. You need a backpack suitable for fishing and for it to be reinforced.
    Also, you will appreciate a backpack specifically designed for what anglers do all day. Stand and sit. You need an ergonomically design backpack that is structured with the right shoulder straps and torso support, therefore, you won’t be in pain and cause yourself an injury. Here are some things that a fishing backpack offers and a regular backpack wouldn’t.

    • A special area designed for tackle boxes and bait- usually in the base of the backpack.
    • Fishing rod holders- Special holders for extra rods you might need.
    • Workplace area- many of the backpacks feature a great fold-out tray that allows you to have a handy workbench for your tools and organizing yourself.
    • Weather protected area for your sensitive fishing-related documents, cell phones, and licenses.
    • Many large-sized pockets that are easily accessed when reaching back to pull things out.
    • Waterproofing- many regular backpacks don’t have this. It’s a critical feature that will prevent your fishing gear from being ruined and even more, your fishing trip from being spoiled.
  3. Q: What should I be looking for in a fishing backpack?
    A: Above all, you want a backpack that is well built with strong materials like nylon, weather-resistant, and has a smart design to it. Lots of large pockets for gear and a well thought out an internal organizational system.
  4. Q: What do I even put in this backpack?
    A: Think basics first- Lures, extra hooks, reels, rods, tackle box, bait, and important documents. Once you have the basics covered, you can put in anything else you want. Sunglasses, sunblock, snacks, food, water, towels. You will know what you have forgotten to include after your first trip.
    View our buying guide to find the tips on choosing a tackle box and fishing sunglasses reviews.

Wrap Up

So, what makes the best fishing backpack? The short answer is one that suits your needs and protects your goods. Going through fishing tackle backpack reviews will give you a good idea as to what you need to look out for when purchasing a new backpack. Certainly, look for weather-resistant and strong materials such as reinforced braided nylon and many pockets to hold stuff in.

A fishing backpack should be an essential part of your angling experience. You will need it for many reasons which include, waterproofed environment to store your equipment during trips, an ergonomic, specially designed accessory what will make sure you are not causing strain on your back and neck, and structured to carry everything you need specifically for your fishing.

Taking the time to figure out what you will need is a good idea and above all will save you from any disappointment on your next, great fishing trip.

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