A backpack is one of the most essential pieces of equipment for any fisherman. Whether you need the best fly fishing backpack or bag for ice fishing, I can help.
Below, I will go into detail about my top picks for the best fishing backpacks as well as a quick guide after the chart of what you want to look out for when making your purchase.
Keep reading to learn how to choose the best fishing backpack and explore my list of the top options.
The Best Fishing Backpacks
- Easy access to fishing tools and gear
- Extremely durable and well designed
- Main compartment size is 11.8 * 8.3 * 9 inches
- Water-resistant fabrics to keep your belongings dry
- Retractable bottle pocket to accommodate large water bottles
Best for Saltwater Fishing
- Protective coating stops corrosion
- Rubber pockets for added durability
- Main compartment size in 21.25 * 13.4 * 9.25 inches
- Offers space for four 3600 tackle boxes plus gear
- Hydrophobic-coated nylon for extreme water resistance and protection against salt damage
How to Choose the Best Fishing Backpack
Not every fisherman has the same needs in a backpack. Luckily there are countless different backpack types and styles available for you to choose from. But how do you choose the right one for your needs? Here are some of the most important factors I consider when purchasing a new fishing backpack.
Some of the most common factors you should research while looking for a new fishing bag include function, size, comfort, ease of use, durability, and cost.
What Type of Fishing Is Your Specialty?
Different types of fishing need unique functionality out of their backpack. For example, fly fishermen need separate gear than baitcasters do. As such, specific packs will work better for you depending on which type of fisherman you are.
For example, a fly fisherman will need instant access to new flies even while standing in the middle of a river. Meanwhile, an ice fisherman might need added space for warm clothing or a hot thermos of coffee.
You should always consider what type of fishing is your specialty before purchasing a bag. Of course, there are fishing backpacks that will work for any type of fishing as well.
Size, Weight, and Comfort of Your Backpack
Are you planning a multi-day fishing excursion? You’ll need a bigger bag. Fishermen who have a local spot they visit regularly may need a much smaller and convenient backpack.
If you’re like me, you bring everything you can while fishing. I usually need space for all my fishing gear, extra clothes, rain gear, snacks, water, cell phone, and more when fishing. Make sure your fishing bag has room for all your necessities.
While bigger bags can hold more stuff, all that gear adds weight. You should always consider how much weight you can carry and for how long before purchasing a bag. A heavy backpack is no good if you can’t carry it to your fishing hole.
Luckily, many manufacturers add comfort features to their bags. From breathable mesh backs to reinforced shoulder straps, you can find a bag that will be comfortable and able to carry all your daily fishing needs.
Find a Fishing Backpack That Is Easy to Use
All the storage in the world is no good if you can’t easily access it. Many of the bags listed below feature plenty of space for all your gear and give you instant access to it as well.
Some cool features you should look for in a fishing backpack include rod holders, bungee hooks, reinforced loops, plier holders, water bottle pouches, fly storage, and sunglass storage space. The best fishing backpacks will give you easy and instant access to your most-used tools.
A well-organized backpack also makes it easier to use. Depending on your lures and tackle, you should find a pack that holds 3-4 lure boxes. This allows you to be organized and ready for when the fish are biting.
Water-Resistance Is Extremely Important
While fishing, it is inevitable that your bag will get wet. Owning a water-resistant bag will help ensure your gear is safe and your clothing is dry. If you take expensive electronics with you fishing, you should make a water-resistant bag a high priority. From your cell phone to GPS trackers, no one wants their electronics to get wet.
Most fishing backpacks are water-resistant, but you can also find bags with added protection. Look for hydrophobic coatings, PVC liners, rubber exteriors, and outer rain covers. These features can keep your essentials safe while fishing. Whether you accidentally drop your bag in the river or it starts raining, your bag will be safe.
Don’t Forget About Durability When Purchasing a Fishing Backpack
No one wants a backpack that will fall apart after a few uses. Durability should be a significant factor when choosing a bag for any fishing trip.
I’m pretty rough on my backpacks. This is why I always look for a bag that is well-designed and well-made. Some of the best features include reinforced straps, ripstop nylon materials, and saltwater corrosion protection.
Do You Need Any Specialty Features While Fishing?
Modern fishing backpacks offer more than just storage space. Whether you fish late at night or want to stay hydrated while fishing, you can find plenty of unique fishing backpacks out there.
LED lighted backpacks will help you see your lures at night. Hydration backpacks let you drink water without leaving your fishing spot. Backpack doors can turn into a workspace to make your day easier. Removable trays and false bottoms can transform your fishing backpack into your daily backpack giving the bag excellent versatility.
You Don’t Have to Spend a Fortune on a Fishing Backpack
As you’ll see below, a great fishing backpack doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. You should be able to find a bag that can hold your rod, fishing reels, and gear that is within your price range. With enough research, you should have no problem finding a quality fishing backpack that meets your needs and budget.
8 of My Top Picks for the Best Fishing Backpacks
Finding the perfect fishing backpack takes time to research. Luckily, I’ve done plenty of research already, and here are my choices for the best fishing backpacks available.
As an avid fisherman, I’ve tested many different fishing backpacks over the years. I find I always keep coming back to my trusty Piscifun fishing tackle storage bag. While compact, the bag offers plenty of storage space, is durable, and is comfortable to wear for extended fishing trips.
The single-strap sling design of this pack makes it easy to take off or to adjust while casting. Two detachable straps can be set for left or right-shoulder use, making the design versatile as well. This design lets you wear the pack as a shoulder sling, backpack, handbag, chest bag, or traveling bag.
Piscifun outdid themselves with this bag. Overall, this is the best fishing tackle backpack I’ve used.
- External pockets for access to essential gear
- Space for two fishing rods with two included rod belts
- Retractable bottle pocket to accommodate large water bottles
- Water-resistant fabrics
- Comfortable and breathable
- Adjustable straps for a variety of configurations
- 3 compartments offer plenty of storage space for your fishing gear and supplies
- Smaller than most bags
- May want a larger bag for longer trips
Do you have trouble organizing for a fishing trip? This bag can solve your problem. With a vast interior and 4 included tackle boxes, you’ll have plenty of room for all your gear in this backpack from Piscifun.
Built to last, this bag is crafted from 1200D high-density nylon fabric, KAM buckles, and SBS zippers. This ensures the bag is durable and provides ample water resistance to keep your supplies safe and dry.
While large, this bag is surprisingly comfortable. It uses thick straps and a breathable mesh back to let you fish all day long in comfort.
- High-density nylon fabrics for water resistance
- Eleven interior compartments
- 4 tackle boxes included
- Adjustable main bag to form one large or two smaller compartments
- Thick padding and breathable fabrics
- A hard-molded sunglasses case
- Rubber feet protect the bag from water and dirt
- Protective rain cover included
- Small top opening
- May be difficult to get in and out of the bag
Whether fishing or going to class, this bag offers impressive versatility for any owner. Available in two sizes, Ghosthorn has designed an innovative backpack that can be worn in a variety of ways. Whether you prefer sling, chest bag, handbag, or traditional backpack style, you can quickly adjust the straps to match your chosen bag design.
Ghosthorn prides itself on delivering durable bags that offer excellent comfort. This bag is no exception. Padded shoulder straps make this backpack comfortable when filled.
The large interior has space for 3700 tackle box size and all your personal belongings. This modular lightweight load-carrying equipment (MOLLE) puts all your essential gear within reach. You will have instant access to piers, fishing licenses, knives, and more while wearing this pack.
- Two available sizes
- Durable and ergonomic two-way zippers
- Seamless stitching and water-resistant materials
- Mesh back for breathable comfort and coolness
- Expandable water bottle pouch
- Built-in rod holders
- MOLLE design gives instant access to knives, keys, flashlights, pliers, and more
- Relatively small bag
- Only ideal for short trips
This fishing backpack from Blisswill will keep you comfortable and well-supplied all day long while fishing. The sling-styling of this bag is exceptionally comfortable and allows for easy access to all your fishing gear.
The sling crossbody style can be worn as a backpack, front bag, or side bag, giving you plenty of comfortable options while out on the water. Breathable and comfortable, you’ll have no problem performing short hikes to get to your favorite fishing spot with this bag from Blisswill.
It also offers ample storage space and can easily fit two 3600 series tackle boxes and all your daily fishing needs. There are plenty of easy-access pockets, D-rings, and straps that will give you instant access to your important gear and fishing poles as well.
- Reinforced buckles, zippers, and straps for durability
- The water-resistant 1000D nylon fabric
- Sling-styling for comfort and ease of use
- Available in four colors, including army green, black, camouflage, and khaki
- Sling packs place added weight on one shoulder
- May be uncomfortable for some people
How often do you spend the day fly fishing and forget to drink water? It can be a nuisance to have to walk back to shore to grab a drink. This bag from Anglatech makes it easy to stay hydrated while fishing.
The included BPA-free water bladder lets you bring fresh water wherever you fish. The easy access water nozzle gives you instant access to water to keep you hydrated all day long.
Also included in this bag is everything you’ll need to make fly fishing easier. From front-pouch fly storage to a new and improved forceps holder, you’ll have everything you need right at your fingertips.
- Expandable storage space
- 1.5-liter hydration pack
- Adjustable and breathable straps for comfort
- Ample space for fly rod, net, and other fly fishing gear
- Reinforced seams, pockets, and loops
- May become hot in the summer heat
- If pack becomes hot, hydration pack also becomes too hot
If you do a lot of saltwater fishing like me, consider investing in this bag from KastKing.As the best waterproof fishing backpack on this list, this pack features specialty PVC linings, 420D nylon materials, and a hydrophobic coating that prevents water and salt damage to your important gear.
KastKing considered everything when designing this bag. There are plenty of bungee loops, D-rings, pockets, and more that will grant you easy access to your gear while fishing. All your most important items are within your arm’s reach while wearing this backpack.
As one of the larger bags on the list, you have space for 4 3600 tackle boxes, 2 rods, and more. The false bottom can be removed from the back and give you one large compartment giving you even more room in the pack. All this space makes KastKing the best fishing backpack with rod holders on this list.
I also found this bag to be incredibly comfortable, even on longer hikes. It has an ergonomic design, reinforced straps, and mesh back that kept me comfy and cool while hiking to my local fishing spots.
- 420D nylon with hydrophobic coating that resists salt and water damage
- Fits four 3600 tackle boxes and day gear
- Rod and tool storage for easy access
- Fleece-lined compartment to keep sunglasses secure
- Rubber-coated pockets offer protection for your most crucial gear
- Zipper design may makes it difficult to access the bag’s interior quickly
This thing is enormous. If you are ever worried about not having the right lure for the job, you should consider this bag. As the largest bag on the list, you can carry all the lures and gear you’ll ever need to go fishing.
The bag includes five 3650 tackle boxes. This should be more than enough tackle for you, your friends, and your family. Recon also designed this bag to make it easy to get to your gear. The bag features front pockets and trapdoor access to your tackle boxes.
The wheels on this bag make it easy to navigate and carry all your gear. This makes the bag ideal for vacations. While it may not be small enough for a carry-on, the Recon recon rolling fishing bag can be an excellent bag for your next flight.
I also found the rolling feature to work well even on uneven terrain. Of course, if you’re carrying it through sand or on rocky hiking trails, you will have an easier time wearing the pack instead of rolling it on its wheels. But it’s still worth noting that this wheeled backpack is up to the challenge of accompanying you to any terrain.
- Rolling wheels
- The nylon-coated and corrosion-resistant
- Ideal for fresh or saltwater use
- 12-month guarantee
- Additional rain protective cover
- Can be worn as a backpack or shoulder strap for comfort
- Large and cumbersome
- Could weigh a lot once fully packed
Any expert fisherman knows early morning or after dusk can be great times to catch fish. Fishing at night can also be beneficial. Unfortunately, fishing in the dark makes finding the right lure or piece of gear difficult. That’s where this bag from Wild River comes in.
The interior of this bag features a set of LEDs that will illuminate your bag and make finding the right lure easy. Combined with an innovative front-pocket work surface, fishing at night has never been easier.
Other standout features of the Tackle Tek Nomad Backpack include a removable plier holder, self-retracting steel cables, large adjustable shoulder straps, and plenty of pockets. There are also bungee loops, velcro straps, and other quick-access compartments on this bag.
- LED lights illuminate fishing tackle and gear
- Mounted sunglasses holder
- Room for six 3600-series or four 3500-series tackle trays
- Includes protective rain cover
- Plenty of bungee hooks, velcro, and pockets
- USB charging-only for light
- No way to carry traditional batteries to recharge the light
So, What’s the Best Fishing Backpack?
If you are looking for an overall fishing backpack that will meet the needs of the most experienced fisherman, I strongly encourage you to check out the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Storage Bag. It’s my overall pick for the best fishing backpack. This bag has all the space you’ll need for any day trip. It’s also incredibly durable and should last you years.
I hope this article provided the information you need to buy your next fishing backpack. Now, get out there and start catching some fish.