Fishing is one of those sports/pastimes/hobbies that can require a lot of stuff – especially for dedicated, diehard enthusiasts.
Tackle, bait, fishing rods, pocket knife, water bottle, insect repellent, rain jacket, sunscreen, change of clothes…the list can be seemingly endless of practical and useful fishing gear you might need to take with you on your fishing trips.
Not to mention a packed lunch and a cold beer or three.
So, you need some decent fishing tackle storage to transport it all, and that’s where the 12 best fishing backpacks of 2023 come in.
Read on to discover the right gear to help you stay organized on your next fishing trip, and have the best day on the water possible.
A buyer’s guide and FAQ section will follow.
Table of Contents
- At a Glance – Features of the Best Backpacks for Fishing
- The 12 Best Fishing Backpacks 2023
- Plano A-Series Premium Tackle Bag
- Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Flambeau Portage Backpack
- Blisswill Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Simms Flyweight Fishing Backpack
- Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Aventik Fishing Chest Pack Bag
- KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Shimano Blackmoon Fishing Backpack
- The X-Large Recon Rolling Fishing Backpack
- Wild River Nomad Tackle Backpack
- How to Choose the Right Fishing Backpack for You
- Do I need a fishing backpack?
- Who should buy a fishing backpack?
- Which fishing backpack type should I get?
- What to put in a fishing backpack?
- What is the best fishing backpack?
- What is the best tackle box?
- What makes a fishing backpack better than a regular one?
- Can I only use my fishing backpack for fishing?
Disclosure: At BonfireBob, we recommend products based on unbiased research, however, BonfireBob.com is reader-supported and as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases if you shop through the links on this page. For more information, see disclosure here.
At a Glance – Features of the Best Backpacks for Fishing
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for when reading the reviews, then it might be a complete waste of time!
With that in mind, here’s a run-down of the most important features and factors you need to consider when in the market for a new fishing backpack:
- Size and weight – Consider how much gear you want to carry – and how long you’re fishing for.
- Pockets and compartments – Practical organization is important.
- Materials – How durable is the bag – what’s it made from?
- Weatherproofing – remember, waterproof and water-resistant are two different things.
- Shoulder straps/padding – for those long treks to a fishing spot – comfort is king.
- Color and design – Hey, it matters to some people, looking cool is the new cool.
- Extra features – some products come with all the bells and whistles – quite literally.
- Cost – budget is always a factor – and the very best fishing backpacks can get pricey.
Don’t forget to include your own personal preferences when choosing a new backpack for fishing, as what’s right for me might not necessarily be right for you.
Regardless, I’ve put together a list of my personal top three fishing backpack picks. Take a look below, and see if you agree with me.
First up is the super-stylish range of Plano A-Series tackle bags. Offering an extensive line of designs, we’re interested in the backpack version, and boy is it a thing of beauty.
Five Plano 3600 tackle boxes are included, and with heavy-duty hardware, extra storage, and comfortable straps all wrapped up in an attractive package – this is a stunning and practical fishing backpack that would make the perfect gift.
Next up, it’s hard to overlook the efficient Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack, particularly as it’s garnered so many glowing reviews.
Absolutely jam-packed with useful pockets and features, it’s a great choice for when you’re carrying a lot of extra gear and tackle. It even features a dedicated rain cover for when the clouds open.
Finally, I’ve gone for the Flambeau Outdoors Portage Backpack, which is built to last, also highly rated, and comes with a nifty top-loading tackle staging area for quick access to your most useful gear.
But there are plenty more options out there, and I’m sure the rest of the review will have something that’s perfect for your needs.
So, let’s dive right in!
The 12 Best Fishing Backpacks 2023
Plano A-Series Premium Tackle Bag
As far as fishing tackle boxes go, Plano needs little introduction when it comes to premium quality products.
They have been innovating your fishing gear since 1952, after all.
This bag is a super-stylish inclusion to their impressive range, with a smart, vintage look and feel.
It includes five utility boxes, and features three outer adjustable snap closure pockets, and dual side lash tab attachments that allow you to easily access essentials – such as your phone, keys, or sunglasses.
Padded shoulder straps and a breathable back ensure comfortable use all day long, while the internal divider keeps things separate and organized in this versatile tackle backpack that’s some of the best fishing gear around.
- Name to trust.
- Attractive design.
- Heavy-duty hardware.
- Tough and durable construction.
- Choice of bags in the full range.
- Great price point.
- None apparent.
Designers of the best-selling tackle boxes in the world, Plano have reinvented the wheel with their innovation down the years, and this fishing backpack is part of that legacy. And it’s a simply gorgeous tackle bag to look at, adding style to practicality.
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
You have to go a long way to find a more popular fishing tackle backpack than this effort by Piscifun – easily the most highly rated of the products in this review.
That’s probably because it’s a giant, extra-large bag that offers plenty of storage space, is packed with useful features, and smacks of quality throughout.
Made with premium materials, its superior water-resistant 1200D high density nylon fabric, paired with durable KAM buckle and SBS zippers, ensures it will take a beating and is built to last.
It comes with four tackle trays, and that handy hard-case sunglasses holder on the top. A Piscifun tackle bag is always a solid choice.
- Ergonomic padded back design.
- Movable internal clapboard.
- Protective rain cover.
- Comfortable shoulder straps.
- Rubber feet.
- Reflective safety strip.
- No rod holders.
- Fixed compartment dividers.
Piscifun fishing tackle bags are always well received, and there are more compartments here than you can shake a fishing rod at. Given what you get here for the price, this could well be the best fishing tackle backpack on the market.
Flambeau Portage Backpack
Now, this is a super-stylish and functional tackle bag from Flambeau, offering plenty of storage space and protection for all your fishing gear.
Constructed from water-resistant 1260 Denier nylon, with an EVA compression-molded bottom, you can be sure this is going to stand up to the elements for all your fishing trips to come.
And it’s like the Tardis inside, capable of holding up to five tackle storage boxes, which are included with purchase.
I particularly like the “attic” zip compartment, that keeps essentials close to hand, and ensures this is one of the most genuinely practical tackle backpacks available.
- Loads of tackle storage space.
- Protective internal foam and panels.
- Rubber coated mesh zipper pocket.
- Tackle trays included.
- Adjustable chest tether.
- None initially apparent.
Flambeau has knocked it out of the park with this one, a thoroughly well-designed tackle bag that ticks all the boxes, and is a solid contender for the best fishing backpack available in 2023.
Blisswill Fishing Tackle Backpack
This fishing backpack from Blisswill takes its cue from more expensive brands and creates an affordable, sling shoulder bag that’s as practical as it is compact.
Designed to be carried in a variety of ways, with three adjustable and detachable straps, it can be off the shoulder like a sling bag, or as a back or front pack or in your hands for quick access.
Made from a durable 1000 Denier water-resistant nylon, it has multiple storage compartments and exterior pockets, including the option to secure a fishing pole for ease of transport.
The choice of colors/camo is a nice touch, too.
- Affordable price.
- Breathable materials.
- Reinforced buckles.
- Full-length zippers.
- Rod holders.
- Highly rated.
- It’s on the small side.
- Straps are very narrow.
A great budget-friendly fishing backpack that can be carried multiple ways for a practical day on the water.
Just so long as you don’t need to carry the kitchen sink – this is perfect for lightweight use, and the rod holders are a really useful touch.
Simms Flyweight Fishing Backpack
Perfect for all your fishing essentials, this “do everything,” multi purpose fishing backpack from SIMMS is a real contender for the best fishing backpacks crown.
It’s made from a highly durable, 420 Denier, water-resistant material, with a ripstop with polyurethane coating to improve protection and long-life.
This large tackle bag has an easy access, spacious main compartment, with stretch mesh sleeves for straightforward organization.
Fully padded, adjustable shoulder straps feature an ergonomic harness system, and it even includes modular load-carrying technology for adding accessories.
As far as fishing tackle storage goes, this ain’t no traditional backpack.
- Name to trust.
- A premium tackle backpack.
- Very highly rated.
- Fishing tool docking station.
- Water-resistant exterior.
- 11 HEXGRID dump pocket.
- It’s on the expensive side.
If you’re looking for a really good fishing backpack, you’ve come to the right place. The Flyweight model from SIMMS just lends itself to those last-minute fishing trips, and has been lovingly created with fly fishermen and women in mind.
Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack
This fishing backpack from one of the leading fishing line brands is made from 100% polyester, with their distinctive Spiderwire embossed emblem.
With an advanced organizer compartment, it keeps all your fishing tackle and gear right where you need it, and three medium-sized tackle trays are included to get you started.
The main section is adjustable and divided into three, with the top designed for your personal items, the middle section is a cooler, and keeps food, drinks and bait cold, and the lower section holds tackle boxes.
And the fishing rod carrying system lets you add two poles with ease.
- Affordable price.
- Name to trust.
- Durable and well-made.
- Foam-molded sunglasses pouch.
- Three medium utility boxes.
- Pliers pouch isn’t the best.
- Aesthetics might put some people off.
If you can get past the school-bag look, this is an affordable and highly rated option, making it one of the best backpacks for fishing for the price.
Aventik Fishing Chest Pack Bag
Next up, we have something that isn’t like most fishing backpacks, but more a hybrid vest and backpack design that’s perfect for fly-fishing or other angling scenarios where you’re on the go.
Designed to keep you mobile, while still having access to your most important fishing tackle, Both packs can be detached and worn independently, with the back providing three large cargo pockets, and an expandable main compartment.
The front pack offers zippered pockets, and it can be used as a zip-down work station with fly patch. There’s a lot to like here.
- Highly compact and portable.
- Breathable mesh back.
- Adjustable straps.
- Lightweight, weatherproof construction.
- Limited storage capacity.
- Really only designed for fly fishing.
Easily one of the best fly fishing backpacks on the market, this keeps you mobile, offering nonrestrictive freedom of movement, and a place to keep your essential gear within easy reach.
Check out this review if you’re looking for more excellent fishing vests.
KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
Based out of New York, KastKing have been offering popular and affordable fishing tackle and gear to a global market since 2013.
This is one of their rod and tool storage bags, made from a tough and durable 420 Denier rip-stop nylon that is water-resistant, with a protective coating on the outside and PVC inside.
The bag can take up to four utility boxes, with the main compartment reserved for your extra kit, or you can remove the false bottom for one large main section.
And with a padded back and shoulder straps, it’s super comfortable to wear to and from your favorite fishing spots.
- Reinforced carry handle.
- Fleece-lined sunglasses compartment.
- Rod tie-down bungee.
- Lightweight design.
- Water-resistant material.
- Super easy to open and close.
- Storage boxes sold separately.
- External pockets on the small side.
A decent fishing backpack option from the New York based angling company. It just might be a little too compact for anyone wanting to pack more gear.
Bassdash Fishing Tackle Backpack
Bassdash is a relatively new fishing company operating under the ethos of finding time for this great sport in an otherwise crazy, hectic world – as their name would clearly suggest.
This is a well-made, tough, and durable backpack, produced from a 600 Denier, water-resistant material.
It also comes with a handy protective rain cover in case of downpours, and the adjustable main compartment is generous and offers the ability to be divided into two smaller sections.
Large front and side external pockets can also accommodate a variety of tackle boxes and accessories, and daisy-chain webbing provides extra storage options if required.
- Excellent build quality.
- Molded sunglasses holder.
- Rod-holder pockets with Velcro.
- Hard impact, water-resistant base.
- Whistle safety-buckle.
- Available with or without tackle boxes included.
- Might still be on the small side for some.
Another stylish and practical fishing backpack that is versatile to be used for many outdoor activities. Just as good for camping as it is for throwing a rod in the creek.
Shimano Blackmoon Fishing Backpack
The Japanese company might be more familiar for its cycling components, but they’re also famous in the fishing world for their angling products, too.
This is a sharp, stylish fishing backpack that’s designed to be compact and yet functional, with a durable, textured fabric construction, and full zipper closure.
And speaking of zippers, the front is of a two-way opening design for easy access, and the hardware is all custom Shimano zipper pulls – so you know they’re going to be top drawer.
Made with heavy-duty materials, this bag has quality stamped all over it, and is perfect for your next fishing trip.
- Name to trust.
- Durable construction built to last.
- Thick padded shoulder straps.
- Two Plano boxes included.
- Rainfall cover only with the medium-sized version.
- Storage space is a little limited.
- It’s on the heavy side.
Quality this good doesn’t come cheap (or light, it seems). Still, this is a rugged fishing backpack that will take a beating – and it looks pretty badass to boot. If Samurai warriors used fishing backpacks – this would be it.
The X-Large Recon Rolling Fishing Backpack
We’re getting serious now with this huge ‘Recon’ fishing backpack from Calissa Offshore Tackle.
So big that it even comes with its own luggage-style telescopic handle and a set of wheels.
Designed to help you pack everything you need and find it easily once you’re out by the water, this is an all-purpose organizer that is built to last.
Made from lightweight, breathable polyester, it comes with its own rain cover for extra protection from the elements, and a whole host of pockets and compartments to fit just about all your gear.
A foldable flap keeps water off the main zipper, and it fits five 3650 containers which are also included.
- Large rod holders.
- Loads of room.
- Well organized.
- Extra padded back straps.
- Can tip over.
- Not strictly a fishing backpack.
- Zippers are not the best.
It’s a nice idea having wheels and a telescopic handle for your fishing tackle bag, and when the ground gets rough you can hoist it onto your back to keep on moving. But is it more of a gimmick and just not as durable as other bags in this review? Judge for yourself.
Wild River Nomad Tackle Backpack
If you were to imagine the Swiss Army knife of fishing backpacks, then the Wild River Nomad might well be it.
It comes with a quite frankly astonishing amount of useful pockets, compartments, storage options, and gadgets, and there’s even scope to add more.
Then again, I’d expect nothing less from Wild River. There’s a three-level LED light system, so you can see everywhere in the bag from dawn until dusk, while the main compartment can handle up to four 3600 tackle boxes.
And aside from all the usual refinements, this bag comes with an 5000mAh rechargeable USB power supply, so you can keep your devices charged up and let your loved ones know why you’re not home for supper.
This is for any angler who loves being out all day, fishing a wild river or two.
- Tough, durable construction.
- Removable pliers’ holder.
- External and internal mesh pockets.
- Rubberized feet.
- Attractive Wild River logo.
- Extra gadgets and gizmos won’t be for everyone.
- Perhaps not the best for saltwater fishing.
This thing might just be able to catch fish for you, and there’s even the option of adding a solar charging panel. Probably one of the most useful fishing backpacks on the market, Wild River has done it again.
How to Choose the Right Fishing Backpack for You
There are several factors you should keep in mind when you’re in the market for a new fishing backpack, and I’ll explore these in detail below.
Here’s what you should be looking out for.
Size and Weight
Your first decision when it comes to looking for the best tackle backpack is the size you need it to be.
So, you should really be considering what you’re using the pack for.
Are you throwing a rod in at the end of a pier? Is it an afternoon of fly fishing? Are you planning on a full day – or possibly an overnight fishing experience?
Perhaps you want something versatile enough to cover multiple fishing excursions, or even be used for other activities – such as hiking or camping?
The weight will also be a factor, as a larger fishing tackle bag will obviously be heavier without even adding any extra gear and equipment.
That said, there are smaller, heavy-duty fishing backpacks that weigh a fair bit from the get-go, due to their durable construction.
Whatever you choose, try to suit it to your chosen activity or style of fishing – so you’ve got just the right amount of bag to carry your kit.
Pockets and Compartments
Perhaps the most obvious factor that sets fishing backpacks apart from ordinary backpacks – is the amount of pockets and compartments that are available.
However, this isn’t always the case, as there are plenty of storage options available in tactical bags, laptop backpacks, and other carry-on luggage.
The main difference with a fishing backpack, is that it will have one main compartment that’s easy to access, specifically designed to carry tackle boxes.
Aside from this, look out for fishing backpacks with storage options for extra gear, such as a durable sunglasses pouch, or cooler compartments for food and drink.
And more doesn’t necessarily mean more! If you only fish with one tackle box, you’re probably not going to need a fishing tackle bag that carries five!
I like my stuff built to last – and if it’s not rugged enough for me right out of the box, someone’s going to hear about it. (Usually, that’s my long-suffering wife.)
And when it comes to fishing backpacks, you need something that’s going to be put through its paces and come out the other side intact.
So, when checking out what the product is made from, look for materials that are have a high Denier number. The higher this is, the tighter the weave, and the more durable the bag will be.
Fishing tackle bags are usually made out of nylon, polyester, or a combination of the two. PVC might be used as an inner lining, and often some kind of coating is used to improve weatherproofing.
Aside from the main body of the bag, don’t overlook the hardware, such as buckles, zippers, and clips.
I can guarantee that one of the most common complaints a product receives is when these break – so make sure you’re getting something that isn’t likely to.
Not until after several years of use, at the very least.
And since we’re just speaking about weatherproof coatings, it’s worth mentioning properly here.
Remember that even the very best tackle backpacks won’t be 100% waterproof, but rather water-resistant.
It’s very rare that any textile, garment, or bag actually is – they will all let water in eventually.
Unfortunately, a waterproof fishing backpack doesn’t really exist.
Even submersible fishing backpacks and dry bags designed to keep your stuff from getting a soaking can be compromised given the right circumstances.
This is a friendly reminder, so you don’t write a negative review for a product that says it’s water-resistant, and then the contents get wet when you take it out in a monsoon.
Look for fishing backpacks with an additional rain cover built in if you’re at all concerned about your gear getting wet. This is a handy feature that provides an additional layer of protection.
But where there’s fish, there’s water – so it’s par for the course. Just make sure your tackle box is waterproof, at the very least.
And look for additional durability and protection if you plan on enjoying a spot of saltwater fishing – because that stuff gets everywhere, and will corrode everything!
Backpacks of any kind are only as good as their straps, and this is especially true of fishing bags that are designed to carry all kinds of gear.
You don’t want it giving out on you when hiking to your favorite fishing spot.
Look for bags with reinforced straps and handles, and the more padding – the more comfortable it’s going to be on your shoulders.
Packs with extra-large or fully adjustable straps are going to be more suitable for ice fishing – as they will be more compatible with outdoor wear.
And backpacks with vented, breathable backs are essential for minimizing sweat and moisture build up when worn – particularly if you’re out on warmer days or traveling longer distances.
And if you’re wondering where to find a sling backpack, check out this article on fly fishing sling backpacks for a full review of travel-friendly options.
Having something that looks as good as it performs doesn’t have to be reserved for fashion. Fishing backpacks can look super-sharp, too.
In the review above, you’ll find plenty of options that cater for a variety of tastes when it comes to backpack color and style.
Decide if you want something that’s designed to be seen, or something a little more muted with camouflage or woodland/outdoor colors.
Depending on your needs and preferences, you might want to consider a bright, vibrant backpack – which is a useful safety feature for improving its, so visibility, particularly during inclement weather.
Aside from the essentials listed above, fishing backpacks can come with a variety of extras to make the life of a fisher person that much easier.
- Rod holder systems might be the most obvious inclusion, using straps, webbing, or Velcro so you can carry one or two poles on your back.
- Look out for extra webbing/bungees for storing things like these awesome fishing pliers.
- Cooler compartments for food and drink have already been mentioned, but they are classed as an extra feature and not every fishing backpack will have one.
- Safety whistles on the straps are a nice touch – just in case you ever get into difficulty on the water. Reflective strips or flashes also boost the safety factor.
- Many bags will have external storage/accessory options, such as D-rings or daisy-chain links.
- And if you want a USB charger – that’s even possible, too, while a lighted fishing tackle backpack will help you keep angling after the sun goes down.
- A removable fishing tool holder is also a nice addition to keep an eye out for, handy for keeping things like fishing pliers safe, protected, and close to hand.
- Finally, do they come with tackle trays or not? Check to see if a good-quality box is supplied. If you have them already – make sure that particular bag is going to accommodate them.
Top Tip – remember to double-check this before ordering, as it’s easy to select a product that either does or doesn’t supply tackle trays or boxes, and you might end up purchasing the wrong one for your needs.
Feel free to spend as much or as little as you like on a top quality fishing backpack, as even the more expensive models are still reasonably priced for what you get.
It’s only when you start looking into the submersible products that prices can skyrocket.
Always buy the best fishing backpack you can afford, and you won’t go far wrong.
Do I need a fishing backpack?
It depends on if you think it will benefit your fishing trip or not. If you’re currently attempting to lug all your tackle several miles in a plastic bag – perhaps it would be a good investment for you?
Fishing bags are also available in other designs, such as trolleys, shoulder and duffel bags, and other styles to suit individual needs.
But fishing backpacks have been created to maximize storage space and portability – so you can be sure to get your equipment and gear to where you need it with minimum fuss.
In short, if you’re into more adventurous angling while on the go, then a good tackle bag will help you get there.
Who should buy a fishing backpack?
First, anyone who doesn’t already have a decent hold-all for their fishing gear should seriously consider a fishing backpack. Or, they make a great gift for the angler in your life who doesn’t have one.
But in general, anyone who walks or hikes to their favorite or new fishing spots could do with a tackle bag.
Sling backpacks make a good choice for those guerilla-style, last-minute fishing adventures.
Also, if you’re planning on being out there for a long time, a fishing backpack is ideal for storing all your supplies, as well as your fishing tackle.
Alternatively, if you’re a fisher person who also enjoys camping, a multipurpose fishing backpack might be a fantastic idea for use during both activities.
Which fishing backpack type should I get?
That’s up to you and your needs. Check back through the buyer’s guide above for some top tips on how to choose the right model for you.
Just keep in mind the type of fishing you enjoy – and where you enjoy doing it.
Ice fishing? Choose a weatherproof pack with durability and large straps.
On-the-go? Sling backpacks might be the better choice.
Jack-of-all-trades? A multipurpose fishing bag will be a practical option.
Suit the fishing bag to your angling style and ethos, and you won’t go far wrong.
What to put in a fishing backpack?
Fishing pliers, rods, bait, a tackle box or two, water bottle, sandwiches, cans of beer…
The answer to this great question could use a whole article to itself (one for the future maybe), but for now, check out the video below for some excellent suggestions on what to put in your fishing backpack.
Just don’t forget a pair of these awesome fishing gloves while you’re at it.
What is the best fishing backpack?
Well, that’s difficult to say, and it would depend on what you need to use it for, how much you’re carrying, and other factors. The right fishing bag for me might not be the right one for you.
And it’s a subjective answer, as everyone has their own opinions, and one fisher person’s dream backpack might be another fisher person’s nightmare.
That said, I gotta say I love the Plano A-Series for its style, functionality, storage capacity, and premium-quality manufacture. But it’s also hard to see past the Piscifun for the sheer number of quality reviews around the web.
Let me know which one you think is the best in the comments.
What is the best tackle box?
That’s another tough question, as you have a great selection out there from some top brands. However, I think Plano is hard to beat. They did revolutionize the humble tackle box, after all.
Still, the best tackle box will be the one that works for you and your needs. It might not even be a branded product – and something you’ve fashioned for yourself at home.
Whatever floats your boat, man.
What makes a fishing backpack better than a regular one?
It’s perfectly acceptable to use regular backpacks to carry your fishing gear – but they’re just not going to have dedicated pockets, compartments and storage options for your tackle.
Specially designed tackle box compartments, tool-holders, rod-carrying systems, bait pockets, and more ensure that the best fishing backpacks on the market really are worth it for keen anglers everywhere.
Can I only use my fishing backpack for fishing?
Not at all! Feel free to use it however you like.
In fact, the very best backpacks for fishing will be adaptable and versatile to use during other activities.
There’s no reason a fishing backpack won’t make an excellent storage and carrying option for your camping equipment and supplies.
And the more compact products would make a great day-pack for touring cities, hiking, climbing, or even biking. They’re not just for taking to your favorite fishing spot!
The best fishing backpacks in 2023 will offer anglers all kinds of benefits when it comes to sorting and transporting their gear, tackle, and extra equipment.
Let me know which one you’ve gone for and why. As we speak, after writing this review, I’m very close to adding a new one to cart myself…