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?
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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
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.
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…