The 9 Best Survival Fishing Kits 2021 – Don’t Go Hungry in the Wild!


Backcountry trekking, hiking, and camping is the perfect way to leave the rat race behind.

Just you, your gear, the great outdoors – and your wits.

And because not everyone has the space to carry a travel fishing rod on such excursions, it’s a good idea to include a backup option – just in case.

This is where the best survival fishing kits will come in handy. You never know when you might need the ability to catch and cook your supper in an emergency.

Or, if you’d just enjoy the challenge of landing a fish with the most basic tackle available.

Let’s see what’s out there, so you won’t go hungry on your next adventure.

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.

The Best Survival Fishing Kits – What to Look For

Before we launch into the reviews, it’s prudent to first understand the basics when it comes to survival fishing kits.

At the very least, you should look for products that contain:

  • Hooks.
  • Fishing line.
  • Bobbers.
  • Sinkers.
  • Lures.

The following additional gear and tackle might also be useful – but is not 100% necessary for kits that are offering just the bare essentials.

  • Multi-tool.
  • Swivels.
  • Hand Reel.
  • Split shot.
  • A gill net.
  • Other relevant survival items and accessories.

It’s also important to consider the area where you’re likely to be fishing, and the species of fish that will be found there. Then, choose a quality survival fishing kit relevant to what you’re hunting.

A more detailed buyer’s guide can be found following the reviews, with an FAQ section in case we miss anything important.

Let’s dive in.

The 9 Best Fishing Survival Kits in 2021

Vigilant Trails Survival Fishing Kit

First up, we have this superb fishing survival kit from Vigilant Trails, a company that makes a series of high-quality survival gear and equipment options to suit your type of adventure.

This all-inclusive kit has just about everything you would ever need to catch a fish, including a hand reel, multiple lures, choice of different hook sizes and types, swivels, and several colorful, attractive lures.

120 feet of high-visibility line is also included, as well as a lock-back fishing knife with one-handed opening for cleaning your catch.

Designed to lure most North American game fish, a guide is included, so you can follow a step-by-step manual if you have never fished without a rod and reel before.

The whole kit weighs just four ounces, and it comes in a convenient, blaze-orange, durable storage pouch.

Pros

  • Extensive fishing tackle list.
  • Basic first aid items included.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Highly rated.
  • Clip-on bag.
  • Ideal for fresh and saltwater.
  • Great price point for what you get.

Cons

  • None to speak of.

Takeaway

There’s no two ways about it, this is easily one of the best fishing survival kits for the money on the market.

Clearly designed by outdoor enthusiasts and anglers for outdoor enthusiasts and anglers, you’re blessed with a very thorough kit that’s going to tick all the boxes for catching almost anything. If you want to survive in the wilderness, then this is the kit for you.

Off Grid Tools Fishing & Hunting Kit

This kit from Off Grid Tools (aptly named) comes with no less than 45 pieces, all housed in a resealable, fully waterproof bag. It features 300 feet (100 yards) of eight lbs test line, and 20 feet of 50 lbs test line.

Also included is an extensive selection of tackle, such as a foam float, 10 weights, 15 hooks, two jig heads, five swivels, two artificial lures, two artificial grubs, and five salmon eggs.

There’s even a folding fishing multi-tool, and it all fits together in a tiny 3.75 inches x 1 inches x 6.75 inches pouch that can easily fit in a cargo pocket.

At this price point, you’ll be hard-pressed to find such an extensive and thorough kit to see you through an emergency situation in the wilderness.

Pros

  • Very small and lightweight.
  • Good selection of line and tackle.
  • Sturdy, well-made bag.
  • Great price point.
  • Highly rated.

Cons

  • None that I can find.

Takeaway

This is another great fishing survival kit that has just about everything you need to catch a critter in the wild. The waterproof bag is practical and durable, and that folding multi-tool is extremely handy, as not all compact fishing kits come with one included.

Uncle Flint's Survival Fishing Kit

A family-owned company operating from the USA, Uncle Flint’s is another company that puts together some awesome survival kits – so you don’t have to.

This option is packed in a steel storage tin measuring 4.25-inches x 3.125-inches x 1-inch, and weighing just 5.62 ounces. It contains no less than 63 pieces of essential fishing supplies, including 50 feet of 20 lbs test and 50 feet of 40 lbs test monofilament line.

The tackle collection features a choice of hooks, swivels, lures, floats, and shot, as well as safety pins, heavy-duty aluminum foil, and a safety razor blade with plastic holder.

The only thing missing is a quality fishing multi-tool, but you can follow that link to pick up a compact option for yourself.

Pros

  • Quality, well-made tackle.
  • Super-compact tin.
  • Fishing knot guide and instructions.
  • Excellent selection of hooks.

Cons

  • On the more expensive side of kits.
  • The steel tin might not be the best around saltwater.

Takeaway

As far as extensive fishing kits go – featuring items you’re actually going to use – then this might be one of the finest survival angling tins on the market.

Sure, it might be a bit more expensive than most, but the quality is undoubtedly there – as is the choice of tackle and strength of the line included.

Skemix Pocket Reel Emergency Fishing Kit

Here’s something a little different now with this all-in-one pocket reel and fishing survival kit. The big advantage this compact package offers is that the tackle is housed in a tough, durable tube that doubles as a reel and casting aid.

Full instructions are included, and you can set up your rig with the components contained within, and then use the handle to cast and reel in.

The contents include a small selection of hooks, lures, sinkers, and a bobber, as well as 120 feet of 12 lbs monofilament line, split between a backup reel and the tube itself.

A knot guide and instruction leaflet is also present, and the whole kit is super-compact at 5 x 1-inches in size, weighing just 2.5 ounces, making it one of the smallest and lightest fishing survival kits on the market.

Pros

  • Great price point.
  • Solid, durable reel/container.
  • Highly rated.
  • Very compact and lightweight.

Cons

  • Not the most extensive selection of tackle.

Takeaway

For the ultimate in portable, compact fishing kits, look no further than this option – with the storage doubling as a handy reel. In the absence of a survival fishing rod, this simple but effective tool can help you to land your dinner in a pinch.

But if you absolutely must bring a rod along, try one of these awesome telescopic fishing poles that are ideal for when you’re short on space.

Best Glide ASE Compact Survival Fishing Kit

Best Glide ASE Compact Survival Fishing Kit

Perhaps I spoke too soon when it comes to the smallest, lightest pocket fishing kit? This option from Best Glide ASE comes in a tiny, heavy-duty zip-lock bag that barely registers on the weight scale, in spite of its durable construction.

Contained within you’ll find a nice selection of the bare bones of fishing essentials, including a bobber, lures, salmon eggs, small selection of hooks, leaders, and shot.

50 feet of 12 lbs test line should get you up and running for emergency fishing, and there’s a couple of small packs of moisture-absorbing desiccant to keep things dry.

THIS is probably the smallest fishing survival kit out there, and it has also been designed by both fishermen and survival experts – so that’s all very reassuring when you’re up shit creek without a paddle.

Pros

  • Great price point.
  • Highly compact and portable.
  • Slimline package.
  • High-quality components.
  • Ideal use with other survival kits.

Cons

  • Not the largest selection of tackle.

Takeaway

It might not be the most complete fishing kit available, but I can bet my bottom dollar it’s the smallest and lightest.

This will barely register in your backpack or pocket – but it just might save your life. It also makes a great stocking filler for the keen outdoor person in your circle.

And if they happen to like kayak fishing, you can take a look at this article for some more cool kayak angling gift ideas.

Rule The Wasteland Survival Fishing Kit

When it comes to the ultimate survival fishing kit list, I believe this offering from Rule the Wasteland contains the most components.

Over 70 items are included, and it features the most extensive range of hooks found in a fishing kit you’ve not put together yourself.

This can be highly advantageous, depending on when and where you’re heading – and what you’re likely to be fishing for.

And in spite of all it contains within, it still manages to weigh just four ounces, in a durable metal tin that’s approximately 3.25-inches across.

You’ll also benefit from over 260 feet of line (15 lbs and 30lbs test), as well as a selection of lures, bobbers, swivels, and leaders, that almost puts a regular fishing tackle box to shame.

Pros

  • Highly comprehensive.
  • Contains 33 hooks.
  • Durable, watertight, screw-top tin.
  • Mini pliers folding tool.
  • Generous amount of quality line.

Cons

  • Pricey for a fishing kit.

Takeaway

It might well be on the more expensive side in this product class, but you get what you pay for, and in this case, you’re getting one of the most comprehensive fishing survival kits on the market.

And the fact that it still manages room for a pair of mini-pliers is pretty impressive, too. Although, you should follow this link if you’re looking for a dedicated pair of the best fishing pliers around.

Speedhook US Military Emergency Fishing Kit

When it comes to survival, I’d imagine the armed forces of the world know a thing or two about staying alive in the wilderness.

This emergency fishing kit is the same one used by US military personnel, including those in the Army, Coast Guard, and Air Force.

The speed hook is a clever device that works like a spring-loaded trap, automatically setting the hook when triggered by a fish or other small animal.

This particular model comes complete with fishing line, one hook, dehydrated bait and full instructions – which you’ll need to learn before setting out if you’ve never used one before.

Also popular for ice fishing, this handy device is included in the cold weather survival kits for the military – and if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me and you.

Pros

  • Highly effective fishing device.
  • Set and (almost) forget.
  • Versatile use.
  • No pole required.
  • Compact and lightweight.
  • Instructions included.

Cons

  • Works on smaller pan fish only.
  • Might take some practice to use successfully.

Takeaway

Arguably the most effective option out there, simply set the trap on this military survival fishing kit and wait for it to spring. As it says, it makes “even a beginner feel like a pro.”

When you absolutely must catch something in dire straits, this is probably your best bet, but I’d highly recommend checking out a how-to video to see how it all works before you head out.

Yoyito Travel Fishing Kit

If you’re looking for a more heavy-duty survival fishing kit that packs a punch and is capable of landing more than a bluegill, then this aluminum hand line pocket reel is right up your alley.

It comes with a generous length of 30 lbs tournament monofilament fishing line, so you can catch a beast with this, and includes a nice assortment of hooks, sinkers, and swivels, ensuring you can adapt to a variety of species, get to their depth, and avoid line entanglements.

It comes in a smart carrying pouch with MOLLE attachments, making it ideal to add to a compatible backpack. The reel is attractive, smooth, and comfortable to use – head and shoulders more efficient and safe than trying to reel in a line hand-over-hand.

Pros

  • Quality design and build.
  • Rugged, durable construction.
  • Two pockets in the pouch.
  • Snug finger holes for secure grip.
  • Potential for a thrilling fishing experience.
  • Center hex hole for attaching to bowfishing bows and kayaks.

Cons

  • Expensive.

Takeaway

It’s certainly not the cheapest fishing survival kit out there, but it’s one of the best. This is for anyone who is serious about practicing exhilarating angling techniques that are as old as time.

Not only will you survive, but you’ll also get an adrenaline-fueled kick out of it at the same time.

Best Glide ASE Be Prepared Survival Kit

Best Glide ASE Be Prepared Survival Kit

We’ll close our review with another Best Glide ASE entry, this time a complete pocket survival kit that covers all kinds of emergency situations when you’re lost in the wilderness.

If you’re going to pack a fishing kit, you might as well have all the bells and whistles, too, right? Officially licensed by the Boy Scouts of America (high praise indeed), this kit is packed with practical items for staying alive in the face of danger.

Along with the fishing kit (hooks, line, and lure), there’s a sewing kit, fire starters, signal mirror, water purification tablets, waterproof matches, a button compass, and more. And the storage isn’t a flimsy mint tin, either.

Pros

  • Comprehensive survival kit.
  • Survival tips and guide.
  • Razor knife.
  • Safety whistle.
  • Watertight, durable storage tin.
  • US Military and NATO approved.

Cons

  • Not a dedicated fishing kit.
  • On the pricey side.

Takeaway

I decided to give you an alternative option to a standard fishing kit, with this all-inclusive tin that is comprehensively packed with practical, potentially life-saving survival items and equipment. Just in case you need to rely on more than a fish supper, this compact kit has your back.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Survival Kit

Good fishing survival kits should come with everything you need to successfully catch a fish – otherwise, they wouldn’t be very useful at all.

As such, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to what goes into such a product, so we’ll explore everything you need to know in the buyer’s guide, below.

fisherman wearing waist pack and fly fishing in river

What is a Fishing Survival Kit?

As you’ll have noticed from the reviews, the contents of a fishing survival kit can vary wildly. So too can the quality of the items contained therein.

The most basic survival kit for fishing should have at least one of the following items:

  • A hook.
  • Some fishing line.
  • A sinker.
  • A lure.
  • A bobber.

That is all you need to catch a fish in an emergency situation, however, it’s not going to give you the most versatility, or the highest chance of success.

Thankfully, most decent fishing survival kits recognize this, and include a variety of different hooks, lures, sinkers, and line options, in order for you to best suit your setup to what species you’re fishing for – and where.

The more comprehensive kits also come with useful extras, such as swivels, split-shot, leaders, hand reels – and even a compact fishing multi-tool or knife.

And some kits might even have bait included – such as salmon eggs, which can last a long time and barely take up space. If you can manage it, packing a small jar of salmon eggs isn’t a bad idea for survival bait.

Species

Survival fishing kits aren’t exactly designed to score you big hauls of a trophy fish in tournaments.

They’ve been put together with general, all-purpose tackle in order to stand you the best chance of landing something to eat in an emergency situation.

Having said that, if you know exactly where you’re hiking/camping/trekking/climbing/kayaking/running away from home, you can do a bit of research into the most common species in the region, and shop for a compatible kit that targets that particular fish.

Using the recommended set up for the species will improve your chances of landing one immensely – and thus your chances of survival.

Or, at the very least, keeping the hunger at bay until you can make it to the local bar and grill.

fly fisherman trout fishing with backpack and rain jacket in the mountains

Essential Items

Let’s take a more detailed look at fishing survival kit items.

Hooks – Ideally, you’ll want a selection of different sized hooks, again, depending on the type of fish you’re hunting for.

Hooks are prone to getting lost, rusting, or breaking, so the more, the merrier in this case.

Smaller hooks are preferable, as you can still catch a whopper if you’re lucky.

Fishing Line – Most survival kits come with a decent amount of line, but the quality and the weight can vary.

Look for at least 50 feet of 10-20 lbs monofilament, but you can upgrade with braided line if you so choose.

Sinkers – Without a sinker weight, you’re not going to be able to dangle your enticing rig anywhere near an interested fish.

Look for kits that come with a selection, as well as the inclusion of split shot, which is ideal for shallower waters, small baits, and panfish.

Lures – A quality fishing survival kit will come with a small selection of different lures – so you can adapt your rig to best suit the species you’re trying to catch.

The more variety, the better, and you should aim for kits that feature flies, grubs, and other enticing rubber/plastic lures, so you can mix things up depending on your situation.

Bobber/float – perhaps not 100% essential, they’re usually found in most kits anyway, and can be very useful for locating your line, and identifying if the fish are biting.

Tin/Container Quality and Size

One of the most overlooked aspects of a fishing survival kit – is the container it comes in.

You want something that’s compact, sturdy, and capable of fitting easily into your bug-out bag or backpack.

Commonly, you have three choices:

  • A cloth bag (which may or may not be waterproof).
  • A steel tin – often similar to an Altoids or shoe polish container.
  • A heavy-duty, zip-lock plastic bag.

The type you choose depends on your own particular preferences and needs, and how easily it’s going to fit in with the rest of your gear.

I would suggest that a waterproof fishing survival bag is arguably the best option, as steel tins tend to corrode and rust over time, and plastic pockets can tear and puncture easily.

If you have the space, a durable compact tackle box makes an ideal upgrade, and some fishing kits offer MOLLE compatibility, which is perfect if you have a backpack that supports Modular Lightweight Load-carry Equipment.

fisherman with folding knife in mouth and holding rod preparing for a fly fishing

Extras

As mentioned, the more comprehensive fishing survival kits will come with a decent amount of extras – items you don’t necessarily need – but are highly useful nonetheless.

These can include:

A fishing multi-tool or knife – which can help immensely when it comes to removing hooks and/or cleaning fish.

However, I’d highly recommend a dedicated fishing knife for that purpose, and you should be carrying a good blade for survival purposes, anyway.

Swivels – are useful additions to help prevent your line tangling upon retrieval, and/or ensuring it doesn’t become twisted as you fish.

A hand reel – while not essential, can certainly make it easier to land a catch, and potentially save your hands from injury.

When fishing without a rod, you should always be sure to wear some good quality fishing gloves, anyway, as line can seriously cut or burn your hands.

Basic first aid items – which might include alcohol or anti-bacterial wipes, small bandages, and/or plasters.

Desiccant packets – to help keep moisture at bay.

Cost

You can spend as much or as little as you want on a backup fishing survival kit, but you want to make sure it won’t let you down in an emergency.

You get what you pay for these days, so make sure the product you choose contains quality over quantity.

With one or two exceptions, you’re not going to spend much more than $20-30 on a decent kit, anyway, and so long as its contents are relevant to you, budget shouldn’t really be an issue.

spinning fishing equipment with backpack and caught Pike

FAQs

Do I need a fishing survival kit?

I don’t know, do you? Are you planning on venturing into the backwoods and wilds of the country? Do you intend to head off the beaten track? Do you plan on invoking your inner Bear Grylls?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions, then a fishing survival kit should be on your radar.

Additionally, some keen anglers like to experiment with basic fishing techniques, and enjoy the challenge of rod-less angling.

You’ll have all the bragging rights in the bar if you can catch a beast with a basic fishing survival kit.

What should be in a fishing survival kit?

A survival fishing kit should (at the very least) contain a hook, at least 50 feet of line (the stronger, the better), a lure, a sinker, and a bobber.

Everything else is a bonus, but most quality kits will offer a good selection of these items for a variety of fishing situations and scenarios.

Plus, you never know when things might break or get lost, or damaged.

Can I make my own fishing survival kit?

You most certainly can! But while this can be a fun practice, it might actually end up costing you more than the items in the review above – especially when sourcing quality tackle and storage.

Why make your own when you can have someone take the effort out of it for you? Particularly those kits that have been specifically designed for this purpose by professional anglers and survival experts.

But if you’re interested in a spot of DIY, check out the video below, which will help you get started.

What size hooks for a survival fishing kit?

Smaller hooks are better for a fishing survival kit, as you’ll likely be angling for pan fish and other small species.

And you can still catch a monster on a small hook if you’re lucky.

That said, it’s best to have a variety of hook sizes in your arsenal, to stand you the best chance of success depending on location and species.

How do you use a fishing survival kit?

It depends on what’s in the kit, what you’re fishing for and where you’re fishing.

As luck would have it, most kits come with an instruction leaflet or short guide, which contains helpful tips, and tricks for catching fish in emergency situations.

I would also recommend researching some instructional videos for the specific kit you’re interested in, so you at least have a basic understanding of how to use it before venturing into the great unknown.

Summary

Hopefully, you’ll never actually need a fishing survival kit in the wild, and at best, it’s just extra peace-of-mind for when you’re out exploring the wilderness.

Let me know in the comments which kit you’ve gone for and why, or if you have any fishing survival advice, stories, or experience you’d like to share with the community.

Stay safe out there, tight lines, and happy fishing!

Bob Hoffmann

The author of this post is Bob Hoffmann. Bob has spend most of his childhood fishing with his father and now share all his knowledge with other anglers. Feel free to leave a comment below.

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