Moving to a fishing backpack from a more traditional tackle box can be a great idea if you do a lot of shore fishing, hike in to your favorite spot, fish from a kayak or a canoe, or even if you are a boat fisherman with limited space. It will allow you to combine two (or more) bags into one, keep your hands free, and keep your gear organized and readily accessible.
We’ll be taking a look at the following bags in our hunt to find the best fishing backpack:
- Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
- Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad by CLC
- Piscifun Sling Bag
- Wild River Nomad XP
- Shimano Blackmoon
- KastKing Day Tripper
What To Look For When Choosing A Fishing Backpack
There are a lot of options to choose from when you’re looking for a new fishing backpack. How do you choose the best one for you? Here are a few things to consider when selecting the fishing tackle backpack that is right for you.
Durability – As fishermen we can put our gear through a lot of tough treatment and expose it to some harsh weather. You want a bag that can stand up to the worst of it year after year.
Look for a durable material like heavy-duty nylon which can take a beating and resists snags and tears. If you spend a lot of time walking through brush along the shore where snags and rips can happen in the blink of an eye, you’ll really appreciate having tackle bag made from tough material.
But it’s not just for those trekking through the sticks to get to sweet spot who will appreciate the durability. Our bags are constantly being put down on rough terrain like dirt and rocks, or tossed in the boat or the back of our truck. You want a bag that will last a long time no matter what you put it through so you don’t have to replace it every year or two.
All the bags on our list were chosen for their reputation for durability and build quality.
Build Quality – This goes hand in hand with durability. A bag should not only be made out of rugged materials, but should be built well. Reinforced stitching, sturdy zippers, and overall production quality is important for a bag to last.
Capacity – Consider how much gear do you need to carry. If you are heading out for the day you probably don’t need to carry all your tackle with you. But exactly how much you need is up to you. There are backpacks that allow you to pack all your tackle and accessories but some other personal items. Other smaller sling packs will all you to carry just the essentials.
The bags we liked have a compartment that accommodate two to four tackle trays which make packing, organizing, and getting to your gear easy.
Lots of zippered outside pockets are nice so you can easily get to things you need quickly.
Water Resistance – It goes without saying, but things are probably going to get a little wet when you are out fishing. You might get some spray when you are in the boat or a sudden rain shower when you least expect it.
A good bag will have some amount of water resistant or be waterproof in order to help protect your gear. A good rain cover can provide reliable protection from the elements and keep your gear protected.
Weight – How much a bag weighs is going to be more important depending on how much you plan on carrying it. If you are going to be wearing it all day while you work the shore line or walk to your favorite fishing hole, you’ll most likely want a lighter bag than if you are just carrying it from your car to the boat.
A large backpack might have a light weight when empty, but when full loaded with tackle can be a lot heavier.
Comfort – Having a comfortable backpack is essential whether you are going to be wearing it most of the day or just for short spurts. Things to look for are padded shoulder straps and a padded back panel – preferably with breathable mesh for those hot days. If you plan on doing a lot of hiking with it, you may want a bag with a good waist strap.
Special Features – Many of today’s fishing backpacks come with some nice extra features. Not all of them maybe important to you, but they do tend to set the bags apart. Some examples are a protective sunglass pocket, a water bottle holder, and a waterproof interior pocket to protect your smartphone.
The Piscifun fishing backpack is a favorite of a lot of anglers. It is large, well made, water-resistant, has a bunch of useful compartments, and looks good. It comes in three colors, black, digital camo, and khaki. All of which are made with water-resistant 1200D high density nylon – plus it comes with a waterproof rain cover for those days when the weather isn’t at its best.
You can buy this tackle backpack complete with 4 tackle trays or without them if you already have your gear organized in existing trays. Just make sure your existing trays will fit before you buy it.
One of the really nice features of this bag is that it offers a lot of storage in a compact design. There are large side compartments, a sturdy sunglass holder, an interior waterproof pocket, and a water bottle holder. While some of these aren’t essentials, they are definitely nice to have features.
- Large Capacity
- Protective Rain Cover
- Retractable Bottle Pocket
- Hard Molded Sunglasses Case
- Movable Clapboard in The Main Bag
- Rubber feet Protect the Bag from Water
The Wild River backpack is another high capacity model with some cool additional features. It can hold up to 4 3600 trays in the main compartment and still has plenty of room for bringing along even more stuff.
It has a molded sunglass holder on top to protect your shade, a roomy upper compartment that can hold smaller trays and reels (or maybe your lunch), and an assortment of exterior pockets to carry additional accessories. One stand out item is the LED light on the outside of the bag that can help if you a little light while fishing at night or in the dark. The light can also be filled to shine into the bag as needed.
The straps are padded and adjustable and while it doesn’t have a waist band it does have a sternum strap to help improve the fit.
It’s a nice fishing tackle backpack with good convenience features.
- Removable plier holder
- External and internal mesh pockets
- Additional storage pockets to hold trays
- Protective rain cover
- Permanently mounted molded sunglass holder
If you are looking for a smaller bag that still has room to carry lots of gear then the Piscifun Sling Tackle Bag maybe the one you want to look at. It packs a lot of stuff into a small space and can be worn all day without getting in the way.
The bags are made of tough and water-resistant 1000D high density nylon that should help keep this bag stand up to wear and tear. The bag comes in two sizes – standard and medium and multiple colors. The Piscifun sling bag is quite versatile and can be worn as a cross body backpack, sling bag, across your chest, or just carried by hand when you need to change fishing spots.
This bag has 13 pockets or compartments ranging from small to large and really lets you carry a lot of fishing gear for its size – and keep it organized. It even has a built in external pocket to for carrying a water bottle.
- Water-resistant and durable
- Versatile design (can where it several ways)
- Compact with plenty of storage
If you ever needed, or maybe just wanted, a fishing tackle backpack that has both an LED light and a USB power bank we’ve found it for you. It’s a big bag that should be able to carry all you need for a day of fishing.
The main compartment can hold up to 4 medium sized 3600 trays. And there is an option to get this backpack without trays or 2 trays.
The Nomad has many of the same features as the Wild River listed above. That includes sunglass holder, a good number of external pockets, a bag to belt holder for your fishing pliers, and an LED light for fishing in the dark.
The Nomad backpack includes a 5000 mAh USB rechargeable power bank. It includes four different tips to fit a variety of Apple and Android devices and a USB cable. If you don’t have a power bank of your own this maybe a nice perk to buying this bag but it might be a better option to just buy a power bank on your own.
- Lots of storage
- Comfortable straps
- LED light
- USB Power Bank to charge personal electronic devices
Shimano is probably best known is the industry for their reels, however their Blackmoon fishing backpack is a solid entry into the market. They are simple but capable bags built with the fisherman in mind.
The bag comes in two sizes, medium and compact, and there is quite a bit of difference in the designs between the two.
The medium bag has room for 4 plano 3650 trays and like the other large fishing tackle bags on the list stack vertically and are removed horizontally from the zippered compartment on the front of the bag.
The compact model holds 2 Plano 3750 utility boxes, but they are inserted into the bag from the top opening, like you would with a standard backpack.
Both models have a variety of external pockets and an internal compartment to hold gear and accessories. On the medium bag you find the line which holds spools of fishing line and lets you extract it as needed through eyelets on the pocket. This could come in handy if you need to spool a reel while you are fishing for the day.
The bag has thick padded straps that should make walking around with this bag for extended period a more comfortable experience. A protective rain cover is nicely hidden and integrated into the top of the shoulder straps for easy access.
The Shimano Blackmoon bag doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles of the other bags, but it is a good mix of form, functionality, and durability.
The Kast King is on a lot of anglers wish lists. This orange and gray bag looks more like a technical backpack then it does a fishing backpack, which I think is a good thing.
The bag holds up to 4 3600 boxes can be accessed from the side of the bag. This could make it possible to get to your gear without having to take the bag fully off your back. If you prefer you can also get to the boxes from the zippered entry of the main compartment.
There is a double rod pocket with tie downs to allow you to transport your rod or combo and freeing up another hand. The bag has two slash pockets on the front of the bag and pockets on the waistband. Not as many as some of the other bags on the list, but still room enough to put your most frequently accessed gear in easy reach.
The bag has padded shoulder straps and waistband that should make this bag good for all day wear. It’s water resistant and made from durable 420D nylon.
It doesn’t come with any tackle trays, so you’ll need to buy some if you don’t already have your own. Try the KastKing Tackle Boxes.
After taking a look at some of the best fishing backpacks on the market, our choice is the Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack. We like the functional yet good looking design of the bag. It provides plenty of storage for tackle as well a your gear and accessories. The additional features such as the rigid sunglass holder, bottle holder, and large amounts of roomy exterior pockets really set this bag apart for us.