So, you are looking for the best fishing backpack?
When that fishing spot isn’t from your boat or out the back of your truck it can be hard to get the gear you need to where you need it to be. Even in those situations you still need somewhere to put your gear. This is not a problem anymore thanks to the vast variety of fishing tackle bags currently on the market. The biggest problem you may now have is deciding on which one is best for you and your fishing needs.
For that reason, we have put together this article to help you choose the best backpack for fishing. Let’s get started….
What is the best fishing backpack?
Before we begin diving into all the cool features of each option, here is a quick preview of the my top 8 picks. For more information, specs, and videos on each one, please keep reading below:
- Wild River Tackle Trek Nomad
- Shimano Blackmoon Compact
- Shimano Blackmoon Medium
- Spiderwire Tackle Backpack
- Plano A-Series
- Plano Z-Series
- Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack / Vest
- Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag
- iLure Waterproof Shoulder Fishing Bag
- Ready 2 Fish Soft Sided Tackle Bag
- Removable Pliers Pouch
- Molded glasses holder
- Integrated Lighting system
- Holds up to 6 medium #3600 trays or 4 #3500 trays
- Front pockets convert into working area
- Elastic rain cover
The Wild River Tackle Trek Nomad is a surprisingly comprehensive storage system for almost anything you could need or want out on the water. It is constructed from a durable fabric that is designed for going into those rugged areas and coming out unharmed. It also comes with a handy rain cover to keep your tackle safe and dry.
Let’s take a look at some of the cool features that really makes this option stand out from the competition.
First and foremost one of my favorite features is the removable plier pouch. This pouch allows you to remove your pliers from your bag and easily carry it with you on your belt. Another great thing about this handy pouch is that it will keep your pliers up and away from your lures. Never again will you have to untangle your pair of pliers from a pile of crankbaits.
Another great feature is the molded sunglasses holder, not only does this make it easy to bring your favorite pair of glasses with you, but it will also ensure that you do so in a way that they won’t get all scratched up by the time you reach your destination.
What about storage? Will this backpack have enough storage for all my tackle? Yes, the lower tray compartment has enough room to carry 4 medium-sized trays (#3500 trays or 6 #3600 trays). It is also equipped with a number of different pockets, two of which actually fold down and convert into a small working area. Perfect for when trying to change lures or making other adjustments out on the water.
Lastly, one of the more interesting features of this bag is an LED light system. Located on the front of the bag is a small light that can be folded in (allowing you to illuminate the inside of the bag) or you can fold it out (illuminating your work station or the area around you), perfect for night-time fishing.
Yes, this is a perfect all round backpack that has enough room for more than enough tackle and built with quality fabrics that will last.
Is this the best fishing backpack? We say yes! Whether you choose to purchase it for yourself or to purchase it as a gift you won’t be disappointed with the quality of this bag.
Take a closer look at this bag and its many features in the following video:
- Compact Design
- Holds up to 2 medium size trays
- 2 rod holders/pockets
- Sturdy build
I would like to introduce the next one on our list by saying this isn’t your ordinary fishing bag. It is what I like to call, the best fishing backpack with rod holders: the Shimano Blackmoon Compact. Compact by design it is perfect for the fisherman that makes those long treks either by foot or bike to get to that super secret secluded fishing spot. It’s has a sleek and sturdy design that’s built to last thanks to its well-made textured fabric structure and overall it is a great buy for any angler. But, don’t take my word for it, let’s take a closer look at its many features.
First, let’s talk about probably one of the most important things about choosing a good fishing backpack: storage. There are two compartments set aside for general storage. The first compartment is located in the front. Using a zipper to open this pocket you will find a good-sized space for storing plastics or other artificial baits. Located behind this compartment is a larger area for your trays. This unit does come with 2 trays and it does have the ability to store up to 2 medium-sized trays. Just enough space for any fishing excursion.
This backpack also features mesh rod holders located on either side of the bag. For some anglers, this is essential as it keeps one’s hands-free to carry buckets, a cooler, a map or a GPS to navigate to some of your more secluded fishing spots. Other anglers could care less about rod holders and would prefer more storage. In either case, they are available and like I mentioned you always have the option to use them as extra storage.
Take a closer look at what this unit has to offer in the following video:
- Holds up to 4 medium size trays
- Fishing line holder
- Adjustable tray dividers
- Sturdy build
Very similar to the previous mentioned backpack is the next on our list, it is the Shimano Blackmoon Medium. As you can tell by the name it is bigger than the compact version and of course different sizes often come with new features.
One such feature is what Shimano calls leader winder side pockets. Located in one of the side pockets is a designated area to hold your fishing line. Directly in front of this are small holes or exit points for the fishing line. What this feature allows you to do, is to store your line, but at the same time you can have easy access to it in the event that you want to, for example, cut some new leader material or spool your reel. I love this feature! Without a doubt one of the most frustrating things to bring along on a fishing trip is fishing line, it always ends up in a mess. That is not the case with the bag.
Another key difference between the Shimano Compact and the Shimano Medium is the storage space. Obviously, the bigger option is going to have more space, but I also like how they have organized that space.
Located in front and center are two pockets, one on the top and one of the bottom. The bottom one has enough room to hold up to 4 medium size trays, but there is something unique about this storage space that I want to share with you, the tray area is divided. Finally, a bag that has a designated area for each tray. I know that might sound like a small thing, but for me this is huge. I love the fact they are divided because it allows me to grab whichever tray I want without having to worry about them all falling out.
Just above the bottom compartment is another good-sized pocket, perfect for either storing additional tackle or other goods that you want to bring along with you.
Unfortunately, the rod holders are not available in the medium size option.
Still can’t decide whether or not this bag is for you? If so, check out the following video for more details:
- Made from polyester
- Holds up to 3 medium trays
- 2-rod holders
- 3 separate inner compartments
- Molded sunglasses case
- A removable fishing tool holder
A popular choice among many anglers is choosing a fishing backpack with rod holders. Its free up our hands and certainly makes traveling from one spot to the next that much easier. For that reason, even though we love the Shimano Blackmoon and all its features, we are going to take a look at another great tackle bag with the rod holder feature. It is the Spiderwire Tackle Backpack. After all, sometimes it is better to have more options right? Well, we certainly do hope so.
Let’s start by taking a look at this bag by starting at the top and working our way down. The top zipper opens up into a large general storage and there is the option to take out the divider to expand if need be.
Next, you can move down to the second zipper that opens up into a smaller pocket. Once inside you will notice a number of different organizer type pockets. This section can be used for personal items or you can use the organizers to put your soft plastics, weights or hooks.
Lastly, we have the lower section. This section is actually divided into two different compartments. The lower section is bigger enough to hold 3 medium-sized trays and then you have the upper section which is actually designed to be a cooler compartment for your food, drinks or live baits. Of course, the divider between these two sections is attached by velcro, so you do have the option to remove this feature and have one large section for more tackle or more trays.
One thing I really appreciate about the storage space is that a lot of the dividers are removable. I like this feature because it allows us as fishermen to sort of customize our tackle bag the way we want it.
Now let’s move on to some extras. As we mentioned earlier, it does have rod holders. One located on each side. The rod holders are a little bit different from others on the market in the sense that they are held to the bag by 3 straps. I personally like this design rather than a single deep mesh pocket because it gives me a little more freedom in choosing the rod that I am going to bring. Additionally, it does have a removable fishing tool/pliers holder, and an easy to access molded sunglasses case.
All in all, for the price point this is a great little bag.
Let’s take a closer look in the following video:
- Holds up to 5, 3600 utility boxes
- 4 pockets in front, 2 with a heavy-duty zipper, 2 snap button
- 1 large divided compartment
- Cushioned back pad
So far we have taken a look a number of different bags with a whole lot of features, but sometimes we don’t want all these features, we just want something simple. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lighting system, the rod holders, the removable pliers holder, but sometimes simple is better. That is what I love about the Plano A-Series, it is a simple backpack with tons of storage.
Before we get into the details, let’s talk a little bit about the company Plano. You may not realize it but, Plano is the company that developed the Plano Utility Boxes that have taken the fishing industry by storm. It is fitting that now this company has created a bag to transport these trays. Without a doubt, they have demonstrated that they know a thing or two about organization and storage.
Let’s begin by looking into what makes this option stick out from the rest. Right off the bat, you will notice the two large pockets in front. There are actually 4 pockets, two open with a heavy-duty zipper and the other two with a snap button. This is perfect for stowing away your keys, phone or wallet. Super accessible, super convenient.
Next, we have the single interior compartment that is divided into two section. The upper section has a mesh pocket, perfect for storing your plastics or other personal items and the lower section holds 5 utility trays (size 3600). That it! Super simple, super easy to use.
Take a closer look in the following video:
- Holds up to 5, 3750utility boxes
- Two side pockets, 1 front pocket
- 1 large compartment
The next one that we are going to look at is what I like to call the best waterproof fishing backpack, it is the Plano Z-Series. I am really excited to talk about this bag because it is truly unique. Let’s talk about those unique features.
First, it is made with a TPE waterproof fabric. Simply put, this unit is designed to keep your tackle dry. You no longer need to worry about your things getting wet if you go fishing in the rain or accidentally drop it in the water. Keep in mind though that this is not a dry bag so you will have to be careful, but the waterproof fabric does give us some piece of mind that our gear is safe.
Next, this unit is zipperless. Why is that so important? Well, if you are a saltwater angler I probably don’t have to say much about what salt water can do to your zipper over time. Never experience that frustration again with this one of a kind feature.
Lastly, let’s talk about storage. It is equipped with a single large compartment that can hold up to 5, 3750 Plano utility boxes with 3 extra pockets for extra storage.
Overall we are very impressed with its uniqueness and its performance on the water.
See it upclose:
At this point, we have talked about 6 great backpacks for fishing. To conclude this post we are going to look at 4 tackle bags that aren’t technically backpacks, but they get the job done.
- Breathable vest
- 1.5 water bladder
- Waterproof pockets
When looking for a fishing backpack it is so important to find something that is comfortable. After all, if you are not comfortable, you are not going to enjoy fishing. The last thing I want to be thinking about when fishing is getting this thing off my back. I only want to think about bass fishing and the fish.
For that reason I really like the Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack / Vest. This is the perfect combination of a fly fishing vest and a backpack.
First, let’s talk about the vest. The vest is equipped with waterproof pockets for storing your valuable electronics such as your castable fish finder or your cell phone. There are also several zippered compartments on the vest itself giving you storage at your fingertips. It vest is adjustable ensuring that you always will get find the best fit.
Next, let’s talk about the backpack portion. One of my biggest complaints about wearing a backpack is they are hot. This unit, however, is lined with a mesh that helps to allow fresh air to keep your back dry and most importantly you comfortable all day long.
It contains a large compartment for extra storage and best of all it comes with a 1.5 hydration water bladder. This unit has everything you could want when you are out trying to find your favorite fishing location.
Is this backpack/vest limited to the fly fishermen? No. Great option for any angler looking for a comfortable bag.
- Made by polyester
- Holds 4 boxes
- Over the shoulder bag
On the cheaper side of the tackle bags we have the Spiderwire Wolf Tackle Bag This bag is constructed from a rugged and sturdy polyester material and includes many features such as a tough all-weather molded bottom that ensures your bag and contents stay dry and functioning. This unit is not a backpack, but an over the shoulder bag.
This bag features hard plastic zippers that don’t rust and will continue working for many years. It becomes obvious upon closer inspection that this bag was really designed to work well and every section has its own purpose or function.
This tackle bag provides plenty of storage for all the knives, pliers and other tools, baits, hooks and sinkers that you could possibly need. And more. Because of it’s tough fabric design this bag makes for a perfect checked luggage bag for traveling on those longer fishing trips without damaging your lures or tools.
An added bonus for this tackle bag is that it ships with 4 tackle trays already there and plenty of room for more. A great pickup for the traveling angler.
- Made with waterproof canvas
- Over the shoulder bag
The iLure Waterproof Shoulder Fishing Bag is a perfect tackle bag for the outdoorsman that enjoys a bit of fishing while out and about. This bag is a lot smaller than any of the others here but that’s definitely meant to be part of the appeal.
This is the kind of thing you strap on along with your main backpack at the beginning of a long walk or hike and just completely forget that it’s there. Perfect for going on longer trips this bag only has enough space to store a small amount of tackle but if you plan ahead it will be able to take all you should need for your day out. Unlike the other tackle bags reviewed today, this is not a bag in which you’d store your tackle normally, simply fill it up before you leave with whatever you think you’ll need and go.
This over the shoulder bag is built from the finest canvas material and features ergonomic padding along the strap to ensure the highest comfort. This bag is all about convenience and even has spots to store your phone, ipad, keys, money, pretty much any small gadget or tool you can think of.
A great buy for those who find themselves on longer walks to fishing spots or anyone who just wants to store a bit of tackle in the car.
The the most affordable on our list today is theReady 2 Fish Soft Sided Tackle Bag. Made from quality fabric that’s made to last this bag has a lot of storage potential and features that make it a wonderful buy for just under $50. This bag is built weather-resistant so there’s no need to buy a rainfly or mess around with an already included one, the bag is its own rainfly.
It features pockets for maps, 8 different accessories and many other adjustable pockets and compartments. This is a shoulder bag and it comes with a very soft and comfortable shoulder strap that can be adjusted to fit your size needs.
On the side of the bag, there are 7 carabiner loops for additional storage and the bag comes with two already installed. There’s a meshed compartment on the other side of the bag that allows you to store and access your most commonly used tools quickly and with ease.
This is another bag that is great for traveling with by plane as its tough design makes it suitable for use as checked luggage. This bag is definitely on the cheaper side but it doesn’t lack in function or quality.
A great buy for anglers who don’t want to break the bank but also care about quality.
At this point, you are probably amazed by all the options available on the market today. So which one should I choose? Let’s narrow it down, even more, let’s narrow it down to 3 options. Personally, I like all the bells and whistles of the Wild River Tackle Trek Nomad particularly the lights and the workstation. I love the simplicity of the Plano A-Series and I like the rod holders on the Spiderwire Tackle Backpack.
What is the best fishing backpack? Well we shared with you a few of our favorites. Please feel free to share a few of your favorites in the comments below.