14 Best Fishing Backpacks: Complete A to Z Buyer’s Guide

Best Fishing Backpack Overall

Wild River Nomad by Custom Leathercraft

4.7/5

Best Fishing Tackle Backpack

The X-Large Recon Rolling Fishing Backpack

4.4/5

Best Waterproof Fishing Backpack

Arbogast Jointed Jitterbug

4.3/5

The best fishing backpack is more than a place to store your phone, keys, and wallet. It’s your companion on the water keeping your gear safe and dry when things start to go South. The bass fishing backpacks of today are much more than storage. 

These backpacks contain rod holders, coolers, drinking water tanks, and even LED lights. There are many brands to choose from, but no need to worry. We did all the leg work for you. After hours of research and consulting with the experts, we’ve put together a list of the 13 best fishing backpacks of 2020 and beyond. 

Our Reviews Of The Best Fishing Backpacks

Wild River Nomad by Custom Leathercraft

Best Fishing Backpack Overall

SPECIFICATIONS
DESIGN AND FUNCTIONALITY
STORAGE AND SPACE
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We chose this backpack as our top option because of its solid design and comfort. It has base pads on the bottom that help keep everything dry, plus it boasts some of the most comfortable straps on a shoulder bag. 

With plenty of tackle storage on all four sides, you’ll have enough room for all your personal gear alongside your lures, rods, hooks, and anything else you might have. Plus, it comes with a removable plier holder and lanyard.

The X-Large Recon Rolling Fishing Backpack

Best Fishing Tackle Backpack

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Having a large fishing tackle bag that you can roll around sounds like a great option at first thought, but after you start to think about it, the desirability goes down. That said, if you mostly fish larger boats – this is the right pack for you. 

It’s great for saltwater and freshwater fishing, and it comes with four rod holders that allow you to store all your rods, gear, and tackle easily without feeling cramped or overloaded. 

Wild River by CLC 503

Best Waterproof Fishing Backpack

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If you don’t have as much gear to take with you, this backpack will do the trick. It’s lightweight, comfortable, and highly functioning. The rain cover and base pads do a great job of ensuring that everything stays dry. 

Even though the backpack is a bit smaller than some of the other options, you’re still getting large compartments capable of holding up to four tackle trays.

Anglatech Fly Fishing Backpack

Best Fly Fishing Backpack

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How cool is this thing? You get everything you need from a tackle box but in a fly vest. Most fly anglers don’t need a large tackle bag because all they’re using are small flies. This vest is perfect. 

It features breathable mesh pockets and comfortable straps. While that might help, the vest overall is pretty hot, and if you’re dealing with sun and 80+ degree temperatures, you’re going to sweat a lot underneath this. 

Kingdom LYB19 Fishing Tackle Boxes

Best Backpack Tackle Bag

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The main attractant for this backpack is the fact that you can use it for other stuff. If you’re going camping, hiking, fishing, or sleeping over your in-laws (why would you do that?), you can use this backpack. 

The 3D compression technology allows you to stay cool and comfortable, and the detachable bags are what really draw me. You can leave the entire backpack in your car and fish along the shore with only the lures you plan to use.  

Talysc Fishing Backpack by Calissa Offshore Tackle

Best Saltwater Fishing Backpack

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The key to successful saltwater fishing is keeping everything organized, and this backpack makes that easier than ever before. The premium material ensures that all your belongings are safe, and the large compartments provide you with plenty of places to put everything. 

You also have a few different options for how you’d like to carry this one. It has a sturdy handle on top if you prefer to just carry your tackle bag in your hand rather than over your shoulder.

Plano Z-Series Tackle Bag

Best Soft Tackle Bag

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If you’re searching for something lightweight, with plenty of storage, that looks great, then this is the right fishing pack for you. The problem is, it’s not the most functional of all the options we have. The velcro is a major downside for me, and the trays they include aren’t the best. 

That said, it’s a comfortable backpack that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, so as I always say, everything has its negatives. You just have to weigh the pros with the cons.

KastKing Day Tripper

Best Fishing Backpack with Rod Holders

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If you’re in the market for a backpack that won’t leave you feeling sore even after a long day, this is the one. It’s lightweight even though it has one of the largest capacities we have in this review. It features a ton of pockets and plenty of padded straps to take some of the weight of your shoulders. 

Prospo 40L Military Tactical Shoulder Backpack

Best Backpack with Hydration Bladder

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You don’t always need to have a fishing backpack to go fishing, a survivalist backpack will work just as well! You can’t fit any of the standard size tackle trays in here, but a combination of the smaller ones will do the trick. 

What you do get is a large and spacious backpack that is as durable as they get. Plus, the hydration bladder isn’t something you’ll know you need until you need it.

3 in 1 Multifunction Fishing Backpack

Best Versatile Fishing Backpack

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SpiderWire Sling Fishing Backpack

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If you’re looking for a multi-purpose backpack that you can use outside of trips to the lake, give this one a more thorough look. The backpack looks great, and it’s as comfortable as any of the options available in this review. 

Plus, you get plenty of pockets and storage areas, so you won’t have a hard time finding somewhere to put any of your belongings. 

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

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I’m not often left speechless without a bad thing to say about a product we review, but that’s the case here. This fishing pack offers everything you could want from plenty of storage to durable material and even waterproof pockets for things like your phone and wallet. 

Blisswill Fishing Backpack

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This backpack offers some of the strongest materials I’ve ever seen. It’s abrasion and corrosion-resistant. Plus, it’s also waterproof and easy to clean. While it’s not the biggest backpack or one loaded with “fishing-specific” features, it’s a great option for a multi-purpose pack.

Ghosthorn Fishing Tackle Backpack

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Our last choice here is a fishing backpack that you can use for a variety of purposes. Its durability and price are the selling points. For less than $50 you can get a fully loaded fishing bag with abrasion-resistant zippers and water-resistant material. It’s comfortable, and it comes with a few features that bass anglers will like. 

The rod belts are a nice feature and something we don’t typically expect for a backpack in this price range. Plus, the versatile clip buckles are something we look for when finding a bag for long-distance trips. 

Finally, the MOLLE webs are always a high-quality feature and something usually seen in premium bags from the best brands. This low-budget pack offers a safe place for you to store knives, pliers, keys, and flashlights.  

Features to Look For in The Best Fishing Backpack

Hiking shoes on map with compass and backpack

So, you’ve seen the reviews, and you’re considering getting a fishing backpack for yourself; how do you know you’re getting the best one? I think there are five main components that make up the best fishing backpacks:

  1. Size/Capacity
  2. Organizational Features
  3. Durability/Waterproofing
  4. Comfort
  5. Fishing Specific Features

Size/Capacity 

While you might not need a backpack as big as the next guy, it’s important to know what you need. Think about the typically fishing trip for you or what type of trip you’re planning. If you’re taking a day trip, you might not need as much space as someone going on a camping trip lasting three or four days. 

Take a look at your gear too. Personally, I don’t travel with a lot of gear. I think it’s better to keep it simple so I only take what I need. So, I wouldn’t need a giant fishing backpack, I would prefer to go with something lightweight to accommodate the basics. 

If you’re the type of angler that has to have all 300 lures at all times, you’ll want to keep that in mind when you shop. 

Organizational Features

Organization is one of the most important features. Not only does it help you find the things you want, but it helps you to not forget anything. When you look in your bag, you should be able to see everything. The best backpacks offer plenty of compartments that are easy to access and quick to look in and find something. 

Also, keep in mind again, what kind of gear you have. If you’re a fly angler, you’ll need a convenient way to store your flies. Some backpacks offer that, and others don’t even come close. 

Durability/Waterproofing

I think these two go hand-in-hand. If you’re spending a lot of time on the water, anything can happen. You need a backpack that can hold up against all elements. This includes rain, wind, sleet, hail, snow, intense heat, UV rays, etc. 

Make sure the backpack you choose offers reinforced zippers and fastening mechanisms so they won’t rust. If you fish saltwater, we need to take this up another notch. Salt spray and even just salty air will wreak havoc on a poor quality bag. Some of the options recommended above have extra protection against salt corrosion. 

Comfort 

Everyone should have a comfortable backpack, right? It needs to be lightweight, loaded with padding, and have adjustable straps that allow you to fit it perfectly to your body shape and size. Almost all the fishing backpacks I’ve seen have ample padding with plenty of comfort features to prevent fatigue and shoulder strain. 

Fishing Specific Features 

This aspect is something that a lot of people aren’t talking about, but how could we ignore it? The best fishing backpack will cater to bass anglers who are trying to stay organized and have an easier time transporting gear. 

We’ve all seen that guy who never prepares, right? He’s fumbling his gear together, things are falling out, he forgets stuff all the time, we all have a friend like that. 

Having things like rod holders, utility boxes, and compartments for line, hooks, fish finders and extra reels will ensure this never happens to you.  

Types of Fishing Backpacks

Types of Fishing Backpacks

We don’t have to go too crazy here, but there are a few different types of fishing backpacks. Knowing each type will help you choose the right option. Maybe you didn’t even know there were different types. Check it out! 

Traditional 

The standard fishing backpack usually comes with two shoulder straps, and you carry it on your back. These are bigger than some other bags so they can accommodate more gear, but they’re also heavier. If you take long fishing trips or you have a lot of gear, I would suggest going with one of these. 

Rolling 

Rolling backpacks are similar to the traditional backpack, but they have wheels and a handle that usually extends like a suitcase. These are often even larger than traditional backpacks because they have a square shape that isn’t as comfortable on your back. 

Much of the time, they do come with straps, but they’re quite bulky, and you wouldn’t want to carry them long distances. If you’re planning a simple fishing trip where you’ll be doing a lot of shoreline fishing and maybe some picnicking, this would be a good choice. 

Sling Backpacks 

These packs are smaller than both previous options, and they’re meant for shorter trips. You’ll drape the backpack over one shoulder with the single strap crossing over your chest. Since they’re smaller, they’re usually lightweight, but they don’t carry as much gear.

Why Should You Have a Fishing Backpack

Young man in orange jacket walking hiking outdoors with backpack

Why even bother, right? It’s another added expense and something else that may sit around the garage and never get used. The bad news is, those two statements are potentially correct. The good news is, they don’t have to be correct. 

A fishing backpack is a great way to organize all your valuable gear and make the fishing trip more enjoyable. We’ve all faced a situation where we couldn’t find something until we didn’t need it anymore. Having a well organized, fully-loaded fishing backpack ensures you never misplace something, and you can find it right away. 

In addition to storage and organization, it’s also a comfortable way to carry extra belongings that you might need. When you’re taking a long-term fishing trip, you might be traveling with food, drinks, blankets, and other things. Some of these packs have straps that allow you to secure things to the top of the bag “backpacking style” if you don’t have enough room inside.  

FAQs

Determining whether or not you need a fishing backpack is like deciding whether or not you need to go fishing. No one needs it, but everyone wants it. You should get a fishing backpack because it provides a much more efficient and effective way to store your gear. When you’re organized, it not only makes the trip easier, but it makes it much more fun. 

Pack everything you would normally pack. Most of the options recommended above should be able to more than accommodate everything you have, and if not, you should size up a notch. Make sure to get a backpack with rod holders or some form of rod grasping mechanism. That is the best feature, in my opinion, because carrying rods through the woods is difficult and you can damage them. 

Absolutely! I highly recommend you bring your backpack when you ice fish because you’ll need a place to keep your gear safe. One trick that I’ve always used for ice fishing is to bring a sled to slide all the gear onto the ice. In most situations, you won’t be able to drive right onto the ice, so you’ll need an easy way to drag everything over to the whole. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve seen the best fishing backpacks for bass anglers, what do you think? Do you think it’s worth purchasing one of these options to try and keep everything a little more organized? I think it is, and that’s the main reason for doing this review. 

The best bags will offer a ton of compartmentalized storage that makes it easy for you to find what you need so you can spend more time fishing and less time sifting through all your stuff. 

They’ll also offer extra features that you might not have originally thought about. I’m thinking of getting one with the hydration bladder simply because it seems like a cool feature, and you don’t have to carry water bottles or risk having plastic bottles blow away or land in the water. 

Regardless of which choice you make, ensure that you keep all the buying factors in mind and choose a fishing backpack that suits your needs. Thanks for reading!  

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