5 Best Fishing Backpacks for 2023

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We’ve all been there at some point.

You get to your fishing spot and start unloading your vehicle. Before you know it, you have your reel and rod in one hand, while trying to hold your tackle box with one or two fingers and trying to carry a cooler with your other hand.

Why torture yourself?

A good fishing backpack can solve this problem. It can be thrown over the shoulders freeing up both hands to carry your other items.

Best Fishing Backpacks for 2023 Reviewed

1. Custom Leathercraft Wild River Backpack

Best Fishing Backpack

Wild River Backpacks offer just about any convenience in a fishing backpack you could possibly need while on your trip. They have several different models, that cater to the weekend adventurist or the die-hard sports fisherman.

For example, the Nomad XP Model offers an integrated 5000mAh rechargeable USB power supply that is designed to extend the battery life of small portable electronic devices, this makes it easy to keep your cell phone charged especially in the event an emergency should arise.

The optional Wild River Clip-On Solar Panel offers an alternative way to recharge the Nomad XP USB power supply, this takes the worry out of completely depleting the power supply when away from electricity for long periods.

Additionally, an integrated rotating 3-level LED light system, with white light and green light options, is designed to illuminate your work area and internally into the backpack, this can be extremely beneficial when fishing at night and eliminates the hassle of trying to hold a flashlight while changing hooks, etc.

The Nomad XP also has the capacity to hold up to six 3600-series and four 3500-series trays.

The overall weight is 6.7 pounds. Considering the features this fishing backpack offers, it is not overly weighted to make it uncomfortable.


  • Thick plastic pads keep it level and raised off the ground.
  • Lots of room for various-sized items.
  • The light works great and is very bright.
  • The workspace below the light is very sturdy.
  • Stays upright when opening trays.

2. Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack

Best Tackle Fishing Backpack

Spiderwire fishing backpack offers tons of inner space and comes with three medium utility boxes that protect your tackle and other gear.

The adjustable main compartment sub-divides into three separate inner compartments that will hold personal gear, food, beverages, and other tackle needed for your fishing trips. This large-capacity fishing backpack includes three medium utility boxes with dimensions: of 10.2in x 6.7in x 1.6in.

Adjustable main compartment, that will accommodate many different size items as well as front and top access to the main compartment and advanced organizer compartments.

The left and right-side accessory pockets come with zipper closures for added security. The Spiderwire fishing backpack also offers a removable fishing tool holder that attaches to both the left and right sides.

It also has a foam molded sunglass case with soft lining for secure protection of your sunglasses or reading glasses.

Spiderwire backpacks have a fishing rod carry system that allows you to have both hands free to carry other items.

The flat bottom allows the Spiderwire fishing backpack to sit upright, which helps to keep all of your items in place.


  • Chest buckle helps with weight distribution.
  • Rod holders are very strong.
  • Zippers are high quality.
  • Very well insulated.
  • Extremely durable material.

3. Piscifun Water-Resistant Outdoor Tackle Bag Single Shoulder

Best Shoulder Sling Tackle Bag

When it comes to the best waterproof tackle bag, Piscifun does not disappoint. Made of water-resistant 1000D high-density nylon fabrics, manufactured with high-end equipment to ensure its quality.

The abrasion-resistant and indestructible KAM buckle and SBS zippers (full-length double zippers) are more durable than most competitors.

When it comes to storage, the Piscifun tackle bag has plenty to go around.

There are three inner layers in the main compartment dimension of the main compartment: 12*8.7*4.3in, the fishing tackle bag also comes with many exterior pockets.

Piscifun also added a unique side water bottle pocket with two retractable strings to fasten the bottle and keep it in position. There are another two pockets at the bottom of the bag for placing fishing pliers, fish grippers, etc.

The Piscifun tackle bag features two adjustable shoulder straps, it can be used as a sling shoulder bag, backpack, handbag, chest bag, fishing tackle bag, traveling bag, etc. Also featured are two-rod belts to hold your rods.

One side of the tackle bag has two pockets and a buckle for holding fishing pliers, fish grippers and keys, etc. You can also place your rod with the two extra rod belts for easy carry-around.


  • Has many different size compartments.
  • A large number of external attachment points.
  • Has a MOLLE grid on the front.
  • Lightweight yet durable.
  • Value for the price

4. Best Waterproof Fishing BagPlano Z – Series Waterproof Tackle Bag

Best Waterproof Fishing Bag

Plano has long been associated with fishing tackle storage. The Plano Z Series waterproof tackle bag is one of the latest bags offered by one of the most recognizable leaders in the industry.

The zipperless closures (yes! I said zipperless) are another example of Plano being on the cutting edge.

Designed to give unobstructed, worry-free access to your gear, the zipperless Z-Series bag eliminates frustrating failures that are common in many traditional zipper bags.

These technically superior bags incorporate a durable, water-resistant coating and fast-entry, splash-resistant openings, so you can grab what you need without ever missing a bite.

High-performance TPE-coated waterproof fabric that is very durable will keep your fishing tackle dry and secure.

The gusseted top closes neatly and securely with buckles and replaces zippered closures that can give problems over time.

The Plano Z series tackle bag also has two side pockets with secure closures for added storage capability as well as front and back mesh slip pockets with hook-and-loop closures.

Plano-exclusive Utili-Tackle Rail System molded, the waterproof base allows the fishing tackle bag to stay securely upright and dry.


  • The waterproofing is good.
  • Zipperless design means do not have to worry about zipper corrosion.
  • Comfortable to carry.
  • Does not slide on slick surfaces
  • Room for multiple Plano trays.

5. Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box

Great Roller Fishing Tackle Box

If your trip requires you to carry a large or larger-than-normal amount of tackle, the Elkton rolling tackle box can handle the job.

Transporting all your fishing gear and keeping it organized can be tough and very time-consuming. The Elkton outdoors rolling tackle box can help transport all of your fishing gear while keeping it organized.

Made with extremely durable fabric, rugged zippers, and PVC, it will keep your rolling tackle box in great shape for many years to come.

The top of the fishing tackle roller has one large adjustable compartment that can be divided up into two or three sections to help you organize your gear the way you want. Five retractable tackle trays will help you stay more organized by providing plenty of compartments for lures, leaders, fishing tools, and more.

Four PVC rod holders make traveling with your rods easy and will keep them in great shape. One tough extendable handle and two heavy-duty wheels will get all of your fishing supplies where you want to go without any problems.

The Elkton rolling fishing tackle box has a comfortable, removable shoulder strap that allows you to pick up the fishing tackle bag and carry it over your shoulder at any time.

The Elkton rolling fishing tackle box is durable, water-resistant, light, compact, and convenient making it easy to get your fishing gear to your favorite spot.

Storage in the Elkton rolling fishing tackle box is abundant with padded and adjustable top storage compartments, and five 3600 sizes, 18-compartment tackle trays to fulfill of your organization and storage needs for all your gear.

Transporting the Elton rolling fishing tackle box is convenient, simply extend the handle to use as a rolling tackle box, retract the handle and use the shoulder strap to carry it.


  • Sturdy design
  • Has four-rod carriers
  • Compact yet with plenty of storage
  • Has rollers for traveling long distances
  • Water-resistant

Best fishing backpack
Get yourself a backpack that can carry your rods, gear, tackle, food, and more.

Here’s Why You Should Get a Fishing Backpack

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Why It’s Important To Keep Your Fishing Gear Organized

When the fishing is good and timing is of the essence, a well-organized fishing tackle bag can be the difference between the one you bring in and the one that got away.

Fishing lines break, hooks bend, weights need to be changed, and the scenarios are endless. Having everything you need within easy reach can make all the difference.

Tangled hooks have always been a nightmare for an angler to separate. With adequate storage compartments, this becomes a thing of the past.

Keeping soft plastic lures organized by type helps tremendously reduce the time involved in changing lures.

Weights that are separated by size and shape make setting up lines much more efficient.

Best fishing bags
Fishing is more peaceful when your gear is organized and easy to find when the moment calls. Source

How Much Storage Space Is Necessary?

The amount of storage space necessary depends on the type of fishing you plan on doing, as well as how long you plan to stay out.

Saltwater fishing trips, that can require more diverse equipment and tackle will generally require a large tackle bag or saltwater tackle bag to accommodate your equipment. However, an afternoon freshwater fishing trip may only require a small tackle bag.


Most backpacks have specially designated pockets to accommodate certain tools. One of these is fishing pliers. This allows you to know exactly where your fishing pliers are for easy access at a moment’s notice.

A large main compartment allows you to throw last-minute items in that you may otherwise not be able to carry, but find out later what you need.

Another advantage to having a large main compartment or extra compartments is that you can use them to store trash until you reach a garbage receptacle.

Having various extra rod holders or compartments means more storage for rods, cameras, phones, sunglasses, fishing license, and much more.

Separate compartments for soft pouches and hard tackle boxes are something else to keep in mind when looking at backpacks.

Water-Resistant or Waterproof

Water-resistant backpacks mean just that, they resist water. This does not necessarily mean they are waterproof.

Most of the best fishing backpacks on today’s market are made of a water-resistant material that can keep their contents dry under most normal conditions.

Waterproof tackle bags would be more apt to keep their contents dry in the event of submersion or prolonged exposure to rain.

As is the case with many of the best fly fishing backpacks, due to the inherent risk of becoming submerged or subjected to prolonged use in water, waterproof designs would be recommended.

Best fishing bag fly fishing
If you’re going to be in the water make sure you get a bag that’s waterproof in case you take a spill. Source

Carrying Methods

Fishing backpacks can be carried in a number of ways, they can be worn as a backpack, this method allows you to have both hands free for carrying other items or while fishing.

Shoulder straps are another method of carrying your fishing backpack, this can be convenient for reaching into side pockets while on the move.

Rollers work very well for larger tackle bags that may be larger or heavier. These models also have handles and straps to lift them across terrain that may be too rough for the rollers.

Quality, Styling, And Comfort

The best fishing backpacks, as mentioned in this article, are made of high-quality materials such as durable water-resistant material, high-grade zippers, and closures.

These fishing backpacks are designed with comfort in mind, with soft padded shoulder straps and handles for long holding without pain and discomfort.

Why Is It Good To Have a Saltwater and a Freshwater Bag?

Size and design make a difference in saltwater and freshwater fishing backpacks.

Considering much of the saltwater fishing tackle differs from freshwater fishing tackle, it is a good idea to have one of each.

With this in mind, each fishing tackle bag can be equipped with tackle and supplies that pertain to each, without having to pack and repack each time you go out fishing, leading to the possibility of forgetting to pack something.

With both saltwater and freshwater fishing tackle bag already stocked, you will always be ready to go fishing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can a fishing backpack last?

With proper care, and storage when not in use, a good fishing backpack can last for many years.

Are fishing backpacks easy to clean?

Conventional machine washing is not recommended nor entirely necessary, simply wiping your fishing backpack down with mild soap and warm water will suffice.

Are fishing backpacks better than hiking backpacks?

Yes, many hiking backpacks are not water-resistant. Also, fishing backpacks are designed to accommodate small tackle boxes in ways hiking backpacks can not.

Final Thoughts

Out of the best fishing backpacks reviewed, we feel the Custom Leathercraft Wild River Backpack is the winner of the roundup.

This backpack offers options that are not only convenient but can also be of great importance if you become stranded or injured, with the ability to charge portable devices as well as provide light.

Fishing backpacks can make your fishing trip much more enjoyable as well as comfortable, by giving you the ability to carry everything you need in one bag and be able to carry it with your hands-free.

Whether you are looking for a fishing tackle backpack or a kayaking backpack, there are many options on the market to choose from (also, if you’re looking for more of a general outdoor pack, this post has some really good hiking backpack recommendations).

Jon Stenstrom
Founder & Angler
Jon Stenstrom is a fishing enthusiast. He has over 25 years of fishing experience, and 6 years of spearfishing experience, and is currently learning how to boat. Jon has his Open Water PADI Certification and FII Freediver Level 1 Certification. Jon has traveled the world to fish and dive, most notably in the Great Barrier Reef, Baja Mexico, Thailand, and Malaysia. More Articles
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