Best Fishing Backpack – Get Everything in One Backpack (Reviews and Buyer’s Guide)

Looking for the best fishing backpack but are unsure of which to choose? A backpack for fishing gear should be a help and not a hindrance when you are out fishing all day. Lugging around your lures and other tackle should not result in back pain or tire you out needlessly.

What are the advantages of choosing a fishing backpack over a tackle box ?

  • A fishing backpack will load the weight of your tackle onto your back and not on your arms
  • Being on the back means your hands are free to carry your rod or net
  • Generally lighter than a tackle box

What are the disadvantages of a fishing backpack?

  • Generally carry less
  • A Tackle box is rigid and so can be used as a seat
  • Not all are 100% waterproof
  • Less durable than a tackle box and can tear when snagged on branches

Do you need to a fishing backpack?​

Why should you decide to buy a backpack for tackle versus a tackle box? Well if you need to transport your tackle any kind of distance especially over rough ground then a backpack makes perfect sense. 

Also if you tend to move around a lot as you fish throughout the day the the backpack is preferable, being constantly on the go with a tackle box can become a pain after a few hours.​

If however you only stroll a few yards from the car to the water and then generally sit on your tackle box as you fish then a fishing backpack is probably not the best choice.

How to Select the Best Fishing Backpack

The right tackle backpack for one fisherman may not be the best for another. Knowing what demands you will put on the backpack is the first step in choosing which backpack is right for you.

Storage

How much gear will you need to store? Are you planning on just a few hours regularly after work on you favorite stretch of river? If so then you don't need to be able to carry 4-6 trays of lures and hooks/weights. ​All you need is maybe one of the smaller sling packs.

However if you are a bit more adventurous and tend to fish unfamiliar waters regularly or are planning on hiking out into the back country for fishing then you will need to bring a bigger variety of gear.​ If this is you then one of the larger backpacks that can carry multiple trays and potentially enough food and water for a long day out is the better option.

Comfort

Like any backpack a pack for fishing needs to be comfortable when worn for extended periods especially if it is full of gear. ​Firstly the pack should distribute the weight evenly across your back and shoulders without any specific pressure point from a strap or it's shape.

The straps on a backpack have to be wide so as to spread the weight across the top of your shoulder. The cheaper lower quality fishing backpacks will come with very thin shoulder straps. Thin shoulder straps after a few hours with 40 odd pounds of weight will start to cause strain on your shoulders. The shoulder can actually end up pinched if the weight is very heavy so it is best to avoid these type of backpacks.​

Waterproofing

Without a doubt a fishing pack needs to be at the very least waterproof against the rain. Preferably it should be perfectly waterproof to the point that it will float. Imagine you back goes over board or falls of the river bank into the water only for it to quickly start to submerge with all your favorite gear in it ?​

Waterproofing is essential so as to ensure all your expensive fishing gear and other valuables are kept dry and away from any source of moisture.​

Convenience

What good is a backpack that takes minutes to forage around in trying to find something wasting precious fishing time? A good fishing backpack should have multiple easily accessible pockets and storage sections so that you can find what you need when you need it.​

Having a little extra space than you think you might need is always a good precaution, lets face it most fishermen always bring too much gear "just in case".​ The best tackle backpack needs to cover all these points.

So what is the best fishing backpack?

The top choice for best fishing backpack is the Wild River Nomad Lighted Compact. It can handle all the gear you could need for a long days fishing plus it has all the necessary pockets you could need that are easily accessible. The design also means you shouldn't be feeling it on your back even after a long day out.

We have selected the best on the market whether it's a lightweight bag for a few essentials or the biggest tackle backpack for a trip we have got you covered.


Best Fishing Backpack

Wild River Lighted Compact 

Our choice for best fishing backpack is the Wild River Nomad Lighted Backpack. It has pretty much everything you could ever want in a tackle backpack.

Generous storage of up to 4 medium size trays makes packing in the best of your lure selection easy so you won't get caught wanting. 

A host of innovative features and a rugged design makes this fishing backpack stand out from the rest.​

The front pocket of the top section folds down to be a flat work surface, meaning you can lay out a few lures or others baits in a nicely organised way. The inclusion of an LED light can mean you don't have to pack an extra headlamp if you intend to stay out late after dusk. 

The storage comprises of several large compartments plus smaller pockets, some being made from mesh so you can easily see what is in there. The main storage area has dividers that can be easily removed to create one large space should you need it. ​

Features

  • Holds 4 medium sized trays
  • LED lighting system integrated
  • Molded sunglasses pocket
  • Front pocket folds to become surface for working on
  • Quick deploy rain protection cover

SpiderWire Fishing Tackle Backpack

The SpiderWire Fishing Tackle Backpack is split out into top, middle and bottom compartments. The top has secure storage for your valuables whilst the middle cooler compartment is ideal for keeping either your bait or you lunch cool.  

The bottom house the 3 included utility boxes for your lures and smaller gear .

The specially molded top pocket is perfect for storing your sunglasses in an easy to access location.

​Features

  • Advanced organizer compartments
  • Main comparment divided into 3 seperate spaces
  • Foam molded Sunglasses holder
  • Flat bottom keeps bag upright
  • Includes 3 utility boxes

Wild River 3606 Multi-Tackle

Yet another top fishing tackle bag from Wild River the 3606 Multi-Tackle backpack can hold a very generous amount of fishing tackle. 

It ​has a really great no nonsense easy to use design. The Multi-tackle has a nice blend of smaller easy to access pockets yet still has some of the biggest compartments also. 

It really excels if you have a lot of larger sized fishing gear.​

Features

  • ​Can be bought with or without trays
  • Can hold four #3600 trays
  • Sternum strap to help distribute load
  • Front pocket becomes work surface
  • Removable divider in upper storage ares

Shimano Blackmoon Backpack

A quality fishing bag from a name you can trust the Shimano Blackmoon is perfect for those longer trips that require a little extra comfort from the design and more durability from the build.

The unique thing about the Shimano Blackmoon is that if you need to use the front tray the you need to unzip the bag inn the middle. Although this may sound like a bit of a pain if you need to get at something quickly it is actually a more thoughtful deign as it allows for a better use of the internal space. 

Features

  • Front tray
  • Rod holders on either side(mesh design)
  • Large pockets for holding reels and other large items
  • Heavy duty highly durable materials used throughout

TakleTime Fishing Backpack

The Tackle Time Fishing Backpack sets itself apart from some of the other packs on out list because it is one of the lightest here.

If you are looking for a traditionally shaped pack that is super light for a quick few hours on the water then this is the pack for you.  

​Although it might be light it can carry quite a bit due to it's generous storage volume. 

Even the zippers were given some thought as they are corrosion resistant and should stand up to the damp conditions of fishing. It also doesn't scream fishing backpack so you can use it for other uses too.

Features

  • Well organised and easy to use pockets
  • ​Lightweight well designed for longer usage
  • Insulated foil lined area

Glacier Glove River Pack

​The Glacier Glove River Pack is not your average pack that has just a few compartments and pockets. A lot of thought has gone into the deign of the River Pack. 

The designers went so far as to provide a pack that has a changing mat for when you are changing out of your waders. But they did not stop there, the front has a special compartment for you fishing boots so that they can dry out as you walk back to the car .

It has a really nice thin profile unlike some of the other boxier designs in our fishing backpack review. If you are fishing along a heavily tree lined river you will really appreciate the body hugging silhouette as it has a much lower chance of snagging on a tree.

Features

  • Changing mat attached
  • Wading boot holder
  • internal water bladder holder

Phantom Aquatics Walrus 25 

​The Phantom is probably the most water tight backpack on our list. If you are looking for the added piece of mind in knowing that you valuables will be safe then this is the pack for you.

​This pack is not strictly a fishing backpack so you won't find the multiple pockets and tray compartments but it is almost perfectly waterproof.

Probably best suited for those that are looking to bridge the gap between dedicated fishing backpack and a great all round waterproof multi use pack.

Features

  • Floats when dropped on the surface of the water
  • Waterproof sealed joins between the fabric
  • Lots of room
  • Breathable back design cools your back

Madbite Slingback

​Not strictly a backpack but the Madbite Slingback is one of the best value fishing sling packs available. If you are looking for a super comfortable small volume pack that you can take anywhere even when traveling on vacation then the Madbite is it.

Waterproof which means if you are wading and brushes off the surface then you can rely on it to keep your gear dry ​

Features

  • Doubles as general pack or fishing backpack
  • Compact design
  • Easy to access whilst worn

Calcutta Framed Tackle Backpack

Big on storage and with three lure trays included this is a great value waterproof backpack that has most scenario's covered.

​As it's name suggest the Calcutta has an internal frame so that its shaped is always maintained and will not deform like some other bags. However the frame does add to the overall weight of the pack so best not for very long days out.

Features

  • Big storage
  • Waterproof pouches
  • Interior frame
  • Padded pockets
  • Breathable foam back support

Fiblink Waterproof Tackle Bag

​Another shoulder pack on our list the Fiblink is built from very heavy-duty water resistant nylon. If you are in the market for something that is a little harder wearing out in the wilderness then this is it.

​Like a lot of other sling packs this is not only useful as a dedicated fishing backpack it can be used for any kind of outdoor activity.

Features

  • Rugged nylon construction
  • Easy of the shoulder use
  • 10 inner compartments
  • Comfortable design