Having a reliable and good fishing backpack can enables anglers to carry fishing gear safely and easily. It can turn a long day fishing into a much more enjoyable and successful venture. Backpacks meant for fishing often have specific design and compartments that make them far better than utilizing a regular backpack. A fishing backpack should be able to bear extreme weather conditions or changing weather conditions. Fishing backpacks come in various shapes, sizes, designs, materials, and prices, so it can get confusing when picking the best one for your needs. Here’s everything you should know before you shop and choose the best fishing backpack for your needs.
Key Features & Considerations For Fishing Backpacks
It is important to know the size of the backpack according to your needs. You don’t need a large-size backpack when you have limited gear to bring. If you’re going on any day trip then it’ll be better to go for a small size backpack as you don’t need as much space as for going on any camping or weekend adventure. Having a large size backpack can add extra weight on your shoulders which can cause fatigue or tiredness. They can also be less comfortable.
If you frequently go outside for fishing adventures then having a compartmentalized fishing tackle backpack will be extremely beneficial for you. For the fly fisherman, it’s far better to go for a small size backpack as fly fishermen tend to need less gear, and are often wading and always on the move.
Backpacks often come with a size in Liters, we have a chart below to help you, as well as an article on backpack sizing if you want to dig deeper.
Backpack Sizing Chart
|Duration of Fishing
|Recommended Backpack Capacity
|Half-Day (<4 hours)
|20 liters or less
|Full-Day (>4 hours)
Water Resistants / Waterproofing
Most of the fishing backpacks featured Polyester or Nylon material that is water and wear-resistant. As you have to spend a lot of time outside so it is very important to have a water-resistant fishing backpack to protect your internal gears. Anything outside can happen including rain, wind, snow, sleet, hail, and many other severe weather conditions. Before choosing any fishing backpack, ensure you’ve got reinforced zippers and a compact structure for ensuring the safety of all of your internal gear and items. Many of the bags on the market are not waterproof, so having a rain cover is a great idea. Anglers will also find that a lot of fly fishing gear is fully waterproof for wading purposes. If you plan on wading a lot, or going out in heavy rain, investing in a fully waterproof option may be necessary. If this isn’t a worry for you, you can save some weight and money by not investing in a waterproof or highly water resistant product.
Whether you’re doing fishing in fresh or saltwater, it is extremely important to have a long-lasting material backpack to prevent wear and tear. Most of the fishing backpacks featured Polyester & Nylon material which are relatively abrasion and wear-resistant and also retain the original color of the backpack for a long time.
Make sure the bottom of the bag has been reinforced and durable sufficient for bearing the heavy load inside easily. Look for brands that have a warranty policy.
Also look for high quality zippers that won’t get caught, and are made from sturdier or thicker materials.
This is a hard category to explain what to look for since it varies by the size of bag, location of fishing, and the type of fishing being done. Look for specific compartments and organization that fits your needs. Some examples of this include:
- Rod tube holders
- Tackle box compartment / fly box compartments
- Tool holders
- Tippet spool holders
- Net compartment
Comfort is an extremely important factor for long-distance journeys. Even more so if you are carrying a heavy load. Having a comfortable, padded, and ventilated backpack panel is super beneficial for carrying heavy fishing gear on your shoulders. Look for comfort reviews before purchasing online, or try in person. If the backpack featured more straps like sternum, waist, or hip strap then it is will be increasing your comfort, safety, in addition to the organization of the gear. Comfort is also related to backpack size, a large-size backpack with a heavy load has less comfort as compared to a small-size gear with better organization.
Key Comfort Features:
- Waist / hip strap
- Sternum / chest strap
- Padded shoulders
- Air ventilated back pad
The Best Fishing Backpacks
We have pulled together the best fishing backpacks here for you in a short list. While there are hundreds of options that may also be great fits, these are just a few great examples.
KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack
This bag is budget friendly, awesome looking, lightweight, super comfortable and feature loaded. The organization and design of this bag is steller for spin fisherman, and anglers can even buy tackle boxes with it that fit perfectly inside the bag.
Overall, this is one of the best value fishing backpacks on the market. Oh, and the reviews speak for themselves.
This bag is a great size for a half day, or even a full day adventure.
Grundens Bootlegger Roll Top Backpack 30L
This is different than the other style bags on this list as it is a roll top bag that’s fully waterproof. We take this bag fishing and shove camera gear and a drone inside of it. That way we can cross rivers without worry of damaging or destroying gear.
Roll Top Closure
Pros: Extremely lightweight and easy to use
Cons: Relatively expensive, and no hip belt for added comfort with heavy weight.
Lunkerhunt LTS Backpack
We love this bag because it is affordable, and it is never going to break. The design and material of the bag makes this an insanely durable option if you end up hiking through the woods, or even a jungle.
With adjustable rod holders, water resistant materials, and other simple designed fishing features, it is yet again, a fantastic options for anglers.
The 30L size makes this a great half day adventure bag that can be used for full day adventures as well.
Plano Z-Series Waterproof Backpack
We love this pack as this is a fantastic fully waterproof option. While it doesn’t have tons of compartments, it has rod holder, outside clips, and super durable materials. This is one of the best fully waterproof options specifically designed for fishing.
Also, you could throw this off of a cliff, it could bash across rocks the entire way down, and end up undamaged at the bottom due to the durable materials.
This is a great half day to full day pack if you don’t need to bring a ton of gear, but need to be waterproof.
Wild River Tackle Tek Nomad Lighted Backpack
This pack has tons of of pockets and a good amount of size for a full day outing.
In addition, it also has a built in rain cover for the really wet days.
Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack
This bag just has too many great reviews to not be on this list. It is affordable, has tons of features, is made of durable materials, and is lightweight. The over 3,400 reviews should speak for themselves.
Great bag for housing all of your items, and comes with a rainfly for the rainy days.
There are also some great protective features, bottle holders, sunglass holders, and more that are all great value add features.
Tackle Tek Nomad Lighted Backpack
This also has tons of stellar reviews from other anglers.
This bag perfect for a half day or full day outing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Attach Fishing Rod To Backpack?
There are several methods to connect the fishing rod to a backpack. The rods should be placed in an upward position as that is the simplest and easiest technique to carry them. Spinning rods are smaller but featured large eyes so it is difficult to attach them with any backpack. Having extra straps on your fishing backpack can be a great feature for you to connect more items to carry them easily. Rod tubes are a great way to protect rods and pack them either internally or externally on a bag. Some anglers will also just break down a rod and strap it to the outside without a tube, but this increases the risk of catching the rod on a branch or item that could cause damage.
Should I Get A Backpack, Chest Pack, Hip Pack, or Sling?
This is really up to personal preference. Backpacks are meant for longer adventures and carrying more gear. If you plan on hiking several miles, or need to carry a lot of gear, you most likely need a backpack over the other gear carrying options.
What Should You Pack In The Fishing Backpack?
You can pack everything related to your fishing adventure. It depends upon the size of the backpack. If your backpack also featured a rod holder then it will be super beneficial for you as it is difficult to carry a fishing rod with you separately. Be sure to bring everything you need for your time out, including food, water, camping gear, and other items. Keep this in mind when deciding the size of your backpack.
Fishing backpacks offer extra compartments and pockets as compared to normal backpacks which help you to spend more time fishing, and less time grabbing and packing gear. If you fish a lot, investing in a fishing specific pack can make your experience even better.
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about