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Which fishing backpack is best?

Fishing can be therapeutic, whether you are waist-deep in fly-fishing waters or catching bass from a boat or the shore. But your peaceful activity can quickly turn for the worst if you don’t have the appropriate gear — or when you have the tools, but they’re out of reach.

A good-quality fishing backpack is the best way to ensure you are prepared for any situation. Not only does this let you move to a new fishing spot quickly, but anything you need to hook the big one is right on your back. The KastKing Bait Boss Fishing Tackle Backpack is an excellent choice as it has ample room in a sleek design.

What to know before you buy a fishing backpack

The bag’s size

You might want to travel light or pack all the gear you own for “what if” situations, but either isn’t always the most practical. To determine what backpack size is best for you, there are a few things you must consider.

The most important is what kind of fish you’re trying to catch and what gear you need to do so. This simple strategy is a quick way to figure out which lures, rods, fishing line or accessories you’ll need — and which ones can stay behind for a different trip.

With that said, the backpack should have a large enough capacity to store everything you’ll need according to the length of the trip.

Consider a backpack with rod holders

Depending on your style, you might have several fishing rods in the water. While that’s fine when you’re waiting for a bite, it becomes a bit tricky when you move to a different spot. You don’t want to hold on to all of them when changing locations, or maybe you just want to cast a feeler before settling down. So a backpack with built-in rod holders is invaluable, as you can easily strap them down before moving to the next spot.

Cooling compartments can be handy

It’s not something you’ll find in many fishing backpacks, but a cooling compartment can come in handy. The purpose of this compartment is to keep your food or bait cool, ensuring that it doesn’t spoil while you are in the sun. Putting an ice pack or two in there is a great way to keep your hydration cold.

What to look for in a quality fishing backpack

Plenty of pockets and compartments

The key to a good-quality fishing backpack is having plenty of pockets and compartments while staying organized. There should be several areas where you can store your bait away from other food or dedicated pockets for slightly larger items such as a knife or power bank. A space for a flat tackle box will go a long way in keeping everything organized.

Durable, comfortable materials

If the backpack’s straps bite your shoulders, you will not have a pleasant fishing experience. A good-quality backpack has thick padded straps and a waist belt to reduce tension on your back. It’s great if small pockets are on the waist belt, too, as this gives you quick access to smaller items.

Overall, the backpack must be able to withstand the relatively harsh conditions of sun exposure, moisture, dirt and wading through thick brush to get to your secret fishing spot. Zippers, latches and Velcro-like materials must grip or close properly without coming undone by themselves.


Besides having enough space for your tools, the most important aspect of a good-quality fishing backpack is being waterproof. You’d be highly disappointed if you spent some time reaching your location only to find that all your sensitive gear, food and bait are soaked.

How much you can expect to spend on a fishing backpack

The price depends on the brand, size and number of compartments. A small shoulder bag that can hold the basics costs $30-$40, while a full-size backpack with lots of compartments runs $200-$300.

Fishing backpack FAQ

Do fishing backpacks come with a manufacturer warranty?

A. It would be upsetting if any of the zippers fail and your gear falls out. Many backpacks carry a limited warranty to cover manufacturing defects, but it depends on the brand.

Is it necessary to have a waist strap?

A. While your shoulders carry the backpack’s weight, a waist strap reduces the strain on your back by lifting it slightly onto your hips. A waist strap is only necessary if your backpack is heavier than what is comfortable.

What’s the best fishing backpack to buy?

Top fishing backpack

Best KastKing Bait Boss Fishing Tackle Backpack

KastKing Bait Boss Fishing Tackle Backpack

What you need to know: With ample pockets and packing space, this waterproof fishing backpack is a great choice.

What you’ll love: It has four zippered compartments on the sides and a separate pocket to protect your sunglasses. The zippered compartment at the bottom is large enough to store the four included tackle boxes. It has padded shoulder straps and two fishing rod holders.

What you should consider: The included tackle boxes are all the same inside, which can be a problem if you have a differently sized tackle or lures.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fishing backpack for the money

Best Seaknight Fishing Tackle Backpack

Seaknight Fishing Tackle Backpack

What you need to know: Durable and water-resistant, this backpack will keep your essentials dry even in tough weather conditions.

What you’ll love: It is made from water-resistant polyester and has adjustable padded shoulder straps. It has a large storage space with a removable clapboard to divide the space to suit your preference.

What you should consider: Trays are not included in this model, but there are plenty of models to choose from.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Plano Atlas 3700 Tackle Fishing Backpack

Plano Atlas 3700 Tackle Fishing Backpack

What you need to know: With thick padded shoulder straps and extra cushioning for your back, this backpack is meant for a whole day of angling.

What you’ll love: This hard-sided backpack is covered with waterproof ethylene-vinyl acetate foam to keep your gear safe. There is a drop-down compartment on the front for quick access to important tools, two zippered compartments on the sides, and a water-resistant compartment on the top for your mobile phone. The hard-bottomed internal component is large enough to store the three included Plano StowAway tackle boxes.

What you should consider: Some users said the rod straps at the back are hard to reach.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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