6 Best Fishing Backpacks – Reviewed and Compared + Buyers Guide

It's about that time in your life where your fishing bag just broke on you, or you're looking to buy your first fishing backpack. Rather than tell you what we think, we reviewed several tackle backpacks, and we will let you come to your own decisions.

When it comes to the best waterproof bag, for example, we're going to tell you that they're all at least water resistant. We're going to use the term fishing backpack a lot in this article, but these packs can also be used as a fly-fishing backpack.

In this guide, we took a detailed look at each bag. We looked at its storage ability, its size, and wanted to figure out what sets each bag apart from the others. We also have a section that informs you about some things to keep in mind while choosing a pack, and another section outlining some commonly asked questions.

Finally, we are going to give our endorsement to one of these fishing backpacks and say why we like that fishing pack compared to all the others.

Best Fishing Backpack Comparison Table

[amazon table="30114"]

Best Fishing Backpack Reviews

Here are our top 6 fishing backpacks

1. PISCIFUN LARGE WATERPROOF TACKLE FISHING BACKPACK

Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack

The Piscifun Tackle Fishing Backpack is the ultimate utility bag for any fisherman. It has over ten compartments and 18 total pockets allowing people to fit almost anything into this bag. This backpack also has a fold-down clapboard divider, which allows people to have one large main compartment or two smaller compartments. The pack's measurements are 12.6" x 7.9" x 17.7".

If using the clapboard to divide the two sections, a 3700 tackle box will not fit into the bag, but multiple 3600 tackle boxes will fit. This bag comes with 4 x 3600 tackle boxes as an add on, and they're nicely constructed tackle boxes, with rulers built into the top. The price difference is only slightly higher if you choose to get the tackle boxes. However, we highly recommend getting these boxes if you are thinking about this product.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE PISCIFUN LARGE WATERPROOF TACKLE FISHING BACKPACK

  • Comes with a built-in rainfly

  • Lightweight and a good size for short trips

  • Can store 2 x 3700 tackle boxes or 4 x 3600 tackle boxes

  • Hard molded sunglasses pouch, built into the backpack

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • Adding a fishing pole pocket to hold your rod(s)

  • Adding a larger sunglasses case

Pros

Cons

  • This fishing backpack has padded shoulder straps

  • Has sturdy rubber cleats to keep the bag off the ground

  • Offers a fair degree of versatility for a pack the size of a school bag.

  • Needs a larger sunglasses pocket

  • No pocket for fishing rods

2. OKANU NOMAD FISHING BACKPACK

Okuma Nomad Tackle Backpack

The Okanu Nomad is a beast of a bag, measuring in at 17.75” by 25.25” by 9” it is the largest backpack on this list. To help people better understand these measurements, it’s twice the height of a bag someone would use for school. The Okanu bag is also one of the few backpacks online that comes with 3700s and 3730s if you choose to get that add-on. Also, the Okanu Nomad has a variety of pockets all over the backpack.

Similarly, to the Piscifun Fishing Backpack, the central compartment can be turned into a large area to put things in or two medium-sized compartments depending on how the clapboard is positioned.

The Nomad series also has a built-in rain cover, but the rain cover provides water resistance, not waterproofing. This is also the only pack on the list that has built-in dividers for tackle. In this case, for the 3700 and 3730 trays, and they are stored horizontally at the bottom of the bag.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE OKANU NOMAD TACKLE BACKPACK

  • Built-in rainfly

  • A large compartment that can subdivide into two compartments

  • Has cleats on the bottom to keep the bag elevated

  • Can fit either 3700 or 3730 tackle boxes

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • Adding a fishing pole pocket to hold your rod(s)

  • Making a smaller version of the bag

Pros

Cons

  • The backpack has padded shoulder straps

  • Has preexisting dividers for tackle boxes

  • Offers a lot of storage

  • Can become bulky depending on how much people pack

  • Lacks rod holders

3. KASTKING DAY TRIPPER BACKPACK

KastKing Fishing Tackle Backpack

If anything can be said about Kastking products, it’s the fact that Kastking always works to improve them. A lot of people reported issues with the handle. It was not a comfortable handle, and it was poorly attached to the bag. The new backpack features an improved construction to help this backpack last a while. This pack’s total size is 21.25” by 9.25” by 13.4”.

This pack can fit up to 4 x 3600 boxes and has bungies on each side that are large enough to hold one rod each. Kastking also has a one-year warranty on this backpack, so if you experience an issue in this time, you could get a free replacement.

If the clapboard is folded down in the main compartment, this pack becomes large enough to fit about two 3700s. Finally, there are around eight external pockets which can be used for a mix of tools, storing personal items, and holding plastics and baits.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE KASTKING FISHING TACKLE BACKPACK

  • Improved construction over preexisting models

  • Can hold up to four rods

  • Has a two-layer waterproofing system

  • Can fit either 3600 or 3700 tackle boxes

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • Adding more padding to the shoulder straps

  • A sturdier top carrier


Pros

Cons

  • The Backpack has padded shoulder straps

  • Can fit multiple types of boxes

  • Comes with a one-year warranty

  • Uses a fleece case instead of a hard plastic case for sunglasses

  • Shoulder strap stitching isn’t the best

4. SPIDERWIRE FISHING TACKLE BACKPACK

Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack

The Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack may not have a competitive edge in any one particular category, but it’s a reasonable budget-friendly bag, that offers users a lot of versatility. For starters, it offers two side pockets to hold fishing poles, but these side pockets have enough space to fit four poles, two on each side.

Spiderwire also provides an insulated middle compartment, so if fishing with live bait like shrimp or squid, this is the ideal area to store the bait.

The backpack comes with three x 3600s, and they all have a ruler on top of the box and pretty decent latches. There is also a foam molded sunglasses case to protect your shades, and although this bag only measures at 8” by 15” by 16” it’s a real jack of all trades.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE SPIDERWIRE FISHING TACKLE BACKPACK

  • Insulated central compartment

  • The size of this pack

  • Can hold up to four fishing rods

  • Central compartment can be divided into three different compartments

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • Making the pack waterproof instead of water resistant

  • Adding a rain cover that sits in a side pocket or the bottom of the pack


Pros

Cons

  • Can hold multiple rods, so it gives you options

  • Insulated middle compartment

  • Comes with 3 x 3600 boxes

  • 3700 boxes may not fit in the main compartment

  • Not waterproof

5. WILD RIVER NOMAD

Wild River Tek Nomad

Not to be confused with the monster that is the Okuna Nomad, this is the ideal bag for tackle storage. It has a storage compartment that fits four x 3600s and a smaller space that fits two x 3500s. There is also a hard-molded case for sunglasses.

Two external pouches come with the bag. One can be used for a set of pliers and another for a set of snips. This bag also measures in at 15.5" x 9.2" x 21".

The Wild River Nomad is also one of the best bags on the market for night fishing because it comes with a variety of gadgets. This is the only backpack on our list that has either a portable charger or a built-in light as a standard feature. The portable charger holds about 5000 mAh.

To help explain this, an iPhone X has a battery life of 2,716 mAh, and a Samsung S10 hold about 3,400, so it's great if you plan on spending an entire day out on the water. The built-in light is positioned above a pocket that opens out. We recommend using this pocket as an area to attach weights and hooks because the pocket flap will serve as a sort of tray to work on.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE WILD RIVER NOMAD BACKPACK

  • Has a portable charger

  • Can fit 3500s and 3600s or can fit 3700s

  • Comes with a built-in light that has multiple settings

  • The rainfly is built into this bag

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • Creating a budget-friendly equivalent that doesn’t sacrifice all the features offered

  • Removing one of the side pockets and replacing it with a fishing rod holder

Pros

Cons

  • Has a built-in light that is battery operated

  • Offers a large carrying capacity

  • Side pockets fan out, so it's suitable for plastics storage

  • The zippers are made of plastic instead of metal

  • Doesn’t have points to hook on extra gear on the outside besides the two tool pouches

6. CALISSA BLACKSTAR TACKLE BACKPACK

Calissa Blackstar Tackle Backpack

The Calissa Blackstar is very different from all of the other packs. For starters, it floats, and that's not a feature you see that's common in something like a fishing bag, let alone a backpack. This bag also comes standard with 4 x 3650 boxes, which are a little deeper than a standard 3600. The bag measures at 17" by 9" by 20" and is also corrosion resistant.

Calissa is known for being American made by American fisherman, and the quality in this product shows that it was made to withstand anything. This is also one of the few bags that focuses on the little things.

An example of this is the interior. The interior is made of a fluorescent orange material to add to the overall visibility. Also, there are five bottom cleats as opposed to four. This is designed to help support the center of the bottom, so it doesn't sag down like with other bags.

GREAT FEATURES OF THE CALISSA BLACKSTAR TACKLE BACKPACK

  • It floats!

  • Has five cleats on the bottom

  • Fits 4 3650 trays

  • Pretty lightweight and comfortable because of added shoulder and back padding

FEATURES THAT COULD BE ADDED OR IMPROVED UPON

  • The tackle boxes that came with the bag could be better constructed

  • Making the top pocket slightly larger

Pros

Cons

  • Four tackleboxes are included with the bag

  • Corrosion resistant which is suitable for saltwater fishing

  • The tackle boxes are poorly constructed

  • Doesn’t fit larger people well

How to Choose the Best Fishing Backpack for You

When choosing a backpack, it's important to note that you need to get a pack that is the right size and fit for you. Each bag also offers different degrees of storage, whether it be pockets or large compartments.

Also, we're going to speak briefly about waterproof versus water resistance and the difference between the terms. We mention this because some bags are one or the other. Finally, comfort and durability, because nobody wants to invest in a pack only to have a strap break after a couple of months of use.

Fishing BackPack Size

When buying a tackle backpack, think about why you're buying it. Are you a smaller or larger guy? Are you also going on day trips, a trip lasting several days, or a weeklong excursion?

Be sure to pay attention to the dimensions because a bag may be an excellent choice for the duration of time, but this pack may be a horrible match for you size wise. If you are 5'5" for example, the Okuma Nomad may not be the best bag for you, because its 2'1" tall.

Fishing BackPack Storage Capacity

Each fishing bag had a different storage capacity. Think about what tackle boxes you have already, or if you want to buy additional boxes. Most packs in our review have a collapsible clapboard that allows people to have options.

Do you want to store 3600 trays horizontally and use the top to hold additional gear and snacks? Alternatively, do you want to make the pack one big compartment and store a couple of 3700 trays vertically and sacrifice that top compartment for larger tackle boxes?

Waterproof and Water Resistant are they really the same?

For a pack to be waterproof, it means water will not enter into the bag. If the tackle bag is water resistant, this means that up to a certain degree, it will protect the contents of the pack from getting wet.

A lot of packs are water resistant, but also offer either an attached or detachable rain cover, to act as an additional layer to help keep your pack dry. These rain covers make great dust covers and also help to keep bugs off of your pack. This cover is especially useful if you choose to store your tackle bag in a shed or garage.

Fishing Backpack Comfort and Durability

Arguably the most significant factor that will influence both comfort and durability is the user. When packing for a trip, keep in mind that this weight will be on your back for an extended period. No amount of padding is going to make a pack that weighs 30 pounds comfortable for a day trip.

Most bags come with a fair amount of padding on both the shoulder and back to allow you to feel as good as you can while you're in the great outdoors. Also, these bags are built to last, be sure to look at if a pack is corrosion resistant. This is an important factor for saltwater fishers, because if it's not, over time, the metal parts of the backpack will tarnish, and deteriorate.

FAQs About Fishing Backpacks

What is the difference between a 3600 and 3700 tackle box? Is a 3600 and 3650 the same thing?

Tackleboxes slightly differ between numbers. If the first two numbers are the same, they're going to have the same amount of compartments. The difference between a 3600 and a 3650 would be that the 3650 is deeper. The main difference between a 3600 and a 3700 is the storage space, and one is a little larger.

Below is a table with each tackle boxes number, measurements, and range of their number of compartments. We're using a range because tackle boxes have adjustable compartment dividers. Also, we only included tackle box models that were mentioned in the article, because we could write a whole other article about the different kinds of tackle boxes.

Model Number

Dimensions (LxWxH in inches)

Number of Compartments

3500

9.125 x 5.0 x 1.25

5-9

3600

11.0 x 7.0 x 1.75

5-20

3650

11.0 x 7.25 x 1.75

5-20

3700

14.0 x 9.0 x 1.88

4-24

3730

14.0 x 9.0 x 3.2

4-24

A lot of these packs didn’t have fishing rod holders, is there any way I can purchase a rod holder for a backpack or does it need to come already built in?

Currently, fishing rod holders are not available as an independent add-on. On this list, there were a couple of options that were listed, such as the Spider wire tackle bag that does have the built-in pockets for rods. We hope this helps.

Why should I even buy a Fly-Fishing Backpack wouldn’t a regular backpack work?

To a certain degree, a regular backpack would work, but fishing backpacks offer more storage locations, and larger storage areas compared to a bag. A regular bag only has the big storage pocket, a slightly smaller storage pocket and maybe a tiny front pocket; you might even get lucky and have two small side pockets. The minimum number of pockets we've seen on a fishing backpack is ten. 

Fishing backpacks also have designated pockets for tackle boxes, some offer fishing rod holders, there's usually a weatherproofed pouch for electronics and paperwork, and finally waterproofing. Although you could use a backpack, we wouldn't recommend it, just because of the lack of storage space, water resistance, and versatility with the pack.

How should I pack my tackle backpack?

First, pack the tackle boxes because they're going to be what takes the most space. Then go largest to smallest. If you have extra pockets on the side, we highly recommend using these to store extra plastics and creatures.

If you have smaller hard plastic containers, like clear medicine bottles maybe use these to store extra hooks and small pieces that you might need, but you didn't feel like packing in a tackle box. If you have a spare reel or two, maybe use a side pocket to help separate it from everything else.

Once you have the fishing essentials packed, that's when you can use the remaining portions of the back for snacks, water, a raincoat and so on. Also before leaving the house, put your pack on and walk with it for a couple of minutes, if it's uncomfortable, readjust the straps, and maybe take out some of the extra gear.

So What is the Best Fishing Backpack?

Although all six of these packs are pretty awesome, if we would have to endorse one of them over the others, it would have to be the Spiderwire tackle backpack, because of its versatility. This was one of the few packs that made our list with fishing rod holders and being able to bring multiple rods with you, gives you more options, which is never a bad thing. There are padded shoulder straps to make carrying this bag a breeze, even when it's weighed down with equipment.

There is also an insulated middle section, and this pack was the only one that had insulation. This type of insulation is a useful feature because if your fishing with live baits they'll last longer. It’s just as helpful if you're trying to keep your water and lunch cold. This bag also comes with three x 3600 tackle boxes, so you wouldn't have to order boxes for this bag.

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James Williams
 

I love to write for readers with a genuine interest in enjoying the fishing. Hence, I started this blog to provide you guides so that you can have a better and more pleasant fishing experience.

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