The 10 Best Fishing Backpacks

Updated February 25, 2018 by Sam Kraft

10 Best Fishing Backpacks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Every angler will tell you the same thing: you won’t have a successful day of fishing if you’re not equipped with the right gear. Of course, transporting all that gear to the water is another issue entirely. Luckily, these fishing backpacks provide a convenient and practical way to store your tackle and get it to your destination, so you'll be prepared for whatever the day brings. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fishing backpack on Amazon.

10. Anglatech Combo

The Anglatech Combo is both a vest and a backpack, giving you some handy extra storage in front. The vest pockets offer easy access to your items when you’re in a hurry, but the water bladder is rather flimsy and tends to leak sometimes.
  • 2 built-in fly holders
  • does not restrict range of motion
  • pockets are not waterproof
Brand Anglatech
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

9. Lixada Utility

The base of the Lixada Utility is thick and rugged, which provides stability when it’s sitting on a boat chair and prevents the fabric from being scratched. It comes with a rain cover, which can be a lifesaver when the skies open up.
  • 2 exterior mesh pouches
  • contains a removable divider
  • storage space is quite limited
Brand Lixada
Model pending
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Glacier Glove River

The Glacier Glove River comes with a wading boot holder, so you'll always have dry footwear when the need arises. It's well-organized with a ton of storage space, so you can pack all the items you require — and retrieve them quickly when you’re in a pinch.
  • has an adjustable waist strap
  • well-stitched for durability
  • bit too heavy for extended carrying
Brand Glacier Glove
Model 325BL
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

7. Wild River Camo

Designed with an integrated LED light system, you won’t have to fumble around blindly in the Wild River Camo when it’s dark outside. It features a sunglasses holder, which lessens the risk of misplacing an expensive pair of shades.
  • doubles as a hunting pack
  • lumbar padding offers solid support
  • lighting gets hot with extended use
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model WCN604-Parent
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Maxcatch Vest Pack

The multifunctional Maxcatch Vest Pack is made of a water-resistant fabric and lined with comfortable mesh to keep you cool during those long outings on the lake. It’s fully adjustable, which means it will fit most body types.
  • pocket for a large hydration pack
  • stylish and attractive
  • main compartment is expandable
Brand Maxcatch
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Blisswill Outdoor

One of the most versatile models out there, you can wear the Blisswill Outdoor as a backpack, adjust it to act as a shoulder bag, or carry it like a duffel. Its durable fabric is highly resistant to the elements, and there’s no shortage of pockets.
  • shoulder strap is adjustable
  • easy-to-grip top handle
  • built-in rod holders
Brand BLISSWILL
Model pending
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

3. Custom Leathercraft WT3605

The Custom Leathercraft WT3605 is a sportsman's dream, capable of holding multiple storage trays — which means you’ll have your full inventory of weights and lures at your disposal at all times. It also includes an integrated rechargeable USB power supply.
  • a clip-on solar panel
  • a removable pliers holder
  • base pads keep it upright
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model WT3605AMZ
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Spiderwire SPB006

The top compartment of the Spiderwire SPB006 is ideal for housing your personal accessories, while the lower compartment is designed to accommodate tackle trays and fishing tools. Diehard anglers will love the amount of storage capacity it provides.
  • comes with 3 utility boxes
  • has a special cooler compartment
  • includes a lifetime warranty
Brand Spiderwire
Model SPB006SPWR-008
Weight 4.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Custom Leathercraft Multi-Tackle

You know your trays full of lures and jigs will be well-organized and easy to access with the Custom Leathercraft Multi-Tackle. It even features a versatile front pocket that folds down into a work surface for removing a hook from a fish or adjusting your bait.
  • clear pocket for maps and licenses
  • comfortable padded shoulder straps
  • multiple external storage pockets
Brand Wild River
Model WT3508AMZ
Weight 14.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

When It's Finally Time For Some Fishing

The fishing trip is a hallowed institution of American culture; when a person "goes fishing," he or she is taking time to be away from the demands of the daily grind, unencumbered by work, bills, chores, or the myriad distractions with which we clutter our lives.

For some of us, a fishing trip offers the chance to enjoy the peace and quiet of solitude, or it can mean enjoying the company of friends and family in a new and exciting setting. For others, fishing means catching fresh, nutritious, and delicious food we can enjoy in the context of a camping trip, or simply to bring home as a fine meal.

Whatever "going fishing" means for you -- whether that means an idle afternoon spent casting a line off the side of a dock or wading out into the gently flowing waters of a river or stream, or if it means cutting a hole in the ice to drop your line or setting long lines behind an ocean going boat -- it's important that you have the right gear and bait. Trying to catch a saltwater Striped Bass with a fly fishing rod will be about as productive as trying to catch a bear with a mousetrap, after all.

Especially for those types of fishing that require specialized lures, hooks, and other accoutrement, such as for comes with using a jigging rod and bait, it is important not only that you have the right supplies, but also that you manage and maintain your equipment and bait properly. Proper planning and organization prior to your fishing trip can help you get the most relaxation and enjoyment out of the outing once you're out there by (or in) the water.

Storing your hooks, sinkers, floats, lures and bait in purpose built trays that keep everything separated and easy to access is a great way to minimize frustration and maximize enjoyment during a fishing trip. Keeping those trays, along with the rest of your gear, in a backpack purpose built to handle fishing supplies is an even better way to make the trip a pleasure.

Choosing The Best Fishing Backpack For You

The type of fish you're after will be the defining factor when it comes to choosing a fishing backpack. If you're going deep water fishing for ocean fish, then go ahead and choose a large backpack you can load with lots of gear, as you'll almost surely be tucking your bag away in a cabin or under the gunwales of the boat anyway.

If, however, you're going to be wading through a river for hours on end in pursuit of elusive freshwater fish, then it's important that you have all your gear on your person, and with the weight evenly distributed and easy access assured, no less.

For the fisherman who is heading out into the forest or wetlands for an afternoon standing in a river, a fishing backpack with plenty of pouches on the front is a must have. These options allow you to access spare hooks, fresh bait, new lines, and even a snack for yourself without you having to move much at all, which means less chance of scaring off fish.

These packs also distribute weight evenly for hours of comfort with minimal soreness and stiffness. However, those bulky front pockets can impede a clean long cast, so weigh the benefits of easy access to lures and supplies against the potential limitation to mobility.

For fishing out of a canoe or smaller flat bottom boat, a larger fishing backpack is a great choice. These packs allow you unfettered movement while preparing and launching your boat, and most are reliable waterproof and can protect your gear (and your extra clothing and your lunch) against slashing or even the unfortunate event that they end up overboard. And if you choose to load those cooler compartments with beer instead of extra bait, that's your prerogative.

Your Fishing Backpack Beyond The Fishing Trip

As it just so happens, the compartment configuration of most fishing backpacks also makes them great for use in myriad other applications. Many fishing backpacks offer an ergonomic design that distributes the weight load well enough to be used during a hike, so if you are planning a trip that involves overland travel and fishing, enjoy the best of both worlds with one of these options.

For a wilderness outing that will involve both hiking and fishing, another option is to choose one of the more compact suspender style fishing backpacks that can be folded and tucked away down into your larger hiking backpack when emptied. If you use a small enough fishing backpack to bring along in your larger pack, then you don't need to try to make one bag serve double duty.

Fishing backpacks can also be used to tote tools and hardware to a worksite, so if your day job involves hammers, nails, screws, and wrenches and on the weekends you switch gears for some fishing, consider a backpack that can serve both as mobile tool box and as fisherman's kit depending on how it is loaded. (The same trays that organize hooks and sinkers can keep nuts and bolts separated and ready for easy access, too.)

And don't forget about that handy waterproof and insulted pocket built into many fishing backpacks the next time you plan a picnic or barbecue. You can bring along fresh, chilled foods in comfort and you can easily keep the rest of your condiments and fixings sorted thanks to the many pockets and pouches in your fishing backpack.


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Last updated on February 25, 2018 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.


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