The 10 Best Fishing Backpacks

Updated December 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Fishing Backpacks
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Every angler will tell you the same thing: you just can't fish if you don't have all the right gear. Of course, getting all that gear to the water is another issue entirely. Luckily, the fishing backpacks on this list offer convenient and attractive ways to store and transport your tackle, 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. Hexin Daypack

The Hexin Daypack was made with protection in mind, as it has reflective strips all over it, ensuring you'll stand out at night. It also has a safety whistle if you need help in a hurry. This is a great choice for a day at the lake, but not for carrying all your tackle.
  • sturdy nylon keeps your things dry
  • folds easily for travel
  • zippers get caught on fabric
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Huwaijianfeng Ucharge

The Huwaijianfeng Ucharge comes with a rain cover in case you get caught out in the elements, and if it takes you a second to put it on, don't worry - it's also water-resistant. It has multiple elastic straps for holding everything from sleeping bags to tents.
  • company provides excellent service
  • adjustable chest and waist belts
  • a little on the heavy side
Brand Huwaijianfeng
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Shimano Blackmoon

The medium-sized Shimano Blackmoon is a sleek black number that has mesh rod holders on either side, so you can take some options with you to your favorite spot. It's a bit of an investment, but it makes up for it with quality materials and durability.
  • 2-way zippered openings
  • front-loading tackle storage
  • feels a little heavy
Brand Shimano
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Anglatech Combo

The Anglatech Combo is both a vest and a backpack, giving you some convenient extra storage in front. The vest pockets have paracord zippers, so you can get to your most-used gear in a hurry when time is of the essence. The water bladder is cheap and tends to leak, though.
  • tackle doesn't dig into your back
  • doesn't mess with range of motion
  • not very well-ventilated
Brand Anglatech
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

6. MadBite Slingback

The MadBite Slingback has a roomy internal compartment for holding your tackle box, as well as several outer pockets for your other accessories. It has rustproof zippers with large pulls, so you can always get to your stuff quickly and easily, even if you have wet hands.
  • excellent for pier fishing
  • carabiner loops for added storage
  • runs a bit long for most users
Brand MadBite
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. CLC Wild River Nomad 604

The innovative CLC Wild River Nomad 604 sports an integrated LED light system that allows you to see inside when it's dark. It also has a molded sunglasses holder, so you won't have to worry about losing an expensive pair of shades after the sun goes down.
  • doubles as a great hunting backpack
  • lumbar padding offers great support
  • light gets hot with extended use
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model WCN604-Parent
Weight pending
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

4. Glacier Glove 325BL

The Glacier Glove 325BL comes with a wading boot holder, so you'll always have dry shoes when you need them. It's well-organized with a ton of storage space, so you'll be able to pack everything you like - and you'll also be able to find it easily, too.
  • attached changing mat
  • high-visibility interior liner
  • solidly constructed
Brand Glacier Glove
Model 325BL
Weight 4.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Spiderwire SPB006

The Spiderwire SPB006 lets you plan your next excursion perfectly, as it has an upper compartment for personal items, a middle cooler for food and drinks, and the bottom section is reserved for gear. It also has a fishing rod holder, so you'll have a place for everything.
  • external holder for pliers
  • backed by a lifetime guarantee
  • comes with 3 utility boxes
Brand Spiderwire
Model SPA006
Weight 6.4 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Maxcatch Vest Pack

The multifunctional Maxcatch Vest Pack is made of a water-resistant fabric and lined with a comfy mesh to keep you cool during those long outings on the lake. It can snugly fit nearly any body type, and is comfortable enough to wear with just a T-shirt on hotter days.
  • pocket for a large hydration pack
  • stylish and attractive
  • expandable main zippered compartment
Brand Maxcatch
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

1. CLC Wild River Nomad XP

The CLC Wild River Nomad XP is a sportsman's dream, with the capacity to hold multiple storage trays, enabling you to take your full inventory of weights and lures. It also has an integrated rechargeable USB power supply, so you're never left stranded with a dead phone.
  • 4 power adapter tips
  • removable pliers holder
  • foot pads keep it upright
Brand Custom Leathercraft
Model WT3605AMZ
Weight 7.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 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 December 20, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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