Most anglers don’t use classic style tackle boxes any more. These bags are not only overly big and inconvenient for a modern-day angler and tournament co-angler but also a bit clunky.
There’s plenty of wasted space in tackle boxes, holds a few things and are equally heavy. Besides, nobody likes lugging tackle boxes around banging and bumping into every tree and rock along the way. And this is where fishing backpacks and slings come into play.
The best backpack tackle box on the market can comfortably hold all your fishing-related gear and tools. It also keeps you hands free to hold the reel and rod combos. Negotiating your way through different rough terrains to get to the fishing spots would be much easier. You’ll have more fun shore fishing, grabbing the tackle and hoping into another boat in seconds. Read on!
Who Needs Fishing Backpacks?
A fishing backpack is a relatively new addition to your tackle storage space. The designer had bank fishing in mind ranging from streams, rivers and ponds when introducing fishing backpacks. Consequently, there are certain advantages to tackle bags, backpacks and boxes. But this begs the question: Who needs a fishing backpack?
Shore Fisherman – Most bank anglers stand to benefit from fishing backpacks. The backpack will allow you to walk freely to all the fishing holes. The best thing about these backpacks is that your hands will equally be free to carry reel and rod combos without compromising on the balance of your feet. Besides, you can comfortably fish while wearing the backpack.
Fly Fishermen – Fly fishermen are those that usually engage in fly fishing which involves getting physically close with the water bodies whether rivers or streams. You don’t want to fumble around with the tackle box in such scenarios. A messenger bag or even a smaller backpack can hold all your fishing gear and tools as you effortlessly wade the waters and have fun while at it.
Backcountry Anglers – Professional anglers that make kayak and canoe trips to the backcountry will appreciate a fishing backpack or sling. You can wear the backpack on your back or lash it to the canoe to make your hikes or portages a bit easier especially when carrying your fishing gear.
Co-Anglers – Bringing along a tackle bag that looks more like a luggage to a tournament can be annoying for both the co-angler and the boater. In this case, a fishing backpack will come in handy since its usually more efficient and convenient for co-anglers while keeping the boater draw happier.
Features of a Fishing Tackle Backpack
There are few things you need to put into consideration when looking for the best backpack tackle box on the market. Compare the features of the bag to where you often fish and your fishing techniques.
Tray Storage – The best backpack tackle boxes always have a large storage compartment ideally sized for about 2-4 utility trays. The tackle trays are important as they allow for a quick change from the boat to the fishing bank setup.
Cary Weight – Having enough storage is paramount but the real question is – Can you carry all the tackle in the bag with ease? Put in mind the fishing destination and whether or not you need to haul the gear. If the fishing adventure will only last a day, then you can go for small tackle slings.
Gear Storage – Some fishing backpacks usually have open gear storage on top of the tray storage. You might want to use your imagination when it comes to how to use the storage space ranging from an extra line, soft plastics, jelly sandwich and peanut butter.
Build Quality – Thankfully, we did the legwork for you to round-up some of the best fishing backpacks on the market. They are relatively expensive more than imported junk and knockoffs since they are made with high-quality materials and renowned brands.
Other Special Features – When shopping for the best fishing backpacks and slings, always look out for in-built lights, hard-sided pouches and fishing tool holders.
Best Backpack Tackle Boxes and Slings
Here’s a round-up of some of the best backpack tackle box on the market:
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- Has a bigger storage capacity
- This backpack is made with premium quality materials
- Falls on the higher side of the pricing spectrum for a tackle backpack
Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack is hands down the best backpack tackle box on the market. This backpack has a huge storage capacity and is equally versatile for the price. It’s made with high-quality materials to provide long-lasting durability and endurance. It features premium quality nylon fabric, ideal rust-proof zippers and padded shoulder straps for additional comfort.
The fishing backpack weighs about 4.75 pounds when empty and can also tip a scale when its fully loaded by over 20 pounds. The capacity is unparalleled and features five different back and side pouches. The pack is quite heavy which makes it inconvenient for fishing especially when you wear it. This backpack also has a rigid base and rubber feet to allow you to set it safely anywhere you want.
Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack comes with 3600 utility boxes and 4 Plano that you can use to store soft plastics, jerk baits, crankbaits and jigs. It additionally features tool holders for holding fishing scissors and pliers, lanyard that you can use to attach a line cutter. Those who use a Plano tray and own boats can go mobile as they only need to grab four different trays, put them in the fishing backpack and you are good to go.
The only drawback is that the Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack doesn’t come with a hip strap. However, you can secure the fishing backpack with the chest strap to keep it secure and make it comfortable and convenient to carry. This backpack also has other impressive features like a hard-sided holder for sunglasses and an in-built rain fly on the upper part of the bag.
Bottom line, if you are a bank fisherman looking to invest in a tackle backpack, then the Wild River Nomad Fishing Backpack is your best bet.
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- Beautifully designed
- It has a huge storage capacity
- This fishing backpack is incredibly comfortable to carry
- Is lightweight compared to its counterparts from other brands
Bass Pro Shops Stalker Backpack is newly redesigned and is a popular tackle backpack from Bass Pro/Cabela’s. It features a sleek design which makes it stand out from the rest. Just like other products from Bass Pro/Cabela’s, this backpack is made with high-quality materials as evident by positive feedback from those who have used it.
The tackle box is almost comparable to Recon. It has an interesting layout since you can slide out the three Pro-latch size tackle trays effortlessly from the main compartment using the zippered flap on the side. You can open the main storage compartment like you would a regular school bag. However, you’ll have to deal with a number of lure pockets that are quite handy in matters organization.
Bass Pro Shops Stalker Backpack additionally features a waist strap for ease of carrying around especially on long hikes. The side slot is equally impressive since you can slip the rod butts and strap them to the backpack when hiking. This fishing backpack is best suited for fishermen owing to its quality and versatility.
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- Features a sturdy construction
- This backpack makes accessing the tackle quite easy and fast
- Comes with cheap tackle trays
Daiwa Tactical Fishing Backpack can effortlessly handle anything the angler throws at it whether they are stalking the banks or hopping ponds. This fishing backpack is stylish featuring an exquisite digital camo detailing which makes it look great on the streets and the lake alike. The best thing about this fishing backpack is the amazing layout.
Daiwa Tactical Fishing Backpack features a plastic frame at the bottom that can hold three different 3600 sized boxes. You can comfortably slide the trays in and out of the bag without getting stuck on the sides thanks to the frame design.
The only down side is that the tackle trays are low-quality and cheap knockoffs. Fortunately, you can replace them with Plano 3600 boxes. There’s a bulk compartment right above the tackle storage space for soft plastics, line and anything else you may need to carry on your fishing adventure.
Daiwa Tactical Backpack additionally features a huge side pocket beside the tool holders, sunglasses case and tackle opening.
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- Is sturdy
- This fishing backpack is made with premium quality materials and features an excellent construction
- It has plenty of tackle storage spaces
- Bass Pro Shops Advanced Angler II comes with a rainfly
- Has small shoulder straps that don’t match the large storage capacity
Bass Pro Shops Advanced Angler II is one of the best backpack tackle box on the market. Cabela’s is known to have some of the best gears for advanced anglers and this fishing backpack is no exception. It has a perfect layout with a comfortable access to four different 3650 sized tackle boxes using a zippered panel at the back. The upper part of the storage compartment holds 3750 sized tackle boxes with ease sliding in like you would a laptop.
The backpack additionally features a small pouch on the outside that holds 3500 sized boxes for terminal tackle. This fishing backpack also has a space for the fishing line and soft plastics in the bulk area. It has plenty of other in-built convenience.
There’s a sunglasses holder, tool holders, a waterproof pouch for the phone and a rainfly that you can slip over the backpack. In terms of comfort, this fishing backpack has a padded back and a waist buckle to reduce the load on the shoulders.
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- Is relatively small and easy to carry around as compared to its counterparts
- It has enough storage spaces
- Falls on the higher side of the pricing spectrum owing to its quality
If you are looking for a backpack with enough storage space, neither small nor huge then the Wild River Recon Fishing Backpack is your best bet. The main difference between this backpack and the others is the dimensions only. For instance, the Recon is a little thinner, narrower and shorter. The tackle tray is downsized to Plano 3500 and four of them come with the bag. The main storage compartment is compact and features a divider while the side pockets are usually slim in size.
Wild River Recon Fishing Backpack has all the features that the Nomad has but lack a protective pouch for the sunglasses, chest strap and rubber feet bottom. However, this fishing backpack comes with a rainfly, LED work light for high visibility, fishing plier’s holder and a removable lanyard that you can use to attach a line clipper.
Wild River Recon Fishing Backpack is ideal for your everyday fishing adventures. The Recon, on the other hand, is best suited for bring along on your multi-day trips.
Best Fishing Slings
If you are looking for something a bit smaller than a full-sized fishing backpack then you can go for a tackle sling. The tackle sling is also known as a messenger bag. It’s one of the best alternatives since you get to enjoy carrying the tackle in small amounts reducing the weight on the shoulders. These bags are best suited for a day fishing trip.
Here are some of the best tackle slings on the market:
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- Is lightweight and equally versatile
- It functions as well as its beautiful design
- Is made with a thin fabric
- It doesn’t have a grab loop and a shoulder strap
Kast King Pond Hopper Tackle Sling is neither big nor small making it ideal for a solo fishing trip. It offers enough space for storing your fishing gear and other essentials. You can comfortably fish this tackle sling out of a kayak, canoe, boat or carry it along to your favorite fishing holes. The main storage compartment is ideal for about 3600 utility boxes or 3700 under pressure for holding hard lures.
Kast King Pond Hopper Tackle Sling additionally features a secondary zipper that creates space for small tackle boxes, line and soft plastics. There’s a stash pocket or molle loops at the back of this tackle sling where you can put any extra items.
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- Compact and sleek design
- The sling is reversible
- The shoulder strap is padded
- Has longer shoulder straps that tend to hang low especially on short anglers
The Spiderwire Tackle Sling is a smaller version of the backpack. It features green and black styling with spider web and graphics with a messenger bag shape. However, the storage compartments are similar to those of tackle boxes. The main compartment can accommodate several tackle trays leaving enough space for plastic bait bags on the pocket outside.
Spiderwire Tackle Sling additionally features a fleece padded pocket for sunglasses on the upper part. This versatile tackle sling is as beautiful as it is functional.
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- Is a perfect on the go option
- It offers enough storage space without many pockets
- Doesn’t connect easily to the backpack
Bass Pro Shops Stalker Sling Pack was recently redesigned and has lots of positive review from the customers. It’s relatively small and features a water-resistant storage compartment that can comfortably hold Plano 3650 tackle trays.
The padded shoulder strap makes it easy to carry around, ideal for quick fishing trips and pond fishing. You can fill up the entire space with soft plastics and only use one tray. You might want to but both the Tackle sling and Stalker Backpack since they work together.
Which Are Some of the Best Backpack Tackle Box for You?
- Short Fishing Trips – Spiderwire Tackle Sling is perfectly sized for short fishing trips since it comfortably holds lures and tackles without compromising on weight and mobility.
- Bank Fishing – The best fishing backpacks for bank fishing are the medium-sized ones like the Wild River Recon, Advanced Angler II and Bass Pro Stalker. These backpacks have enough storage spaces to handle both short and long day fishing trips especially when you plan to hike in.
- Multi-Day Fishing Trips – Wild River Nomad is an excellent choice for hiking trips and backcountry fishing. This fishing backpack has a huge storage capacity for gear and tackle with a padded shoulder strap for additional comfort.