Fishing along the banks of any river or lake often requires that you bring all your gear and tackle with you in a compact, easy-to-carry manner that doesn’t impede your ability to travel or fish. Using the traditional style of tackle box might work on a boat, but anglers who have to traverse their way through rugged backcountry trails and across rivers have little use for them.
A fishing backpack gives you the ability to carry all your gear and tackle in a way that maximizes your mobility and allows your hands to be free to either fish or balance yourself as you make your way down to the best fishing spots. Being able to negotiate difficult terrain with both hands is a major advantage, and you’ll need a fishing backpack with a rod holder to do so.
There are plenty of different backpacks on the market today that have mechanisms for you to secure your fishing rods. Choosing the best one might be tough, but we’ve done the needed research and compiled this list of the best fishing backpack with a rod holder for you to make the best choice for your own personal needs.
Our Picks: Best Fishing Backpack With Rod Holder
The Wild River Nomad by Custom Leathercraft is our choice for the best overall fishing backpack. This is a high-quality product that's nearly perfect and packed with the features you need to safely store your fishing gear.
The iLure Fishing Tackle Box Storage Sling Bag is one of the most affordable options you'll find and offers a surprising amount of quality features. If you're a beginner and looking for a fishing backpack that you won't have to break the bank to get, the iLure is a solid choice.
Kastking's Fishing Tackle Daytripper Backpack is our choice for the best fishing backpack for surf anglers. This tackle backpack is made of tough, saltwater-resistant material and is ideal for a fishing trip on the beach.
Fishing Backpacks With Rod Holders Reviewed
There are very few fishing backpacks that have virtually everything you need for a fishing trip, but the Wild River Nomad comes very close to fitting the bill. It's capable of holding up to four medium-sized tackle boxes and even features a cooler compartment where you can store food and drinks, or bait.
There is no shortage of storage compartments with this fishing backpack and it even has an internal LED light system that allows you to see your gear for night fishing. The only potential downside to this model is the expensive price, but it's a worthy investment for serious anglers who are looking for a high-quality fishing backpack with fishing rod holders.
The Piscifun Fishing Tackle Backpack is our Editor's Choice option and makes a strong case for being the top model on our list of the best fishing backpacks. One of the reasons we like it so much is that it's fully waterproof, so you won't have to worry about any of your fly fishing or other fishing accessories getting wet.
It features 11 different compartments that allow you to organize all your personal items and fishing tackle boxes. It's also extremely comfortable thanks to the padded shoulder straps. It also offers an adjustable main compartment that has a removable clapboard partition.
- Waterproof backpack and rain cover
- Traditional backpack style
- Foam-molded sunglass case
Shimano is known for producing some of the best fishing tackle and their Blackmoon backpack is also a great quality, high-performance product. This one might be more expensive than most fishing backpacks, but it's loaded with features that will let you properly organize all your gear and catch fish.
The Blackmoon is designed with back-lined breathable mesh that is made to keep you cool when carrying this fishing tackle backpack on hot days. This fishing backpack is complete with rod holders and offers thick-padded shoulder straps and there's plenty of room for up to 3 large tackle utility boxes in the main compartment. This compartment has a velcro seal that allows you quick and easy access to all your fishing essentials.
- Rod holders on either side let you carry more than one fishing rod
- Water-resistant and corrosion-resistant design
- Ample storage capacity
The Wild River is one of the top-rated fishing backpacks on our list and is perfect for any type of fishing trip you have planned. There is more than enough storage inside for all your fishing gear and it has exterior pockets, as well as a removable fishing tool holder. It comes with two utility boxes, but the Multi-Tackle Backpack has room for you to add some of your own tackle boxes as well.
Wild River designed this fishing backpack so that it has adjustable shoulder straps and a water-resistant exterior. There are multiple compartments for you to store all your fishing tackle and all the fishing essentials you need inside. This one is much more affordable than many fishing backpacks made by Wild River and has the space you need for longer fishing trips.
- Adjustable shoulder straps
- Traditional backpack design
- Built-in work surface
We could place this model higher on our list of the best fishing backpacks that have holders for fishing rods, but it's slightly lacking in quality compared to our best options. This is a good fishing backpack that comes with accessories like pliers, a flashlight that's connected to a lanyard, and other fishing gear. It features a water-resistant design and also comes with rain cover in case you're stuck in a downpour.
This is the right fishing backpack to have if you're looking for a solid fly fishing backpack as it offers enough space for all your fishing tackle and you're able to keep your fly fishing vest on while wearing it. There are plenty of different storage compartments for you to organize all your fishing lures.
- Water-resistant and comes with a cover for all the gear you have
- Holds up to four tackle boxes
- Padded shoulder straps
This is one of the best fishing backpacks you'll find that comes at a price most anglers can afford. It's a comfortable, lightweight fishing backpack that is capable of holding plenty of fly fishing gear or other items you need. The Spiderwire Fishing Tackle Backpack is crafted to be water-resistant and the adjustable straps are able to fit almost any angler. This is one of the best fishing backpacks for kids and anyone looking for a lighter pack to hold a single tackle box or multiple tackle boxes. One of the only downsides is that it lacks the abundance of exterior pockets that other models have.
- Includes 3 medium utility boxes
- Feels and looks like a traditional backpack
- Secure rod holder for fly fishing rod or other types of fishing rod
KastKing is known for making good products at a reasonable price and this fishing backpack with rod holder is another solid addition to their product list. This one can serve you well as a fly fishing backpack or for surf fishing since it is made with saltwater-resistant material. It has a hands-free integrated rod holder that also offers a bungee strap to help further secure your fishing rod.
This two-strap style backpack offers comfortable, padded shoulder straps, as well as padded waist straps. It's similar to the Spiderwire Fishing Backpack, but has a larger main compartment and also offers a water-resistant design. The price of this one makes it an easy addition to our list of the best fishing backpacks you'll find.
- Water-resistant design
- Excellent rod holders
- Good as a surf fishing backpack or fly fishing backpack
The Magreel Fishing Backpack is one of the most versatile products on our list of the top fishing backpacks that have rod holders. It is able to be worn as a chest bag and serves as one of the most ideal fly fishing backpacks with a rod holder that you'll find anywhere. It's made as a shoulder bag design that is capable of fitting a tackle box inside with easy access to your best fishing tackle. It's not a waterproof fishing backpack, but the Magreel is a fishing backpack type that's water-resistant in case you get caught in a rain storm.
We like this option as a shoulder bag that can be great for fly fishing expeditions to the most remote locations. It's only capable of fitting one tackle box in the largest compartment, but you can store smaller boxes in the other sections of the fishing bag. Fly fishermen will also like this one as it allows you to still wear your fishing vest with it on your back. This is easily one of the best single-strap fishing backpack models on the market.
- Versatile storage options
- Extremely tough and rugged design
- Large main compartment
The Calissa Offshore Blackstar is one of the most spacious fishing backpacks you'll find right now. It is a bit more expensive and some anglers might choose to go with any of our other options that are higher on the list. However, there's no denying that this is a good addition to our list and one that will serve you well, especially for surf fishing or offshore angling.
This fishing backpack certainly lives up to its namesake as it is made of saltwater-resistant, non-corrosive material. It comes with four tackle boxes and even offers a 12-month factory defect guarantee in case you run into any malfunctions when first using it.
- Plenty of space and compartments
- Ideal for saltwater fishing
- Try it for 30-days free, money-back guarantee
This option is our choice for the best-value fishing backpack among the many options that are currently on the market. It's priced at a rate that any angler can afford and offers a surprising amount of features that make it a worthy addition to our list of the best fishing backpacks.
The iLure Fishing Tackle bag can be worn over the shoulder as a single-strap model, or with two straps as a traditional backpack. It's made to be compact and lightweight enough so that even a kid can use it comfortably. You'll be surprised at how much gear you can fit into this fishing backpack.
- Tough, rugged design
- Can be used as a chest or shoulder bag
- Great for hunting, cycling, hiking, or any other outdoor activity
Fishing Backpack Buyers’ Guide: What to Consider
Waterproof Fishing Backpack or Not?
Having a waterproof fishing backpack is certainly ideal for any occasion, but you don’t always need to have one. Many of the better fishing backpack models that are produced by top companies come with a rain cover that will ensure your gear stays dry and out of the weather when you need to protect it.
If you plan to fish in an area where it rains frequently, or if you expect to have water splashed into your boat or kayak, it might be a good idea to spend the extra money needed to purchase a waterproof backpack.
It’s important that you decide just how large of a fishing backpack you want to carry on your trips before you even start looking. Having a small fishing backpack that can fit a good amount of gear inside might be much more convenient than using a big, heavy fishing backpack that you might struggle to carry across the slippery rocks of a fast-moving river.
Fishing Gear Capacity
The size of your fishing backpack is often directly correlated to its gear capacity. If you go on fishing trips where you require a large amount of different gear items, it’s best that you select a fishing backpack that offers a lot of capacity.
It’s also crucial that you look for a backpack that offers quality capacity as opposed to just a lot of different pockets. Some of the best fishing backpack models will often feature things like molded sunglasses holders and waterproof compartments where you can stash valuables.
How Many Rod Holders
Most of the fishing backpack types that you find today are made only to hold one rod, but there are a select few that allow you to carry more than one rod. Having a backpack that allows you to bring more than one rod is great, as you can set an extra pole in the water or bring along a backup in case your main fishing rod happens to break or malfunction.
One of the biggest determining factors you’ll run into when looking for a good fishing backpack is the price. If you’re hoping to save some money, there are lots of more affordable options than the ones we’ve listed above. However, if you’re looking for the best possible fishing backpack that is loaded with great features and capacity, you’re going to spend more than a hundred dollars.
If you’re an avid angler who spends a lot of time on the water, we recommend that you invest the extra money and get a better product instead of going the cheap route. You’ll end up with a better product that will enhance your fishing trips and serve you well for many years doing so.