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Although a fishing backpack is similar in size and function to a hiking backpack, it has some essential fishing-specific features that make it a fishing backpack with dedicated space for all your fishing gear. Before fishing backpacks, dedicated anglers carried square-shaped tackle boxes to transport their equipment to the chosen fishing site.

A tackle box is a rigid container with plenty of compartments for small pieces of tackle (lures, weights, bait, hooks) but was awkward to carry for any distance. A fishing bag provides better storage options for your entire fishing trip and is ergonomically easier on your body, and leaves your hands free.

1. Why Do You Need a Fishing Backpack?
No one needs a fishing backpack because you can make do with carrying your gear on several trips. But if you want to make your life easier so you can enjoy more time fishing and less time organizing and transporting your equipment, it is one of the best investments in your hobby from beginner to the seasoned angler.

Whatever type of fishing you prefer from shore, fly fishing, or sharing a boat with other anglers, the best fishing backpacks keep your gear in one place, organized, and ready to carry over any terrain to reach the best fishing spots. However often you like to get out with your rods from an annual fishing trip to regular day trips, a fishing backpack makes practical sense.


2. What Do You Need from Your Fishing Backpack?
The type and size of fishing backpack you need depend on your fishing style and how much gear and other stuff you need to carry with you on a trip. If you are a day angler, you need less equipment than a weekend camper, and you can scale your fishing bag size and design to your requirements.

2.1 Backpack Types
The three basic styles of fishing backpacks are:

· Traditional backpack.

· Framed backpack.

· Sling or cross-body backpack.

The traditional backpack with two shoulder straps helps distribute weight evenly across your shoulders. If your fishing backpack comes with a hip strap and possibly a chest strap, you can comfortably carry the weight on your hips, which is better for your back.

A framed backpack has a more rigid structure and is ideal for large gear loads when you want to carry a combination of fishing equipment and camping or other gear.

A sling or cross-body backpack is comfortable to wear and light to carry. These are ideal for short single-day fishing trips.


2.2 Space and Organization
A fishing backpack has a section for sliding compartmentalized tackle trays in and out of the pack. The number of plastic trays a fishing bag accommodates varies – but the number you need depends on how much kit you need to transport.

There is space above for other gear like spare waterproofs, additional fishing kit, and a packed lunch in addition to the tackle boxes. Side pockets and other features (like a hard-cased pouch for polarized sunglasses) add additional storage options for the rest of your equipment.


2.3 Build Quality
The construction of fishing backpacks varies, but look for features like:

· Durable, water-resistant material for the body of the backpack.

· Rustproof zips because your sport involves wet conditions.

· Adjustable padded shoulder straps and additional hip and chest straps for comfort and fit.

· Reinforced and waterproof seams.

· Padding on the back panel for additional comfort.

The manufacturer’s warranty is an excellent indicator of build-quality and durability.


2.4 Additional Features
The extra features elevate a fishing backpack into an essential item for your needs. Not every fishing backpack has every feature, but some of the additional features you can benefit from include:

· LED lights – attached or removable an LED lighting system lets you see into your fishing backpack in low light levels and illuminates your way home on the trail or at your fishing site. This light system is more convenient than carrying a torch because it is an integral part of your fishing bag, and you won’t forget to pack it.

· Reflective strips – visibility at night is essential to improve your safety when walking in low light conditions.

· Rigid base with rubber feet – banks of rivers, shores of lakes, beaches ad boats are all wet environments. This feature protects the bottom of your fishing backpack and helps prevent water penetration into your gear. Plus, it increases durability by protecting the bottom of your fishing bag from abrasive surfaces.

· Built-in slots for carrying a rod or other gear – features that let you carry your rods as part of the fishing backpack help keep your hands free while hiking to your fishing spot. A well-designed fishing bag includes small features to improve your options for organizing your gear.

· Fold-out working surface for handling your fishing gear at the fishing site.

· Rain cover – most fishing backpacks use water-resistant materials, but an extra layer of protection in heavy rain is beneficial in keeping your gear and equipment dry.

· Weight – a lighter fishing backpack reduces your fatigue as it adds less to the total weight you need to carry.

· Cleaning – a wipe clean or brush clean surface is useful when you need to put your fishing bag into storage.


3. Fishing Backpack Care and Maintenance
When you return from a fishing trip spending a few minutes cleaning and maintaining your fishing bag will prolong its useful life.

Empty your backpack and check it for:

· Wet patches.

· Dirt.

· Damage.

Putting your fishing backpack into storage while it is still wet from your trip encourages mold and smells. If your fishing backpack is damp or saturated, hang it somewhere with good airflow to dry out before you repack it and put it into storage.

You can remove dirt by dry brushing or spot cleaning with soap and water. If you wash your fishing backpack, give it plenty of drying time.

A visual inspection for damage and wear areas can save you from needing to replace your fishing bag – you can quickly repair minor damage with a few supplies obtainable from any outdoor supplier. Identifying and dealing with potential problems prevents them from becoming a bigger issue at an inconvenient time.

When you are satisfied that your fishing bag is clean, dry, and fully functional, repack it with your fishing equipment. If you make it routine to pack your fishing bag, it is ready to go; all you need to do to prepare for your fishing trip is to pick it up and put it on your back.


4. FAQ
4.1 Can I use a hiking backpack for my fishing gear?
Most hiking backpacks access from the top, which means unpacking all the plastic trays containing your essential fishing kit. A fishing backpack lets you access your plastic storage trays without unpacking the whole pack. Plus, the design means your trays store neatly and fit the fishing bag without you trying to force them into an awkward space.


4.2 Is a fishing backpack only for fishing?
It depends on the size of your fishing backpack. Most fishing bags allow space for everything else you need to make your fishing trip comfortable, like a packed lunch, waterproofs, a first aid kit, and all the other necessary items.


4.3 Is a fishing backpack waterproof?
Most fishing backpacks use water-resistant material, and some come with an additional rain cover. However durable and well-built the best fishing backpacks and most standard hiking backpacks cannot withstand prolonged downpours. It makes sense to invest in an external rain cover and additional protection by using a waterproof bag inside the fishing backpack for your stuff.


4.4 Does a Fishing Backpack come with the plastic trays?
Most fishing backpacks come with the space to fit standard plastic tackle trays, but some will include the plastic trays as part of the pack. These plastic trays may not be the best quality, and you will probably want to swap these out for a better quality model.


4.5 Can you wear a fishing backpack while fishing?
Nothing is stopping you from wearing your backpack while fishing, but it may restrict your movement. But, if you are wading into the sea and you don’t want to risk the rising tide damaging your kit, it makes sense to wear it. Plus, if you are walking along a river while fishing, wearing your fishing bag means you don’t need to return to collect your equipment.


4.6 Are hiking backpacks stronger than fishing backpacks?
It depends on the size, purpose, and manufacturer. Some hiking backpacks will e able to carry more weight than a standard fishing backpack. Some fishing bags will take more than a small hiking backpack. The essential point is to examine the build quality and ensure that your fishing bag has all the features you need. A fishing backpack is better than a similar hiking backpack because of the fishing-specific design features for dealing with fishing tackle.


4.7 Can I use my fishing backpack as a hiking backpack?
If you remove your plastic tackle trays and all your fishing equipment, you are left with a useable backpack with plenty of practical compartments for your next leisurely hike. A fishing backpack converts easily into a general-purpose backpack for other trips.

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