Formerly, tackle boxes were a standard form of storing and carrying gear and tools for anglers. Over time, more and more fishermen and ladies have abandoned the use of tackle boxes, opting for the more convenient and comfortable tackle bags, and this is mainly because tackle bags are lightweight and easier to carry than boxes. They also come with extra pockets to provide additional storage for other stuff that you might need which doesn’t necessarily fit into your tray. This gives you the flexibility to travel with EVERYTHING you need, and carry it in the most convenient and comfortable manner possible.
Certain high-end models even come with lumbar support, adjustable and padded straps, as well as hip straps which make traveling long distances in the wild a little more comfortable. Also, tackle bags are suitable for use in a number of outdoor adventures like kayaking, canoeing, bushwhacking, portaging and of course, fishing.
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ or ‘ideal’ when it comes to tackle bags. However, there is a broad range of bags that suit different people due to their preferences and applications. That said, there are some general non-negotiable features and benefits that a tackle bag should come with, such as:
Below is a list of tackle bags that provide different options for different preferences and applications, taking into consideration factors such as value for money, performance, longevity and different uses. We’ve awarded each bag with a specific title to give you an idea of what it’s best suited for. Bear in mind though, that this is not in any way limiting the performance of the bag to that particular function. We bring you the best of the best, so read on to find out what’s so special about each of these versatile and impressive tackle bags
Best Tackle Bag for Kayak Fishing
This tackle bag from Wild River features an innovative design that allows you to convert the shoulder straps into a waist belt that you can use to store items like pliers and lures. Wearing the straps as a waist belt makes it easier to re-tie and change lures, and it can easily accommodate sizes that range from 29 inches to 46 inches. An innovative feature of the bag is the integrated LED light system, whose flexible neck allows you to not only see into the bag during dark conditions but can be used to light other low light areas as well.
Other features of the bag include generous storage, like the tray compartment which can store up to five large #3700 trays, or you could use any of the several storage pockets on the bag, most are made from a suitable mesh material that allows you to view the contents inside. Also, there is a retractable steel cable lanyard for use in storing small gear items like clippers. This bag can accommodate all your fishing gear, from tackle to line, stringer, hook removers, and even extra storage space to put more tackle if the trays aren’t enough.
This is an all-rounder of a bag, and although it’s ideal for different fishing applications and outdoor sports, it’s perfect for kayak fishing as the convertible design gives you the freedom to use your arms unburdened. Lastly, based on the heavy-duty zippers and the base pads this bag is clearly made to last, and durable enough to handle rough terrain.
Best Saltwater Tackle Bag
This bag has been specially made to provide ease of storage and increase the carrying capacity of saltwater fishermen. It’s thoughtfully designed with hard-wearing features like corrosion resistant zippers, 3 trainer utility boxes with zeerust coating to protect against corrosion, and a solid waterproof base.
The Flambeau bag doesn’t disappoint when it comes to storage, and features two zippered side pockets, one front zippered pocket with a mesh exterior, one large back pocket made entirely from a mesh material, and three 3003 TUFF Trainer utility boxes.
Not only is this bag lightweight, but it also provides a padded shoulder strap for maximum comfort when carrying gear inside it.
Best Small Tackle Bag
This Wild River tackle bag comes with storage options galore! There’s a lower tray storage compartment with the capacity to hold four #3500 style trays and an upper storage area that’s used to convert the bag into a backpack, enabling the user to load larger items onto it.
The large front pocket comes with a removable divider and doubles as a work surface which you can use to adjust your lure etc.; while the clear internal pocket is designed to keep your phone, maps and other documents dry and accessible. The side pocket is ideal for storing wet and used tools away from the fresh and dry gear inside the bag.
The inside is very roomy, and you can easily use it to keep snacks and water bottles for your trip. It also comes with adjustable and padded shoulder straps, while the bottom of the bag comes with hard base pads to protect against water damage, and reduce wear and tear when placed in rugged terrain. Even though it’s not waterproof labeled, this bag has very good sealing and is quite water resistant.
Best Value Option
This multi-functional bag from Ready 2 Fish comes with spectacular features such as a dedicated electronic pocket as well as a cable net which you can use to store your gloves and a jacket for changing weather conditions. It also has adjustable storage compartments and pockets as well as an interior map pocket.
Other storage options include eight external accessory pockets and great slots and sections that you can use to organize your hooks and lures for easy access. There are also seven carabiner loops, adjustable Velcro dividers, and two black carabiners, and you can use both the internal and external storage compartments to organize a plethora of tools and for multiple purposes.
It’s fully waterproof, stain resistant and weather resistant, and has a leak-proof interior that’s easy to clean; plus, it can fit up to five utility trays. In addition to the comfortable shoulder strap, this bag also comes with two handles so you can carry it in different ways.
Best High-End Bag
This soft side tackle bag comes with features like a built-in LED lighting system which allows you to light up your work areas as well as the interior of your bag during low light conditions. It also comes with a removable plier holder that you can attach to the bag or a belt, a sunglass holder that’s been permanently mounted on the bag to keep your sunglasses safe, and a removable cable lanyard on which to keep stuff like clippers, keys, and small tools.
The internal storage area features two customizable dividers, external web loops to clip several items and a tray compartment that fits up to five large #3700 style trays. Other storage options include a clear waterproof pocket on the inside to keep all your documents and devices dry, and external mesh pockets to easily view contents inside while keeping everything dry.
It’s also easy to carry and features a rotating grip on the convenient bar handle design, as well as a hard-base pad to keep the bag upright and protect against water damage and reduce deterioration.
All Round Mid-Range Bag
If you’re looking for a good combination of price, quality, and features, then this is the ideal bag for you. It’s built for durability, with features like a molded top with a quick-access Stowaway storage box underneath that comes with ProLatch, and a skid and impact resistant base that’s constructed from Hydro-Flo.
Cavernous dual-compartment pockets have been conveniently designed for ease of access, while two extra padded pockets provide ideal storage for valuables like sunglasses and devices. There’s also a neat section in between the main body and end pockets, that contains a wallet sleeve and pliers pocket.
Also, you’ll find a clear zippered pocket under the top cover, as well as a PVC mesh pocket on the back with an adjustable elastic cord where you can store smaller items like lures, hooks, flies and power bait. It also comes with seven large boxes with plastic dividers to create a customized space for all your baits. These trays are so large that you’ll probably use some of them to store other stuff like water bottles, food and live bait.
Multi-Tackle Backpack Option
This versatile backpack comes with the great standard features that we’ve come to expect from Wild River, like the huge upper storage area, which you can easily convert into a larger backpack and create diversified storage through the convenient dividers. The adjustable shoulder straps come with padded shoulder pads for comfortable carrying, while the front pocket comes with a fold-out cover that you can use as a work surface.
There’s also a clear waterproof internal pocket and a lower tray compartment with a storage capacity of up to four #3600 style trays. You can use the external side pockets to store dirty and wet tools, and there are also several external compartments to keep smaller items organized. It works perfect for a variety of applications and is built well with quality stitching and hard-wearing zippers.
Shoulder Strap Option
This shoulder strap bag is made from a durable and high-quality nylon material and comes with heavy duty zippers and waterproof lining on the inside, which makes for easy cleaning. The main compartment comes with an adjustable drawstring to customize the space to your requirements.
The bag also comes with a whopping 10 storage compartments so that you can store all the gear you need. No matter how heavy your bag gets as a result of carrying too much gear, it will always be comfortable because of the comfortable design of the padded adjustable straps. 3 air mesh pads on the back accentuate the comfort and breathability of the bag through ergonomic design. To top it off, there’s a belt buckle in the middle of the back tightens the bag, making it even more lightweight and compact, plus its tough wearing and water resistant as well.
As you can see, even though tackle bags come in different forms, there are a few components that come as standard features. If a bag is made from good quality materials, is hard-wearing with plenty of diversified storage, then it can work for a variety of applications and preferences.
So be sure to look out for these basics when shopping for your next tackle bag, and hopefully, our selection has helped you to figure out which one is best for your needs. With that, I leave you with this whimsical and cheesy quote:
“A reel expert can tackle anything.”