Best Fishing Tackle Bags

Updated December 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

30 Models Considered
22 Hours Researched
2 Experts Interviewed
175 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best fishing tackle bags

Hooks, bobbers, lures, sinkers: a successful fishing trip requires these items and more. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or fishing for the first time, you need an easy way to organize your gear. A fishing tackle bag is a great way to accomplish this. 

A fishing tackle bag is a grab-and-go solution that allows you to keep all your tackle in one place. These bags come in many forms, from simple shoulder sling bags to backpacks. If you’re looking for a way to organize your fishing gear for an upcoming fishing trip, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we discuss the important features to consider, from durability and waterproofing to pockets and carabiner loops. We also discuss various price ranges and offer of a variety of our favorite fishing tackle bags for your consideration.

Don’t let the next big one get away! Read on to find out all the facts you need to know about fishing tackle bags.

fishing tackle bag1
Just starting out? Select a slightly larger tackle bag that will be able to grow with you as you pick up tackle and try various fishing strategies.

Key considerations

Durability

By its very nature, fishing tackle can feature a variety of pointy and sharp edges. In addition, tackle bags may be subjected to rugged terrain and harsh conditions. To protect your gear from external and internal threats, a tackle bag must be rugged.

Fishing tackle bags are typically made of nylon or polyester with a thickness from 400D to over 1600D. A denier is used to measure thickness, and the higher the number, the more durable and rugged the bag fabric will be. Bags that have double-stitched or even triple-stitched seams tend to hold up better over time. Some bags also include a molded all-weather base that provides even more protection as well as a slip-free design for use on wet surfaces, such as a dock or wave-splashed rocks.

Size

Fishing tackle bags come in a variety of sizes, with a width or depth ranging from 12 inches to 20 inches or more. If you fish only occasionally for short periods, a smaller bag may suffice. If you fish extensively, especially over multi-day trips, a larger tackle bag will be heavier to tote around but will also hold more tackle.

Water resistance

A funny thing about fishing: it involves a fair amount of water. Between the occasional bout of rain and the stream, lake, or ocean you’re casting into, your fishing tackle bag is probably going to get wet. Before you buy it, you should know how effective the bag will be at shielding your tackle, phone, and other valuables from moisture.

Tackle bags range from water-resistant to waterproof. While the thickness of the material often determines a bag’s ability to deal with water, other factors can increase water resistance, such as weatherproofing, a rain cover, or an interior PVC layer.

Appearance

While fishing isn’t a huge fashion event, you might not want to find yourself with the ugliest tackle bag on the pier. In addition to bag size, features, and other factors, select one with a style that works for you. Some sellers offer tackle bags in a range of color choices.

If you have an expensive pair of sunglasses that you really love, choose a bag with a padded and molded pocket to keep them safe.

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Features

Tray compartments

The tray compartment is the large space within a fishing tackle bag that holds various trays of lures and other tackle. Tray compartments typically hold between two and four trays and should seal tightly with a zipper or straps to keep everything within the compartment.

Some tackle bags ship with trays while others require you to purchase them separately. If buying your own trays, know what size you will need and the number of trays that will fit into your bag’s tray compartment. 

Pockets

Another important feature in a fishing tackle bag is its various storage pockets. Whereas trays are typically used for lures, hooks, and other tackle, pockets can be used for wallets, phones, fishing tools, line, licenses, and oversized tackle. The more pockets a tackle bag has, the greater your organization options.

Pockets can be made from the same material as the bag, from netting, or from a hardened material to protect valuables like your sunglasses. All pockets should feature a durable zipper or some other way to keep items secure.

Carabiner loops and tool holsters

Carabiner loops and specialized tool holsters are situated on the outside of some fishing tackle bags. The carabiner loops provide you with an easy way to clip on larger gear such as nets, water bottles, and other equipment. The tool holsters typically look like loops that you can use to secure pliers and other fishing tools.

Straps and handles

Some fishing tackle bags offer a variety of carrying options, from backpack-type straps to sling shoulder straps to handles. A padded strap or handle may be more comfortable, especially if you regularly hike long distances to reach your favorite fishing spot. Quality handles and straps are often adjustable and made of breathable mesh. 

Fasteners

Two common types of fasteners found on fishing tackle bags are straps and zippers. Straps with quick-release buckles provide fast and easy access to bag contents. Zippers offer more complete protection for tackle, but they tend to wear out faster than straps. If you opt for a zippered bag, be sure that the zipper resists corrosion, especially if you engage in saltwater fishing

Lighting

While rare, some fishing tackle bags feature LED lighting that you can swivel and shine into the bag in order to peer at various sections. This is a great feature for those who like to fish at night.

fishing tackle bag2
DID YOU KNOW?
One benefit of a backpack-style fishing tackle bag: it frees up your hands for other items.
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Fishing tackle bag prices

Fishing tackle bags can be found for under $30 and range up to $100 or more. The average price for these bags is $35 to $50.

Inexpensive: Fishing tackle bags that cost $35 and under tend to be small and are usually carried via a shoulder strap. While not as durable and water-resistant as other bags, they are a great choice for those who fish infrequently or have few tackle needs.

Mid-range: The majority of fishing tackle bags cost between $35 and $50. These bags are larger than inexpensive choices and offer a variety of carrying options, from backpack straps to carrying handles. The larger compartments can often hold up to four trays. They also feature a variety of pockets along with some carabiners and other accessories. If you fish regularly, a tackle bag in this price range may be right for you.

Expensive: Fishing tackle bags that cost $50 to $100 are made for serious anglers. These bags tend to offer the best durability and waterproofing as well as the largest sizes. They may also sport rod holders, insulated pockets, and LED lighting.

If you have lots of different kinds of tackle, a bag with numerous pockets can help you keep them organized and separated.

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Tips

  • Some tackle bags feature an insulated inner pocket that can prevent fresh bait, such as squid and shrimp, from spoiling. If you like to fish with live bait but struggle to keep it fresh, this is a handy feature. You can also use the insulated pocket to store a cool snack for yourself. 
  • Wider carrying straps are often preferable, particularly if you need to hike to reach your fishing hole. Narrow straps are more likely to dig into the back and shoulders, which could result in pain with extended use.
  • Some fishing tackle bags have pockets built into the straps. These come in handy for quick access to a wallet, phone, or other essential items.
fishing tackle bag3
Netted pockets allow you to easily identify their contents and also prevent water from accumulating inside them.

FAQ

Q. What kind of tackle trays are the best?

A. Durability is key. A quality tray should include fasteners to keep the tray closed and the lures secure. Some of the best trays are adjustable. Clear plastic allows you to browse your tackle without having to open everything. Note that not all fishing tackle bags come with trays. You may have to buy them separately.

Q. Can you carry a rod in a fishing tackle bag?

A. That depends on the rod and the bag. If you have a telescoping fishing rod, measure it at its collapsed length. Compare that measurement to the space inside the bag.

You could also choose a bag with rod holders. These typically come in the form of special pockets on the sides of the bag that are designed to hold fishing rods. Bags that feature rod holders can usually fit two to four rods.

 

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