Best Fishing Tackle Bag and Slings for the Money

Tackle bag or slings are NOT the same as tackle backpacks. Let’s clear that up right away. 

Bags and slings are similar to backpacks with a number of compartments but the overall size of the bag is about half or a third the size. These fishing slings and bags are best for day trips or fishing on the move. I love having a smaller pack like this when I’m hiking all day targeting Salmon or Steelhead on the rivers.

This article outlines all the different features to look for in a tackle bag/sling. Additionally, we outline our favorite bags for the money. If you’re an angler that doesn’t like carrying a ton of tackle around on the water definitley check out these bags. 

Is A Sling Pack Or Tackle Bag Right For You?

This depends on what kind of fishing you do.

If you fish from a boat, a tackle bag would be pointless. You won’t be carrying your gear much. On a boat, you can set a tackle box right beside you.

A sling bag really comes in handy when bank fishing, kayak fishing or hiking to your hole. Sometimes, I get a chance to mountain bike to my secret spot. I couldn’t do that with a big tackle box, but my smaller box fits right into my bag with plenty of room for my phone, snacks, drinks and plenty of other stuff.

How to Choose a Fishing Bag Size

All you need is a bag big enough for everything you need to carry. If you get one much bigger than you need, you’ll have a saggy pack with all your gear jostling around in it. That can get irritating.

Your tackle box should fit neatly in the main compartment with just a little room left over. Most bags have plenty of pockets and compartments for your other stuff. Check a bag out carefully, or pay attention to its description if shopping online, and imagine how all your gear will fit in the compartments. I’ve reviewed four awesome bags below to help you understand what to look for.

Make sure you get one with a bottle holder. You want to free up your hands and make carrying everything easier. That’s the point, right? Who wants to walk around with a bottle hanging on a lanyard from their belt?

Rod holders are important too. Some bags can securely hold one or two broken down poles; some can handle four. Be sure to get a bag that will carry the poles you usually bring, or you’ll end up carrying them with your hands.

Waterproof vs. Water-Resistant

Most tackle bags aren’t waterproof, but most are water- resistant. Here’s the difference: Waterproof bags can be submerged without water leaking into them, but water resistant bags are meant to protect their contents from splashes.

Beware of any “water-resistant” bag that is described as being made of any kind of woven fabric. Water can soak through even the tightest weave. To be truly water resistant, a bag has to have some kind of coating, like polyethylene.

Tackle Bag Accessibility

Imagine packing your gear into a kid’s school backpack. What do you do when you need a lure? You have to take the bag off your back, set it on the ground, open it up and dig for what you need. That’s what you call poor accessibility.

There are some cool tackle bags that are designed to be easily swung from your back to your chest without having to dislocate your shoulders. Imagine how quick and easy it is to get what you need out of them.

Pack-style tackle bags have two straps, like a backpack. They’re good for kayaking and riding to your spot, like I sometimes do, because they stay put on your back. Some have a waist strap for extra security.

Sling packs have a single strap. You carry them on your shoulder. They’re the easiest to access, but they can slip around when you move about a lot. Think about running with a purse on your shoulder. Wouldn’t it be easier to run with a backpack? That’s the difference between packs and sling tackle bags.

Some bags are convertible and can be used as packs or sling bags. I like them because they are so versatile.

4 Top Fishing Tackle Bags and Slings

All of these cool bags are durable, water-resistant and functional. They pass our standards in every respect, but they all have some features that make them standout. Take a look and see what you think.

We really like this tackle bag, in fact if you watch the BC Fishing Journal YouTube channel you’ll likely see this bag in some of the videos.  

This fishing bag has all the compartments you need. The main double-zippered pocket is almost 12″ long by a little over 8″ wide and deep enough for two standard lure boxes.

There’s a bottle holder and a Velcro rod loop that’ll hold two rods. There are also a few clips that can be attached to anything, e.g. line cutters, pliers, etc.

There are also two side pockets and a couple on the bottom for smaller gear, like phones, smaller Plano boxes and anything else smaller than a soda can.

The main compartment has enough space to fit a large iPad into it. This is more than enough space to get any type of gear you’d need for a day trip. 

The tough nylon material should last for many seasons. It’s water-resistant and tear-proof. That’s great, because any tear would make the water resistance moot.

Carry it on your back like a backpack, by its handle like a tackle box or flip it around and use it as a chest bag. It’s convertible, so you can remove the strap and make it a sling bag.

This is a nice convertible tackle bag for all your gear that will likely last for years.

Here you have a single-strap sling bag with three main compartments and two side pockets. It’s about the same size as Piscifun’s convertible pack.

The only thing missing is a rod holder. That may not be a deal-breaker for you if you normally take only one rod with you and don’t mind carrying it.

Personally, I always bring a spinning rig and a baitcaster setup, so I really need a rod loop.

The cool thing here is the Velcro patch on front. You can get small accessory bags or A fly patch to attach to it.

Tough water-resistant nylon makes up the shell and strap, so it’ll hold up to years of use.

Let’s talk about how you wear it. The strap can be configured to go over your right or left shoulder. It will ride right on the middle of your back either way. Alternately, you can wear it sideways on your back. This makes it a bit easier to swing it around to your chest so you can easily access its contents.

If you’re shopping for a tough and simple tackle sling bag, but don’t need a rod holder, this one may be a good pick for you.

This sling pack is durable, versatile and loaded with features, but it’s on the small side. At 10″x7″ and 6″ deep, it’s a couple inches shorter and an inch narrower than Bowhound’s similar bag.

On the good side, it has tons of interior compartments to keep all your little stuff safe and organized. There’s even a zippered pocket on the strap, right where it sits on your chest, so you can get to your phone without having to swing the bag around.

There’s even a fold-out workstation that’s almost perfect for tying flies. You can fashion a dry lure to match the hatch without even getting out of the water!

I like the big elastic bottle holder. It’ll keep a 24-ounce water bottle securely in place through just about anything.

Several D-rings are strategically placed for holding landing nets, keys and anything else that can be clipped on. There’s a holder for one rod as well.

I think this sling bag is ideal for fly anglers. Anyone with a lot of little odds and ends will probably love it, though.

Spiderwire did a good job with this bag.

It’s about 23″x10″ and is 5″ deep. The main compartment holds the medium-sized tackle box that’s included, and there’s room for another of that size.

Two big zippered pockets can hold your pliers, hemostats and other gear. There’s a special fleece-lined pocket for sunglasses, an organizer pocket on front and a tool holder that stays tightly closed with Velcro.

You can wear it over your left or right shoulder without any adjustments. I like that because there’s no need to mess with the strap just to switch shoulders.

I have to say that my favorite feature is probably the sunglass holder. Good polarized lenses are expensive, and the fleece does a great job of keeping glass and polycarbonate lenses from getting scratched.

The major cons here are the lack of a bottle holder and rod loop.

Don’t overlook this sweet sling bag. It’s nice and spacious, and it’s good looking too!

Conclusion on the Best Fishing Tackle Bags and Slings

I recommend the Piscifun Fishing bag, I’ve been using this day pack on the rivers, the piers and at the lakes. I love the compartmentalizing of all my gear as I’ve now got it slimmed down where everything is quick and easy to access. For the price, definitely check out these packs. 

If you have any questions on fishign packs or slings, please reach out to me on the contact page. Tight Lines! Jesse

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