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Best Saltwater Tackle Boxes, Bags, & Backpacks Reviewed

Written by: Pete D
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Tackle storage is a tricky issue: you need enough space for the gear you need, ready access to your lures and tools, and portability - all in one easy-to-carry package. And when you add in the beating your equipment takes from salt and sun, most storage options fall short.

But there are great storage products on the market if you do your homework, and we’re here to help you make an informed decision that really meets your needs and budget.

Below, you’ll find reviews of our favorite saltwater tackle boxes, bags, and backpacks as well as a buying guide to help get you up to speed quickly.

Quick glance at the best saltwater tackle boxes, bags, and backpacks:

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Best Saltwater Tackle Boxes, Bags, & Backpacks Reviewed

KastKing “Hoss” Tackle Bag - Best Saltwater Tackle Bag

Okeechobee Fats Fisherman Deluxe Tackle Bag (Includes 8 Utility Tackle Boxes) , Palmetto Green

Amazon 

Dimensions: 15” x11” x10.25” 

Material: 420D rip-stop nylon with PVC backing

Salt and sun are tough on your gear, but KastKing’s “Hoss” Tackle Bag is designed to take everything Mother Nature can throw at it.

Constructed from durable 420 denier rip-stop nylon, this is a double-tough tackle bag. And because it’s lined with PVC and wears a hydrophobic coating, your tackle is going to stay dry even when spray and rain are wetting you through and through.

Even the base of the Hoss has been thought through by KastKing, and you’ll find a no-slip bottom on this bag to keep it put on a wet deck when the sea makes it hard to walk.

Holding as many as seven Plano 3600s, there’s plenty of room for enough terminal tackle for almost any trip. The generous main compartment fits six 3600s, either vertically or horizontally, and on the top flap, there’s a nice see-through zippered pocket for things you really want to keep track of.

Seven large zippered and slip pockets line the exterior, providing plenty of space for gear like pliers, and the zippered front pocket can take yet another Plano 3600.

For the overall dimensions of the Hoss, that’s a ton of storage, efficiently placed, and it’s all space you can really use.

For inshore or offshore fishing, this is a great tackle bag, and for trips to the pier or beach, it’s nearly impossible to beat, especially since the shoulder strap is comfortable and secure.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Excellent workmanship
  • Very water resistant
  • No-slip bottom
  • Tons of space
  • Lots of places for tools and accessories
  • Great carrying strap

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with any storage boxes, so you’ll need to purchase those separately

Okeechobee Fats Fisherman Deluxe Tackle Bag

Okeechobee Fats Fisherman Deluxe Tackle Bag (Includes 8 Utility Tackle Boxes) , Palmetto Green

Amazon 

Dimensions: 16.4” x 13.9” x 10.2”

Material: polyester

This excellent bag from Okeechobee Fats is available in two sizes, but we prefer the larger of the two for saltwater fishing as you’ll generally need more space for larger lures, more tools, and bigger accessories like floats. And one thing to appreciate right off the bat is that it ships with eight excellent Plano 3700s inside, and plenty of space for more options.

That’s a lot of tackle storage, and because the Plano 3700’s are fairly customizable, there’s room for big lures, giant spoons, and the oversized tackle common offshore.

Made from 100 percent polyester, the Deluxe Tackle Bag is fairly robust, especially at its price point. The zippers and stitching are high quality, and you can expect this bag to serve well for years. The carrying strap is padded and comfortable, and we’ve no complaints about fit, finish, or materials.

The bottom also features a rubberized no-slip surface, keeping this bag in place when the deck is really moving.

Featuring big zippered pockets on either end, there’s plenty of room for a Plano 3650 (be aware that the new model is a tad smaller than the old), or larger popping floats like the Bomber Lures Paradise Popper X-Treme. Spare line, pliers, a phone, sunscreen--the list of things that can be kept safely, ready-to-hand there is nearly endless.

There’s even a hard shell sunglass case built-in! The zippered front pocket below that can hold an additional Plano 3500, too. You’ll also find two tool holders ideal for hemostats or pliers on the front, making this an excellent choice for anglers who need a lot of storage and quick access to tools.

Pros:

  • Good materials
  • Good workmanship
  • Lots of space
  • Lots of places for tools and accessories
  • Comes with eight Plano 3700s

Cons:

  • Long-term durability can’t compete with the KastKing

YVLEEN Fishing Tackle Box Bag

YVLEEN Fishing Tackle Box Bag - Outdoor Large Fishing Tackle Storage Bag - 100% Water-Resistant Polyester Material - Fishing Tackle Bags - Suitable for 3600 3700 Tackle Box

Amazon 

Dimensions: 14.9” x 9.1” x 10.2”

Material: polyester with an inner water-resistant coating

Yvleen’s tackle bag is available in two sizes, and we definitely prefer the large for the salt. Even then, “large” is relative, and this is among the smallest of the options on our list.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as this bag is ideal for a trip to the beach for some surf fishing, ideal for toting down a long pier, and generally offers more than enough space for the beginning angler whose collection of tackle has yet to reach epic proportions.

Made from tough polyester and lined with a water-resistant material/coating, this bag offers decent water resistance, but I wouldn’t depend on it to keep things truly dry in heavy spray or rain.

The base is water-resistant and pretty non-slip, a nice touch that you’ll appreciate on a pitching deck.

The interior accommodates four Plano 3700s, and the font pocket takes an additional Plano 3600. That’s nothing to sneeze at, and I’d say that’s enough realistic storage for most anglers and most fishing trips.

You’ll also find two smaller zippered packers on either end of this bag, and they’re perfect for smaller accessories like floats, line, pliers, sunscreen, etc. Moreover, each of these pockets wears a specially-designed pocket for pliers or hemostats, keeping critical tools ready to hand.

The top of this bag features a clear zippered pocket that’s great for swim baits and other small soft plastic, and it’s also a great place to store sinkers, beads, and smaller floats for creating rigs.

Overall, this is a well-made tackle bag offered at a fair price. If you don’t need massive storage, it’s certainly a good option to consider.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Excellent workmanship
  • Good space
  • Lots of places for tools and accessories
  • Nice non-slip base

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come with storage trays - you’ll need to buy your own
  • Not as durable as the Kasting Hoss

Calissa Offshore Tackle Blackstar - Best Saltwater Tackle Backpack

Calissa Offshore Tackle Blackstar

Dimensions: 20 x 17 x 9 inches

Material: polyester?

For anglers who make extended fishing trips, whether that’s multi-day excursions offshore or just a long flight to a fishing destination, Calissa’s Offshore Tackle Backpack is the option I’d pick - hands down.

I’m not sure what material Calissa uses in the Offshore’s basic construction - I’m guessing polyester - but what I do know is that everything from the seams to the zippers is simply top-notch and of the highest quality.

This is a premium tackle backpack that’s built tough and designed to hold a lot of gear. For the adventurous, there’s space for clothing, food, accessories, and anything else you’d need to bring when it won’t be a quick trip to the water. 

Five plastic feet keep this backpack high, dry, and stable on deck. The straps are comfortable and well-padded, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take a reasonable hike with this bag on my back.

A front-accessed tackle compartment designed to accommodate four Plano 3650s (included), or indeed any 3600 series box, provides plenty of space. When paired with four massive zippered pockets on the sides - two with mesh exterior pockets - everything from extra line, to spools, to sunscreen will find a place.

The good folks at Calissa have thought of everything, and you’ll also find space for two hemostats or pliers as well as a hard case for sunglasses.

But what separates this backpack from its competitors is an internally divided design that allows you to carry clothes, towels, or pretty much anything else you’ll need near the top of the bag, giving you two separate compartments and points of access.

That’s a big deal if you’re planning a multi-day fishing trip far from home, and we appreciate the efficiency that this excellent backpack provides. It’s also great for trips that involve a flight or long drive, as you can actually pack a change of clothes.

To top this all off, Calissa offers an unbeatable “try-before-you-buy” 30-day deal - a testament to their confidence in this backpack.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Excellent workmanship
  • Tons of space
  • Lots of places for tools and accessories
  • Divided internal storage for clothes, etc.
  • 30-day try before you buy policy

Cons:

  • Expensive

Magreel 25L Fishing Tackle Backpack

Fishing Tackle Backpack 25L Water-resistant Tackle Bag with 4 Trays Tackle Boxes (3600)

Amazon 

Dimensions: 16.1” x 7.9” x 17.3”

Material: 1000D rip-stop nylon

Magreel 25 liter tackle backpack may well survive a direct nuclear strike, constructed as it is from 1000 denier rip-stop nylon. That’s amazingly rugged, durable material, and there’s simply no question that it can take whatever you can dish out.

Seam quality, zipper quality, and overall workmanship are excellent as well, down to details like rubber feet to keep your bag in place and help protect the bottom from rough conditions.

This backpack features a front accessory storage that comes with four 3600 storage boxes, but beware - these aren’t Planos, and the quality of the plastic tackle boxes is iffy. You’d be better off buying your own, but that increases the price of this already expensive bag.

You’ll find a moveable clapboard in the main compartment, allowing you to organize smaller gear or simply remove it and create a ton of space. Four generous side pockets add to the storage this bag offers, and they’re thoughtfully placed and designed.

Even the smaller front zippered pocket offers a surprise: enough rigidity to allow you to use it as a makeshift work surface.

The upper lid is backed with a see-through, waterproof zippered pocket that’s great for all sorts of small gear.

Overall, you’ll find a place for lures, line, larger floats, big hooks, sunscreen, lunch, drinks, and darn near anything else you’d like to bring to the sand, boat, or pier.

Tough as nails, this bag edges out the KastKing Hoss on overall durability, but the sub-par storage boxes do get under my skin for the price of this bag.

That said, if you’re rough on your gear and need a bomb-proof bag, look no further.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Amazingly durable
  • Excellent workmanship
  • Tons of space
  • Lots of places for tools and accessories
  • Divided internal storage for clothes, etc.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Cheap included plastic storage boxes - buy your own

Plano Angled 787 Guide Series Stowaway Tackle System - Best Saltwater Tackle Box

Plano Angled 787 Guide Series Stowaway Tackle System- Includes 7 Stowaways, Fishing Tackle Storage, Premium Tackle Storage, One Size, Model Number: 787010

Amazon 

Size: 23 x 12.25 inches

Material: plastic

Plano’s Angled 787 Guide Series Stowaway is the modern version of the traditional tackle box. Its well-thought-out storage options are probably a bit better for inshore anglers than offshore fishermen, if only because of the size of the compartments in the trays.

Made from tough plastic, this is among the more waterproof options on our list. Heavy spray and rain are probably not going to be a problem for your gear, and this is probably the only option I’d consider storing non-water resistant electronics in.

Storage is excellent in this traditional-style box. Spoons, jerkbaits, crankbaits, hooks, swimbaits, floats: there’s space for it all, but large trolling lures for tuna, for instance, are going to be hard to fit in the 787.

The 787 holds three Plano 2-3701 (included) in its main compartment, orienting them at a 15-degree angle to keep them in place and make them easy to access. Already, that’s a lot of storage. It also has space for a similarly situated 2-3750, giving you plenty of options for swimbaits, big crankbaits, large spoons, and anything more than a few inches long.

The transparent doors holding these trays in place make it easy to see which box you need to access, and that’s a thoughtful touch since it doesn’t require your storage to be open to know where what you need is.

Two similar doors are placed to either side of the main compartment, and there’s space for both 2-3601s behind one, and the 2-3650 behind the other.

If you’ve been keeping count, we’re up to seven tackle trays already. That’s enough for most anglers and most trips, especially inshore.

Two latched, see-through compartments bookend the lid storage, and they’re great places for anything you need to keep your eye on, from spare hooks to spools. Opening the lid reveals an expansive tray with compartments for pliers, hemostats, knives, gloves, line, and pretty much anything else you might want or need.

The downsides are clear: offshore anglers probably need more large storage compartments for huge lures. And the lack of a carrying strap means that a fully loaded 787 is going to be a handful on a long walk down a beach or pier.

Pros:

  • Excellent materials
  • Excellent workmanship
  • Very waterproof
  • Awesome storage space for inshore tackle
  • Very well thought out

Cons:

  • No carrying strap
  • Storage compartments are designed more for inshore than offshore

What We Look for in a Saltwater Tackle Bag, Backpack, or Box

Durability

Nothing eats gear like the combination of sun and salt. Add to that the bumps, knocks, hooks, and knives inevitable in fishing, and you know you need a tackle solution that can take a beating like a heavyweight boxer in his prime.

Look for rugged materials like high-quality polyester, rip-stop nylon, and UV-resistant plastic. 

Of these, high denier nylon is probably the toughest option, and it can really take serious abuse without failure. 

But you also need to consider details like seam construction, zipper quality, and overall workmanship. 

Tough materials that are poorly constructed won’t last.

Water resistance

While it’s probably not possible to keep your gear completely dry in a hard rain or heavy spray, some measure of water resistance is always nice, especially in the salt. 

Whether it’s just keeping a towel or spare shirt dry, or protecting your cell phone or lunch, you want a tackle box, bag, or backpack that can hold off water in reasonable circumstances.

Now, don’t expect true waterproofing, although the Plano 787 comes pretty close. Instead, look for options that satisfy your needs for keeping gear dry - and have realistic expectations.

Storage options

Whether you prefer Plano 3700s or 3600s - or really anything else - look carefully at your tackle and assess just how much primary storage you need. 

But you want more than plastic containers, and that includes a multitude of zippered pockets, sleeves for pliers or hemostats, and other storage options that let you customize your load-out, keeping everything where you can find it again.

That means that you want more than a standard backpack or duffle bag that you can slide some plastic containers in, and it’s worth investing in a purpose-built option.

It’s also worth taking a cold, hard look at your fishing adventures. Do you really need space for extra clothes? Do you make multi-day expeditions offshore? Or is a smaller bag really the better buy for you?

Portability

Finally, consider how portable you need your storage option to be.

If you routinely take a long hike from your car to your spot on the beach or pier, portability is a big issue, and something like the Plano 787 - as awesome as it is - isn’t the right pick for you. Conversely, if you load your boat directly from your truck and head out of the marina, that same 787 may be solid gold.

For longer walks and better potability, bags with comfortable straps and backpacks are definitely the way to go.

Final Thoughts

We can’t pick the right option for you: only you know what you really need and what your budget is.

But we can guarantee that every product on this list is a quality purchase that will serve you well on a beach, pier, or boat.

As always, we’d love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.

About The Author
Pete D
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Pete grew up fishing on the Great Lakes. When he’s not out on the water, you can find him reading his favorite books, and spending time with his family.
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