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A decent tackle bag is one of the key essentials for Kayak fishing. After all, you cannot just shove everything into the hull of the kayak where you sit.
Now, tackle bags for kayaks are a little different than your standard fishing tackle box, but they do come in very handy. The best tackle bag for kayak fishing is one that is durable, waterproof with a good interior storage (the Plano Guide 3600 is our top pick).
I was surprised with the amount of tackle bags out there but many of them are not actually ideal for Kayak fishing, so we decided to put together a buyers guide that looks at the essential features of a good Kayak tackle bag and our own top 5 picks to give you some good suggestions.
- 1 What To Look For In A Kayak Tackle Bag
- 2 Top 5 Tackle Bags For Kayak Fishing: Reviews
- 3 1. Plano Guide Bag
- 4 2. Plano Weekend Series Kayak Crate
- 5 3. X-Pak Kayak Fish-n-Tote
- 6 4. OkeeChobee Fats Tackle Bag
- 7 5. Shoreline Marine Propel Ultimate Kayak Bag
- 8 Conclusion
What To Look For In A Kayak Tackle Bag
Before you go out and buy any tackle bag, there are some main considerations that you should keep in mind for kayak fishing;
One of the main things that we always look for in any fishing tackle bag of any kind, is how durable it is. Yes folks, fishing involves some heavy equipment, sharp hooks, and accessories like pliers that can cause damage too. At the same time, not all fishing trips are smooth sailing, so to speak. You might even have to hike a bit to get to your kayaking spot.
The point is that you do need a fishing tackle bag that is highly durable, one with fairly thick walls that are not going to get snagged or rip as soon as a little fishing hook gets stuck in it.
These bags need to be able to hold a lot of weight, for the most part, so having one that does not come apart at the seams as soon as you have more than a couple pounds in it is a big deal. On a side note, getting something that has a slick interior, or even a removable liner is important too. If it happens to get dirty or stinky, at least it can be cleaned easily.
You need a good fishing bag that is waterproof. So, even if the bag happens to fall into the water, or if a big rainstorm comes your way, at least only the outside of the bag will get wet, instead of all of your expensive fishing gear, which needs to stay bone dry.
The bottom line is that the interior of the fishing bag should not let any water in whatsoever (here is a rundown on rigging for saltwater specifically).
3. Interior Space & Pockets
The next thing to pay attention to is how much room it actually has for your gear. The one you get is going to depend on the type and length of fishing trip you will need it for.
Generally speaking, you do want something that can hold the minimum amount of gear you plan on using, plus a little bit extra. At any rate, a big interior pocket is import to store everything. You should also have several outer pockets, 3 or 4 at the least, for smaller accessories.
Having slip holders, D-rings, and easy access mesh pockets will help you keep your gear organized and access it with ease. Now, keep in mind that here we are talking about space period, not about organization, which is something totally different.
Yes, being able to fit all of your gear into a large bag is important, but it is only half the battle. You will not have much fun if you have to dig through the entire contents of your tackle bag every single time just to get one little thing.
Sure, having many little dividers, compartments, and organizers might take a bit of room away for storage, but it also helps keep things neatly organized. Just having a large bag or box with everything shoved into it is not going to be convenient.
Sometimes you need super-fast access to a specific bait, lure, piece of tackle, or to those trusty pliers too. Having a kayak tackle bag that lets you neatly organize everything for quick and efficient access is a big deal no doubt.
Now, this is a bit of a tradeoff no doubt. If you have a very lightweight tackle bag, chances are that the material used is not too thick or durable. Also, if the bag is small and compact, it means that it won’t have that much room.
You need to decide whether you need something compact with limited space or something larger with more room. You also need to decide if you would rather have something that is a bit heavier, but also a bit more durable too.
Yes, portability, in terms of a lightweight and compact design, is nice, but you will sacrifice some space and durability. If you can find a good in between, we would definitely advise going with that.
Top 5 Tackle Bags For Kayak Fishing: Reviews
After a lot of research, we have narrowed it down to these 5 tackle bags that we personally feel are some of the best for kayak fishing. Let’s take a closer look at of them;
1. Plano Guide Bag
If you are on the hunt for a good tackle bag for kayak fishing, the Plano Guide Bag is a pretty decent choice to keep in mind.
For one, the base on this thing is made out of really solid plastic to keep everything upright and in place, plus to keep your tackle and the bag itself away from moisture.
In combination with this, the tackle bag also comes with little rubber feet to keep the whole platform elevated. This is convenient and important because if water builds up in the storage bay of the kayak, at least the rubber feet will keep the guide bag and your gear out of it.
Slots & Accessory Pockets
This particular kayak tackle bag features a nifty Utili-Tackle rail accessory system that comes with 34 different accessories and tie down slots. In other words, this should be more than enough to bring absolutely everything you need with you for your kayak fishing trip.
This thing comes with a zippered front pocket, as well as 2 zippered side pockets that are a little bit smaller. This tackle bag also features a few mesh slide pockets, as well as a bunch of D-rings for extra accessories.
This bag can definitely fit a whole lot of tackle, more or less everything besides your actual fishing rods, which is a bit of a downside we must admit.
The Main Pocket
What is really neat about the Plano Guide Bag is that the large internal pocket, which is top accessible, already comes with stowaway boxes included. Now, there are 3 choices to go with here, the 3500 series, which comes with five stow away boxes that are 6.5″H x 12″W x 7″D.
There is the 3600 series, which comes with six stow away boxes that are 9.45″H x 18″W x 9.45″D. There is also the 3700 series, which comes with six stow away boxes that are 11″H x 22″W x 13″D.
So, as you can see, you can choose which size and series fits you best. Each stow away box comes with a number of smaller compartments and organizers to keep all of your tackle in place.
This thing also comes with a nifty carrying strap to get it to and from your kayak. The bag itself is of a pretty good quality. It certainly is durable, although not waterproof, so it is advised that you don’t get it wet.
Although, the clear zip-close lid under the top lid is pretty convenient for seeing what is on the inside without actually having to open everything up.
- Various size options to go with.
- Tons of space in the main pocket.
- Lots of smaller pockets, accessory slots, and mesh holders.
- Comes complete with a number of stowaway boxes.
- Great base to stop it from getting wet.
- Comes with a nifty carrying strap.
- Quite bulky and heavy.
- Not waterproof at all.
- Zippers are not of the best quality.
2. Plano Weekend Series Kayak Crate
If you need a large soft sided carrying case for all of your fishing tackle when kayaking, the Plano Weekend Kayak Crate is a cool option to keep in mind.
First off, this thing comes in at 12″L x 17.5″W x 12.5″H. As you can see, it is not the largest tackle bag out there, but also not the smallest by far. Keep in mind that these are just the dimensions for the main bag, but not for all of the accessory pouches.
The main bag comes with a lot of interior space and a center divider for some minimal organization. Although a single divider won’t do much in terms of organization, this thing can still hold quite a bit of stuff.
We do like how this kayak tackle bag is specially designed to fit into a standard milk crate. Honestly, the usefulness of this is a little questionable, but if you like fitting things into crates, it is definitely a bonus.
It does make it easier to store in your car and to carry around. Also, if you have this thing in a crate, there is a bit of a buffer between it and the floor of your kayak, this elevating it a bit, potentially keeping it out of water pools.
In terms of carrying, this thing comes with special buckles that can be used to attach it to a compatible backpack, plus the buckles can also be used to secure it to a compatible kayak.
On that same note, this item does feature a carrying strap, plus when they are attached, the side pockets also act as makeshift handles that can be used for carrying purposes.
This thing is super lightweight, which is always nice because you don’t need it being any heavier than need be, especially when full of tackle. Not to forget, this thing does come with a couple of stow away boxes too.
Although the walls of this particular tackle bag are soft, they are rip and tear resistant, plus totally waterproof too, so at least none of your gear and tackle on the inside will ever get wet.
With that being said, the overall durability of the fabric, while being OK, is not fantastic, plus having soft walls means that if you drop the bag, contents may get damaged.
At any rate, back to storage capacity, this tackle box also comes with 3 extra storage panels, more or less just mini little tackle bags that can easily clip and detach from the main tackle bag.
This thing comes with tons of little mesh pockets, D-rings, and other accessory holders, especially in the 3 smaller detachable compartments.
- Good size for a 2 or 3 day fishing trip.
- Large interior with multiple smaller pocket attachments.
- Interior pocket features a divider.
- Ample space in the lid, with additional D-rings and accessory holders.
- Easy to carry – good carrying strap and lightweight design.
- Fits into a crate for convenience.
- Waterproof design.
- Soft walls – contents may be damaged if dropped.
- Walls and floor do not have the highest durability rating.
- Not very easy to actually get it into the compatible crate.
3. X-Pak Kayak Fish-n-Tote
The X-Pak Kayak Fish-n-Tote is fairly roomy, pretty durable, and has an overall high level of convenience.
First off, this thing only weighs 3 pounds, which is pretty lightweight. No, it’s not as light as some of the other models we have looked at, but having a bit of heft is not the worst thing. At least we know that solid materials have been used in its construction.
With that being said, 3 pounds is not very heavy, making this item pretty easy to carry and portable, which is also true thanks to the shoulder strap it comes with. Also, it can definitely fit on all kinds of sit on top fishing kayaks.
In terms of size, this kayak tackle bag comes in at 11.5 x 13.2 x 18.5 inches. As you can probably tell, this is pretty average for this kind of thing. Just like with the previous option we looked at, this is not huge, but also not puny.
It definitely has more than enough room to fit all of your essential fishing gear, even for a few days of fishing. Now, the interior of this thing is quite roomy no doubt.
It has more than enough space for line, tackle, bait, tools, and more. In case you were wondering, the interior can hold 6 standard size tackle trays.
However, beware that it does not feature any interior dividers or organizers, which can make quickly finding and accessing specific gear a bit of a pain in the neck.
Although, not featuring a bunch of walls and fabric pockets on the inside does actually help increase the actual amount of space available for tackle and fishing gear.
To help make up for this a little bit, the exterior of the X-Pak Fish-n-Tote features mesh accessory pockets, one on each side to be exact. They are not huge, but they can hold a few things.
There are also a bunch of D-rings included here so you can attach even more accessories for fishing. It even features 2 rod holders as well.
This item does actually come with a removable liner for the interior, something which is not often seen. If you spill bait or get it dirty, simply take out the liner, wash it, and put it back in. Beware that this is a little easier said than done, especially putting the liner back in.
The zippers are pretty convenient, as they are large and durable, they have large rubber pulls for easy opening, and they are self-repairing too, which is quite nifty if we do say so ourselves. This item does feature a heavy duty construction with thick walls, as you can probably tell from the weight of it. In terms of durability, this thing is up there with the best of them.
The walls are thick enough to lend some impact protection to interior contents, but not thick enough to be considered self-supporting, plus it’s not quite totally waterproof either.
- Fits on most kayaks.
- Heavy duty outer walls.
- Inner liner for easy cleaning.
- 2 extra exterior storage pockets + rod holders.
- Thick walls to protect contents.
- Very high level of durability.
- Large and durable self-repairing zippers.
- May rip if snagged by a sharp hook.
- Not totally waterproof.
- Large pocket does not have dividers for organization.
- A little on the heavy side of things.
4. OkeeChobee Fats Tackle Bag
This is a good one to go with if you are beginner, if you need something simple and effective, and if you are only going to be using it occasionally.
It’s a good beginner’s bag for tackle, but probably not the best item for professional fisherman and for steady prolonged use.
The fabric which this bag is made with is quite soft. Sure, it can handle some basic wear and tear, but it’s not impermeable to fish hooks and that kind of thing. Yeah, it has a decent level of durability for basic use, but it’s not something that you can put through a lot of punishment and expect it to stay in one piece.
The fabric used here is water resistant. It’s alright if you are sure that the bag will always stay in the kayak and for calm waters, but don’t splash it too much or drop it in the water, as it will not keep the contents totally dry.
What does need to be said is that the mesh on the outside, while it looks nice, it is super easy to get pretty much anything snagged on it, which is a big drawback, especially when it comes to something like fishing, something which involves a lot of sharp and pointy objects.
You may notice that we are definitely not fans of this bag in terms of durability, but the OkeeChobee Fats Tackle Bag does have some useful features which help to make up for a lack of toughness.
Weight & Portability
For one, this thing is very lightweight, which may or may not be due to the thin nature of the fabric here. Either way, it does not weigh much at all and is thus very easy to transport.
When empty, you will barely notice this thing at all. Moreover, it does come with a convenient carrying handle and a padded strap.
In terms of stuffing it in your car, as long as it is not full, the soft walls do have some give you can jam it into a small space if need be, just beware that you don’t let it snag on anything.
The total dimensions for this thing are 6.4in x 13.9in x 10.2in, which is a medium size. Like the other options here today, it’s not huge, but not too small either, rather perfect for a 2 or 3 day fishing trip on the lake.
It comes with a large main compartment, one that is big enough to hold up to 8 utility boxes of 13.5in x 8.4in x 1.8in. Although there are no dividers or organizers on the inside, it can definitely fit a whole lot of stuff, especially nifty little utility boxes.
This kayak tackle box also comes with 2 large and 2 smaller side pockets, both which are zippered, as well as a wide rear zippered mesh pocket, and 2 small mesh pockets on the front too. in terms of storage space, the OkeeChobee Fats Tackle Bag definitely has enough of it.
- Tons of storage space.
- Easy to access compartments with good zippers.
- Room for plenty of utility boxes.
- Many exterior pockets for various accessories.
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Comes with carrying straps.
- Low durability.
- Outer mesh gets snagged and rips easily.
- Not totally waterproof.
- Very thin walls – susceptible to ripping and being punctured.
5. Shoreline Marine Propel Ultimate Kayak Bag
Now, this is a very simple yet effective solution to go with for kayak fishing. For one, it looks like a cooler bag of sorts.
It is perfectly square with a large interior. One thing that needs to be said here is that this kayak bag has quite a bit of space, but it’s not huge. It comes in at 17.7 x 6.2 x 14 inches, which makes it about a medium option to go with.
It’s not massive, but also not small by any means. It definitely has a lot of room on the interior for all kinds of gear.
On that same note, this thing weighs only 1 pound, plus it comes with a convenient carrying strap. Both of these aspects make the Shoreline Marine Propel Ultimate Kayak Bag very easy to carry around with you, especially from the car to the kayak.
Getting back to the interior of this bag, you do need to know that it does not come with any kind of dividers, organizers, or smaller pockets.
So, while it does have ample interior room for all of your gear and tackle, keeping your stuff organized is not what this thing does best.
Now, you can actually get a crate, a special little crate so you can lift all of your gear out of this bag in one shot. The crate is pretty convenient, although it also does not keep your things organized, but it does help a little bit with ease of accessibility.
Keep in mind that the crate is sold separately here. There is a little more storage space on the outside of this bag, as it comes with 2 fishing rod holders, a front mesh pocket for a small tackle box, and a few side pockets for choice tools and accessories too.
This thing is definitely not short on storage space.
The Shoreline Marine Propel Ultimate Kayak Bag comes with an easy to open lid. It features nothing more than a zipper, which is perfectly fine with us, although in this case the zipper could be of a little higher quality.
We do like the bag itself, as it does look nice, and best of all, it is made with waterproof Denier materials, so your tackle and gear will never get wet when this tackle bag is closed. However, the material itself is not all that durable.
There are not hard walls, so you definitely should not drop it as the tackle on the inside might get damaged. Also, keep in mind that this thing doesn’t really have a base, so there’s nothing to keep it out of the water if there is a pool in your kayak.
- Ample interior space.
- Easy to open zipper lid.
- Side pockets for extra space.
- Waterproof material.
- Fishing rod holders included.
- Lightweight and easy to carry.
- Interior can hold a crate.
- Not good for organizing things.
- Not a very durable outer shell.
- Lackluster top zipper.
- Nothing to keep it out of pools in the kayak.
- Crate sold separately.
We have done our best to find kayak tackle bags for fishing that excel in all of the considerations and buying aspects we talked about. Now it is up to you to choose the right tackle bag that works best for you and to stock it up with the main essentials.