CAMPING & HIKING

Backpacking Fishing Gear: Must Have Equipment for the Angler

Wild River Fishing
Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

If you plan to go hiking and fishing while you are enjoying the wilderness, you will need to carefully choose the backpacking fishing gear you buy.

Remember, on a hike, you will already have plenty of gear to carry with you on your excursion so you do not want a lot of gear weighing you down. At the same time, you will still want to make sure you have all the necessary fishing equipment you need to catch the type of fish you plan to catch.

essential fishing gear

To that end, there is a short list of simple, must-have gear every angler needs to ensure a relaxing time pursuing their favorite outdoor sport.

Fishing Gear You Will Need to Pack

Let’s face it, fishing gear comes in an endless variety, and if you are avid fisher you have likely created your own collection or arsenal for every fishing excursion. But when it comes time to pack up that backpack, you’ll have to limit your gear to the must-haves only.

fishing gear

 

If you are a beginner at fishing and this is your first your backpacking fishing adventure, you may be unsure of what to bring along. Here is list of the things you need and a bit of advice on how to select the perfect gear for your trip.

Hooks, Swivels, Sinkers/Split Shot

The type of hooks, swivels, sinkers, and split you choose will depend on the type of fish you are after; thus, variety packs are your best option, and they prove quite affordable. The variety packs often contain hook, lures, swivels, and split shot, as well as weights and sizes so you’ll have everything you need whether you fishing for sunfish or trout.

Fishing Lures In Tackle Boxes With Spinning Rod And Net

There are also many varieties crankbaits you can use that are lightweight enough to pack into your pack which make for excellent bait for salmon, trout, bass, and walleye. Alternatively, you can opt for natural bait is you close it up in a small container that will remain secure inside the bag.

Monofilament or Fishing Line

Many anglers prefer monofilament that is clear over regular fishing line because the monofilament is more durable, abrasion resistant, and not easy for the fish to see.When choosing monofilament, you will buy what you need based on weight or pound test.

Monofilament Fishing line

For trout, you will need eight to ten-pound test, for example. The bigger the fish you are after, the heavier the line you want to invest in when you buy your gear.

Fishing Rod

Telescopic rods are the easiest to carry, particularly if you are going in the backwoods since you can avoid getting tangled up in the bushes and trees. These same rods strap nicely to the back of a backpack for ease of transport. Their prices range from entry level to premium depending on the make and model you buy.

Fishing rod

Barrel Swivels

These swivels are available in different sizes and help to keep your fishing line from tangling when in use. You can get a small package of them or an entire kit for relatively little experience. They are easy to use and made of gold color or black.

BARREL SWIVELS

Net

When you buy a fishing net you will need to know about the laws in the state in which you reside and what is legally acceptable for use. You can opt for a dip net for dipping in the water or a throw net for tossing in the water to catch herring.

fishing net

Prices and sizes vary, but foldable nets are great for easy backpack packing.

Fishing Tools

Pliers for fishing typically include needle nose and side cutter variants. You will want a set that is made of corrosion resistant stainless steel, and the pair should have ergonomically designed handles for good grip.

Fishing Tools

Sometimes the pliers come with extras like hook removers or fish carriers too.

Top Nine Backpacking Fishing Options

Below you will find a review of some of the leading fishing gear available on the market. By reviewing each listing, you will get an opportunity to see what the gear is made of and just how you can benefit from its use.

You will also get a chance to check out product specifications and affordability factors. The goal is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions when you shop for your own backpack fishing gear.

Eagle Claw Assorted Hook/Swivel/Sinker Set

Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inchesEagle Claw Hooks Swivels Sinker

Weight: 0.3 ounces

Specifications: 75 pieces in an assorted set including sinkers, hooks, and swivels in various sizes; Assortment comes in blue case made of hard plastic, and a clear dial lid. Kit includes: 28 Aberdeen hooks in sizes #1, #2, #4, and #6; 8 Brass snap swivels in sizes #7 and #10; one bass 1/8-ounce bass casting sinker; 23 split shot sizes #3/0, #7, and #5; and15 Baitholder hooks in sizes #2, #4, and #6.

Best Use: For sinking the bait right in the spot where the fish are likely to strike.

The Eagle Claw Assorted Hook/Swivel/Sinker Set by Eagle Claw consists of a full 75 pieces and costs between $4.00 and $5.00. This set gives you precisely what you need when you are looking to sink that fishing line and bait into the zone where the fish are striking.

The blue selector case has a swivel clear top so it holds the gear inside when you are not using it, but also makes access to the gear you need quick and easy. The blue case is durable enough to keep your tackle organized in your backpack and the clear lid makes it easy to see right where your gear is located.

Related:  As an alternative, you can opt for the Eagle Claw Split Shot/Sinker set in a 78 piece or 124 piece offering, with the larger of the two options priced between $6.00 and $15.00; the set includes a variety of weighted split shot (five sizes for everything. Then, if you are fishing for bass, you an opt for the Eagle Claw Bass Sinker Set priced between $4.00 and $6.00; the set consists of 27 pieces, and is perfect for beginner, intermediate, and expert bass anglers.

Check the price on Amazon

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line

Dimensions: 120 Yards/110MKastking Flourokote fishing line

Weight: 20, 25, 30, 40, 50 60, 80, 100, 130, 150, and 200 pounds

Specifications: ICAST Awarding Winning Product; 120 Yards/110M; Fluorocarbon leader line; abrasion resistant; low memory; low stretch; high tensile strength, exceptional hook-setting ability.

Best Use: Salt Water Fishing/ Big Game Fishing

KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line is a form of Durable monofilament for sale at a price between $8.00 and $17.00, and since the monofilament comes in different options, you can get it with reduced pricing with some selections.

The monofilament is clear so it goes into the water and is visually undetectable to the aquatic life. You can get it in different sizes as well, from 20 to 200-pound test.

High tensile strength, abrasion resistant, durable, impressive shock strength, elevated knot strength, perfect clarity, and the high stretch that professional anglers demand. It has low memory characteristics, stays flexible, soft, but strong enough for you to reel in the big game fish.

This ultra-durable fishing line gives you more reel capacity overall, easing the process of catching those elusive big game fish, and it has a protective package that ensures the monofilament remains knot and tangle free as you tote it around in your backpack containing all of your necessary fishing gear.

Related:  If you like the KastKing branding and you are up for a premium brand of fishing line, you can opt for the SuperPower Braided Fishing Line between $15.00 and $80.00, and available in Low-Vis Gray, Moss Green, Multi-color, Ocean Blue, White, and Yellow. Its durable, abrasion resistant, small diameter line allows for greater room on the fishing spool. As a branding alternative, you can opt for the shock and abrasion resistant Berkley Trilene Big Game Fishing Line priced between $4.00 and $45.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Emmrod Packrod Fishing Combo

Dimensions: 24 x 4 x 5.5 inchesEmmrod Packrod Fishing Combo

Weight: 1.1 pounds

Specifications: 6 Coil Spinning Pole; DCM Open Face Reel; short Packrod®, black rod, and silver, red, and black open reel. Easy casting; easy reeling in; easily dialing. Highly portable.

Best Use: When fishing in a sitting position while small boat, tube, canoe, or kayak. Catching fish up to 15 pounds is possible.

The Emmrod Packrod Fishing Combo comes with a DCM Open Face Reel and serves as a six-coil spinning pole setup. The unit costs between $110.00 and $120.00.

This setup is perfect for fishing weighing up to 15 pounds and the rod is purposefully made short so you do not have to deal with the problem of lag time and so you always know when the fish are biting on the line.

The Packrod® is equipped with the super short handle so that you can reel and cast with the pole being closer to your body. Even better, you do not have to worry about interfering with the other anglers fishing nearby or getting tangled up in the tree lines. The small size of the rod makes it a beautiful rod for the backpacking angler.

The rod is compatible with many open face spin reels so you swap out the one it comes with for one of your favorites instead. You can easily strap this pole to any backpack you desire for ease of transport.

Related:  Emmrod makes the Kayak King 6 Coil spin fishing rod as well, which is equally portable and suitable for adding to your backpack fishing gear; the rod is priced between $70.00 and $80.00. The rod has a 1/4 locking system, a pistol grip reel seat, and anti-slip handle. The manufacturer also produces the Packer Combo with four coil casting priced between $90.00 and $100.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Barrel Swivel with Safety Snap Connector

Dimensions: Size 7 +BBarrel Swivel Safety Snap Connector

Weight: 0.3 ounces shipping

Specifications: 100 pieces

Best Use: All fishing activities, including big game fishing.

The Barrel Swivel with Safety Snap Connectors are between $8.00 and $10.00 for 100 pieces. Each piece features a simple structure that helps in the reduction of resistance when yielding the water.

The design of each unit in the set also help in improving the group sensitivity. You get maximum knot strength because of the round shape of the swivel eyes.

The swivels are thoroughly inspected during the manufacturing process to ensure top quality. The fishing connectors are exceptional affordable and long lasting. The standard break strength for these fish connectors is about 60 pounds.

Related:  You have the alternative of getting 210 pieces of fishing barrel swivels in a range of sizes from 2 to 10 if you opt for a kit by Shaddock if you are willing to pay more for the kit. Each size is in a different color for visual convenience. The kit ranges from $13.00 to $30.00, and each swivel is made of 100% copper. Luengo also has a mixed set of 100 Ball Bearing Swivels with interlocking connectors for $13.00 to $30.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats Assortment

Dimensions: 1″, 1.25″, 1.5″ or 1.75″Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats

Weight: 0.165

Specifications: Red and white, plastic material, light, round, and available in four different sizes.

Best Use: When you need a bobber for spotting your fishing; basic fishing endeavors.

Snap on Floats by Eagle Claw are simple to use, light, and affordable since you can get a bag of 12 between $4.00 and $5.00.

You can opt for the traditional, easy to see red and white floats making your line easy to see from a distance and if there is any movement, or you can pay a bit more and opt for pink and white, green, and white, or orange and white.

This set comes with four size choices. The floats offer ease of install.

Related:  South Bend offers an alternative with an assortment of Push Button Floats. The set comes with ten floats that are orange and yellow fluorescent colors and feature a push button release for ease of use; the cost is between $3.00 and $4.00 for the set. Shaddock sells a set of 25red and white floats featuring the push button release for between $13.00 and $20.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Riptail Extra Strong Stainless Steel Fishing Hook

RIPTAIL EXTRA STRONG STAINLESS STEEL FISHING HOOKDimensions: Sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12 (2 pack or 10 pack)

Weight: N/A

Specifications: Nine different sizes available; also, available in a two pack or ten pack option. 420 Stainless steel hooks, durable structure.

Best Use: Big game fishing expeditions; jigging, trolling, and chunking.

Riptail Steel Fishing Hooks are made extra durable so you can bring in those big game fish when they strike. Each hook has an exceptionally sharp tip so when it catches the inside corner of the mouth the ultra-sharp pointed bar gets into or through the fish’s mouth with a firm grip and preventing a bite and escape episode.

The J hook is superior for salt water fishing endeavors. The hooks are corrosion and rust resistant.  The hook will even remain on the line when using a trolling machine to drag the line along the bottom of a body of water while trying to catch stripers, bass, walleye, trout, or tiger muskies.

Get a couple of packages for yourself or your favorite angler since they make a suitable gift.

Related:  Riptail sells the 34007 Stainless Steel Fishing Hook best used for trolling in several sizes, and you can get a bag of hooks between $4.00 and $18.00. Or you can opt for the Heavy-Duty Fishing Hook model 7691S priced between $4.00 and $65.00. The 420-stainless steel makes the hook great for trolling, chunking, or jigging.

Check the price on Amazon

PLUSINNO Fishing Net

Dimensions: 30.31”/77CM (collapsed); 5.51”/14CM Width; 2.1M/5.91Ft Full LengthPLUSINNO Fishing Net

Weight: 1.30lb/0.59kg

Specifications: light handle made of aluminum; foldable for ease of transport; Available in two size choices. Small enough to pack away or attach to your backpack. Two mesh styles; thick lines and mesh for capturing big game (net A), while net B has mesh that is 0.31 inches in diameter with a soft knit design for use with smaller game and animals.

Best Use: Catching fish, butterflies, or chickens.

The PLUSINNO Fishing Net is a must have whenever you are fishing, but the jury is still out on pricing, however. So popular is this portable, foldable, aluminum fishing net that it’s presently out of stock and unavailable.

Rest assured it is worth the wait for its return to the shelves as it folds up easy in just four steps, and swapping out the net is a breeze when you need to refresh the netting.

It comes complete with two types of netting so you can use it to catch fish, butterflies, or chickens.

Related:  Shelure sells a folding fishing net with a price range between $12.00 and $30.00, depending on the size you buy (eight sizes are available). The net features a telescoping pole and its 29” long when collapsed for ease of transport. Fiblink also has an aluminum handled folding fishing net with a telescoping pole priced between $20.00 and $40.00. It is available in three sizes.

Check the price on Amazon

Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Dimensions: 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, or 8000Penn Battle II Spinning Reel

Weight: 2.2 pounds

Specifications: Durable stainless steel design; sporty colors; HT carbon drag washers; rotor, metal side plate, heavy duty aluminum bail wire, five sealed stainless steel, rust resistant ball bearings; anti reverse bearing, gasket, super-spool line, and capacity rings. Four model availability.

Best Use: Big game fishing.

Made from one of the leading companies in the industry, the Penn Battle II Spinning Reel will help you land that big game fish you’ve been dying to mount on your wall. The units are priced between $50.00 and $450.00, depending on the one you buy.

The reel features a durable design, attractive exterior so you will even have a sporty feel just looking at it. The reel features HT 100 carbon drag washers that are super smooth, and you get great precision from the unit featuring a rotor design and side plate made of durable, corrosion resistant metal.

This unit comes with a HD bail wire made of aluminum, an anti-reverse bearing, and five ball bearings made of sealed stainless steel. The reel also comes with a superior capacity rings and a super line spool. A rubber gasket inclusion prevents spool slippage and no cover is required when using it.

There are four models to choose from all of which vary in size and weight.

Related: For a more affordable reel option, you can go for the Penn Fierce II Spinning Reel priced between $40.00 and $150.00 available with a standard package or two additional package options. Or if you want a similar upper end model by the same manufacturer, you can opt for the Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Reel priced between $90.00 and $700.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Fishing H1 Fishing Pliers Stainless Steel Tools

Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.1 x 0.3 inchesBoom Fishing H1 Pliers

Weight: 113 grams

Best Use: Any and all fishing endeavors.

Specifications: Money back guarantee; compact, auto-open spring; ABS plastic handle; steel pliers. Belt holder, and lanyard included.

Best Use: Any and all fishing endeavors.

Booms Fishing Pliers are appreciated for their simple, one hand operation thanks to the inclusion of the auto open spring. You get a good grip on the pliers because the handles are made of a durable, smooth plastic material.

The pliers are also made of corrosion resistant 420 stainless steel. A lanyard and belt holder come included with the set for convenient transport.

The set is orange, blue, and black. The set is priced between $5.00 and $30.00.

Related:  Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers are a nice alternative priced between $15.00 and $35.00 a set; the set comes with braid cutters, hook remover, fish holder, and a lanyard for ease of transport. There’s also the Booms Fishing X1 pliers set perfect for saltwater fishing priced between $19.00 and $25.00.

Check the price on Amazon

Gearing Up for Your Next Fishing Expedition

Whether you are going fishing at a local watering hole or you are planning an expensive deep sea fishing excursion, having all the right fishing gear on hand will make all the difference in the experience you have as you enjoy your favorite sport.

With the appropriate gear within reach you’ll always have exactly what you need: This means you can spend more time focusing on the sport and the relaxation it brings versus worrying whether you have the right gear on hand or not. Of course, the gear you ultimately need is based on your personal needs and preferences, but you’ll have no trouble finding the kind of equipment you require at super affordable prices.

Geared up Backpacking fishing trip

If you have experience with any of the above-mentioned gear or you would like to share some product information with us, by all means do so; we invite you to interact with us in the comments section below. We look forward to hearing from you.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

  • Josh Barnes

    I am glad that you included KastKing FluoroKote Fishing Line on your list because that product is super fantastic! It is very durable and strong despite the fact that it is almost invisible in the water. It is by far the strongest fishing line that I have ever used. The price is affordable too.

    • Daniel Carraway

      We are glad you agree!

  • Jamie Howard

    I have always been loyal to Eagle Claw. I can still remember how excited I was when I ordered their Eagle Claw Assorted Hook/Swivel/Sinker set. First of all, the price is very reasonable. I also like that it has a great assortment of hooks, weights and snaps in a cool container.

    • Daniel Carraway

      Great story! Thanks!

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