A guide to buying the right fishing bag

Looking for a carryall? Whether it’s for sea fishing, fly fishing, carp or coarse, there are just so many to choose from. Good job we’ve put together a handy Anglers’ Net Carryall guide then, designed to cover all the important points for consideration, as well as offering up a nice selection of recommendations.

There are countless carp carryalls available today all capable of housing as much or as little as you want, but what type should you go for? How you are going to fish is the main consideration, along with how you normally get your tackle to the swim. For anglers fishing day sessions or quick overnighters, a small to medium sized carryall should suffice, big enough to house your tackle box, alarms, bank sticks and cooking equipment along with all the usual nic-nacs.

For the angler staying at the bank for a couple of nights, obviously there’s need for increased amounts of bait, food, clothing and other essentials, so the size of the carryall will increase accordingly. For quite a few years the design concept for carryalls has remained the same; one large oblong central compartment, with the addition of a number of external pockets with either zip or clip fastenings, carry handles and a good padded shoulder strap.

Over the last few years there have been some interesting evolutions to the carryall, however. Some are now designed to hold their own tackle boxes, rig cases and bits boxes, which improves their overall weight and size, as things fit together much more compactly, and at the other end of the scale there have been advancements, too, with carryalls designed specifically for use on barrows, which can be huge in design allowing a massive amount of gear to be taken to the swim in one go, as it’s not going to be carried on the shoulder.

Most carryalls are rated in litres of storage space provided, with small carryalls offering around 30litres, medium 50-60, large to 80 litres, and barrow bags even more, so it’s about looking first at how you intend to be carrying the bag – on shoulder or barrow – and then at the capacity of gear you have to pack.

As a final note, when looking at carryalls to go on the shoulder, what we would say is that the quality of components matters. You want good quality clips and fastenings – particularly on the shoulder strap – that won’t bend, break or snap when the bag is fully loaded with tackle. In addition, you want a bag that’s going to last as you’re going to be in and out of it all the time, so check for good build quality; tough chunky zips, double stitched seams, heavyweight materials and so on.

So, with all the basics covered, let’s get onto the fun bit and have rummage through what’s on offer. A carryall that immediately grabbed our attention was the Hardwear Carryall, not least because it’s probably the cheapest we’ve ever seen at just £9.99. Hardwear have been making a bit of a name for themselves of late with a fantastic range of value for money products, and this one’s no exception. It has a large central compartment, external zip, clip and pouch pockets and shoulder strap – all for under a tenner! Full details HERE.

Hardwear Carryall


Whilst predominantly aimed at sea fishing, the Black Cat Fishing Carryall would actually be well suited to any discipline – it’s fantastic. The carryall features a large internal compartment perfect for tackle, food and cloths, and also comes with a Black Cat plastic box for end tackle. Externally there are loads of pockets and compartments perfect for storing all those essential tackle items. We also like the heavily padded shoulder strap, great when you’re on a hike. We thought this carryall would actually be well suited to the roving or river angler, too. The medium version described measures 60cm L x 37cm H x 43cm W, with a larger Jumbo version also available. Priced at £54.99 it’s one that’s built to last. Full details HERE.

Black Cat Fishing Carryall


If there’s one name that needs no introduction in quality fishing tackle, it’s Hardy, and this exceptional Hardy Carryall Bag is the perfect match for any game angler. The Hardy Carryall Bag is Hardy’s biggest bag, ideal for travellers and anglers alike, featuring a large back pocket and two front pockets it measures 18″ x 15″ so will accommodate quite a lot of tackle and accessories. The finish just oozes quality, a big thumbs up from us! Priced at £129.99; full details HERE.

Hardy Carryall Bag


For the specimen angler who requires lots of storage capacity with out too many frills, an excellent option is the TF Gear Medium Carryall which offers outstanding value. Designed by Matt Hayes, you’d expect it to be everything the specimen angler needs and this one does not disappoint; Lightweight Polyester design, Fox box pocket, external and internal mesh pockets, two way zips, hard waterproof base and mud feet. Excellent value, this one. Priced at £19.99; full details HERE.

TF Gear Medium Carryall


Lastly, another TFG carryall we just had to mention is the TF Gear Force 8 Heavy Duty Carryall / Barrow Bag. For what you get for your money, this one’s absolutely brilliant; it’s the ultimate session bag, fully loaded with features. This carryall is large enough to store everything you will need on a weekend session; tackle, clothes, rig wallets and with its hard protective EVA top and base offers the security to store food, safe in the knowledge it will be protected from rodents (and any stray anglers!). The unit features; Moulded eva base and removable lid, EVA lid acts as bivvy table, 4 external pockets, fits the Trail Blazer Barrow as well as other brands. Priced at £49.99; full details HERE.

TF Gear Force 8 Heavy Duty Carryall / Barrow Bag


We hope this carryall guide has proved useful, and don’t forget to check out all the other carp, fly, sea and specimen carryalls available via the Anglers’ Net Fishing Tackle & Bait Finder.

Julian Grattidge
November 2010

All prices and offers correct at time of publishing

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