Hauling gear to your favorite fishing spot can be a balancing act. Between fishing rods, tackle, nets, umbrellas, bait, chairs, a loaded cooler, and whatever else you might need–you’ve got a lot of stuff.
Chances are, you’ve watched with envy as others efficiently roll their gear down using a fishing cart. These carts are a serious game-changer.
So if you’re tired of carrying an awkward load and making a bunch of trips to transport your gear, we have you covered.
What is a fishing cart?
A fishing cart is a rolling storage container designed to carry rods, coolers, and other recreational gear.
They have multiple rod holders attached to the sides and often include extensions for fishing accessories, such as mounted bait buckets and cutting boards. The storage compartment sits on wheels designed to roll over various terrain typical to fishing spots like sand, rock, and uneven dirt. The wheeled cart has an extended handle used to pull the load.
They come in various sizes and styles, each model providing unique value to suit individual preferences.
Benefits of a fishing cart
Fishing carts provide a convenient solution to storing and transporting gear from your home or vehicle to a fishing spot.
It’s common for anglers to carry a lot of gear with them on an outing, both fishing and non-fishing related. Without a fishing cart, transporting all your equipment requires either a few helping hands or multiple trips.
A fishing cart allows a single person to carry a greater quantity and diversity of items in a single trip than they could without one. Also, the wheels make it easier to carry heavier loads over demanding terrain than would be possible by hand.
This cart’s design is perfect for anyone who typically fishes on the beach. The big balloon-style tires ride high on the sand and prevent the cart from digging in. This rolling efficiency makes it faster and easier to transport gear over soft sand.
Though these tires excel when it comes to soft sand, they’re not very well suited for use on rough, rocky, or sharp terrain. Not to say they won’t work on these surfaces. You’ll just want to keep in mind there’s a popping risk, and there are other carts with tires better designed to handle rugged ground.
Angler has also made tire maintenance easy by using a simplistic wheel axle design. There’s only a single rod going through the center of each wheel, making them a breeze to remove and clean.
This cart has you covered when it comes to fishing accessories. It has 8 rod holders (more than any other cart on our list) fitted with vinyl covers to protect the rods from damage. It also has a vertical extension with a bait bucket built into a cutting board.
- Big balloon tires are great for soft sand
- Wheel design makes maintenance easy
- 8 metal rod holders total with vinyl cover
- Extension with bait bucket built into a cutting board
- Wheels aren’t great for rough roads
The Sea Striker Beach Runner provides all the carrying capacity of higher-end fishing carts at a budget-friendly price.
It has 7 rod holders, the second-highest amount of all the carts on our list. It also has some serious carrying capacity with the ability to hold a 54-quart cooler.
Although you might expect some durability issues at a budget price point, this cart has an exceptionally sturdy frame.
The stock tires are rubber and inflatable, with treads made for rough and rocky terrain. However, this type of tire will be more challenging to pull on soft sand than a cart with balloon-style tires.
One of the only features lacking is a bait bucket/cutting board extension. It would be nice if they included one, but you can always buy one separately and mount it in one of the rod holders.
- 7 rod holders
- Sturdy design
- Large carrying space holds 54-quart cooler
- Tires are excellent for rough roads
- No cutting board/bait bucket extension
- Tires aren’t great for soft sand
Berkley offers an alternative to the standard bulky fishing cart with this collapsable model. It has hinges that allow the cart to fold down into a slimmer profile, making it easier to store in your home or vehicle.
Considering its small and portable size, it holds a lot of gear. It won’t carry as large a load as the bigger carts, but there are 4 rod holders and more than enough room for tackle and gear. Plus, a solid bottom, fabric sides, and a hard top lid keep equipment enclosed and protected from the elements.
Though the cart has a lot to offer, it does suffer from a few durability issues. The wheels are plastic and have the potential to warp after extended exposure to heat. The metal frame is also a bit thin. So, you’ll need to handle it with care to prevent bending or cracking.
The top of the cart doubles as a seat or cutting board
Holds a lot considering the size
Enclosed sides protect gear
- Durability issues
The Drifter Marine Pier Cart features a mesh bottom and side liner that stops small gear from falling out of the cart. However, this frame design only supports 125 pounds, a much lower weight capacity than carts using an open bar frame design.
There are 4 metal rod holders with covers to prevent dings and scratches and a cutting boat/bait bucket extension. The dual bait bucket design is unique to this cart and helps keep your bait covered and fresh after cutting it.
The good news about the tires is that they’re foam-filled, so no need to worry about deflating due to punctures of broken air valves. The downside is they’re not as efficient rolling over soft sand.
Weighing in at just under 20 pounds, it’s one of the lightest weight, standard-size carts on our list.
Mesh bottom and side liners hold in gear
Cutting board and dual bait bucket extension
4 metal rod holders with covers
- Low weight capacity of 125 pounds
- Tires aren’t great for soft sand
As the name implies, the Big Kahuna can carry a heavy load. It has a 350-pound carrying capacity, making it the strongest fishing cart on our list. The deck has solid aluminum bars, and the nuts and bolts are all stainless steel. Made in the USA, this cart has noticeably high-quality welds and impressive overall craftsmanship.
This type of durable construction does come at a cost, however. It’s not only the most expensive cart on our list, it’s also the heaviest, weighing 75 pounds.
Like the Fish-n-Mate, it uses large balloon tires to roll with ease and efficiency over soft sand. As an additional measure for pulling heavy loads on the beach, it has a raised undercarriage to prevent bottoming out. To accommodate oversize gear, you can remove the cart’s walls individually to allow the item to extend past the sides.
When it comes to fishing accessories, it has 4 rod holders but lacks a bait bucket/cutting board extension.
350-pound weight capacity
Balloon tires designed for soft sand
Can remove walls individually
- Heaviest cart at 75 pounds
- No bait bucket/cutting board extension
Factors to consider when choosing a fishing cart
To decide which fishing cart will best suit your needs, you need to consider how you plan to use it. Here are a few factors to think about to help narrow down the options.
The type of surfaces you plan to roll your cart over should affect your decision. If you’re mainly using the cart on the beach and in soft sand, a cart with big balloon tires will make life easier. On the other hand, if you’re primarily using it on roads, piers, or rocky surfaces, a cart with rubber wheels and treads is better suited to those terrains.
Space and weight capacities
You’ll want to think about how much gear you typically use and how much the whole load weighs. If you want the option to pack yourself out with heavy coolers and an assortment of extra equipment, make sure the cart you’re considering can hold the load. However, if you’re more of a minimalist, you can opt for smaller carts that provide alternative values.
Some carts have as many as 7 or 8 rod holders, and others only have 4. A few have extensions with bait buckets and cutting boards, while others have none. The side liners and protective lids included with some carts help secure your gear, while other carts have an open bar frame design that provides a higher weight capacity.
You’ll need to consider what accessories each cart includes and whether it suits your needs.
Fishing carts are essential when it comes to efficient gear transportation. Forget about multiple trips or leaving equipment behind. You can bring it all in one go with the cart. We hope this article has given you a better idea of the available options and the type of cart that’ll make your next fishing trip easier.