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July 24, 2021 14 min read

Getting Started with Fishing Carts

Finding the best fishing cart can make a day of fishing more time-efficient and easier on your back. When the fish are biting, and the sun is shining, who wants to make fifteen trips to your vehicle to haul your gear. 

Use a fishing cart to concentrate on what’s important – getting your line in the water.

The best fishing cart

What is a Fishing Cart, and Why Use One?

Fishing is a great way to relax and a fun way to explore and enjoy many different environments. But to fish, you need gear. A fishing cart is an efficient way to transport a multitude of fishing gear to your destination efficiently.

If you’ve always wanted to fish on a beach or even try fishing on a rural pond, a fishing cart can make that adventure less of a hassle. Finding the best fishing cart to carry your cooler, fishing rod, tackle box, and bait will make your day on the water much more enjoyable.

Selecting the Right Fishing Cart

There are many considerations when selecting the best fishing cart. The obvious first consideration is the amount of gear you need to haul. If you have massive amounts of fishing gear, you’ll want a heavy-duty cart with a higher weight capacity. Others may simply want a lightweight, simple cart to hold the basics.

Another consideration when purchasing the best fishing cart is the terrain your cart needs to cross. You may want a cart that can trek across a sandy beach for a day of surf fishing. Or you may want a pier fishing cart that travels easily on hard surfaces. 

Other considerations are the number of rod holders, wheels, and long-term durability of the cart over time.

Let’s dive deeper into the world of fishing carts to make this decision easier.

The Different Types of Fishing Carts

Depending on where you hope to fish determines the type of fishing cart you need. The two main types of fishing carts are pier cart or a beach cart. A pier cart can be considered universal and can also work on sand, but a beach cart typically doesn’t work well on a pier. The difference in the two carts lies in the wheels.

Another type of cart to consider is an electric cart. Remove the manual labor of lugging a cart and save your strength for hauling in fish. 

Knowing how each cart functions will guide your decision.

Pier cart

A pier cart is typically made of durable, hardy material to withstand frequent trips. A non-corrosive and powder coat finish protects from saltwater and prevents rusting. The wheels on a pier cart are universal and work well on different terrains. 

Beach Cart

A beach cart needs soft wheels to transport weight over sand or gravel. Heavy-duty balloon wheels are typical with traction treads to glide over sand with a low chance of flat tires. 

Considerations When Choosing a Cart

How to choose the best fishing cart

Size of Your Gear

The amount of gear you plan to bring determines the size of your fishing cart. If you only need your fishing rod and tackle box for a short day, then a smaller cart works well. If you’re looking to spend the day fishing, you’ll need a larger capacity cart to haul multiple fishing poles, a cooler with plenty of snacks, bait buckets, and tackle. If you’re pulling in large fish off the pier, you might need enough storage space to bring home your catch.

Material

The material of your fishing cart should avoid corrosion and make the cart lightweight. Plastic materials are less expensive and lightweight, but can be less durable or break. An aluminum fishing cart is slightly heavier, but able to withstand more wear and tear while carrying a heavier load.

Pier carts tend to have more non-corrosive materials to resist saltwater and the elements. Some carts use nylon to make the cart foldable for ease of transport, but this tends to be less durable and may tear. Others may be made of heavy-duty polyurethane to avoid corrosion. 

Some fishing carts have a fabric lining that prevents your gear from falling through. Knowing if your fabric lining is durable and can be easily washed after bringing home a cart full of fish is essential. 

Weight

You must consider the weight of your gear. If hauling large amounts of tackle, you’ll need a heavy-duty cart to support the weight. Those looking for a less intense day of fishing, might look for a lighter weight streamlined fishing cart. Most carts typically hold no more than 200 lbs, but this can vary.

In addition to the weight of your gear, you must consider the weight of the cart itself. Can you get it in and out of your vehicle? Some heavier carts may be foldable or collapsible to assist. 

Terrain 

The terrain of your fishing location is the most important consideration when choosing a fishing cart. If you’ll be hauling your gear across a beach and soft sand, then you’ll need a surf fishing cart with large, treaded tires to manage. If you’ll be on hard surfaces such as docks or concrete, a pier cart will be the better choice.

Rod holders

Fishing carts vary widely in the number of rod holders. If fishing with a group, you’ll need more fishing rod holders to carry the poles. If you’re out alone for some solitude on the water, the total number of rod holders is less of an issue. A cart with specified rod holders protects your fishing poles during transport.

Ease of Use

Ease of use is an important consideration to choose a fishing cart. If you have limited storage in your vehicle, then you may need a collapsible cart that takes up less space. If you have tons of fishing gear, you’ll want a cart with enough capacity, yet light enough to pull. You won’t want to stop and pick up gear that falls out as you trek across the beach. 

The key is one-stop-shop to lug gear from your vehicle to the fishing hole so the fishing can begin. 

Wheels — What Are The Best Wheels For A Cart?

The type of wheels you need on your fishing cart is the biggest question to ask before any purchase. Poly wheels tend to support more weight than rubber wheels and also be more durable. Heavy-duty balloon wheels with traction tread are needed to travel across soft sand or gravel while resisting flats.  

Best Fishing Cart Buyers Guide

With so many fishing carts on the market, we developed a Fishing Cart Buyers Guide to assist. Knowing what qualities you want in a cart, will help to narrow down your decision.

Fish N Mate SUP Fishing Cart

Fish N Mate is a reputable company known for great fishing carts. There are multiple varieties available. Made with lightweight aluminum and durable construction, they are versatile fishing carts with heavy-duty hauling power. Optional cart liners can be purchased separately to prevent gear from falling through the bottom.

Fish N Mate 310 Large Fishing Cart with Poly Wheels

The Fish N Mate 310 Large Cart is a top pick by many fishermen. It has a large capacity to haul loads of gear in a durable cart. 

Fisn N Mate 310 Large Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Built with lightweight aluminum
  • Oversized 15 inch poly balloon tires
  • Can hold 250 lbs
  • Vinyl tube rod holders for 8 fishing poles
  • Cutting board
  • Bait well
  • Slotted knife holder
  • Can carry 2 coolers, umbrella, and tackle

What we love:

  • Lightweight (only 25.5 lbs), but durable cart
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Large tires perfect for beach fishing
  • Bait well and cutting board holds everything you need to catch and clean fish
  • Stabilizer leg on front

What we don't love:

  • Expensive tires to replace ($160) if punctured.
  • Not collapsible - harder to transport in vehicle
  • Smaller gear can fall through base - but can purchase liner if needed
  • Small handle

Fish N Mate Sr. Cart

The Fish N Mate Sr. Cart is ranked the best by many users. As an aluminum cart, it is corrosion resistant. It’s a heavy-duty design that’s lightweight and durable, with a large capacity.

Fish N Mate Sr Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Lightweight Aluminum
  • Corrosion resistant
  • Large capacity - up to 200 lbs of gear
  • Plastic wheels with rubber tires
  • Stabilizer leg on front
  • Bait bucket
  • Seven rod holders

What we love:

  • Large capacity for cooler, tackle, and more
  • Great tires for beach or surf fishing
  • A heavy-duty cart that holds a ton

What we don't love:

  • Requires assembly
  • Not collapsible for transport to the beach
  • Smaller gear can fall through base

Berkley SUP Fishing Carts

Berkley designed more than one fishing cart that comes in compact or collapsible options. For those with limited storage or space to transport it in your vehicle, the Berkley Fishing Carts make a great option.

Berkley Sportsman’s Cart

The Berkley Sportsman’s Cart comes in two collapsible sizes, regular and jumbo. Both collapse to allow easier transport and storage. 

Berkley Sportsman's Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Comes in 2 sizes - regular and jumbo
  • Collapse for easier transport and storage
  • Built in seat also used as cutting board
  • Heavy-duty steel frame - lightweight
  • Easy to pull with extendable handle
  • Can carry up to 200 lbs

What we love:

  • Collapse for easier storage
  • Compact design that holds a lot
  • Nice to use as a seat while waiting for a bite
  • Lightweight and corrosion resistant
  • Simple and versatile

What we don't love:

  • Requires assembly
  • Wheels not great for sand and can be hard to turn
  • Plastic rims on wheels can warp if too hot

Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart

The Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart is a great option when you need lots of storage space, but have limited capacity to transport or store your cart. It collapses down to manageable size to fit easily in your trunk.

Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Collapsible 
  • Large amount of storage space
  • Heavy-duty wheels
  • Eight rod holders
  • Removable fabric liner
  • Can carry up to 200 lbs
  • Treaded tires
  • Fold-out cutting board
  • Bait holder and knife storage

What we love:

  • Massive storage capacity but collapses down for transport and storage
  • Enclosed compartment to keep gear together
  • Two sturdy legs in the front for increased support
  • Collapses for easy transport
  • Big enough for cooler, chair, and tackle
  • Wheels work in multiple terrains

What we don't love:

  • Liner can get smelly and need cleaned

Berkley Sportsman’s Pro Cart

The Berkley Sportsman’s Pro Cart is similar to the Sportsman’s Cart but with a closed design and two additional rod holders. The smaller cart still holds plenty of gear.

Berkley Sportsman's Pro Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Small cart that holds plenty of gear
  • Can hold up to 300 lbs
  • Seat can double as bait cutting board
  • Four rod holders
  • Side zipper for storage

What we love:

  • Closed design that holds a lot
  • Lightweight at 20 lbs and easy to transport
  • Can bungee additional cooler on top
  • Budget friendly

What we don't love:

  • Small plastic tires not great for long distance in soft sand

Gorilla Fishing Carts

Gorilla Carts have produced multiple versions of a utility cart that can adapt to many different activities. An extra incentive is that the company offers a 1-year warranty on their products. 

Gorilla Fish GCO-5FSH Poly Bed Fish & Marine Cart

The Gorilla Fish & Marine Cart has a spacious bed to hold tons of gear. The 13-inch all-terrain tires make it a great option for both surf and pier fishing. It has eight rod holders and a moveable bait tray.

Gorilla GCO-5FSH Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Spacious bed for tons of gear
  • Great for surf and pier fishing
  • 8 rod holders
  • Moveable bait tray
  • Lightweight aluminum
  • Foldable for easy storage

What we love:

  • Lightweight and folds for easy transport
  • Lots of rod holders!
  • Hold lot of gear
  • Will not rust
  • Ample space to use for lawn and gardening chores when not fishing
  • Adjustable handle
  • Warranty

What we don't love:

  • Requires assembly

Gorilla Steel Garden Cart with Removable Sides

The Gorilla Garden Cart has a high-capacity. It’s heavy-duty and can also be used for plenty of needs outside of fishing.

Gorilla Steel Garden Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • High capacity
  • Removable sidewalls to adapt to the cargo size
  • Can haul 400 lbs
  • Padded handle
  • 10-inch pneumatic tires - all terrain

What we love:

  • Great to use at home for gardening and yard work when not fishing
  • Ability to remove side walls adapts to cargo
  • Lots of cargo space

What we don't love:

  • Steel frame may rust in wet and salty environment

Gorilla Carts GOR4PS Poly Garden Dump Cart

The Gorilla Garden Dump cart is what you’ll need if you plan to haul half of your house to the beach. It can hold a massive 600 lbs.

Gorilla Fishing Cart GOR4PS

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Can haul a massive 600 lbs
  • Steel design
  • Large capacity, poly-lined hull
  • Inflatable tires - great for all terrains
  • Dumping feature

What we love:

  • Massive capacity
  • Padded handle
  • Great dumping feature if filled with fish

What we don't love:

  • Weighs 60 lbs - heavy for transport to beach
  • No bait or rod holders (but easy to add)
  • Could rust at wet and salty environment

More Of The Best Fishing Carts To Buy

We have listed below a few more of the best fishing carts on the market. All of these have made the list because they offer good stand-out features and come with raving reviews.

Mac Sports Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon

The Mac Sports Utility wagon is a heavy-duty, large capacity option that collapses down to 10-inches for easier transport and storage.

Mac Sports Collapsible Outdoor Utility Wagon

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Heavy-duty, large capacity
  • Collapses down to 10 inches for easy transport and storage
  • Can hold up to 150 lbs of gear
  • 2 cup holders and cell phone holder
  • Side table

What we love:

  • Comes with carrying case to protect from damage
  • Great capacity that collapses down for easy transport
  • Works well for many non-fishing uses

What we don't love:

  • Can’t hold as much weight as many others
  • Fabric may absorb odor and need cleaned
  • Small wheels not ideal for pulling over sand
  • No rod holders - could be added

Muscle Carts Fish and Marine Cart

The Muscle Carts Fish and Marine Cart has a high load capacity to carry your fishing gear, chair, and cooler all in one trip.

Muscle Fishing Carts and Marine Carts

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • High load capacity
  • Includes 8 rod holders
  • Large polyurethane tires
  • Can haul up to 220 lbs

What we love:

  • Enough room to carry cooler, tackle, and chair
  • Great all-terrain tires
  • Large aluminum foot for stability
  • Corrosion resistant

What we don't love:

  • Low to the ground - uncomfortable to pull long distance
  • Too wide for some doorways
  • Fabric may absorb smell and need cleaned
  • No bait well
  • Does not collapse for ease of storage or transport

Sea Striker BRSC-DLX Deluxe Surf/Pier/Beach Cart

The Sea Striker Deluxe is a good economical option for pier and surf fishing.

Sea Striker BRSC-DLX Beach Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Great for pier and surf fishing
  • Powder coated steel to resist corrosion
  • Rubber tires with pneumatic rims - great on the surf
  • Can hold a 54 qt cooler

What we love:

  • Great price range with warranty
  • Large capacity
  • Tall handle to make pulling easy

What we don't love:

  • Requires assembly
  • Smaller capacity than others
  • Small tires may be harder in deep sand
  • Without liner - small gear may fall through bottom

Mighty Max Cart

The Mighty Max fishing cart is a great pier fishing cart. It has an expandable base frame that can be used as a flatbed to haul your gear. It's lightweight and small in design.

Mighty Max Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Great pier fishing cart
  • Expandable base frame 
  • Lightweight and small in design
  • Solid foam rubber wheels - no flat tires and durable saltwater
  • Can carry up to 300 lbs
  • Made from HDPP resin
  • Can hold 4 fishing poles and tackle

What we love:

  • Easy to transport
  • Waterproof and resists corrosion
  • Weighs only 27 lbs and easy to transport
  • Expandable base can be used like a flatbed

What we don't love:

  • Wheels not great on soft sand

Reels on Wheels Powder Coated Fishing Cart

In addition to having a great name, the Reels on Wheels fishing cart has what you need. 

Reels on Wheels Powder Coated Fishing Cart

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • Lightweight and weighs only 18 lbs
  • Can carry up to 100 lbs
  • Powder-coated aluminum
  • Bait cup
  • Fillet board
  • Disassembles easily for transport

What we love:

  • Inflatable wheels good on soft sand
  • Corrosion resistant

What we don't love:

  • Limited weight capacity
  • Assembly/Disassembly required

Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box

The Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box is exactly what it states – a rolling tackle box. This is worth mentioning with the fishing carts because it might be exactly what you’re looking for – and it’s affordable.

Elkton Outdoors Rolling Tackle Box

Where to buy:

Features & Specs:

  • A rolling tackle box
  • Affordable
  • Multiple D-rings to attach tools
  • Can hold 26.5 lbs
  • Adjustable shoulder straps - easy to carry
  • Five size 3600 tackle trays

What we love:

  • Perfect size if cooler, chair, and other gear to haul
  • Versatile option for tons of gear in small package
  • Tough, waterproof fabric

What we don't love:

  • Small wheels like a suitcase - cannot work on sand
  • Does not work for cooler, chair, and more gear

How to Build Your Own Fishing Cart

DIY fishing cart

Don’t have the money to buy a fishing cart? Make your own! 

There are many reasons to consider building your own fishing cart. You can save money and customize a fishing cart to perfectly suit your needs.  

You can repurpose utility carts, dollys, or wheelbarrows and build upon the frame. Consider stealing your kid’s wagon as a great option. Choosing materials that resist corrosion and stainless steel screws will prevent rust. Zip ties work anywhere.

You’ll want to have heavy-duty axles and wheels to withstand the weight. PVC pipe easily transforms into a rod holder. A tool belt fastened to your cart can hold pliers, line-cutters, and other quick-grab items. 

You can build in an umbrella for optional shade, or even design a fillet table on your cart to easily clean your catch. 

The options are endless with many design styles only limited by your imagination. There are numerous plans to DIY your own fishing cart on YouTube or other online sites.

FAQ’S

🏆 What is the best overall fishing cart?

The Fish N Mate wins for the best overall fishing cart. Both the Fish N Mate Large Fishing Cart and the Fish N Mate Sr. Cart are reliable and durable to withstand daily trips to the water. The Sr. Cart edges out ahead for most anglers because it has everything you need in a lightweight and easily transported design. The large capacity cart holds plenty of gear in a durable design. When surf fishing on soft sand, the large tires with good tread make the journey easier. 


👍 What Is the best collapsible fishing cart?

Fishing carts that collapse to make storage and transport to the beach make life easier. The Berkley Jumbo Fishing Cart provides a massive amount of storage room while still easily collapsing to a manageable size. 


🏝️ What is the average price of a fishing cart?

The price of a fishing cart can vary from $90 - $350. It’s best to look for a fishing cart that meets your needs but is also durable to avoid corrosion to withstand years of fishing.  

The Berkley Sportsman's Cart may be the most budget-friendly fishing car at $99.99. The Mac Sports Utility Wagon compares at $90.99, but may require some adaptation to add rod holders specific for a day of fishing. 

Our top pick of the Fish N Mate Sr. Cart comes in at $299, but has the durability and versatility to provide years of enjoyment. Spending a little more for a fishing cart can save you valuable trips back and forth to your vehicle and give you a dependable product that will last a long time. 


❓ Do fishing carts come with carry handles?

Both pier and surf fishing carts come with detachable handles. The handles need to withstand the weight of the cart as you lug it to your destination. You need a reliable handle that can sustain the weight of your gear.

You should consider if the handle is padded or has a degree of rotation to make transporting your gear easier. Removing the handle gets it out of your way to grab your gear and slay some fish.


📦 Is the Fish N Mate fishing cart the best available?

Yes! As mentioned above the Fish N Mate Fishing Cart is the best overall cart when you factor in its durable, non-corrosive aluminum construction, large capacity with a lightweight frame, and overall design with rod holders and bait cup to make your day on the water perfect.


📦 Where can I buy a fishing cart?

Fishing carts can be found at major sporting goods stores that specialize in fishing, such as Cabelas or Bass Pro Shops. Most fishing carts can be ordered online through the cart’s developer or on Amazon. Buying a fishing cart online is a safe and decent option. Most carts are lightweight and fold down, making for less packaging. 

Let’s Go Fishing!

Finding the best fishing cart depends on knowing where you’ll be fishing and how much gear you’ll need. There are many options with differing small details that make some fishing carts better than others. 

Once you’ve determined the best fishing cart to make our journey to the water easier, get out there and catch some fish! 

Pat McCaw
Pat McCaw


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