Fly Fishing Accessories: The MUST HAVE LIST for More Fish
Fly fishing is one of those pursuits that can be just a little bit easier with some fly fishing accessories. The list of fly fishing gadgets below is what is in my fly fishing sling pack. Each of these fly fishing tools has a simple function, whether
helping tie a knot faster or to help organize for ease of use. I’ve included links to find these items if I remembered where I purchased it.
I?ve also included a download of this list essential fly fishing accessories with a FREE Download of 80 things to review before any trip. –>Beginner-Fly-Fishing-Check-List.pdf (249 downloads)
Floatant Holder to Keep Flies Dry
Fly Floatant -Just a dab will do, but it needs to be handy. If dry fly fishing is going to be your thing, your floatant must be handy. A floatant holder allows you to attach your bottle of juice to your vest or sling strap. I like the holders that keep the bottle tip tip down. Many floatants are a gel that can be tough to squeeze out if the tip is held high. This is little fly fishing accessory can really improve your fishing. Why? if your fly is floating well you have a better chance of seeing
a strike and you’re not false casting as much trying to dry your fly.
My recommendation is to get an inexpensive Floatant Holder, some selections on AMAZON actually supply TWO for the price of one big brand name Check out this AMAZON link -> Mt Sun Fly Fishing Floatant Caddy Holder
Multitool Like a LEATHERMAN
I’ve got a couple multitools an old Coleman set that is rusted and trusted and a Leatherman WAVE. The Leatherman is by far my fav. It has over a dozen tools, ( I think 17) but a couple that I really like are the multiple sizes of screwdrivers and some heavy-duty pliers. The screw drivers have save my hide repairing reels and glasses. Usually I’ll have these out sitting next to me in my canoe. Having a tool box within easy reach makes everything so much easier.
What multitool do I RECOMMEND Get the LEATHERMAN WAVE <- a link to treviews and pricing on AMAZON. Something to consider, the Leatherman products are AMERICAN made and have a 25 year warranty.
Tippet Spool Holder Used in Fly Fishing
Fine tuning your fly presentation has a lot to do with your cast and positioning to the fish, but another often overlooked aspect of tuning your presentation is adjusting your leader and tippet length and size. Tippet has two primary purposes; The first is to balance line detection and strength. Meaning you want to have line strong enough to quickly subdue your quarry, but still not be detectable by the fish. The second purpose is to provide a disposable extension to your leader, so as you change
flies you’re not nibbling away at your leader.
What do I recommend – GET THE FISHPOND HEADGATE TIPPET HOLDER (Amazon link)
The Headgate is built to last a lifetime. It also has a cool integrated razor line cutter which frees your hands just a little bit more.
Scissor Clamp for Fly Fishing
I’ve fallen in love with the Dr. Slick Scissor Clamps (Amazon Link). One of those fly fishing tools that over the years is the first thing I grab to cut line, tie knots, clean hook eyes, remove hooks and crimp barbs. Now, I’m not a big guy, if anything I’m small and medium size gloves are usually loose on my hands. But it seems like most scissor/hemostats have small loops. The Dr. Slick’s DON’T suffer with this issue, in fact I’ve used them with my sun protection gloves on.
AGAIN, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND Dr. Slick Scissor Clamps – Link to AMAZON -They really don’t cost that much.
Check out my video on Fly Fishing Hacks Using Hemostats
Snipper, Nipper and Line Clipper
Years ago, I bought all the components to make fly fishing lanyards. You may have seen those necklaces in catalogs with handy tools encircling your neck. I handed them out as a “kit” for kids and friends to build. One of those get you in the fishing mood activities. Part of the kit included clippers styled after fingernail clippers but targeted for fishermen and women.
The clipper looked like this.
Now I still have a half dozen of these left, but if I remember correctly I got them on ebay. Over the years all I’ve gotten is compliments from friends about these clippers. What are the things I like about these:
- Lots of leverage for clipping heavier line.
- A flat blade so you can sharpen it with your hook hone.
- The rubberized thumb tab and the ability to fold flat.
So, for years I just pinched my leader between my fingers as tightly as I could and drew the leader and tippet through it to straighten everything out. This is fine, if your fingers are heavily calloused, but it seems like as I grow older my skin is getting
thinner (or I’m just a wimp) Anyhow fishing with paper cuts all over your fingers is no fun. Get a leader straightener They’re CHEAP
Here’s one I’ve been using and recommend SF Fly Fishing Anglers Line Leader Straightener – It has three options; the first is a rubber to straighten leaders, the second is a fleece to clean your line and third is EVA foam for delicate tippets
In a pinch (that was a joke) you can use a piece of leather like on a waist belt.
All Weather Notebook
I carry a small note pad on every fishing outing. When I’m taking my lunch break or having a sip of coffee, I’ll take a couple extra seconds and jot down what’s happening. I’ll note all the pertinent stuff like:
- Date and time, some this I’ll even note the weather leading up to a trip. Like two clean days before.
- Water height and flow. My home water doesn’t have a dam so I can’t easily get a CFM, but I’ve learned to “judge” the flow by the water height at the river bank.
- Air and water temperature.
- Section of water and primary fishing method ie streamers, dry’s or nymphs.
- Fish I’m targeting and data on the fish I catch.
- What and how I caught the fish. Example indicator fishing hares ear nymphs.
- Who I’m fishing with and where I’m staying. With telephone numbers.
- Duration of time if I’m floating from one spot to another.
Plus I like to note any special moments like the fall colors or the smell of the spruce trees. I’ve even been known to draw maps or tape a map inside.
Writing something down leaves an impression in your mind to help recall it later. I don’t own my RECOMMENDATION yet but the RITE IN THE RAIN All-Weather 3 x 5 Top Spiral Notebook Kit (AMAZON price check link) has great reviews and should solve the concern of wrinkled and smudged pages caused by water.
Tool Zinger or Gadget Retractor
You can spend $2 to $50 on a retractor. I use mine to carry my thermometer and nail knot tool. Myself, I look for these things when shopping for zingers:
- High strength braided line (doesn’t fray like stainless steel)
- 36 in extended length, I dip it into the water to check the temperature.
- A split ring or carabiner to connect your tool.
- A belt clip or carabiner hook for connecting to your vest or sling pack.
- Metal housing that doesn’t break when rubbed against a tree.
The retractor I’ve been using for two seasons is the FISHPOND ARROWHEAD RETRACTOR AMAZON LINK for price check – it’s not cheap. I bought it on AMAZON think it’s close to $30, but I really feel like this retractor is going to last for years to come. I think the line has over 100 lbs breaking strength and it has reliable retracted my fishing gadgets hundreds of times.
Falling in a river when the air temp is in the teens is not fun. Falling in even when it’s 60 degrees air temp still sucks. If you wade in swift rivers, eventually you will trip and fall, BUT I’ve learned how to significantly reduce my odds of falling by using a WADING STAFF. Things to look for when buying:
- Easy to deploy, if getting the staff out and setting it up is a pain in the butt, you won’t use it.
- Must have a tether, so you can drop it if you hook into a fish. If your rod is in one hand and the wading staff is in the other. What do you do if you hook a fish and need to reel it in.
- The wading staff needs to have a holster that you can attach to your wading belt.
Another nice feature is if you can mount a camera. Many have a 1/4 inch x 20 thread under the handle cap.
What do I recommend RIVER TRADITIONS sells a wading staff with these features. I have 4 of them in my wader tote, my home water has swift water and lots of cobble stone. Be safe use a wading staff, plus if your buddy doesn’t have one. Lend if one, because if he falls in most likely YOUR day on the water will be shortened.
Nail Knot Tool
I’ve written extensively about all the knots you can tie with a nail knot tool. Read about it here and watch a video BELOW.
My favorite and what I HIGHLY RECOMMEND is the TIE FAST link to AMAZON. I think it’s less than 10 bucks. All the edges are smooth, it has a non-glare finish and ties nail knots, loops and snell knots.
I’ve preached this ever since I saw a hook file next to my buddy and guide Randy Monchilov. The very cat of nymph fishing is going to dull a hook. If your fishing a nymph correctly it should be touching bottom most trout streams have what STONES on the bottom. So after a couple taps the point is going to get dull. A couple strokes with a hook sharpener will bring it back to life.
What qualities I like:
- Diamond dust abrasive, sharpens fast.
- A flat surface and V grooves. The V groove makes sharpening hooks quick and the flat can be used on a knife.
- Small size, this is one of those things that doesn’t need to be big and heavy.
- Multi grit, not necessary but helpful.
My RECOMMENDATION is the SAMSFX Hook Hone from AMAZON LINK. You get two hook hones for around ten bucks.
If you want to put a little science into your fishing experience a stream thermometer is essential. I record air temperature and water temp for every outing. I’ve even mapped water temperatures in out flows from creeks into rivers. I’m not saying that fishing is a science, but if you can figure out a clue as in why fish are feeding it will help increase your hook up rate. On a recent trip I was baffled when a favorite spot wasn’t yielding any strikes. I was fishing downstream from a cold feeder creek, the sun was starting to warm the water and I thought “game on”. The problem is that the air temp was in the low 30s and the nominal river temp was around 39 degrees. That cold feeder creek was pumping 34-degree water into the main river. In those conditions fishing downstream wasn’t the place to be.
What to look for when purchasing:
- Accuracy I checked mine against the thermostat at the house.
- The thermometer MUST be in a protective case.
- An attachment loop or hole
- Easy to read numbers
Which one do I RECOMMEND -> ORVIS ENCASED STREAM THERMOMETER link to AMAZON to check the price and look at reviews.
So that’s my list of fly fishing of FLY FISHING GADGETS some simple tools to make your fishing trip a little bit easier. Like I said at the start of this article, making things easier and more organized will help catch more fish. If changing flies until you find the right one is what’s needed you should have the tools available to do it quickly. If your fly starts to sink, having your Floatant close allows you to treat it and get back to fishing fast.