17 Great Fly Fishing Accessories
In the world of fly fishing, it seems that we cannot have enough accessories. All these different accessories make life so much easier! When I first started fly fishing, I had all the basics which tended to get the job done, but now that I am fully loaded with all the cool accessories, my time on or in the water is much more enjoyable. I also think that all the different accessories have helped to land more fish in my net.
In this article I will touch on all the accessories that I think are relevant for fly fishing in 2021. Most of these items I use on a regular basis when I head out to the river, stream, or lake. There are countless accessories that one can buy, so make sure to shop around to see what is out there. As time goes on, cooler and more efficient products are hitting the market.
Cool products to have on your next fishing trip.
Fly cases – You wouldn’t believe how many people carry their flies in old film containers, pill bottles, or small plastic containers. The main reasons a good fly case is important to have is to save time and to keep your flies in good condition. If you must spend 5 minutes finding a fly, that is 5 minutes spent without your fly in the water trying to catch fish. I dislike fly boxes without clear lids as I find it a pain in the ass to open them just to see what is inside. Clear lids make this very easy. You also want your fly case to be waterproof and to have decent foam inside to hold your hooks in place.
If you are interested in checking this fly case out, it can be found here.
Fly vest, backpack, gear bad, or pouch – I like to wear a fly vest all day, but I bring a backpack with lunch, drinks, and extra gear in it. The fly vest is great so I can change flies while I am in the water. Not having to walk to shore every time I want to change hooks saves me a bunch of time. I leave the backpack on shore under a tree to keep it cool. I see lots of fly fishing anglers using pouches these days and I think I will try one out here soon. Fly vests can be a bit heavy when you are fishing all day, so a pouch might be better.
If you are interested in checking this fly vest out, it can be found here.
Fly rod – You are probably thinking that a fly rod is a must. It is, but the reason I am including it in this list is because I like to have 2 of them. I use one for dry fly fishing and the other for nymphing. This saves me time from switching leaders and flies. I also use a heavier rod for nymphing.
If you want to check this fly rod out, it can be found here.
Chest waders – I was at the river last night and seen that half of the people fly fishing did not have waders. When it comes to casting from shore, often there are trees or bushes behind you, making it impossible to get a long cast out. Waders make it very easy to get your fly to the right places on the river or stream. If you get good ones, they will keep you warm even when the water is cold from a spring runoff.
If you are interested in these chest waders, you can find them here.
Knife – A small knife is important to have for any type of emergency that warrants it. When out in nature, you can’t be too careful.
If you are wanting to check out this knife, it can be found here.
Clippers – I use a good pair of clippers that work great for cutting line. They are connected right to my fly vest for easy access. Save your teeth and use clippers my friends! These clippers by SAMSFX are a multipurpose tool. They work great for tying line, cleaning out the eye of your hook, sharpening your hook, tightening your knot, and they come with a zinger.
If you are interested in these clippers, they can be found here.
Fish pliers – Pliers are a must have to get those tricky flies out of the fish’s mouth. I highly suggest having a pair!
If you are wanting to check these out, they can be found here.
Polarized sunglasses – If you cannot see your dry fly on the water, or your strike indicator because of the sun's reflection, that is not good. A nice pair of polarized glasses will be a life saver when it comes to this. You should also have a pair to protect your eyes from a stray fly while casting.
If you want to check these sunglasses out, they can be found here.
Rain jacket/Poncho - A thin light weight rain jacket will keep you dry when fishing in the best fishing conditions there are. Fishing when it is sunny will drastically lower your chances of catching fish. A little rain and you will be off to the races.
This cool rain jacket by Columbia can be found here.
GoPro – I have been using a GoPro for videotaping and photographing my fishing adventures for years. The fish you caught did not happen unless you have proof! Right? Go Pro’s take amazing footage. I have a small harness that goes over my hat. It records some pretty funny and amazing experiences.
If you want to check out this bad ass GoPro, it can be found here.
Landing net – When I first started fly fishing, I rarely used a net. Now you will not see me on the water without one. My favorite is a mid-length handle made of carbon fiber and rubber netting for the mesh part. The rubber part is great, so your fly does not get caught in it. The rubber is also better for the fish.
If you like this net, it can be found here.
Face shield/Bandana - The sun’s rays are killer when they reflect off the water. Stay cool and protect your face with a face shield. I wear one every time that I am out on the water.
These cool pattern face shields can be found here.
Fly fishing hat – A good hat with a large brim and breathing holes is key to staying cool and for keeping the sun out of your eyes. I rocked a baseball cap for far too long before upgrading to a sweet fly fishing hat. I would never go back! The small investment is well worth it.
This Columbia fly fishing hat can be found on Amazon here.
Thin long sleeve shirt – A light colored long sleeve shirt is ideal when you are spending hours on the water. There are shirts made specifically for fishing, but I find that, and tighter fitting thin long sleeve will work. I remember one time I wore a baggy type of long sleeve and it kept getting caught in my reel, on the bottom of the fly rod and hooks got caught in it to. I will not make that mistake again.
This high rated long sleeve shirt can be found here.
Fly fishing gloves – The fingers are cut out for a reason. That reason is so you can tie flies on your line. The two main reasons people wear gloves are to protect from the sun, and for blisters when casting thousands of times.
These fly fishing gloves made by Simms can be found here.
Belly boat/ Float tube – These are great for ponds or small lakes. They are easy to use and very efficient. You will want flippers and a wet suit or waders. These are specifically made for fly fishing. The pouches on the sides and the little shelf/table across your lap are perfect for changing hooks and other things.
Change the way you fish with this float tube, it can be found here if you are interested.
Leader straightener – Leaders come all looped up which is why a leader straightener is required to straighten out the line. After casting for a while, your leader may also get kinks in it. The leader straightener is perfect for making your leader straight and to get the maximum use out of it. Leaders can be pricy if you do a lot of fishing, so re-using them is key.
This small but handy tool can be found here.
Some accessories are more important than others, but they all serve their purpose of making your life easier and for catching more fish. I didn’t even know half of these accessories existed when I started out, but since I started using them, I can’t imagine fly fishing without them. Before heading out on your next fishing adventure, be sure to check out Zinger Fishing for all different types of flies and fly kits.
If you like reading about fly fishing, our Zinger Fishing blog has a wide variety of different articles. We cover places to fish, what patterns to use, techniques, gear, and everything else to help fellow anglers land more fish in their nets.