Best Fly Fishing Accessories
Accessories are an essential part of fly fishing. If you walk into your local fly shop, you may be overwhelmed by all of the accessory options. It can be challenging to know which accessories to prioritize. You wouldn’t want to hit the water without a good pair of nippers, but not every angler needs the world renowned Cigarmband (available for purchase here). However, there are some awesome accessory options out there that can really up your game, and that don't cost a fortune. Here are our top 10 fly fishing accessories under $50, with expert input from TCO staff and Relentless fly fishing guides.
We’ll start off this list with a recent new product from Fishpond. The Shallow Magpad Fly Puck looks very similar to the fly pucks previously released by Fishpond, but as the name suggests, the pad of the puck is all magnetic, keeping your files securely in place when you're in and out it. Some people love them, while others prefer the organization of a fly box, but we at TCO think these pucks are a great option for fly and/or gear storage, and the magnetic base of the magpad puck is a convenient and effective feature. These are especially useful for the angler who keeps their gear load lightweight, and values accessibility and functionality over organization and options.
Fishpond Shallow Magpad Fly Puck is great for holding a collection of flies.
The O’Pros Third Hand Rod Holder is a seriously underrated accessory. Say goodbye to the goofy ways you used to hold your fly rod when undoing tangles, changing flies, switching rigs, or any other action that requires more than one hand, (there’s a lot). O’Pros Rod Holder allows you to stash your rod into a clip that secures to your wading belt, holding it in place, completely hands free. It only takes one hand to secure and remove it for easy access and stowing.
“The O’Pros Third Hand Rod Holder is great for when you are changing flies, unhooking a fish, or carrying an extra rod for that anticipated hatch!”
Zingers are a simple product that make fly fishing so much easier. Being able to grab your gear with ease and then simply letting them hang from your pack or waders is much more convenient than stowing all of your tools in zippers and bags. Zingers keep your essential tools within reach at all times. This Zinger from Loon outdoors is well constructed and offers 22 inches of reach with its steel cable retractor. It clips on easily and securely, giving you peace of mind. This is certainly one of the top options for zingers at only $14.00.
Loon Rogue Zinger paired with the Loon Classic Nippers with comfy grip.
This isn’t exactly a deep dive in the fly fishing accessory world, but we do love our Oros indicators. Oros’s are strike indicators/bobbers that screw directly on to your leader/tippett. They are surprisingly lightweight, easily rigged and removed, and give you the ability to fish different depths within seconds. Not to mention, they are easily visible and offer great strike detection, even in fast and choppy water.
“The Oros Strike Indicator solved 3 main problems I had with indicator fishing, the first being line wrap. By allowing the leader to pass through the middle of the indicator, it keeps the Oros balanced. The second problem I had with this type of fishing was losing caps. Those little things find their way to the bottom of your pack or into the stream which renders the indicator useless. The split ball design makes it easy to find when separated, or pick up when you drop them. Finally, I hated the feeling of losing a plastic indicator on the stream. The Oros indicators are biodegradable, which gives me peace of mind should I end up losing that indicator due to my poor knot tying skills.”
Setting up an Oros is a simple process that takes mere seconds.
The Piopod Trash Container from Fishpond is an excellent way to keep your waste and trash where it belongs - out of the water. Whether it’s microscopic pieces of tippet, granola bar wrappers, or little pieces of plastic that we find on the ground, we can help to keep our waters clean by making sure it gets into our Piopod container. The Piopod easily attaches to fabric loops or belts and conveniently attaches to a d-ring or fishing lanyard.
“The Fishpond Piopod is a great way for anglers to manage waste, leader, and tippet material. The compact size allows it to be easily carried on any pack system while maintaining ample room for spent line. Whether trimming tags or swapping tippets, the Fishpond Piopod provides anglers with an efficient system to eliminate waste on the water.”
Fishpond's Piopod clips on easily to your pack or wading belt.
Simple, inexpensive, and effective, the classic comfy grip nippers from Loon Outdoors are our favorite for the money. A good pair of nippers are essential out on the water, and you don’t usually realize it until you lose or break yours. Thanks to Loon’s visible design and durable build, you don’t need to worry about that!
Loon Comfy Grip Nippers hanging from Loon Rogue Zinger
Like a good pair of nippers, you don’t want to be on the water without a nice pair of forceps. They come in handy in a multitude of ways - crushing barbs, removing hooks from fish, removing hooks from your wading belt, etc. These forceps have built in scissors for versatility, and are equipped with a hook-eye cleaner. Applications of this product are abundant, and they can be a lifesaver out on the water.
Orvis Scissor Forceps Works as Forceps, Scissors, and Hook-eye cleaners.
The New Zealand strike indicator system is the most effective indicator fishing setup. Using wool as an indicator offers superior strike detection and more delicate presentations than an airlock or Oros. It is made with sheep’s wool, which keeps your indicator lightweight and delicate yet extremely buoyant. The strike indicator tool makes constructing your indicator rig quick and easy, with its ingenious tubing mechanism that secures the wool to your leader or tippet.
"I love using the New Zealand strike indicator wool. It’s super visible and easy to use…well, easy now that I found a place to keep the tool it comes with; I attached it to my zinger with my nippers. Now it’s never lost and I can get to it easily."
You did everything right, the perfect cast, delicate presentation, that perfectly timed mend that didn’t disrupt your drift at all. The fish takes, and you set, then you feel that pit in your stomach form as you realize you missed that fish. The reality is, fish hardly ever “miss” their target. It is more likely that your hook simply didn’t set right into the mouth of the fish. Keeping your hooks sharp can be the difference between a good day on the water and an unforgettable one. For just $10.00 the Loon Hook Hone is a must buy, and needs to be a part of your setup! Sharpen those hooks! Catch more fish!
Sharpened hooks will lead to more fish landed.
If you’ve been around fly fishing for a while, you probably know that at certain water temperatures you need to stop targeting trout, and spend some time fishing warm water species or preparing for the cooler temperatures that come with fall. As a general rule of thumb, we suggest not fishing for trout at water temps above 67 degrees Fahrenheit. The only way to know this is to of course carry a stream thermometer. The Umpqua Stream Thermometer features a durable aluminum case and attaches to a zinger easily with a lanyard. Most importantly though, it will accurately tell you the temperature of the water, and help you make aneducated decision of whether or not you should be targeting trout.
Umpqua Stream Thermometer
There we have it, the top 10 accessories for fly fishing. Ultimately, this list is subjective, and may very well be different for every angler. If you are just getting into fly fishing however, these are some excellent products to start out with. Let us know in the comments what you think we missed, and what your top accessory choices are!