Fly fishing gear is plenty expensive.
That’s not lost on anyone. Some of that pricey gear is worth every penny but there are lots of cheap and simple items that will make your fly fishing easier and more enjoyable without draining your bank account. Some of them are even free. You can buy everything on this list for $125. You’re probably using some of them already and you may use some I haven’t thought of. If so, please share them in the comments.
Here’s my list of 15 dirt cheap pieces of fly fishing gear I use all the time.
Rising Crock Tool -$20
At $20, the Crock is the second most expensive item on this list, but worth twice the price if you ask me. This is the one tool I use every time I fish, in freshwater and salt. It’s scissors, pliers, hemostats and a catch-and-release tool all-in-one. The quality is outstanding and it’s the only tool you need.
Paint Strainers -$1.67 ea
Nothing will put you on fish faster than knowing what they’re eating. Stretch one of these inexpensive paint strainers over your net and take the guess work out of matching the hatch. Watch a video on how use them HERE.
RIO Cranky Kit -$7.95
Changing lines without some kind of line winder can be a mess. This simple tool makes it easy to keep your lines neat and untwisted when you change them out. It’s small enough to keep in your fishing kit and make quick changes on the road.
Dry Pac Roll Top Dry Bags -$7.24
I use these in small and medium sizes for everything from wading boots to camera gear. They’re tough as nails and absolutely waterproof. Pack wet gear in your luggage or carry valuables on the boat in these bags. I’ve even filled them with air and used them as floats for tricky river crossings.
Door Mat -$15
I keep these in the back of the truck and throw one on the ground for changing into my waders. It keeps your socks dry and clean and saves wear and tear on your wader booties. You can get them a few bucks cheaper but I’m featuring the one that says “Go Away” for steelheaders.
Ok, maybe these aren’t free but we all have them laying around. They’re great for carrying big fluffy flies in bulk. I always have one full of mouse patterns.
I buy these by the case for $7 because I’m honest, but you could just take the free ones at the BBQ restaurant. It’s the simplest way to clean your fly lines any time. Read more and watch a video HERE. And yes, they are perfectly safe for your fly lines.
Fleece Pants -$15
Ask anyone who fishes with me if they’ve seen me in my PJs. This is about all I wear under my waders. They wick moisture, dry fast and keep you nice and warm. Well, warm anyway. I sometimes even wear them into the bar.
Hula Hoops -$7
You know, for kids! For everyone, actually. I say it until I’m blue in the face, practice your casting. Three of these ride around in the back of my truck so I can practice any time. Having a target makes practice much more effective. Watch a video on Tim Rajeff’s recommended casting practice program, HERE.
While we’re on the subject of practice, here’s another great tool. You don’t even have to get off the couch to practice your casting. I can’t make it any easier than that. Several companies make them but IMHO the Echo is the best. It’s also great for teaching new casters.
Hook File -$10
Dull hooks are a stupid reason to miss fish. Check your hooks often and when in doubt, sharpen them. You never know when the fish of a lifetime is going to eat.
Ziplock Bags -$0.01ea
Go ahead, laugh. I can’t tell you how many of my buddies have killed cell phones in expensive “waterproof” cases. Put anything you want to stay dry in a fresh ziplock and it’ll be fine. You can even use your phone with it in the bag, just like the fancy case.
Plano Boxes -$6
The best way to carry or store flies in bulk. I carry these stocked full and restock my smaller boxes from them.
Rare Earth Magnet -$2.50
Glue or screw one of these powerful magnets to a wading staff or net handle for retrieving flies lost in the grass or hemostats at the bottom of the river.
Boot Brush -$6
Three dollars isn’t much to keep from transporting invasive species to your home water. Carry a scrub brush and clean your boots thoroughly before moving on to new water. Here’s a great video from the FFF on boot cleaning.
Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!