10 Inexpensive Fly Fishing Life Hacks From The Home Depot

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My tool holster moves with me in the boat

My tool holster moves with me in the boat

By Louis Cahill

Everyone wants their life to be easier and everyone likes to save money.

Here are 10 handy and inexpensive items you can repurpose to accomplish both. You can pick all of them up at the local Home Depot or order them online. I’ll supply links to each. Some of them are so obvious you’re probably using them already, but I guarantee there’s at least one thing on the list that you haven’t thought of and will love.


Tool Holster $10

This tool holster by McGuire Nicholas is made for a tool belt but is right at home when clipped to the edge of a drift boat or boat bag. It holds all of your frequently used fishing tools and supplies and can be easily moved around the boat so your stuff is always handy. There are endless variations so it will be easy to find one to hold whatever you need. I outfitted mine with a superintendent’s keychain for my nippers.



Anchor Keeper $3

This oversized carabiner is made by Husky for drop chords. It’s the easiest way I’ve found to handle a boat anchor. You can clip it into the anchor ring and carry it easily by the padded rubber handle. The real benefit cones when you get to the car. If you drive an SUV like I do, having an anchor in the truck is a real hazard. If you crash, that hunk of metal is coming up to the front seat in a hurry. Use the Husky carabiner to secure it to a seat belt or tie down and you’re rolling safe.


Easy Dry Zip Pocket Organizers $7

These handy zippered pouches from Husky can be used to keep up with anything. I really like them for Spey heads. The mesh panels allow the contents to dry quickly and you can see what’s inside without opening the zipper. A tab with a grommet allows them to be stacked on a carabiner.


Fly Tying Travel Bag $38

This canvas tool bag, made by Husky, is great for taking your tying kit on road trips. It will hold a ton of feathers and fur as well as your hooks, tools and leader material. It has handy pockets for special items like the Clear Cure UV flashlight.


GoPro Boom $19

This five foot painters pole, made by Shur-Line is the bomb for shooting fishing photos and video with the GoPro. It collapses to about two feet and extends effortlessly. Submerging it in water doesn’t hurt it so go for the underwater shot or the overhead. A GoPro mount is easy to attach via a 1/4-20 bolt.


Hook Magnet $10

These are made for roofers to find nails lost in tall grass. I keep one by the tying bench and do a quick sweep when I’m finished tying. It’s a whole lot nicer than finding stray hooks with a bare foot. It’s a must if you have kids or pets.


Easy Tool Hooks $1

These little quick hooks are great for attaching tools to your fishing pack. They let you customize any pack to carry exactly what you want.


Sampling Seine $7

This paint strainer, made for a five gallon bucket, goes right over most fishing nets and let’s you take a quick and easy sample of aquatic insects. Matching the hatch was never easier. It folds down so small, you’ll never know it’s in your pack. Read More (HERE)


Magnetic Tray $5

These magnetic trays are great for the tying bench or the boat. Use them to organize beads and hooks at the bench or as the perfect drying patch on windy days. Read More (HERE)


Rubbermaid Tote $12

Too many uses to name. Great for waders and boots or for backup gear. Always handy on road trips and can be used to clean your wading boots and stop the spread on invasive ugliness. Umpqua now makes fly fishing gear organizers that fit standard size totes making them indispensable.

Fly fishing gear doesn’t always have to be expensive. Hopefully you found something here you’ll get good use from. I use every one of them. If you have ideas I haven’t thought of please share them in the comments. We’d all love to hear about them.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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12 thoughts on “10 Inexpensive Fly Fishing Life Hacks From The Home Depot

  1. This is a great list Louis. Lord knows that fishing equipment and the stuff that keeps it organized can get expensive, which cuts into your fishing trip budget! I’ve only used one thing on this list….I’ve used a tote for my boots and waders for years now. It just makes sense. It will hold a ton of stuff, and it protects the inside of my jeep from water, mud, sand, etc. Gonna have to check out a few other items on this list too. Just another reason to head to the HD, which reminds me…I need a new circular saw.

  2. Love it! and recommend ALL of the above!!
    made two GoPro booms> one with extend-O painter pole and the other with a Swiffer extend arm, easy to keep in the boat dry well>
    Tight Lines~

  3. Great post, Louis. I have been using the last four items for some time, perhaps learned from you in a similar list the past? It is always impressive to see how many things we can obtain from sources other than fly-fishing vendors that cut down the cost of the convenience, utility, and comfort they provide. Same with fly tying materials. If you are like me, you spend plenty within the industry to make these types of practical choices a guilt-free no-brainer.

  4. Dang it Louis! I have a tool holster all worked up just like that, and now I gotta sell it for $10 to compete with HUSKY! Way to go 🙂 Kidding of course, _well sort of_ not actually, I do actually have one just like that, but it won’t be $10. It’ll be pretty cool and similar to this one but more specific to the tools we use as fly fisherman. Great minds think alike I suppose.

  5. Great resource post however, in defense of the local hardware store, I always check for items like these at local retailers first. This gives them a fair shake against Agent orange or Lowe expectations. I see the big box everything stores as the same threat to local downtown business as I see online fly shops as threats to killing our favorite local ones. To each thier own, and sometimes convenience trumps good conscience, but thinking from a community based perspective can be verry fulfilling in it’s own right.
    Keep the great posts coming Louis.

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  8. I have used these small 3” flex ties for years to keep from tangling the lines and flies of a dropper rig when moving. I hook point fly to the rod hook and extend the dropper up the rod to full length and then wrap line and rod with the twist to hold drop fly in place. Quick on, quick off and no tangle or snags when move through the bush or down river. I keep a couple in my pocket and gear, I find many uses


  9. I use a piece of plastic pipe with a bungee cord on my FJ’s luggage rack as a rod rack. I use the genuine Home Depot model, but a friend saw mine and went for the cheap Lowe’s imitation on his Jeep which seems to work as well.

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