As a new fly fishing angler, you are going to want to know what are the must have fly fishing accessories. In this article I’m going to give you my opinion what are the essential and basic fly fishing gear requirements that you will need.

First off let me be clear that i don’t recommend going out there and spending a ton of money right away on fly fishing gear until you have established whether you like the sport. You can start off by just looking for a second-hand set of tackle such as a rod, reel, line a few a flies, and see how you go.

Alternatively, there are plenty of budget fly fishing rod combos out there that we have covered in this article if you are interested to read that: Best Fly for Beginners or Orvis Beginner Fly Fishing Kit or Top 15 Best Fly Fishing Gifts


Fly Rod

Fly Rod - Fly Fishing


The fly rod is one piece of equipment that you cannot fly fish without, it would be like trying to drive a car without a steering wheel. The rod allows the fly line to be cast via it and also supports you when you hook a fish and want to land it.

Fly Reel

Another vital piece in the tool kit, the reel houses the backing, fly line, and leader. It also assists in playing or catching the fish through its ability to reel back in the line. The reel further assists the angler as it usually has a drag system built-in and this drag system allows you to apply pressure to a running fish and slow it down and ultimately tire it out.

Fly Line

The Fly line comes in a different types such as a floating line, an intermediate line or sinking line. There are further types of fly lines but for this article we will just mention these. Ultimately the fly line is what you cast back and forth to reach the distance you want to present the fly.

The type of line ie floating is what allows you to present the fly on the top of the water, just below the surface of the water or below the surface of the water. The fly line and strike indicator is also a critical part of the fly fishing gear and tackle set up

Backing Line

Backing line is primarily there to be a backup line attached to the end of your fly line. Its main purpose is to be an extension of the fly line.

If say a running fish decides to go on a long swim (also known as a run) and takes off 200 yards of line, and say your fly line is probably only 100 yards in length, then without the backing line, the fish would break off and you lost your fish!

Leader or Tippet

Leader or Tippet is there to hold the fly. Usually, the leader is made from a material called fluorocarbon and this is widely used by fly fishing anglers as in water, it appears invisible.

This is particularly useful if you have fish that get scared easily. The line being invisible would then only have the fly swimming around which would represent as natural as possible a bait in the water and attract predatory fish better.

leader or tippet - Fly Fishing


There are various types of flies to use. All have a certain purpose and are usually made in a way to represent an insect at certain stages of its life, from egg fly to nymphs, etc. Some flys have weights on them others such as dry flys are made to be super lightweight so they float on top of the water.

Landing Net

Another important part of any fly fishing anglers tackle box is a net, without a net it is possible to land a fish but having one makes life a whole lot easier.

Fly Box

Having a fly box to keep your flies organized is very useful. You can keep flys arranged that are for example saltwater fly fishing or for freshwater fly fishing. Alternatively, you may wish to keep your dry flies in a different compartment than your nymphs.

Fly Fishing Vest or Chest Pack

I like to have a fly fishing chest pack when I’m fishing as it allows me to keep all my gear in one easy to reach place and I don’t need to carry a backpack.

Fly Fishing Boots

These are not 1000% necessary but i included them in the list of the must have fly fishing accessories as having a solid footing and something to keep your ankle supported if you plan to walk over rough terrain is in my opinion important.

A simple and cheap pair of hiking boots or outdoor walking shoes will work just fine.

Fly Fishing Jacket

Fly Fishing Jacket - Fly Fishing


Having a lightweight jacket in the back of my chest pack in case it rains or it’s getting cold is very handy indeed. I’ve been caught out before when the weather has turned and I got soaked so I always now carry a jacket that can be rolled up and slips into my chest pack.


If its blazing with sun outside then a hat can be really useful to protect you from the UV. Alterantively in the winter it can help to keep your head warm.

Flicking flies around with hooks can be dangerous especially if you are new to the sport of fly fishing and id rather have the hook get stuck in the hat than my head!

Polarized Sunglasses


Polarized sunglasses can really be a game-changer when you are on the water. I’ve been able to spot fish nearby and cast and hook them by using polarized sunglasses on many occasions. Highly recommend including them in your fly fishing gear kit.

Not essential at the beginning if you are on a budget but definitely good to have as you progress. They can also help protect your eyes from the sun and hooks!

Fly Fishing Gloves

I only really use gloves in the winter, they assist to keep my hands warm on cold days. I like to use a fingerless pair and this allows me easier access to my tackle or to change up a fly.


I hope you found this list useful of the must have fly fishing accessories and not all of them you need right away. Perhaps you can save this list or print it out for later use and add it to your setup as you go along and can afford it.

Other related posts: 

Best Fly Fishing Reels
Best Portable Grill
Best Fly Reels Under $200
Best Fly Fishing Chest Packs
How to tie a leader to a tippet
Best Fly Fishing Nets
Best Fly Rod For Beginners
Best Wading Jackets