May 10th, 1999
Fly-fishing Gadgets and Accessories

by Ernie Harrison

I have always been interested in new fly-fishing products and products that can be used in fly-fishing. If they met the following criteria I would try them:

Would it do the job better than something I already have?
Is it reasonably priced?
Is it easier to use than something I already have?
Is it something that I would use frequently?

I remember one gadget I bought to retrieve my fly when it got caught in high tree branches. It was a little "J" shaped blade with a string attached. You placed it on the tip of your fly rod, raised it to the offending branch, removed your rod and pulled on the string. This sliced off the branch and let you retrieve the fly. It is a clever and useful tool.

Many of these are available in fishing supply catalogs such as Hook&Hackle. The others you will find in local stores and shops.


  • Forceps/Hemostats: - Useful in removing hooks lodged deep in a trout's throat.

  • Hook Hone: - A small triangular hone with a groove in the middle for sharpening hooks.

  • Leader Link: - A small nylon device that connects your line to the leader with a simple overhand knot. Can be purchased from Eagle Claw Country Store (Phone 1-800-628-0108.) Get LL1 for tapered lines and LL2 for level lines.

  • Leader Straightening Tool: - made from a piece of folded leather and two pieces of rubber. Inexpensive, or make it yourself.

  • Opti-Visor: - Magnifying lenses that swing up and down to aid in fly tying. They can be found in sewing shops and are made by Donegan Optical Co.

  • Polar Focus: - Polarized sun glasses with magnifying lenses so you can see to thread the leader in small hooks.

  • Stream Thermometer: - A plastic encased thermometer to tell when the water temperature is right for fishing.

  • Trim fast leverless tippet clippers: - Clippers on one end and a needle on the other end. Used to trim leader material and clean out hook eyes.


  • Albolene: - A face cream which can be used as fly floatent and line cleaner. A $10 jar will last several years. (drugstore)

  • Desiccant: - Used for keeping products dry during shipping. Pound it into a powder and keep it in 35mm plastic film canister. Place waterlogged fly in canister, close the lid and shake the canister to dry the fly.

  • Duct Tape: - Use for emergency repairs, holes in waders, loose guides, broken reel seat and various other things. (hardware store)

  • Plastic Pipe: - Use the three-inch diameter pipe with end caps to make rod cases. (hardware store)

  • Rain X: - Used to waterproof flies after tying, takes 24 hours to dry. (grocery store)

  • Ski Pole: - Get an old one, remove the ring and make a wading staff. (flea market or ski shop)

  • Toilet Sealing Ring: - Use it for fly tying wax, one ring is a lifetime supply. Get one and share it with your friends. (hardware store) ~ Ernie Harrison

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