Fishing Gear Checklist: 16 Essential Items To Start Fishing

Every year like all fly fishermen I make a mental wish list of gear that I wish I had. Each year I get a few new pieces of fishing gear that I had been wishing for and dying to get. This year has been one of my better years for the amount of new gear I have had to try out. A good fishing gear helps you enhance your fishing skills and makes you a better at catching that big one.

Here are 16 must-haves for your fishing gear checklist:

1. Waders

If your looking for waders that will take a beating than these are your waders. I am hard on my waders an I expect them to perform in all four seasons tOrvis Pro Guide 3 Wadershe Rockies have to offer. They are top of the line waders that Pro Guides use worldwide.

I owned the Pro Guide 2’s for two years until they finally sprang a leak in the inter-leg seem. I sent them to Orvis for repair. (Under Life Time Warranty) And to my surprise, they sent me a brand new pair of Pro Guide 3’s. Orvis takes care of and treats their clients better than anyone in the business, PERIOD! The 3s are everything I want in a wader.

Very comfortable, breathable, lightweight and durable. The highlight of the waders is that they moved the leg seem from the inter-leg where it wears from walking to directly behind the leg to stop the fix that common problem. They also added a stretchy fabric to the top part of the waders to add flexibility while casting and moving around. To top them off, the built-in hand warmers are awesome in every way. So with the Orvis name you know you are getting a top quality product and company that will do anything to keep your business for life…They got me!

2. Wading Boots

I always thought that there was no difference in wader boots. Any kind of old shoe you didn’t like would work, right? Oh, man was I wrong! I can’t tell you how many times my feet hurt or fell asleep due to tight boots or shoesKorkers Streamborn Wading Boots. Or how about the way a felt sole falls off after a month of fishing 5 days a week.

I can now say that after wearing my Korkers Streamborns for a month I will never go back to cheap Hodgman’s again.

My Korkers fit extremely comfortable(like reg boots), they have great installation for the winter and the water release holes are a great idea, especially for keeping water out of the drift boat. I like that they are tall to stop rocks from entering.

But most of all you can beat the versatility of the replaceable soles to meet the needs of your environment. If you’re going to stand on your feet all day you might as well have comfortable boots, right?

3. Fish Finder

Shows you a greater amount of what is in the water around your pontoon. This high-recurrence sonar gives close photographic pictures with nitty-gritty portrayals of articles, structure, and fish.

The gadget is anything but difficult to utilize and simple to introduce. Accessible in 3.5-, 5-and 7-inch show sizes. Water rating IPX7.


  • Simple to utilize 3.5-inch shading fishfinder with inherent, high-affectability GPS
  • Discover fish; imprint and come back to problem areas, docks, and inclines
  • Advantageous keypad activity
  • Incorporates CHIRP (77/200 kHz) sonar transducer; transmit control (200 W RMS)/(1,600 W top to-top)
  • Move up to superior CHIRP with a GT8 or GT15 transducer (each sold independently)

4. Spinning Rod

This is a very durable rod. I have personally caught a number of decently sized fishes such as Ugly stick fishing stickJack’s, Snappers & Sharks. This rod was able to handle them all with ease and hasn’t even come close to breaking.

I love this pole, and one reason I got it, is how lightweight it is! My reel is also ultralight, so the whole setup feels like you are holding basically nothing. Can cast all day! It’s also nice to get around with. Easy to get through doors, into the garage, etc. without hitting the ceiling or door frame.

Overall, really great rod!

5. Rubber Measure Net

These nets are great to keep a fisherman honest. I really like that they are made of rubber as they do not hurt the fish tail, it’s extremely lightweight, and the ability to extend (telescopic) the net when needed.
One downfall is that hooks get caught in the nets material and are a pain to get out. I wish the netting was rubber, like my drift boat net. But for a personal wading net, it is hard to beat for the price and the light weight.

Pflueger Summit Reels 7/8 and 5/66. Spinning Reel

Best reel for the price, Period! In the past year I picked up three of these reels and I love them more than my more expensive reels. They are smooth and the disk drag is amazing. The gold color gives them a royal feel and large arbor pulls in line twice as fast. Great Reel.

7. Waterproof Fly Box

All around made boxes, great locks, magnets hold flies and snares great.

100% waterproof thin fly box flies boxes flies storage, Orange shading coasting in the water.

Overly straightforward ABS top, clear transparent and solid. Quality EAV froths keep going for long time use. Solid attractive cushions hold flies, yet additionally any tinny thing. Brilliant attractive power never stresses over “Blow in the breeze”.

8. Scientific Anglers System X Waterproof Fly Box

Nice fly box, I like the MAX better. NotScientific Anglers  per slit. Great for the average joe or for certain situations and waters. I have two of these boxes and they beat most other boxes on the market. I use mine for an Alpine lake box and green river box.Price: $25

Simms Fishing Shirts

9. Simms Fishing Shirts

Comfortable fishing shirts that can be worn in the office or on the stream. I found a great deal on these shirts, so I picked up 5. They all fit great and I love the long selves for cooler days and sun protection. I wear more stylish ones to the office all the time.

Price: Normally $30-$60 (I got them for $13 on a super sale)

10. Watermark Drake Vest/Pack

A great fishing vest for the angler that has a lot of gear and flyWatermark Drake Vest/Pack boxes. I love the comfort of the pack. (It fits very firm) Highlights: Big backpack, water blatter compatible, lots of pockets, rod holders (2), removable front pockets. Cons: Small front pockets, heavy.
I have been wearing these pack for a couple of months now and I love it. I am always prepared with the gear I need and can carry. Great pack at a great price!

11. Fly Fishing Tippet

I’m usually a fluoro guy, but I like the strength and low price of this Umpqua 7X & 8X Tippetsfinely lined tippets. I have noticed much greater strength with these tippets. Now I am not afraid to stick it to a midge eating brown. Plus the roles they come on are the best for a lanyard and keeping the line under control.

Price: $3.99 per tippet

12. Boot Dryer Rack

I got it as a present and installed it in my garage. It allows you to hang your wet boots up for quick drying. Yes, it does work. I have noticed my boots dry much quicker now than sitting in a corner somewhere.
There are two types of dryers available the electric one and the general old school version. Check them out and make a pick. Personally, I prefer non-electric ones.

13. Gink Floatant

Gink FloatantYou definitely need something to dress your dry flies. I have tried a couple of other brands out there, but Gink has given me the best results. I like the simplicity and long gevity of the floatant.
There is no replacement for this and Gink floatant is the best in the industry. The best part is that it is just five bucks.

14. Strike Indicators

What makes a great indicator? For me its casting Thingamabobbers Strike Indicatorsability, floatation, and movable. These things do them all and are by far the best thing that has happen to nymphing since Pheasant Tails were invented.

15. Circle Hooks

I couldn’t believe the number and quality of these hooks for the price. I used them a lot last week on a saltwater trip. I caught baitfish with the smaller hooks and landed a couple of 2-3 foot sharks with the larger hooks. Hooked up with some big sharks and the hooks held but theJshanmei Fishing Hooks line didn’t. All that I landed were hooked perfectly in the corner of the mouth. Will be buying more of these. Just wish there were a few a little smaller for some of the smaller fish.
These are good quality hooks at a cheap price. They could be a little sharper, some of them don’t catch on the back of my nail when testing them, but overall they are solid and have been working well. No major rust issues yet either! I use them for striped bass, bluefish, and fluke. They also were able to pull in a 3-foot sand shark/dogfish, without breaking!

16. Spinnerbait Lure

I was going through my tackle box as I found that I had lost some of my tackle, others were looking worn so I wanted to add some freshness back to the assortment in the box. These fishing lures fit the bill. Nice color assortment. Lures are solid. No complaints as far as functionFishing lures and materials. Size wise they are not the smaller size for small trout etc. Good for lakes, larger streams with deeper water/bigger fish. I am pleased with the value/quality of this purchase.

I hadn’t actually bought any factory spinner lures before these. Four out of ten came with tails, but I can always tie streamer tails and hackles on the hooks of the other six. Dental floss makes good streamer tails. It is absolutely rot-proof, inexpensive, and will easily take ink from waterproof “Sharpie” markers. I got a big package of those pens in all sorts of colors from Office Depot some years ago.