These Are The Top 5 Must-Have Tools For Wade Fishing

What are the must-have tools for successfully wade fishing?

Aside from tackle and lures, what does an angler need to comfortably wade for big fish?

There are lots of additional gear options, but below are the FIVE MUST-HAVE tools for wade fishing!

Check it out here!!

5 Must-Have Tools For Wade Fishing [VIDEO]

Sign up for FREE to receive the latest saltwater fishing videos, tutorials, product reviews, and fishing product discounts!

➡ Click here to join the Insider Club

If you have the right gear for wade fishing, then you will have an easier time catching fish and you might even catch more fish because of it!

1. Wade Fishing Belt

In order to stay more organized and keep gear close to you, a wading belt is an essential tool for wade fishing.

Wade belts provide a lot of options for you to hold any type of gear from tackle, to a water bottle, to pliers, and more.

A belt eliminates the need to lug other gear or bags around by having everything you need right on your waist.

Certain types of wade belts also have back supports for wade anglers.

If you are out wade fishing for a few hours and covering a lot of ground on foot, it can take a toll on your back walking through mud and sand.

A wading belt will bring you more comfort and keep all your gear organized as well as easily accessible.

2. Landing Gear

Fish Grips

Fish grips are really easy to use and help control the fish when you get it up close to you.

All you need to do is open up the jaws of the grips and reach down to lip the fish.

Grips will make sure the fish is controlled and secure for pictures as well as provide ease when taking the hook out.

Wading Net

Wading nets are great for feisty fish that like to flail around when you get them in close because it provides you more control.

They are buoyant and can float right on top of the water next to you.

When you are handling a fish, you can drop it in the net and the net will remain in place.

The mesh of most nets will not tear the slime off of trout or other fish and your hook won’t get stuck either.

3. Fishing Line Cutters

Line Cutters

Line cutters can attach to your belt and are an easy tool for cutting lines quickly to re-tie knots.

If you want to change out lures faster, line cutters make it easier than using the cutting element on pliers.

Some line cutters have a retractable feature on them so you can pull them from your belt to use.

Moreover, line cutters don’t seem to rust.

Different pairs of pliers will rust easily when constantly exposed to saltwater but line cutters do not.


Long, needle-nose pliers are an absolute necessity for any angler going out wade fishing.

Longer pliers will assist in getting hooks out easier if the fish swallows a hook or in case you do happen to hook a shark.

Pliers make sure the hook is removed easier and safely as well as keep your fingers away from hooks and sharp teeth.

4. Wading Boots

You should choose your boot type based on the season you are going to be wade fishing in.

Boots have different levels of insulation and tread based on the season.

If you are going to be wading around in areas with mud, a lace-up boot is the way to go.

Zip-up boots are preferred for fishing in sandy bottoms and grass flats.

Lace-up boots will keep the boot snug to your foot and you won’t have to worry about losing them in the mud.

Zip-up boots are better for flats or sandy bottoms because they are more lightweight and have a little less insulation.

Furthermore, zip-up boots are more effective in warmer months in spring and summer.

When you are wading in the winter months, it is also smart to wear neoprene socks for comfort and insulation.

Winter calls for lace-up boots with more insulation and stability when the water temperature drops a bit.

Boots will make your day out fishing easier by protecting your feet against any gravel, rocks, or shells.

5. Stringer

A stringer is a very important tool if you plan on keeping fish.

This will allow you to clip each fish that you decide to keep in their mouths securely.

Traditional stringers have a metal needle that you run through the jaw of the fish.

Stringers have a latch to attach to your wading belt.

Most wading belts are made with an insert or latch for stringers.

All you have to do with a stringer is clip the fish to it and let the stringer float behind you.

You can keep your catch close to you but also at a safe distance just in case a shark decides they want to check on the fish you’ve caught.

A stringer is an important tool if you are keeping fish or holding them for a tournament.

Traditional stringers with a metal needle tend to lessen the survival of the fish and do more damage to them.

The clips on stringers are about the same gauge as a hook and keep the fish connected to you.

If you want to keep better fish you can switch them out with a stringer as opposed to an icebox.

You can keep the fish you want to without killing the fish you’ve already caught.

Equipment Used:


ForEverLast G2 wade fishing belt

There are many tools wade anglers take out with them on fishing trips but these are the top five must-have pieces of equipment you should have with you on a wading trip.

Combined, all of the pieces of gear will enhance your fishing experience by making it easier on you and on the fish.

Be sure to prepare and equip yourself with the proper tools to set yourself up for wade fishing success!

And if you know someone who wants to know the must-have tools for wade fishing, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

P.S. Want access to our best fishing spots and tips, plus discounts to our online tackle store? Click here to join us in the Insider Club!

Related Articles:

Related categories:

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ray Markham
2 years ago

A lot of good recommendations, Wyatt, but I have a couple of tools to add vs. the needlenosed pliers or any kind of pliers, for that matter. For years I have used a stainless steel long version of the Baker Hookout. It’s especially good for removing treble hooks or hooks that are deep in the mouths of fish. Any time I use jigs, I also have a tool with a J-shape at one end and a T-shaped handle. It’s great for releasing trout without having to touch them, and the same for catfish. The J portion just slides down the line into the bend of the hook. Put tension on the line and pick the fish up and the line down. That inverts and dislodges the hook quickly and easily. Lastly, I’ve used the floating nets. The frame diameter is typically double that of metal-framed nets. Between the drag in the water the large diameter creates and the floatation of the net, it makes fish more difficult to net. I’m not saying you can’t net fish with your net, but put your net in the water and try and move it. Then do the same with a metal-framed net and you’ll see a big difference. The metal-framed net is easier to use.

2 years ago

Wyatt, wade fishing is my go-to for de-stressing and connecting with the environment. It’s fantastic for really getting close and “learning” the water as you mentioned in your video. Great suggestions for the gear and I plan to step it up and upgrade my stuff. I’m the type of guy out there with no waders, maybe a neoprene surfing sock, a cord to hold my catches, sun gear and nothing much else…. Haha! Would be nice to have a belt to make things a bit smoother. Thanks for the advise and good video.

2 years ago

Good stuff Wyatt, wish I had this info when I first started wading. I like that you haven’t given in to the Texas’ must use a baitcaster culture. I’m Texan born and raised and have baitcasters but just prefer my spinning set ups. The only other thing I would mention in one of these must have wading tips is where the heck do I put my car keys lol. When wet wading of course.

Bob Hartwein
2 years ago

Great tips as always! I use Ray Guard Reef Boots by Everlast and they work great, even in oyster beds! Thick soles & take a lot of grief 😉 Rod Keeper is a MUST as it turns into quite a circus with a fish on one hand rod in the other, thats where a 3rd hand is required! I watched a real crazy situation as a wader had a backpack/ fish bag strapped to his back. He passed the Red over his back into the bag, well thats where he thought he put it, instead he dropped fish into his waders! I didn’t catch any fish that day due to non stop laughing! Fisherman had to get out of the water & drop his waders to remove the fish! What a “Dance” that was preformed before he got to shore!!

Al Schellhorn
2 years ago

I recently started flats fishing by wading and it’s very enjoyable and simple. I tried gear belts and over the shoulder bags, which were handy if you kept it light. I ended up with a Simms fly fishing vest, which is incredibly light and sits high on the shoulders, so it doesn’t get wet if I wade in over hip deep. It has plenty of pockets for the things outlined here. These are great tips Wyatt — thank you.

aric falk
2 years ago

I have this belt. I wish I would’ve had it forever ago. I also use it walking the beach for Spanish, blues, and albies. I’ll also wear a back pack cooler or a small back pack to keep leader line, extra tackle, snacks, etc.

2 years ago

Awesome video and essentials list. I used to wade fish when I lived on guam at least a couple times a week, sometimes a few hours sometimes dark to dark, all these items listed are essentials for sure. I used a backpack for my stuff because a lot of the water was waist deep with waves. I did however, make myself a makeshift cooler float- hard bottom boogie board with styrofoam to float the cooler and stability and strapped my 3 setups on top and backpack on top when it was calm enough. Boogie board coiled length made it so it didn’t jolt anything when waves came by, and I could float a 70qt cooler of fish. Lol. Some of the divers made their own with an aluminum plate on bottom, wood sides and top and sealed to put fish in. Once I plan to get back into wadefishing, I will see if I can man an aluminum floating cooler foam sealed with fish hatch and rod holders, storage on top. Then just have to worry bout stingrays. Lol.

Thomas Moran
2 years ago

I used to wear a waste belt but now prefer one with a strap behind my neck, and the compartment in front about mid-chest high. Much easier to reach being in front and being higher means I can wade deeper before getting the contents wet.

Gregory Thebeau
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Moran

What is the brand?

Gregory Thebeau
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Moran

What is the brand? Thanks

Bob Hartwein
2 years ago
Reply to  Thomas Moran

Im with everyone else so what’s name of that Brand??

Robert Currie
2 years ago

When my buddies and I wade fish for flounder, we use a floating bait ring on a long tether. We use chartreuse Gulp on a double hook rig (similar to a spec rig). The fish go into the bait ring. Sharks are much less likely to get to our catch that way. 

Buddy Harrison
2 years ago

Excellent video Wyatt. Thanks for an in-depth look at what will make a wading trip more comfortable and productive. Terrific info …


Do what the “SMART ANGLERS” are doing and join the Insider Club.

Here’s what you’ll receive today when you join:

Other Fishing Tips You May Like :

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get Instant Access To “The Inshore Fishing Manifesto” PDF Now

You’ll automatically be emailed a private link to download your PDF, plus you’ll be added to the Salt Strong Newsletter.
(Please double-check your email below to ensure delivery.)