9 Must-Have Fishing Accessories

tackle box

To be successful at fishing, you have to have all the fishing accessories needed to get the job done. If you don't have the gear, you don't get the fish! If you are new to fishing, knowing what accessories you need and which aren't necessary can be difficult. It can also be time-consuming and costly to research and buy the items you need or think you need.

Even if you are a pro-fisherman, sifting through all the latest brands and exciting new gear can be a bit overwhelming. Here is a guide to what fishing accessories you need, which are good to have, what you can do without, and what is making a splash on the fishing scene this year.

Comparison Table

Why Are Fishing Accessories Necessary?

​Fishing accessories can be divided into three categories- basic accessories, extras, and the latest favorites. Not all accessories are necessary for fishing, but there are some that you must have if you want to cast your line in the water. Even the ones that aren't necessary can get you reeling in a big catch in no time, so they are good to have if you want to use them. To understand why fishing accessories are necessary, let's look at the basics first.

The Basics

Fishing accessories can be divided into three categories- basic accessories, extras, and the latest favorites. Not all accessories are necessary for fishing, but there are some that you must have if you want to cast your line in the water. Even the ones that aren't necessary can get you reeling in a big catch in no time, so they are good to have if you want to use them. To understand why fishing accessories are necessary, let's look at the basics first.

​The basic accessories include:

  • ​A Fishing pole
  • ​Fishing Line
  • ​Fishing hooks
  • ​Bobbers
  • ​Sinkers
  • ​Bait
  • ​Needle-nose pliers
  • ​Knife
  • ​Tackle box
​fishing hooks

​Image Source: pixabay.com

Of course, you need a fishing pole of some kind to go fishing. Your preference can range from the basic cane pole to the latest rod and reel rig, or you may choose your pole based on what you are fishing for; you can't catch large tuna with a basic set-up, for example.

To use your fishing rod, you need line, hooks, bobbers (to help you see when a fish is nibbling your bait), sinkers to sink your line and bait to attract the fish to the hook, needle-nose pliers to help you get the hook out of the fish's mouth, and a line cutter in case you get snagged and need to cut your line.

Finally, you need a tackle box to keep it all organized so you can easily find your gear. The kind of tackle box you choose, though, is up to you. Hard-plastic tackle boxes are the most popular, but tackle bags are quickly rising in popularity and offer more options for carrying your gear.

Extra Accessories

​After the basics, loading your tackle box with some extras will help make your fishing experience much better. Some of these extras are not considered “extras” by some fishermen, but they are considered needed basics. However, for the basic functions of fishing, they are listed as “extras.” Extra accessories include:

  • ​Extras of all the basics, except tackle box
  • ​First aid kit
  • ​Sunscreen
  • ​Insect repellant
  • ​Rod cushion
  • ​Insulated tumbler cup
fishing accessories

​Image Source: pixabay.com

These extras aren't the top-of-the-line gear that people are raving about, but they make fishing easier (and safer). First, having extras of all your basics is just plain smart. Rods break. Line gets tangled. Bobbers get lost. Having extras of everything will keep you from running out of the basics while you are trying to enjoy a day out on the water.

Speaking of being on the water, sunscreen will protect your skin so you can stay out longer and not go home looking and feeling burned to a crisp. Safety first just makes sense. For that same reason, you should also have insect repellant. Mosquito bites can be irritating and dangerous, but beyond that, insects flying around your face, into your mouth and eyes, and generally annoying you with their buzzing can ruin a day of fishing faster than running out of a cold drink.

It's no secret that fishing can be dangerous. You are working with sharp objects and fish that have teeth and sharp spines. For this reason, having a first aid kit on hand for any cuts and scrapes helps keep you safe just like the sunscreen does.

The last two- a rod cushion and an insulated drinking tumbler- may not seem like needed fishing accessories, but if you plan to be out on the water all day, they are. It's no secret that having a cold drink pairs with fishing like peanut butter pairs with jelly, so having a cup that can keep your drink cold for hours is essential.

If you plan to sit and fish (and drink) for hours, you will want to protect your hips from bruising. A rod cushion can help make gripping your rod easier and more comfortable, reducing the risk of lost fish and bruises on your hips from using the butt of the rod on your hip to help pull fish from the bottom of the water.

​Latest Favorites

​Once you have the basics and the extras, the latest must-haves are next. The hottest fishing accessories on the market include:

  • ​Portable Fish Lip Grabber and Scale
  • ​LED Headlamp
  • ​Hook File
  • ​Fishing Gloves
  • ​Lures
fishing accessories

​Image Source: pixabay.com

When fishing for multiple species of fish, knowing what is in seasons and not is essential so that you are following the laws. After that, you need to know if the fish are the size they need to be in order for you to keep them. A portable fish grabber and scale can help!

You may have turned your nose up at the suggestion of an LED Headlamp as the newest craze to add to your tackle box, but if you ever want to go fishing after dark, it is a must for safety and for keeping your hands free so you can use them for fishing.

A hook file saves you money and frustration. How many hooks have you tossed out when they got dull? How many times have you been on the water and had to fight with a dull hook or two? A hook file can fix all of that!

Fishing gloves may seem like a waste and unnecessary, but if you want to protect your hands from injury and want to have a better grip of your rod, gloves are an accessory that you will want to add to your tackle box.

Fishing lures are not unheard of, nor are they considered an “accessory” for some fishermen, but rather a necessity. However, with basic fishing, lures are not needed. That being said, they add quality to your rig and lure in more fish.

Can You Fish Without Accessories?

​Fishing without accessories has been done for centuries, but with today's technology and all that is on the market, why would you want to? From safety equipment to gear that will help you catch bigger and more fish than ever before, fishing accessories have come a long way, and they have upped the fishing game.

Of course, the question of fishing with or without accessories is best answered when you think about what a fishing accessory is. For some, a rod and reel would be an accessory. You can fish with a stick and pole after all. Of course, that is not recommended, now, especially when there are so many available styles of fishing rigs at all different price points.

For others, the latest lures and fish finding trackers would be considered an accessory. For those people, the answer is “yes, you can fish without accessories.” You do not need the latest lures, headlamps, or fishing gloves to go fishing, but if you can afford them and they make fishing easier and more fun, then why not?

Different Types Of Fishing

​It is also important to remember that there are many types of fishing and each requires its own gear. While the fishing accessories listed here are for basic cast fishing, there are other types of fishing to consider, including:

  • ​Freshwater fishing- done in lakes, ponds, rivers, bayous, and streams
  • ​Saltwater fishing- done in oceans
  • ​Fly-fishing
  • ​Ice fishing- done in winter and over iced-over bodies of water
  • ​Shore fishing- done from the shore
  • ​Rock fishing
  • ​Netting- done with a net
  • ​Canoodling- done with bare hands

Must Have Fishing Accessories For Your Tackle Box

Sunline Super FC Sniper

Sunline Super FC Sniper Fluorocarbon Fishing Line (Natural Clear, 5-Pounds/200-Yards)
  • Extreme abrasion resistance
  • Excellent for heavy cover applications
  • Uniform line diameter
  • Triple resin coating for softer supple handling

​Without fishing line, you cannot go fishing. Choosing a quality line is essential to helping you reel in fish without worrying about them breaking the line and getting loose. Super FC Sniper is extremely strong, but it features a triple resin coating that was designed to be soft on your hands.

​Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers

Piscifun Aluminium Fishing Pliers Hook Remover Braid Cutters Split Ring Pliers with Sheath and Lanyard (Black Silver 7.1" Pliers)
  • Add Piscifun fishing pliers to your fishing arsenal. Make your hook removal much easier. Fish on!
  • Anti-Corrosion Aluminum - The aircraft-grade anodized aluminum delivers excellent corrosion resistance, great for long term use without any signs of oxidation and rust. CNC cut handles offer extreme light feeling and durability.
  • Spring Loaded Pliers - Keeps the pliers open freely, super easy to use by one hand. The titanium coated stainless steel jaws come with split ring tip, strong enough for removing hooks and splitting rings.
  • Tungsten Carbide Cutters - The Sharpest Tungsten Carbide Cutters (which are fully replaceable) of any pliers on the market, make it extremely easy to cut the strongest braided lines, the heaviest mono leader, the fly lines and backing lines.
  • Excellent Carrying Around Pliers - Come with Nylon Sheath, Coiled Lanyard and Belt Loop Clasp makes the pliers extremely convenient to carry around and secure with you. The Belt Loop on the back of the sheath makes it safer when being attached to the belt.

​We have established that needle-nose pliers are a fishing necessity. The Piscifun Aluminum Fishing Pliers are a high-quality set of needle-nose pliers that are lightweight and act as a fish gripper. They help you remove fish from your hook faster than regular pliers, and they feature a lanyard that clips to your belt for safekeeping and quick access.

​SAMS Retractable Fishing Nippers (Clippers)

SAMS FISHING Fly Fishing Combo Line Clipper Nipper Snips with Zinger Fly Fishing Pack Tool Kit (A326)
  • Set of Carabiner Zinger (with back splint) and Line Cutter
  • Stainless Steel Nipper, Zinger with Zinc Alloy Frame and Splint and 24" Nylon Cord
  • Multi-function Nipper, An eye cleaner, Line Cutter
  • Line Nipper Weight: about 8g/pc, Zinger Weight: about 20g/pc,Line Nipper Size: 52mm x 13mm
  • Great for cutting or trimming line ,Sharp cutting edge, Eye Cleaner

​You may need a cutting tool to cut fishing line, but it doesn't have to be a knife. In fact, using a knife on the fishing line can result in sliced fingers. Enter SAMS Retractable Fishing Nippers (Clippers). These retractable clippers clip on to a tackle box to keep them handy and secure, and they easily cut through the fishing line.

​Shimano Baltica Tackle Bags

SHIMANO Baltica Tackle Bag, Large
  • The Baltica Tackle Bag, Large, includes 4 Large Utility Boxes and is a bag you'll be proud to carry around, even with your most distinguished fishermen friends
  • Designed with the active angler in mind, the Shimano Baltica Tackle Bag delivers convenient storage and a high-quality construction that is right-at-home on the water
  • Made from super-durable 600D ripstop polyester, the Shimano Baltica Tackle Bag features a cavernous main compartment that perfectly fits four 3750 model stowaways
  • Fitted with pockets on the side and the front, the Shimano Baltica Tackle Bag provides storage for extra spools of line, sunscreen, pliers, and any other small-to-medium size fishing accessories
  • Incredibly easy to transport; the Shimano Baltica Tackle Bag is equipped with a padded shoulder strap and a convenient hand-carry strap

​Finally, keep all of your gear organized with the Shimano Baltica Tackle Bags. Smaller than most bags, made of quality and durable nylon, featuring many compartments for organizing gear, offering a shoulder and hand-carry options, and lightweight, these bags are perfect for keeping all your fishing accessories on-hand and at your fingertips.

Favorite Extras For Your Tackle Box

​When it comes to the extras, check out these top-rated brands for making fishing a little easier.

​Sawyer Products Stay-Put Sunscreen Lotion

Sawyer SPF 30 Stay-Put System 1 Sunblock Lotion Tottle (8-Ounce)
  • Stay-Put SPF 30 with non-greasy breathable Matrix Formula for maximum comfort on hot days
  • High-performance 0. 1 Micron absolute inline filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces; 100% of MINI units individually tested three times to performance standards by Sawyer
  • One application penetrates deep into skin for all-day protection; water resistant and sweat proof
  • Enriched with Aloe Vera and vitamins; fragrance free; rated for UVA and UVB protection
  • Family size 8-ounce easy-to-carry tottle; can be attached to a belt or pack

For sunscreen, protect yourself with Sawyer Products Stay-Put Sunscreen Lotion. The selling point for this sunscreen is that it allows for just one application that will stay put no matter how much you sweat!

​Cush It “Big Bass” Fishing Rod Cushion

Cush It "Big Bass" Fishing Rod Cushion Blue
  • Indestructibly tough
  • Fits and grips any rod handle
  • Unmatched versatility

​A great rod cushion to consider is the Cush It “Big Bass” Fishing Rod Cushion. This rod cushion fits a variety of rod sizes, and it comes in many colors. It is virtually indestructible and can help you grip your rod tighter than using a rod without a cushion.

​Yeti Tumblers

YETI Rambler 20 oz Tumbler, Stainless Steel, Vacuum Insulated with MagSlider Lid, Seafoam
  • These Ramblers come standard with our YETI MagSlider Lid, the only drink lid that uses the power of magnets to keep your water, beer, or favorite drink on lock
  • Our Ramblers are BPA-free, dishwasher safe, and have a No Sweat Design to make sure your hands stay dry
  • Dracut is a durable coat of color that won't fade, peel, or crack through extended field use and also provide additional grip to the Rambler's exterior
  • We over-engineered these double-wall insulated tumblers with an 18/8 stainless steel body, which means your drink still keeps its temperature no matter how much of a beating this cup takes
  • The YETI 20 oz. Rambler Tumbler stands 6 7/8 in high and has a lip diameter of 3 1/2 in. All YETI Tumblers are sized to fit in standard sized cup holders

​When it comes to tumblers, Yeti makes the best. Stainless steel for durability and double walled for added insulation that keeps drinks cold for up to 12 hours, these tumblers are a must-have for anyone spending a day reeling them in. You can grab a variety of styles, sizes, and colors to take along.

​3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion

Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion, Sweat Resistant, Splash Resistant, Repels Mosquitos that May Carry Viruses and Deer Ticks that May Carry Lyme Disease, 2 oz.
  • Contains 34.34% DEET for superb protection against insect bites
  • Proven to repel mosquitoes, ticks, biting flies, chiggers, gnats, fleas and deer flies
  • Repels mosquitoes that may carry Zika virus, West Nile virus, Dengue fever, Chikungunya and deer ticks that may carry Lyme disease
  • Advanced 3M controlled release technology provides a continuous shield of protection that lasts up to 12 hours when used as directed
  • Unique time-release technology provides long-lasting protection

​Insect repellant is an item you don't want to skimp on. Still, you can grab 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellent Lotion for a great price and protect yourself from mosquitoes, fleas, flies, and chiggers. It lasts up to 12 hours and is made with a time-released formula. That means that it is good for one application, and you can get to fishing.

​M2 Basics First Aid Kit

M2 BASICS 300 Piece (40 Unique Items) First Aid Kit | Free First Aid Guide | Emergency Medical Supply | for Home, Office, Outdoors, Car, Survival, Workplace
  • FREE SURVIVAL ITEMS & FIRST AID GUIDE WHEN YOU BUY ORIGINAL FROM SELLER "M2 BRANDS": Attach your kit to your equipment or gear with the bonus Carabiner + Compass, Emergency Blanket & Whistle. Also receive our exclusive First Aid Guide for tips on how to treat common injuries. Delivered via email.
  • 300 PIECE FIRST AID KIT INCLUDES 40 UNIQUE ITEMS: Adhesive Bandage Strips (6 varieties), Abdominal Trauma, Eye Pads, Sterile Gauze Sponges/Rolls, Medical Tape, Alcohol Wipes, Povidone Iodine Wipes, Antiseptic Towelettes, Alcohol-Free Wound Cleansing Wipes, Cotton Tip Applicators, Disposable Latex-Free Gloves, Instant Cold Compress, Metal Scissors/Tweezers, Safety Pins, Tourniquet, Wooden Splints/Tongue Depressors
  • THIS KIT HAS OVER 2,100 REVIEWS! PROTECT YOUR FAMILY & FRIENDS - ALWAYS BE PREPARED: M2 Basics 300-Piece First Aid Kits will keep you prepared for most common minor injuries or medical emergencies.
  • INCLUDES LIGHTWEIGHT & DURABLE CARRY CASE: Zippered 1st aide bag includes clear pockets to organize your red cross first aid supplies. Take it to any activity: sports, camping, hiking, college, work, travel or vacation. See photos & product description for detailed list of contents.
  • VERSATILE KIT TO FIT YOUR LIFESTYLE: Use for home, office, vehicle, workplace, industrial, kitchen, outdoor, tactical, dog, athletic, business, auto, sport, emt, first responder, rv, dog, puppy, pet, baby, daycare, work, boat, marine, military.

​Being prepared for anything is smart, so having a first aid kit along when you go fishing is a necessity. The M2 Basics First Aid Kit features 300 items like a CPR facemask, a tourniquet, medical tape, emergency blanket, compass, and more. Fix cuts, take care of a broken arm until you can get to a doctor, and even survive the wilderness all with a lightweight and affordable kit.

​The Latest Favorites Everyone Wants

​Finally, the latest must-haves may not be a true necessity, but if you are going to buy them, you should buy quality. That's what these brands offer:

Piscifun Portable Fish Lip Grabber And Scale

Piscifun Fish Lip Gripper with Digital Scale Water-Resistant Lip Grip with Electronic Digital Scale Fish Grabber Stainless Steel Clip Fish Control Black
  • Powerful and Durable - Rugged high-grade stainless steel construction for matchless durability against fresh and saltwater environments. Up to 60lb/27kg loading capacity.
  • Water-resistant - The Piscifun NEW fish gripper is completely sealed, every gripper has been done 1-minute immersion test to keep it functioning well in all weather condition even when drops into water.
  • Easy to Read Scale - Built-in LCD light to aid gripper placement at night or in low light, the large easy-to-read display is big enough to see in pictures, Scale handle rotates at full 360° for best viewing and control.
  • Memory Function & Dual Mode - The digital scale features a large backlit LCD, a memory mode to save and display up to 10 weight readings, push button selection of pounds/ounces or kilograms and power saving auto-shut off with low battery indicator. Scale and LCD are powered by (2) AAA batteries.
  • Piscifun is dedicated to offering high quality, affordably priced fishing gear backedby outstanding Customer Service. One Year Incredible Total Peace of Mind Warranty!

For a portable fish grabber and scale, The Piscifun Portable Fish Lip Grabber and Scale is made of stainless steel and features a rubber grip, making this durable, comfortable, and easy to use.

​GRDE Super Bright LED Headlamp

LED Headlamp, 6000 Lumens Max 4 Modes Waterproof Head Flashlight Light Waterproof Flashlight Head Lights for Camping, Hiking, Outdoors
  • Adopt Improved LED Bulb: Premium ultra bright *T6 bulb (Total Max output: 6000lm), Brighter than other similar types of 3 bulbs on Market; Extensive lifetime of LED (100,000 hours) and FCC Certified.
  • Rechargeable & Long Lasting LED Headlamp: Rechargeable & Long Lasting LED Headlamp --High Quality Li-polymer battery and 3 Super bright LEDs to shine stronger, brighter, and longer. The lifetime of the LED lights is over 100,000 hours. You should never need to change them. And especially connected with USB cable, as an emergency power bank to charge your mobile devices.
  • 4 Working Modes : Low (1 LED ), Middle(2 LED), High(3 LED), Strobe(3 LED), Adjustable(90 degree).
  • IP65 Waterproof and Heatproof, made of aluminum alloy and rubber,Great for someone who likes hiking, fishing, camping, running outdoor sports.
  • Green Safety Emergency Headlamp on the back of pack, provides locational guidance for hiking with folks behind you.

​If you find yourself out on the water late at night, don't pack it in, light it up! The GRDE Super Bright LED Headlamp has 3 modes: high, low, and strobe. It comes with rechargeable batteries, a wall charger, and a car charger.

​SF Hook File

Dr. Slick Hook File, 2 Sided, Dual Sharpening Grooves, 4", S.S.,w/Diamond surface, Fine/Med.Grit
  • Top Quality Dr. Slick
  • Stainless Steel
  • 600 Grit & 300 Grit
  • Dual Sharpening Grooves
  • 4.0 Inches

​As stated above, a hook file will save you lots of frustration with dull hooks, as well as money by allowing you to refile and sharpen your dull hooks. The SF Hook File features two different size diamond grit files – medium and fine. Both files are double-sided to sharpen the flat and rounded sides of hooks, and the rubber handle on the SF improves and cushions your grip.

​Berkley Fishing Gloves

Berkley Coated Fishing Gloves, Blue/Grey
  • Coated gloves with textured grip
  • Heavy duty yet flexible
  • Protect hands from fish handling hazards
  • Grip slippery fish
  • Washable

​Protective fishing gloves help you keep a grip on your rod and your fish while protecting your hands from cuts and fish smell. The Berkley Fishing Gloves are thick and coated to form a textured grip that is firm, yet flexible.

​Rose Kuli Multi Jointed Fishing Lure

Rose Kuli Fishing Lures for Bass Life-Like Trout Swimbait Hard Crank Bait Rainbow
  • TOPWATER BASS LURES - 3D realistic looking eyes and body make it a life like fish. Larger tongue design make it float at top water when throw into water.
  • MULTI JOINTED BODY - The body pieces connect with textile fabrics allows this bass lures wiggles to side to side like a real fish would swim.
  • ARTIFICIAL SOLID SWIMBAIT - Reusable environment protective largemouth crankbaits. Different colors and patterns to match any fishing environment.
  • BUILT-IN GRAVITY BALL - Raise the throw distance, produce sound attracts the big predators. Streamlined Design reduces wind resistance during throwing.
  • MUST HAVE FISH TACKLE - Wonderful gift for fisherman, widely targeting fishes like bass, pike, largemouth, smallmouth, walleyes, muskie, etc.

​Protective fishing gloves help you keep a grip on your rod and your fish while protecting your hands from cuts and fish smell. The Berkley Fishing Gloves are thick and coated to form a textured grip that is firm, yet flexible.

​Yamamoto Senko Bait

Yamamoto 9-10-913 Senko Bait, 5-Inch ,10-Pack, Green Pumpkin/Chartreuse
  • Try rigging this bait wacky style or texas rigged and experience the versatility the Yamamoto Senko provides.
  • Simple yet effective
  • The fall rate created from the large amount of salt impregnated in the body drives fish mad.
  • Available in several proven colors.
  • Quantity of 10

​If you prefer a soft lure, the Yamamoto Senko Bait is a soft plastic that is perfect for bass food, but it can be used on many types of rigs. They are also salty flavored, so fish go crazy for them!

​Livetarget Hollow Body Frog

Livetarget Hollow Body Frog, 2.25", Green Yellow
  • 2010 ICAST "Best of Show" Winner
  • Amazing detail fools even the most wary fish
  • Soft body construstion compresses to reveal ultra sharp hooks

​If you go fishing in shallow water filled with underbrush, lillypads, or other debris, you can use the Livetarget Hollow Body Frog lure to get your catch without snagging your line. This lure comes in 3 different colors, and they are flavorful to attract more prey.

Must Have Fishing Accessories For Your Tackle Box

​Now that you have the gear you need, it's time to organize your tackle box and keep it maintained. A poorly-maintained tackle box can result in you not having functioning gear when you need it, costing you both time and money. Here are some basics for keeping your tackle box organized and your gear intact:

  • ​Group tackle together by function to find them quickly 
  • ​Organize lures based on function
  • ​Keep colored lures in with like colors and materials
  • ​Store hooks, sinkers, and small tackle in trays or boxes to find them easily
  • ​Choose clear plastic containers for inside your tackle box to make it easier to find things
  • ​Use labels to identify contents
  • ​Close and lock your tackle box when it is not in use
  • ​Dry out wet gear before locking it away to prevent rusting
  • ​Check gear for tears and other imperfections, like dull hooks that need sharpening
tackle box

​Image Source: ​flickr.com

Tackle management does not just happen on the water, and the best way to ensure you save the most time and money is to keep up your gear and tackle box at home. Make sure you have space for all of your gear and use containers, hooks, shelves, and bins to keep all of your lures, lines, and rods in order, clean, and dry using the tips listed above. By taking some time to prep and organize your gear before and after each use, you will save yourself time when you go out on the water because you will know that you have everything you need and it is in working order.


​ Fishing accessories are not simply extras that make fishing fun; although, they can do that, too. The basic fishing accessories are needed to get you casting a line, but the latest must-haves on the market are not really needed to perform the basic functions of fishing. They can, however, make fishing easier, more lucrative, and more fun.

When you are setting up your tackle box, remember to always have your basics on hand, then add in the extras that will keep you safer and more comfortable. After you have this foundation, you can buy all the latest and greatest extras you want to help you with catching more fish.

As always, quality gear is going to make your fishing experience better, so when you are choosing the gear you want, remember to select products that will give you your money's worth. We've listed some of our favorites in this article, but there are many more options on the market. What you choose all boils down to what type of fishing you are doing, where you are fishing, the time of year you are fishing, and what gear you prefer.

Overall, fishing accessories are both needed for basic fishing and safety, and simply extras that make your fishing experiences better and more successful.


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