4 Fishing Must Haves

With so much going on both on and off the water, it's easy to see why some anglers overlook the simple things. You head out to your fishing spot, start unloading your gear, and realize that you forgot something that you really need. Aside from your rod, reel, and lures, here are 4 essentials that you should never leave home without:


Nowadays almost every angler fishes with a phone capable of high-quality pictures. Some even take it to the next level by mounting GoPro's to their bodies.

Always keep your phone or camera handy when fishing. Even if it's low on battery, just turn it off until you catch a fish. If you're worried about your phone getting wet, invest in a waterproof case or toss it in a ziplock bag and use caution. With many anglers practicing catch and release, the photos that you take during your trip will be some of the only memories that you will have.

Fishing Pliers

Fishing pliers are a versatile tool that should be in any anglers tackle box. Pliers help remove hooks, cut line, and swap out hooks on the fly. Good pliers, like the Cuda brand from the May FishVault box, have a split-ring function built into them. This comes in super handy.

Spray your pliers with WD-40 to prevent rust and stickiness. If they do get rusty, hit them with some steel wool and a little elbow grease. If you’re kayak fishing, add a floating lanyard to the end of the pliers to prevent your tool from sinking to the bottom of the lake.

Cutting Tools

A cutting tool is a must-have when fishing. Knives, razors, clippers, and scissors all work but we personally prefer scissors. A compact pair of shears are small enough to fit in a tackle box but sturdy enough to crunch through thick braid. A good line cutting tool will have serrated edges that help it slice through individual strands of braided line much easier compared to a straight-edge blade. Save time and save your teeth with a good fishing cutting tool.

Measuring Tape

While many anglers prefer to carry digital scales, a simple measuring tape has always worked for us. Tape measures are more accessible, affordable, and long-lasting than a scale. Tape measures are also more compact and don’t require batteries.

Put a small round tape measure at the bottom of your tackle box. It's so small that you’ll forget that it's with you until you catch a fish worth measuring.

Most harvest regulations are measured in length so a tape measure comes in handy when determining if a fish is a keeper or not.

Having a flexible tape measure allows you to accurately measure both the length and girth measurements of your catch. There are sites online where you can enter in both length and girth measurements to get a pretty accurate weight estimate.

If you forget a tape measure and want a measurement, try this. Lay your fish next to a fishing rod, stick, or piece of line. Then, take note of where the fish stretches out to (or make a visible indicator). Once you're home, use a tape measure to check your temporary measuring stick. This isn't the most accurate method, but it's better than nothing.

If you have been a FishVault subscriber for any length of time, then chances are you have most of these essentials already in your possession. Then next time you are packing out your gear, make sure that you have these 4 items no matter where you go.

Did we leave off a piece of gear that you think is a “must”. Send us your comments and let us know.