This is what we fish with, season after season . . .

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This gear list has been updated to include favorites from the Troutbitten crew — that’s Austin, Bill, Matt, Trevor and Josh. These are the guys you hear on the Troutbitten Podcast. You can find their short bios on the Contributors Page.

This is all gear that we’ve used extensively and believe in. This is what we fish with, season after season.

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From nets to wading staffs to split shot, all of it matters. An angler’s gear is chosen for efficiency and effectiveness. Every trout bum has a system. This is ours.

Fishpond Nomad Hand Net

(Dom, Bill, Josh, Trevor, Matt)

Durable, lightweight and suited for the job — here’s the perfect trout net. The carbon fiber frame floats and the rubber mesh bag is deep, ready for your next Whiskey or that mythical thirty-incher.

READ: Things that are good — The Fishpond Nomad Hand Net

Smith Creek Net Holster

(Dom, Josh, Trevor, Bill)

This is the unbeatable way to carry a net. Put the weight on your hips, not on your back. This holster is bulletproof in design and will last a lifetime.

READ: Of Nets and Holsters — The Smith Creek Net Holster

Dr. Slick Spring Creek Clamps


These are strong clamps with a fine tip. Perfect for removing split shot and unbuttoning hooks. I’m picky about my tools. These are the best.

READ: A Slidable Dry Dropper System

Trekking Pole Wading Staff

(Dom, Austin, Bill)

Nothing is more important than covering water. I wade with speed and confidence when I have a staff. Do I need it all the time? Nope. So I want a light but strong staff that folds. And I don’t spend a hundred dollars on one. Trekking poles are perfect.

READ: What about the wading staff? Thoughts on choosing and carrying a wading stick

Blackhawk Utility / Wading Belt


Carry the weight on your hips. Experienced hikers understand this. So put the heaviest things you must carry on your hips: net, water, wading staff, camera. And the flimsy wading belt that comes with your waders will never work. This Blackbelt is built for the job.

READ: Let’s Rethink the Wading Belt

Gear Keeper Retractor

(Dom, Austin, Bill, Josh, Trevor, Matt)

We use retractors in twelve ounce and nine ounce strengths. These are perfect for keeping the Trekking pole wading staff right at your hip and ready at any moment. We’ve tried other brands of retractors. These are the best.

READ: Find Your System

Orvis Non-Toxic Removable Split Shot

Man, we are picky about split shot. And here’s the good stuff — perfect because it’s matte black, non-toxic but soft enough to work with, and it grips thin tippet. Good job, Orvis.

READ: Stop the Split Shot Slide

New Phase Fly Box

(Dom, Bill, Austin, Josh)

900 flies in slotted foam. If you need more than that, carry a second box. The double-sided middle leaf on this box doubles the capacity. That’s efficiency, right there. Tough, waterproof and priced right, this is our go-to fly box.

READ: The first time out, a fly needs a good showing

C&F Chest Patch / Fly Box

(Dom, Trevor, Austin)

This is one of the most critical items in our system. Here’s a small storage box for  mounting on your vest or pack. Flies can dry here and are at the ready for the next quick change. Magnets and slot foam inside, foam and magnet outside. Light but strong. A perfect design.

READ: Things that are good — The C&F Chest Patch

Nalgene Narrow Mouth Water Bottle

(Dom, Trevor)

You might think of your water bottle as an afterthought. But I don’t. We carry the bottle on a carabiner attached to the wading belt, so the weight is on our hips. The bottle is as light and durable. And because it’s not aluminum, there’s no clanging around. Shhhh. Don’t spook the trout.

READ: Olives at the Tailout

Fishpond Thunderhead Water Bottle Holder


Holds a standard, 32 oz Nalgene water bottle or similar. The Thunderhead Waterbottle Holder’s webbed strap seamlessly integrates with a wide range of packs and belts.

READ: Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #50 — Fish Hard

Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle


The best fishing happens far from the parking lot. On long walks and long days, nothing beats the convenience of cold, clean water on demand. This is a game changer.

READ: Fishing Alone

Life Straw Personal Water Filter


Here’s a portable, economical solution for hydration. Nothing complicated here, just draw river water through the filter, like a straw, for limitless, cold and clean water all day long. These are about ten dollars — a great solution.

READ: Save the Discovery

Costa Fantail


“For a long time I thought expensive lenses didn’t make a difference. But I was wrong about that. After receiving these Costa frames as a gift, I can never go back to my old ways. The 580 Glass polarized lenses are super clear and somehow relaxing on the eyes. I like copper mirror. And I like the fantail matte black design, because the medium size frame fits my face. You’ll find your own style.” — Dom

READ: Angles, Angles, Angles

Smith Guide’s Choice

(Austin, Josh, Matt)

Wide temples to block out light from the sides. ChromaPop lenses in very lightweight frames.

READ: Fifty Fly Fishing Tips: #47 — See the Dead Drift

Costa Fisch


Larger frame than the Fantail. Same great 580 lenses.  Silver Sunrise lens color for those great, cloudy days.

READ: The Hard Truth About Why You Can’t See Your Dry Fly

Smith Creek Tippet Holder

(Dom, Trevor, Josh)

If you fish enough, even guide spools of tippet run out too often. So a quick change is a luxury in a tippet holder. The plunder design on this holder is excellent. Like all Smith Creek products, the build is bulletproof, and it’ll probably last your lifetime.

READ: Fish It Anyway

Orvis Comfy Grip Nippers

(Dom, Trevor, Austin)

None of us are spending $100 on nippers. That’s not how we roll. But this is a nice, strong but light pair of nippers that lasts a few years, has a pin at the back and a rubberized grip. These are great. They’re all you need.

READ: Riverside

Fishpond Fly Puck


A super convenient, quick solution to fly storage. Lightweight and small enough to fit nicely in the front of a wader pocket for easy access.

 READ: All the Things

Thule Rod Vault 2


Keep ’em rigged and ready. If you like a rod vault, this is the best on the market.

READ: The I’ll just lay my rod here for a minute mistake

Smith Creek Rod Rack

(Dom,Austin, Josh)

Here’s a great way to keep rods in the vehicle, strung up and safe near the interior ceiling. Full review at the link below. “I’ve used this for many years, with kids and dogs in the car too, and I wouldn’t carry rods any other way.” — Dom

READ: 100 Day Gear Review: Smith Creek Rod Rack

Ape Case SLR Holster Camera Bag


You might not carry a camera on the river. But if you want to reliably tell a story with variable apertures and shutter speeds, you need more than a smartphone. Carry this amazingly durable bag on your belt and have access to your camera in seconds. There’s a great way to make it waterproof. Read the article below.

READ: Fishing with a Camera

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