Fly Fishing Lanyard Setup for Beginners

When it comes to fly fishing, it’s the little things such as setting up the lanyard that make a huge difference. You need to horn your fly fishing lanyard setup skills to make the most of your fishing expedition. Although some fishermen ignore this very critical thing when going into the waters, it’s a great skill that helps you make the least movement once you get deep inside the water.

It’s also not a good idea to keep things in your pockets when fly fishing. Setting up your fly fishing neck lanyard will greatly improve your efficiency and help you make a big catch. Read on to learn how to set up your lanyard and which models are best for fly fishing.

What Is A Fly Fishing Lanyard?

Using the right lanyard is one of the simplest but most effective things you can do for fly fishing. A neck lanyard is a simple piece of string or rope with many small clips holding your fishing gear together. This tool can easily hold small things, like extra flies and other necessary fishing accessories.

The great thing about using a lanyard is that you can easily get all your belongings and fishing gear without reaching into your pocket to get them. This not only makes managing your things very easy, but it also means that you are able to do very little movement while you are in the water.

Why Is It Called A Lanyard?

Many anglers call this tool a lanyard because it looks nice, and you can use it to carry different types of items. Lanyards are used to hang cards around the neck, and they are common in offices. It is said that the word lanyard comes from the French word “lancier,” which means strap. It means a long strap or a cuff. The same concept applies to a fishing lanyard because it can be used both as a lanyard to go over your neck and as a means to keep your things organized.

Fisherman using a lanyard
Fisherman using a lanyard

Fly Fishing Lanyard Setup

Having a fly fishing lanyard around your neck is not very useful unless you load it correctly. If you load your lanyard the right way, it will act as a toolkit on your neck that you can use to attack your fishing accessories. Here are some things that you can attach to your lanyard to make it a better and more efficient:

  • A small box full of flies
  • Forceps to deal with small things
  • Nippers for their intended usage
  • Tippet spool holder
  • Floats to keep the flies floating at all times

With all of these tools and items attached to your fly fishing lanyard, you’ll be ready for a perfect fly fishing day.

Best Fly Fishing Lanyards On the Market

Selecting fly fishing lanyards is not that easy of a task. It is because there are a lot of great choices. Unfortunately, not all lanyards that you purchase are of good quality. Some cheap products do not deliver what is promised. Hence, if you buy one of those products, you will not get the best experience or value for your money.

This is why we have highlighted to 3 best lanyards you can buy. If you go for one of these, you will not have to worry about the quality as all of them have been tested and ranked.

1. Best Overall: Ultimate Fly Fishing Lanyard – Green – PRO 

This high-quality lanyard includes bigger and stronger clips that will allow you to attach more of your fishing gear! It is very lightweight and will not pull against your neck when fishing. Besides, it is much more comfortable than a heavy fly fishing vest. There are four hooks to hold your other fishing tools, such as floats, nippers, forceps, and even a thermometer. There is also a loop to fasten a couple of zingers to allow you to easily put your fishing rods on it.

What makes this lanyard different from the others is that it has two foam fly holders to hold your fly box safely. Easily attach 12 of your favorite flies to the fly holders, and you are ready to hit the river! You will also notice a small clip on the bottom to secure your lanyard to your shirt so that when you are leaning forward, it will not get in your way. The lanyard measures 22.5 inches long and has a high-quality cord lock behind the neck that locks securely when you are finished fishing. Makes a great stocking stuffer!

Ultimate Fly Fishing Lanyard

2. Best Runner-Up: SF Fly Fishing Lanyard Unloaded Necklace Black Adjustable

The lanyard’s horizontal bar can hold other small fishing tools like spoons and small lures. It comes with five clips, and quick releases allow you to change the lanyard to hold different fishing tools, such as foam pads, tippets, floatant holders, fly boxes, etc., whenever you go fishing or go on a trip. It organizes your fly-fishing tools conveniently and maximizes your work efficiency.

Its comfortable design with the EVA foam of the neck cushion and sturdy paracord construction make it comfortable to wear. This lanyard is made from a lightweight material, which is great for fishing. It is easy to change the length of the lanyard around your neck.

This is suitable as a gift, as there are beads to put on the lanyard as a nice decoration. They help you to easily remove the clips that hold your fishing tools. Moreover, it helps you keep your small fishing tools handy and ready to use. 

SF Fly Fishing Lanyard

3. Best for Versatility: Orvis Lanyard/Only Lanyard – Unloaded

This fly fishing lanyard has a flat webbing design, six paracord loops, a drying patch, and a Forcep dock. You can easily load it with your go-to tools and tackles on the go. When fishing small rivers and streams, it works great. You don’t need a lot of things to cast flies with this lanyard. It has just enough room for carrying all the flies that you need without having to carry a lot of boxes. You’ll like having pliers that are completely away from the rod. It looks great and is very sturdy. You can carry several tools, and it’s very practical. 

Orvis Lanyard

Minimalist Fly Fishing Lanyards

Some lanyards come with beautiful designs with nice-looking buckles and buttons, while others are designed with pretty beads. They are not the best lanyards to choose from because of their complicated designs. If you want to fly fish while relaxed, you should definitely get a simple lanyard.

One of the great things about making your own fly fishing lanyard is that you can easily customize it to suit your needs. You can make it yourself by using old fly lines collected from fly fishing trips. This lanyard will not only be very helpful to the fly fishing environment, but it will also be very durable, versatile, and cheap.

What Is A Fly Fishing Zinger Reactor?

Fly fishing zinger reactors might sound unusual but are instrumental and efficient. When you use a lanyard, you need to keep pulling things down from the hooks every time you need to use one. This is a major problem because it is uncomfortable and inefficient to detach things constantly whenever you want to use them.

The zingers are like an extra hook that you put on your lanyard to allow you to use the attached items when you want to use them. They work by providing a long, convenient loop that allows you to attach multiple accessories. If you use a zinger with a lanyard, you can attach it to the lanyard hook and then put your gear inside the zinger. 

If you need to use something, you will not need to detach it from its hook because it has an extendable hook that allows you to easily use it. This is because it has an automatic spring that allows it to turn back and forth smoothly.

Best Fly Fishing Zingers

Here are some great fly fishing zingers to attach to your lanyard:

1. SF Fly Fishing Zinger Retractor Steel Cord 1Pcs

Using a zinger to protect your fishing line is as easy as wearing a simple black plastic case and putting a smooth, strong ring on it. It has a built-in spring made of high-quality stainless steel, making it inti-rust and suitable for fresh water and saltwater.

It can retract more securely than a normal nylon line and is more durable than a normal nylon line. When used with a stainless steel spit ring, you can put it on almost any part of your body for easy use. You can use SF zingers to secure items like line nippers, carabiners, and other fishing tools that will help you to ensure that they are safe and secure.

It is high-quality and easy to attach, and having the ability to retract means that you can keep the things you want to protect from falling into the water safe. It is necessary to have for fishing, mountain-climbing, hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

SF Fly Fishing Zinger Retractor

2. SAMSFX Fly Fishing Zinger Retractor for Anglers Vest Pack Tool Gear

This stainless steel spit ring and copper buckle can be used in freshwater and saltwater applications since its anti-rust and corrosion-resistant. It comes with 24 inches, which is longer than a regular wooden keychain – perfect for carrying your small keys or fishing rod.

The 1.5-ounce retraction force allows you to hold small fly fishing tools and keys safely. It’s also easy to attach to your fly fishing vest, fishing backpack, or belt loops, so you can keep all your gear easily accessible and protected. Use this handy fishing reel clip for work, school, and other occasions.

SAMSFX Fly Fishing Zinger Retractor for Anglers Vest

3. Boao 5 Pieces Magnetic Net Release Holder Net Release Clip Keychain

This tool comes with five magnetic net release holders in different colors. You can easily choose the one that matches your clothes and equipment. It comes with strong magnets made of metal and acrylic, which are not easy to break. It will work well even if you have to pull down on them sometimes.

With the handy side magnets, this tool can be easily connected to the other end of the zinger. With the ring design, it is very easy to carry and put on your vest or on your backpack. Strong magnets hold well, so you can hang them wherever you want.

Fishing Lanyard Accessories

There are many different things you can use when you are using your fly fishing lanyard, while some of them are just the additional accessories you may need. Enjoying your time fishing is very easy and efficient when you have all the fishing accessories you need around your neck. So, here are some of the things that you need to have on your fly fishing lanyard.

  • Leather leader straightener
  • Zinger reactor
  • Fly drying chamois
  • Hook holders
  • Shirt clips

Having all of these essential accessories attached to your fly fishing lanyard will make it more productive than a simple lanyard.

How To Make A DIY Paracord Fly Fishing Lanyard

The joy you get from using a product you make yourself is amazing. Why not try making your own fly fishing lanyard DIY? It is very easy to make a fly fishing lanyard from recycled material. Depending on what you like, you can make either a fly line lanyard or a paracord fly fishing lanyard.

You will need some equipment to make your own paracord fly fishing lanyard or fly line lanyard. So, just follow the instructions given below to learn all the things you will need and the steps that you will take to make it happen.

Items Required

You’ll need the following items for making your DIY lanyard:

  • Zinger reactors
  • Badge clip
  • Beads
  • Snap-on clips.
  • Recycled fly line for the fly line lanyard.
  • Paracord for making the paracord fly fishing lanyard.
  • Cord locks

The Process of Making a Fly Fishing Lanyard

Getting your measurements is the first step to completing the lanyard. When you are getting the necessary measurements, ensure the lanyard will be easy to use and reach. It should be long enough to be able to reach your hand easily. By looping the loop from one end of the lanyard to the other, you will be able to attach different items, such as a zinger, a badge, or a Snap-On.

Try to keep a certain distance between the clips you attach. Once you have reached the other end, use the corresponding locks to secure the lanyard to stop it from opening. If you have followed all of these steps, you should have a lanyard that is safe and ready to use.

Benefits of Fly Fishing Lanyards

Many beginner anglers often have the notion that they have nothing, only to realize they have too much gear once they get into the deep waters. You only need to carry the necessary fly fishing gear for a successful fly fishing expedition. Having a lanyard to carry a small fly box can help you reorganize everything on the fly whenever you go fishing. 

Moreover, you can easily attach more gear to a lanyard. It’s less about having a lot of stuff and more about having things that are actually useful. When using a fly fishing lanyard, you’ll quickly learn that carrying less gear on the river is more enjoyable. All the things you need for your fly fishing expedition, such as nippers, tippets, floatants, and forceps, can fit comfortably in a fly fishing lanyard. Here are some key benefits of a fly fishing lanyard:

1. Help You Carry Enough Flies in a Fly Box

When it comes to flies, less is better. Attaching a small fly box to your fly fishing lanyard helps you avoid losing a lot of flies. Ensure the fly box contains the fly patterns you use most often on the rivers. There are many different sizes of fly boxes out there, but consider slender boxes that fit neatly into small pockets and take up less space. You can also opt for fly boxes with a ring that will allow you to attach them to your lanyard easily and that are small enough not to be bulky when swinging them from your neck. 

Some lanyards even include a fly box in the design of the lanyard. Golden Trout Lanyards is one company that does this well. You’ll appreciate fly boxes that allow you to easily compartmentalize your flies instead of putting the flies in a single slot. It is great to have a small box that is very versatile for storing small bugs and nymphs. You may also want to tie flies very slowly and use simple and easy-to-follow patterns to avoid losing more flies.

2. Helps Leverage Chest Pockets

Being able to keep things in the pockets of your shirt easily is essential for the minimalist fly fisher who wants to do more with less. Even if you do not need it, a good fly fishing shirt with some chest pockets is good for keeping fly boxes, indicators, and a phone to take pictures. You can also get an exceptionally light waterproof shell with chest pockets that works great in the rain. And when it is cold, simply put on more layers as needed.  

3. Supplementing Your Vest

Even after switching from fly fishing with a vest to using a lanyard, it’s still important to carry your vest around with you. You can use it to store your fishing gear and other extra stuff such as a net and even some flies. Tippets, leader pieces, and fly boxes also fit well in a vest. Alternatively, you can have a small fanny pack that you can hang from your waist or carry around like you would carry a large purse.  

Fly Fishing Lanyard Setup Skill Levels

You might think you have a good system until you try something new. Even if you love your fly fishing vest, functionality is more important. A great lanyard system that works for you is more important than using a vest, a backpack, a lumbar pack, or just your pockets. 

So, do you have a system that you like? What works for you? 

Try thinking carefully about the things you usually carry in your vest and if you really need them, and you will find that you do not need as much as you think. Are you an experienced angler? Are you able to catch fish without a lot of gear? If you can, circle back to where you started and see if you could do things differently. Consider how much more efficient it would be to invest in a fly fishing lanyard if you could start over. 

But if you’re a beginner, focus on the things you need to carry, and don’t feel bad if you do not have a lot. Some years ago, anglers didn’t have to have many things. What matters is to be very efficient. If you have less, that is fine, but the right fly fishing lanyard will make your experience smoother.    

FAQ About Fly Fishing Lanyard Setup 

There are a lot of things to learn regarding fly fishing lanyard setup and its gear. So, here we’ll try to answer the most frequent ones.

How do I organize my fly fishing gear?

It is useful to organize fly fishing gear based on the fishing technique or fish species that you plan to use it for. Rods should be stored in a rack to prevent them from being damaged. Flies and leaders are easy to store by labeling and putting them in plastic bags to make them easy to find. When arranging gear, consider how frequently you use it.

Do you need a fly fishing vest?

Vests are very practical and efficient ways to carry your fly fishing gear; they’ve been the standard choice for fly fishermen for many years. If you want to embrace the traditional fly fishing techniques that are famous worldwide, wearing a traditional fly fishing vest is the perfect way to do it.

What do you keep in a fishing vest?

There are numerous tiny items that fly fishers need. Leaders, floatants, powders that help to dehydrate the water, small pocket knives, knot-tying tools, and lip balm can all fit in a vest. All of these things can fit neatly in the small pockets on your fly fishing vest.

Wrapping Up

Having the right fishing gear can significantly change how you fish. Lanyards are one of the best things you can get for fly fishing. They will help you to easily carry your gear around your neck. Hopefully, this guide has answered your questions and concerns about the different things related to fly fishing lanyards, like the accessories you can attach to them. We’ve also provided a step-by-step guide on how to make a fishing lanyard on your own to give you the best quality lanyard and fly fishing experience.

Photo of author

Brian Hopkins

Brian is an outdoor writer and the youngest member of our team, but he is extremely knowledgeable when it comes to fishing and different techniques for catching different species. He shares valuable information that the younger generation can relate to. When he is not fishing, you can find him hanging with his friends and gaming on his computer.

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