World’s Worst Fly Fishing Products

I know I’m gonna get some shit for this post…but I don’t care. If you’re that tight today, lighten up or stop reading now.

The world  is full of overinflated blogs, reviews, fluffer-type articles praising products that really are not that good.

And I think we can all agree that not every product that makes it to market is worth a damn. There are some bad ideas. When did America start praising shitty ideas, bad products, and non-sensical gizmo’s. Not everybody or everything can be a star man.


Truth. It’s what you get here on the Headhunters Fly Fishing Super Blog.


Ran a Facebook contest to get some insight on the Top 5 World’s Shittiest Fly Fishing Products. A mess of folks commented…they agree there are some shady fly fishing items in use today. The winner was redacted w/ his Rexfly entry. Redacted would have won, but he was DQ’d for multiple reasons, not withstanding a few awkward personality traits…

The Top 5 World’s Worst Shittiest Fly Fishing Products


World's Worst Fly Fishing Products
Rexfly Chesty

Rexfly Chesty

Voted online as the #1 World’s Worst Product. I don’t make this stuff up folks. Check it here.

From the Rexfly website: Today’s fly rods are amazingly light and fast. As a result reel manufacturers are scrambling to make their reels as light as possible so they don’t slow down these ultralight fly rods. What you are left with are such delicate reels with so much aluminum carved out that they costs hundreds of dollars and need to be treated with care.

As light as a reel can get, you will always have the weight of the line and backing. A high quality 5 weight reel with fly line and backing weighs 7 ounces when dry, an 8 weight reel, line and backing is 12 ounces. That half pound and more adds up when you cast thousands of times during a day of fishing.

SIMMS Sun Sleeves

The in-store vote from customers came outta left field with this mind boggling product. While SIMMS makes the best wader, jacket, and Gore-Tex Fishing PRoducts on earth…at least 10 folks stated that the SIMMS Sun Sleeve was one of the shittiest products on the market today. Back in the day, we used to wear long sleeve shirts when we wanted sun protection. Hey, they should make pants with zip-off…

Leader Straightener

You know that black rubber dealy’o dangling from your vest? Yah, I got one too. Toss that in the garbage man. It ruins leaders.

Just learned this fact from Zack Dalton of RIO Products. “Do not stretch leaders using friction, or heat to straighten leaders. Just pull on them a few times just like you would stretch a fly line.” Huh. I’ve ruined every leader I have ever taken out of the package. Until a couple weeks ago. I tried it. It works.

While friction does sort-of straighten the leader, some of the integrity is lost. For ultimate strength and continued performance of your leaders,just tug on them a couple times and you are straight.

World's Worst Fly Fishing Products
Hydro-Sonic Fish Call

Hydro-Sonic Fish Call

While this is not truly a fly fishing product, it was submitted and the judges voted yes! Here is what they say…Truly revolutionary and different, the CAGI Sonic Attractor(R) is the only sound generating device invented and patented with scientific evidence that proves fish can actually hear it. AND it catches more fish. Guaranteed!

Ed Note: I’ve got a box of these on the way. The package says it increases Catch Rate by 800% I don’t care if it only increases my catch rate by 212%. I’m in. I’ll need a Pit River Fish Counter when these arrive!

Wold's Worst Fly Fishing Products
Cast Connectors

Fly Line Connectors

A personal favorite of Squeeky Oar Lock. Since I write this blog, most of the time, I get a vote. I have never seen these on a rod, but would get a kick out if it. All you need to know is how to tie an overhand knot. The one you learned in pre-school.

I’m sure they work. While I do not care how, when, why you fly fish…I do believe you should learn something, sometime. Like knots. Learn a few knots. Learning is fun. It keeps your brain from turning to mush. Learning keeps you young.

I have seen the invisible swivels which are similar to this. I totally want some. Do I talk out of both sides of my mouth? Yep, constantly. Remember, I’m a fishing guide.

Honorable Mentions: Monic Clear Fly Line, Seatmaster, Pit River Fish Counter, Lavro, Bobbers, Guides, trout beads, 9x tippet, Hardy Priest, Strip-Eze, William Joseph, Pink Winged Olive, old creels, 2 foot long billed hats, pontoon boats, stomach pumps, Ketchum Release Tool, neoprene waders, social media…and there was still more.

Thanks for all who participated in the FB Contest and those in-store who had something to say. Everybody had something to say on this topic. We’ve all been burned by shitty fly fishing products. The good news is? No hard feelings. We as fly anglers are willing to get stumped, run over, and ridiculed. We just get back up and cast again…

It’s in our constitution as anglers.

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  • Very Squeeky Oar Lock
    November 14, 2013 4:33 pm

    Brilliant! The REXFLY is for idiots! Can you imagine hooking into a TARPON? Maybe trying for a world record, 9x baby!
    If I ever find a need for 6x it would be a miracle, but hey, your crossing the line with the HYDRO_SONIC FISH CALLER, brings in the MALLARDS like crazy!
    I’d like to add one more item….AIRFLOW LINES, the only thing they are good for are those little bracelets  weaved over in Missoula making LG a rich man
    just call me VERY…..

    • Very, I am the guy in the above photo. I have to wonder if you have tried the RexFly. It is an unusual device for sure, but does offer some real benefits. I find it very useful as a teaching and demonstration tool. Many instructors that I know and teach with, own them. If you fish from a kayak, you might find this unique product very helpful when paddling from either a seated or standing position as a rod holder. Tarpon? probably not. The above photo was taken while false albacore fishing-not it’s intended use but really just messing around. It really did work. Perhaps the RexFly’s highest and best use is with some disabled anglers. I had one student -a stroke victim with no appreciable use of his left hand- try the RexFly and found that enabled him to cast with his right, place the rod on his chest and reel. He now owns one. Maybe he looks like an “Idiot”, but I think he would gladly accept the label in order to get on the water. I know two guys that fish Tenkara-style enjoy them as a Tenkara-hybrid. The Rex may not be for you, but many people, including myself, think it is pretty cool..

  • What about Hyde drift boats

  • Both my wife and I LOVE the Ketchum release. And what’s wrong with pontoon boats?

  • I have been using a Ketchum Release tool for years and they are an excellent product if you know how to use it, most people 
    don’t.  Also I like Air-Flo flylines, with the exception that they have stopped making their clear tip streamer line it was the best 
    light streamer line ever made, used one for over 5 years until I caught a hook in it and cut it.  Just sayin!!

    • The Ketchum Release only works if you’re right handed – used in the other hand, all it does is cut your line at the fly, tossed mine after 3 break-offs in a row!
      I do love my pontoon boats however.

  • Um….the Hardy Priest…..can think of some uses for this item and its not for whacking a fish!

  • Pontoon boats are a wonderful thing and have many uses……but that said the majority of fisherman that I have seen using them
    on the river seem to have forgotten all about etiquette.

  • Great topic and listing, Squeaky! Thought I would mention, we used to sell the line connectors, listed, in the first shop I worked at
    in high school. We sold many. We had orange and clear ones, and sold them to get people on the water back before loops were
    already on the ends of lines. Still, they would upset me a bit on the local stream, because they would crack once cast against a
    boulder — the boulder where the biggest trout in the river live, then take my fly and over-hand-knotted leader directly from my cracked,
    leader connector. 🙁 

  • Terry Armstrong
    November 23, 2013 6:02 am

    Like my brother once told me “Opinions are like arse holes. Everyone’s got one and they all stink”.

  • Terry Armstrong
    November 23, 2013 6:05 am

    As for the Hardy Priest maybe it could be used on some of these dirt bags that are playing the “knock our game”

  • Terry Armstrong
    November 23, 2013 6:06 am

    That’s “knock out game’ . Where’s that bottle of bourbon?

  • […] The Headhunter (my dad fished out of the Headhunter last summer and had a great day, by the way) posted a question about the worst products out there. There were lots of good replies. […]

  • paul worsterberg of the deplacements
    November 26, 2013 12:57 pm

    eyeball vodka shots are awesome.

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