Surf Fishing Belt Essentials

The space for gear on a surfcaster’s belt is valuable and limited.

A well-fitting surf fishing belt is an essential piece of equipment for the wading fisherman. Cinched tightly around the waist, the belt slows down water incursion in the event of an accidental submersion, buying precious seconds for an angler to get to shore. 

Always resourceful, surf fishermen have elevated the wading belt from simple safety equipment to an invaluable storage device. Surf fishing belts can be used to carry essential equipment, keeping all your gear within arm’s reach. As New Jersey surfcaster Steve George said, “In a way, a high quality surf belt plays a key part in a successful and safe outing while surfcasting.”

We asked a number of dedicated surf guys how they set up their belts, and then used their answers to make a surf belt template that anglers can build upon or refine for their particular waters. 

(Note: On The Water is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.)

Surf Fishing Belt Essentials

Stainless D-Ring 

» “I use a D-ring to connect lanyards from both my pliers and scale.” – Brandon Sausele, New York

» “A D-ring clip lets me clip my bag to my belt when I’m walking or swimming and keeps it from knocking around.” – Steve Gallant, Massachusetts 

Aqua Skinz Stainless Steel D-Ring

» “I have a diving D-ring weight keeper with a carabiner. This is a ‘just-in-case’ accessory for when (or if) I need to add something like a water bottle to my belt when I am chunking or fly fishing and not carrying a plug bag.” – Toby Lapinski, Connecticut

Pilers and Plier Holster 

Penn Bull Nose Pliers

A durable, lightweight pair of corrosion-resistant pliers with quality grips are a must-have on your surf fishing belt. If your choice pliers don’t come with a sheath, there are plenty of universal plier holsters out there that should hold them without a problem.

Knife and Holster 

Turtle Cove Tackle Rescue Knife and Click-In Sheath

» “I have a blunt-tip dive knife with one serrated edge in a click-in holster. I carry this in case I need to cut old line that might get wrapped around me when swimming or as protection in case there are any aggressive sharks bumping around.” – Brandon Sausele, New York 

Water Bottle & Tether Cap 

A lightweight water bottle with a tether cap can be easily attached and removed from a carabiner, saving valuable space on your belt and keeping you hydrated during long outings in the surf.

The YETI Tether Cap can be easily attached to your belt or bag via carabiner.

Multi-Use Pouch

» “In the back of my belt, I have a YETI Sidekick gear case where I store anything that can’t get wet: phone, retractable tape measure, an extra light, and a dry rag. The pouch is one of the most essential items on my belt since I can swim and get completely soaked without fear of ruining aforementioned items while still keeping them handy.” – Anthony Pizzella, Maine

» “I have a Gear-Up eel pouch on the back of the belt along my lower back, though it usually has soft plastics in it nowadays.” – Steve Gallant, Massachusetts

The YETI Sidekick features belt loops and an air-tight seal, like a dry bag, to keep valuables free of water damage in the surf.

Plug Bag

» “I have a two-tube bag for plugs, soft plastics, leader, jigs, etc.” – Anthony Pizzella, Maine

Adding a 2 or 3-tube bag like the ODM A.I.O. Surfwave Plug Bag to your surf fishing belt provides storage for larger plugs, bucktails, soft plastics and more.
Adding a small plug bag like the ODM A.I.O. Surfwave Plug Bag to your surf fishing belt provides storage for larger plugs, bucktails, soft plastics and more.

» “I have a three-tube plug bag secured through the belt loops. A lot of guys keep the plug bag on an over-the-shoulder strap, but for my purposes, especially when swimming, I need it to be secure on my belt in the same spot, not bouncing around. In my plug bag, I carry everything needed for the night: plugs, a leader wallet with extra leaders, soft plastics, bucktails, and a water bottle on the side. If I’m fishing a hard blow, I’ll take the plug bag off and swap it with a smaller bucktail pouch.” – Brandon Sausele, New York 

Related Content

The Benefits of Wading Belts in the Surf

Choosing Waders for Surf Fishing

Five Surf Fishing Reels for Under $250

1 thought on “Surf Fishing Belt Essentials

  1. Dangler Dan

    Lol the all in one odm bag featured only has 1 tube. It’s a great bag tho.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *