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Best Tippet Holders – Fly Fishing

Best Tippet Holders – Fly Fishing

When it comes to storing your tippet, having a good tippet holder can make things easier. These holders allow you to store multiple spools and keep them neatly organized. There are some great tippet holders available today, many of which are relatively affordable.

Gone are the days of keeping loose tippet spools in your gear pack. Tippet holders allow you to keep your tippet ready and organized at all times. When you break off your flies, it is nice to be able to re-tie quickly. If you keep loose tippet spools in your pack, it takes longer to re-rig and get back to fishing. The Fishpond Headgate and Headgate XL are two of the best tippet holders on the market.

This article will cover my favorite tippet holders, and the pros and cons of each model. These companies are all true fly fishing brands. I prefer to support these brands instead of the “off-brands” flooding the market. By doing this as anglers, we can keep money in the fly fishing industry itself.

Fishpond Headgate Tippet Holder

The Headgate is by far the most popular tippet holder. It holds up to 7 regular sized spools, which is plenty for most trout anglers. With the Headgate, you can hold 0x-6x so you’re prepared for any trout fishing scenario.

It is made of aerospace aluminum, which doesn’t corrode over time. It can withstand cold and hot weather as well as rain, snow, etc. The rubber stoppers keep your tippet spools contained, so they don’t slide back and forth.

I really like the spring loaded design on the Headgate. It is extremely secure and doesn’t come undone when you close the latch. This model also includes a tippet cutter, which is the small grey attachment on the left side of the photo. This allows you to cut your tippet to length without pulling out your nippers.

The Headgate can attach to any vest, pack, etc. It is super versatile so any trout angler can use it. In terms of quality and price point, I think the Fishpond Headgate is one of the best tippet holders out there.

Loon Outdoors Tippet Holder

This Loon tippet holder is great for the minimalist fly fisher that travels light. It holds up to 5 tippet spools, which is 2 less than the Fishpond Headgate. The minimalist design is lightweight and can be attached to most packs or vests with the included carabiner.

This model is much less expensive than the Headgate, which makes it good for the budget conscious fly angler. However, seasoned anglers that carry lots of gear will probably not like this holder. For me personally, it would be too small. I’m too much of a gear nerd and I carry too much tippet with me. I think this Loon tippet holder is more geared towards traveling anglers who do lots of hiking and exploring.

Scientific Anglers Switch Tippet Holder

This is a larger tippet holder that can store 8 spools of tippet. It is meant for seasoned fly anglers who want to have lots of tippet options available . The included “S” clip can attach at 2 points, which allows for a horizontal position or a vertical position, depending on the anglers preference.

This holder is made of high end aluminum that is powder coated for a durable finish. It also comes in red, blue and chartreuse if you want to spice things up.

Scientific Anglers is a trusted brand that makes quality products. Although I don’t personally use this holder, it has gotten good feedback from lots of anglers. It is on the more expensive side, which is something to consider.

Fishpond Headgate XL Tippet Holder

This is a beefed up version of the original Headgate. It can hold up to 5 saltwater spools as shown above, which other tippet holders can’t accommodate. It can hold up to 13 regular sized tippet spools, which is quite impressive. This is the model I use, and I have yet to fill it up all the way.

The XL version does not include a tippet cutter, which I find a bit odd. I think Fishpond could have included one easily. The price is also at the higher end of tippet holders. The Headgate XL is built for serious anglers who want to be prepared. If you find yourself owning too much tippet, this may be the holder for you.

It is built with the same quality aluminum as the original Headgate, but it is blue instead of green. For anglers looking to buy one holder for a lifetime of use, the Headgate XL is worth looking at. I don’t think i’ll ever need to upgrade mine, and that’s a good thing!

Mountain River Tippet Holder

For minimalist anglers on a budget, the Mountain River model is worth checking out. It is meant to be used vertically, which is a more ergonomic design. It also holds at least 6 spools of tippet, which is enough for most folks.

The “S” clip attachment is similar to the Scientific Anglers model, and it is super easy to clip onto most packs or vests.

Considering the small size, I think this holder is a bit pricey. For a similar amount, you could go with the Fishpond or SA models.

The Mountain River tippet holder is best for anglers who like less bulk and more simplicity. It is super slim and compact.


Although tippet holders are small items, they can make your day on the water more enjoyable. Being able to access your tippet quickly allows you to rig faster and get back to fishing. No one wants to be fumbling around on the riverbank instead of fishing.

I recommend that all fly anglers invest in a decent tippet holder. They never wear out or go bad, and can provide years of use. With tippet getting more and more expensive, a tippet holder is a way of protecting your investment.