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Fly Fishing Zingers – Best Picks

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Zingers, otherwise known as retractors, are one of the most useful fly fishing accessories. You can attach many things to them, and then pull on the zinger when you need to use your accessory. Inside of zingers, there is a retractable cord that pulls out. This lets you use your nippers, forceps, or pliers with ease. When you are done, simply let go and the zinger will pull the cord back into itself. It is a great system that makes total sense for fly anglers.

Zingers are one of the oldest fly fishing accessories. They have been around for a long time and many fly anglers love to use them. Like with most accessories, there is a large price range from cheap – to very nice. Although I don’t believe in spending lots of cash on a zinger, I think it is wise to get a decent quality one. Quality zingers tend to last for a long time, and they don’t break easily.

This article will cover my preferred zingers that are currently available. There are so many zinger options today, it can get pretty confusing. Hopefully this guide will clear up some confusion and offer some clarity on the subject. Buying a super cheap zinger doesn’t pay off in my opinion. It is best to get a model that will last for years instead of months. The models listed below have all been field tested extensively, and they have proved to be reliable.

Fishpond Arrowhead Retractor/Zinger

This is by far my favorite zinger that is currently available. It is hand-machined right here in Colorado, and it is made of 6060 aerospace aluminum. This is the type of aluminum you would expect in a high end reel, which is pretty impressive.

The cord on the Arrowhead is high quality with plenty of tension. It can hold any small accessory you want. I really like to put my nippers on this zinger, as well as forceps.

The mini carabiner system on the top can attach to any vest, hip pack or sling pack – which makes it extremely versatile. It is available in a moss green color, as well as black.

Although this zinger is pricier than other models, I think it is worth it. The longevity of the Fishpond Arrowhead is hard to match, and I think many fly anglers will enjoy using it.

Loon Outdoors Rogue Zinger

Loon Outdoors is known for making high quality fly fishing accessories, and many fly anglers love and trust their products. The Nite Ize S-Carabiner allows for easy attachment of this zinger to any pack or vest. This zinger also features a steel cable that is 22 inches long. This is plenty long for most fly anglers, and the steel cable is extremely durable – especially over a long term period.

With a much lower price than the Fishpond Arrowhead, I think this Loon zinger is a great choice for the budget conscious angler. It is definitely a go-to zinger considering the features it boasts. Loon Outdoors has also gathered a large following, and many fly anglers are switching to their products.

Simms Retractor/Zinger

If you’re looking for a slim, minimalistic zinger, the Simms version is worth checking out. Instead of a retractable cord, it features a rubber coil that works quite well. You can still get a long reach out of the rubber coil, so you don’t have to sacrifice any length.

The clip at the end is really easy to use, and can attach to most accessories. There is a pin at the back of the zinger to attach to vests or gear packs. I wish they included a carabiner clip so you don’t have to poke your gear with a needle, but it works fine.

This Simms zinger recently went up in price, but it’s still a decent value. I think it will work well for most fly anglers on a budget. This zinger is very popular and can be found in most western fly shops that carry Simms gear.

Hammerhead Industries Gear Keeper Zinger

The Gear Keeper is very deluxe. It features a 42″ cord and 12 oz of force. This will allow you to keep your net on this thing if you wanted to. However, it still works well for smaller accessories.

the Gear Keeper features a “self flushing” system that removes debris on it’s own. This way, you don’t have to worry about sand or pebbles anymore. The Gear Keeper will take care of it. It also has a stainless steel spring which provides good strength. The spring won’t rust or corrode over time.

You can choose a snap clip or a hook/loop attachment depending on your needs. I find that the snap clip is the most versatile, and can attach to most packs or vests.

The Gear Keeper is in the upper range of the price spectrum, but it offers lots of features that most zingers don’t have. I highly recommend it to all fly anglers. Especially if you want a zinger that is strong enough to hold a net.

Gerber Defender Tether/Zinger

This is the most deluxe zinger I have come across. Gerber is known for extremely high quality products, and they have broken into the fishing market.

The Gerber Defender is made of anodized aluminum, so it won’t degrade over time – even in saltwater fishing applications. Just make sure to rinse it after fishing if you’re in the saltwater.

It features a finger control that reduces cord tension – this allows you to use your attached tool easier without straining yourself. The Gerber Defender has a 36 inch cable made of Dyneema, which can withstand abuse over years and years of use.

The Gerber Defender is definitely pricey, as it is a premium product for the serious angler. If you’re in the market for a high end zinger, I recommend you check them out.

Featured image credit : Property of Simms Fishing Products