What is a Fishing Belt?

Belts are not just for fashion purposes because there is also a kind of belt that is designed for fishing. Fishing belts are used to support the fishing rod as well as the back of the fisherman when catching larger fish such as giant tuna, and large blue and black marlin or grander marlin.

Before, fishermen use chairs that are fixed in some fishing boats when fighting big fishes but in the present time, stand-up fishing became one of the most effective ways to fight and land a variety of hard-fighting fish. And the best equipment used in stand-up fishing is a fishing belt.


How It Works

Stand-up fishing tackle is designed to give the fisherman or the angler a mechanical advantage when lifting a heavy load. The rod stands as the lever and the point where the rod is attached to the body is the fulcrum, and the load is the fish. Our body weight will be the force that will be used to move the load through the fulcrum and lever.

The flex of the rod and the drag setting of the reel are designed to provide a buffer or controlled release of pressure to prevent the fish from breaking the line or tearing free through sudden movement. The angler should be able to use his own weight on the other side of the fulcrum by laying out little energy.

The Fighting Belt

The fighting belt is used to secure the base of the rod and the spread load or weight across the thighs. It consists of a pad which houses a cup where the rod’s gimbal is placed. There is a slot for the gimbal that sits over the pin in the cup. The size of the pad varies depending on the class of the rod that will be used. For example, lighter line class such as 30lbs class will need a smaller pad. A much higher force will be needed when using heavy class gears and the pad should also be larger to spread the load evenly across the thighs.

The pad is supported by using a belt around the waist or suspended from drop-straps attached to the harness. The set-up must be adjusted with the belt and harness in position and the angler holding the rod.

The Fighting Harness

The fighting harness is for securing the reel to the body to spread the weight being applied to the rod. It is typically attached to the lugs on the top of the reel with clips. There are many kinds of harness designs which offer the angler different ways to spread the load and two of these kinds are called kidney and shoulder.

Kidney harnesses have sit-in pads that will allow the angler to use his weight to exert maximum leverage while still being comfortable. They are suited for 50 to 130lbs class outfits. Shoulder harnesses on the other hand are better for lighter class gear such as 20 to 50lbs class. However, it will still depend on the own preference of the angler.

How to Setup Your Belt and Harness

There is a pivot joint with all stand-up set-ups and where this point is located will determine how the harness and belt combination will be set-up. There are three line classes that are likely to be used in fishing and here are the details on how to set them up.


  • 30 to 50lbs class gear: For this class gear, the pivot point would be the knees. Step into your harness and place the rods gimbal in position in the belt. Adjust the length of the straps to the reel so that the rod tip is at around 15 degrees above horizontal. The rod gimbal should be level with the top of your thighs. 
  • 50 to 80lbs class gear:The pivot will remain at the knees for this class gear but you need to lean back further to compensate for the increased resistance of the drag. Adjust the straps so that the rod will move in the same plane as the lighter class gear but lowering the pad and gimbal position will offer more leverage. Make sure that your hands are in a comfortable position to wind the reel handle and level the line on retrieve.
  • 80 to 130lbs class gear: In this type of gear classes, the pivot point is the ankles. The knees should be kept straight then lean well back against the drag. The reel should be behind the vertical plane of your feet while the gimbal and reel straps will be lower. For this class, the rods for this tackle are short to maximize leverage.


If you’re looking for quality fishing belts, here are some recommendations.

Where to Buy
Fvstar Padded Fishing Waist Belt
WElinks Adjustable Fishing Fighting Waist Gimbal Belt
Dr. Fish Fighting Belt

Fvstar Padded Fishing Waist Belt

This belt is made with EVA foam pad that adds comfort. The belt is non corrosive, and can be easily controlled. The belt provides a 90 degrees spin while maintaining strong grip. The foam padding provides extra protection to the abdomen. Since the belt comes with an adjustable buckle the waists can easily be adjusted from 27.7 to 44inches. The comfort of the belt makes it very light on body and doesn’t feel like you are wearing any belt at all. However the belt may not work for skinny people.

WElinks Adjustable Fishing Fighting Waist Gimbal Belt

This belt is made with a durable plastic that resists salt water corrosion. This belt can be adjusted with a safety clasp. The padding on the back adds to the comfort and puts less strain on the back while fighting with a fish. The belt comes with a rod pocket and can be carried easily everywhere. The belt can carry all the fishing rods easily. However, this belt isn’t suitable during the fights with bigger fish like sharks. For professional, the belt can work wonders. The belt has all positive reviews from the customers as it has helped them land fish like blue fin tuna and 40 inches redfish.

Dr. Fish Fighting Belt

The belt is topped with 1/8 inch thick aluminum which protects the belt against sat water corrosion and adds to the strength of the belt. The belt can easily accommodate rods for kingfish, GT and tuna. The rodholder is padded with gimbal and the belt has 1/ inch think foam padding for comfort.  The belt has a heavy duty nylon felt strap belt with an adjustable buckle.