Trout Fishing with WD 40: Tips and Techniques for Success

Last Updated on October 2, 2023 by Kyle Whitley

trout fishng with wd 40 wd 40 for trout fishing

Trout fishing is a popular pastime for many anglers around the world. It requires skill, patience, and equipment to catch these elusive fish. Let’s take a look at trout fishing with WD 40.

WD 40 the Fly,  Not the Lubricant

One of the most effective flies for trout fishing is the WD-40 fly. This simple pattern is tied to imitate midge pupae and Baetis nymphs, making it an excellent choice for western trout.

The WD-40 fly can be fished under the surface as an emerger or with more traditional nymphing techniques under an indicator. It is a versatile fly tied in various colors and styles to match the hatch. The fly’s effectiveness has made it popular among anglers; many have shared their success stories online.

However, it is essential to note that while WD-40 is a popular fly for trout fishing, it is not related to the lubricant of the same name. Using the lubricant as a fish attractant is not recommended and can harm the environment. When used properly, the WD-40 fly can be a valuable addition to any angler’s tackle box and increase their chances of catching trout.

What is WD-40 and How Does it Work?

WD-40 is a multi-purpose lubricant that protects metal surfaces from rust and corrosion. It comprises a mixture of oils, solvents, and other ingredients that create a powerful lubricant.

One of the key benefits of WD-40 is its ability to displace moisture. When applied to metal surfaces, it creates a barrier that prevents water and other liquids from contacting the metal. This helps to prevent rust and corrosion, which can cause damage to fishing gear and other metal equipment.

WD-40 also has several other benefits when it comes to fishing. For example, it can clean and lubricate fishing reels, making them work more smoothly and efficiently. It can also protect fishing gear from the elements, helping extend its lifespan and keep it in good condition.

Trout Fishing with WD 40: Tips and Techniques

WD-40 is a versatile product that can be used for more than just lubrication. Believe it or not, it can also be an effective tool for trout fishing.

When using WD-40 for trout fishing, it’s important to remember that this product is not a magic solution. It won’t guarantee a catch, but it can certainly help increase your chances of success.

It’s important to note that WD-40 should be used in moderation. Overuse can harm the environment and fish. Also, check your local fishing regulations to ensure that using WD-40 is allowed in your area.

wd-40 easy spray can with straw

Can you Use WD 40 as a Fish Attractant?

The idea that WD40 is a fish attractant has been around for some time, but the truth is, it just isn’t so, folks! Fishing enthusiasts have long debated this myth. 

Their investigation reveals that people mistakenly got the impression that WD40 is a fish attractant because fishermen used it to protect their equipment from corrosion (like hooks, reels, etc.), but this had nothing to do with its potential attraction to fish. Upon further research, they discovered that WD40 does not contain any fish oil nor release any scent that would make a difference in catching more fish.

WD 40 experts also deny there is any truth to this myth. In fact, on their Myths and Legends page from the WD-40 Company, they clarified that “there’s no secret magic ingredient in WD-40 Multi-Use Product; just good old-fashioned science,” and there is no evidence to support WD40 being an effective fish attractant whatsoever.

WD40 should only be used as intended—a water dispersant and de-rusting agent —to preserve your fishing gear instead of expecting catches to skyrocket after using it.


Using WD-40 for trout fishing is a controversial topic. While some swear by its effectiveness, others argue it can harm the fish and the environment. Our research recommends using WD-40 only for cleaning and maintaining your fishing equipment, not as bait or attractant for fish.

If you decide to use WD-40 for fishing, check your state’s regulations first. Fishing with WD-40 is illegal in many states and can result in fines and other penalties.

Ultimately, the best way to catch trout is to use the right bait and technique and to respect the fish and the environment. So whether you choose to use WD-40 or not, always remember to practice responsible and sustainable fishing practices.


Trout Unlimited