logo

Beginner's Fly Fishing Gear


You don't have to spend a fortune to try fly-fishing. Just get the essentials and you can catch fish in no time.

Fly-fishing isn't as complicated as some want you to think. You don't need to spend thousands of dollars to get in the sport. You can get set up for about $200 or so and do quite well.

The most important investment you will need is to make your fly line. The line is after all the driving force behind it all. It's what will propel your flight to its destination and awaiting fish. Streamside Pro line is a good line and reasonably priced.

The next piece of equipment you need is a fly rod. You don't need a hefty price tag but an ability to load the line and send it out which can be achieved for under $100. Have you ever seen the guys in the sporting good stores holding a fly rod in the air and waving it back and forth and wondered what they are doing? They're looking to see how flexible it is either too stiff or too flexible both will impede you on your fly line delivery.

Next comes a fly reel. This is where you have to decide if you're in it for fun or show. You can spend several hundred dollars on a flashy reel when you really only need a $40 reel to get the job done. For big game you'll need a reel with a good drag system. But if you're targeting smaller game like an 8-inch brook trout, then drag on it isn't even necessary. My all-time favorite fly-fishing reel is the Streamside Harmony. It's reasonably priced and has a very good smooth drag system but rugged enough to handle Atlantic salmon on the run.

Everything else is trivial to some extent. The leader can be complicated or simple. Some swear by tapered leaders, and others prefer to simply use a rods length of Maxima. As for flies, they can seem overwhelming to the newcomer, but to remember one thing and that is what does your target species like to eat? It's just a matter of looking for something that is roughly the same shape and the same size and the same color. If you don't know what that is, Google it.

It is quite possible to start fly-fishing and never need to purchase a pair waders. You can easily cast from shore without any obstacles behind you such as trees or shrubs. But there are occasions when you need to enter the water and a pair waders will render this part of the venture all the more comfortable. You can get away with an $80 pair waders but they will not likely last more than one fishing season. $300 pair waders also spring leaks if you're not careful though. They will last you several years under normal stances. Expensive waders will simply start leaking at the seams and usually at the crotch or the boot seam if you don't take care of them. Usually because the stress put on them one pulling them on and off or by walking through the crotch area.