Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300

By Richard Corrigan •  Updated: 06/07/21 •  24 min read

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There are many fly rod and reel combos on the market, so it can be tough to decide which one is right for you. In this article, we will discuss the best fly rod and reel combo for under $300. We will also provide a buyer’s guide to help you make an informed decision.

When it comes to fly fishing, the rod and reel combo is an important part of the equation. The rod provides the power and accuracy to cast your line, while the reel helps to control the line and keep it from tangling. A good fly rod and reel combo should work together seamlessly to give you the best possible fly fishing experience.

There are many different fly rod and reel combos on the market, so it is important to do your research before making a purchase. In this article, we will recommend the best fly rod and reel combo for under $300. We will also provide a buyer’s guide to help

Quick Reference Guide – The Best Fly Rod And Reel Combos Under $300
Editor’s Choice: Redington Vice Fly Fishing OutfitCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Upgrade Choice: Echo Traverse Fly Rod KitCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Best Value Choice: Orvis EncounterCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON
Honorable Mention: TFO NXT Black Label Fly Rod and ReelCHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

The Benefits Of Buying A Fly Rod And Real Combo

There are many fly fishing rod and reel combos on the market. So, why should you buy a fly rod and reel combo?

  • A fly rod and reel combo is ususally more affordable than buying a rod and reel separately.
  • A fly rod and reel combo is often more convenient than buying a rod and reel separately.
  • When you buy a fly fishing rod and reel combo, you can be sure that the rod and reel are compatible with each other.
  • If you are new to fly fishing, a fly rod and reel combo can be a good way to get started.
  • A fly rod and reel combo can make a great gift for the fly fisherman in your life.
fly rod and reel combo
Waldemarpaetz, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What To Look For When Choosing A Fly Rod And Reel Combo

fly rod and reel combo
Daniel Case, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When choosing a fly fishing rod and reel combo, there are several things you should keep in mind.

The first thing to consider is the price. You don’t want to spend more than you have to, but you also don’t want to sacrifice quality.

The second thing to consider is the quality of the materials. Look for a fly rod and reel combo that is made from high-quality materials.

The third thing to consider is the warranty. A fly fishing rod and reel combo should come with a good warranty so you can be confident in your purchase.

The fourth thing to consider is customer service. You want to choose a fly fishing rod and reel combo from a company that has good customer service in case you have any problems with your purchase.

The fifth thing to consider is the return policy. You want to be able to return the fly fishing rod and reel combo if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

What Is A Good Fly Rod?

When it comes to fly rods, there are a few things to consider.

The first is the action of the rod. The action of a fly rod refers to how fast the rod bends when you cast. There are three types of action: fast, medium, and slow. Fast action fly rods bend near the tip, while slow action fly rods bend near the base. Medium action fly rods fall somewhere in between.

The second thing to consider is the power of the rod. The power of a fly rod refers to how much force is required to bend the rod. There are four types of power: ultralight, light, medium, and heavy. Ultralight fly rods are designed for smaller fish, while heavy fly rods are designed for larger fish.

The third thing to consider is the material of the rod. Fly rods are usually made from graphite or fiberglass. Graphite fly rods are lighter and more sensitive, while fiberglass fly rods are heavier and more durable.

What Is A Good Fly Reel?

When it comes to fly reels, there are a few things to consider.

The first is the drag system. The drag system is what allows you to control the line when you are fly fishing. There are two types of drag systems: star drag and disc drag. Star drag systems are less expensive, but they can be difficult to adjust. Disc drag systems are more expensive, but they are easier to adjust.

The second thing to consider is the size of the reel. The size of the reel will determine how much line it can hold. The three most common sizes are 3/4, 5/6, and 7/8.

The third thing to consider is the material of the reel. Fly reels are usually made from aluminum or graphite. Aluminum fly reels are heavier but more durable, while graphite fly reels are lighter but less durable.

How To Choose The Right Fly Rod And Reel Combo For You

fly rod and reel combo
Ray Redstone, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now that you know what to look for when choosing a fly rod and reel combo, it’s time to choose the right one for you.

The first thing to consider is your budget. As we mentioned earlier, you don’t want to spend more than you have to, but you also don’t want to sacrifice quality.

The second thing to consider is the type of fly fishing you will be doing. There are different fly rods and reel combos for different types of fly fishing.

The third thing to consider is the size of the fly rod and reel combo. You want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose is the right size for you.

The fourth thing to consider is the weight of the fly rod and reel combo. You want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose is the right weight for the type of fishing you plan on doing.

The fifth thing to consider is the material of the fly rod and reel combo. You want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose is made from high-quality materials.

The sixth thing to consider is the warranty. As we mentioned earlier, you want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose comes with a good warranty.

The seventh thing to consider is customer service. You want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose comes from a company that has good customer service.

The eighth thing to consider is the return policy. You want to make sure that the fly rod and reel combo you choose has a good return policy.

Buying a fly fishing rod and reel combo can be a great way to get started in fly fishing or to upgrade your fly fishing gear. There are many things to consider when choosing a fly fishing rod and reel combo.

Keep these things in mind and you will be sure to find the perfect fly fishing rod and reel combo for you.

How To Set Up Your Fly Rod And Reel Combo

After you have chosen the perfect fly rod and reel combo for you, it’s time to set it up.

The first thing you need to do is is attach the backing to the fly reel.

The next thing you need to do is to attach the fly line to the backing.

Next, you will need to thread the fly line through the guides on the fly rod.

Finally, you will need to attach the leader to the fly line.

Once you have done all of these things, your fly rod and reel combo will be set up and ready to use.

Tips For Using Your Fly Rod And Reel Combo

fly rod and reel combo
vastateparksstaff, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Now that you have your fly rod and reel combo all set up, it’s time to start using it.

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your fly rod combo:

Practice casting in your backyard before you go out on the water. This will help you get used to using your fly rod combo and will help you avoid any potential problems when you are actually out fly fishing.

Keep your fly line clean and free of debris. This will help you avoid tangles and snags when you are fly fishing.

Pay attention to the weather conditions before you go out fly fishing. You want to make sure that the conditions are safe and that the fly fishing conditions are good.

Dress appropriately for fly fishing. You want to make sure that you are wearing clothing that will protect you from the sun and from the elements.

Pack all of the necessary fly fishing gear before you go out fly fishing. This includes things like fly boxes, fly reels, and fly rods.

Have a good time when you are fly fishing. Fly fishing is supposed to be enjoyable so be sure to relax and enjoy yourself.

We hope that these tips help you get the most out of your fly fishing rod and reel combo. Fly fishing is a great hobby and can be a great way to spend time with friends and family.

By following these tips, you will be sure to have a great time fly fishing and will be able to catch lots of fish.

How To Care For Your Fly Fishing Combo

Once you have purchased your combo, it is important to know how to care for it. Just like any other piece of fly fishing equipment, your combo requires proper care and maintenance in order to perform its best.

Here are a few tips on how to care for your fly fishing combo:

By following these simple tips, you can be sure that your fly fishing combo will last for many years to come!

Storage Tips For You Fly Rod and Reel Combo

fly rod and reel combo
USFWS Mountain-Prairie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re the kind of person who likes to fly fish, then you know how important it is to have a good fly rod and reel combo. Not only do you need something that’s going to be durable and last a long time, but you also need something that’s going to help you catch fish. Fortunately, there are a few things that you can do to help prolong the life of your fly rod combo and make sure that it works as well as possible.

One of the most important things that you can do is to store your fly rod and reel combo properly when you’re not using it. Ideally, you should keep it in a cool, dry place where it won’t be damaged by the elements. You can buy special cases that are designed specifically for fly rods and reels.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never leave your fly rod and reel combo in direct sunlight for extended periods of time. The sun can damage the materials and make them more susceptible to breakage.

It’s also a good idea to clean your fly rod combo after each use. This will help remove any dirt or debris that could potentially damage the equipment. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when cleaning the fly rod and reel combo to avoid damaging it.

By following these simple tips, you can help prolong the life of your fly rod and reel combo and make sure that it works as well as possible. fly fishing is a great hobby and with the proper care, your fly rod combo will last for many years to come.

Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300

fly rod and reel combo
Waldemarpaetz Troutster.com, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The great thing about fly fishing—I should say, one of many great things—is that it’s open to anyone. The problem is, not everybody knows that. A lot of fly fishing gear is prohibitively expensive, and getting your feet wet, so to speak, can be intimidating.. But you don’t have to drop a grand on a fly rod right out of the gate. There are a lot of really good rods and reels out there for less than $300 (in some cases, much less). These are some of the Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300. 

With each of these fly combos you get a quality fly rod paired with a dependable reel. In most cases, you also get the backing, fly line and leaders already loaded and ready to start fishing, plus a handy carrying case to keep it all safe. Not bad for under $300. 

These could be seen as entry level fly outfits, but really they’re a step above that. These rods and reels may be budget friendly, but they’re reliable, accurate and comfortable to use. They’re ideal for anglers who have graduated from true beginner status to the level of a moderately experienced novice, and are ready to upgrade the tools of their trade accordingly. Some are so good you may never decide to upgrade again.

Editor’s Choice: Redington Vice Fly Fishing Outfit

There aren’t many rods in this price range that can outperform the Redington Vice combo. In fact, there may not be any. This rod builds a lot of power on the back cast, with a fast action tip that allows for accurate casting at long distances. If you want to be able to hit your target at 50 feet, this is the rod to do it. 

Redington Vice fly rods are available from 4 weight all the way up to 9 weight, and it’s nice to be able to choose (all are 9-foot, four-piece rods). The 4 and 5 weight rods are suitable for practically any river and stream trout fishing scenario.

The rod comes with a Redington i.D. reel, which has durable die-cast aluminum construction and a very smooth Rulon disc drag system. It’s agood reel, though I personally find it to be just a bit big and heavy for this outfit. That’s a matter of personal preference, of course. Either way, the reel comes spooled with quality Rio mainstream fly line, and the whole outfit comes with a slick rod/reel carrying case.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is a very powerful rod, which a total beginner may find a bit unwieldy and challenging to use. A medium action rod with a softer tip is generally considered to be easy to learn on, so if you’re on the market for your first entry level fly rod, you might want to check out Reddington’s Crosswater or something similar. 

Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300 Editors Choice Review Pick
Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Pros: 

  • Top quality in its price range
  • Very powerful rod
  • Quality cast aluminum reel
  • Excels at long distance casting accuracy
  • Handles windy conditions well
  • Versatile and available in varying weights
  • Four pieces for easy transport

Cons: 

  • Reel is a bit heavy
  • Not ideal for beginners to learn on
  • Rod tip somewhat lacking in sensitivity

Upgrade Choice: Echo Traverse Fly Rod Kit

The Echo Traverse is one of those fly rods you almost never hear anyone say anything bad about. It’s an excellent choice for beginner and novice fly anglers, but you may decide you never really need to upgrade beyond it. The fly rod kit pairs this great rod with a smooth Echo Ion reel, which is cast aluminum with a matte black finish and has a multi-disc drag system.

You can get the Echo Traverse Fly Rod Kit with a 4, 5, 6 or 8 weight rod. All are 9-foot medium-fast action fly rods, and they tend to feel a bit lighter than one expects. Typically that’s a good thing. The Traverse is user-friendly while still offering the ability to make powerful casts. It’s effective at casting everything from small flies to large streamers. The rod has a lot of cool details as well, like ceramic stripping guides and line-up dots for quick assembly of its four pieces.

A lot of what makes the Echo Traverse Fly Rod Kit work is that it was designed as a complete package. The Traverse rod, the Ion Reel, and even the Airflo Forge fly line it comes spooled with, are all meant to work in unison. The kit includes a carrying case and a lifetime warranty.

Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300 Upgrade Review Pick
Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Pros: 

  • Top quality design and construction
  • Good for beginner and advanced anglers alike
  • Smooth and powerful casting
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Rod and reel are well matched
  • Kit includes everything you need to start fishing

Cons: 

  • None to speak of

Best Value Choice: Orvis Encounter

A functional and adaptable fly rod for beginners and novice anglers on a budget, the Orvis Encounter is smooth, comfortable to use, and gives you pretty solid accuracy on mid-range casts. It’s lightweight yet strong, and versatile enough to use all kinds of flies in a host of situations.

The Orvis Encounter is available in several weights and sizes. The 5-weight 8.5-foot or 9-foot rods are solid, versatile choices for beginners and novice fly-fishers. The medium-fast action and plenty of bend to the tip is helpful if you’re new to fly fishing and still learning the ropes. The Orvis Encounter is also a pretty solid upgrade if you started out with a truly entry-level fly combo. 

The main drawback of the Orvis Encounter combo is that the reel doesn’t quite live up to the quality of the rod. It’s made of composite plastic and, to be completely honest, it looks and feels cheap. It features a disc drag system and click drag knob. One significant perk is that the Orvis Encounter combo comes spooled with 150 yards of Orvis weight-forward fly line, making it essentially ready to fish right out of the box. 

Best Fly Rod And Reel Combo Under $300 Best Value Review Product
Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Pros: 

  • Solid entry level outfit at a low price point
  • Versatile and available in various sizes
  • Good for learning and practicing technique
  • Comes ready to fish

Cons:

  • Cheap reel
  • Does not come with a warranty
  • The included rod tube doesn’t fit the spooled rod and reel
  • Questions about durability

Honorable Mention: TFO NXT Black Label Fly Rod and Reel

The NXT Black Label Fly Rod and Reel from TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters) is a well-crafted rod and reel kit that could be called entry level, but that designation sells it short. This simple, straightforward combo also happens to offer superior design craftsmanship. It comes in only two sizes, 5 weight and 8 weight (both are 9-foot rods) but that’s a minor quibble. Overall it’s an excellent mid-range outfit with forgiving medium-fast action, smooth casting and great control.

Casting with accuracy becomes a little more challenging at longer distances, but the NXT Black Label Fly Rod excels at smooth, accurate casting in the 25- to 50-foot range. It comes with a matching NXT Black Label reel, made of cast aluminum with stainless-steel alternating disc drag. It’s a quality reel that matches the rod nicely—good balance is half the battle when picking out a fly combo—and comes fully spooled with Dacron backing, weight forward floating line and a leader. 

It’s ready to start fishing as soon as you take it out of the handsome Cordura carrying case the whole outfit comes in. The TFO NXT Black Label Fly Rod and Reel are also suitable for saltwater as well as freshwater, which is a nice perk if you live in a coastal area. TFO offers an excellent lifetime warranty as well.

Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Pros: 

  • Safe for saltwater and freshwater
  • Comes fully spooled and ready to fish
  • Rod and reel both of excellent quality
  • Easy to control and handle
  • Four-piece construction and quality carrying case for portability
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons: 

  • Limited sizes available
  • Not the best for long distance casting.

What Else Will I Need?

If your combo does not come with these items, you will need to pick them up before heading out.

Waders: If you want to fish in rivers or streams, you will need a good pair of waders to keep your legs dry. Waders also provide some insulation against the cold water.

Wading Boots: Wading boots will help keep your feet dry and offer traction on slippery river rocks.

Fishing Vest or Pack: A fishing vest or pack will help you keep your tackle and gear organized.

Fly Box: A fly box is essential for storing and organizing your flies.

Flies: Of course, you will need a selection of flies to fish with. Many fly shops sell fly assortments that are ideal for beginners.

Tippet: Tippet is a thin, clear line that you attach to your fly line.

Leaders: Leaders are used to help keep your fly line from tangling.

Nippers: Nippers are small scissors that are used to cut tippet and leaders.

Retractor: A retractor is a handy gadget that helps keep your nippers and other small tools close at hand.

Landing Net: A landing net is used to help land fish that are too large to be lifted out of the water with your hands.

Fish Gripper: A fish gripper is a device that helps you hold onto a fish while removing the hook.

Tape Measure: A tape measure is used to help determine the length of the fish you catch.

Hemostats: Hemostats are pliers that can be used to remove hooks from fish.

Camera: A camera is a great way to document your fishing adventures.

Final Thoughts

Fly fishermen looking for a fly rod combo that is both affordable and of great quality should consider the Orvis Encounter. This fly rod and reel combo is perfect for beginner fly fishermen, as it is versatile and easy to use. If you are looking for an upgrade, the Redington Vice Fly Fishing Outfit offers superior design and craftsmanship.

Just do not forget the benefits of buying any of the options we have reveiwed.

  • Affordable and great quality
  • Perfect for beginner fly fishermen
  • Versatile and easy to use
  • Superior design and craftsmanship
  • Lightweight and durable
fly rod and reel combo
Gentry George, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you fly fish with a regular rod and reel?

No, fly fishing requires a fly rod and reel combo specifically designed for the sport.

What is the best fly rod combo for a beginner?

The Orvis Encounter fly rod combo is a great option for beginners. It is versatile and easy to use, and it comes ready to fish right out of the box.

Is it cheaper to buy a rod and reel combo?

Yes, it is usually cheaper to buy a fly rod combo than it is to buy the rod and reel separately.

Does Fly Reel need to match rod?

No, the fly reel does not need to match the rod. However, it is important to make sure that the fly reel you choose is the correct size and weight for the rod.

What size fly rod is best for beginners?

A 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod is a great option for beginners. It is versatile and can be used for a variety of different fish species.

What is the best fly fishing combo under $200?

The Orvis Encounter fly fishing combo is the best fly fishing combo under $200. It includes everything you need to get started fly fishing, and it is a great value for the price.

What is the best fly fishing combo under $100?

The Redington Vice fly fishing combo is the best fly fishing combo under $100. It is a high-quality fly fishing combo that offers superior design and craftsmanship.

Can I use a fly rod with a spinning reel?

No, fly rods and spinning reels are not compatible. Fly rods are designed to be used with fly reels, and spinning reels are designed to be used with spinning rods.

What is the difference between a fly rod and a regular rod?

Fly rods are designed specifically for fly fishing, while regular rods can be used for a variety of different fishing styles. Fly rods are typically longer and more flexible than regular rods, and they have a smaller diameter. fly fishing reel is also designed specifically for fly fishing, and it is typically smaller than a regular fishing reel.

Do you need a fly rod to catch trout?

No, you do not need a fly rod to catch trout. You can catch trout with a variety of different types of fishing rods, including fly rods, spinning rods, and baitcasting rods.

What is the best fly rod for bass?

The best fly rod for bass depends on the type of bass you are targeting. If you are targeting largemouth bass, a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod is a great option. If you are targeting smallmouth bass, a 8-foot, 6-weight fly rod is a great option.

What is the best fly rod for saltwater?

The best fly rod for saltwater fishing is a 9-foot, 8-weight fly rod. This fly rod is designed for larger fish species, and it can handle the heavier weight of saltwater flies.

What is the best fly rod for steelhead?

The best fly rod for steelhead fishing is a 9-foot, 6-weight fly rod. This fly rod is designed for larger fish species, and it can handle the heavier weight of steelhead flies.

What is the best fly rod for salmon?

The best fly rod for salmon fishing is a 9-foot, 8-weight fly rod. This fly rod is designed for larger fish species, and it can handle the heavier weight of salmon flies.

How do I choose a fly rod?

When choosing a fly rod, it is important to consider the type of fish you will be targeting, the weight of the fly line, and the action of the rod. You should also consider your budget and personal preferences.

What is the best fly rod for beginners?

The best fly rod for beginners is a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod. This fly rod is versatile and can be used for a variety of different fish species.

How do you pick a reel gear ratio?

The gear ratio of a fly reel is the number of rotations of the spool per turn of the handle. The higher the gear ratio, the faster the spool will rotate. A high gear ratio is good for fast-moving fish, while a low gear ratio is good for slow-moving fish.

What size fly reel should I get?

The size of fly reel you need depends on the type of fish you are targeting and the weight of your fly line. A larger fly reel is needed for heavier fly lines and larger fish, while a smaller fly reel can be used for lighter fly lines and smaller fish.

What’s the difference between a fly rod and a spinning rod?

The main difference between a fly rod and a spinning rod is the type of reel that is used. Fly rods are designed to be used with fly reels, while spinning rods are designed to be used with spinning reels.

fly rod and reel combo
Sarah McGuire / Fly Fishing on the River Foyers / CC BY-SA 2.0

Featured Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

Richard Corrigan

Richard Corrigan has been writing about outdoor adventures, gear and travel for more than 10 years. His work has been featured by USA Today, 10Best.com, Next Luxury, and Gone Outdoors. He lives in Upstate New York, and If he isn't at his writing desk, you can probably find him out in the woods somewhere.

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