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Whether you’re a beginning fly angler or an advanced practitioner of the sport, you know one thing to be true. No matter where you go, there’s a pond or stream that beckons. For many, the greatest hurdle to catching the fish that reside in these waters isn’t learning to fly fish—though that can prove challenging—it’s assembling all the necessary gear. Fortunately, getting started fly fishing doesn’t have to be intimidating, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. These are essential pieces of fly fishing gear for beginners that will get you started.
5 Must Have Pieces Of Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners
1. Water Complete Fly Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package – Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners
Ultimately, there are only four things that are absolutely essential to fly fishing: a fly rod, a fly reel, fishing line, and flies. With those four bases covered, you can head to any body of water and potentially catch fish. The Wild Water Complete Fly Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package has all of them and more.
First and foremost, the Wild Water Starter Package comes with an excellent fly rod and reel combo for beginners. It’s a 9 Foot, 4-Piece, 5/6 Weight Fly Rod, and comes with a matching reel with a 85mm diameter die cast aluminum spool and adjustable disc drag. The rod has a sensitive, medium-fast action tip, and the reel comes spooled with line, leader and backing.
A handful of accessories also come in this kit. These include a fly box with a small assortment of flies, a line snipping and knot tying tool, an extra monofilament leader, and a handy protective soft case to carry it all in.
I won’t go so far as to say that the Wild Water fly rod and reel hold their own against a $400 fly fishing setup. However, for a beginning fly angler, they are of truly excellent quality. This is a great setup to learn on, and with proper care it can last you for years until you’re eventually ready to upgrade. The rod and reel alone are well with the price tag here. In addition, the extras that come with them are just icing on the cake.
2. ODDSPRO Fly Fishing Flies Kit for Beginners
There are a lot of starter fly kits out there, but this one offers a really great assortment of flies in one compact package, at a very reasonable price. The ODDSPRO Fly Fishing Flies Kit is a great opportunity for newbies to stock up on essential flies in one fell swoop, but it’s a useful kit for more experienced anglers too.
What really makes the Fly Fishing Flies Kit stand out is that the flies themselves are of great quality. They’re well-made so they won’t fall apart after a few uses like a lot of budget flies do, and there are some great patterns here. You get 78 flies in total including nymphs, streamers and dry flies. These are top-notch versions of classic fly patterns like Woolly Bugger, Parachute Adams, Elk Hair Caddis and Royal Wulff.
One thing to note is the ODDSPRO kit is very much intended to cover a wide range of fishing situations. As a result the flies tend to run slightly large. This is a great catch-all kit for trout, panfish and bass. However, you might want to invest in a few additional smaller flies for situations that require them. After all, you never know when you may be chasing wild brook trout on a remote mountain stream.
3. Reallink 7-in-1 Fly Fishing Tools Kit
A handful of tools should be considered absolutely essential for fly anglers, and this 7-in-1 Fishing Tools Kit from Reallink pretty much has all the most important items covered. What’s more, each item is well-made, making it a great value for the money. Here’s what you get:
- Forceps – Probably your number-one most important tool, essential for hook removal.
- Knot tying tool – The kit comes with a knot-tying multi-tool that also serves as a line clipper, hook sharpener and hook-eye cleaner. It’s essentially four tools in one.
- “Zinger” fly fishing retractors – Great for attaching gear to your vest. You get three of them in this kit, each with a self-retracting nylon cord.
- Fishing lanyard – This tough, retractable lanyard is made with built-in steel wire, and is ideal for affixing a heavier piece of gear like a net or creel.
- Hook cleaner – A rugged, stainless steel hook cleaner, made for all kinds of fish hooks.
Out of all the aforementioned tools, the only one I haven’t found especially useful is the hook cleaner. The forceps are long enough and have just the right curve for getting hooks out of deeply-hooked fish. In addition, the knot tying multitool has proved itself endlessly useful. Altogether, the Reallink 7-in-1 Fly Fishing Tools Kit will have all your needs covered for years.
4. Maxcatch Fly Fishing Tapered Leader Line 6 Pack
It won’t take you long to realize that you go through leaders very quickly when you’re fly fishing. Every time you tie a new fly onto your line, the leader gets a little bit shorter, and before you know it, it needs to be replaced.
That makes an assortment of spare leaders every bit as important as extra flies. This 6-pack of tapered fishing leaders from Maxcatch is a great opportunity for beginners (and, honestly, more experienced fly fishermen too) to stock up for a season’s worth of fly fishing. Best of all, it comes with a handy leader wallet with clear plastic sleeves to keep them organized.
The leaders themselves are good quality clear nylon leaders that stretch out and un-curl nicely, and are practically invisible to fish. You get six of them, and you can choose between 7.5-foot and 9-foot leaders. They fish smoothly and are highly abrasion resistant. In addition, you can choose between several wine weights ranging from 1.8 lb. to 10 lb. test.
5. Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest
You’ve no doubt started to realize that fly fishing requires a fair amount of gear. It’s nice to have a way to carry it all and keep everything handy while you’re on the water, which is why a fly fishing vest is one of the most useful fly fishing accessories you can get. This particular one from Obcursco is a great, budget-friendly fly fishing vest for beginners.
The Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest is lightweight and comfortable, with a one-size-fits all fit thanks to its adjustable shoulder straps and waist belt. It has 11 zippered pockets and four mesh pockets to keep all your flies, tackle and gear safe and organized. There’s even an expandable fishing rod holder.
A vest like the Obcursco Fly Fishing Vest is also a great place to store your wallet, phone and keys while you’re wading. It comes in four colors—grey, army green, camo and khaki—and has reflectors on the back for extra safety when night fishing. It’s lightweight, durable, and is made of breathable polyester for comfort and air flow.
Honorable Mentions – Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners
Fly fishing can (and often does) become a lifetime pursuit. And like any lifelong pursuit, it comes with an endless stream of gear and equipment that may one day catch your eye. It goes without saying that you don’t need every fly fishing trinket on the shelf, but if you have a little extra room in your vest (and your budget) then you might want to consider a few extra pieces of fly fishing gear for beginners:
6. Loon Outdoors Fly Spritz
Loon Outdoors Fly Spritz is a floatant that helps your dry flies stay… well, dry. That’s important, because without it, they’ll eventually get waterlogged and won’t stay on the surface as they should. You simply spray Loon Outdoors Fly Spritz into your fly, give it a moment to dry, and then fish on.
7. SF Fly Fishing Landing Net
A good handheld trout net is a great investment that makes landing fish much easier when fly fishing. This SF Fly Fishing Landing Net is great because the mesh is made from a soft, rubberized material that won’t hurt the fish as you catch and release them. It has a classic wood handle design and a lanyard for attaching it to a vest or belt loop.
8. Flying Fisherman Streamer Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses reduce glare on the water’s surface, making it easier for anglers to see into the water. Streamer Polarized Sunglasses from Flying Fisherman are a great choice, offering durable frames and scratch-resistant polarized lenses in several tint options.
9. Eagle Claw Canvas Creel
A creel is designed to keep your catch alive and secure while you continue fishing, and it’s an essential fly fishing accessory if you plan on keeping any of the fish you catch. The Eagle Claw Canvas Creel is comfortable to wear over one shoulder, and just the right size for 12 to 15-inch keeper trout.
10. Simms Men’s Tributary Stockingfoot Waterproof Chest Waders
You probably don’t need waders right away. When you’re just starting out, a pair of old sneakers and shorts will suffice, at least when the weather is warm. But chest waders are great for staying warm and dry in chilly water, and make deeper waters more accessible. When the time comes, it’s best to skip cheaply-made waders and go straight to a quality pair like these Simms Men’s Tributary Stockingfoot Waterproof Chest Waders.
Featured Photo from Wikimedia Commons
Richard CorriganRichard 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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