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Fly fishing might be an enjoyable sport, offering a myriad of benefits to those who choose to partake, but let’s face it: getting into it is not an easy task.
For a beginner, knowing what gear you need to purchase is one of the most daunting chores.
It can be tough to figure out exactly what kind of gear you need, especially if you are new to the hobby of angling, to begin with.
Head to a tackle shop or sporting goods store, and you’re going to be faced with hundreds of different options – and that’s just for the rod!
Add to that the confusion over what kind of reel to buy, what sort of line – and not knowing whether they will all complement each other well, and you’re going to be left with a serious headache.
Don’t reach for the Advil quite yet. Consider buying a fly fishing starter kit.
These setups are perfect for beginners because they give you everything you need in one compact, affordable bundle.
Not sure where to start? Read on to learn more about the best fly fishing combo starter kits.
How to Choose a Fly Fishing Starter Kit for Beginners?
Fly fishing starter kits are designed to be easy to use and versatile – so luckily, you don’t need to get too picky with the details.
I’ve found that the best fly fishing starter kits are those that are suitable for a variety of settings, purposes, and environments.
However, as with all fishing equipment, there are some variables you are going to want to consider when you’re on the prowl for the best fly fishing starter kit.
Fly Rod Weight and Length
Make sure you select a fly rod weight and length that are appropriate to the size of flies and casting abilities you have in mind.
The weight of the rod you choose will determine how easily you can cast, what kind of line and reel to buy, and what size flies you fish with.
In some cases, your fly rod weight can even impact the type of fish you can go after. Weight correlates directly with rigidity and power.
A light rod (up to 5) will be great for small fish, while a heavier one (5+) will be best for the big boys. Beginner setups are usually found in weights of 4-8.
These weights usually allow you to cast with ease, plus they are more versatile for targeting a range of fish.
To decide what weight you need, think carefully about how big the fish you intend to catch is, as well as your current casting ability.
This leads to the next point. Another important consideration to make when you are purchasing a fly fishing starter kit is that of the rod length.
If you plan on fishing in narrow bodies of water, near brush, or around any other kind of obstacle, you’ll want a short fly rod that is no longer than 8.5 feet.
However, if you’re in a larger body of water, you should be able to handle a rod up to 10 feet in length.
Reel Quality and Fly Line
The most important feature that a reel should have is its ability to match your rod weight.
Otherwise, a reel’s function is to hold your line and to incorporate a drag system to slow down large, runaway fish.
Luckily, when you purchase a fly fishing starter kit, the reel will automatically match the rod. You should, however, keep in mind the reel’s quality.
Most fly fishing starter kits will also come with fly line. Fly line is usually specially weighted so that it can travel an appropriate distance.
Heavy fly lines are best suited for longer casts, while lighter ones are best for shorter casts.
What Other Fly Fishing Gear Will I Need?
While the best fly fishing starter kit will include everything you need to begin fly fishing immediately, not all include all the bits and pieces you need.
The most basic fly fishing starter kits contain only a rod, reel, and perhaps some line.
But some will include the following necessary items as well. In other cases, you may need to go out and purchase them separately.
You really can’t go fly fishing without any lures! Your lures should be fishing baits that attract the attention of the fish, using vibration, color, flash, and movement.
Most lures will be equipped with one or more hooks to allow you to catch fish. You’ll attach these to the end of your line. Once you get really good at fly fishing, you can even begin to make your own flies, too!
This one’s pretty simple to explain – what else are you going to store your lures in? You need a good fly box in order to store your flies.
Some of the best are made in styles like slit foam, spring, foam, and compartment box styles.
The tippet is not a mandatory component of a fly fishing starter kit, but it’s often included in beginning setups. It is the final piece before you attach your fly and is about two feet long.
Often, it’s not quite as strong as the leader (which I’ll talk more about in a moment), but it usually takes the brunt of a heavy load so that it will break instead of your leader.
It can also transfer energy back to the fly line in order to trick the fish.
The leader is part of the fly fishing rig and helps to ensure the line won’t bunch up through the fly after it has been cast into the water.
Usually, it will contain a monofilament line and will be thicker at the butt section before tapering into a thin line at the end.
It can have weights anywhere from 4 to 40 lbs. Often, it will be tied via a series of intricate knots to allow it to move smoothly during casting.
The butt section is a one or two-foot long piece of line that attaches to the main fly line. It lets you reduce the number of knots you need to tie.
Backing should be the first thing you add to your reel. This will serve two purposes – it will fill up empty space so that you can reel quickly, and it will also ensure you don’t run out of line if you catch a hungry, ambitious fish. It also lessens the likelihood that your line will break.
Fishing Starter Kits for Beginners (Reviews)
Not sure where to start? Here are our picks for the best all-round fly fishing combos for beginners.
Redington Path II Outfit Fishing Rod with Crosswater Reel 4PC
Redington is a well-respected fly fishing outfitter, and this fishing rod with reel offers novice anglers a fantastic option.
It’s an attractive unit that is made out of high-quality materials. The reel seats are made out of wood and are laser etched on the rods that are 6 weight or less – now that’s something you aren’t going to see on every fly fishing set up.
And let me tell you – it really adds a gorgeous aesthetic to the product.
You can choose the weight that best suits your fishing preferences. It even includes a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty so that you can buy with confidence.
The weight isn’t the only thing you can customize in this fly fishing starter kit for beginners.
You can also choose between various lengths, too – both 8.5 and 9 feet are available so you can hone in on the best fishing spots and opportunities.
The PATH rod is a medium-fast action graphite rod that casts smoothly and effectively, making it a popular choice even among more experienced anglers. It comes with alignment dots to make it easy to set up, too.
The Crosswater reel is durable, made out of rugged polymer, and has a disk-drag system that can slow down larger fish. It has a 100-yard line capacity, too!
When you buy this starter kit, you’ll get a boatload of additional extras. The reel is already spooled with line, a great choice for a beginner. Your purchase also includes a sleek carrying case to help you transport your rod.
- Comes with lots of extra features
- Available in multiple lengths and weights
- 100-yard line capacity
- Reel scratches easily
Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit 3/5/6/8 Weight, Starter Fly Rod and Reel Outfit
The Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit comes in at a super competitive price and comes fully rigged and ready to go.
When you purchase this product, you can choose from a variety of rod lengths, from 3 weight to 8 weight.
It has a reinforced carbon fiber design, giving it 20% more strength than your conventional carbon rod.
This fast-action rod is excellent at casting and presents flies in a lifelike manner. However, it’s also a good pick for beginners who are new to casting, as it moves smoothly and easily.
The reel has a visually appealing polished aluminum design. It’s lightweight yet strong, equipped with a large arbor spool. This helps improve casting ability.
It comes preloaded with a weight forward fly line, tapered leader, and even backing – you’ll have everything you need to start casting.
Although Maxcatch is an up-and-coming fly fishing equipment outfitter, it has a quality product in the Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit.
The rod crafted from IM6 graphite, is built with an aluminum reel seat and Grade A cork handle.
It’s an inclusive kit that’s sure to help you make the most of your experience out there on the water.
- Comes with a small fly box with 12 dry and wet flies
- Has a Grade A cork handle and comfortable aluminum reel seat
- Sold with a rod sock
- Customer service can be poor
Wild Water Fly Fishing Deluxe Rod and Reel Combo 4 Piece Fly Rod 5/6 9’ Complete Starter Package
The first time I ever purchased a fly fishing starter kit, I thought I would be getting everything – and I mean everything – I needed to head out on the water for an enjoyable day of fly fishing.
Unfortunately, that was not the case, as most fly fishing starter kits simply come with a rod, reel, line, and – if you’re lucky – a carrying case.
Wild Water is the exception to that rule. This beginner’s kit includes a broad assortment of equipment that will allow you to get out there on the river immediately.
Not only will you receive the rod and reel, but you’ll also get retractable zingers, nippers, forceps, flies, and tippets. In fact, you’ll get quite a few size 14 flies to try out!
The fly rod is sold with a generous manufacturers’ warranty. Although it can be a bit more difficult to learn on this kind of slow-action rod, it will work just fine for fishing nymphs and dry flies.
The reel is made of high-quality aluminum and comes with pre-spooled 5 weight forward line. It’s a pretty standard reel but is the perfect pick for beginners.
This fly fishing kit’s rod is rated for 5 or 6 weight line, making it one of the most versatile weights.
It’s 9 feet long and is also a four-piece takedown so you can easily compact it down into a more manageable length.
- Kit includes lots of bonus gear
- Comes with numerous flies
- Has a manufacturers’ lifetime warranty
- Reel occasionally grinds
Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9′ Fly Rod Outfit
The Orvis Encounter is an excellent fly fishing starter kit for beginners. However, if you have a little more experience out there on the water, you don’t need to shy away.
This kit is offered at an affordable price range and has all the features that beginners need – as well as those that experts need.
The rod is incredibly versatile as a 5 weight, 9-foot rod. It can catch fish of varying sizes and also cast well no matter what kind of environment you are in.
That being said, it’s also available in other weights if you want a slightly heavier or slightly lighter rod, too. It has a medium to fast action and can be used in both fresh and saltwater.
The rod has a four-piece breakdown design so it’s easy to take with you. I like to carry this kit on my backwoods fishing trips – it’s great for taking with you to reach those streams up in the middle of nowhere.
The reel in this package is nothing to scoff at, either. It’s a higher-end reel, with a lightweight, large arbor design that resists twists and kinks in the line.
It has a sleek design and an even sleeker disk drag system made out of stainless steel.
It comes pre-spooled with line, meaning you won’t have to mess around with loading it with line before you go fishing.
This kit includes equipment that looks and feels like a higher-quality set-up – yet at a fraction of the price.
It’s a great starter kit if you’re just beginning because it will acquaint you with the intricacies of casting with more challenging, higher-end Orvis rods later on.
- The line has a weight-forward taper design to make for easy casting by beginners
- Smooth-performing rod and drag system
- Rod handle made out of real cork
- Can be difficult to find this kit in the 6 and 8 weights
Temple Fork NXT Fly Fishing Outfit
The fly fishing starter kit for beginners from Temple Fork is another great value choice. This rod is medium to-fast action and is offered at a weight of 4/5, 5/6, or 8/9.
The 8/9 weight is one of the best options if you intend to pursue saltwater species or heavy freshwater fish species.
The IM6 graphite rod has a cork handle, which is one of the most comfortable designs you’ll find. It’s easy to hang on to, even when it becomes wet or slimy.
The fly reel, too, is nothing short of impressive. Formally known as the TFO NXT Fly Reel, this reel is solidly built and has other spools available to purchase for it, too.
The reel comes pre-spooled with TFO line. As for the fly line, it’s not the fanciest you’ll find, but it will get the job done – especially when you’re just learning how to cast.
The Temple Fork Fly Fishing Outfit also comes with a custom-made Cordura case so you don’t have to worry about damaging your kit in transport.
This fly fishing starter kit is great for the initial learning stages of fly fishing but is also a terrific bundle for more experienced fly fishermen, too.
Plus, it comes with a lifetime manufacturers’ warranty, so you don’t have to worry about making any bad mistakes out there on the water.
- The fly reel has a great drag system and you can upgrade or switch between fly lines by purchasing extra spools
- Rod comes with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty
- Rod and reel case is high-quality
- Fly line that is included is not of the best quality
Why Do I Need a Fly Fishing Starter Kit?
There you have it – you’re just a few short clicks away from owning your very own starter kit.
Pick up some flies or learn how to tie your own – whichever you choose, once you have one of the best fly fishing starter kits in your arsenal, you’ll be well-equipped with the skills and equipment you need to be successful out there on the water.