Fly Fishing Equipment: The Essential Choices

Illa Byrle

Updated on:

fly fishing casting

Nothing is quite like a day of flyfishing. The rhythmic beat of the cast, attention to stream and river patterns, and love for the fish and its behavior all help to calm the mind and relax the body. This article will discuss three essential pieces of fly fishing equipment that will make your day more enjoyable.

orvis helios 3d 904 4 Fly Fishing Rod

The Fly Fishing Rod

Your fly fishing rod is perhaps the most important piece of equipment that you need. Fly fishing is an art that is simple, but it requires precision. A rod that you can trust to cast a precise cast and not miss the area that you are targeting is essential when reading the riseform of a river trout. You will also need to know that it will not fail you and break down at that critical moment when you go deep into the mountain streams.

Fly fishing is simple in practice, but not easy. However fly fishing rods are not so simple. The bamboo rods of our forefathers are long gone. Fly fishing rod engineering technology has advanced to the point that there are many options.

Graphite is the most common material used in rods. You want a rod that you can accurately cast with, it controls your line once it is cast, and it will land your fish, especially in difficult water conditions with strong fighters. So how do you choose the right rod for fly fishing?

What kind of fishing are you doing?

The most important thing is to identify the type of fish that you are after. Largemouth bass is more aggressive in pursuit of baitfish than a brown trout will, they also fight differently. A rod that will be suitable for a small brooky’s strength will not be enough when you have a big lunker on the line.

Which water do you fish in?

The water you fish will also tell you what type of rod action you need.

A full flex rod is best for smaller streams that require gentler and more precise casts. This action will allow you to feel the fish better when they are on your line. A light and sensitive touch is often a better way to land the fish you are looking for, just like walleye fishing with spinning rods.

If you fish larger streams and you do not want, or your budget will not allow you, to have a number of different rods for different purposes. Then a mid-flex rod is able to handle those larger tougher fish and those fish caught in more difficult conditions. It isn’t a stiff as a fast rod so you will still have a bit of sensitivity on the line, and it will allow you to cast further and more accurately than if you were using a full-flex rod. This is the most common type of fly fishing rod used today.

The “fast action” or stiffer rod is best for heavier winds, in tougher water, or when fishing on larger rivers or ocean fishing areas, or with bigger, more difficult fish.

Ross Reels Animas Fly Reels

How To Choose A Fly Fishing Reel

The fly fishing reel only does 2 things. They are used to store your fly line and once you have a fish on the hook they provide drag against the fighting fish. Most fly fishing reels are made from aluminum. You always need to check the reels quality as some of the cheaper cast molded aluminum reels will break easier than the solid block reels. There are two types of fly fishing reels to choose from, Dic Drag and the the Spring and Pawl reel.

The Spring and Pawl Fly Fishing Reel

This is the traditional fly fishing reel. It has the advantage of being very smooth and even pull-out as the smaller, more sensitive fish such as small trout draw on the line. This is a good choice when using a lighter tippet as it serves to protect the tippet much better.

The Disc Drag Fly Fishing Reel

This reel is the latest and most advanced, much like a car’s disc brake. These reels work well for larger species and larger fish because they can exert a greater tension when a larger fish attacks. They are not as smooth as the Spring or Pawl reels. This is likely not an issue for most fishing conditions. The Spring and Pawl reel works well for smaller panfish species or smaller, more wary trout.

Oxyvan fly fishing waders

Keeping Dry With A Good Set Of Waders

There are two main types of waders: the boot-foot and stocking foot waders

Boot foot waders have uppers made of coated nylon or neoprene, and are attached in one piece to the rubber wading boots. This wader is ideal for anglers because they don’t need a separate wading boots. They are however more difficult than stocking-foot waders to put on and take off. They can be bulky and heavy, making them less comfortable for longer periods.

The stocking foot wader consists of two parts. The wader, which is made up of a neoprene stocking or sock. Then the wading boot that is worn over the stocking. This system has the advantage that it is much easier to both put on and to take off than the boot foot wading system.

Materials used in waders

  • Nylon – Nylon waders offer a lighter alternative to traditional rubber. They are generally cheaper than most modern wader materials. They do not allow for air circulation.
  • Neoprene – Because neoprene waders are available in different thicknesses, they can ward off the cold just like scuba diving wetsuits. The colder the water, the thicker the wader needs to be so you stay warmer. They have the same disadvantage as nylon waders in that they aren’t breathable. But they are a lot cheaper than the breathable waders.
  • Breathable waders – These waders are extremely comfortable and can be used for fishing in hotter conditions. There are many breathable materials available, Gore Tex tends to be the most expensive.

The equipment choices that you make will all depend on your intended use and of course your budget. I hope you found this bit of information useful and Happy fishing!

Some people consider fly tying as an often rewarding, although sometimes frustrating, hobby. Others tie their own flies to save money and some have even succeeded in turning their hobby into a money-making venture. To tie flies, you’ll need fly tying supplies and equipment, patterns or tutorials, and a workspace with good lighting. You’ll also need plenty of patience!

Monster Bass Side Ad

Subscribe to get our FREE ebook

and receive fly fishing tips and tricks to help you catch more!

itx carbon reels