Fly Fishing Gear for Beginners

Illa Byrle

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Picking The Right Equipment

Picking out fly fishing gear for beginners can be fairly intimidating, their is a lot of equipment that goes into fly fishing, the rods, the reels, the flies, and the accessories, but taking the time to do a little research can go along away in setting yourself up for success.

If you have ever seen an experience angler on the water it sure looks like they have a lot of different equipment, with all sorts of different tools and gadgets hanging off their vests or bags and huge boxes of flies, and giant spools of tippet.

Keeping it to a minimal amount of gear it will help you to stay on the water and stay less confused as a beginner, less is more or so they would say.

Figuring out what you need to get started is definitely a challenge but if, you only get what you need picking out your gear can be easy and fun.

First thing you need to do is to determine where you’re going to be spending the majority of your time on the water, next you need to figure out the right rod and reel for yourself, then which flies and accessories you are going to want with you.

We get a lot of emails and questions related to the gear and equipment that beginner fly fisherman need to get started, in this article well try to go over the basics, and what will help you choose the best set up for you in particular, to make you the most successful on the water of your choice.

Where You Are Going To Spend Your Time On The Water

One of the first thing you need to determine is where you are going be spending the majority of your time on the water, whether you’re going be fishing small creeks, bigger rivers, tail waters, still water, saltwater, high alpine lakes, the list goes on and on.

You’ll also need to determine what species of fish you are going to be targeting, Trout, Bass, Carp, Pike, Salmon, or one of the many saltwater species there are out there.

Once you’ve decided where and what you’re going be chasing, you can then decided what kinda of equipment you’re going need. For example if you’re going be spending the majority of your time fishing on small creeks and high alpine lakes for smaller trout, your probably going to want a smaller softer rod. This will help you to cast in a tighter area and allow for a more enjoyable fight and overall fishing experience.

If you’re going to be fishing larger still waters or salt waters for bigger fish species, a larger rod will allow you to cast farther distances and help bring in the fish at a faster rate.

As you get more and more into fly fishing you will get more familiar with what you need, and what kinda of gear you need for whatever species you will be targeting.

So don’t worry too much about buying everything right off, you want to spend as much time on the water as possible and you will find out what works best for you, everyone has their own preferences and so you will build up your gear around what works best for you.

Importance Of Picking The Right Rods And Reels

Picking out your first rod and reel is a very important step to being successful on the water, once you have determine where you are going be spending your time on the water getting your first setup is next. Rods and Reels come in many sizes from a 0wt’s all the way to 14wt’s.

The 0’s being the softest and 14’s being the stiffest, basically if you’re going to be targeting small fish a softer rod is more fun  and is more accurate in tight areas. If you’re going to be targeting larger species a stiffer rod is going to allow for more backbone during the fight and a longer casts.

For beginner trout fisherman I would almost always recommend a 5/6 wt rod and reel combo, this setup will be effective on almost any river you’re going to be fishing, and can also be used on most still waters.

I would also recommend just getting a complete set up, that way you can get straight on the water. If, you know the surrounding rivers are smaller then a 4/5 wt combo will also work.

For beginner still water and saltwater fly fisherman I would recommend picking up an 8/9wt combo setup, this will be effective for most species that you will be targeting and will also be soft enough to help you learn to cast effectively.

You can always pick up a bigger rod once you have decided that you need something stronger but and 8/9 should do the job to start. If you’re going to be targeting bass or carp I find a 7 wt to be perfect

Having the right rod and reel setup will make your time on the water so much more effective and fun, so make sure you pick out the right gear for your self and then hit the water, you will learn from time on the water and will soon know exactly what you need.

Things To Keep In Mind When Buying Gear

Fly fishing gear for beginners should be picked out slowly as you work your way into the sport, I see it all the time on the river where a guy has all the gear in the world and no clue what he is doing.

He almost bought so much stuff that he is confused as to what every things purpose is. Just keep it simple and try not over complicate yourself out there and you’ll be way more successful.

Buying the most expensive gear doesn’t mean you’re going to be the most successful on the water, as a beginner your not going to know the difference between a 1000$ sage X and a 200$ Orvis clear water, so don’t worry too much about not have the best rod on the market.

Equipment you’re going to want when you first start.

  • Rod
  • Reel
  • fly line & backing
  • tippet, leaders,
  • flies
  • nippers, hemostat
  • sunglasses
  • net
  • small bag
  • wading gear

The list above is the basics to get you on the water but you don’t need all of them for your first day on the water, your probably going to need the first five items, but you can make it work without the rest.

Rod and reel, backing and fly line are essential, tippet and leader are another essential to being effective on the water, and then some flies to catch the fish. If you have just these items you can get out there and give it a go.

A good pair of nippers will help you to tie on new tippet and flies, and a pair of hemos for when you catch some fish to get the hook out easily and quickly. A good pair of polarized sunglasses will help to spot fish in the water so I think its one of the best things you can buy.

A net will help you get the fish in way more effectively and well make your landing rate go up tremendously. A small bag or vest will help to carry all this stuff with you and keep you more organized on the water.

Wading gear is not essential at first but it will help you to get to more effective place to cast from, which will help you get to more fish.

The major thing to think about when buying fly fishing gear for beginners is that you don’t over complicate things let your self grow into your equipment, and buy what you need as you grow as an angler.

Some of the best days I’ve ever had on the water all I brought was my rod and a handful of flies, keeping it simple is important, so try not to over think everything and get out their and enjoy the water.

Flies And What To Remember As A Beginner

Picking out the right flies can be one of the most intimidating factors, most beginners think that their is always some magic fly out there that is just going to make the fish come straight over to their line.

The fact is that most of the time, fly placement or the drift is what gets most fish to eat. Having the right fly can most certainly help you catch more fish but there is a lot of generalist patterns that will catch fish day after day in any conditions.

There are many types of flies out there from dry flies, to nymphs, to wet flies, and streamers. They all have their place and are all used differently threw out fly fishing. Dryflys are fished on the top surface of the water, and represent adult bugs on top of the water.

Nymphs and wet flies are fished under water and represent bugs underneath the water this is probably the most effective way of trout fishing due to the fact that 90 percent of trouts diet is on subsurface bugs.

As for streamer fishing this is probably the most effective way to catch predator species, mostly used in salt water and still water fishing. Streamers represent smaller bait fish and are fished under water and meant to appear as an easy prey for larger species.

This a very effective way of catching larger species such as bass, pike, carp, larger trout, and most saltwater species

Once you understand what the diet for the species you are targeting you can effectively target them and you will defiantly be catching more fish.

This is one of the most interesting parts of fly fishing to me, because every body of water things are different and you will learn how to catch fish in all sorts of places as you go along.

Spending More Time On The Water

The more time you spend on the water as a beginner the more you will learn and every day you will get better and better, my best advice to any beginner fly fisherman is to get yourself a setup and get out on the water. The things you will learn will be the building blocks of your fly fishing life.

Get your self some basic gear and hit the water you’ll be amazed at the places fly fishing will take you and can truly find yourself in some of the most spectacular places in the world.

I hope this article helps you with some basic knowledge to getting you into your first setup and hope you enjoyed, if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to as soon as possible.

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