So now that you’ve decided to dive head-first into fly fishing, let’s talk about what rods and reels are best for beginners. The hands down best option for any fly fishing beginner is to start with a rod and reel combo. You’ll get the fly rod, a reel, backing, fly line, and a tapered leader, all in one package. If you’ve never heard those terms, it might sound like a lot, but it will all come together like this:
Most also come with a carrying case to protect your rod and keep everything together in one place. I take mine with me almost every time I take my car somewhere. You never know when you might stumble across a perfect patch of water, and if you don’t have a rod and reel with you, you’ll just end up feeling like this poor guy.
What’s the Best Rod and Reel Combo For Beginners?
If you start to search around, there are three popular (with good reason) setups for beginner fly fishermen:
Size Does Matter
Rods come in different lengths and weights. You’ll notice that all three of our choices are 9-foot rods, and all three are 5-weight rods. Why is that? A rod’s weight is a measure of its overall thickness and size – 1 being on the smaller end, and moving up from there. The higher the weight, the stiffer and heavier your rod will be. If you were only going to be fishing tiny mountain streams for small trout, you could move lower on the scale. If you were only going to be fishing for Salmon or Steelhead, you might not want anything lower than a 7-weight rod. The higher weight rod will be able to handle any of the smaller fish we encounter, but we don’t want to limit the range of what fish we can catch by choosing too small of a rod from the start. A 5-weight rod will be able to handle just about any trout you’ll find (until you get to Alaska.) With regards to length, a longer rod is going to give you the ability to cast farther, where a shorter rod gives you more control where you might not have the room or need to cast so far. Again, we don’t want to limit ourselves by going with the shorter option, and once you’ve had enough practice, you can decide if a shorter length might be right for you.
A 9 foot, 5-weight rod is just right. Fishing in Colorado, I’ve never needed anything else.
Buy the Orvis Encounter – Buy it Now – $170. Hands Down. Here’s Why.
All three rod and reel combos come with a rod, reel, backing, line, leader and case – so what makes Orvis’ option so much better? It’s simple. There’s a reason the Orvis name is synonymous with quality. The Orvis name is almost one of legend in the fly fishing industry. When you buy an Orvis product, you buy into their 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. In Orvis’ own words, if you aren’t 100% satisfied with their product at any time, they’ll refund your money at any time, for any reason. You can’t make a promise like that unless you truly believe in what you’re selling. They do – and so do we.
Up Next: Let’s get wet (but try to stay dry).