Budget Beginner Fly Fishing: Fly Rods

Getting started in fly fishing can be intimidating and challenging. Just like beginning any new hobby, trying to figure out what to get and what you may actually need to allow you to get out on the river can be overwhelming and later feel defeated after you look at the cost of some gear. At least that is how I felt when I started to test the fly angling waters. I had no clue what I needed, and when I looked around everything was seemed too expensive. When it comes to fly fishing I feel it can be harder to commit to it due to the initial cost that a willing person would have to pay to just get started. Something I wish I knew, or rather, did more research on are the cheaper gear items that are available on the market. One of those important items is the rod. So lets talk about how you can be able to get on the water and catch fist while still not having to break the bank or try your best to not admit how much a fishing rod cost to your significant other.

Figure 1: My budget fly rod set up. The rod and reel set was $35 dollars. I did not like the reel that it came with so I bough a different reel for $50.00. I still managed to keep my set up under $100.


As one starts to research the world of fly fishing and the necessary gear you should have, you will probably noticed the prices more than the actual rod. The videos you will watch while researching show you some great rods and reels that are hundreds even thousands of dollars. Don't worry there are rod and reel combos out there that are great not only for the bank account but are a perfect option for the beginner fly angler.

If you are just getting into fly fishing there are a few things that you will learn along your journey. Some of these things are how to rig up your fly rod for certain situation, selecting the right fly based on your tippet size, casting, casting based on conditions. These are just a few. The more important things are just like any other fishing technique. These are basics. To me this includes specs of a rod, pieces of the rod and reel, and basic fly casting. The last thing you learn better on the water. The first two points I will discuss in greater detail in a later post and video. Overall learn the specs you want or need for the area you will be fishing. This knowledge will help you understand what you are buying when you researching and checking out a rod and reel set up. Cheaper options for fly rod and reel sets are available. They just are not set up in the stores to attract the attention of an young ambitious and budding fly angler. They usually come in a plastic cardboard set display. Some may come with a case but most are in cheaper packaging. That's fine. These options can range from $35.00 to $70.00. They usually come with everything you need to get started. The reel comes with fly line and a leader. The pack I got came with a small box of mixed fly patterns that included dry flies and wet flies like nymph patterns and streamers. Everything is there which is great for the price that these combo packs can be. Now buy the set, practice, and get out on the water.

My point: When first starting to learn the basics of fly fishing it is okay and maybe even the better choice to go with a cheap rod to learn the basics of casting and learning what all the gear is. Getting a cheap rod allows a budding fly angler to practice these basics on the water earlier, which is always the best place to learn. When starting don't fall into the trap like a lot of beginning anglers, fly or spinning, do and go for the top line rod and reel. If that is your desire than great that is awesome. If not than there are still options to allow you to love this hobby. Once you have a feel for the basics and what aspects you like in your gear then you will be more confident when buying a better higher quality rod and reel. Don’t let the price of top of the line gear keep you from getting into fly fishing. There are plenty of budget friendly options that can allow anyone, no matter the cost, to start as soon as they are willing and help put a bend in that rod.


Check out my short video on the same topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9PpyABzU54&t=1s


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