Basic Fly Fishing Equipment

What you need to get started

So here you are.  You have finally decided you really like fly fishing and are going to pursue it.

So what do you need to get started. That depends on how much you want to spend and how much work you want to do. You can get started for less than $100 to $200 if you work at it.

You can find used gear online, sometimes in fly shops at the end of the guide season or on sale in shops or online. Big brand name gear like Sage, Orvis, St. Croix, Scott, Ross Reels and other big brands will not usually be bargain basement prices. In other words, don’t expect to find an $800 to $1,100 fly rod for $100. But you can find some reasonable deals. There are some very good rods from China these days for around $125 to $150.

You can make a pair of wading shoes by purchasing the smaller size of sheet metal screws and screwing them into the bottom of an old pair of hiking boots. Make sure to get screws small enough in length not to penetrate the soles all the way inside. Four in the area from the ball of the foot around to the toe around the edges and a couple in the middle of the ball of foot area; along with four in the heel area should give you pretty good traction.

If you don’t want to purchase waders right away, you can wade wet during the warmer summer months. Although I prefer to have protection on my legs so I wear waders.

You should probably get a couple of small fly boxed to fit into a shirt pocket. If you check garage sales, you might get lucky and find fly boxes full of flies being sold. If you get them for less than $10 you have made a great deal. Actually if the flies are any good, anything under a $100 is a good deal on a full fly box.

You can also make your own fly box by purchasing straight pins in plastic boxes and putting some foam inserts into the boxes after you remove the pins. Rim Chung, inventor of the RS2, Rs1 and other famous flies, uses these kind of homemade fly boxes.

Flies generally run about $1.50 to $2.50 each in a fly shop. Deals online can be found where you can purchase flies for $0.50 each but you usually have to buy 5 or 6 dozen at time.

A landing net is a nice addition to basic gear. Get one with the rubber Ghost bag style as it will not injure the fish and it will not catch your flies in the mesh. Especially the small flies in sizes 18 thru 24.

In Summary:

  • Fly Rod
  • Fly Reel
  • Fly Line
  • Leaders
  • Tippet Spools
  • Fly Box(es)
  • Flies
  • Landing Net (nice but not absolutely necessary if you practice catch and release fishing)