The Best Fly Fishing Gear in the World
I’ve been a gear nut for long as I can remember. Going back to my grandpa and dad’s old fly rods, I remember always being fascinated with the load of stuff they’d pack into the truck whenever they went fly fishing. Once I was old enough to go along, I got to actually touch some of the gear, and use it only when my dad was watching.
This is where you’ll run into the biggest sticker shock. You can easily spend over $1,000 on a new fly rod. That gets you a top-of-the-line stick, constructed with the latest and greatest in materials and technology.
Obviously, that’s not reasonable for most people. Instead, I’d suggest focusing on rods in the $150 – $300 category. Generally, these rods are seen as a mix between entry-level and mid-priced offerings, and you’ll find tons of great options here.
You can spend almost as much – or more – on a fly reel than you can on your rod. For the vast majority of fly anglers, though, a reel that fancy is complete overkill.
Trout fishing rarely requires the freight-train-stopping drag some of these high-end reels boast. If anything, reels serve as little more than line holders 90% of the time when you’re chasing trout. It’s just not common to get into fish that requires a finely-tuned drag to land. With that said, you can still get a good reel with a good drag that’ll perform when you do meet that 22-inch trout when you least expect it.
Fly line is a lot more expensive than regular monofilament or fluorocarbon fishing line, and for good reason. Fly line comes with a coating to either make it sink or float, and floating lines are key to 90% of effective fly fishing.
Some fly lines retail for around $140, but you don’t need to spend that much. $50 – $80 gets you a good quality line that’ll last for a few seasons at least, if not longer.
If you have just started fly tying or have been fly tying for years, then you’ll already know that buying the right fly tying materials and tools is quite an investment. You might have thought you’d save some money tying your own flies, but when it comes down to it, the time it takes and the costs of fly tying supplies makes this a bit of a myth.
Waders can cost you a pretty penny. A lot of anglers end up spending more on waders than they do on fly rods, at least for the first few years of their angling career. This is due in part to a predilection to buy cheaper waders at first.
This seems like a good idea at the time, but the cheaper waders are priced that way for a reason – they just don’t hold up to a ton of abuse.
And if you’re just starting out in fly fishing, the last thing you want is to have to worry about whether your waders are going to leak the next time you hit the water. Plan on spending $250-350 on a good pair of waders. This gets you a product you’ll be able to depend on for a few seasons, at bare minimum.
You have a ton of different options from which to choose when it comes to carrying all your gear. I prefer a chest pack, but you might love a sling or a vest instead. Try a few different ones on, and plan on spending from $80-$180 on a high-quality pack of some sort. These will last for years unless they meet a quick end thanks to a barbed-wire fence or a nasty fall down a rocky cliff.
Shopping for a new fish finder can be a daunting task for the novice angler, even experienced boaters and anglers can be overwhelmed by the options available. There really is no one “best fish finder”, and there never will be. There are dozens of models manufactured each year, and each brand and model has its own strengths and place for best use.
So, what about all the other things you see for sale in a fly shop? Is that stuff worth considering adding to your cache of gear? The answer, as almost always is the case in fly fishing, depends.
Personally, I wouldn’t want to be on the water without a few key accessories that aren’t absolutely essential. This includes a good chest pack, sunglasses, fly boxes, nippers, split shot, and of course, floatant.
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