Choosing The Right Fly Fishing Gear

When you’re an angler, having the right gear is everything. For a fishing style as specialized as fly fishing, this gear is even more important, so you need to know the basics in order to have a good day on the water.

In addition to having the right rod or reel, there are a few other bits and pieces that you’ll need to try out this style of fishing. Everything from flies to waders are all part of fly fishing, and getting the exact right one is a matter of doing your research.

What To Look For When Buying Fly Fishing Gear

More so than any other type of fishing, people often feel intimidated when getting their fly fishing equipment the very first time.

This is because there are so many options out there and the added complexity of choosing flies, but it really doesn’t have to be hard work. There are a few things you should consider when choosing your fly fishing supplies:

  • Skill level – Your skill level as an angler will play a huge part in the fly fishing gear you buy and will have features that add to its simplicity like marked alignment on a rod or easy to use flies. Those more experienced anglers will need professional-level gear, though.
  • Quality – There is quite a varied degree of quality when looking at fishing gear, and it can range from the very cheap but often flimsy stuff to the expensive professional level items. If you plan on using something to try out or are just a beginner there’s no need to get anything too expensive until you learn what you like and what features are most important.
  • Versatility – If you like to fish in more than just one place you’ll want gear that can be versatile to your environment. However, if you’re set on just one particular lake or part of the ocean you’ll shop specifically for that.
  • Specifics – When shopping for flies or rods and reels, you really need to shop to suit where you’ll be fishing and what your physical needs are. This means looking at lengths of rods, types of flies, and reels with the right orientation.

The Fly Fishing Gear You’ll Need

Many people believe that fly fishing is a complicated hobby and an expensive one at that, with so many accessories, flies and specialized rods and reels used for it.

The truth is if you shop smart and only get the essentials when you first begin there’s no reason you have to spend any more than other types of fishing, and they should be quality enough to last for years. The rod or reel is the most important piece of equipment you’ll own, and they required a guide of their very own to cover, but what else is there you might need?

  • Fly Tackle Bags – These bags have been designed to store your flies while you’re not using them and give you easy access when you’re out on the water. This means you can keep them organized and easy to find when you need them, and some even have a space for your rod and reel as well.
  • Waders – Many fly fishers like to wade out into the water in order to get closer to the fish, but you don’t want your pants getting drenched every time you do. Waders are rubber type pants that fit over your regular clothing and come in different lengths, allowing you to get into the water but stay bone dry underneath. Check out our epic guide on waders here.
  • Vests And Packs – These packs and vests are worn like a jacket so you can keep all of your fishing gear close by. They come with different features like waterproof materials, compartments for organization, and tools built into the design. Although not a necessity, there aren’t many serious anglers who would leave home without one.
  • Leaders – A leader is attached to your line between the fly and the line, and it allows you to present the fly to the fish.  Each leader comes with its own weight rating and these can be matched to the fish you’re trying to catch, as different species will be more spooked by movement than others.
  • Flies – Finding the right fly is one of the biggest parts of the hobby and these accessories can get quite complicated. When starting out, it’s not important to learn the scientific name of all of them but as long as you’re somewhat matching them to the local forage then you’ll be in with a great shot.

The Importance Of Having The Right Gear

Although it might seem like a lot of equipment, there are some things that you can even borrow from other styles of fishing that will be adaptable to fly fishing. Your clothing choices like vests, packs, and waders can be multipurpose, however, it’s best to keep the rod and reel to one designed for this type of sport as the casting is completely different to spin fishing.

When you’re completely new to fly fishing you can start off small and just get a few pieces at a time, and once your skill begins to improve you’ll be comfortable upgrading and finding something that better suits your fishing style.

Once you have the right fly fishing stuff, though, that will be half the battle and you’ll be well on your way to learning the basics and developing a love for this hobby. Spend some time before you begin and research exactly what you need and why you need it so that you’ll be a more in-tune angler with the best shot of landing the fish you want.

We at College Bass provide tips and guides for both beginners and advanced freshwater anglers and casters out there. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies.