The Best Fly Fishing Starter Kit for Beginning Fly Fishermen

by Darby @ Fly Fish And Camp | Last Updated: August 8, 2017

For beginners in fly fishing, whether you’re new to fishing as a whole or you’re an experienced angler with a rod and reel looking to add some extra excitement—you’re in for a treat with fly fishing.

My very first fishing trip out west I had “tied my own flies” (in air quotes, they were horrible) for use off of my rod and reel. After all, nobody goes trout fishing out west without a fly rod.

I ended up slaying brown trout in a creek near our camp (I may have cheated and used a small bit of worm on my flies) using this primitive contraption, and have been hooked since that day.

On a second trip out there, I had saved enough coins to purchase a decent fly fishing starter kit from the local Cabela’s. I still own that same setup to this day.

Luckily for you, there are much better options out there—and I’ll break them down below.

Here are the best fly fishing starter kits.

As far as pricing is concerned, for a beginners fly rod and reel combo expect to pay anywhere from $70-$170. If you’re an experienced angler already, pay the extra $100 and get an Orvis combo (you’ll be glad  you did).

If this is your first trip to those beautiful mountain streams, there are two rod/reel combos that can be had on Amazon for under $200.

Orvis Encounter 5 Weight 8’6” Rod and Reel Combo (does not come with flies)

The Orvis Encounter is an excellent fly rod and reel combo for any fly fisherman. For more advanced anglers, this is a good starting point. It’s worth noting that the setup is not a complete kit (flies, etc), however it does come fully rigged and ready to roll. This setup does come in a 9’ style as well, however the 8’6” is a great starting point for beginners. You’ll be able to fish any trout water you encounter while still having the capability to fish during windy days/long casts.

If you do decide to purchase this combo, you’ll need flies to go along—I own one of the Outdoor Planet 40 fly boxes (comes with a waterproof case, nice touch) and then can be had for about $40 on Amazon. These flies are perfect for a beginner as there is a nice variety of sizes in addition to the type of fly (comes with dry flies, wet flies or nymphs, streamers).

Check out the Orvis Encounter on amazon. 

A Great Beginner Combo Under $110: The Wild Water 4 Piece 9’ Deluxe Starter Kit

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re looking to get started in fly fishing—somewhere in the middle of the road in terms of price is a good place to stick. This rod and reel combo actually holds a lifetime warranty, so I would have no issues recommending it to anybody I knew.

The setup actually comes in both a DELUXE version and a standard version, the deluxe version of the rod and reel comes with some extra flies, tippet and leader. Spend the extra couple bucks and go with the deluxe, just to make sure you won’t miss anything.

Buy the Wild Water Fly Rod Combo on amazon. 

When you purchase this setup, one thing you’re missing out on is extra flies—I cannot stress enough how important it is to have a wide variety of flies when you’re out on the river.

Beginning fly fishermen tend to lose flies a lot quicker than advanced fishermen

  1. Depending on the “bite” (what fish are currently taking/what flies are in the water), you may end up with flies that are completely the opposite of what is in the water
  2. Add variety by picking up a fly set that offers both dry and wet flies. If you’re not sure what type of fly is currently in the river, at least you can mix things up with a nymph or two, just for change of pace
  3. If you’re not catching fish, things can end up stale. Having a variety of flies is imperative to curing boredom on the river, though I can promise you fly fishing is not boring (not one bit)

If this is your first trip fly fishing, you’ll also appreciate a fly fishing vest (or pack), waders, and a net.

Tight lines, my friends!