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.
Cabela’s Prestige Combo
Our number one rated fly fishing combo for beginners. It's a high quality setup and also has everything you need to start fly fishing right away.
The best fly fishing starter kit that I’d recommend to anyone is the Cabela’s Prestige Combo. Why? Because it’s just the best overall performing kit that you can get for less than $200. My buddy has been using his now for roughly 3 years and it’s all he’s needed to catch a lot of Trout.
It comes with everything that you need to start fly fishing right away as well. Flies, line, etc… You can get on the water ASAP.
And lastly, the quality outmatches anything in the same price range. The reel is made of aluminum and the rod is a quality graphite. As long as you take care of it, this rod and reel kit will last you a long time.
Orvis Encounter 5 Weight 8’6” Rod and Reel Combo
Orvis is a highly trusted fly fishing brand. The Encounter is a great beginner combo because of it's ease to use. It also includes much of what you will need to start fly fishing ASAP (rod, reel, case, line).
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.
A Great Beginner Combo Under $100: The Wild Water 4 Piece 9’ Deluxe Starter Kit
This is one the best beginner fly rod and reel combos on the market... while you may not reel in the any sharks with this one, you'll surely have a fun time catching rainbow trout!
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. We do have a write up on the Wild Water Combo here if you want to read more in depth on it!
You’ll need some flies
Beginning fly fishermen tend to lose flies a lot quicker than advanced fishermen
- 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
- 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
- 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)
Related: Best Fly Rod + Reel Combos Under $300
Conclusion: Best Beginner Fly Fishing Kit/ Combo
That is all I’ve got for you today… Hope this article helped you out in some way!
Tight lines, my friends!