Must Have Fly Fishing Gear for 2020

by Darby @ Fly Fish And Camp | Last Updated: January 8, 2020

New year, new gear, right?


At least that’s what your wife says.

Whether you’re just here to dream, or you’re a serious fly fisherman—the top fly fishing gear for 2020 is here. And here to stay it is.

Must Have Fly Fishing Gear for 2020 

We’ve come quite a ways from the days of classic creels and ties tied at the kitchen table. Our list of must own fly gear should give you at least a solid starting point when it comes to laying out the year.


Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series Fly Rod

If you are a beginner, intermediate or professional fly angler, you could probably use this rod.  Whether it’s a backup or your go to rig, this fly rod is one of the smoothest casting and highest performing rods of it’s price range.  Speaking of which, isn’t very much.

The Drifter Series rod creates mid sized loops and has awesome accuracy from short to mid ranges.  It comes with a rod case and an extra tip section (one is flexible, the other stiffer).  This rod also has a lifetime warranty on it, as long as it’s on the manufacture.  I personally recommend this rod, especially because it’s easy to control for beginners.

This is a picture of the moonshine co fly rod, drifter series.

Moonshine Co. Drifter Series Fly Rod




Sage X Fly Rod

The Sage X fly rod is a great rod to pick for the 2020 fly fishing season.  Especially if you are a veteran of the game, or an intermediate fly angler looking to make the jump to the big leagues of fly rods.  This rod isn’t the cheapest one on the market, but it’s one of the best.

What you will be getting in this rod is an extremely lightweight feel, high quality construction, tight loops, supreme accuracy and power, and precision.  The same cast, over and over again.

Sage makes some of the best fly fishing rods on the planet, and the Sage X is no exception.



This is a picture of the Sage X, a must have fly rod for 2020.

Sage X


Related Article: Best Fly Rods Under $400


I’m a big believer in getting a high quality fly reel for a couple reasons.  For one, they are usually far more durable than a junky reel.  For two, they are usually sealed and that keeps it from mud getting jammed in the gears.  And for three, they just perform smoother.

Ross Animas Fly Reel

The Ross Animas fly reel is featured on our list of top fly reels for under $300 this year.  It’s a great reel that features machined aluminum, sealed design, lightweight material, and a silky smooth drag system.  The overall reel performs is an awesome build, and is also built in the United States.  There isn’t much to dislike in this reel.

picture of ross animas fly reel

Ross Animas Fly Reel




Related Article: Best Fly Fishing Gear Wishlist


Simms Headwaters Pro Fly Fishing Vest

The Simms Headwaters Pro Fly Fishing Vest is easily one of the best vests available on the market today.  It comes with top of the line quality and construction, but also has tons of available space to put fly boxes and other fly gear.  It comes with a Simms warranty so the vest is guaranteed going to last.  This is one of the better wading vest that you can buy for fly fishing.



Picture of Simms Headwaters Pro Fishing Vest, gear that should be owned.

Simms Headwaters Pro Fishing Vest


Related Article: How To Choose The Right Fly Fishing Vest 


Simms G4 Wading Boots

The Simms G4 Wading boots are another pair of elite gear that you should have for fly fishing this year.  These boots are extremely comfortable, waterproof, have excellent ankle support and have premium quality material on the boot for a long lasting pair of boots.  The bottoms are also very grippy to prevent you from slipping on the rocks.



This is a picture of the Simms G4 Wading boots, the best wading boots of the year.

Simms G4 Wading Boots

Related Article: Best Wading Boots For Fly Fishing 


Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders

These waders made by Simms are going to be some of the best on the market today.  This set features 3 layers of material on the top of the waders, and 4 layers on the bottom.  This provides awesome durability for the pants so they’ll last while also keeping the water out.  The material is breathable and mobile to prevent overheating at the same time.  However, some complaints of these waders is that they don’t have a waterproof pouch on the inside, to place gear.



This is a picture of the Simms Tributary Stockingfoot waders, essential fly fishing gear.

Simms Tributary Waders




Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System

The Jetboil Flash stove is one of the greatest purchases that I have made for heating my water camping.  The material of the cup is designed to transfer heat extremely quickly, and that’s what it does.  It only takes a matter of moments before your water will be heated with this stove.  Seriously.



This is a picture of the Flash Jetboil Cooking System, a must have item for fly fishing and camping.

Jetboil Flash


Yeti 18 OZ Rambler

Need a rambler for that Orvis sling pack? Try the 18 oz (also comes in 30+ oz) Yeti Rambler, perfect for that afternoon trip up the stream.  Not much else to say here, if you know anything about keeping your beverage cold or hot, you know YETI = results.  Pair with your favorite afternoon/pre-evening beverage for best results.

This is a picture of the yeti rambler, a must have gear item for fly fishing.

Yeti Rambler



Orvis Passage Guide Sling Pack

If you are looking for a little trip up the river for some fishing and want a simple pack to store some of your gear, look no further.  This pack features a water bottle holder, storage area for flies and tackle, and a padded sling with D – loops to hold accessories on.  What’s nice about this pack is that when it’s out of use just rotate the pack to your back.  When you need to use the gear inside of the zipper, just rotate it back and grab your flies or water bottle and then send it back again.  Boom! Easy as pie.

picture of orvis safe passage sling pack.

Orvis Safe Passage Guide Sling Pack


Overnight Gear

Mountainsmith Morrison 2 Person 3 Season Tent

When it comes to overnight fly trips, I’m typically thinking a 1-2 night trip out from the main camp. Despite the urge to go out and purchase a $500 tent built for the Himalayas, this Morrison tent by Moutainsmith is a perfect option.  It’s lightweight, built to last, and it sleeps 2 people.  Unless you’re bringing the entire family, it’s a comfortable, waterproof option for you and your buddy.  After all, the goal is less time setting up and more time fishing.


Slumberjack Latitude 0 Degree Synthetic Sleeping Bag

I actually own the -20 degree Slumberjack bag (perfect for my big game trips), but on a Bighorn Mountain Fly trip I was forced to sleep naked to stay cool. Bottom line is, these things work.  Get the 0 Degree bag so it’s not sauna-like and you’ll be good to go.



Cumberland Float Tube

If I’m being completely transparent, I’m not a huge fan of float tubes. However, I have fished this one—and I actually like it a lot.  The Cumberland Float Tube is a sturdy piece of equipment, it comes with a PVC bottom and raised seat (love) to keep you high and “dry”.  The tube offers plenty of storage to go with it’s double rod holders.  As far as floats are concerned, if you’re looking for something built to last in an affordable price range this model from Cumberland cannot be beat.


Related: Best Fly Rods Under $400 

Got yourself some gear, now get on the river!

I hope that this list helped you out in some way or another!  Fishing is always the best when equipment is up to date and ready to go for the season!  Best of luck this season and tight lines!