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
One of the most popular fly rods on amazon right now, the Drifter Series rod greatly outperforms its price. (Medium action blank).
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 a manufacture defect. I personally recommend this rod, especially because it’s easy to control for beginners.
- Easy to control
- Reasonable price
- Extra tip
- Accurate from short to mid ranges
- Moderate – fast action
- Lifetime warranty
- Doesn’t have supreme power for long ranges
Sage X Fly Rod
If we could recommend any fly fishing rod to someone this year it would be the Sage X. It's an extremely accurate and crisp fly rod with a lifetime warranty attached.
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. There aren’t a whole lot of fly fishing rods that will compete with this one. It’s a machine.
Sage makes some of the best fly fishing rods on the planet, and the Sage X is no exception.
- Tight loops
- Quality build
- Liftetime warranty
Related: Best Fly Rods Under $400
2020 is a great year to consider getting a new fly reel. There are a lot of different reels that you could go with, but here are a couple of my top choices that I would recommend. Under most circumstances, I wouldn’t recommend getting a super cheap reel as it will probably break right away but there a few that will work well.
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.
- Large Arbor
Related: Best Fly Fishing Gear Wishlist
Moving into the apparel section…
Simms Headwaters Pro Fly Fishing Vest
This comfortable fly fishing vest features 20 pockets and a rod holder. Great value for the price.
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.
- 20 pockets of storage
- D-net ring on the back
- Breathable/ cool
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.
- Great build design
- Awesome ankle support
Related: Best Wading Boots For Fly Fishing
Simms Tributary Stockingfoot Waders
Some of my favorite fly fishing waders. They're reasonably priced and do a nice job of keeping the water out.
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.
- High quality material
- No inside pouch
Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System
This little system is easily one of the best purchases that I've ever made. It heats up water and other liquids in a matter of minutes and is super easy to transport.
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.
- Heats liquids very quickly
- Reasonable price
- If you heat the cup with no water in it, the cup will melt. (My buddy learned this the hard way).
Yeti 18 OZ Rambler
The Yeti brand in itself is very popular. The Rambler is a great way to keep liquids hot or cold for many hours out on the river.
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.
Orvis Passage Guide Sling Pack
If you aren't big into vests, this is the sling pack I would recommend for carrying your gear to the river. It's very comfortable.
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.
Cumberland Float Tube
Float tubes are a fun way to experience fly fishing. If you've never gotten in one, I'd definitely recommend it.
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.
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!