The Best Fly Fishing Starter Kit (Top 5 Fly Fishing Rod And Reel Combos)
One of the biggest obstacles for beginners to overcome when getting into Fly Fishing is purchasing the gear. Buying your fly rod setup can be a daunting task. Fret not, for if you are armed with a little bit of basic knowledge the job is simple. With many fly fishing starter kits available on the market targeted towards beginning anglers, hitting the water is only a short order away.
There is a huge variety of rods and price ranges on the market. You certainly don’t need to be buying a top dollar setup for your first rig. With that said, don’t run out and buy the first cheap setup at the general store you can find. There are a number of reputable brands that produce affordable and quality fly fishing starter kits for beginners.
With a proper setup that can be purchased all as one, you can have a variety of fishing options in front of you. Most beginner fly fishing rod and Reel combos of gear are chosen specifically to make them versatile and easy to use for beginners. Whether you want to take your rod out to catch bluegill, trout, or even bass; many combination rod and reel setups are ready to do just that. Lets delve a little deeper into some of the best fly fishing starter kits for beginners.
Fly Fishing Starter Kits (Quick List)
Here's a quick list of the top 5 fly fishing starter kits that are mentioned in this article.
Fly Fishing Kit
Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit
Wild Water Deluxe Fly Fishing Starter Package
Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit
Redington Path II Outfit Fishing Rod with Crosswater Reel
Temple Fork Outfitters TFO NXT Fly Rod and Reel Kit
How to Choose a Fly Fishing Setup
So what is there to consider when buying a beginner fly fishing kit? If most are designed to be versatile and easy to use, why bother getting picky with it? As with anything, the proper tools to do the job are imperative. Even though most of these kits are good for general use, there are definitely some factors you want to consider for your own personal fly fishing goals.
Fly Rod Weight
Probably most importantly of all, is choosing a proper rod weight. The weight of the rod determines nearly everything about the setup. It determines which reel and line to buy. It also dictates how easy it will be to cast. It affects what size flies you can fish with. And it even may limit the size of fish you can target. The rod weight is essentially how rigid and powerful the rod is. You will want lighter weight rods (1-5 weight) for smaller fish, and heavier weight rods (5-12+) for larger fish.
Most beginner setups are available in 4 weight to 8 weight. This is due to the versatility and casting ability of this weight range. With a 4, 5, or 6 weight you can target most species of fish except for bigger gamefish such as larger bass, salmon, steelhead, pike, etc. For larger fish such as those, you will want to be using a 6-8 weight at bare minimum. Personally? I find a 5 weight to be the most versatile rod in my arsenal. With that said, I think a 4 weight rod offers the beginner the easiest casting ability.
To choose your weight of rod; consider how big of fish you will be target and how big of flies you will be fishing with. Salmon, pike, and big bass? Consider a 7 weight or so. Think you will be primarily trout fishing in creeks? Try a 4 weight. For all around versatility go with a 5 or 6 weight.
Fly Rod Length
Another primary variable among beginner rod setups will be length of the rod. This is a less important variable than the aforementioned rod weight. However, you will want to take into consideration where you will be fishing to select a proper rod weight.
If you plan on fishing in small creeks, brushy situations, or any sort of casting obstacles; stay on the shorter length range (8.5 ft. or under). Most general fishing situations will suit an 8.5 to 10 ft. rod pretty well. Hence, most beginner setups out there are available in this range of length, with 9 ft. probably dominating the market.
The most important aspect of a reel is to match it with your rod weight. Beyond that, a reel serves as a line holder and as a drag system to slow down large running fish. Combination setups of rods and reels are always going to have properly matching equipment.
For most beginning fishing situations, reel performance will hardly be noticed by the angler. If I was buying a combination setup, I would take more consideration in the rod and line available in the setup rather than the reel.
Fly Fishing Starter Kits (Reviews)
Now you should have a basic understanding of what to look for in a fly fishing setup for beginners. With that knowledge, lets examine more closely some of the fly fishing rod and reel combos available on the market and how they stand up against one another.
1. Orvis Encounter 5-weight 9' Fly Rod Outfit (Top Pick)
The Orvis Encounter setup is designed to be a high performing setup for both beginners and more advanced anglers alike.
At a mid-level price range, this combo setup will be easy on your wallet and serve as a great primary setup beginners or even a backup travel setup for well experienced anglers.
This fly fishing setup represents a reasonable and affordable choice for those who don’t want to sacrifice quality and performance in a complete fly rod setup.
In my opinion, this is the best size for a do-it-all rod. A versatile 5 weight 9 foot rod can just about do it all. Not to mention the quality reliable performance of the Orvis name behind it.
This medium to fast action rod will be able to excel well in both fresh water and saltwater like it is designed for. If you are looking for a slightly lighter or heavier weight not, this rod is available in additional weights. Allowing better selectivity for your specific fishing needs. With a 4 piece break down design, it keeps this rod ultra portable and packable.
The Orvis Encounter reel included with this package is designed to be a true and proper match to the rod. Sharing it’s design with higher end reels, the lightweight and large arbor design lends itself well to reducing line twists and kinks. Its sleek design is accompanied by an efficient disk drag system that can handle some serious fish fighting.
The reel comes spooled up ready to fish. The Orvis Floating Line is spooled onto the reel with backing and leader already installed. The line has a weight forward taper design. This is an easy casting taper that is preferred by beginner fly anglers.
Built for the experienced and beginner angler alike, the Encounter rod series remains priced with frugality in mind. Reviewers agree this is a smooth performing and well put together package. The Encounter rod outfit is easily the best fly fishing combos for beginners.
2. Wild Water Deluxe 5/6 9’ Rod Fly Fishing Complete Starter Package
This complete starter package by Wild Water has just about got it all. To top it off it won’t even take a hit on your wallet. Pick this package up at a nice budget price and you have practically all you need to hit the water.
In addition to a complete fly rod setup, this package comes with other necessary accessories to get you on the water which even includes a box of flies.
This kit is put together to get you out on the water fishing as quickly as possible.
This beginner fly fishing kit comes with a rod rated for 5 or 6 weight line. I feel that this is one of the most versatile do-it-all weights out there. At 9 feet long, it is a nice proper length for the rated weight. Still manageable enough to get into smaller creeks for trout fishing. Yet is retains enough length and power to throw larger flies farther in certain situations.
This IM6 graphite rod is a 4 piece take down. This allows it to pack down into a compact sub 29” length to store in the accompanying rod sock and carrying case. I appreciate 4 piece break down rods for their ease of transport, lending well to increased versatility.
The reel in this kit is a nice lightweight machined aluminum design. The reel has a larger arbor (diameter) to help keep your line from kinking into tight coils once spooled out. Larger arbor iTs generally a sought after feature in higher end reels.The reel comes pre-spooled ready to go. This is made up of 20# backing and a 5 weight floating line. The line is a weight forward line which assists in cast-ability. To top it off, it comes tipped with a 9’ tapered leader ready to go. All you have to do is tie on a fly and get to casting.
The great part of this fly fishing combo kit is the included accessories, all meant to get you out on the water as quickly as possible. In addition to the versatile rod and reel setup this kit comes complete with a fly box pre-packed with 18 good all around flies. With plenty of room for more yet. The rod comes packaged safely in a sock and a larger rod tube, designed to hold the 4-piece rod with reel attached for safe transport and quick setup.
The kit also comes with a few extra key components that include:
5x (4.3 lb) 9’ long tapered leader (quantity 2)
5x tippet (30 meter spool)
Retractable tool holder (quantity 2)
If you want everything you need to get out in the water in one package look no further. Not only does this fly fishing kit come with a full rod and reel outfit, but includes a few other essential pieces. Best of all, this kit comes in at an ultra low price point so there is no excuse to not get out fly fishing.
3. Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo Kit
Coming in at an ultra competitive price, this combo fly fishing kit by Maxcatch has it all to get you out on the water.
In addition to a fully rigged fly rod setup in your choice of weight and length with a already spooled reel, the kit comes with convenient carrying case, and a waterproof fly-box pre-loaded with a general selection of effective pattern.
Buyers have their choice from a variety of rod weights on lengths for this kit. You can choose rods from 3 weight all the way up to 8 weight. The reinforced carbon fiber design of this rod leads to a near 20% increase in strength over conventional carbon rods.
A fast action rod, it excels in casting distance and life-like presentation of flies. Still, the rod remains forgiving to the beginner fly caster and is engineered to be smooth and easy casting.
The reel included in this kit is an attractive polished aluminum design. In addition to aesthetics, the aluminum makes for a lightweight, yet strong reel. The large arbor spool assists in reducing line memory and increases cast ability. Pre-loaded with a weight forward fly line, backing, and tapered leader; it gives the beginner all they need to get casting.
This kit comes in at a competitive price while giving the beginner angler optimal performance. In addition to the complete fly rod setup, the kit comes with a carrying case designed to hold the rod and reel when broken down into 4 pieces.
On top of that, this kit includes a bonus waterproof fly box pre-loaded with a dozen flies. With all of this, you could leave the store and be fishing on the way home.
4. Redington Path II Outfit Fishing Rod with Crosswater Reel
This beginner fly fishing combo by Redington has a little more selection for the beginner who wants a bit of choice. Unlike other kits, this one doesn’t come with a whole bunch of bells, whistles, and accessories.
What this kit does do, is that it allows you to have your choice in a variety of rod weights and lengths and a properly matched spool and reel.
Redington is a well known name in the fly fishing world and regularly produce products with reputable quality and no-hassle guarantees.
This kit allows the buyer to have their choice of a variety of rod weights and lengths. Users can choose rods between 4 weight and 9 weight in lengths of 8.5 feet or 9 feet, allowing for more targeted fishing opportunity. The PATH rod included is a medium-fast action graphite rod that is reportedly a very smooth caster. This type of performance will lend itself well to anglers of all levels.
The Crosswater reel included with this setup is also made by Redington and is featured on several other combo setups. This durable polymer reel is stylish and functional. The disk-drag system is certain to slow down even the largest of fish with a 100 yard line capacity.
The reel comes already spooled up with backing and fly line. The fly line featured on this rig is a weight forward line called Mainstream by RIO Fly Lines. Rio is another reputable name in the fly-fishing industry and tends to be found on most of my setups.
The focus on this kit is much more emphasized on a quality well built rod and reel. The kit does come with a durable 4 piece break down case. The case is designed to hold your rod setup with reel still attached. This is a very convenient feature in my experience.
With this setup, you will still need to go out and get yourself some leaders, tippet, flies, tools, etc. However, with this fly rod and reel combo, you will be able to rely on it for years to come.
5. TFO NXT Fly Rod Outfit
This rod, reel, and line kit by Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) offers premium performance and craftsman like quality for an affordable price.
Featuring all proprietary TFO products, this kit has been assembled with careful though into compatibility, functionality, and performance in mind.
The kit offers the buyer a choice in weight ranges and necessary matching components to have the option to target a wide variety of fishing.
The rod in this setup is none other than an NXT series rod engineered for years by TFO. This graphite 4 piece rod offers unsurpassed forgiveness in casting ability. With a medium-fast action, this rod falls right in the middle of the versatility spectrum.
All of these qualities make this a good beginner fly fishing rod. Beginners will truly appreciate the cast-ability and forgiving nature of the NXT rod. You have the choice of 3 different weight ranges: 4/5 weight, 6/7 weight, and 8/9 weight. To top it off, every TFO rod is backed by an Unconditional Lifetime Guarantee you.
The reel included with this setup has received some much needed updates since I purchased mine. The new setup comes with a large arbor reel to step into the modern age. This NXT LA disc drag reel will surely be able to handle even hard running fish.
Pre-spooled and ready to fish. This reel comes completely rigged up with associated fly line weight of floating line, backing, and even a tapered leader. All optimized to perform with the NXT Rod and correct weight.
The focus of this kit is to get a quality casting and performing rod setup into the hands of beginners. Even though it may be more expensive than some other setups, it is one of the highest performers for the price.
The outfit does come with a 4 piece break down sized carrying case also designed to hold the reel. This offers great protection and convenience when transporting between fishing and home.
Don’t forget about that great TFO warranty on the rod as well. I believe the TFO setup holds good standing as up there with near the best beginner fly rod combo.
Feeling ready to go now? With this knowledge, you are a few clicks or a short drive away from owning a fly fishing starter kit. Based on how you plan on fishing, you should be able to find a suitable beginner fly fishing setup to suit it. All of the fly fishing combos reviewed were pieced together with beginners in mind. Therefore, they are all going to be versatile, easy to cast, and affordable.
My preferred recommendation to a beginning fly angler or someone who wants a do it all setup would be a 5 weight 9 foot rod. A great all purpose size, one of the best options in this specification has got to be our top pick, the Orvis Encounter. It would be hard to be led astray by a well thought out fly fishing kit with a reputable brand behind it.
Arm yourself with a fly fishing combo, a box of flies, and a few little tools and you are ready to start learning more out on the water. Once you get down the whole casting thing down comes the fun part of learning fish behavior and how to catch your targeted quarry. I can guarantee you that fly fishing will be a forever learning process that is sure to bring boat loads of enjoyment through the journey.
1. The Ultimate Guide To Fishing Reels (Types, Uses, Pros and Cons)
2. The BEST Trout Lures Of All Time! (Top 8 Trout Fishing Lures Reviewed)
3. The Best Steelhead Fishing Rods (Top 5 Reviewed)
4. The BEST Trout Lures Of All Time! (Top 8 Trout Fishing Lures Reviewed)
5. Ultimate Guide To Fly Fishing For Beginners
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