Are you interested in getting started into the world of fly fishing? Maybe you are already hooked, but want to help a friend of family member get kitted out for your next fishing trip together. It isn’t difficult to drop several hundred dollars on a fly fishing rig, and if money isn’t an issue, at the end of the article I have a few recommendations for you to really go crazy with. But why spend a ton of money on a hobby that might not even interest you after a few difficult days on the water? Below are my top 5 entry level fly fishing outfits for 2016 and beyond.
#5 – Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit – $300
Orvis is one of the most recognizable names in the fly fishing industry. They make high quality fly fishing gear and have outstanding craftsmanship that will last. The Orvis Clearwater fly rod outfit is an amazing fly fishing combo that feels more like a high end outfit than where it is priced. Considering you can easily spend $300 on just a rod or just a reel, this outfit comes complete with everything you will need to hit the water right off the bat, including a 4 piece rod, reel, floating line, backing, leader, and a rod tube for safe transport. Here is what one angler said about the combo:
“The Clearwater Fly Rod is truly one of the best values in fly fishing. The rod has the feel and action of a much higher priced rod–and it comes with the famous Orvis warranty. It is the perfect rod to grow your skills with–you can fish it your whole life and never outgrow the capability of this rod.”
I agree completely with this statement, and the 25 year warranty is just another perk to add on top of all the other praise this combo has received over the years. Click on this link to pick up your Orvis Clearwater fly rod outfit today.
#4 – Redington Crosswater Fly Rod Outfit – $150
Priced at half of the Orvis Clearwater, the Redington Crosswater Combo comes with a high quality 4 piece rod and reel, floating fly line, leader, backing and protective case. It does lack the 25 year warranty (a 1 year warranty on the rod alone), but it can hold its own against more expensive combos out there. The rod is medium-fast action, which is perfect for a beginner to catch on to the casting motion. The following review highlights the strengths of this combo as an entry level fly fishing combo:
“Bought the crosswater 3yrs ago as a starter rod, love it everyday I use it. Really good choice, good quality, good price for anyone that wants to learn to fly fish without breaking the bank.”
#3 – L.L. Bean Streamlight Fly Rod Outfit – $200
Streamlight Ultra Two-Piece Fly Rod and Reel Combos, 7-9 Wt.
L.L. Bean is another name that has been in the fly fishing industry for many years. The Streamlight combo is, according to the company, ‘the best casting fly rod for the price.’ It is hard to argue, and the combo is lightweight and has a great action for beginners. The combo comes with a rod, reel, floating fly line, backing and a hard travel case. This is what one happy angler has to say about the Streamlight outfit:
“The rod has a moderate action and performs very well in tight spaces. While I have other higher priced rods, the Streamlight for the money is a top value buy. Moreover, my confidence in purchasing from LL Bean is that they have the best service in business.”
This is a fantastic choice for an entry level fly fishing kit and is a great buy at $200. Order your L.L. Bean Streamlight fly fishing combo by clicking the link.
#2 – Cabelas Prestige Fly Rod Outfit – $150
Cabelas, the ‘World’s Foremost Outfitter,’ makes some pretty nice fly fishing combos for the money. My first fly fishing outfit when I was around 12 years old was an old Cabelas combo. The Prestige is probably the most complete outfit you will find on the market, and it literally has everything to get you started. It comes with:
- 3 or 4 piece rod
- floating line
- 12 assorted trout flies in a fly box
- extra leader
- two retractors
- fly floatant
- leader straightener
- split shot
- a small chest pack
- hard travel case for the rod and reel
The only thing missing is a pair of waders and your favorite beverage. While the rod doesn’t cast like the Orvis or L.L. Bean rods on this list, the kit is as complete as you will find and perfect for the beginner. One angler had this to say about the kit:
“This package has been a great value for the money. It comes with everything a person needs to start fly fishing! I have caught many fish in my first month of owning the pole and all the fish have been caught on flies supplied in this package!”
If you want a one-stop-shop to get completely kitted out for your first day on the water, the prestige combo is where it’s at. Click on this link to pick yours up today.
#1 – Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit – $160
One list, 2 Orvis outfits. It is well deserved, and the Encounter is my favorite combo for a beginner. Orvis has this to say about this kit:
“Instead of the term ‘entry level,’ we prefer to describe our new Encounter rod outfits as ‘affordable awesomeness.’”
I really like this, because this kit just doesn’t seem like an entry level outfit to me. It has a crisp action and feels higher end than the price would indicate. The outfit comes with a 4 piece rod, reel, weight forward floating fly line and leader, as well as a hard rod tube for transport. One thing to note is that the Encounter combo does not come with Orvis’ standard 25 year warranty, and instead has a limited warranty against defects. Here is what one review has to say about the Encounter:
“I purchased two Encounter 5 wt outfits for a young couple who expressed an interest in learning to fly fish. They both love the rigs, are learning quickly, casting gracefully and seeking advanced instruction and new water to fish. I fished the Encounter and found it to be perfect for a variety of water conditions for the beginner and intermediate angler. It’s weighted and balanced nicely, casts smoothly, responds quickly and acts great on fish.”
For the price and what you get, the Encounter is the top rated entry level fly fishing outfit on this list. To pick up your Orvis Encounter Fly Fishing Outfit, click on the link.
The Bottom Line
While it is unreasonable to expect top line performance from any of these outfits, some really do shine and show a high level of performance for the price. All of these kits are great options for the beginner, and as you grow in your skills, the kit will continue to provide adequate performance until you decide to upgrade to higher end gear. Hopefully this list will help you get started in the wonderful world of fly fishing without breaking the bank. As always, thanks for reading and happy fishing!
As promised, here are a few higher end combos if money isn’t an issue for you. Enjoy!
G.Loomis PRO4x 10810-4 Saltwater w/ Lamson Litespeed 4 Fly Rod & Reel Combo – $800
What do you think about the list of entry level fly fishing outfits above? Did we leave off your favorite entry level kit? Let us know in the comment section below. Thanks!