How to Find the Best Beginner Fly Fishing Gear for Women

By Debbie Hanson

Nov 06, 2023

Summary of beginner fly fishing gear for women. Which features are important, how to find gear that fits right, why materials matter for comfort on the water

Some might think that finding beginner fly fishing gear for women would be the same for any other fly angler, but that’s not the case. Women who fly fish have spoken and you might be surprised about some of the features we appreciate, along with some of the features we want to steer clear from. Consider these five important tips when selecting fly fishing gear for ladies new to the sport.

Invest in Comfortable Waders

We love comfortable waders from gear companies who provide helpful size charts with sizes that range from petite to full (we’ll take a hard pass on baggy and uncomfortable waders). When waders fit well, we can move in the water easier, spend less time having to adjust them, and flat out catch more fish. The best fly fishing gear for female beginners will allow us to spend our time learning how to fly fish instead of struggling with gear that doesn’t fit right.

True to Size Boots and Shoes

When it comes to fly fishing gear recommendations for women, look for wading boots and fishing shoes that are lightweight and run true to shoe size. No one appreciates bulky, clunky, heavy feet (which can also be a safety hazard when wading through rocky streams and rivers), but it’s important to have the support and traction. Research wading boots and fly fishing shoes from companies like Patagonia and Simms.

Fly Fishing Shirts That Really Fit

While we are all different shapes and sizes, it’s so much easier for women to find lightweight moisture wicking UPF shirts that fit our bodies these days. The best outdoor clothing brands ask for feedback from women who spend a great deal of time on the water, then thoughtfully incorporate that feedback into improved clothing and gear designs. For example, some shirts have features like hidden sewn-in microfiber cleaning cloths (for sunglasses or phone screens), vented back designs, and roll-up sleeve tabs.

Functional Fly Fishing Gear Sets

When looking for fly fishing gear sets for beginners, start with a versatile 5 or 6-weight fly outfit to use while targeting rainbow trout or panfish. Brands like Orvis and White River Fly Shop make complete fly fishing combo packages that contain all the essentials such as fly rod, fly reel, floating fly line, Dacron backing, tapered leaders, nippers, selection of flies, and hemostats – we love the fact that we can be all rigged up and ready to fish in minutes. With more experience, fly fishing gear can always be upgraded. Keep it as simple as possible when just starting out.

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.