BlogSeptember 2022

Basic fly fishing equipment

Basic fly fishing equipment

By Andy Whitcomb

Sep 20, 2022

A list of fly fishing equipment can be lengthy. However, here are the basics to get you started with this unique fishing experience.

Fly fishing equipment for beginners can seem intimidating. The fly fishing equipment checklist for a true enthusiast could be lengthy so cost of fly fishing equipment can be a concern as well. However, the most basic equipment for fly fishing falls into three categories, and with a little shopping, one should even be able to locate a fly fishing equipment discount.

1. Fly Rod

This is the most important piece of equipment needed for fly fishing. A standard spinning rod simply will not cut it. Any fly fishing equipment guide will describe a fly rod as exceptionally limber, designed to flex, bend, and load to assist propelling an essentially weightless fly substantial distances. While searching for this initial fly fishing equipment for beginners, keep a budget in mind and don’t just buy the first rod you see. If a tackle store offers fly fishing equipment for sale, consider how a range of fly rods feels and how it matches your target species. The best fly fishing equipment can be expensive, and worth it, but don’t blow it all here. You still have a few more items on your fly fishing list…

2. Fly Line

Such as this unique line. First, fly line needs to match the weight of the fly rod. Then, there are variations in the taper, line sinking rate, and such. When addressing the best fly fishing equipment for beginners, for fly line, do not get too specialized yet. A general use, WF (weight forward), floating line will be a good place to start. A tippet of some sort is required to join fly line to lure. This connecting line will become even more useful as fly fishing equipment as experience is gained, but for beginners, light monofilament line from your spinning outfit should work. Some fly fishing beginner kits already have the tippet connected to the fly line, ready to go.

3. Flies

Then, of course, you are going to need something tempting to tie on the end of that special line. This equipment for fly fishing varies greatly, depending on what you are trying to catch, and where you are trying to catch it. Feathers and such tied on tiny hooks are able to mimic even the tiniest insects to taunt finicky fish. Many anglers eventually discover the need to invest in fly fishing tying equipment. However, beginners, targeting sunfish, will find that these fish usually will settle for any bargain fly, especially if it means beating another fish to it.

Assemble this short list of fly fishing equipment and, along with a fishing license, you will be on your way to a new fishing experience. As your confidence grows with this technique, so will the list of additional equipment such as waders, a landing net, and perhaps a vest. But this too, can be a lot of fun.

Andy Whitcomb
Andy Whitcomb
Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.