Beginner-friendly rods and reels to get you started fishing

Interested in fly fishing? Begin here.

person holding fishing rod
Where to start.Carl Heyerdahl via Unsplash

Learning how to fly fish can be intimidating. And like many outdoor sports, it can also be expensive. But don’t let those expensive rods and reels turn you off. You can buy a great rod and reel package for an accessible price. From there, the question becomes what is most important. We’re here to help you decide.

Redington VICE Fly Fishing Outfit – Rod and Reel Combo
Don’t stress about breaks.Amazon

It can be remarkably easy to break a fly rod. The tips snap. Kids step on them. Don’t live in fear of your rod breaking and buying a new set up. This rod and reel combo comes pre-spooled with fly line and includes a case. It’s easy to cast and has an aluminum reel seat for any water conditions. Buy this as a beginner, keep it for life.

Orvis Encounter Rod Outfits
Buy reliable.Amazon

The Orvis marketing team says instead of a beginner rod and reel, this set up is “affordable awesomeness.” They’re not wrong. The 9-foot, 8-weight rod and reel with weight-forward floating line and backing has everything you need to get started. But don’t think about this as your average big-box store gear. It’s smooth, crisp, and built for a serious angler, even if it’s priced for a beginner.

Wild Water Fly Fishing 9-foot, 4-piece, 5/6 weight fly rod Complete Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Starter Package
Buy everything you need.Amazon

Instead of slowly piecing together equipment for your first fly-fishing trip, buy everything you need in one handy set. This package has it all—rod, reel, line, waterproof, floating fly box, flies, and leader. It even has a knot-tying took, hook-eye cleaner, and line nipper. Don’t worry, it also includes an instruction manual. It’s the perfect set up for trout, panfish, and bass in small to medium streams and ponds.

NetAngler Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod 5-weight Aluminum Fly Reel Complete Starter Full Kit
Don’t go into debt to catch fish.Amazon

Centuries ago, fishing wasn’t much more than line on the end of a stick. While success rates have improved with more sophisticated equipment, keep that example in mind when choosing a fly rod and reel. You don’t have to break the bank to begin. This kit has flies, forceps, a 4-piece rod perfect for backpacking, reel, line, and nippers. It even includes an extra rod tip piece in case you break one. You might not be the fanciest angler out there, but turns out, fish don’t care.