Fly fishing can be an intimidating venture for a newcomer. With so much technique involved, an air of artistry that seems to demand to be mastered in order to find success, and equipment that tends to require a deeper commitment due to higher costs, it takes time and dedication to stick with it once you start. I don’t advise any beginner fly anglers to run out and pick up an expensive rod and reel, but most won’t have to. There are several starter fly kits available for beginners to get their feet wet with, so to speak, and today we’ll take a look at a few of the more popular ones.
A great place to start is the Wind River Fly Fishing Starter Kit from Cabela’s. This complete kit is comprised of an IM6 graphite rod with an aluminum reel seat that produces accurate, yet forgiving casts—ideal for newcomers learning the craft. The kit also sports a Three Forks arbor-design reel made from high-density, lightweight, and strong graphite. Weight-forward floating fly line is pre-spooled on the reel, complete with backing and a tapered leader, allowing the user to fish right out of the box. You also get four knotless, nine-foot, tapered leaders with a $X tippet. The kit also offers a medium fly box that comes with a 35-piece fly assortment of 18 dry flies and 17 wets, including nymphs and streamers. Finally, you get a nylon-lined PVC tube and attached reel case to protect the combo during travel and storage. While it may not be a combo you keep around for years on end, the Wind River starter kit is ideal for beginners who don’t want to spend a lot but need something they can rely on while they learn the sport.
A less expensive option is Pflueger’s starter kit. While this kit doesn’t come with as many bells and whistles, you still get an eight-foot, three-piece #5/6 weight fly rod, a metal single-action fly reel, 50 yards of fly line backing, and 25 yards of 6-weight fly line. You also get a small fly box with a few flies. Pflueger’s kit is aimed more for younger beginners or those who don’t want to spend much at all when they’re first learning and aren’t sure if they’ll stick with it.
Lastly, we have Scientific Angler’s lineup of species-specific starter fly kits. Whether you’re after trout, panfish, bass, or saltwater species, there’s a kit for you. Furthermore, there’s even a kit designed specifically for youth. Each kit is comprised of a four-piece graphite rod. Not only are the kits easy to choose between, but they’re easy to assemble. Also, the reel is already spooled with line leader and tippet. Furthermore, each kit has three flies specific for the species you’re after. Finally, each includes a special DVD with “Fly Fishing Made Easy” and “Panfish and Bass with Larry Dahlberg,” which will help you gain all the knowledge you need to truly master and enjoy the great sport of fly fishing.
If you’ve been considering dipping your toes in the waters of fly fishing, but aren’t sure of the financial commitment, then any one of the setups outlined today would be a great place to start. As I’ve said, they won’t last several seasons, but for beginners, they’re great.