What You Need To Start Fly Fishing – Fly fishing may seem difficult, but catching the sport is easier than ever. This guide will walk you through the tools and steps to get started fly fishing.

Fly fishing can seem like a daunting endeavor. The sport often brings to mind large, complex hoops, which can scare anyone who has trouble with swinging strokes.

What You Need To Start Fly Fishing

What You Need To Start Fly Fishing

The barriers to entry for fly fishing are not that complicated, however. There is a learning curve when it comes to fly fishing, just like casting and presentation, but they are not as much of a barrier as a learning opportunity. Equipment and lessons are easier to find than ever and cheaper than you think.

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Below we cover every step and every piece of gear you’ll need if you want to dip your toe into the fly fishing waters.

Since fly fishing is a completely different type of fishing, none of your spinning gear will carry it, not even line. Rods, reels, lines, leaders and flies are all typical of this style of fishing, but are also very affordable for beginners.

You can’t go fishing without a fishing rod unless you have a handle. Fly rods are unique in that their strength is measured in weights that range from 2 (the smallest and lightest) to 12+ (suitable for saltwater fishing).

The weight of your fly rod will depend on where you live and what species are available to you. For example, if you only fish small trout streams in North Carolina, you’ll be looking for a 4 or 5 weight rod. If you’re only targeting bass in Florida, you’re looking for something stronger like a 6 or 7 weight. Cyclists in the Great Lakes region can even get up to 8 pounds. The heavier your fly rod, the more difficult it can be to cast.

How To Start Fly Fishing

Most beginners should look at the 5-weight, which can handle most trout fishing and bass fishing, two of the most popular freshwater species around the country.

After you have decided on the weight of the rod, you need to look at the action. The action on your rod is indicative of how flexible the rod is. Slow action rods have more flexibility, making them more powerful, while fast action rods have less flexibility, and medium action is often a good mix of the two.

Baby shower should be simple and not loud. High quality reels have robust drag systems to handle large, generally saltwater, fish. New fly anglers typically aren’t targeting these fish, and whatever your reel has is more than enough.

What You Need To Start Fly Fishing

The two main types of tires are cast and machined tires. Cast rollers are cheaper, but heavier. They are melted from metal and plastic and poured into a mold. They’re cheaper for a reason, but they’re great for getting started.

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Machined rolls are made with tools that precisely cut the wheel from the metal. They look like a precision piece of equipment and are much smoother than cast wheels. However, any wheel will be enough for beginners.

Most tires you buy have a closed brake drag system. The fully enclosed system is great for keeping debris out of the brake and keeping it contained. You can also find click and paddle wheels that use a braking system. It’s good for smaller fish, but can’t handle larger species.

Tip: There are great combos and great reels at great prices for beginners, which leaves a lot of guesswork out when finding a reel to fit your rod.

The fly line is what propels your fly. Unlike spinning or cast fishing, which feeds your line through a split shock or weighted lure at the end of your line, a weighted fly line takes your weightless fly out instead.

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Your fly line has a numbered weight that matches the weight of your fly rod.

There are also three types of runways: floating, sink tip and full sink. Read more about runway types.

Beginners should focus on the floating line to begin with. This line, as they say, floats on the surface of the water and is of a very different kind. Floating line is useful for dry fly and nymphing for trout, as well as streamer fishing for bass and panfish. You can always fish deeper in the water column if you need to by tying on a longer leader and tippet.

What You Need To Start Fly Fishing

You will also need a row of support line that will connect your fly line to your reel. Some wheels and runways come with a backing, so check the backing before buying. Backing spools usually come in 12 to 30 pounds of breaking force and lengths from 50 to 1,000 yards. The amount of support you need is directly related to the size of fish you are fishing for. Fifty yards will be plenty for small trout and catfish, while for saltwater species you may want up to 200 yards.

How To Start Fly Fishing

This is the line that goes from your fly line to your fly. Leader comes in different weights and tippet is an even smaller line to help you cast with skill. You can either buy several sizes of leader and tippot and make your own leaders, or you can buy easily made leaders.

Note:  If you buy pre-made leaders, you will slowly lose the fine end when tying different flies and cutting the flies. Eventually you will need to replace the entire cone leader, or add some tippet to hold the small tip of the cone.

Flies come in a variety of shapes and sizes to mimic different insects, insect developmental stages, and prey fish. If you live in bass and crappie country, you’ll want to have several types of streamers that imitate fish, crawfish, and shrimp. Trout anglers need several types of nymphs, dry flies that mimic the stages of various mayflies, mayflies, and caddis. Trout anglers may also want a small assortment of lures.

To get the best selection of flies, be sure to visit your local fly shop. There is no substitute for the knowledge of a local shop and they have all kinds of flies that will work in your local waters.

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For those who don’t have a local fly shop, check out online fly retailers like The Store to order your flies directly to your home.

Learning to fly fish is easier than ever because online tutorials are more readily available. Check out the video tutorials from Orvis and Mad River Outfitters that will teach you how to cast, tie knots, present flies and more.

Don’t forget to check out the “Huge Fly Fisherman” app for weekly video lessons, fishing tips for saltwater and freshwater species, and fishing culture breakdowns.

What You Need To Start Fly Fishing

After checking out the lessons, be sure to practice your skills. Throw in the garden or yard every day to hone your technique and install hoops and buckets to improve your accuracy.

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The perfect clinch knot for attaching your hook to your line is one thing that carries over to fly fishing.

You’ll also need to tie a few knots to attach your backer to your reel, your fly line to your backer, and your leader to your fly line. Here’s a handy guide to tying all the different knots for this process. But you don’t need to learn these knots. You just need to know the surgeon’s knot, to attach the knot to the leader and the clinch knot, to tie your fly to fish effectively in the field.

Your last step is to find water and go fishing. In this case, a map can be your best friend. Find bodies of water near you by opening the map and looking at the catches. Learn what fish are being caught at each reservoir to help you prepare for what flies to bring and even learn about different angler gear choices.

Fly fishing doesn’t have to be an intimidating new skill. The obstacles preventing you from learning this new skill are no different than learning any fishing skill and are more accessible than ever. It doesn’t matter how one fishes, as long as we all value the water and the time we spend on it. However, learning new fishing skills helps to understand the sport we all love and the fish we love.

The Gear You Need To Start Fly Fishing On The Road

If you have not done the general fishing program around the world, to see all the fish information, fishing spots, weather conditions you have missed in plus more.

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