Beginner Fly Fishing Rod

Ultimate Guide To Beginner Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Over the last couple of years, fly fishing has grown exponentially, but there is a lot to understand before going all-in on a new setup. This gear guide breaks down the best beginner fly fishing rod, reel, and line for new anglers. Whether you’ve never cast a line, are looking for your first rig, or want to upgrade your current combo, I’ve done the research and chosen the top options for beginners.

When it comes to fly fishing equipment, having the right gear is essential for a successful and enjoyable fishing experience. In this guide, I’ll provide insights into the different components of a fly fishing combo and recommend the top options for beginners. From entry-level gear to upgrade picks, I’ve got you covered on your journey to becoming a skilled fly angler.

DISCLAIMER: The links I mention may be affiliate links. If you purchase through one of these links I may receive a commission, at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What is a fly fishing combo?

A fly fishing combo is a complete package that includes a fishing rod, fly line, and reel, designed specifically for fly fishing. Flies, made from feathers, fur, thread, and other materials tied together on a hook, are used as lures in fly fishing. The combo should be versatile and suitable for learning and trying different techniques, making it an ideal choice for beginners.

  • A fishing rod is the main component of a fly fishing combo. It is designed to cast the fly line with precision and control.
  • The fly line is a specialized type of fishing line that is thicker and heavier compared to other fishing lines. It helps to carry the weight of the fly and allows for accurate casting.
  • A fishing reel is used to store and control the fly line. It provides resistance when a fish is hooked and helps in reeling it in.
  • Flies are the artificial lures used in fly fishing. They imitate various insects, baitfish, or other organisms that fish feed on.

When purchasing a fly fishing combo, it is important to consider the quality and performance of the rod, reel, and line. Look for combos that offer durability, ease of use, and value for money. While flies are often purchased separately, some combos may include a few basic flies to get started.

Components of a Fly Fishing Combo

Fishing RodThe main component of the combo, designed for casting and control.
Fly LineA specialized type of fishing line that helps carry the weight of the fly and enables accurate casting.
ReelUsed for storing and controlling the fly line, providing resistance when a fish is hooked.
FliesArtificial lures made from feathers, fur, thread, and other materials tied on a hook to imitate natural prey.

The winners

After extensive research and evaluation, I have identified the top fly fishing combos for beginners. These combos have been chosen based on their performance, features, and value for money. Whether you are just starting out or looking to upgrade your current setup, these options are worth considering.

1. Echo Base Lift Kit: This combo offers a versatile and durable fly rod, reel, and line. It provides easy setup and accurate casting, making it ideal for beginners. With a lifetime warranty, you can have peace of mind knowing that your investment is protected.

2. Orvis Clearwater Outfit: If you are ready to take your fly fishing skills to the next level, this upgrade pick is for you. The Orvis Clearwater Outfit features a medium-fast action rod that delivers smooth and balanced performance. It comes with a rod, reel, line, backing, and tube, giving you everything you need for an enhanced fishing experience.

3. Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit: For those on a budget, this combo offers great value for money. It includes a medium action rod, reel, line, leader, and backing, providing all the essentials for beginners at an affordable price.

4. Redington Crosswater Combo: If you’re looking for a multipurpose combo that can handle various fishing scenarios, the Redington Crosswater Combo is a top choice. Its fast-medium action rod is suitable for different techniques, making it ideal for beginners who want to explore different fishing styles.

Take your time to consider the features and benefits of each combo. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to upgrade, there is a fly fishing combo on this list that will suit your needs and preferences.

Best for most people

Echo Base Lift Kit

When it comes to beginner fly rods, the Echo Base Lift Kit stands out as the top choice for most people. With its excellent performance, lifetime warranty, and reasonable price, it ticks all the boxes for beginners looking to get started in fly fishing.

The Echo Base Lift Kit is known for its durability, making it perfect for those still learning the ropes of fly fishing. The rod and reel are designed to withstand the inevitable bumps and mishaps that come with beginner usage. This means you can focus on honing your skills without worrying about your gear.

Accuracy is key in fly fishing, and the Echo Base Lift Kit delivers. Its precise casting allows for easy and efficient retrieval, even for newcomers to the sport. Plus, the included leader means you can start fishing right away, without the need for any additional purchases.


Echo Base Lift KitFast actionPre-spooledWF (Weight Forward)Included

Best Budget Fly Fishing Combo: Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit

When it comes to finding an affordable fly fishing combo that doesn’t compromise on quality, the Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit is the top choice for beginners. This versatile combo includes everything you need to get started, making it ideal for those on a tight budget.

The Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit features a medium action rod that provides a good balance between sensitivity and power. This allows for smooth and accurate casting, making it suitable for a variety of fishing scenarios. The rod is paired with a reliable reel that ensures consistent performance on the water.

With its affordable price tag, the Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit is a great investment for beginners who want to dip their toes into fly fishing without breaking the bank. This combo is designed to withstand the rigors of learning and practicing, making it a durable and long-lasting option. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, this budget-friendly combo is ready to go.

Key Features of the Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Outfit:

  • Medium action rod for versatile fishing
  • Reliable reel for consistent performance
  • Durable design for long-lasting use
  • Affordable price for budget-conscious anglers

Best Multipurpose Fly Fishing Combo: Redington Crosswater Combo

Redington Crosswater Combo

If you’re a beginner fly angler looking for a versatile and reliable combo, the Redington Crosswater Combo is the perfect choice. Designed with the needs of beginners in mind, this combo offers exceptional performance and adaptability, making it the most versatile fly fishing combo on the market.

The Redington Crosswater Combo features a fast-medium action rod, which strikes the ideal balance between sensitivity and power. This allows for precise casting and increased accuracy, whether you’re targeting trout in rivers or bass in ponds. The rod is lightweight and easy to handle, making it ideal for beginners who are still mastering their casting techniques.

With the Redington Crosswater Combo, you’ll also receive a high-quality reel and line. The reel is durable and offers smooth line retrieval, ensuring that you can easily bring in your catch. The included line is perfectly matched to the rod’s action, providing excellent performance and enhancing your overall fishing experience.

Key Features of the Redington Crosswater Combo:

  • Fast-medium action rod for versatile fishing scenarios
  • Durable and lightweight design for easy handling
  • Precision casting and increased accuracy
  • Smooth line retrieval with the high-quality reel
  • Perfectly matched line for optimal performance

Best Upgrade: Orvis Clearwater Outfit

Orvis Clearwater Outfit

If you’re ready to take your fly fishing game to the next level, the Orvis Clearwater Outfit is the best upgrade option for beginners. With its medium-fast action rod, this combo offers improved performance and accuracy, allowing you to tackle more challenging fishing scenarios.

The Orvis Clearwater Outfit includes everything you need for an upgraded fishing experience. The rod, reel, line, backing, and tube are all included, ensuring you have all the essentials at your disposal. The medium-fast action of the rod provides a smooth and balanced feel, making it easier to cast with precision.

With the Orvis Clearwater Outfit, you’ll notice the difference in your casting distance and accuracy. The upgraded components and design of the combo enhance your overall fishing experience, ensuring you can make the most out of your time on the water.

For those looking to invest in a fly fishing combo that will grow with them as their skills improve, the Orvis Clearwater Outfit is the ideal choice. Its medium-fast action, quality components, and comprehensive package make it the best upgrade for beginners.

FeaturesOrvis Clearwater Outfit
Included ComponentsRod, reel, line, backing, tube
PerformanceImproved accuracy and casting distance
Experience LevelBeginner (upgrade)

Honorable Mentions

In addition to the top winners, there are a few honorable mentions worth considering. These options provide excellent performance and value for money in the world of fly fishing combos. One such contender is the L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod Outfit.

The L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod Outfit is a reliable choice for beginners. It includes a high-quality rod, reel, line, backing, leader, and case, making it a comprehensive package. The rod is designed to provide smooth and accurate casting, while the reel offers a reliable drag system for reeling in your catch. With its versatile and durable construction, this outfit has everything you need to start your fly fishing journey.

L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod OutfitHigh-quality rod, reel, line, backing, leader, and caseAffordable

Buying Advice

Choosing the right fly fishing combo as a beginner can be overwhelming, but with some guidance, you can find the gear that suits your needs. Here are some tips to help you make an informed decision:

Consider the Weight, Action, and Length

The weight, action, and length of the rod are key factors to consider. The weight of the rod determines the size of the fish you can target, while the action refers to the flexibility and responsiveness of the rod. For beginners, a medium-fast to medium action rod is recommended as it provides a good balance of casting accuracy and forgiveness. The length of the rod depends on the fishing scenarios you plan to pursue. Shorter rods are suitable for small streams, while longer rods are ideal for larger bodies of water.

Look for Complete Combos

When purchasing a fly fishing combo, ensure it includes all the necessary components such as the rod, reel, line, backing, and leader. This ensures that you have everything you need to start fishing right away. Some combos may also come with additional accessories like a carrying case or fly assortment, which can be beneficial for beginners.

Consider Your Budget and Fishing Scenarios

Set a budget that aligns with your financial constraints and goals as a beginner angler. Remember that quality gear tends to be more durable and offers better performance, but it may come at a higher price. Additionally, think about the fishing scenarios you anticipate. If you plan to mostly fish in small streams, a lightweight combo would be suitable. On the other hand, if you anticipate fishing in larger bodies of water or targeting larger fish, consider a sturdier combo with a higher weight capacity.

Warranty and Customer Support

Check if the manufacturer offers a warranty on the combo and inquire about their customer support. A solid warranty can provide peace of mind in case of any defects or issues with the gear. Additionally, good customer support can assist you with any questions or problems you may encounter along the way.

Weight, Action, and LengthChoose a weight, action, and length that align with your fishing goals and experience level. A medium-fast to medium action rod is recommended for beginners.
Complete CombosLook for combos that include all the necessary components, such as the rod, reel, line, backing, and leader. Additional accessories can be a bonus.
Budget and Fishing ScenariosSet a budget that suits your financial constraints and consider the fishing scenarios you anticipate. Choose a combo that matches your intended fishing style.
Warranty and Customer SupportCheck if the combo comes with a warranty and ensure the manufacturer offers reliable customer support to assist you with any potential issues.

How to Find a Fly Fishing Community

If you’re passionate about fly fishing and want to connect with like-minded anglers, joining a fishing community is a great way to enhance your experience. By interacting with fellow enthusiasts, you can learn new techniques, exchange valuable tips, and discover new fishing spots. Here are some ways to find a fly fishing community:

1. Local Fishing Clubs

Research local fishing clubs in your area. These clubs often organize regular meetings, casting clinics, and fishing trips. They provide a platform for interacting with experienced anglers who are willing to share their knowledge and mentor beginners. Engaging with a local fishing club can also help you build lasting friendships with fellow fly fishers.

2. Online Forums

Joining online forums dedicated to fly fishing is an excellent way to connect with a broader community of anglers. These forums allow you to ask questions, get advice, and share your own experiences. You can learn from the collective wisdom of experienced fly fishers and participate in discussions on various topics related to the sport.

3. Social Media Groups

Look for fly fishing groups on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit. These groups provide a convenient way to connect with other enthusiasts, share photos and stories, and stay updated on the latest trends and developments in fly fishing. Engaging with social media fly fishing communities can open up opportunities for networking and learning from experienced anglers.

Care and Maintenance

When it comes to fly fishing, taking care of your gear is essential for its longevity and optimal performance. Here are some tips for maintaining your fly fishing rod, reel, and line.

Fly Fishing Rod

After each fishing trip, make sure to clean your rod using a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris. Inspect the rod for any signs of damage, such as cracks or loose guides. If you notice any issues, it’s best to get them repaired or replaced before your next outing. When storing your rod, always place it in a protective case to prevent any accidental damage.

Fly Fishing Reel

Similar to the rod, it’s important to clean your reel after each use. Gently remove any dirt or saltwater residue using a soft cloth or brush. Pay attention to the reel’s moving parts and ensure they are free from debris. Additionally, consider lubricating the reel’s mechanisms with a reel oil to maintain its smooth operation. Remember to store your reel in a dry and cool place to prevent corrosion.

Fly Fishing Line

Regularly inspect your fly fishing line for any signs of wear or cracks. If you notice any damage, it’s crucial to replace the line to avoid any issues during your next fishing trip. To clean the line, use a mild soap and warm water, gently wiping it with a soft cloth. Avoid using any abrasive materials as they can damage the line. Once cleaned, allow the line to dry before storing it in a tangle-free manner.

Learn More About Fly Fishing

If you enjoyed this read and want to learn more, we have more content for you.