Complete Checklist of Equipment to get Started Fly Fishing

Hey guys, Travis here with Noses Up! I've written this article as a fly fishing equipment checklist for beginning fly anglers. I hope it helps you determine what equipment you'll need to start fly fishing, as well as save you some money by helping you avoid purchasing unnecessary items.


What do you need to start Fly Fishing?

To get started fly fishing, you’ll need the following:


What to look for in your first fly rod: The important attributes to consider in buying your first a fly rod are: durability, versatility, and size to match your style of fishing.

  • Durability: You don’t need to break the bank to get a high quality rod, but some that are on the low end of the pricing scale are cheap for a reason.

  • Versatility: What I mean by versatility is the rod can be used effectively in several different fly fishing situations. Before buying a “specialty” fly rod, it’s important to first figure out what type of fly fishing you'll enjoy and will be doing the most of. A highly versatile rod will help you explore your angling options.

  • Best fly rod size for trout: The best size fly rod size for trout are 2-6wt. Each size is best for specific situations.

  • 2-3 wt. Best for narrow streams holding smaller trout. Can be used to cast delicate dry flies as well as lightweight nymphs.

  • 4-5 wt. Best all around fly rod sizes. Can be used in larger as well as smaller streams, and suitable to cast almost any dry fly or nymph.

  • 6 wt. Best for casting big streamers, or in extremely windy conditions.

A good fly rod for a beginner needs to be affordable, easy to cast, and versatile enough to fish several different angling situations. My fly rod recommendation for a beginner is the Echo Base Fly Rod kit. This kit includes the rod and the real, so you wouldn't need to worry about trying to match and balance them together like you would if you bought them separately. Click on the link below to check out current pricing on Amazon.


The most important attributes to look for when purchasing your first fly fishing reel are the range of drag settings and balance with the fly rod.

  • Drag settings: Fly reel drag settings determine how hard the fly line must be pulled on before it will be released from the reel. The higher the drag setting, the harder the line has to be pulled. A wide range is important because it allows for more versatility in the situations it can be used in.

  • Balance with the fly rod: Balance with the rod is primarily determined by the reel’s weight. There are 2 options to help determine if it's balanced correctly with the rod.

  1. You can take your rod into a fly shop and try out various reels.

  2. You can buy a rod/reel combo specifically designed to balance each other out.

If you are going to go with the combo route, my recommendation would be the Echo Base Rod and Reel Kit. It was the 3rd fly rod I ever owned. (The first two were cheap rods that broke because of low quality). To check out current pricing on Amazon, click on the image below: