FLY READY!!! by Montana Grant
By angelamontana

Posted: February 19, 2024

Fly fishing has been around for centuries. The first fly rods were made of slender sticks or bamboo. Reels held line made of waxed horsehair wrapped onto a couple anchor points. The first actual reels had no drag. 

You can spend a ton of money on a new Fly-Fishing Outfit. There are plenty of choices and decisions to make about what Outfit you want, need, or prefer. Ultimately, Fly Fishermen are cheap. Here are some great entry level outfits to consider.

As a professional writer, guide, Certified casting instructor, and lifelong angler, I have cast a lot of Fly Rigs over the years. Here are my suggestions about where to begin your fly-fishing investment and adventure. 

Most Fly Anglers will begin with panfish, bass, trout, and close to shore saltwater fly fishing. 90% of your casts will be under 30 yards and the fish under 10 lbs. If you do not fit into this group, you will need to upgrade and upscale the outfit.

The most important part of a fly-fishing outfit is the reel. You will need a lightweight Teflon type disc drag that holds enough backing and fly line. This drag will help you fight a fish ethically and successfully. 

The Fly Rod needs to be of medium action, 9-foot-long lever/length. Rods come in bamboo, fiberglass, and graphite. I suggest graphite. Cork handles are fine, and a full well grip gives you the best control. A fighting butt is fine for saltwater, and bigger fish, but not necessary for most fly fishing. A case and cloth cover are needed to protect the outfit. 

Fly lines are available in many floating and sinking variations. I suggest that you begin with a floating double tapered line. This line can be reversed over time and begin a second new life. You need around 30 yards of fly line in either a light green, white, or peach color. My favorite color is white. 

When I present Fly Casting seminars and lessons, I use an expensive Winston Fly Rod. These custom rods are made in Montana and are superb! They also come at a superb price. ($700 +) The lifetime warranty helps but I was always worried about having a rod getting broken. Recently, I was handed a Temple Fork Signature graphite fly rod. The color, weight, length, and action were identical to my expensive Winston. It casts identical to the pricey Winston, and only cost around $100! When I cast these rods randomly, without looking at the brands, I can’t tell them apart. 

Temple Fork rods were designed by the late and great fly angler Lefty Kreh. He was the greatest fly fisherman of my lifetime, a friend, and mentor. Lefty was all about function without being fancy. If you want Fancy Fly Gear you can easily spend a fortune on it. Everyone has a personal preference and brand loyalty. Some gear is more about looks, and the idea that more money can buy you more fish. Learning to use your gear properly will help you catch more fish. 

Let’s consider a great entry level outfit that will be completely balanced, matched, and cost around $200. The outfit will include a rod, reel, backing, line, leader, cloth case, and rod/reel hardcase. The outfit is ready to fish and will be protected ed when not in use. 

Temple Fork Signature Rod outfit. TF 06 90 25 9-foot, medium action.

This complete bundled outfit is an excellent choice. Whether you are a beginner or just need a durable travel outfit, this outfit will not disappoint. The rod is graphite and comes in 4 pieces. Normally, I prefer a 2-piece rod, but the more compact nature of this rod will mean easier transport, backpacking, or protection. A full well cork handle allows for great control. You can get the rod with or without a fighting butt extension. I prefer without. The floating double tapered line comes in a light green color and includes a leader. The lightweight reel has a Graphite Disc drag and a large arbor to hold plenty of backing and line. The backing is also included. The outfit comes with a cloth cover and a padded hard case that holds the reel and rod. Learn to properly assemble the ferrules together. 

You may catch Cabela’s, or other brand fly casting outfit on sale for less, but not of the same quality. 

If you are just looking for the best components to build your own outfit, here are my suggestions.

Fly Reel    ECHO Base /Bravo reel. This strong, lightweight, large arbored reel is black in color. It brings many high-end features to a basic beginner’s reel. The maintenance free reel is a perfect entry level reel for under $50. The Rulon disc drag is excellent and durable. Use the Bravo model for saltwater applications. The reel comes with a protective cover.

Fly Rod    Temple Fork Signature Fly Rod. 9 ft. 5 weight, 2-piece, graphite, medium action. It will come with a full well cork grip and optional fighting butt extension. The rod is under $200 and is currently on sale at the company website for closer to $100. The rod comes with a tube and cloth cover.

Fly Line    RIO Mainstream Trout Fly Line    This durable 80 ft. floating fly line is a great value for under $50. Select a double taper 5 lime green. Currently the line costs as little as $40 and comes with a leader, and a lifetime warranty.

Your total investment for a quality custom entry level outfit is closer to $200, depending on where you shop. This outfit would also make for a perfect backup rig. 

No matter what outfit you purchase, get some instructions on how to use it correctly. Find a Mentor or attend a casting seminar. Experienced fly anglers are a wealth of great information. Hire a guide that specializes in education and instruction more than rowing or company. 

The thing that I enjoy most about fly fishing is the simplicity and art of the sport. You will never learn everything, but will become addicted to the beautiful, sporting, and wonderful way to relax and enjoy fishing.

Tight Lines

Montana Grant

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