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10 Best Fly Fishing Rod & Reel Combos for the Money

One among the hardest fly fishing decisions for rookies is discovering and choosing a superb fly rod and reel combo. A superb fly fishing rod will allow you to study and make it easier to forged and catch fish while a nasty rod is perhaps so troublesome that you simply surrender the sport altogether. The problem is to seek out the greatest rod and reel mixture for the cash. And the cash that issues? Your finances.

I recommend you don’t purchase an affordable rod from a reduction retail retailer or any low cost knockoffs. As an alternative, I like to recommend several very reasonably priced fly rod and reel combo kits which might be good for rookies. All of those rod/reel combos mix high quality with a relatively low funding that may provide help to study to fly fish with out breaking the financial institution.

Probably the most cost-effective means for a beginner to get into fly fishing is to decide on a great fly rod and reel combo.

Any of the fly rod and reel mixtures noted under shall be nicely value the money for newcomers, they usually all make nice presents. Earlier than I began testing and reviewing rods and reels for Man Makes Hearth, I most often fished a 9-foot, 6-weight Sage fly rod. The 6-weight was great for longer casts on greater water. To stability the 6-weight, I additionally carried alongside a reasonable Cabela’s 7.5-foot Three-weight fly rod and reel combo for smaller creeks or skittish trout.

Nowadays, although, for most fly fishing for trout, the greatest fly rod and reel combo I select is often a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod with a weight-forward floating fly line, which is the type of fly line most combos come with. A 9-foot 5-weight is the most versatile measurement of fly fishing rod and reel combo for trout, and it’s the fly rod measurement I recommend most for novices.

(When you need assistance understanding how to choose a fly fishing rod or how to choose a reel, I’ve added more detailed suggestions at the end of this guide.)

What are the prime 10 greatest fly fishing rod and reel combos?

  1. Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Combo — greatest underneath $100
  2. Orvis Encounter Combo — greatest newbie rod & reel quality
  3. Cabela’s Synch Fly Combo — greatest 8’6″ Four-weight for youngsters
  4. Redington Crosswater Outfit Fly Combo — greatest casting rod for newbies
  5. Echo Base Fly Rod Package — greatest distance/accuracy beneath $170
  6. L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod Outfit — greatest underneath $150
  7. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit — greatest guarantee
  8. Redington VICE Combo — greatest general efficiency worth
  9. Cabela’s Rogue/RLS+ Fly Combo — greatest fast-action outfit rod
  10. Sage Foundation Outfit — greatest general craftsmanship and performance

Best Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Learners

These fly fishing rod and reel outfits are strong performers which are aimed toward newbies. They have a tendency to have medium-fast actions that forged greatest at brief and midrange distances and feel nice for all kinds of casting expertise. Most combos come with fly line, which helps your initial costs as you get into fly fishing. For most new fly fishers, I like to recommend a strong entry degree combo that may help them save their finances for further helpful gear like waders and/or wading boots (which are sometimes purchases you can postpone till you’re prepared).

1. Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Combo

This photo shows the Cabela's Bighorn Fly Combo. The Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Combo is the greatest combo obtainable underneath $100.

The Cabela’s Bighorn Fly Combo has a forgiving average motion and general price-to-quality ratio that’s exhausting to beat. In case your price range is admittedly tight, the Bighorn Fly Combo is the greatest fly fishing rod and reel combo for beneath $100 — learn our full Cabela’s Bighorn assessment for more detail.

Store the Bighorn Fly Combo with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s.

2. Orvis Encounter Combo

This photo shows the Orvis Encounter Outfit fly reel, fly line, fly backing, and included rod tube.The Orvis Encounter Outfit has an excellent price-to-value ratio.


The Orvis Encounter Full 4-Piece Outfit is a longtime entry-level favourite from Orvis. You get can’t-go-wrong quality at this worth range.

Shop Orvis Encounter Outfits direct from Orvis or with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s.

3. Cabela’s Synch Fly Combo

This photo shows the Cabela's Synch Fly Combo rod, reel, and fly line on a rock near a river.The Cabela’s Synch Fly Combo delivers the greatest general combo value from Cabela’s.

A strong step up from the Cabela’s Bighorn, the Cabela’s Synch fly fishing combo gives smoother castability and an upgraded reel, plus you get an included rod/reel combo case. It’s all surprisingly good for the worth level. Observe: For those who’re wanting for an entry-level Eight’6″ Four-weight — which is a superb all-around choice for youngsters or for smaller streams — the Synch Fly Combo is tough to beat. Read our full Cabela’s Synch evaluation for more element.

Store the Synch Fly Combo with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s.

4. Redington Crosswater Outfit Fly Combo

This photo shows the Redington Crosswater fly fishing rod and reel combo. The Redington Crosswater delivers the greatest general combo worth from Redington.

The Redington Crosswater reel supplies a pleasant update to this common entry-level rod. Redington makes several other combos, but the price-to-value ratio actually shines with the Crosswater Outfit. It’s been an incredible casting rod for novices for years. We also respect the included rod/reel case.

Shop the Redington Crosswater Outfit with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s or from AvidMax.

5. Echo Base Fly Rod Package

This photo shows the Echo Base Fly Rod Kit.At this worth vary, the Echo Base excels with power and accuracy.

The Echo Base fly rod doesn’t feel as clean in the hand as some of the different fly rod and reel combos in this guide, but the Echo Base fly rod delivers shocking accuracy and distance. Choose the Echo Base Fly Rod Package for newcomers starting out on greater water or if you want to forged larger flies, streamers and nymph rigs. Really a reliable workhorse here. (The photograph doesn’t present the fly line, but the Echo Base Package comes with fly line, backing, and a pacesetter.)

Store the Echo Base Package with free delivery from Fishwest or from Amazon.

6. L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod Outfit

This photo shows the L.L.Bean Quest 4-piece Fly Rod Outfit with the include rod/reel case.The L.L.Bean Quest 4-Piece Fly Rod Outfit is a superb deal for slightly below $150.

The newly up to date L.L.Bean Quest Fly Rod Outfit includes a useful rod and reel combo case, but extra importantly, it comes with L.L. Bean’s legendary “100% Satisfaction Guarantee.” At slightly below $150, the general value is spot on. When you’re an L.L.Bean fan, there’s no cause to stray.

Store the Quest Fly Rod Outfit from L.L.Bean with free delivery.

Best Fly Fishing Combos for the Money

These fly fishing outfits supply an enviable mix of high quality for the value. In the event you can afford a bump to your price range, these combos will final years and really feel nice every time you pull them out. Many fly fishers won’t ever really feel the have to improve from these nice fly rod and reel combos. If these last 4 fly combos fit your finances, these are far and away my favourite midrange combo picks.

7. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit

This photo shows the new Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit on a rock near a trout stream.The new Orvis Clearwater rod comes with a 25-year assure, however the clean new Clearwater reel shines, too.

The brand new-for-2019 Clearwater fly rod has a medium-fast motion that excels briefly and midrange casts. Higher yet, you additionally get a 25-year assure on the rod and an excellent worth level for the general high quality. The new Clearwater Giant Arbor Fly Reel is unbelievable for the worth level — it seems to be great, feels good, and works very nicely. The truth is, we like the newly designed Clearwater reel a bit greater than the rod. Both approach, we’re massive fans. (Full evaluation on the approach quickly.) Oh, another factor: Orvis has a wide-range of choices, together with Clearwater Saltwater Rods.

Shop Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfits direct from Orvis or from Fishwest with free delivery.

8. Redington VICE Combo

This photo shows the Redington VICE Combo fly rod, reel, rod tube, and fly line.The Redington VICE Combo is aimed toward intermediate anglers trying to improve their entry-level gear. This fast-action rod and reel delivers.

The Redington VICE Combo blends a fast-action rod that casts above its worth point with a strong reel. Remington created this new combo for present fly fishers wanting for an reasonably priced improve from their previous entry-level methods. The company succeeded — the VICE Combo delivers the greatest performance value as a result of the rod casts so properly for the worth. Read our full Redington VICE evaluate. Another thing: We’re followers of the inexperienced — it seems incredible in pure mild.

Store the Redington VICE Combo with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s or from AvidMax.

9. Cabela’s Rogue/RLS+ Fly Combo

This photo shows the Cabela's Rogue fly rod on a rock near a river. The fast-action Cabela’s Rogue fly rod casts surprisingly nicely — nice energy and accuracy. Word: Cabela’s has phased out the reel shown in this combo choice in favor of the Cabela’s RLS+ reel.

By itself, the Cabela’s Rogue is a superb fast-action fly rod provided at a very competitive worth point — it’s one in every of our all-time favorite fast-action fly rods with a midrange worth level — learn our full Cabela’s Rogue evaluate. As for the reel in the combo, the Cabela’s RLS+ reel has been a well-liked buyer favorite for years — it’s Rulon disc drag system is surprisingly clean for the worth.

Shop the Cabela’s Rogue/RLS+ Fly Combo with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s.

10. Sage Foundation Outfit

This photo shows the Sage Foundation Outfit fly rod and reel combo.The Sage Foundation Outfit is one among the greatest fly rod and reel combos out there, plus the rod is made in the USA!

Sage is greatest recognized for its high-end (and comparatively costly) fly rods, however the firm has created an reasonably priced midrange fly rod/reel combo in its Basis Outfit. From Sage’s perspective, you get a so-called “entry-level” rod and reel that basically fishes above its worth level. Learn our full Sage Basis evaluation for more element. Beyond its candy stealthy all-black design — which is so cool, by the approach — the Foundation Rod is Made in the USA and boasts the greatest general craftsmanship and efficiency in a available fly fishing combo. In case you respect the USA and may afford it, choose the Sage Foundation Outfit.

Shop the Sage Basis Outfit with free 2-day delivery from Cabela’s or from Fishwest.

Excessive-End, Drool-Worthy Fly Fishing Combos

The very highest high quality rods and reels virtually never are available pre-packaged combos. There are numerous nice high-end fly rods from many manufacturers, and the competition and craftsmanship at this degree signifies that most any $600-plus rod will fish nicely for most fly fishers. Nevertheless, few newbie fly fishers have the price range to drop that sort of money.

When worth isn’t an element, these three can’t-go-wrong rods and reels boast superior craftsmanship and general efficiency. The key here for newbies is that one among these rods and reels gained’t instantly make you a greater fly fisher, but they may allow you to make the leap from an intermediate fly fisher to an skilled — in the event you put the time in on the water, in fact!

How one can Choose a Fly Fishing Rod

This best fly rod and reel combo photo shows the Cabela's Synch Fly Combo fly rod and reel on a rock near a river.A fly fishing combo — like the new Cabela’s Synch Fly Combo — comes with a reel and fly line matched to suit the fly rod.

Fly rods are rated by “weight,” which is the thickness and weight of your fly line. So a 5-weight fly rod is rated for a 5-weight fly line. They arrive in several lengths, however a 9-foot rod is the sweet spot for most anglers. In truth, the most versatile rod, especially for trout, is a 9-foot, 5-weight fly rod. You’ll be able to’t go fallacious with this measurement as a present or for a first rod.

At the similar time, if you realize you’ll fish primarily on small creeks, you can get a 4-weight fly rod or even an ultralight 7.5-foot, Three-weight fly rod. Alternately, if you understand you need to fly fish for bass or fish lakes and large rivers with massive streamer flies, a 7-weight or Eight-weight rod is a more sensible choice. For steelhead or salmon, you’d need a versatile Eight-weight fly rod and reel combo to get you began.

All that stated, if you wish to fish primarily for trout, persist with a flexible 5-weight or error towards a 6-weight rod in the event you’re going to be fishing greater water . . . just ensure you get a Four-piece rod for packability. (When you really need a super packable 6- or 7-piece travel fly rod, take a look at our guide to the Best Travel Fly Rods.)

Find out how to Choose a Fly Fishing Reel

This photo shows the new Orvis Clearwater fly rod and reel combo with the fly line, backing and a leader on the bank of a river.The brand new Orvis Clearwater rod comes with a 25-year assure, but clean new Clearwater reel shines, too.

Reels have advanced into giant arbor designs that allow you to reel your line over an enormous cylinder somewhat than a small axel. For instance, as an alternative of reeling line furiously round a pencil, newer reels work more like wrapping line round a soup can — principally, they allow you to reel in line quicker.

Even right now’s cheap reels now come with bigger diameter spools and are lightweight. Costlier reels have higher fit and finish, plus they have smoother drag methods. A drag, by the approach, is the part of a reel system that lets the line depart the reel when a fish takes off exhausting.

A smoother drag will let you set the drag system with a greater variety of strain variations, and the drag will stay put at the setting you plan. In addition, a finely made drag system will interact smoothly with out sticking. Any kind of hiccup with a hooked fish on your line might be enough to snap your tippet (the smallest portion of your leader) and break off your fly.

Which suggests you’ll lose the fish. And perhaps lose the fish of a lifetime.

However don’t worry. You possibly can catch large fish with immediately’s entry-level reels. I’ve caught hard-fighting coho salmon on entry-level reels, and even brought in a 23-inch brown trout on a tiny entry-level reel rated for super-light Three-weight fly rods. Each have been on cheap Cabela’s-branded combos. The important thing? Set your drag frivolously, and when you hook into an enormous fish, gently apply strain to the outdoors rim — the palming rim — of your reel throughout huge runs the place the fish takes off quick and exhausting. The method is to not cease the reel from turning, simply sluggish it down a bit and put more strain on the fish with out snapping your tippet.

It’s a way, which is part of the challenge and joy of fly fishing in the first place.

What’s the greatest fly line for newcomers?

When you’re not getting a pre-packaged combo, you’ll need a fly line and backing. For many trout fishing, meaning you’ll need a weight-forward floating fly line that matches the “weight” listed on the base section of your fly rod.

Considered one of the higher-quality, higher value fly strains is the Scientific Anglers Mastery MPX Taper Fly Line — it’s exhausting to go flawed with it, but when the worth is out of your price range, decide up the Orvis Clearwater Fly Line or the Rio Mainstream Trout Freshwater Fly Line. The three options above are flexible, versatile strains that may pretty much handle no matter it is advisable do. What about the dozens of other options, lots of which may ramp up properly past $100? They’re not value it for most starting fly fishers on a finances. Significantly, wait until you’re a fanatic to worry about investing anything greater than $40-75 in a fly line — or for that matter, investing in speciality rods that require special fly line tapers.

You’ll additionally need to nab some Scientific Anglers Fly Line Backing and it by no means hurts to start out out with a 3-pack of Rio Powerflex leaders.