Understanding & Selecting Fly Fishing Gear

Understanding & Selecting Fly Fishing Gear

How to select the right fly fishing gear

You do not need to spend a fortune to get into Fly Fishing. What we recommend is that you take it in stride. You want to buy the best quality gear within your budget, while not skimping on items you need.

Things to Look for In Fly Fishing Products

One of the best ways to ensure that you are enjoying your gear for years to come, is to ensure that is is made by a reputable brand with a solid manufacturer reputation.

Things to consider and research:

  • Warranty
  • Durability
  • Expected Lifetime
  • Manufacturer Reputation

Fly Fishing Rods

Selecting Your Fly Rod

Rod Action

One item you may consider is the action of the rod. 

  • We have an article that can help you understand rod weight and action. 
  • Once you understand the pros and cons of each type of rod, you are going to have to decide if the rod feels right. This can take a bit of trial and error, however we are here to help. 
  • You are welcome to stop by the shop and we can discuss and help you figure out which rod is best for you.

Rod Length

  • Some other items you might consider is the length of the rod you are looking for. Sometimes when you are walking a stream under trees, a longer rod may be more difficult to manage and a shorter rod would be more beneficial and keep your line out of the trees. In open areas, the longer rods can give you a longer throw and it puts more power behind your cast.
  •  Just starting out, you will not really notice a difference in various rods. After you grow accustomed to your rod, you will be able to notice a difference when you test another rod.

To help out, we have a number of Fly Rod Reviews that you can read to help you determine which rod you would like to purchase.

Check out some of our top selling fly rods.

Fly Fishing Reels

Choosing the right Reel, Line, and Fly.

A couple of considerations you are going to make while deciding on your reel.
  • A Sealed Drag System is going to help preserve your clutches and bearings while keeping your reel working and in top condition for years.
  • You will also want to ensure that your reels weight and balance match that of your rod. 
  •  One of our favorite brands of reel is Lamson Waterworks. They function great and have one of the best reputations in the industry for reliability and performance.
  • We have done reviews on quite a few different reels. This information can help you decide on which reel is best for your specific application.

 Fishing Line

Another important part of this mechanism is your fishing line. Some items you will want to consider are as follows.

  • The line weight is important. Different species of fish may require different weight lines.  For example, a bass may need a heavier line weight than a trout.
  • Fly Line Design & Taper are also important. These will determine how your line behaves in the air and how the energy is transferred or how the energy is dissipated.

Check our Fly Line Reviews to help you choose which line would be best for your rod and reel.


What is a “Leader” & What is “Tippet”?

  • Leaders Transfers the energy from the fly line to the fly.

  • Leaders are tapered to transfer the energy smoothly

  • Tippet refers to the portion of the leader where the line levels out at a consistent diameter.

Leaders & tippet are made of either fluorocarbon or monofilamentStrength and diameter of the leader & tippet are referenced on an “X” system 0x-7x for practical purpose.



What type of flies you fish with is going to depend on your environment and the species of fish you are trying to catch.

  • Dry Flies-Float and are fished on the Surface

  • Nymphs– Fished subsurface (usually dead drifted in the current)

  • Streamers-Designed to imitate forage fish and are fished with movement

  • See our Fly Tying & Fly Video Gallery

Check out some of our top selling reels and line.

Fly Fishing Waders And Outerwear

Lightweight breathable waders and other outerwear.

Good waders will allow you to be comfortable in hot weather while additionally keeping you warm in the cold season. There are many brands of waders out there with some of our favorite waders being made by Patagonia

Wading Boots

  • Comfort is key. It is hard to enjoy a day of fishing if your boots are uncomfortable.
  •  You want good traction, warmth, and most importantly, you will want your boots to have excellent ankle support.
  • Additionally, if you feel you need more traction, there are boots with aluminum bars
  • Check out this review on our Patagonia Wading Boots by Danner.

Fly Fishing Clothing & Eye-Wear

  • UV protection essential when on the water. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!
  • You want to be able to sweat and also dry off pretty quickly and this is achieved by wearing lightweight and breathable clothing
  • Polarized Sunglasses should be worn to help protect your eyes. They will also help with the glare and help you to see the fish better in the water.

Fly Fishing Accessories: The Other Stuff

  • Fly Fishing Packs and Vests are a great addition to your kit, providing you with storage for various items you need or should carry for those “just in case” situations.
  • Fly Boxes are great for storing your flies and keeping them organized. A bit more organization will help
  • Nets are very handy. They allow you to gently scoop your fish out of the water to retrieve your fly and reduce the stress on your fish.
  • Waterproof dry bags can be a lifesaver! They come in a duffle style dry bad and backpacks.
  • The most important thing is to figure out what accessories suit your needs. Make it work for you!

Check out some of our top selling outerwear.

It’s time to nail down your 2024 fly fishing trip with Minturn Anglers.

About the Author

Justin Nolan

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