Fly Fishing Equipment For Beginners


White river brown trout

White River Brown

If you are looking for fly fishing equipment for beginners, how do you know what to look for, how do you know what you need and how do you know if it’s worth the money? It’s never easy when deciding on products that you are not familiar with and may not know much about.

Experience helps

Our crew has been fly fishing for over thirty years and we have, through trial and error, made mistakes, we have made good choices and bad choices when purchasing equipment. We would like to think that with all of our good or bad purchase decisions, throughout the years, we have been able to figure out what are the best choices when making purchases. Sometimes we suggest the safe choices and sometimes we encourage the most practical choices but as we do our research and testing and reviews we always try to think about the early years and how we could have made better decisions, how we could have stretched our budget and what we would have done differently to get great equipment for the best value.

What We Offer

Whether you are a beginner or seasoned angler, whether you are looking for equipment for a spouse, getting equipment for your kids or anyone that is looking to fish, then we think we can help you out.

The reason for our site is to help educate and simplify what is needed to get started in the great sport of fly fishing. Its our goal to help make it easier to understand what is needed, what is not needed,  as well as what it just fun to have, regarding fishing equipment.

Rods and ReelsFly rods

To get started fishing you will first need a fly rod and reel. This can be the most overwhelming area in all of fly fishing. There are so many choices out there, so many different types of rods and reels, including sizes and weights as well as brands. A rod can range from $100.00 up to $1000.00 and that doesn’t include the reel, fly line and tippet needed to get started fishing.

That’s why we think that as a beginner the best choice to make for your first purchase is a fly rod and reel combo. The reason for this suggestion is that when a manufacture suggest a rod and reel together they have taken the time and used their knowledge to pair them together and compliment each other. They also usually take the time to include fly line that is a perfect fit for the rod and reel that is included,  If you think about it that is key, they have taken a lot of time and effort to take all of the guesswork out of it for you. As a beginner this is something that should not be overlooked. Its also a good idea to take a look at the warranty that may be available for each manufacturer.

We like to look for fly fishing rod and reel combos that are put together by reputable rod builders and that include not only a rod and reel but fly line, tippet and hopefully some nice extras. You can check out our fly fishing kits suggestions by clicking here. Fly Fishing Combos.

Wading bootsWading boots

The second thing you will want to look at is wading boots. Although it is not completely necessary as a beginner to purchase boots right out of the gate, at one point as you go down the fly fishing road you will certainly want to add wading boots to your arsenal. Wading boots will help you navigate those slippery river bottoms as well as help to protect your precious feet and ankles, below the water’s surface. Manufactures have come a long way over the years and if you don’t go with the cheapest out there and stick with the quality boot builders it’s hard to go wrong. The biggest decision you may have to make is what type of soles that are going to be best for you. Most boots have choices between felt soles or rubber soles, they also come with an option to add studs to the felt or the rubber. There is a company out there, check out Korkers wading boots, that makes interchangeable soles which lets you have one boot with many different soles. This is a great way to get what you need in one boot. Visit Wading Boots for our recommendations.


Fishing waders are the next step but make no mistake it will not be the last thing you want if you continue in your fly fishing journey. There are many different thoughts about what type of wader you will need as a beginner. It really comes down to the commitment of the angler when deciding on what type of wader to purchase. We of course always like to stick with reputable companies, when suggesting any fly gear. Companies that take pride in their products are usually the best choice. If you are a beginner that may only fish with waders a handful of times a year then it may be best to pick a wader on the lower end of the cost scale. If you pick a wader for around $100.00 your not really breaking the bank and if they last a couple years, well that’s economical and when you decide to upgrade you will feel like you got your money’s worth. If you are going to be using waders more than a handful of times a year then It’s in your best interest to look at a mid entry wader. A mid entry wader will offer better construction and will last longer than an entry level wader. If you are serious and really want to take the leap and commit to fly fishing then by all means take a look at the higher grade wader. The higher end waders have great construction, as well as all the bells and whistles that come in handy while on the water. Take a look at Fishing Waders for our suggestions.

Fishing accessoriesFishing accessories

Polarized sunglasses. It’s important to take eye protection seriously. A good pair of sunglasses with side guards can be the difference when keeping your eyes safe from casting mishaps. Choose polarized lenses they cut down the sun’s glare off the water and help the angler see below the water’s surface. This is important while trying to stalk fish.

Fishing net. A good fishing net makes all the difference when trying to land that trophy fish. Make sure you choose a net that is made of soft rubber or vinyl. The netting material is important to the fish, the soft rubber or vinyl helps prevent the removal of the fish’s protective mucus coating.

Fishing jacket. It’s always nice to have a good “go to” waterproof fishing jacket. There are many out there but it’s a good idea to choose one with a built in hood, lightweight and breathable with  lots of pockets.

Chest pack. A nice chest pack has pockets for all your fly boxes, tippet material, gloves, water bottle or whatever you need to carry. Most also have a back storage area for a fishing jacket as well as a built in hook to store your fishing net.

Go bag.  A go bag or duffle bag is a great way to store your boots, waders, net, fishing jacket and fishing vest along with anything else you like to take on a fishing trip. It makes it nice because it’s all stored in one neat place. Look for something that is waterproof and something you can easily take a hose to if needed. Take a look at our Accessory page for more information and great tips.

So if you have any questions regarding fly fishing equipment for beginners, check out our site or leave a question below.






Fly Fishing Lessons

People often ask me about fly fishing lessons. They ask, do you teach fly fishing? Do you know someone who does? The answer is yes and yes. Then they ask, Is it hard to learn how to cast? And how do you know where to cast? As well as, how do you know what fly to use? Then they ask what gear do I need to get started fly fishing? All great questions and so let me try to answer them in a way that is helpful to the beginner angler.

Fly fishing for browns

Do I teach fly fishing?

Absolutely! The coolest part of fly fishing is watching someone catching their first fish! Seeing the look on someones face when that first fish comes up to the surface of the water to attack their fly. That is the point where they usually get “hooked” on fly fishing. I just wish I had more time to teach, its especially fun when I get to give kids lessons.

Do I know someone who teaches fly fishing?

When I don’t have time to teach I like to steer beginner anglers towards a local fly shop. Fly shops are always helpful and often offer group casting lessons for basic casting, either in the parking lot or at a local park. The great thing about these events is that the fly shop usually supply the rod, reel and fly line so someone who is just curious and not sure if they want to start fly fishing won’t have to purchase any gear to check it out.

Is it hard to learn to cast?

Casting isn’t really that hard at all, I am talking about the basic cast, It’s all about rhythm and timing. Some other casts, like the roll casts and reach casts are more technical and can take some practice to get the hang of.

How do you know where to cast?

When fishing rivers you want to look for seams, pockets, rocks and fallen trees, otherwise known as structure. Fish like to sit or hold in the slower currents next to faster water as well as cover. This lets the fish spend less energy while waiting for food to float by them in the current. Fish also require cover to get away from predators and that’s why rocks, wood and cut banks hold a lot of nice fish.

How do you know what fly to use?

Fish eat mostly underneath the waters surface, they are targeting nymphs, small bait fish, leaches etc. If you are fishing with dry flies then its best to observe what flies or terrestrials are around on that day. A great idea is to familiarize yourself with hatch chart in your area. Hatch charts will show what fly patterns are prevalent during certain months and they can also get as in depth as to what time of day is best to watch for them as well as what sizes seam to work best.

What gear do I need to get started fly fishing?

Orvis Encounter

The only gear that is completely necessary to get started fishing is a rod a reel, fly line, leader and a couple of flies. All the other gear can be acquired as you decide to progress in the sport.

Take a look at some of our suggestions regarding fly fishing combos. These combos come with everything you need to get started fishing. These packages are a great way to get what you need as a beginner, they are put together to take the guess work out of pairing a rod a reel as well as fly line together. The combos we have suggested are not expensive but they are not “cheap” either. Check out our Rod and Reel page here for more information.

These are just some fly fishing basics that I hope will help you understand how to start to understand this great sport of fly fishing.

There will be more in depth blogs to come on these subjects so stay tuned and check back often.

As always we hope that this fly fishing lessons blog was helpful and if you have any comments or questions please leave them below.


Streamer Fishing Techniques

Do you like to catch bigger fish? I think that anyone who likes to fish enjoys the opportunity to try their luck at a monster fish! Fishing with streamers is not only a fun way to fish but streamers can attract bigger and more aggressive fish.

Brown trout on a streamer

Streamer Fishing For Trout

Big trout like big meals and a streamer is a big meal for a trout. If you use these simple streamer fishing techniques then you can get some nice fish to chase and crush your bug.

Before we get started on the techniques lets get to understand what streamers are and why and when fish like to chase them. Hopefully eating them.

Streamers are a fly that imitate a larger food source like a small trout, minnows, crayfish, sculpin or leeches. These are active flies that are in the water and just trying to avoid becoming a meal. We have all seen those commercials with underwater cameras filming lures that simulate either a bait fish or an injured fish (usually bass lures) This is exactly what we are trying to accomplish with a streamer. You will see in our techniques that something like a dead drift will imitate a small bait fish while stripping or active retrieve will imitate an injured bait fish.

We know fish are predators right? So they are always looking for their next meal. Thinking of it that way there is no bad time to fish with a streamer, however, streamer fishing during the spring and fall months may be more productive than the rest of the year. Here is why. During the fall, fish are trying to increase eating and fatten up for winter. Also, its important to know that, for brown trout, the spawn is on and that leads itself to aggressive feeding habits. Whether its hunger or a territorial response to a smaller fish invading their holding area and threatening potential offspring, fish pound streamers.

Its important as an angler to understand that fishing to fish that are actively spawning on their spawning beds or a redd should be avoided for the good of the future generations of fish.

When spring temperatures start to increase and water flows rise fish get more active and for lack of a better explanation just start feeding and looking for big meals, after a long winter fish are hungry.

Streamer fishing on the Snake

My First Technique, The Most Important

There really is no wrong way to fish a streamer. Throw conventional casting and drifting out the window and just try different things, use your imagination.

The Swing Technique

The swing is the basic of all streamer fishing. With any technique you will have the chance at the end of your float to let the bug swing. The swing gives the appearance of something trying to get out of the way of the feeding lane or channel. Think of it this way. If you are a small fish and you get swept into an area that you know that big fish are eating you are trying your best to get the hell out of there as quick as possible so you are swimming across current and trying to find cover as quick as possible. The swing can be accomplished many ways.

Cast straight across or a little down stream at the bank so the water takes the fly, it will start to swing. Once the fly gets out of the current start to strip towards you and then cast it again. Cover the water a few times before moving a few steps.

Dead Drift Technique

You may be saying “dead drift” are you crazy? I thought so too until I went fishing with someone who just tossed the streamer up in the middle of a run and let it drift. I thought well that’s OK but the fish will only take it at the bottom of the run but to my surprise four fish were taken out of that run from the top to the middle as well as the swing at the bottom. This opened my eyes about streamer fishing. The only explanation was the fish took the “dead drift” as an injured or struggling fish, sculpin or leech and then as it tried to swim away. Whatever, it worked and worked well.

Retrieve Technique

The retrieve seams like the most logical approach to streamer fishing. Cast it in the water and strip / retrieve your fly like your mimicking a small fish or leach etc. This is another classic technique and very effective. The question is how do you retrieve? Fast, slow, short strips, long strips three short and one long? It depends on what the fish are in the mood for that day so try different striping methods until you get a fish to crush your fly.

Don’t be afraid to tie a dropper on the back of your streamer this can be very effective especially when using the swing technique.

Brown on the Snake

Types of Streamer

There all types of streamers to choose from. A few good types that work well in my area (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho). Are simple patterns that are easy to manage while casting and just catch fish. Notice that they all have coned or bead heads that add weight to the fly and help them get down in the fish zone.


If you have no idea what steamer will work for your area and conditions. Stop by your local fly shop and ask. I have found that most fly shops are more than happy to give up the goods on what is fishing well.

Rod and Line Suggestions

Rod and Rod Size. It is not necessary to have a special streamer rod, a 9 foot 5 weight works just fine. However, if you decide that you enjoy streamer fishing and want to take advantage a 6 or even a 7 weight rod will help you cast the heavier flies further with less effort.

Fly Line. I think that sinking, floating or floating with a sink tip line is a personal choice. I use floating line and depending on the depth of the water I’m fishing I will add some weight, either at the nose of the fly or six inches above the fly.

Floating Line with a sink tip. This is awesome and a great way to get your streamer down without using weight. I prefer this to an all out sinking line because I like to adjust my depth a little and I like to fish medium to large rivers.

Sinking line. This type of line is perfect if you know you want to be fishing in deep holes and you want to get your fly down, down, down. The best place to use sinking line Is when you’re fishing in big water or lakes and you know you are only going to be fishing streamers that day.

Leader and tippet. A stout 3x leader is ideal for most streamer fishing. Fish are not really leader shy when chasing streamers so make sure your line won’t break when an aggressive fish pounds it. I always have all sorts of tippet material on hand so I will use 2x or 3x when attaching tippet or tying on a dropper.

For additional information about choosing fly line, click here.

Get out and go Fishing

These are some basic streamer fishing techniques that I hope will help the beginner understand the fun and importants of learning how to fish streamers. Stay tuned for more in depth blogs about streamers and streamer fishing and as always if you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

For more information about fly fishing click here

Take a look at this video. Its awesome!


Fly Fishing For Tarpon In The Keys

Last spring the boys and I headed down to the Florida keys to do some fly-fishing. We decided that tarpon was our first priority and that is what we would be targeting for the entire week. Let me tell you folks, fly-fishing for tarpon in the keys is no joke.

Why Tarpon?


Why tarpon? well first off it would be cool to catch one of these brutes on a fly rod don’t you think? Tarpon are prehistoric fish that can live in excess of 50 years. With this life span its not hard to see them from 30 lbs up to and exceeding 300 lbs. Tarpon are aggressive eaters and when hooked put up an amazing fight they are known for their acrobatic leaps and blistering runs. Sounds like fun if you are lucky enough to catch one right? Check out the video at the bottom.

Step One, Setting It All Up

We called up our friends from Key West Pro Guides and booked our fly-fishing guides for seven days, praying that the weather and tarpon would cooperate with us for that week. High winds are not a good recipe for tarpon fishing, not only does it put the tarpon down but it can be an uncomfortable and bumpy boat ride. Fly-fishing in high winds make it incredibly hard to cast to any rolling tarpon that we may happen to find. We prayed for good weather.

Hurrican Hole

We also booked some sweet accommodations, our accommodations were house boats docked in the marina and within walking distance to our favorite bar and grill, Hurricane Hole. Not only does this place have the best selection of cold beer but great food as well. FYI not only will they cook up your catch of the day for you but they have some of the best wasabi / teriyaki chicken wings around. Highly recommended.

Step Two, Excited To Fish

Salt water fly rods

After packing up our multitude of salt water fly rods as well as a couple of fishing shorts, a few t-shirts and sweat shirt or two. We hopped a plane from SLC at 5:00 am and deplaning in Key West around noon, with just enough time to drop off our luggage and jump aboard our awaiting guide boats for an afternoon hunting down some tarpon is a fantastic day in my book! Oh ya and ending the day with some delicious sea food and some yummy beer at Hurican Hole Bar and Grill doesn’t suck either.

Catching Tarpon? Not So Much

Amber Jack

To make a long story short folks. The winds were not in our favor that week, not to say that our guides didn’t get us some great looks at some schools of rolling tarpon, because they did and they worked hard to do it.

No we didn’t succeed in catching any tarpon but that didn’t stop our fantastic guides from getting us into some great fish! While the winds were up we made our way behind some larger keys and not only fished but were blessed with catching a lot of great fish. Some of my favorite fish we caught were Snook, Jack Crevalle, Barracuda and Mangrove Snapper.

The Bottom Line Folks

What an amazing opportunity and a fantastic seven days of fly-fishing on the salt water, living in Utah that doesn’t happen easily. I want to give a big shout out to our good friends at Key West Pro Guides, they worked so hard to get us into quality fish! If you ever have a chance to get down to the keys I highly suggest you look them up (KWPG), Its well worth it!

Key West

I am certainly a beginner at salt water fly-fishing but completely enjoy spending time to learn this different type of fishing as well as being able to experience all the fantastic scenery and landscape that Key West provides.

To Check out more fly-fishing click here


One Day!
Not on a Fly Rod But Still Cool!

Hope you enjoyed this article and please leave any questions or comments below. 



Fly Fishing Gifts For Everyone

Here is how we do it at Fly Fishing Gear For Beginners! Everyone can fly fish and it is so much fun as well as a fantastic life adventure. Let’s explore some of the great gifts for all anglers in this great sport.

As always beginners are on notice that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to start this journey. If you follow what we suggest then you can easily start fishing on a budget and decide how and when you want to progress. Check our process out here.

With that said, we always like to show the fly fishing beginners what is new and cool in the fly fishing community. Here is what we like…

Let’s start with a couple of cool books for the interested angler.

The Little Red Book Of Fly Fishing

Two highly respected outdoor journalists, Kirk Deeter of Field & Stream and Charlie Meyers of the Denver Post, have cracked open their notebooks and shared straight-shot advice on the sport of fly fishing, based on a range of new and old experiences—from interviews with the late Lee Wulff to travels with maverick guides in Tierra del Fuego.

The Bug Book

bug book
Complete guide to aquatic entomology for fly fishers, covering all the important insects and their imitations for the entire United States. Hatch charts, fly pattern recommendations, and important fishing strategies from Paul Weamer. This is the ideal reference for those just starting out or for those that want to have a more comprehensive view of the important insects.

Eddie Bauer Cotton Sheet Set

Cotton Percale, Imported. Sheets are T200, 100 Percent Cotton percale. Set includes flat sheet, fitted sheet and 1 pillowcase
Fitted sheet has elastic on all sides for better fit.  Machine washable, tumble dry

Allen Cottonwood Fishing Rod & Gear Bag

fishing bags
Fits up to four 4-piece 9.5′ rods. Eight exterior adjustable dividers for rod, reels, and gear                        Multiple interior see-through zippered pockets. Padded carry handle, heavy-duty molded zippers, removable padded shoulder strap. Outer dimensions: 31.5″ x 9.5″ x 6″.
Main compartment inner dimensions: 30.5″ x 8.75″ x 3.75″.

What a great bag to have if you are an angler that loves to travel.

HUK Long Sleeve Fishing Shirt

100% Cotton
Machine wash cold/gentle/do not bleach. 60 40 cotton poly blend, super Fishing shirtsoft. Long Sleeved, light weight , Athletic fit. Awesome Fishing Gear

A flask is a must when fishing, MFC Maddox Stainless Steel Hip Flask

Stainless Steel. BPA-free so no unwanted taste or harmful chemicals leaching. Quality product – durable, functional and great looking. Great Gift

Just some cool stuff we wanted to share with all of our friends that like fly fishing gear for beginners.


Fishing From A Drift Boat VS Wade Fishing

People often ask me what do you prefer fly fishing out of a drift boat?  Or simply wade fishing?


Wade fishing

Wade fishing


Wade fishing is simply putting on your boots, grabbing your fly rod and walking up or down the river, stalking and casting to fish that you want to catch. It’s fun and exciting because you are navigating the river and you are trying to read the water to figure out where to cast your fly, and if you’re like me you find yourself in crazy situations that you wouldn’t necessarily think about unless you were stalking that next big fish.

When you are wade fishing you are taking your time, you are extremely aware of your surroundings and are paying particular attention to riffs, ripples, runs and holes (those are all fishing terms). Basically fish feed in riffs, ripples and runs and hold in holes, all of these are important to fish. While wade fishing you can take your time and explore all sides of, say a run, and fish from the bottom to the top and from one side to the other. This takes some accurate casting skills and, sometimes, some sort of patience. Don’t forget the riffs, ripples and holes though, fish will take a fly in all of these situations.


Fishing out of a drift boat

Drift boat


What is a drift boat? It’s a uniquely designed boat specifically designed for fishing rivers. It’s meant to float down the river and put the angler in great positions that a wading angler can not access. It also opens up a whole new world of fishing and casting techniques. However, this kind of boat is not meant for big white water, we will leave that to the rubber rafts.

When you are floating down a river you are going to cover a lot more water than if you were wading or walking it (a good days float is around 4 miles, it depends on how fast the river is flowing that day though). The biggest difference is that while floating you are covering more water and you’re not necessarily stalking fish you are casting to areas that you think the fish will be holding. Not to be confused because I think it’s still stalking but not as deliberate. You also have more opportunities to get your fly to float differently than if you were standing in the river.

When I first started fly fishing I seriously didn’t even know what a drift boat was, it was crazy amazing how naïve I was. I finally figured out that those people rowing down the river where getting to fish in areas that i could not get to just by wading.

When you first fish out of a drift boat you soon realize that it’s a bit different than simply wade fishing. You need to cast a little different and anticipate where the boat is going. You need to take into consideration how fast you are drifting as well as the direction and adjust your cast from there. However, the best news is, is that you find yourself casting to fish in areas that you may never have been able to when wade fishing. The downside is, is that you usually only have one or two casts into an area until the boat has drifted on by. The upside is you are going to cover a lot more water.

So what is the verdict?
Well I really don’t have a favorite. I love wet wading, getting my feet wet and exploring a river, figuring out where the fish are and taking my time to cast to every inch of an area that I think a fish will be feeding or holding. It’s exciting to put on your wading boots and waders and walk up, or down a river with the opportunity and hopes of landing a nice fish.

Fishing out of a drift boat is fantastic fun! You seriously feel like you’re a bit spoiled. You find yourself casting to areas you never thought you could before, hoping to find that monster fish you just couldn’t cast to while wade fishing. Its awesome to see and fish more water than you would while wading and let’s face it you’re in a boat.

I will say this though. I have caught as many fish during a day while wade fishing than I have out of a drift boat. In truth I can’t say one is a better way to fish than the other, they are simply different.

Fishing is fun and a good time for families as well as friends!!




Best Fly Fishing Gifts For Your Gift List

There is nothing better than seeing the smile on someone’s face when getting some type of fly fishing gear as a gift! When I buy a gift for a friend or family member that is an angler, I always try to think about what would I like to get for myself. If i want it, chances are they want it too. Here are some of the best fly fishing gifts for the beginner or any angler.


Best fly fishing gear for gifts

Let’s take a look at my best fly fishing gear for gifts that any angler would love to have

One favorite gifts I love to get is a cool T-shirt. One of our local fly shops always comes up with clever saying that look great on a shirt and lets face it who doesn’t want a cool shirt.

A nice jacket is always welcome as a gift. If you choose wisely and get a stylish jacket that works well whilefishing jacket fishing and can also double as a nice jacket you could wear to a sports outing or even to the store, then you will have scored as a gift giver my friend.

fishing bagEvery angler loves a good fishing bag. It’s a great way to keep all their fishing equipment organized and in one place. If it’s a dry bag it will also keep their fly fishing gear dry and these also come in handy if you like to fish out of a drift boat.

A new pair of fishing glasses never disappoints. It’s always nice to have an extra pair or even two on hand, just incase. Don’t forget that polarized work best when on the water. I know anglers that always have at least two pair of sunglasses with them anytime they are fishing.

Wading pants are something that I have, that I don’t actually need to fish with but they are sure cool to wading pantshave. When it’s not always necessary to completely gear up but it would be nice just to have that extra comfort from the early morning cold as well as a little more protection, well wading pants are great to have. This is a fantastic gift for the serious angler and I’m sure they will love it.

Orvis fly rod and reel combo

A great gift for someone that wants to get started in the great sport of fly fishing is a fly fishing rod and reel combo package. This is how a lot of anglers get started that are on a budget. There are great starter packages that have just about everything needed to get on the water. Most packages come with a rod and reel, fly line, a leader and a rod case. How exciting would it be to open a gift to find out the gift giver put a bunch of thought into this great gift? Check out the rod and reel combo page to get all the details about these packages.

Headwaters boot
Headwaters boot

If you find yourself shopping for that angler that doesn’t yet have wading boots then that would be a fantastic gift. Wading boots are awesome to have and we think that if you check out our suggestions on our wading boot page you can find the perfect boot that will fit any budget.

Don’t forget about the angler who either needs their first pair of waders or just

Encounter waders

needs to upgrade. For the beginner angler this could give them the opportunity to do some fishing in weather that they normally wouldn’t be able to. If they just need an upgrade then this gift could blow them out of the water. To look at our suggestions and great options check out our fishing waders page.

Here are some of the best fly fishing gifts for any angler that will make anyone happy.

Here at Fly Fishing Gear for Beginners we hope to help when choosing the best fly fishing gear for a great gift! If this helped or if you need other suggestions? Please leave a comment or questions, thanks.






Best Fly Fishing Waders Reviews

Ok folks let’s take a look at our best fly fishing waders reviews.

Before we get started though let’s talk about waders. Waders can be expensive, if you really want you can spend a thousand dollars on a pair of waders, so unless you’re made of money  we don’t think that is at all necessary. Here is how we like to think about it. If you are a beginners angler, on a budget and not sure where this journey is going to take you then don’t spend a ton of money on waders that you may only use a handful of times. On the flip side, if you think this is the sport for you, then by all means, step it up a little and invest in something that will last more than a year or two. Now if you’re more than serious and have some cash then the higher end wader is a great option and won’t disappoint.

With that said, there are a few things everyone needs to know about waders. First of all, the best ones need to be lightweight and breathable. Most new waders are made of nylon or Gore-Tex, these are great lightweight materials that breathe well and are comfortable. Secondly, the construction is important for durability, the more layers the more durable the wader is going to be. Durability is important but that all depends on how much time you will be spending on the water.


Ok let’s get started with our best suggestions!

Hodgman H3. This is a good entry level wader that will do the trick for the beginner. This wader is made of a 3 layer construction, yes that is at the lower end as far as construction goes but for the price it may be all a beginner needs to get started in this great sport.

What This Wader Has

  • This is a 3 layer construction

    Waders Hodgeman H3
    Hodgeman H3

  • It has neoprene booties
  • Wading belt
  • pocket
  • Fleece hand warmers
  • Gravel guards
  • This wader also comes in many sizes

What This Wader Does Not Have

This wader does not have reinforced knee and lower leg guards

This is a good wader for the price and has a lot going on. Yes it is a entry level wader that will probably not last more than a few years but for the money we would certainly take our chances.

Orvis encounter. Orvis is a great company and has wonderful gear. This wader is a 4 layer nylon construction and is inexpensive for what you get. Plenty of value and extras here. Depending on how much time you spend on the water this wader could last for years.

What This Wader Has

  • A 4 layer, stylish nylon construction

    Encounter waders

  • Hand warmer pockets
  • Zippered chest storage pocket
  • Lower leg protection
  • Wading belt
  • Neoprene booties
  • Gravel guards
  • Sizes for all

What This Wader Does Not Have

  • Not much, it’s just not a 5 layer construction


Obviously Orvis is a great name in all of fly fishing. For the price this wader has a lot going on, it’s stylish comfortable and well built. For the beginner this is highly recommended and should last for many years.


Hodgman H5. Hodgman decided to do something special with this hybrid of 3 layer and 5 layer construction. They put 5 layer where it counts on the legs and seat and decided to put the 3 layer where comfort is important. This works well and helps keep the price down.

What This Wader Has

  • A hybrid of 5 layer and 3 layer construction. We like thisHodgman h5 wader
  • Water repellent outer coating
  • External pocket with water resistant zipper
  • Micro-fleece lined hand warmer
  • Internal storage pocket
  • Wade belt
  • Neoprene booties


Hodgman is making sense with this 3 layer and 5 layer construction. They have decided to take comfort and durability in mind when delivering this awesome wader.  This is highly recommended for any angler who is serious about getting into this great sport.

We hope you enjoyed our best fly fishing waders reviews. Fly fishing gear for beginners has more information about all of these waders and more on our Fishing Waders page.




Orvis Clearwater Fly Fishing Combo Kits Review

Why do fly fishing rod manufacturers offer fly fishing combo kits? What are fly fishing combo kits and who are they best suited for? Well let’s take a look. Manufactures mainly, offer combo kits to get beginners into fly fishing. Orvis, for example, will pair a rod a reel and fly line that works well together and market it at a great price. This also takes the guess work out of pairing rod, reel and fly line together which can be confusing to a newbie.

These packages usually come with a rod a reel, fly line, backing and sometimes extras like leader, flies, floatant, line nippers etc. In the beginning these packages were made specifically for beginners but now they are available not only for beginners but also for intermediate to seasoned anglers

Some people think that a combo is made up with substandard products but we disagree. Just think about it, well known rod builders want you coming back so it makes sense to get it right the first time. Most anglers acquire an arsenal of rods and reels so it makes sense


The Orvis Clearwater Fly Fishing Combo (9’ 5 weight)

First of all Orvis has been around for over 150 years, they are very well known in the fly fishing industry with their quality fishing gear and apparel. Orvis understands what it means to offer quality products at an affordable price. For this review we are just using the 9’ 5 weight rod with the reel and 5 weight, weight forward fly line that comes with this package. We should note that this package is offered in all types of sizes and weights.

Orvis Clearwater rod

This Combo Comes With

  • Four piece 3 ¼ oz rod (This rod does come in sizes to accommodate every angler)
  • Clearwater LA II reel
  • Weight forward Clearwater floating line (5 weight) and Dacron backing
  • Coudura rod case
  • Backed by Orvis 25 year guarantee


Orvis did it right for the price, everything you get with this combo kit is quality. It’s hard to get excited about spending $300.00 but you should because the price is right and the quality is there. The rod is a medium fast but it really borders on the faster side. This is a well rounded  rod that casts extremely well. We really like the medium to fast action which helps casting with power easy but it does not give up accuracy, control or feel. This rod is for real folks, it could be a rod you may not outgrow. The Clearwater LA II reel is awesome, it has a large arbor that makes retrieval easier and faster. This reel is solid and smooth.

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What’s to like?

  • Quality, quality, quality
  • Although this is a great rod for a beginner it’s much more than a entry level rod
  • Both the rod and reel are made to last
  • 25 year guarantee (Make sure you register your product with Orvis you don’t have to purchase directly from Orvis to register or get the guarantee)

What’s not to like?

  • Not much not to like. I guess Orvis could have thrown in a leader or a couple flies



You can’t go wrong with this outfit. For the money we think this could be a rod and reel that could last for years to come. Not only is this a fantastic setup for beginners and intermediates but we could see how seasoned anglers would benefit too (makes a great back up). If you are serious about fly fishing this could be the combo kit for you. Take advantage of this great offer while it lasts.


On another note

This package comes in all sizes and weights. If you are beginner, of smaller stature or a teenager, the 8.5’ 4 weight or 5 weight rod may be the better option. The shorter rod could make it a little easier to learn how to cast. The best all around rod is the 9’ 5 weight rod and we recommend this for beginners as well as intermediate anglers. This rod is perfect for all types of rivers, streams and lakes. This package is so versatile that if you are looking for a good streamer rod, like a 9’ 6 weight, then that option is available as well.

Fly fishing is fun and is a great sport, it is also a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. As always make sure you are prepared on any fishing trip. Make sure you have the essentials, plenty of water, a rain jacket and maybe some first aid supplies. Just be safe. Its also important to have eye protection anytime you’re around fishing. There are some nice polarized sunglasses out there with side guards that do a great job protecting those precious eyes.

We hope you enjoyed this review of Orvis Clearwater fly fishing combo kits. Please fill free to leave any comments or questions.



The Insiders Guide to the Best Fly Fishing Gifts


How do you decide when trying to choose the best fly fishing gifts? It can be overwhelming but we think it’s much easier than you may think. Ask yourself a few questions. What does the angler have? What do they need? What do they really want? If you can answer any of these question then it will make it easier when picking out a great gift for that angler.

Let’s take a look. If you know that the person you are buying a gift for doesn’t have anything but wants to get started fly fishing then a fly fishing rod and reel combo is the perfect gift. I know what you’re thinking i can’t afford a thousand dollars for a rod and reel and that’s exactly why some of the best manufactures out there offer affordable ways to get anglers, of all types and ages, out on the water fishing. . There are great rod and reel combo packages available that are very affordable and will do the job for anyone getting started fly fishing. If you stick with reputable companies, like Orvis and Redington there are great beginner outfits that won’t break the bank. Check these out.

Gifts for the angler just starting out

Fly rods

Orvis Encounter. This is a fantastic combo kit for the price at around $170.00 it comes with
4 piece Orvis Encounter fly rod (9’ – 5 weight)
Orvis Encounter Reel
Fly line, backing and leader
Rod and reel case
Redington Topo. This is also a great package for about $200.00 it comes with
4 piece Redington Topo fly rod (9’ – 5 weight)
Crosswater reel
Rio Gold fly line and backing
Spool of Rio tippet material
Line nippers
Fly box with six flies
Rod and reel case
1 year warranty

Orvis Clearwater. An amazing rod and reel combo for the money, around $300.00, this one could last for years to come. It comes with
4 piece Orvis Clearwater rod (9’ – 5 weight)
Orvis Clearwater fly reel
Orvis Clearwater fly line, backing and tapered leader
Orvis Cordura rod tube
Orvis 25 year guarantee


Wow those are great prices for what you get! And think about how excited someone would be to get such a gift. We have checked these out and although you may think they are inexpensive, they really deliver. Check out our Rod and Reel Combo page for more information.

Gifts that anglers need

Wading Boots

Now if the angler already has their rod and reel what they may need is good pair of wading boots. Wading boots can be a little expensive that’s why we would suggest the Korkers BuckSkin wading boot. This boot has interchangeable soles that really make it two boots in one. Different soles are important when the fishing conditions change or even if you change from fishing in a boat to wade fishing in a river.

Korkers BuckSkin boots for around $150.00 are a great value. This boot is comfortable and lightweight, it’s made of hydrophobic material which helps the boot dry faster. The boot comes with two interchangeable soles, and the cool thing is they offer six additional soles for the same boot, that is pretty awesome. If you think about it it’s like six boots in one.

Another gift that any angler may need is a pair of waders. Waders get you in the water earlier and help you stay longer. You don’t have to spend an entire paycheck for a good pair of waders either. You want a breathable gore tex or nylon wader that is at least a three layer construction. A one hundred dollar bill will get you fishing and could be a wader that will last for a while.

If you are on a budget we like the Hodgeman H3 chest wader. For around $100.00 this is a great gift that will help the angler get on the water in comfort and keep them warm. Its definitely an entry level wader, built with three layer, waterproof and breathable material it is a wader that will last until it’s time to upgrade. Lets face it for $100.00 we can’t expect them to last forever.

We also like the Orvis Encounter chest wader for around $170.00. This wader is a step up from the H3, it’s made of a four layer nylon shell that is breathable and comfortable. This stylish wader comes with lots of extras, hand warmer pocket, zippered chest storage, lower leg protection, wading belt and more. This wader will get you on the water for years to come.

Gifts that any angler wants

Fishing accessories

Fly fishing go bag. Usually a waterproof duffle bag that holds all of the anglers fishing gear. Perfect for someone who likes to keep things in their place, neat, nice and dry, ready to go.  We like the Offshore Dry Bagz, these bags are waterproof, well made and come with a lifetime exchange policy.

Fishing jacket. A must have for the person who doesn’t mind a little rain or cold. Some of the best fishing days have been realized in a little rain. It’s always nice to have a good jacket on hand and Frogg Togg has hit the mark with their Cascades Wading Jacket. This jacket was made for fishing. Lots of pockets for your stuff, comfortable and waterproof.

Wading pants. Wading pants are a fantastic alternative when the weather just isn’t that cold but cold enough to warrant waders during the cooler mornings or evenings. Wading pants are more of a luxury that any angler would love to have. They are just more comfortable and because they only go to the waist, they just keep you cooler than a chest wader. Take a look at the Redington Palix River Pants, these are just cool to have.

Fishing net. A good fishing net helps when landing those big fish. Just remember it’s important to choose a soft rubber or nylon net, this is important because it will help protect the fish. Fish have a delicate protective coating that can be removed without proper netting or handling. We don’t really think it much matters between a wood or aluminum handle it’s really the net that is important.

Remember when trying to choose the best fly fishing gifts think about what the angler has, what they need or what they want. If you do that you can’t go wrong.