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The Art of Fly Fishing on a Budget: What’s the Minimum You Can Get Away With?

Grayson Jones

Fly fishing is often seen as a sport only suited for wealthy professionals. This couldn’t be further from the truth!

Fly fishing is no longer a gentlemen’s game of the past decades. Due to advancements and popularity within the sport, the majority of the fly fishing industry set out to make entry level outfits available to anyone with the itch for the sport.

Now, people like me who count their pennies can have a very enjoyable time and not feel like they tossed their money into a worthless pile of junk. Most people can get away with an excellent outfit and necessary add ons for under $200.


First thing, you’re going to need a fly fishing rod. The majority of your focus when piecing out your budget should be spent here. Fly rods come in all shapes and sizes and are measured in different weight categories. When picking out your rod, be sure to consult with the fly shop representatives. They will be able to let you know what weight rod is acceptable for the fishery you are targeting.

Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops both have an awesome selection of budget friendly rods starting at $25. They also have sales to look out for, so you can catch a steal. eBay and Craigslist can be great sources for amazing deals, too.

Be sure to go outside and test each one that catches your eye. Every fly rod will feel different, and making sure it feels comfortable in your hand is extremely important.

Next, you will be looking at a fly fishing reel. The Pflueger Medalist has to be one of the most durable and reliable reels on the market. They have been around for ages, and are very easy to work. Another thing that is notable about them is the price! Again, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have an amazing and plentiful assortment to choose from starting at $30. I was also able to get some pretty amazing deals off as well! Make sure that the reel will balance out your rod. This will tremendously help with casting!

Fly line, backing, and leader will make up the last elements of your outfit. Fly line comes in all sorts of  sizes. Depending on where and what you are fishing for, you will use a floating or sinking line.

You can find a vast assortment of different companies that tailor to different types of fly fishing. Thankfully, fly line isn’t that expensive and last years if properly maintained. You can get away with a basic floating fly line for $25. Most fly shops and outfitters will provide free line spooling and backing when purchasing fly line.

fly fishing

Last, you will need flies and a case to put them in. I feel a majority of entry level fly fisherman throw a lot of their budget away on flashy flies. I am hoping that this will be able to save some of you some extra cash to use elsewhere.

I would start out your fly box with an assortment of wooly buggers, clousers, prince nymphs, pheasant tail nymphs, Parachute Adams, and poppers. These are basic flies that won’t break the bank and will allow you to fish for multiple species of fish in the United States.

Of course, some may argue that there are other essentials to fly fishing. What I mentioned above will allow you to get out on the water and enjoy the art and beauty of fly fishing, without breaking the piggy bank.



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The Art of Fly Fishing on a Budget: What’s the Minimum You Can Get Away With?