What is the Best Fly Fishing Combo for Beginners?

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If you are just getting into fly fishing as a beginner then selecting a rod and reel can be a daunting task. There is so much choice out there and finding the perfect combo for the type of water and fish you want to target can sometimes put you off starting. Luckily for you, in this article we will go over exactly what makes for a good fly rod and reel combo and how to select the perfect setup for you. We also have three of the best fly fishing combos for beginners that want an all-round setup, a salmon setup, or a setup that can handle big fish!

What Makes a Good Fly Fishing Combo?

When you are looking for a good fly fishing combo that will suit the beginner it is important to find something that is user-friendly and easy to use. It is also important to consider what kind of waters you will be fishing on and the target species and size of fish you will be catching. You wouldn’t want to target grayling with an 8 weight rod just as you wouldn’t want to target salmon with a 3 weight rod.

If you want a good all-rounder setup, the idea is to get either the perfect balance of backbone and spring in the rod with a large enough line capacity on the reel to fish a manner of different waters and for fish of different sizes. If you want a set up specifically for big fish (salmon, musky, pike, etc) then you would be better off with a setup that is heavier with a higher-capacity reel.

Best All-Rounder: Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Pros
  • Full one-year-warranty and a lifetime repair warranty
  • Full kit with everything you need to start fly fishing from line to flies
  • Comes with weight options of 3 to 8
  • Beautifully crafted from high-quality materials
  • Comes with a tackle box and rod bag
Cons
  • The line is not the best of quality however it is good enough to get you started

Overview

The Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo has everything you need to get started in the world of fly fishing. It comes complete with a rod and reel, line, flies, tackle box, rod and reel bags, a line straightener, lead shot, bobbers, forceps, and line nippers! That really does give you everything and more. This is the best all-round kit for the beginner looking to get into fly fishing as it comes in a range of weights from 3 to 8 weight (6 or 8 being the most versatile) and it comes with everything you could possibly need to start and learn to fish with the fly.

The rod uses pure IM8 30T carbon fiver in its blank that is mixed with 5 layers of reinforced muscle carbon which increases strength by 25% but reduced total weight by 15%. The Maxcatch rod is durable, versatile, and has enough whip with a strong enough backbone to cast your fly amongst feeding fish while having enough strength to handle even the largest of fish (depending on your chosen rod weight). It has a beautiful high-quality cork handle that is incredibly comfortable in the hand and looks stunning.

The Avid fly reel is machined from aluminum and has an extremely smooth disc drag system that is reliable and easy to use. The reel comes complete with an easy cast fly line, backing, and tippet line ready to be spooled onto the reel. Although the reel is not pre-loaded with line this gives you an excellent opportunity to learn the basics of spooling. If you would like to learn how to spool up your line effectively check out our in-depth article for detailed step by step instructions on how to set up your new fly reel.

You will find a complete protected rod bag in this kit that can be used to transport your new fly rod and reel safely to the bank as well as a wide array of tackle, line, and accessories that are essential for the beginner fly fisherman.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the perfect all-round startup set for the beginner looking to start fly fishing. It doesn’t matter if you have never been fly fishing and do not have any kit, this combo package has everything you need to get started and is extremely affordable. If you are the beginner that does not know where to start when it comes to kit, then this is your best option.

Best for Large Trout and Salmon: K&E Outfitters Drift Series 8weight Fly Rod and Reel

Pros
  • High-quality
  • Excellent value for money
  • Pre-loaded with high-quality fly line
  • Comes complete with a fly box and a rod bag
  • Perfect length and weight for rivers and lakes targeting big trout and salmon
Cons
  • The drag adjustments on the reel are not as sensitive as some higher-priced items

Overview

The K&E Outfitters Drift Series 8wieght Fly Rod and Reel Combo is the best beginner combo for targeting large trout and salmon in freshwater. This combo comes complete with both rod and reel but also a protective rod bag with accessories pouch, and a fly box for dry storage when walking the banks. All of K&E Outfitters gear is thoroughly field-tested before mass production starts so you can be sure that every item you receive is durable, high-quality, and long-lasting.

The rod is a 9-foot-long, 8 weight, SK Carbon medium-fast action fly rod that has plenty of strength and casting capabilities to land even the largest of salmon. This is a great rod that will cushion the fight of a large sea trout or angry salmon while still having enough sensitivity to hit more finicky bites from smaller fish as well. It has a silky-smooth cast due to the high-quality carbon and the treated rod guides and has great sensitivity down to the handle – you really can feel every knock and bump through this rod. This rod is perfect for targeting large bass, salmon, trout, and even some smaller saltwater species,

The reel is made from aluminum and is equipped with a large drag adjustment knob that is easily accessible during the heat of a big fish fight. The clutch is super-smooth and when you do alter the drag adjustment you will find smooth pressure transition in immediate effect. It has a fully removable arbour which makes cleaning and sorting out line tangles extremely stress-free and simple along with smooth bearings for easy line retrieval. 

Bottom Line

Overall, the K&E Outfitters Drift Series 8 weight Fly Rod and Reel Combo is the best option for the beginner looking to target trout and salmon. The 8 weight fly rod and reel with pre-loaded backing, fly line, and leader gives you the strength and durability that is needed when wading or drifting in a river for trout and salmon. If you are keen to start catching a fresh meal or two, then this combo package is your best bet.

Best for Pike, Musky, and Walleye: The Orvis Clearwater 9weight Fly Rod and Reel Combo

Pros
  • Extremely high-quality
  • Strong enough to land large pike, musky, and big salmon with ease
  • 25-year guarantee
  • Comes with a protective rod tube
  • The reel is professionally loaded with backing, fly line, and leader
Cons
  • No apparent cons – an all-round excellent fly rod for the money

Overview

The Orvis Clearwater 9 weight Fly Rod and Reel Combo is the best beginner combo for targeting large, hard-fighting fish. If you are the beginner that wishes to target pike, musky, walleye, or large salmon then this is the perfect rod and reel combination for you. It comes with both rod and reel, a heavy-duty rod tube for protection during travel, as well as backing, fly line, and a leader. The Orvis Clearwater Outfit also comes with an incredible 25-year guarantee, now that is confidence in a product.

The rod is a 9 foot 4-piece fly rod in a 9 weight. These stats make it perfect for uses in larger waters where you need a bit more power to get the fly amongst the big fish. The heavy weight of this rod means it is more than capable of getting a big pike or musky in the net with ease while it is still sensitive enough to feel small bits and have fun with the fish. All of Orvis fly rods above a 6 weight come with a “fighting butt” when gives you more leverage when playing large fish which is a bonus if you are targeting the hard fighting pike, musky, or salmon.

The reel is made from lightweight aluminum but is incredibly strong and versatile. The winding action is silky-smooth, and the drag system is immediate, extremely effective, and super sensitive. The drag can be adjusted by turning the large drag adjustment knob on the side of the reel. This knob is user-friendly, easy to use, and is always within reach which makes quick adjustments during a big fish fight easier and less heart-stopping.

This is the premium item on our list and is made from extremely high-quality materials and is crafted with perfection. If you want something that is above average and will last a lifetime then an Orvis Outfit is a great choice.

Bottom Line

Overall, the Orvis Clearwater 9weight Fly Rod and Reel Combo is a premium set up for the beginner that wants to dive headfirst into the world of fly fishing by targeting big fish. This rod and reel combo gives you plenty of strength and flex to tackle anything you may encounter in US freshwater and it comes with an impressive 25-year guarantee! If you are certain that fly fishing is going to be a long-term hobby, then this is the combo for you.

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