Beginners guide: how to save money on fly fishing equipment

24th May 2019

The fly-fishing hobby can be really expensive, in the past, it used to be just for a niche, nowadays with the global market things are changing but it is still quite expensive. So, where do you have to invest your money when you get started?

When you start a new hobby there is no point to invest a lot of money, it is better to invest a lot of effort.
A fly-fishing rod can cost something between 20€ and 1000€ or even more, a reel can cost from 20€ to some hundreds.
Plus in the market, we have a lot of different brands from all around the world. At the begin the right choice is not easy, I will go through the essential equipment (rod, reel, and line) and I will try to help you in your firsts steps.

The Rod

The best rod for beginners is a 9ft #5-6, with this kind of rod you cover almost everything, from the high stick in a small creek to cast medium-large streamers in a lake or in the sea. The rod at the begin is an important choice, but not the most important. If your cast cover 10 meters, until you don’t improve your cast skill will be more or less the same with a 50€ or a 500€ rod. At the beginning don’t expect to cast more accurately or farther with an expensive rod. Moreover, you still don’t have the practice and the necessary attention to take care of the rod in the proper way, you can damage it easily, and replace a part can be really expensive. A rod between 70€ and 150€ is more than enough when you start, you can find all the technical features required for the beginning without a big investment. Some examples of good rods for start are in the Amazon image links below.

The Reel

The reel has to match with the rod, in the beginning, as the very first, is not really important. Probably you will catch some small fish, that what happens to everybody, so have an expensive and powerful reel doesn’t make sense.
A quality reel becomes an important part of your set when you start to chase and hook some big fish.


An important part of any reel is the arbor, the cylinder that contains the backing and the line. In the large-arbor reel, the “heart” is wider compared to the standard, this difference brings some advantages to consider:

  • Faster Retrive Rate.
  • Less Line Memory.
  • Less Drag Tension.

The best choice, for a cheap or expensive reel, is large-arbor reel, always. A reel from 30€ to 50€ can do the job at the beginning, then, when your skills improve, you can buy something better.
Some example below:

The Line

The line brings your fly to the fish, it is the most important part of your set and is where you have to invest some more money. Consider that even the most expensive line can cost hundreds of euros, the most expensive are around 100€, some of them something more. The cheapest can cost a few euros but please don’t consider them, they can change your idea about the difficult to learn how to cast.


There isn't a big cost difference between a bad line or a good line, spend a little bit more, in this case, can make a huge impact on your performance. There are a lot of variables in every brand and line in the market, and this is not the post to talk about that. I just suggest you do don’t be mean when you buy a line, Cortland, Rio and Airflo provide really good lines for a reasonable price. I personally use just Airflo lines, in my opinion, are the best. Some of them: