Gearing up with 700$
The first time I heard of fly fishing, I was intimidated, of course. Who wouldn’t be? Fly Fishing is the purest form of sports fishing. The sport itself was known to date back to 13th century England (flydreamers.org) and it has been a sport practiced by many. Fly Fishing is a male-dominated sport, I am not going to sugarcoat that. Recently though, women are getting into the sport in droves and that is exciting! If you’re reading this blog post, you must be looking into getting into fly fishing yourself. Well, there are plenty of resources out there for you to check out of course. Sometimes, researching where to start is in itself intimidating. In this blog, I will try to keep it simple and straight to the point. You can also do your own research and can use this list as a “Now What? Where to start” Template.
If you type “Fly Fishing, Beginner” on the google search bar, it will list multiple websites that would give you plenty of information on getting started on fly fishing. There are even videos you can watch that would break down equipment and “How to’s”. Below I will list some resources you can tap into.
Your Fly Fishing Friend Many get started on fly fishing because they know someone who flies fish. Most women who get into fly fishing are typically immersed in fly fishing because of their partners who are into the sport. If you have a friend who is into fly fishing. Your friend or partner would be the best resource you have at your disposal. It may be for information or even equipment and gear.
Fly Fishing Blogs
Any fly fishing blog that you stumble upon will most likely have resources on how to get you started. A lot of these blogs will break down the equipment you need; names, uses, etc. For my female audience, a really good resource is United Women on the Fly. The group focuses on getting more women from all backgrounds to have the resources to get started or make themselves better anglers. They also make it easy for female anglers to get connected with women fly fishing groups all over the United States. You can check their website here: UWOTF
Youtube and Social Media
This famous video website will definitely have videos on how to get started on fly fishing. And you can access these videos just as easily as reading blogs. For those who are visual learners, this resource would be the best. Social media like Instagram is also a good resource that is available. Even the top fly fisherwoman / man will post a helpful tip in their story. Fly Fishing Company Websites Some fly fishing store’s websites have plenty of information that helps beginners to get started. Orvis is a really good one as they have videos you can watch on their website or Youtube.
Once you are done with watching the videos, you can purchase their gear on their website as well. Simms and Redington offer some videos on their websites as well.
Fly Fishing Clubs
Joining a local club is another good resource that you can tap into. Most fly fishing clubs require a membership fee. This fee can start from 25$ to an upward of $75 and is paid annually. Personally, joining a club and paying the fee is worth it. These clubs have different events that are mainly geared towards beginners. They are also trying to get more people involved in the sport. They have educational seminars or beginners events. San Diego Fly Fishers just hosted an event called “Fly Gal Saturday” for beginners. Casting, fly tying, gears, conservation, and fish behavior were some of the classes offered in the event. Another club offering something similar is Southern Sierra Fly Fishers Club (https://ssffclub.org/) called Celine’s Fly Gal Weekend. There is still time to register for the weekend held in Kernville if you are interested in checking it out and living locally. You can read all about it here: https://ssffclub.org/flygalsweekend
Local Fly Shop
Your local fly shop can offer some free tips and tricks on getting started as well. They can give you information on local clubs around your area. They can even help with gear and equipment to get you started.
If you can afford it, checking out your local fly shop would often offer beginners fly fishing classes. Obviously, you have to pay to take the class. Some shops would often credit your class fee towards a new rod and reel set up to get you started.
GEAR and EQUIPMENT
I am going to be straightforward, fly fishing is NOT cheap, but you can make it as budget-friendly as possible. There are a few ways you can go about obtaining your fly fishing gear and I will try to give tips to the best of my ability. Gear and equipment include but are not limited to the following: Waders Wading Boots Rod and Reel Fly Line Leader Tippet Flies Fly bag
Second-hand Gear and Equipment
Don't be afraid to get your hands on second-hand gear. Especially, if you are not sure if this is the right sport for you. You can always upgrade if you find yourself enjoying the sport. You can buy second-hand gear from Craigslist and eBay. If you are using OfferUp, they might have some used gear there as well. If you have a fly fishing friend who is willing to part with their old gear you can utilize them as well. Some fly fishing stores offer trade-up programs as well, so they might have second-hand gear that you can purchase at a discounted price. I was able to score a lightly used 10’ 2wt Clearwater rod for $120 versus the MSRP which was around $230.
Here is a list of gear and equipment you can get second-hand: Waders Rod and Reel Wading Boots Fly Bags
There is also nothing wrong with using second-hand gear. You can get them at a cheaper rate versus diving in with a brand new setup. Some of these fly fishing gear companies have a very good warranty and service, so you can always send your stuff for a tune-up or if they accidentally break. Always check the manufacturer warranty on their website first before purchasing. Another thing you should know when getting yourself waders and wading boots, is your size. There is no harm in trying on some waders either at a store or your friend's. If you are looking into purchasing a fly bag, get one that is large enough that you can easily put a water bottle in there, trust me you'll need it. Not So Second-hand If you're looking for newer gear and equipment and are willing to spend a little bit more money it can be done.
Reel and Rods
Like I had mentioned earlier you can always upgrade if you find yourself fishing more. The Good Ol’ Combo Kit If want to have a brand spanking rod and reel, there are plenty of companies that offer combo kits. These combo kits come ready to use right off the bag.
Here is a list of combo kits that you can get for under 200$:
NXT Kit by Temple Fork Outfitters - Currenty discounted at $179
Encounter Fly Rod Outfit by Orvis - $169
Crosswater Combo by Reddington -$189
Lift Kit by Echo - $179
These are just some of the combo kits that are currently out in the market right now. I started with a Crosswater combo by Reddington and it had lasted me for a couple of years. Words of wisdom regarding these combo kits, some manufactures might not offer warranty coverage. When I broke my Crosswater combo kit rod, Reddington would not fix it. It is always good to check the manufacturer's warranty when it comes to the combo kits.
Waders and Wading Boots
If you are looking to get new waders and wading boots, you might just have to shell out some money to get yourself one. They are not cheap and you can always get off-brand ones. But the issue with waders is that they can break so get one where the manufacturer has a very good warranty for it, or else you will see yourself having to purchase another wader and spending a little bit more money. Here are waders that are under 200$:
Tributary waders by SIMMS -$179
Crosswater Waders by Redington - $149
Clearwater Waders by Orvis -$198
Wading Boots under 200$:
Encounter by Orvis - $98 Freestone by Simms - $168
Benchmark by Redington - $119
Redside by Korkers - $139
Some of the low-end wading boots can be bulky and can take a while to break in. But it normally depends on the user. If you are getting wading boots, get ones where that come with studs or you can install studs on the sole. Korkers is the only wading boot company that has interchangeable soles, which would probably cost you another $20 to $50 depending on the sole you want to get. Having the studs on your boots can help you navigate through the river better, especially in rivers where it's slippery. You can also find wading boots that are cheaper than what I had listed, but if you do go that route make sure that the manufacturer has a good warranty service.
Total When it is all said and done, you might end up spending a little over 700$ - 800$ (with taxes) for brand new fly fishing gear and equipment. For some people, this can be steep so looking for those deals and second-hand gear is always the best route for staying within your set budget. Some clubs (if you do end up joining one) will have second-hand gear that they will sell as part of their club fundraiser. Buying the best and top-of-the-line when it comes to fly fishing may not be for everyone. When I was getting started, forking out the money to buy a rod and a reel was tough, let alone waders and wading boots. Like I said, you can always upgrade if you do end up liking the sport. So don't rush on getting the top-of-the-line gear, just get what you can afford and go out there and fish.