Choosing a Fly Fishing Rod and Reel

The Rod

When it comes to choosing a good rod for trout is is a fairly straight forward process. For trout fishing you will need a 5 or 6 weight rod of about 9 feet in length. Personally I find a 5 weight to be a good versatile rod size for most beginners. You will notice that some rods are very stiff and others are fairly flimsy. Beginners should opt for a rod that is fairly flexible. A “soft action” rod will allow you to feel the rod load and give you a better idea of the proper timing you will need to get down pat in your casting. A stiff rod will simply not allow you to feel the loading and it will take you longer to master the art of casting flies. If you main goal is to go out and catch bass and bluegill, or to fish big streamers for trout you might want to check out some six weight options as well.

The Reel

A fly reel is another fairly easy decision. Just go with whatever good reel you can afford. There is no need to spend $600 on a reel, any reel in the 100$ range should work nicely. Ross makes some nice reels for the money, my personal favorite is the Ross Cimmaron. Another good value brand is Okuma and you should have no trouble finding one of their reels in your price range. Just like the rod, a good reel will match your rod. So if you buy a 5 weight rod, a 5/6 reel will surely suit your needs.


The best type of fly line for a beginner would be WF floating line. This line has one heavy end and one light end. I will allow a new fly fisherman to get long effortless casts. They also make DT, or double taper line. This line is good for subtle casting of dry flies but it won’t be quite as easy to cast for a new angler as the WF type will.

The video below will give you some more pointers on picking out the best fly rod.