Best Beginner Fly Fishing Kit for Under $100 

 

Fly fishing is definitely a sport for someone who welcomes learning many new things. From the countless flies to use to the unique way of casting, it’s safe to say that fly fishing has a steep learning curve. Starting out is easier if you have the perfect beginner fly fishing kit to practice your casting with and learn the basics.

Our Top Pick!

beginner fly fishing kit for under 100

Top 3 beginner fly fishing kits

We’ve searched the market and found three awesome starter kits. What’s really cool is that they cost less than a hundred bucks! That’s about the same price you pay for some of Cabela’s fly rods (not a complete kit!) in the same entry-level category. Here they are:

  1. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod 5/6 9’ Complete Starter Package

beginner fly fishing kit for under 100

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 This starter kit is best suited for catching trout and pan fish in small streams and ponds. Check out its specs and features below:

Rod

Reel Line

Accessories

 9’ long

5/6-weight rating

4 sections

Mid-flex action

Carbon fiber material

Aluminum reel seat

Stainless steel guides

Reverse half-wells 7”   cork handle

Lifetime warranty

 5/6 weight

Large arbor design

Quick-release spool

Disc drag mechanism   with large knob

Die-cast aluminum   frame, spool, reel foot

Stainless steel internal
components

Left-hand retrieve   convertible to right

 Pre-spooled line with:

20-lb orange backing

5-weight fly line

9-ft 5X leader

 

Extra leader

 Rod case with   zippered pouch

Rod cloth sock with 4   compartments

Waterproof 372-fly   capacity tackle box

9 pcs size 14 flies

2 pcs tools (line   nipper; retractable   zinger

Fly fishing starter   package guide

Pros:

  • High-quality gear with all the features a fly fisher needs – it will work for novice and intermediate fishers alike.
  • Medium action rod – it has a nice flex; just the right action for a beginner; would be nice to use as backup rod.
  • Competitive price – definitely not for pro use but it offers great value for money.
  • Good-quality accessories – flies are well made; fly case is waterproof; tools are great extras.
  • Portable – easy to take on plane trips as a carry-on item.

Cons:

  • Flawed reel – there were some issues with loose screws and weak braking power.
  • Line does not include a tippet – you don’t really need a tippet to start fishing, but you need it to lengthen the life of your leader line.
  • Very tiny flies – these are midge flies which are good for trout; buy bigger flies if you’re fishing for anything bigger.

 

  1. NetAngler Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Complete Starter Package

cabela's fly rods for under 100

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Here’s another beginner fly fishing kit, and it is designed for catching trout, small bass, crappies, and blue gill. Its specs and features are as follows:

Rod Reel Line Accessories
 8’ long

5/6 weight

4 sections + extra tip

Mid-flex action

Carbon fiber material

Adjustable metal reel   seat

Stainless steel guides

Reverse half-wells   grade-A cork handle

 1 year warranty

 5/6 weight

Large arbor design

Disc drag mechanism   with large knob

Die-cast aluminum   material

Left-hand retrieve   convertible to right

 Pre-spooled line with:

20-lb 98-ft backing

6-weight 100-ft fly   line

9-ft 3X leader

 

Extra leader

 ABS/cloth carrying   case with zippered   pouch

Tackle box

28 pcs flies

4 pcs tools (line   nipper, retractable   zinger, stainless steel   forceps, leader   straightener/ cleaner,   retractor)

 

Pros:

  • Great rod quality – the rod is lightweight and has a good flex action.
  • Good workmanship – the rod has no observable flaws; the eyelets align perfectly; the reel locks and releases quickly.
  • Complete starter combo – comes with all the basic items a beginner needs.
  • Portable – the 4-section rod and durable carrying case make the whole gear convenient to take along trips.
  • Almost no assembly needed – you can use it right out of the box especially that the reel is preloaded with the line. Only the rod needs assembling, which doesn’t even take a couple of minutes.
  • Easy to use – even children have no problem using it; this lets them focus on learning how to cast a line properly without being sidetracked by intricate tool adjustments.

Cons

  • Quality issues – there were some complaints of the rod snapping during a cast and the reel not working. This case seems isolated though.
  • Tackle box is not waterproof as stated.
  • The flies are not high-quality.
  1. Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Fishing Kit

    cabela's fly rod review

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Here’s a very inexpensive rod and reel combo that you can use for fly fishing, though it’s mainly a spin fishing kit. It’s great for catching trout and small native saltwater and fresh water fish.

Rod Reel Line Accessories
 6.89’ long

7 telescoping sections

Medium power

Carbon fiber mixed   with fiberglass

Aluminum oxide   guides

Stainless steel non-   corrosive hooded reel
seat

EVA fore grip;   extended handle

 Open face reel

Instant anti-reverse

Aluminum spool and   1 hole

Line capacity in   mm/M: 0.20/240,   0.25/200, and   0.30/140

Plastic body

Handle is     interchangeable left   to right

 100% fluorine line

Monofilament 3-lb   test

 

 Carrying bag

Various lures and   hooks

 

Pros:

  • The rod is versatile. It can be used for freshwater and saltwater fishing. It also works for spinning, bait casting, and fly fishing with a little improvisation.
  • The reel works smoothly and quietly. It has a good braking system.
  • The kit is very portable, which is great for backpacking and fishing adventures.
  • The price is very competitive.

Cons:

  • You will have to buy other accessories for fly fishing. You’ll need casting bubbles or strike indicators, and of course flies, which this kit does not include.
  • The rod takes an effort to collapse.
  • The rod and reel are the real deal here. The rest of the items are not of much use to a fly fisher. You can use them for spin fishing, of course.

Why buy a kit instead of buying your gear per piece?   

First, a kit will cost less than buying your gear piece by piece. Second, buying a kit is a much easier way to ensure that all the pieces work together because they’ve been matched.

As you gain experience, you will know more about rod specs—length, weight, action, handle styles, and material—and the reels and line that will work for your fishing style. For now, however, it’s enough that you learn about the basics to get you started.

Are low-cost beginner fly fishing kits any good?

Fly fishing doesn’t have to be expensive, especially in the beginning. In fact, we encourage you to buy something less than a hundred bucks. This way you don’t get too concerned about breaking a pricey rod. It’s not to say that you should be reckless, but sometimes worrying too much will hold you back and make learning less effective.

On the other hand, low-quality gears could fail even before you get to your first stream adventure. It’s truly a balancing act when it comes to deciding which one to buy.

What basic specs and features must you look for in a fly fishing kit?

  1. It must include a rod, a reel, a fishing line, and a few flies. If you know how to make flies, or an uncle can lend you some, then the first three items will work fine as your basic fly fishing gear.
  2. The rod, reel, and line must match. In kits, they’re definitely matched together. By “match” we mean that the mark or numbers on all three items must be within the same range. For example: a fly line marked “4/5-weight” is compatible with a reel and rod each with a weight rating of 4/5/6.
    Notes:
  • The number scale for fly lines run from 1-14. The lower the number, the lighter its weight.
  • The weight rating of your line determines the size and type of fish you catch. Generally—though not all the time—the larger the fish you want to catch, the heavier the line/rod/reel you need.
  1. Aside from the rod’s weight rating, other rod specs are important too.
  • Length – for streams and small bodies of water, 6’-8’ will be perfect. For larger bodies of water, use 8’-10’.
  • Action – this describes how far from the tip a rod bends during casting—tip-, mid-, and full-flex. The forgiving mid-flex rods are the most versatile and ideal for beginners.
  • Material – fly rods are typically crafted from carbon fiber (aka graphite) or fiberglass. Carbon fiber is five times stronger but so much lighter than steel.
  • Handle type – handles are typically made of wood and can be any of four shapes—cigar, half-wells, reverse half-wells (aka western) and full-wells.
  • Pieces or sections – rods are usually made in 2-7 pieces or sections. This makes them easier to carry and store. The sections can either be fully detachable (such as our top 1 and 2 items) or collapsible (such as item 3).
  1. A kit must include a complete fly line setup. Kits should have a set up fly line consisting of a backing, fly line, leader, and tippet. Most kits don’t include the tippet, and you can start fishing even without it. You can learn about the finer details later in your learning process. At this point, it’s enough that you’re aware about all these fly line parts.
  2. It may or may not come with flies or a fly box. It would be nice to have ready flies to use, but it’s totally your option to buy a kit with or without them.

Conclusion:

After considering build quality, rod action, ease of use, and price, we’ve concluded that the Wild Water kit is the best deal for beginner fly fishing kit in this price range. The complaints about its reel are the only real issue we’ve seen, and the manufacturer has always been responsive.

Overall, this is a complete package and one that works. In fact, it’s not only great for novices but also for intermediate fly fishers, and it will make a nice backup if you already have a go-to fly fishing gear.

 

  • June 10, 2019