I Am Wanting To Learn Fly Fishing What Do I Need

I have been fly fishing for several decades now and I hear this question quite a lot. I am wanting to learn fly fishing, what do I need? Now I will give you an answer.

I am wanting to learn fly fishing what do I need? If you Want to learn fly fishing? Here’s what you need, you will need a fly rod, fly line, fly reel, tippet. leaders, waders, fly boxes, flies, and a fly vest.

Want to try fly fishing? Then here’s what you will need. First, you will need a Fly rod, this is different than a fishing pole. Then you will need a fly reel which is different than a spinning reel. Next is the fly line which is very different than regular fishing monofilament line. Then you will need some other items that you will see below.


Five weight rods are one of the most versatile. You can catch any fish from 6 inches long to 5 pounds they are all fair game with a 5 weight. Even small bluegill will give you a good tussle on a five weight rod. I have hooked some even smaller than that like 2 or 3 inches almost a minnow. But this rod will still have enough backbone o land a 24-inch trout.


Most reels can handle about three different line sizes.

A fly reel is a simple mechanism. Turn the handle once and the arbor turns once. There’s a mechanism to keep it from free-spooling, and most reels have a drag just like a spinning reel.

Because of their simplicity, most will do a good job regardless of the price. If you start going after bigger fish, the quality of the drag becomes more of a factor and the price will go up accordingly.


Start with a weight-forward, five-weight floating line to go with your five-weight rod.

Floating line is easiest to cast. It requires less force to pull it off the water because it’s lighter than a sinking line. You can fish all types of flies – dries, wets, nymphs, and streamers – with a floating line. But you can’t fish dry flies with a sinking line.

Weight forward, which refers to a line’s taper, makes a floating line even easier to cast.


If you’re fishing a lot of lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, a sinking line is very good to have. There are many different advantages to a sinking line. The main one is a sinking line will get the fly down to the fish.

There are many different types of sinking lines, including full-sinking and slow sinking. There is also sinking-tip lines in which only the end of the line sinks. There also are many different sink rates, which are listed as Type I, II, III, etc. The larger the number is the faster the line sinks.


You will also want to get some braided Dacron backing. This a length of line that attaches your casting line to your reel which serves a couple purposes. If you happen to be fishing with a standard-arbor reel, it will keep your fly line from getting tightly wrapped on your reel. You also will be able to rewind your fly line faster because the backing increases the diameter of the spool.

Backing also is insurance against a big fish taking all of your fly lines.


Remember a five-weight rod and five-weight line remember another five – 5X. That’s the tippet you want. This actually has nothing in common with a five-weight line, which is matched to your rod. Tippets are tapered monofilament line.
All monofilament fishing line is rated by the strength and measured in “pound test.”

Leaders are generally identified by a number followed by an “X.” A 5X is the diameter of the tip of the leader, which is typically between 4- and 5-pound test, depending on the brand.

A 5X tippet is a good starting point because it will work for most trout and similar-size fish, and also works for most flies.

The bigger the number before the “X,” the lower the strength, or pound-test, the tip is. An 8X tippet would be less than a 2-pound test. So a 1X tippet would generally be about 10-pound test.

Typically, you match the tippet with the fly, but you also have to consider the size of the fish you are likely to catch.

Leaders come in different lengths, they usually run from 7 to 12 feet. Nine-foot leaders are the standard.


Tippets are an extension of your line. They also come in X sizes and there are 2 reasons you need them

First, leaders are expensive. In the course of changing flies or breaking them off, your leader will get shorter and larger in diameter because it’s tapered. You can tie more tippet to your leader to extend it back to its original length.

The second reason for tippets is to try different sizes of flies. If you are trying to tie a size 20 fly on a 5X leader, it may be too thick to fit through the eye of the hook. Instead of replacing a 5X leader with a 6X or 7X, just tie on a couple feet of smaller tippet onto a 5X leader.


Fly fishing requires room for a backcast This can be tough if you’re standing on shore with obstructions behind you. The way to get the room for a backcast is to wade or use a float tube or other small boat.

Neoprene waders can help keep you warm in cold water. They can also be sweltering hot in summer.

Waterproof and breathable waders are both made with a coated fabric that allows them to vent moisture, so you don’t get clammy. They are more expensive than neoprene waders, but they are lighter and more comfortable. On cold days you can layer some more clothes under them to help make them warmer.

Besides being more expensive, fabric waders are more prone to punctures and scrapes which means leaks. With reasonable care, even a lower priced pair should last a couple of seasons.

Wading Boots:

Wading boots usually come with felt soles, which grips like velcro. You can also get felt soles that have cleats, which can provide even more traction. Some companies are getting away from felt soles because they can transport unwanted organisms between bodies of water. High-traction rubber soles provide similar traction to felt and they retain less water and dry more quickly.

Fly Box:

There are lots of boxes out there with a wide range of prices. Make sure they hold the individual flies securely or in small compartments with separate lids. You don’t want to drop your fly box and have your flies scattered all over, or worse, float away.


These are extremely handy and are very useful. You can buy them at a fly shop for $5 to $10, or get fingernail clippers at a drugstore for 69 cents it is up to you.

Fly Floatant:

If you’re fishing with dry flies you will definitely want a floatant to keep your fly from getting waterlogged. This substance costs a few bucks, use it sparingly (it doesn’t take much to coat a fly), it will last a long time. You should consider it a must-have.


You can easily land a fish by hand. You don’t even have to take it out of the water. But a good way to handle fish is with a fine-meshed “catch-and-release net.” The mesh is way easier on fish when you’re unhooking them for release.


This is another item that will benefit the fish. Grab the hook’s shank with these plier-like tools and you will have excellent leverage to remove a hook.

Leader Straightener:

Monofilament leaders have “memory,” this means when you unwind them, they look like a corkscrew. If you run it through a leader straightener then the line will straighten out. A straighter leader will give your fly a better presentation.

Fly Vest or Chest Pack:

You will quickly find that your fly boxes and other things won’t fit in your pants and shirt pockets. Fly vests were the long-time favorite, but now the chest packs have gained popularity.

Make sure that whatever you use that it is comfortable. It’s surprising how much pressure a vest that has a few pounds of gear can exert on you. If you decide to be a pack rat, be sure your vest or pack can comfortably carry the load.

Dean Jensen

I started fly fishing in 1972 and I have learned quite a bit about this wonderful sport called fly fishing and I want to share some of the things that I have learned.

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