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Beginner Fly Fishing Setup Guide with Precautions

beginner fly fishing setup
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: July 24, 2023

This article is packed with the information that you need to go fishing if you want to get hooked into fly fishing (no pun intended) this is where you need to be. We are going to putting you in mind laying down the information as a beginner angler who is looking to catch trout, bluegill and the farm pond bass on medium-sized lakes rivers and ponds.

Beginner Fly Fishing Setup

Fly Fishing Setup

One thing we know for sure is that learning fly fishing can seem to be hard—overwhelming, because of this they are discouraged and decide not to start at all, which is very unfortunate because of the fun they will be potentially missing. Indeed, like a lot of many other things fly fishing is not one of those things one can decide to jump into and have fun on the first day, you need time to learn the basics—then you are hooked. Before you start, know that your first day might not be producing a rainbow trout. You would have to spend a lot of time practicing technique (Kobe didn’t become the world’s greatest the first time he shut the ball).

You would have to learn in more than one try, how to properly cast, how to find the right spots. Etc.

It might be ultimately beneficial if you go to the lake or pond with an experienced fly fisher or using a professional f=guide for fly fishers, which are one of the fastest ways to learn fly fishing. One thing to know is that if you have the money, it bodes for a teasing potential at the end of the day.

You want to enjoy yourself. It is a very fulfilling experience and gives you the avenue to become one with the wild. You want to be patient and take in the enjoyment of learning a new art/skill.

Basic Fly Fishing Equipment

These are the basic things you require to go for a fun day of fly fishing; by basic, we are referring to these gears that are essential to fly fishing. There are various fly fishing vendors online and in stores nationwide.

  1. A fly rod
  2. A fly reel
  3. Fly fishing line: this consists of the (support) the fly line, the leader and finally the tippet
  4. Few artificial flies. This is going to be necessary at the end of the day. It is called “fly fishing” after all.

Now it is time to go fishing!

In the next segment, we will be explaining each of the gear, so that we can get the best of the speeds we can get. We understand that as beginners, you do not want to put too much money into this as a hobby, which is acceptable. But there is a problem when people go buy cheap gears, and they are not as robust as the high-end gears, so those cheap one’s quiver and break easily. The equipment can be a determinant to why one would continue with fly fishing at the end of the day.

Fly Rod and Fly Reel

These are the essential fly fishing gears out there. They’re the foundation for all other gears. They range in price from $50 to $1000 generally based on the material that the equipment is made from, and mostly the quality of the tool.

Fly rods have variants in lengths and weight. At the end of the day, the rod that you will be using totally depends on the type of fishing that you plan to do. It is generally recommended that you use a graphite rod, within the medium range of price.

Just like fly rods, the prices of fly reels vary also. There are low-end plastic made reels. As cheap as they are, we recommend that you do not fall for these as they do not work well and can break very quickly, and would not last. Get the metal fly reel!

Another thing that is important is. When getting a reel and a rod, you have to make sure that they match perfectly. This means that the rod’s weight has to match that of the reel so that they can perform efficiently.

Do not be afraid! Fly rods and reels are both available combined in stores by most of the manufacturer. If they are bought together, then they are matched, and you definitely have dodged the bullet. This is how you want to get them.

Fly Backing, Fly Line, Tippet and Leader

One thing that has to be understood in standard fishing set up is that there is only one line, and this line traces itself from the rod to the hook. Fly fishing is definitely different from the typical basic fishing for these two reasons:

In fly fishing, there is no weight placed on the end of the line. All that is, there is a fly, which is lightweight. Without pressures, making a distant cast is near impossible. The weight in fly fishing emanates from the line itself. That is why they have thicker lines.

In fly fishing, all that is emphasized is the presentation of the baited. The fly—on the water, making sure that the fish does not recognize that the fly is attached to something. That is when the leader and the tippet are used.

We use the fly backing to feel the reel, aka the arbor. The backing is used majorly to provide length so that you have a longer fish run. Backings are made thick and colored brightly to make them visually attractive on water. The backing is also the longest part of the line.

The fly line now provides the weight for your fly fishing; they are heavy and are also brightly colored.

While the leader is used to move from the solid fly line to the reedy tippet, the leader moves from thick to the size where it matches the line, but they taper to smaller sizes. The leader’s main aim is to make sure that the fly line does not touch the water then scaring the fish away. They also move to the tippet nearly invincibly. The fly line is not going to be seen by the fish. Leaders should be about 9-10 feet long.

On the tippet is where the fly is attached. And on the other end, the tippets are connected to the leader nearly invincible in the water. This makes sure that the fish is presented with the fly without them seeing any line. So we have to find the strongest and also the laboriously seen tippet.

Put It All Together

It is not hard to put them together. All that is required are practice and basic knot tying skill.

  1. Combine the reel to the rod, the coil should slide into the rod, locking ignorance
  2. Get the backing and move 100 feet forward–Depending on the pool size and weight, you want to spool enough of the backing so that the arbor is full
  3. Move 2-3 feet off your fly line and then you tie the fly line to the backing with the Albright knot
  4. Then go again about thirty yards and clip it
  5. If you want to get the right amount of backing all you have to do is to coil the fly line and the backing onto the reel, do this in reverse at first, and do that with the fly line initially. You want to use knot 39 yards off the fly line
  6. make sure there is tension in the line. And make sure that the line now goes evenly through the arbor
  7. Continue until it gets close to the rim but not touching. Then trim the backing.
  8. Create a loop using the braid knot and attach the leader
  9. To attach the tippet to the leader, use the double or the triple surgeon knot
  10. Then attach the fly to the tippet using an improved clinch.

The Basic Fly Fishing Cast

We have set our fly fishing gear now it is time to go fishing. There are different types of cast and are mostly driven by the following. Location, the type of fish, the cast distance and finally personal preference.

The Overhead Cast:

The basic idea behind doing this is to bring the fly cast from overhead and behind you and then cast it in front of you. Here are steps to make the overhead cast.

  1. Linked you are trying to shake someone that is the way you hold the rd.
  2. Point the rod from about waist level, and then take out ten yards of the fly line and wiggle
  3. Step back to make sure that the line extends beyond you
  4. Lift your arm up slowly till the line becomes tight
  5. Now rotate your arm rapidly, so the line comes behind you. Pause for it to make the loop behind you
  6. Bring the rod quickly to your front—10 o’clock. The route will cast forward
  7. As it extends slowly, lowers your arm slowly to lay the line out on the water.

Roll Cast

The roll cast is relatively simple. As the line is in front to of you, lift the rod up slightly behind your head and forward cast it as you do with the overhead cast and that’s it.

Precautions for Beginner Fly Fishing Setup

For beginners, spooling a fly fishing reel can be hard so you have to carve time to go fly fishing and bring a friend with you so that the experience can be more enjoyable, and for the added help which is an essential aspect of the human experience.

Fly fishing should take time for mastering. Don’t be frustrated and don’t try to force or rush it, have fun and enjoy the great outdoors. If you do not have enough budgets, try to buy quality fishing instruments within your constrain. At the end of the day, do not forget to have fun!

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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