Fly tying kit

According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife data, there are an estimated 3.83 million fly anglers in the United States. As many as 32% of these anglers are fly fishers. Fly fishing represents a $750 million market. For those trying to break into this great American past time, these numbers can be both good and bad news. Good because it means you’ve chosen a sport for which equipment and resources are widely available; not so good, however, is the sheer variety and range of fly fishing equipment for sale you’re likely to find. Where’s a beginner to begin? In this article we’ll help you select two key fly fishing tools: the fly line and the fly rod.

Fly lines

The place to begin shopping for fly fishing equipment for sale is with your line weight. Before you can choose a rod, you must determine the line weight you’ll be using. In fly fishing, lines are measured on a number scale of zero to 14, with zero being the skinniest line and 14 being nearly the width of a rope.

The light weight lines are great for throwing very tiny flies in delicate conditions or for fish who tend to be spooky. Lines between three and six are more common for trout rods, with the five weight being the standard trout size.

With a six or seven, you can broaden the scope of the fish you go after. A six can be used for bass, small salmon, trout, and smaller salt water fish. The upside to a six is it’s a more multi-purpose line weight, the down side being it’ll be a bit too heavy for trout and too light for heavier salt water fly fishing.

If you’re more interested in salt water, steelhead, or salmon fly fishing, you’ll want to look in the eight to 10 weight range. Nine is considered the standard salt water weight. With a 10 weight line, you can fish for small tuna and striped bass or very large salmon.

The 11 and 12 range is geared towards fly fishing for tarpon, tuna, sharks, sailfish, and giant trevally. These are the larger game rods, designed to fight heavy fish and cast heavy flies.

Above a 12 weight, you’re looking at large, open ocean fish, marlin, and sailfish. A 14-weight line is almost as thick as a rope. When paired with a 14-weight rod, this combination is for casting a heavy fly a short distance.

Choosing the best fly fishing rods

Once you’ve decided on your line size, it’s time to choose the length of your fly rod. Fly rods are typically designated by the length of the rod and the line size it’s to be paired with. The first number provided will represent the length of the rod and the second the line size. They come as short as six feet and as long as 15 feet. The shorter, six feet rods will be used for freshwater fishing; while the 15 foot rod is designed for two-handed fly fishing when you go after salmon or steelhead.

Your fly rod length is dictated primarily by the areas you want to fish. Just imagine trying to fly fish over a four foot stream using a 14 foot rod and you’ll understand why. Some fly fisherman will advise you to choose a mid-length rod such as a eight and a half or nine footer as this can be considered a standard, more multipurpose rod length. If you plan to fish in smaller streams, however, you may want to choose a shorter rod that is more manageable. If you’ll be fly fishing over wide rivers or lakes, a longer rod will better serve you.

The sheer amount of fly fishing equipment for sale can be daunting to beginners. When you’re new to the sport, knowing what line weight or rod length you need can be difficult to impossible. The trick is to remember not to get caught up in finding the perfect weight or length; rather try to focus on the general range you’re hoping to fish and look for fly fishing equipment for sale that’s within that range.