If fly fishing could run for president, it would probably have a pretty popular campaign. The men and women of America spend $750 million a year on fly fishing gear, which adds up to $3 billion dollars over the 4 years that a campaign cycle lasts. Meanwhile, the combined total of campaign costs for both parties is only $2.6 billion dollars.
You might not be ready to join the “Fly Fishing 2016” political party, but could gain a lot by adopting the hobby. Fly fishing reduces stress, helps you get in shape, and provides the innumerable nutritional benefits associated with eating fish. If you’re ready to jump into the game of fly fishing, the first step is to set yourself up with a starter kit:
- Fly fishing rods. Rods come in sizes ranging from 7-12 feet and slow, medium, or quick action release speeds. If you’re unfamiliar with fly fishing, it is recommended that you start with a 9 foot, medium action rod, which is easier to handle and gives you accuracy in tight areas. A nice fly fishing rod can cost upwards of $400, but discount fly rods can be found that are a fraction of that price. If you aren’t planning to fly fish professionally, discount fly rods can will provide sufficient success for a beginner, especially while you’re still gauging you interest level and the amount of investment you want to make. Just make sure to read customer reviews from a 3rd party source to make sure the discount fly rods you’re considering are worth the money.
- Fly fishing reels. The reel holds the line tight while attracting fish, and allows the fisher to bring in the catch once you have one. A single action fly reel is usually recommended for new fly fishers, as it is easier to operate and maintain than reels that require more handle turns to retract the line.
- Leaders and tippet. The leaders and tippet are the clear material used to attach the flies to the line. The leader is nearly invisible so that it doesn’t scare fish away, and it prevents the line from getting tangled while being cast in the water. The tippet is a thinner material that replaces the tapered end of the leader as it is cut off every time the fly is replaced.
- Fishing flies. The fly is used to lure the fish to the line. There are literally thousands of different fishing flies to choose from. It is best for a beginner to start out with a wet, dry and streamer fishing fly, so they can try out each category and decide what they’re most comfortable with.
- Fishing nets. A fishing net is used for handling the fish after they’ve been caught. The net is attached to a pole, and makes it easy to store the fish once they’ve been removed from the line, while transporting them to land. Also, if you prefer catch and release fishing, you would use the net to hold the fish under water while removing the line, so they can swim away unhurt.
- Waders. Waders really improve the fishing experience by providing insulation and protection from cold and wet conditions. Waders are waterproof overalls or boots that keep water out and warmth in.
What is your favorite fly fishing gear? Is there anything that you consider essential that we didn’t include? Please leave a comment with the details below!