Stillwater Anglers Beginners Fly Fishing Gear

Beginner’s Fly Fishing Gear: the Essentials for Your First Fly Fishing Trip

If you’re looking for a unique adventure on the Stillwater River this summer, congratulations! You couldn’t have made a better choice for your first fly fishing trip. But before you head on to the river, let’s take a look at the beginner’s fly fishing gear.

Don’t worry; this won’t be a very long list. Just enough to get you prepared for the Montana summer nature and to turn your first trip into a smashing success.

The Complete Checklist for Your Beginner’s Fly Fishing Gear

You can always hit your local fly fishing shop in Montana to gear up, but it doesn’t hurt to know what you’re looking for before getting there. This is where you should start:

    1.   A Fly Fishing Rod

It goes without saying that this is the first thing you need to get started. Rest assured, you won’t need to spend a fortune on it, though.

If this is your first time on the river, I highly recommend a budget option: you can find rods for less than $100 and they are great for getting started. You can spend even more than $1000 on a rod, but wouldn’t it be a shame if you’d only use it once? Again, your local fly fishing shop can advise you on the best rod for your stature and the fishing access you plan to hit.

    2.   A Fly Fishing Reel

What’s a rod without a reel, right? You can find reels for all budgets, from $20 to more than $1000. If you’re fishing for small species, then you can easily choose a budget fly reel. If you’re aiming for bigger species, invest in a sturdier reel. Of course, your primary concern here is that the reel matches the rod.

    3.   Line and Backing

Sink-tip, floating and sinking – these are the major types of line you will have to choose from. Make the purchase that fits your rod and reel. For instance, a five-weight rod goes with a five-weight line.

The backing serves a couple of purposes. First, it acts as a “spacer” on the reel so that each revolution of the reel winds up more fly line. It also adds length to the fly line in case a fish runs and one has to play the fish. A typical line is less than 100 feet long. When the fish pulls it all out, you will have to rely on your backing, which can give you an extra 100+ feet. You shouldn’t spend too much time deciding on the backing you need – just as long as it goes with your rod and reel, of course.

    4.   Leader and Tippet

These two parts connect the end of the fly line and the fly. For your first fly fishing trip, it’s highly recommended you choose tapered leaders. They are pre-made and you can use them right out of the package. Plus, this option combines the leader and tippet in a single part, thus allowing your casts to straighten out easily. It’s always best to tie on a short piece of tippet to the leader so that when changing flies, you’re not cutting back on the length or the diameter of the leader.

    5.   Flies

You will need a good assortment of flies on your first trip. Luckily, there are pre-made packages that contain nymphs, dry flies, and streamers that you can use to get started. As soon as you get more experienced, you can start picking out your own flies. Talk to your local fly shop about a small assortment of flies. The exact type will depend on where you’ll be fishing as well as the season.

    6.   Protective Clothing and Gear

If you want to survive the Montana summer on the river, you should never go fly fishing without the following:

         Waders and wading boots

         Hat to keep you safe from the sun


         Polarized sunglasses

         Insect repellant

You can read more about the right protective gear here.

This is all the beginner’s fly fishing gear that’s essential to your first trip. Of course, a pack, vest or a fly box would be nice, too, but they are not crucial. You see, fly fishing doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It just has to be fun and relaxing. If you need beginner’s fly fishing gear, head to the Stillwater Angler Fly Shop today and let us help you get everything you need for your next fly fishing expedition!