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Fly Fishing Gear


Fly fishing gear is pretty straightforward -- a rod, a reel, a line, a leader and a fly, plus waders if you need them (and you probably will), and a few key accessories. Check back on this running series of articles for everything you need to know about the right gear for a day -- or a season -- on the water.
  1. Rods and Reels
  2. Lines and Leaders
  3. Boats and Tubes
  4. Waders

Rods and Reels

Modern fly rods are made from everything from bamboo to graphite fiber and come in all lengths and sizes, from the ultra-light five-piece models for backpacking to heavy 10-footers made for surf fishing. Reels are also made in all shapes and sizes, with adjustable and mechanical drag systems to control line and enhance the performance of the reel.

Lines and Leaders

Unlike the line used in other methods of fishing, a fly line is a unitary piece of equipment -- a nylon cord tapered in a way that makes casting easy. At the business end is a leader -- a length of nylon or fluorocarbon monofilament. At the end of the leader is a few feet of replaceable tippet -- monofilament fine enough that the fish won't notice, but strong enough that they won't break off.

Boats and Tubes

Anglers have all sorts of vessels they fish from, casting from smaller float tubes and pontoon boats to kayaks that are geared specifically for fly fishermen. Dedicated anglers and guides who want to cover more water rely on motorized boats (for larger bodies of water) and drift boats (for rivers).


Most fly fishing involves walking in the water. Waders will keep you warm and dry, even when the water is cold and the weather is bad.

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