Fly Fishing Gear
By Brian Milne
Rods and Reels
The fly rod and reel are the two most important parts of fly fishing. Without a good fly rod and reel, it doesn't matter how good a caster and how good a fisherman you are. Today, 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
In most cases, anglers have three to four types of line on their reel. The backing is usually tied to the arbor itself and is then attached to the fly line, a thick line (usually orange, green or yellow in color) that makes long and accurate casts possible. Anglers use a leader to connect the fly line to the tippet, which runs to the fly itself.
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).
Fly fishing is more than just a sport to the most passionate of anglers. This is where you can find fly fishing accessories and even fly fishing entertainment pieces on books and DVDs.
From the mom and pop fly shop around the corner to the big-box outdoor worlds and sporting goods outfitters, it seems like fly fishing equipment is being sold just about everywhere these days. Here's a look at some of the top and respected outfitters along with some helpful gear lists and shopping guides.