Essential Fly Fishing Gear for Beginners: Basic Accessories

What do you need to get started fly fishing?
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If you’re thinking about getting into fly fishing, having the right gear can make all the difference. The right tools can help you enjoy the sport more and make your time on the water more successful. Today, we’re tapping into the expertise of Gill Steele, who grew up immersed in the fishing world and has turned that passion into a lifelong pursuit. So, if you’d like to learn more about this, keep reading. The following guide will walk you through the essential tools and accessories you need to get started.

Essential Tools and Accessories

First things first: every fly fisher needs a cutting tool. Whether it’s a simple pair of nail clippers or basic nippers, having something to trim lines and make quick adjustments is crucial. While you can spend a lot on gear, starting with a basic pair of nippers can save you money without losing performance.

Another must-have is a good pair of pliers or hemostats. These tools are essential for safely removing hooks and debarbing flies, especially in places like British Columbia, where barbless hooks are required. They’re also handy for minor repairs, so they’re worth having.

Smart Accessories

When packing your gear, consider adding a retractor or zinger. These devices keep your nippers and pliers within reach and secure, preventing the common problem of dropping them in the water.

Visibility and Protection

A quality pair of polarized sunglasses is essential for fly fishing. They reduce glare, help you see the fish and your flyline more clearly, and protect your eyes from UV rays and stray hooks. While top-tier sunglasses can be pricey, there are many affordable options that provide good protection and functionality.

Setting Up Your Fly Fishing Kit

When assembling your fly fishing kit, consider starting with a combo kit, especially if you’re a beginner. These kits often include a rod, reel, fly line, backing, and sometimes even a leader – all at a more budget-friendly price than buying each component separately. This not only makes it easier to get started but also ensures that all parts of your setup are well-matched.

Why Backing Matters

A commonly overlooked component by new anglers is the backing. This is the line that goes on your reel first, extending the length of your line. Trust us! If a big fish takes off, you’ll be thankful for that extra line. Plus, backing helps fill the spool, improving the reel’s efficiency and line retrieval. We recommend getting set up through your local fly shop, as they’ll always ensure you’ve got the correct backing for your local fishery.

Choosing the Right Fly Line

Your choice of flyline is important and should match the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Most beginners start with a weight-forward floating line due to its ease of use and suitability for trout fishing. However, there are various lines available, including sinking and specialty lines, which can be tailored to different fishing conditions and preferences.

Tips for Buying Flies

When buying flies, it’s best to keep it simple. Instead of filling your fly box with every type you find, select a few that are recommended for your local waters and targeted species. This approach saves money and helps you learn which flies are effective in different fishing conditions.

Final Thoughts

Ultimately, starting out in fly fishing might feel overwhelming, but the best way to learn is by doing. Get your gear, step into the water, and start casting. Always remember, your local fly shop is a great resource for advice and support. The fishing community is passionate and always eager to help newcomers find their way.

For more tips, insights, and expert advice on fly fishing, be sure to check out the video below and join our community to take your fly fishing skills to the next level. Happy fishing!

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Anchored Outdoors

Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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