Fly Fishing Gear: Get the Most for Your Money – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Fly Fishing Gear: Get the Most for Your Money

When buying fly fishing gear it is better to spend extra money on some gear while saving in other areas. Here is the breakdown to get the most for your money when getting into a new fly fishing outfit.

Getting into fly fishing usually has a steep initial cost that decreases as you add to your collection. Purchasing your first rod & reel, pack, flies, and terminal tackle to can be a bit costly, but once you have all of this gear it is easy to add small items here and there to stay in the game.

Some pieces of gear you can spend less money and still be very happy, while others it is better to spend more for high quality and long-lasting equipment. Here is a breakdown by category of where to spend and where to save.

Fly Rods

Fly Rods

When purchasing a fly rod you certainly get what you pay for. With that being said, there are plenty of great options that can perform well and last nearly forever under $400. A $900 rod is top of the line and can make it easier to advance your skills, but there are plenty of rods that are not nearly as expensive that still perform well in tough conditions.

The Orvis Clearwater ($198) and the Sage Foundation ($325) are both exceptional rods for the price. Both of these are great for all types of fishing and can perform to a certain extent in variable conditions (wind). When stepping up in price you get yourself into use specific rods or something that can outperform even in the absolute worst conditions.

It is no problem spending less on a fly rod especially when first starting to fly fish. A Radian, Sage X, Avantt, Helios 3 or NRX+ will be more enjoyable to use when conditions get worse and require less effort and fewer casts to get the fly right where you want it.

Fly Reels

Fly Reels

Trout fishing by no means requires the best reel on the market. Reels are usually just a line holder until they aren't. Many of the fish we catch when fishing around Southwest Montana can just be stripped in. Very few fish actually make it to the reel. Don't feel bad about paying a little less when it comes to the reel.

The low end price point is $100 - $150. These reels have drag systems that are not fully sealed but have far more stopping power than is necessary for trout fishing. All being cast, this means that they are slightly heavier and less durable than the step up which is around $200 - $300. The Lamson Liquid, Sage Sectrum C and Orvis Clearwater are reels in this price range that work great for beginners and experts alike.

Stepping up in price will get and angler into the machined aluminum class of reels that are often made in the U.S.A. Machined reels are lighter, more durable, and in the opinion of many look better than cast reels. This is where you can get a piece of equipment that has a sealed drag, is maintenance-free, and can last nearly forever. Paying more gets you fancy machining (weight reduction and looks), colorful paint jobs and better drag systems. Orvis Hydros, Lamson Guru, and Ross Animas are all great examples.

Fly Lines

Fly Lines

This is the one category that we recommend going with one of the high quality options. Paying more for a fly line can make your rod perform to it's highest potential and give an angler more days on the water prior to a necessary line replacement.

Paying more for a fly line gets you a slicker, vastly more durable line that will keep you happy in the long run. If you have been fly fishing for more than a year you know how unpleasant casting, mending, and fishing a dirty, cracked, sinking old fly line makes the fly fisher. Scientific Anglers Amplitude and Amplitude Smooth are slick and buoyant vastly longer than cheaper options. The same fishing pleasure can found with the new RIO Elite series of fly lines. Skimping on fly lines results in fly fishing sadness a short time after purchasing the line. To get a good fly line spend between $80 - $130.

Additional Gear

After the initial outfit the following gear is more user preference. Great fly fishing packs can be found for $50 - $300. All of your necessary streamside tools can be purchased for under $50. Buy spare leaders and tippet for under $25 and a few dozen flies for a little over $50 bucks and you are ready to hit the nearest river!

Stop by our Bozeman fly shop for more info and to pick up everything you need before your next Montana fly fishing adventure!

Heck, you can even shop online and choose curbside pickup at checkout to get your gear safely and hassle-free.