When it comes to outfitting yourself with a fishing set, going for a fly-fishing rod and reel combo offers much more value than purchasing them separately. A fly-fishing combo includes a great setup that matches and compliments each other, providing the best fly-fishing experience.
These combos are cost-effective since they include additional fly-fishing gear such as a fly line, line, leader, tippet, and flies and saves you time – they offer almost everything you need to start catching fish right away.
This article presents some of the best fly rod combos on the market, based on your expertise level and budget. Some fly rod combos offer a perfect choice for beginners to intermediate fly fishers with a small budget, and others are targeted at high-budget professionals.
While it is okay to start with a lower-end product, it’s best to purchase a higher-end fly rod combo of good quality if you plan to use it for a few years.
Best Fly Rod Combos on the Market
When planning to purchase a fly rod combo, you need to consider how you want to use it;
Do you see fly-fishing as a hobby, and the rod will be used for weekend fly fishing trips; or
You are a new entrant in the fly-fishing sport and will want to advance your skills and experience; or
You are a professional and need high-quality gear.
Here is our list of the top 6 best fly rod combos of 2021.
1. Best Entry Level Fly Rod Combo – Kastking Emergence
The Kastking Emergence Fly Fishing Combo is our best choice for people who just started the fly-fishing sport. Targeted at beginners, this combo is budget-friendly and comes with all the features you need for practical and fun fly-fishing.
The Kastking Emergence Fly Fishing Combo comes with a medium-fast action, high-quality graphite rod suitable for beginners. The fly rod is available in four different weight versions – 4-, 5-, 6- and 8-weights. The 4-weight 8’6” version is perfect for small stream and creek fishing, while the 8-weight 9’ version is ideal for targeting strong fish like bonefish or bass. The 5/6-weight 9’ is best used for targeting fish like trout.
The aluminum large arbor reel comes pre-spooled with a fly line, backing, and a tapered monofilament leader. It features an adjustable disc drag and can be used in saltwater. Also, you have a fly box preloaded with 12 flies – dry flies, nymphs, and streamers.
The Kastking Emergence Fly Fishing Combo comes with fly-fishing accessories, including forceps, split shot weights, strike indicators, a retractable nipper, and a protective Cordura travel case for easy storage and transportation of the fly rod.
Our verdict: The Kastking Emergence Fly Fishing Combo is an excellent choice for everyone that is just entering the fly-fishing sport and contains everything they need to get started. It offers four sizes depending on your choice of target, and you can expect the best value for your money.
2. Cheapest Fly Rod Combo – Wild Water Fly Fishing Set
While it’s definitely not a mainstream brand, the Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo allows you to get started with fly-fishing at a low price. The Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo does not offer different variations. The fly rod is 5/6 weight, 9’, 4 pieces, which is perfect for beginners who want to venture into fly fishing as it includes everything you need to start fishing right away.
The 32-inch hard tube case included in the Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo is designed to hold both the rod and the reel without removing the latter. Attached to the case are an extra pocket for your fly box, leaders, tippet spool, and other fly-fishing accessories.
The die-cast aluminum frame reel comes with an adjustable disc drag – a feature found on higher-end reels that cost the same as the entire combo. That allows you to adjust the brake power to fit the fish species you are targeting. The reel’s retrieve can also be easily changed from left to right hand, though it is pre-set in left hand retrieve. Similar to Kastking Emergence Fly Fishing Combo, the Wild Water fly reel comes pre-installed with floating fly line, weight-forward 5, backing, WF5-F, chartreuse, and 9’ 5X tapered monofilament leader.
To get you started with fly fishing right away, the Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo comes with a fly box that contains 9 flies – 3 Ants, 3 Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear, and 3 Parachute Adams –, which is enough for starters. Nail knot tying tool, hook eye cleaner, and fishing tackle-like line nipper round off the Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo.
Our verdict: The Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo is the perfect fly-fishing kit for beginners and it cost you under $100. It has everything you need to start fishing immediately. However, as you progress in fly-fishing, you will need to purchase a more robust fly rod combo.
3. Best Value for Money: Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 8’6″ Fly Rod Outfit
When it comes to the best value for money – a rod and reel combo that can be used for years –, the Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 8’6″ Fly Rod Outfit is our go-to fly fishing combo. Orvis is a well-known brand in the fly-fishing industry and has manufactured some of the best entry-level to high-end fly rods over the years. From their line of entry-level products comes the Encounter Fly Rod and Reel Combo, a balance of affordability and versatility.
The Encounter Fly Rod is a medium-fast action 5-weight 8’6’’ rod, which offers you a great degree of control and accuracy – perfect for fishing Trout in small creeks or bass in big lakes. Being 5-weight, you can cover almost all fishing situations with the rod, although the bigger your target, the stronger a rod you will need.
Included in this fly-fishing combo is the Orvis Encounter fly reel, which like the Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo, comes with an adjustable disc drag and can be easily changed from left to right-handed retrieve.
The combo also comes with an Orvis Clearwater WF (weight forward) floating line, Dacron backing, and Orvis tapered leader. However, it does not come with a fly box and flies. But it has everything else you need to start fly fishing.
Our verdict: Orvis products are some of the best and will give you the best value for your money. The Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 8’6″ Fly Rod Outfit is the perfect choice if you plan to fly fishing in the long term.
4. Best Mid-Range – Redington Fly Fishing Kit 590-4 Crosswater
Redington is another well-known fly rod brand. They have a line of entry-level to high-end fly rods –though not at the same level as Orvis’ top rods – with excellent quality.
The Redington Fly Fishing Combo Kit 590-4 Crosswater includes a Redington PATH rod, which comes in different sizes and length options, depending on your needs. The 4-weight models are great for fishing in smaller streams, while the 9-weight options are made for bigger targets, and their full wells cork grips with anodized aluminum are suited to saltwater conditions. However, if you are looking for a good all-rounder, you can go for a 5-weight 9’ fly rod. The fly rod carries a lifetime warranty.
The Redington Fly Fishing Combo Kit 590-4 Crosswater features a large arbor Crosswater reel made from a lightweight metal composite. The reel comes pre-spooled with a Rio mainstream WF line and features a disc drag system and a front taper. The combo also comes with a Cordura rod case that allows easy transportation of the rod and reel without detaching them.
Our verdict: the Redington Fly Fishing Combo Kit 590-4 Crosswater comes from the line of quality Redington’s products and manufactured with the brand’s years of knowledge in the industry. At $129, the Redington Fly Fishing Combo Kit 590-4 Crosswater is the ideal combo for individuals with an intermediate fly-fishing experience.
5. Best Advanced Fly-Fishing Set – Orvis 2019 Clearwater
Manufactured by one of the top brands in fly fishing, the Orvis 2019 Clearwater Fly Rod Combo is the best fishing gear on the market in terms of advanced fly-fishing sets.
The Orvis 2019 Clearwater Fly Rod Combo packs a medium-action 2019 Clearwater 5-weight 9’ fly rod and a 2019 Clearwater fly reel. The rod offers great dexterity for longer distance casting and is an excellent choice for a trout setup. The reel is made from nickel aluminum that is suited for saltwater fishing.
Also included in the Orvis 2019 Clearwater Fly Rod Combo are a Clearwater WF fly line, a Dacron backing, a sectioned rod tube, and a tapered leader. The sectioned rod tube allows the safe transportation of the set, with each of the rod pieces stored individually in their sections. The fly-fishing set carries a 25 years Orvis warranty. Essentially, you have all you need to start fly fishing right away.
Our verdict: the Orvis 2019 Clearwater Fly Rod Combo is the perfect rod and reel combo for every advanced fly angler who is willing to spend extra for a fly-fishing set that will last for years. It offers the best value for money for a top-quality rod and reel combo
6. Best High-End Fly Rod Set – Sage Foundation Fly Fishing Outfit
The Sage Foundation Fly Fishing Outfit comes from one of the finest fly rods in the world. Like other Sage’s fly rods, the Foundation Outfit is designed, built, and finished – entirely done by hand – on Bainbridge Island, USA. The fly rods manufactured by Sage are like no other. Although expensive, they are of the very best quality.
This combo packs a fast-action 4-piece Sage Foundation fly rod, which comes with some premium features. The fly rod has a steep learning curve, which can be overcome with graphite IIIe technology. This feature allows you to make accurate and longer casts and improves connectedness and smoothness.
This combo includes a Sage Black/Platinum 2200 Series fly reel made from die-cast aluminum and features a fully sealed adjustable carbon drag system with a switchable retrieve.
Also included in the Sage Foundation Fly Fishing Outfit is a Rio Gold WF fly line, a Rio tapered leader, a Dacron backing, and a fabric-covered rod/reel case.
Our verdict: The Sage Foundation Fly Fishing Outfit is for you if you want a premium top-quality fly rod set and can manage the cost. This combo carries the well-known Sage guarantee.
Choosing the right fly rod combo for you is not as easy as it seems. Before making a decision, you need to know what you want from the set. But here is our rule of thump for people that are stumped at which fly rod to pick. If you are a fly-fishing beginner and don’t see it as a long-term thing, then an entry-level fly-fishing combo is ideal. For those with a limited budget, you should consider the mid-range fly-fishing combo options. However, if fly-fishing is something you want to be doing, then the premium combos are a perfect choice.