The Biggest Lie In The Fly Fishing Industry

Over the years I have had many conversations with people who are interested in giving fly fishing a try. Their eyes light up when they talk about how it looks like a lot of fun or that it seems like a great way to relax and connect with nature. Then, their hopes begin to fade as they start talking about one thing in particular. So, what is the biggest lie in the fly fishing industry?

The Biggest Lie in the Fly Fishing Industry is that Fly Fishing is Expensive

Most anglers believe and perpetuate the idea that fly fishing has to be expensive. And don’t get me wrong…it CAN be very expensive. Over the years I have added many rods and reels to the quiver just to fill the void. “Hey, I don’t have a fiberglass 2wt rod. I should buy one.” Most of us have been guilty of something like that in the past. And that’s not a bad thing. You should never let me or anyone else tell you that you’re doing it wrong because fly fishing is a very personal activity.

My concern comes when I’m talking to someone about fly fishing and they get really excited about the idea of learning. At some point, they almost always say something along the lines of, “I just don’t have the money to get into fly fishing.”. This bums me out because I want to share this sport with as many people as I can. I want kids and adults and everyone in between to know the joy of casting to a feeding trout and the excitement of feeling a fish take your fly. The truth is, you don’t have to spend very much money at all to get into fly fishing.

Rods and Reels

The best way to get into fly fishing is to start with a combo pack. Newcomers to the sport can find a lot of options out there. You can get started with these combo packs.

copper river fly comboThe Cabela’s Copper River Fly Combo offers the rod, reel, and a weight-forward floating line. It’s perfect for getting started with trout. The rod is a 4-piece 5wt that measures 8’6″. It’s not an amazing rod, but it’s perfect for starting out.

The reel it comes with is large-arbor with a disc drag and the line is pre-spooled for convenience. A fly reel should be taken as seriously as you take the sport. If you’re just starting out, you can consider the reel to simply be a thing that holds your line. If you get more serious about fly fishing, you should definitely learn more about what makes certain reels better, but it’s not necessary when starting out.

The best part about this rod and reel combo is that it clocks in at $49.99!

shakespeare wild series fly comboThe Shakespeare Wild Series Fly Combo also offers the rod, reel, and line in one package. Shakespeare offers the wild series combo in both 5wt and 8wt. The 5wt would be perfect for learning how to cast to trout on the Truckee River and the 8wt would give me a chance to try my luck at Pyramid Lake.

The Shakespeare Wild Series Fly Combo comes in usually around $60, but I’ve seen it sold for as low as $40, so shop around!


fly tying meme

It is possible to save money on flies by tying your own, but be careful. Fly tying is more addictive than narcotics, so it’s easy to suddenly find yourself tying flies that you might never use. To save money tying flies you have to keep it simple. If you plan to fish in the same body of water most of the time, find out what bugs work well there. Pick two or three good ones and just get the materials for those flies. Tie as many as you can make with the materials you bought and fish them frequently.

When you are first starting out, the best way to save money on flies is to get them in packs. Orvis offers a 20 Fly Selection of the 20 most popular flies for trout and it’s just $10.


Fly fishing accessories can add up because there are so many options that it’s easy to think you need all of them. To start out you should get waders, boots, a fly box, nippers, and a pair of forceps. AdamsBuilt has awesome waders and boots at great prices. You can find cheaper ones out there, but they will fall apart pretty quickly.

Now that we know the biggest lie told in the fly fishing industry, let’s all do our part to spread the truth. Newcomers to the sport deserve the help that we can provide. We need to be honest with them and help them as much as possible.


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  1. Great article. I agree. The fish has no idea, whether your fly rod is a Shakespeare or a Thomas & Thomas !!!! I touched on this a bit in my blog a few weeks ago.

  2. Caught my first Atlantic Salmon on a white Shakespeare Wonder-rod. Just a shade over 11 kilos. You’re correct, fish didn’t care.

  3. Nice article. I sell fly fishing lanyards (with StreamWorks gear) which can cut the cost even more for anglars

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