Fly rod combos can be a great way to start out in fly-fishing. They come with a rod, reel, backing, line and leader and sometimes a fly rod case or sock.

Are Fly Rod Combos a Good Deal?

Yes, with careful research.

They can also be a big mistake if you go for a cheap one.

But there are so many configurations available you could easily end up with a very nice headache.

Your Best Price Range For Fly Rod Combos

I have learned to buy in the middle price range when starting out with a new hobby. That means avoiding fly fishing combos under $100. Cheap is just another word for useless. You can get nice fly fishing combos in the $200 to $350 range. As you do your research I would invest more cash in a good rod and the line. A machined aluminum (not cast) reel will work fine for your first trout reel.

Some of the brands I would look at are TFO (Temple Fork Outfitters), Orvis, St Croix, Redington and the higher end Cabela’s sets.

Other Decisions You Need to Make

Which fly rod and line weight you should start with, the length and number of pieces, and does it come with a fly rod case?

See our Best Fly Rod page for more information.

Things to Watch Out For

The line that is included in some fly rod combos is very cheap. Some companies will name the rod and reel but for a very good reason will not mention the type of line included. Guess why? It is a cheap line.

One thing you don’t need as you are working on your casting skills is to have a line that just won’t load the rod. You could spend a lot of time wondering why you just can’t get it, maybe even give up fly-fishing altogether.

A cheap line may not be a bad thing for you as long as you are aware of what’s going on. If the price of the rod and reel is good you can always remove the line and buy a good fly line. For your first fly rod we recommend using the next heavier line weight anyway. It will make casting so much easier. As for the backing, even your local fly shop will give you that at no charge.

Good fly fishing lines include Rio, AirFlo and Scientific Anglers.

Learn more about fly fishing lines here.


Don’t forget about the warranty. Some come with a lifetime warranty like TFO while others may only come with a one-year warranty.

Does it cover breakage? There are many ways to break your best fly rod. Nice to know that your moments of clumsiness or closing the rod in the car door will not put you out $300. You may have to pay for shipping but it is nice to have a warranty.


Buying fly fishing combos can be a great way to start out in fly-fishing. Do your research and your first fly rod will make mastering the fly fishing basics a lot easier and more enjoyable.

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