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Trouts Journal

Back To Basics: Your First Fly Rod

Ivan Orsic / Oct 21, 2015

Regardless of the industry you're in, it is without a doubt impacted by technology in some way, shape or form. And regardless of the industry you're in, that technology is continually improving. This statement couldn't be truer when it comes to building quality fly fishing equipment- particularly fly rods. While top-of-the-line fly rods will always carry a top-of-the-line price tag, have you ever wondered what happened to those rods that held this coveted position just a few years ago? They often get turned into the entry and mid price point rods you see sitting right next to those $800 sticks you whisper 'one day' to yourself when admiring. Wallet friendly fly rods (and reels and fly lines for that matter) are currently at a performance level unlike our industry has ever seen. The point with all of this is that the novice fly angler is able to aquire much better gear for a much better price than was the case many years ago. Just remember, when it comes to fly-fishing equipment (as well as every other hobby) you truly do 'get what you pay for'.

I get asked alot from beginning anglers, "So how much do I need to plan on spending to get something that is good, but won't fall apart in a year". If it's a customer who is truly interested in entering the sport of fly-fishing, my answer for this is that budgeting around $400-$500 is what you should plan on. This price point will get you equipment that carries a dependable warranty/guarantee and is often still made in the USA. To sum it all up, a truer statement couldn't be made than Buy It Right.....Or Buy It Twice!

Regarding the pricing for a rod/reel/lineoutfit, think of this an an a' la carte type menu to get your total.

Below are some of our favorite entry level rods/reels/lines that will provide years of enjoyment, while remaining friendly to your finances.


St. Croix Imperial- Hands down one of our best sellers, the St. Croix Imperial features a medium-fast action, is made in the U.S.A and features a lifetime guarantee. $240

Orvis Clearwater- An extremely popular rod for the beginning angler, the Orvis Clearwater features a medium-fast action and features a 25 year guarantee. $198

Sage Approach- On the upper end of the entry level price point, the word Sage is synonymous with quality. Featuring a medium-fast action, life time guarantee, and made in the good ol' USA. $295


Lamson Liquid- The Liquid and Remix were new additions to the Lamson lineup last year and instantly became a customer favorite. At $99.95 and $159.95 respectively, these reels pack a ton of value for the price tag. The icing on the cake is that both reels feature the same sealed drag system used on Lamson's pricier offerings. The easy pricetag is possible due to the die-cast process used in making the reels, which is cheaper than machining a reel. Both reels are assembled in the USA.

Lamson Remix- For $60 bucks more you get a CNC machined frame, paired with a die-cast spool. The machined frame will provide more durability for not much more jingle.

Cheeky Tyro- Brand new from the guys at Cheeky this year is the Tyro. At $139.95, this reel splits the difference between the reels listed above. Cheeky also uses a combo die-cast/CNC machine components for this reel, offering a nice balance of durability and affordability.


If you've ever walked into our shop you've likely noticed there are a lot of fly lines hanging on the wall, many of them with a price tag close to $100. For the budget conscious angler, $100 buck is a lot of money. Scientific Anglers and Rio have both recently introduced two great fly lines aimed at tackling the C-note. At $39.95 (Rio) and $49.95 (SA), these lines cast great and are sure you provide you countless days of enjoyment on the water.

Rio Mainstream

Scientific Anglers Frequency

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