What do I need to get started in fly fishing. This question is being asked quite often lately as the sport has definately seen a rise in participants. It is the same question that I put out on many fishing forums trying to decide what was needed. Generally, we all know that a fly rod and reel is needed along with some line. But how many people who are new to the sport realize that a leader needs to be tied to the fly line as well as a tippet to the leader, and that there are different knots used in tying each of these.
Here is a good website to assist you in tying knots:
As far as rod and reels go there are many suppliers out there that offer packages for beginners with some being under $100.00, which is a good deal if you are not sure where you want to go with the sport. One thing that i've found is if you can afford it then you should spend the money on a quality rod, it really does make quite a difference in casting with presentation and distance.
Another thing to remember when picking out a rod is to be sure to pick the proper weight for the application, you can do this by checking out the rod manufacturers website for specifications or by asking around on some of the forums.
A basic overview of rod size would be:
1-4 weight (smaller fish and smaller trout)
5-8 weight (larger trout,bass,smaller saltwater fish)
8-13 weight (saltwater)
The reel that you choose will need to be matched to the rod as far as weight goes. As an example, on my 4wt rod I have a 3/4wt reel and my 7wt rod has an 8wt reel on it. What I have found is when you are fishing smaller weight rod and reels for smaller fish you are usually using the reel as a place to hold your line. When you are tackling larger fish is where a quality reel will come into play. It will give you a larger arbor to hold more line as well as having a quality drag system to help you land the fish.
The fly line is just as important. Starting out you will probably want a floating weight forward line. This will be the easiest line to cast which will assist while you are learning. A good idea is to get a line with a good UV coating and make sure that the line matches the weight of the rod and reel. A good fly line that is cleaned properly should last you a few years.
Leaders should be matched to the species of fish that you will be pursuing.
Tippets are used to connect your fly to your line via the leader. The length of the tippet can be adjusted to accomadate the type of fly you are tossing and you can vary the size of it to meet the fishing conditions.
Picking out a fly to use is not as complicated as you might think. Starting out I basically used poppers, this way I was constantly aware of what was going on and could work on my presentation until I got comfortable to try out different styles. The best recomendation that I could give you here is to visit your local fly shop and ask questions, there is a lot of good advice given.
Some people take to fly casting easier than others. I was fortunate to fish with a guide last year who gave me some basic lessons and helped out where needed for a few days. Other than that it has come from just getting out on the water and practicing. If you are able to there are fly shops that offer casting lessons and it would be a good investment.
I know that this does not answer everything but it's a good start.
Welcome to the sport,