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How the times have changed! It wasn’t that long ago that finding a decent quality fly fishing combo that came with everything you needed was nearly impossible.
Today there are so many that it is hard to sort through which one to buy!
Which fly rod kit fly will work the best for you is going to depend on how you want to use it. We cover all the popular fly rod and reel varieties including fresh and saltwater models as well as the best fly rod combos for beginners.
Given the wide selection and availability, we want to help you sort out the details and find a good fly rod and reel set up that you can enjoy for years to come.
Best Fly Fishing Combo Reviews & Recommendations For 2020
Redington Path II Outfit Fishing Rod with Crosswater Reel
When Redington was designing the Path II fly fishing combo, it’s clear that they had versatility in mind. Unlike some manufacturers, the company had the good sense to realize that people want different fly fishing combos for different situations.
Redlington, therefore, offers the Path II in two distinct flavors: one for freshwater fishing, and one for saltwater depending on where you’re planning on fishing.
The freshwater models come with wooden reel seats while the salty models come with an anodized aluminum reel seat to protect against corrosion over long fishing weekends in seawater.
The Redington Path II is suited for people who want an all-in-one fly fishing combo. The basic kit comes with practically everything you need for a day out on the lake, and all comes packaged in an attractive carry case.
The rod features several helpful notches along the outside, allowing you to see how to set the whole thing up immediately. And the rod tube itself comes with dividers, which is great for packing the fishing line away efficiently.
Redington also wanted to create a fly fishing combo that would exceed people’s expectations for durability.
When you spend less than $200 on an all-in-one, you don’t necessarily expect something that will last for many years to come, but that’s precisely what Redington offers with the Path II.
The product is made of exceptionally high-quality material, meaning that it’s suitable for multiple trips, not just one season’s worth.
So who’s this rod set for? Primarily it’s for people who want to experience regular fishing trips but who don’t want to pay out the big bucks customarily required to get hold of something durable.
Orvis Encounter Combo
When it comes to budget fly fishing, Orvis isn’t apologetic. Instead of calling their products “entry level,” the company prefers the term “affordable awesomeness.” But is the Encounter affordable and awesome?
The word awesome might be stretching it a little bit, but the fact that you can get a fishing rod for less than $200 in what is otherwise a very gear-driven sport, is worth writing home about.
Unlike Redington, Orvis doesn’t offer their fly rods in quite as many varieties of shapes and sizes; nor do they provide specific saltwater options. You can see why the company went with this approach: it brings the cost of manufacturing the rod down considerably if you limit your production line.
Having said that, Orvis does offer a fair variety of rod weights, knowing people have different preferences when it comes to fly fishing. The 5WT 8’6″ model is a great all-around solution, but the Orvis Encounter Combo ranges up to 8 weight models.
Should you buy this rod? For those who want the combination of simplicity and quality, then the Orvis seems to be the way to go. It offers the best of both worlds, providing you with a four-piece kit at around half the price you’d expect to pay for something of similar quality.
With that said, the plastic reel may be a deal breaker for some. Of course, you can always upgrade the reel if you decide to become a professional fly angler down the road.
Overall, Orvis has done an excellent job of making the Encounter highly durable and able to withstand fishing in lakes, rivers, and streams for many seasons.
Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Wild Water takes a totally different approach to Orvis. Instead of focusing on the simplicity of their product, Wild Water is keen to demonstrate to customers that its product has all the bells and whistles that they want, even though its price point would suggest otherwise.
The main attraction of the Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is the sheer number of accessories that come with the kit.
It’s a real all-in-one solution, unlike the Orvis or Redington, providing not just the rod and reel, but many of the tools you need for a day out on the lake too, including the line nipper tool, and a retractable zinger.
Wild Water is keen to target people who might be new to fly fishing and want to get acquainted with the sport quickly. The Wild Water Fly Fishing Starter Package Reference Guide, published in 2017, comes with instructions for practically everything to do with the kit, including assembly, how to look after your equipment, and how to get better at angling.
There are, unfortunately, some costs. Yes, Wild Water has done a great job of including everything you need in a single package, but it doesn’t offer the most robust kit. The rod is lighter than most and not constructed to the same level of strength as, say, the Orvis.
And the screws that hold the reel seat to the reel can be temperamental if you don’t keep them tightened up over the life of the rod.
So who is this fly fishing combo for? Mainly, it’s for the person who wants a true all-in-one solution: a product that has everything that they need to get started immediately.
Buyers, however, need to be careful: the Wild Water can’t take an enormous amount of abuse and is best left for calm, tranquil conditions and stationary water.
KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo
When KastKing was designing the Emergence, they wanted to make it as easy as possible for somebody who has never done the sport before to order online, pick up their rod kit, and be able to begin fishing immediately, all at a stunningly low price.
Like Wild Water, KastKing focuses on providing the fly fisher with all the tools that they may need: everything from forceps to line nippers to retractors.
What’s more, the tools are of remarkably high quality and not just some afterthought that KastKing thought that they had to include, just in case. You’ll be using these tools for many years to come, thanks to their durable construction.
The purpose of including all these accessories, according to KastKing, is to prevent people from wasting time and money on tools that they may not need. The Emergence comes with all of the relevant items, providing the angler with a self-contained kit.
Another benefit of the Emergence is the weight options. KastKing offers line weights of 4, 5, 6, and 8. All models come with four pieces, but each offers different rod line, weight, and length depending on your particular needs.
Is this a rod that you could use to begin your fly fishing journey?
The answer is almost certainly. The combo comes with everything, including fly, reel, leader, rod and accessories. The only potential issue you may have is learning how to tie the right knots, but you can easily find instructional videos online.
Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
You can tell immediately that the people at Piscifun are experienced fly fishers. Everything about their product screams that they are people who have experienced the difficulties of fly fishing and that they are determined to make the experience better for their fellow anglers.
One of the most important ways in which they’ve done this is by including a hardened case. Transporting delicate pieces of equipment, like rods and reels, isn’t as easy as you might think.
Rods are prone to impact and to crush damage, as are reels and lines. Piscifun’s hardened case, however, takes away this problem by providing impact protection for all the pieces in the set, meaning that you can chuck it in the trunk of your car without worrying about anything else on top damaging it.
The rods themselves, however, aren’t as robust as some of the others that we’ve seen in this list, perhaps explaining why Piscifun invested so much energy into creating a good case.
Under regular use, the rod holds up just fine, but if you remove it from the case incorrectly, or use it in situations not recommended by Piscifun, you can get into trouble. It’s worth remembering that, despite all the bells and whistles, this is an entry-level product.
It’s not designed for years of use, and it won’t stand up well to serious abuse. It’s for people doing regular fly fishing on open water.
Is it user-friendly?
Perhaps not to the same degree as the Wild Water, but Piscifun still does a great job of making this product accessible to people new to the sport. The rod, for instance, has dots along it making it easier to put together for people who haven’t done it before. And the cork handles do a great job of reducing fatigue for long days on the river.
You get the impression when using the Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo that the company put a lot of effort into making something that was perfect for beginners.
The fact Piscifun provides you with everything you need, including customer service, means that this is an excellent choice for people who are willing to be gentle with their fly fishing rods. The rod might be a little underwhelming for some, but the rest of the package makes up for it.
Why should you buy a fly fishing combo instead of buying rod and reel separately?
Buying a rod and reel combo will save you money over buying the rod and reel separately. But that is not the only reason to go for a combo deal.
Matching the right rod and reel can be a real challenge for beginning anglers.
If you get it wrong then you are setting yourself up for a whole lot of frustration. A combo will ensure that the rod and reel are an ideal fit for one another.
When buying a rod and reel combo, however, you need to be wary of the cheap and nasty beginner combos.
Look for a mid-priced rod and reel combination that provides the quality you need.
What are must-have parts of the fly fishing starter kit?
A good fly fishing starter kit will help complete beginners to be fully equipped to head out onto the water.
It takes all of the confusion and wasted expense out of the fishing setup experience. It will also save you money over buying each piece of equipment separately.
Here’s what a quality fly fishing starter kit will contain:
- A four-piece fly rod
- Small fly box and fly assortment
- Fly reel
- Line Nipper Tool
- Retractable Zinger
Not all fly fishing starter kits will provide you with such an extensive range of gear. Some with simply provide you with a rod and reel combo.
But if you are starting from scratch, look for one that matches as closely as possible to the list above.
How to Clean and Maintain fly fishing gear?
Maintenance of your fishing gear starts with the most expensive item in your kit; the rod. Fortunately, fishing rods don’t require a lot of maintenance.
After your day on a freshwater lake, you should wipe down the rod with a soft cloth.
However, if you have been fishing in saltwater, you should rinse and then wipe the rod down more thoroughly in order to remove salt and other debris.
After freshwater fishing, you should air-dry the reel. Check the drag system to ensure that it is working well and unimpeded.
Turn the drag completely off to make sure that the system is not overly compressed.
This will help to keep the drag in good order for longer. Check also that there is no corrosion inside the reel.
If you have been out on saltwater, you should thoroughly rinse and soak the reel. Be sure, too, that the sealing system is working properly.
Store your fly line in a pouch or bag out of intense temperatures.
Finally, hang your waders in a cool, dry place that is out of the sun. Do not roll your waders too tightly and store them out of direct exposure to sunlight.
In the end, each option serves a purpose for different buyers.
If you strictly fish in saltwater, then you instantly rule out most products bar a couple.