Flyfishing Gear

Sauk River Dolly Varden

Sauk River Dolly Varden

Over the years I have assembled quite a stash of flyfishing gear. I was lucky enough to have a friend point me in the right direction when I started out, so I got off on the right foot with some good stuff. Below is a list of gear that works well for me. I don't buy products because of their name, I buy them because they will work well for a long time. For example, if you've looked into breathable waders, you know that they can be very expensive. I bought Patagonia breathable waders, the second most expensive breathable waders on the market at the time. I didn't buy them because of the name, but because they come in hard to fit sizes. (Usually, the only size that fits me!) I spent a lot of time researching, trying on, and testing a lot of equipment. Below is a list of my favorite equipment based on the species I target.

Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing with a Single Handed Fly Rod:

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for winter steelhead with a standard single hand fly rod and a sink tip fly line with an interchangeable tip. The fly is presented using the wet fly swing technique. I prefer tip flex or fast action single handed fly rods for sink tip presentations because they cast a sink tip fly line better (without overloading the rod) than a softer, medium action fly rod.

Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing with a Two Handed Fly Rod (Spey Rod):

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for winter steelhead with a two handed fly rod, often called a spey rod, and a sink tip fly line with an interchangeable tip. The fly is presented using the wet fly swing technique:

An alternative rod and line set-up for beginning casters or for use in heavy wind, when backed up tight against the bank, or for fishing for large chinook try the Sage 9141-4, or Z-Axis 9143-4 European style two handed fly rods.

Summer Steelhead Dry Fly Fishing with a Single Handed Fly Rod:

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for summer steelhead with a standard single hand fly rod and a sink tip fly line with an interchangeable tip. The fly is presented using the wet fly swing technique. I prefer tip flex or fast action single handed fly rods for sink tip presentations because they cast a sink tip fly line better (without overloading the rod) than a softer, medium action fly rod.

Summer Steelhead Sink Tip Fly Fishing with a Single Handed Fly Rod:

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for summer steelhead with a standard single hand fly rod and a sink tip fly line with an interchangeable tip. The fly is presented using the wet fly swing technique. I prefer tip flex or fast action single handed fly rods for sink tip presentations because they cast a sink tip fly line better (without overloading the rod) than a softer, medium action fly rod.

Summer Steelhead Dry Fly Fishing with a Two Handed Fly Rod (Spey Rod):

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for summer steelhead with a two handed fly rod, often called a spey rod, and a floating line. The fly is presented across the current and skated in the surface or just under the surface:

Salmon Fly Fishing with a Single Handed Fly Rod:

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for salmon with a standard single hand fly rod, a floating fly line, and a long, light leader. The fly is presented across the current with a very specific strip technique. I use tip flex or fast action single handed fly rods because this is the rod I use for most of my fly fishing, but a softer, medium action fly rod will work just as well.

Trout Fly Fishing with a Single Handed Fly Rod:

The following equipment is intended for fly fishing for trout with a single hand fly rod, a full sinking fly line, and a long leader. The fly is presented. I use a medium action fly rod.


Gear, General:

Gear Brand or Description (Retailer) Avg. Price
Neoprene Waders Cabela's 5 mil Neoprene $60
Breathable Waders Patagonia (Great for hard to fit sizes) $375
Breathable Wading Jacket Tailwaters "No Sweat" Jacket (Orvis) $198
Felt Soled Boots Hodgman (Cabela's) $60
Felt Soled Boots Ultra-Light Wading Shoes (Orvis) $89
Studded Felt Soled Boots Battenkill Brogues with Ceramic Tip Studs (Orvis) $129
Polartec Fingerless Gloves Rei $30
Rods Loomis, Orvis, Sage $75-$400
Steelhead Reels Redington, Tioga, J. Ryall (Cabela's) $150-$250
Floating Line AirFlo 7000Ts River & Stream (Cabela's) $45
Sinking Line Cortland 444SL Steady Sink Type II (Cabela's) $50
Sink Tip Lines Scientific Angler Ultra III Type IV (Cabela's) $50
Sink Tip Lines Scientific Angler Ultra III Type V (Cabela's) $50
Trout Leader for Rivers Cabela's Tapered 9ft, 6X $7.75 (4 pack)
Trout Leader for Lakes Cabela's Tapered 12ft, 4X, Tapered 16ft, 4X $7.75 (4 pack)
Steelhead Leaders Scientific Anglers 9ft, 10 lb Bonefish (For Dry Fly Fishing for Steelhead & SRC) Cabela's $3.75
Steelhead Leaders Maxima UltraGreen: 10lb, 15lb, 20lb, 30lb (For Sink Tip Fishing for Steelhead w/built-up leader) Cabela's $3.50 ea.
Tippet Cabela's by Climax 0X, 2X, 3X, 4X, 5X, 6X $2.95 ea.
Strike Indicators Tipper Indicators, Small & Medium (Cabela's) $4.00/6 pack
Hook File 3" Thumb Hand File, Extra Fine Tooth, Luhr Jensen (A must for Steelhead Fishing) $5
Float Tubes (Cabela's) $60-$125
U-Tubes (Cabela's, Wal Mart) $90-$200
Boats, Steel Frame Pontoon Outcast Fish Cat 9ft Pontoon (Outcast, Outcast) $400-$500
Boats, Aluminum Frame Pontoon Outcast 9ft Pontoon ( Cabela's, Outcast) $550-$1000

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