Best Fly Rod & Reel Combo

Best Fly Rod and Reel Combo | 2020 UK Buyers Guide

In recent years there has been a proliferation of rods hitting the market. Modern rod design means that even a relatively humble rod will very likely outperform its equivalent from thirty or forty years ago and at these prices it’s feasible to have a rod for every occasion, or a ‘standby rod’ to leave in the car boot for an impromptu days fishing!

In this article I will recommend quite a few of the best fly rod and reel combos dependant on skill level and budget. These recommendations will come thick and fast, but first I feel it's important to give a bit of an insight into some of the rationale on how I determine what is the best fly rod & reel combo for a particular situation.

The Best Fly Rod & Reel Combo

Strapped For Time?

I understand if you haven't go the time to read the full article. This is what this section is for. So the answer to the question is as follows...


The Best Fly Rod and Reel Combo is the Wychwood RS Fly Rod alongside the Daiwa Lochmor SLA. This fly rod & reel combo, balances subtlety and quality with the 4 piece construction Wychwood rod complimenting the ultra smooth disc drag of the Lochmor perfectly.


Some more fly rod & reel combos we recommend can be seen in the following table:

Image
Best Combo for Beginners
Greys GRC Light Combo #6 9ft Fly Fishing Rod with GTS300 Fly Reel & WF6 Floating Line
Best Budget Combo
Explopur Fly Fishing Rod + Fishing Reel Combo + Carry Box 20 Flies + Fishing Rod Bag - Complete...
Best Lightweight Choice
SHAKESPEARE Unisex's Sigma 4-Piece 7 Wt Fly Rod and Reel Combo, Grey, 10 ft
ABU GARCIA Diplomat 904 LH Fly Rod and Reel Combo, 9 ft
MAXIMUMCATCH Premier Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Complete 9' Fishing Outfit (3 wt -9' Half-Handle...
Product
Greys GRC Light Combo
Explopur Fly Fishing Rod & Reel
SHAKESPEARE Sigma 4-Piece
ABU GARCIA Diplomat
MAXIMUMCATCH Premier Fly Rod and Reel
Prime Status
-
-
-
Price
£149.99
£45.99
£74.99
£78.85
£142.90
Best Combo for Beginners
Image
Greys GRC Light Combo #6 9ft Fly Fishing Rod with GTS300 Fly Reel & WF6 Floating Line
Product
Greys GRC Light Combo
Prime Status
Price
£149.99
Best Budget Combo
Image
Explopur Fly Fishing Rod + Fishing Reel Combo + Carry Box 20 Flies + Fishing Rod Bag - Complete...
Product
Explopur Fly Fishing Rod & Reel
Prime Status
-
Price
£45.99
Best Lightweight Choice
Image
SHAKESPEARE Unisex's Sigma 4-Piece 7 Wt Fly Rod and Reel Combo, Grey, 10 ft
Product
SHAKESPEARE Sigma 4-Piece
Prime Status
-
Price
£74.99
Image
ABU GARCIA Diplomat 904 LH Fly Rod and Reel Combo, 9 ft
Product
ABU GARCIA Diplomat
Prime Status
-
Price
£78.85
Image
MAXIMUMCATCH Premier Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Complete 9' Fishing Outfit (3 wt -9' Half-Handle...
Product
MAXIMUMCATCH Premier Fly Rod and Reel
Prime Status
Price
£142.90

Last updated on 2020-09-11 /  Images from Amazon Product API

Why the right Fly Rod and Reel combo is important

Once you have mastered the basics of fly fishing and started to settle into a groove then you will be looking to improve – your catch rate, skills, casting, (pretty much everything). This means spending more time at the waterside. If you are going to enjoy the sport you want to be able to spend more of that time fishing and less nursing sore shoulders or messing about with kit that doesn’t work for you. The rod needs to be the right length and line weight for your preferred venues of course, and as a general principle you need a balanced outfit.

Getting the Right Balance

With the classic older style (and usually much heavier) split cane rods, balance was also important but probably more easily achieved because everything weighed more and the set up was less sensitive to reel weight. With the move to lighter rods – usually carbon fibre, (but there is also a new generation of glass rods) setting up a suitable reel which is not too heavy for the rod will help you to maintain effective casting for a day on the water.

Again modern materials and techniques have come to the rescue with large arbour designs in machined aluminium. Cast aluminium frames machined down is a cheaper process but heavier than machining from solid aluminium bar stock, and modern resins which create superbly light and strong reels.

You can of course keep fishing all day with a poorly set up rod and reel combination – but your casting efficiency will be impaired and you may well end up flogging the water and scaring the fish with splashy casts.

So, you need the best rod and reel combo set up which enables you to cast about as well at the end of a long day as you were at the start of the day. (And for those of us with bad backs this is even more important). Getting the balance right also involves checking your own posture , with one foot advanced before the other rather than legs akimbo when casting.

Checkout the following video that emphasises the importance of the correct Fly Rod & Reel balance...

Video courtesy of BarryBigPlumsFishing.

Factors Affecting your Fly Rod and Reel Choice

So; the key factors affecting your choice of rod and reel will be the weight and length of the rod (and line that you will be casting), and the range over which you are likely to cast to fish. All this alongside a balanced weight of reel which can hold sufficient line of the appropriate weight.

The rod and line can be matched by the AFTM number – the Association of Fishing Tackle Manufacturers rod and line weight number. The bigger the number the heavier the line which can be thrown further – but requires a more robust and usually much longer rod to flex and cast the line. Matching the AFTM numbers is a good guide to setting up the rod for maximum efficiency – the line weight calculation assumes you will have thirty feet (about 10 metres) of line out from the rod top ring in order to load the rod and help it act as a casting ‘spring.’ The best fly rod and reel combo packages will do this for you, so you need some flies and a line and are all ready to go fishing.

The speed of the rod will also be important – whether it has a soft or fast action. There is no point acquiring a super light rod only to find the action is fast and ‘tip action’ with virtually no through-flex if your casting style is relatively soft and slow and you fish small waters with the dry fly and need a gentle action. High speed rods were all the rage twenty years ago but there seems to be a realisation now that mid action or softer rods are, at least for most of us, much better choices. If you are a skilled caster, and a dab hand with a fast tip action rod then chances are you don’t need to read this article!

And of course your target species will also have a significant impact on your choice of rod and reel – predator and sea fishing will need a saltwater resistant selection for example.

Recommendations on the best fly rod and reel combo

The following products have been selected based on skill level, price point, type of water, type of fly fishing with my ultimate favourite fly rod and reel combo at the end.

Best Fly Rod & Reel Combo for Beginners

#1
GREYS GRC

GREYS GRC LIGHT COMBO KIT

A Greys rod will see you through a lifetime of fishing and has a good all round and forgiving action. The reel isn’t the absolute lightest in my view, but for the money nevertheless offers a great value package with a large arbour spool. 

As a beginner the 5 weight will let you fish in most situations at a pinch including dry fly, nymphing or wet fly. If you progress with your fishing this will still make a sound spare rod.

#2
DAM FORESTER

DAM FORRESTER FLY FISHING KIT

This fly rod & reel combo is ideal for beginners as it has everything you need to get started with fly fishing. The Carbon Fly rod boasts an aluminium reel seat and fits perfectly with the ABS graphite fly reel.

What really makes this a great option is that the reel is fully loaded with line and leeder and the set gets rounded off with a small box of flies making it a perfect starter kit for beginners.

Best Budget Fly Rod and Reel Combo

#1
omni fly

SHAKESPEARE OMNI FLY FISHING COMBO

Shakespeare have been around long enough and know a thing or two about rods. If funds are tight this should get you in the game.

Just like the Dam Forrester, this combo comes with the reel fully loaded and for the price, it's a real bargain.

Best Fly Rod & Reel Combo for Lakes

#1
airflo-complete-fly-fishing-outfit

AIRFLO COMPLETE FLY FISHING OUTFIT

For the lake fly fisher you will typically be fishing a line weight above AFTM #7 to reach as far as possible from the bank – probably a stiffer and faster action to deliver enough line speed to project the line some distance. This offering from Airflo represents good value for a 10’ rod and reel.

#2
daiwa s4

DAIWA S4 FLY COMBO

This fly rod and reel combo is slightly shorter than the Airflo at 7 foot but still packs a punch. In fact it's sturdy, yet subtle nature make this combination ideal for fly fishing lakes, particular for close quarter work.

Best Fly Rod and Reel Combination for Streams and Rivers

#1
maxcatch

MAXCATCH PREMIER FLY FISHING ROD with AVID FLY REEL

Here you will be looking for a rod capable of more delicate presentations – the typical all round river rod will be about 8’ or 8’6” and rated between 3 and 5 weight. This Maxcatch rod alongside this sporting reel from Avid, PLUS some extras, provides a fantastic package for under £100.

#2
airflo fly fishing kit

AIRFLO FLY FISHING KIT

This Airflo combination 4/5 weight rod – if fished at 4# you can expect the rod to be a little stiffer and faster in action.This means that when fishing close quarters, and with less line out of the tip ring, it may be better to ‘over-line’ the rod with a 5 weight fly line to enable the rod to work and flex more readily. If balanced correctly, this is a great choice for streams and rivers.

What really makes this a great option is that the reel is fully loaded with line and leeder and the set gets rounded off with a small box of flies making it a perfect starter kit for beginners.

Best Lightweight Fly Rod & Reel Combo

#1
sigma

SHAKESPEARE SIGMA FLY COMBO

A bit of an overlap here with river and stream fishing selections but if fishing really light and under the trees then a shortish 3 weight rated rod such as this great offering from the reputable Shakespeare maybe the answer.

#2
maximum catch

MAXCATCH PERFORMANCE NYMPH FLY FISHING ROD

Going to the other extreme in length how about a 2 -4 weight 10’ fly rod ideal for specialist Czech nymphing - this is one of the best fly rod and reel combo rods at a great price

Best Overall Fly Rod & Reel Combo

shakespeare agility

SHAKESPEARE AGILITY 2 RISE FLY ROD

If you are putting your own package together and looking for a value for money option then look at the Shakespeare Agility Rise 2 as my number one choice.

This rod has a beautiful smooth action and is simply impossible to beat at this price point (I have three of these rods in different size and weight combinations, and use one as a single handed salmon rod). The smaller rods are great to fish in overgrown beats – if you break one rather than one of the ‘posh rods’ then all is not lost and the soft action cushions tippets when fishing confined spaces.

lochmor

DAIWA LOCHMOR SLA FLY REEL

To compliment the Shakespeare Agility perfectly and as part of my recommendation for the best fly fishing rod and reel combo then please partner the rod with this amazing reel from Daiwa. This small but well balanced reel is smooth and beautiful to use and my current favourite for the last three or four years.

Summary & Conclusions

So there you have it; a range of the best fly rod and reel combo deals for a range of fishing applications from lake and Stillwater fishing, to river and long rod Czech nymphing styles. There have never been such consistently good rods and reels available for the money.

Thank you for reading my article, If you need to search for fishing tackle whether its new, used or discounted, then please visit our sister site, etackle that boasts over 3000 products currently.

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