When trout fishing, there is a minimum amount of trout fishing tackle required.
- fly rod
- fly reel
- fly line
- fly fishing leaders in various lengths and diameters
- tippet spools ranging in sizes from 0X to 7X
- fly fishing waders
- wading boots
- polarized sunglasses
- fly fishing hat
- fly fishing net for landing your catch
- fly box for flies
- flies for trout fishing
Fly Rods come in lengths from 6 ft to 15 ft. Rod weights range from small 2 weights to 15 or 16 weights. The higher the weight, the stronger the rod. Rods have different actions. A fast action rod bends more toward the tip when under load. A medium-fast action bends about 1/3 of the way down from the tip. A medium action fly rod bends about in the middle between the grip and the tip. And a slow action fly rod bends mostly down into the grip when under load.
Fly reels are die cast or machined. Die Cast reels most often use high quality aluminum pressure fed into a die. When the raw reel is removed from the mold, it is machined to the final finish. A machined reel is made from 6061 or 6062 bar stock aluminum. The entire reel frame is machined to the final finish from this bar stock. Machined fly reels generally have a stronger reel frame and can take more punishment than die cast reels. A good fly reel should have a sealed disc drag and sealed main spindle bearings. The sealed features keep dirt out and the reel will run better, longer.
The two main brands of fly line I recommend are scientific anglers and RIO. Both companies make excellent fly lines but my personal preference is RIO for superior casting charisteristics.
When choosing fly fishing waders, pick breathable ones for light weight and comfort. Breathable waders come in a variety of fabrics such as Gore-Tex, Sup-plex, Aqualux, No Sweat, 3xDry and others. Essentially all breathable waders are made with an outer abrasion resistant layer, the breathable membrane and a tricot inner lining to make getting the waders on and off easier. The booties on modern waders are neoprene. They should be formed to fit right and left feet and large enough to allow for heavy socks. Check the seams are taped with a 3/4 inch overlap on each side of the seam. Good waders will have extra material over the seat and knees to reduce wear on high abrasion areas. The knees should be articulated to allow for easy movement. Always try your waders on and raise your knee as high as possible with your knee bent. Sooner or later, you will have to high step to get up a bank.
Wading boots should fit comfortably without pinching or binding. Main styles available are a boot style and a hiking shoe type style. Pick which style offers the best ankle support and comfort for you. Felt soles are still preferred by many anglers. But the new aqua-stealth or sticky rubber soles are fast gaining acceptance as a viable alternative to felt.
Polarized sunglasses are a must for fly fishing. Polarized glasses allow you to spot fish easier and ease eye strain during a long day on the water. Smith Optics are my recommended brand. Smith specializes in fly fishing sun glasses. Their glasses are guaranteed for life. Lenses are available in both light weight glass and polycarbonate. Lens colors range from gray to amber to copper with shades in between. In western states, many river bottoms are light colored. The amber or copper brown lenses offer the most contrast to show fish shadows or shapes against the stream bottom.
Fly fishing hats come in two main styles. The baseball cap and a hat with a 3 or 4 inch brim. For either style, I recommend a green underbrim. The green color makes it easier to see the fly fishing leader against the water. Some kind of fly fishing hat is necessary to avoid severe sunburn. Regardless of which kind you wear, use a good 30+ SPF sunscreen.
Fly fishing nets also come in many styles. There are shallow quick release nets, tear drop shaped bows, guide nets with long handles about 30 inches, nets for use with float tubes or boats and so on. Net bags are usually soft mesh or mesh with a vinyl rubber coating. The vinyl coating protects a trout’s slime coat and hooks don’t stick in the mesh.
Lastly you will need flies for trout fishing and a fly box to hold them. C&F Design makes fine wave design slit foam fly boxes which retail about $30 or more. I offer an alternative Triangle Slit Foam fly box with turn page that holds 396 flies for only 17.95 plus S&H. The large Triangle Foam with turn page retails for $21.50 plus S&H. A ripple foam box with room for flies on one side and large flies or streamers on the other. These boxes retail between $8.00 or $9.00.
The above list is the minimum. The remaining major piece of trout fishing tackle is a fly fishing vest or chest pack.