Choosing the right gear is important in any sport, but especially in fly fishing. As a novice angler, sometimes gear can be confusing, overwhelming, and difficult to navigate. If you're looking for essential fly fishing gear for beginners, we have a comprehensive guide you can find here.

Once you have your rod and reel picked out (click here for beginner fly rod advice and here for advice on choosing a fly reel), you're going to need a fly line. This post is designed to give you the tools to choose the fly line that will work best for you.


  • Choose a fly line that matches your fly rod. If you're fishing a 5wt fly rod, choose a 5wt line. If you're fishing an 8wt fly rod, choose an 8wt line.
  • Your fly line should also match the environment you're fishing in. If you're fishing in freshwater (trout, bass, etc.), choose a line that's designed for freshwater fishing. If you're fishing for Bonefish in saltwater, choose a saltwater fly line.
  • Make sure your fly line is rated for the temperatures you're fishing in. If you're fishing in tropical saltwater, choose a tropical line. Choose a cold water line if you're fishing in freshwater. If you're confused about which lines are made for warm water and which are made for cold water, we've covered that here.
  • Lastly, pick a fly line that's designed to throw the flies you're fishing. Pick a streamer line if you're fishing streamers and a nymphing line if you're targeting fish with a double nymph rig.


Next, consider which fly rod you have. The best fly line for a particular rod differs based on rod action. If you're confused about fly rod action, watch this YouTube video about fly rod action explained.

  • A fast action rod will load better and be easier to cast with a line that has an aggressive front taper and is built slightly heavy.
  • A moderate action fly rod performs best when partnered with a lighter fly line with a long, gradual taper.

Of course, refer back to bullet point #1 in 'The Basics' on this one, too.


As a beginner angler, you may not want to spend $130 on the high-end fly lines. I'll let you in on a little secret here... you don't have to. While the more expensive lines are great for technical scenarios or anglers who spend every day on the water, there are plenty of quality lines that are much cheaper. Here are some of our favorite affordable fly line series.


Finally, here are some other blog posts that will help you choose the right fly fishing gear to increase your chances of success on the water. And if you know which species you're targeting, our blog is FULL of posts about choosing fly rod/reel/line for a particular target species.

Tropical Saltwater Fly Line Shootout & Buyer's Guide

Choosing a Fly Reel for a Spey or Switch Rod

8-Weight Fly Reel Shootout

Fly Line Shootout, Review, & Buyer's Guide


You can always call the shop at (888) 413-5211. We're here to help and we love outfitting entry-level anglers with the gear that fits their needs (and budget). If you prefer email, email us 24/7 at [email protected].