The best fly fishing tackle for 2020
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SALT LAKE CITY – Whether you’re new to fly fishing or you’re a long-time veteran of the sport, buying new gear presents a myriad of challenges. What equipment do you really need and how much should you spend? Are the new rods and reels really needed, or can you get by with your grandfather’s old gear?
We’ll answer these questions – and more – in this guide to the best fly fishing gear available in 2020.
Best Overall Rod: Douglas Sky G
The new iteration of the Douglas Sky rod series is absolutely phenomenal. In a 9 foot, 5 weight version, it’s hard to find a fly rod that casts dry flies, big nymph rigs and streamers as easily as the Douglas Sky G. You can read a full review here.
Best Budget Rod: Orvis Clearwater
Orvis has a reputation for making quality products. Even with their cheaper fly rod offerings, they still manage to provide anglers with great equipment. The Clearwater is a fast-acting rod that cuts through the wind and casts small dry flies well – and doesn’t cost close to a mortgage payment.
Best Overall Reel: Abel SDF
Abel Reels are some of the flashiest and most Instagram-friendly reels ever built. From hand painted finishes to standard colors, the only thing better than the looks of the Abel SDFAbel SDF is the way it fishes. The drag can stop big trout in their tracks and you don’t have to worry about being outrun when fighting a fish.
Best Budget Reel: Orvis Clearwater
Orvis sells the Clearwater rod and reel in a combo package, but if you want to buy the reel separately, you can. The Clearwater is a die-cast aluminum reel with a fully adjustable disc drag that is surprisingly great for being so affordable.
Best Overall Waders: Simms G4Z
Simms makes some of the best fishing gear on the planet, but it doesn’t come cheap. These high-end zippered waders set you back $850, but they’re backed by Simms’ lifetime warranty. Plus, you get five layers of ultra-durable GoreTex that stand up exceptionally well to abrasions, cuts and punctures. Simms are a girl guide favorite for a reason: they simply work.
Best Budget Wader: Orvis Ultralight
The Orvis Ultralight line of gear is a favorite of those who spend a lot of time hiking in the backcountry to go fly fishing. Ultralight waders, while not as durable as others you may find, are hard to beat for both price and quality. Unless you’re going through barbed wire or falling on rocks, the Ultralight Waders shouldn’t leak.
Best Overall Boots: Korkers Devil’s Canyon
The Devil’s Canyon boot from Korkers has become a cult favorite among Rocky Mountain anglers. They are light, flexible and lend themselves well to long days spent hiking lonely trails through the high country in search of trout. Korkers have several sole options that you can change depending on the type of water you are fishing, a feature that helps your boots last exponentially longer than single sole boots.
Best Budget Boots: Korkers Greenback
Korkers knows how to make wading boots because no one else offers something for $100 that’s as good as the Greenback boots. While you won’t find the same bells and whistles on these boots as the Devil’s Canyon, you’ll be more than happy with the greenback if you’re shopping on a budget.
Fly fishing gear doesn’t have to break the bank. We are fortunate to live in an age of the sport where more rods, reels, waders and boots are available at different price points than ever before. Beginners and experts alike have more choice than anglers ever had, meaning your entire experience on the river can be completely customized to what you want and what you can afford.