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Best Wet Flies 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]

Last Updated February 1, 2018
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Edwin GarrettHELLO! I’m Edwin Garrett. After considering 41 of the most highly rated wet flies and testing eight of them for more than 18 hours, we’re find the best wet flies of 2018.

My main objective is to write article on these subject so that buyers like you can have the best assistance and education in making that next purchase. In this article, I’ve listed down the Top 3 list. These are the best wet flies your money can buy.

Best Wet Flies of 2018

I have a variety of material used in the construction of wet flies including metal, plastic, and glass. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your comfort, style, or accessibility, we have picks to fit a variety of needs and budgets.

Simply review and buy them. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more.

Test Results and Ratings

Rank №1 №2 №3
Total 4.8 4.5 4.3
Ease of use
5 points
4 points
5 points
5 points
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4 points
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4 points
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Awards 1
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№1 – Bead Head Nymph Fly Fishing Flies – Kaufmann’s Black Stone Fly with Rubber Legs – Stonefly Wet Fly – 6 Flies Hook Size 4

Bead Head Nymph Fly Fishing Flies - Kaufmann's Black Stone Fly with Rubber Legs - Stonefly Wet Fly - 6 Flies Hook Size 4

Bead head weighted nymph fly Black Salmonfly Stone fishing flies
Heavy beaded head for getting deep in the water column quickly
Excellent trout, bass, salmon or steelhead flies. Rubber legs for great action.
Literally no flaws

Why did this wet flies win the first place?

The product is very strong. Its material is stable and doesn’t crack. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I was completely satisfied with the price. Its counterparts in this price range are way worse.


Ease of use










№2 – Trout Nymph Fly – San Juan Worm Power Bead 1/2 Dozen Gold Bead Red V-Rib #12 – Set of 6 Nymph Wet Flies

Trout Nymph Fly - San Juan Worm Power Bead 1/2 Dozen Gold Bead Red V-Rib #12 - Set of 6 Nymph Wet Flies

A deadly trout fly pattern that imitates aquatic worms in their natural environment
Excellent dropper nymph fly – beaded for getting deep in the water column quickly
Excellent trout, bass or panfish flies
It seems not very durable.
Heavy in weight as compared to others in our lineup.

Why did this wet flies come in second place?

I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.


Ease of use










№3 – The Fly Fishing Place Classic Streamers Fly Fishing Flies Collection – Assortment of 12 Trout Wet Fly Streamer Flies – Hook Size 4

The Fly Fishing Place Classic Streamers Fly Fishing Flies Collection - Assortment of 12 Trout Wet Fly Streamer Flies - Hook Size 4

These classic trout streamers have been proven effective on many species of freshwater gamefish
Set of 12 Flies -2 each of 6 classic fly patterns – Hook Size 4
Some of these fly patterns have been around over a century, and some are more modern in origin, but they are all proven trout catchers!
On the more expensive end of the price scale.
It’s a lot heavier than expected.

Why did this wet flies take third place?

We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great! This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.


Ease of use










Wet Flies Buyer’s Guide

If you keep the before points in mind, you can easily go out to the market and buy wet flies, right? No!

RIO InTouch Switch Chucker

This is the ultimate “UTILITY LINE” for the angler that wants to use their switch rod for a bit of everything.  It will spey cast, do some indicator fishing at 30′ or less, and overhead cast as well.  You can use it with sink tips, polyleaders, or without any sink tip and just put a tapered leader right on the end.  It is a very versatile line thanks to a long back taper.  

TYPE OF LINE:  Integrated line (head and running line are one piece).  Can be used with or without sink tips. 

PROS – Best all around “get it done without crying” line. 

CONS – Doesn’t shoot like a shooting head/mono running line combo.  Won’t indicator fish at long distance like the RIO Switch Line.

SINK TIPS – RIO InTouch Mow Tips, or RIO InTouch iMOW polyleaders, or with nothing at all.  Fish it naked.

RIO Switch Line

The RIO Switch Line is the best all around indicator line in the family.  It is very nymphing specific, but will do a spey cast with a polyleader if you have to.  Don’t expect to look like Simon Gawesworth however.

TYPE OF LINE:  Integrated line (head and running line are one piece).  Best without any polyleader, just put you tapered leader right on the end. 

PROS – Best all around indicator line, but it can certainly be used without it as well. It can fish dry flies as well.

CONS – Doesn’t shoot like many folks are expecting it to, it has a very long head designed for managing drifts at longer range.  This is the best line for steelhead nymphing or trout nymphing on large western rivers.  

SINK TIPS – Polyleaders if you use them, good to have a couple just in case you need to throw a change up.

Airflo Switch Float

This line is specifically for fishing small to mid-sized flies and anglers that crave that beautiful long loop.  Its fun to cast, but don’t expect it to cast large flies. Its perfect for summer run steelhead fishing or swinging small flies on light lines for trout.  

TYPE OF LINE:  Integrated line (head and running line are one piece).  Best without any polyleader, and it comes with a clear floating polyleader.

PROS – Great casting line, perfect for summer steelhead fishing.  

CONS – Because the head length is 26-28′ it is tougher to throw large flies.  This isn’t necessarily a con, just a fact.  Because its an integrated line, you’ll lose some efficiency vs. a mono running line. 

OPST Lazar Line Running Line

OPST Lazar Line has a fairly round profile and doesn’t “pull through” on a non full framed reel as easily.  Pull through is when the line squeezes between the spool and reel frame.  Its annoying but part of life.  A full framed reel like the Sage DOMAIN prevents this from happening.  


Fly tying materials a short review on what to buy at the beginning…

At the very beginning we’re always facing a dilemma of buying proper fly tying materials. One can be easily discouraged and lost among the vast range of different products; especially when lacking experience. I often get messages from people who simply don’t know which materials should they choose.

Fly hooks

We should start from choosing appropriate hooks. As most of you already know, there are divided into two types: barbed and barbless.

If we are going to fish on fisheries, fishing districts or take part in competitions where barbless hooks are required then I suggest to buy them. When you get familiar with towing fish not too loosely there is almost no difference in the number of loosing fish off the hook. Such hooks have one very important virtue – both for me and the fish – namely, getting the fish off the hook is quick and it doesn’t damage the fish as in the case of the barbed hooks. When we have a small fish hooked, we simply loose the fishing set and this is often enough for the fish to get off the hook by itself. This way is even more pleasant for the fish, since we don’t have to take it from water; it’s as simple as grabbing the hook and turning it without even touching the fish. if you have a bigger budget, it is good to buy 8/0 olive, grey and white (or at least equally bright colour) for dry flies and extremely small flies (not only dry) UNI Trico 17/0 and the

Hackle materials

Definitely most of the fly-tiers use two types of feathers to tie hackles; these are: for dry flies – cock capes and for wet flies, nymphs and streamers – hen capes. However there are also many feathers from different bird parts that many people omit.

Dry flies

The differences are significant. Cock/rooster feathers are stiffer and not lined with down what makes them resistant to soaking and allows them to stay on surface for longer. Of course they also imitate legs of the fly.

Here I recommend using neck capes (wider variety of feather sizes – including even the smallest ones used for tying midge dry flies) and saddle capes (lesser variety of sizes but very efficient). Such feathers are much longer and consist of more regular barbs than their cheap Indian equivalents.

A grizzly colour cock from Howard Hackle genetic bird farm – the photo provided by John Howard

As a comparison; we can tie only one hackle from one Indian cape (to make the hackle along the whole body – a so-called palmer – we often have to use more than one feather), however using a feather from genetic cock’s saddle we can make even ten hackles/palmers (the length of such a feather is at least 20 cm or even more).

Obviously the caps’ and feathers’ quality depends on the price.


We simply buy dubbing – when needed – and in time it may change into a collection. Each time I’m buying dubbing I choose something new, since there are differences between particular kinds of dubbing. As the variety of products is huge I suggest buying:* rabbit, hare dubbing (it’s good to buy hare in it’s natural colours: grey, olive, brown, etc.) and squirrel * several colours of some glossy synthetic, for example Hareline Ice Dub or other synthetic to tie colourful accents near the head of a nymph (thorax). * It’s also good to have a few dubbing colours for tying scuds. Obviously you can tie these imitations using most kinds of dubbings, however from my own experience I can recommend the dubbings, which are specially mixed since they guarantee the best results. are used for various fly patterns, in particular for nymphs. In principle, they are divided into three types: made of brass filled with lead, made of tungsten (almost twice heavier and more expensive – often, however, indispensable) and light, made of plastic used for under surface imitations.

Eyes can be divided into two types: the ones which can be tied and the ones which can be sticked.

The first type is used mainly for tying small sized streamers or for larger nymphs larvae, for example stoneflies. Here, we can distinguish these which are moulded, for example Twin Eyes (heavy) and eyes in the form of an empty, metal chain – Bead Chain Eyes (light), which need to be cut down in pairs using clippers/pliers and then tied. Personally, since many years, I have preferred the light ones and I’ve used them for most of the streamer patterns. It doesn’t mean however that I don’t use the heavy ones at all. They cause the fly to sink faster while fishing on the vast waters in spring.

The second type of eyes look very realistic and may be used for tying all types of streamers – for fresh and salt waters. These eyes are sold in small sheets and even though they have glue attached to their inner side, it is very weak and they need to be sticked with additional amount of quick-drying glue, epoxy or transparent varnish in order to strengthen them up.

A few years ago these were mainly

Body Stretches and different home-made materials. Recently we may choose various shiny foils (including pearl foils) – which I advice not to omit – braided materials of shining properties and many more. Every nymph-tier should have them in his or her arsenal, since nymphs tied from these materials are very efficient.

In the beginning, I recommend buying the traditional Body Stretch in a few basic colours and the pearl foil, which can be cut down to any size; next, I encourage to try with some other materials since these are also effective.


We can use these materials to tie whole wings, tails and also their additives. It mainly applies to tying streamers, however flashes are also used to tie ribs in smaller flies: dry, wet and nymphs.

In the beginning I recommend buying Krystal Flash and Flashabou, pearl colour for first.

Artificial tails for dry flies – in my opinion these are excellent materials in comparison to traditionally tied tails consisting of feather barbs.

Flies tied with floating foams are very popular in America, however if you’d like to have a few imitations of beetles, grasshoppers, ants and other similar bugs (excellent lures for chubs, ides, trouts). I recommend buying several sheets in a few basic colours, beginning with black, green, yellow.

Tinsels and wires

Tinsels are another basic and interesting fly tying material, which in many patterns can make the difference. Components or even whole elements – such as bodies – significantly increase effectiveness of the tied flies.

Particularly in the last several years, many interesting tinsels has appeared varying in colours (pearl and mylar are especially worth-checking – UNI Mylar is also available in two-colour version so when buying one we actually have two) and sizes so that they can be used for bigger streamers and small wet flies or nymphs.

Of course, gold and silver are the standard tinsel colours and I recommend buying them in the first place.

Wires belong to the next group of materials, which – in my opinion – is even more important than tinsels. If we’re going to tie nymphs, we should use a lead wire as the base for most of the patterns – we begin by winding it around the hook. The lead wire makes our fly heavier and in order to achieve the proper weight we need tho have several types of wires in our inventory – each of different thickness. From 0,4mm to 0,8mm; of course there are also thicker types, however this range should be enough to deal with most of the cases.

Except of lead wires we also have traditional wires in different colours and diameters. They are used to strengthen and segment the bodies of different kinds of flies, attaching fur stripes to zonkers’ back or even whole bodies of nymphs and wet flies. The three basic colours are: gold, silver and copper – it’s good to have them in the beginning. In time there will be infinite room to manoeuvre with additional colours.

Where to try your luck

As breath-taking and alluring as the back country of the South Island is, it’s actually the smaller North Island streams that hold the most promise for a beginner.  “Because the hatches in the north are so spasmodic over the whole year the trout don’t get zoned into one type of food.  The north island fish aren’t that fussy, if you put a fly in front of their face they’ll eat it.  Whereas in the South Island they can just go onto a willow grub and if you don’t have anything matching then you won’t catch a thing,” explains Pete.

In terms of where you’re likely to catch a trout in the north, Pete offers a few pointers: “The spring creeks in the Waikato – like the Waihau or Waimakerere are lovely streams with lots of fish,” whispers Pete.  “People complain about them because of the number of small fish.  And there is a lot of small fish, but catching a small fish is all you need to get started,” he adds. “The likes of the Punu, Mangatutu or Waipa in the King Country are all good streams too – pretty simple with fairly easy access.  Or there’s the Tukituki river in the Hawkes Bay.  The Coromandel can also be good, either early or late in the season,”

For Aucklander’s Pete says the Waitapara is the closest wilderness stream (about an hour from the big smoke) or there’s another stream in Clevedon, just up from the Clevedon Hotel.

Like any form of fishing local knowledge is your best weapon.  When buying you licence you can pick up a free Fish and Game brochure with handy info on access points and where to fish enclosed.  Pete also recommends getting hold of a copy of either the North Island Guide or South Island Guide by John Kent for further enlightenment. 

Basic gear needed

Tapered leader – attaches to your fly line and gets thinner towards the trailing end so your fly rolls over and the line lays flat (rather than coiling up into a nasty birds nest)

Tippet – connects the tapered leader to your fly, the weight and size of which can be varied to fool unsuspecting trout into thinking that fly’s not connected to the end of your rod

Flies – a selection of flies to suit the season and location

Gehres Gink Fly Floatant – keeps your dry flies “dry” and floating

Polarised glasses – not just to see the fish but to also see where you’re going when wading too.  Sunnie’s protect your eyes from wayward flies too

Hat – A hat with a good brim helps you see better and stop the flies sticking in the back of your head

Wading boots – to protect your ankles – don’t wear your gumboots for obvious reasons

Wading stick and tungsten boot studs – for navigating rocky streams

Scissors – as biting fluorocarbon can become very expensive at your next dental check-up

Landing net- handy for landing the evidence and fishing from river banks

Dry bag – to protect your phone and keep your spare clothes dry.

Fishing licence – check out fishandgame.org.nz, doc.govt.nz or your local tackle shop

Trout Flies

I have a large range of New Zealand Trout Flies for sale, below arethe main fly categories set out by types of fly; Dry Flies, Emergers, Trout Nymphs, Lures, Streamers or Wet Flies. There are also New Zealand regional selections to help plan your trip.Our trout flies are mix of mainly Premium Quality Flies from Feather Merchants and our own brand of Guides Choice Flies. FM have long had a reputation for superior quality flies, with many patterns coming from top guides from around the country. Our trout flies are selected for their quality tying and for their fish catching ability

A good temper

NOW this doesn’t mean that the hook has a calm disposition, rather that it is hard enough to retain its shape under the stress of playing a fish while not being so brittle that it snaps when heavy pressure is applied.

Testing for the correct temper can be done when the hook is fixed in the vice. Put your finger on the shank, close to the eye, and give it a couple of sharp ‘twangs’. The hook should produce a nice ‘pinging’ sound and simply spring back to its original position. If it’s so soft that it is deformed, throw it away. If it’s brittle and snaps – well I hardly need to tell you what to do.

The Eye

FLY tying hooks come in three eye-profiles: up-eyed, down-eyed and straight-eyed. Perfectly simple, you would think, but there was once quite a debate about which was best, an up or a down-eyed hook. For a time it all got quite heated, especially where dry fly hooks were concerned, with camps divided between the traditionalists, who advocated the up-eye, and the modernists who were on the side of the down-eye. Fortunately, this Gulliver’s Travels/Bigendian nonsense has all but abated and now most dry flies, especially those used on stillwaters, are tied on down-eyed hooks.

Whichever eye-type you do choose, and the majority of hooks, by far, are down-eyed, the same criteria apply. The eye should be closed perfectly, with no gap between the shank and, most definitely, should have no sharp edges. Either of these problems will inevitably lose you a fish.

Well cut barb

WHERE a fly hook has a barb, and in the UK this is still the majority, it is important that it is cut correctly. The reason is twofold: the first is that a large deeply-cut barb weakens the hook point and, if overdone, can cause it to snap off. The second is that the large angle created makes it more difficult for the hook to penetrate.

With this in mind, next thing to consider is what type of fly you are intending to tie. While it is perfectly possible to tie almost every fly on either a medium-weight wet fly hook or a longshank, there are plenty of other types that offer lots of possibilities but can easily confuse the issue.

It is also important to choose a hook to work with a particular material. For instance, don’t choose a narrow-gaped hook for a Fritz-bodied lure. The bulk of the Fritz will simply mask the hook-point and lead to many missed takes.

That said, innovations like the grub and caddis hooks provide both the weight and a very natural-looking profile that, surely, makes any imitation tied on them that much more effective.

Wet Fly

WET fly hooks come in three basic grades: heavy, medium-weight and lightweight. They also come in a variety of shapes, the two most popular being the round bend and the sproat bend. Round bend hooks, as the name suggests have a bend that is perfectly round from the end of the shank to the hook point. Sproat bend hooks, on the other hand, flatten out as the bend comes into the point, a manufacturing technique that is supposed to add strength and increase hooking power.

The Kamasan B17is the classic heavyweight wet fly hook, ideal for tying anything from wet flies and nymphs to mini-lures and Tadpoles.

Medium-weight wet fly hooks, such as the Kamasan B170 make a good compromise being heavy and robust enough for tying most nymphs and wet flies while being light enough for many dry flies especially those that incorporate plenty of hackle-turns, CdC or foam to help them float.

Lightweight wet fly hooks are something of an anomaly as it’s difficult to meaningfully differentiate between them and those sold as standard, down-eyed dry fly ones. Personally, all I look for in a hook of this type, is the weight of the wire.

Dry fly

WHEN deciding which type of hook to use for tying dry flies there is often going to be a compromise. Logically, one could argue that to help the fly to float the hook should always be a fine-wire variety. No problem there, except that fine wire hooks are not the strongest, which is okay if you’re chasing small wild brown trout on an upland stream. But, if it’s big reservoir rainbows you’re after then you need another approach. For most stillwater applications don’t go any finer that a lightweight wet fly hook. You do have to be realistic though so match the hook to both the tackle you are using and the environment in which you are fishing and you won’t go far wrong.

Over the years a number of specialist dry fly hooks have also been designed. The two that seem to have stuck are the Terrestrial and the Klinkhamer. The former has a long, slightly curved shank, which makes it ideal for big dry flies such as the Stimulator or for nymphs including the Damsel Fly Nymph.

Wide Gape

WIDE gape hooks are just that: hooks where the gape of the hook is almost as wide as the shank length. They are great for tying Buzzers or, conversely, any bulky pattern where the body materials might otherwise impede the fly’s hooking capabilities.

THOUGH it is possible to tie caddis larvae patterns on this type of hook, the weight, combined with the straight or slightly upturned eye, make it more suited for caddis pupae imitations. The reason is that this type of pattern, because it is imitating a creature rising towards the surface, is fished higher in the water than most larvae imitations.

Carp Hook

NOW, although we know they weren’t, it looks for all the world as if carp hooks were specially designed for tying fast sinking Buzzers. The thick wire, which makes these hooks ideal for playing huge carp, helps the Buzzer to sink quickly while the shape creates that classic, curved buzzer profile that is the mark of the most deadly imitations.

Grub Hook

THE number of hook patterns falling into this group is constantly growing. All have a very similar humpbacked profile with no definite section where the shank is straight. They do vary in thickness though, with the heaviest perfect for either quick-sinking Buzzers, Shrimp patterns or Grayling Bugs.

The lighter type may also be used for bugs, either used plain or weighted, or to tie Buzzers or Snatchers, which are intended to fish higher in the water.


THOUGH doubles aren’t used that often when tying trout flies they do fulfil a useful purpose. Where they were once the preserve of the Scottish loch fisher in the form of the ‘wee double’ today they are more often used to tie mini lures and nymphs where the extra weight of the combined hooks makes them ideal for fishing as a point fly.

Most doubles are formed from a single piece of wire, bent to form a loop eye, with the two shanks then braised together.

Circle Hooks

ANOTHER type of hook that works well for Buzzers and other curved-bodied nymphs is the circle hook. It has a reputation as a very good hooker, but because of its shape, and the fact that it is barbed, it can be difficult to get out of a fish. As a result, it is banned on a number of catch-and-release waters.

Add some weight

Hooks can also be used to add weight to the fly – even when tying dry flies, which you might find something of a surprise. Emerger patterns are a classic example of this where it is important that the abdomen of the fly cuts quickly through the surface film so that only the wing and hackle float. The Shuttlecock and Han’s Van Klinken’s Klinkhamer are the two best known patterns of this type.

Using a heavy wire hook to make a fly sink is no more apparent than in the case of the Buzzer. Where once they were all tied on standard wet fly hooks, some years ago some clever person came up with the idea of tying them on a carp hook. It was quite a revelation at the time and moved deep-water Buzzer fishing forward, in a big way.

Welcome to

Fly Fishilicious, your site for learning everything there is to know about fly fishing and what you need to start catching fish with a fly rod! Find product reviews, talk to the experts and get yourself acquainted with this diverse and addictive style of fishing.

Different Fishing Casts

Fly fishing, or using an artificial fly (but really meaning fly fishing uses all types of food sources: worm, little fish, infant insect- artificially recreated anything that a fish might like) to catch fish is an old fishing practice. The style as we know it began in the mid 1800s with long bamboo or wooden rods supporting a simple silk or horsehair fishing line.

Luckily, today finicky bamboo rods has been replaced (though not always) with smash-resistant graphite and fiberglass technologies and the complicated lines of tied horsehair has been replaced with waterproof plastic fibers.

What to Look For in a Fly Rod

Fly fishing is a wonderful activity and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and around the world. The versatility of fly fishing makes purchasing your first fly fishing gear an exciting and memorable experience.

When looking for a rod, many factors should be considered. Price, versatility, quality and manufactures warrant are four major things to consider when purchasing a rod.

Before worrying too much about the specs, first think about where you are most often going fishing.

Saltwater and Coastal Fishing

Saltwater rods are ready for day-in and day-out fishing stories involving the most brutal of elements: wind and salt. Designed to prevent quick wear and tear on the rod’s elements, saltwater rods are protected against saltwater corrosion.

Those fishing in brackish waters, coastal ports or inlets are also at risk to saltwater corrosion. Saltwater rods are also powerful casting rods, casting into the wind large, heavy streamers with a powerful quick stroke.

Saltwater rods start at around a or weight size, combined with both sinking and floating line for different scenarios, and can get as big as you can get to reel in a real “whale of a fish”!

How to Take Care of Your Fishing Rod

With mild soap and water, the rod and fly line can be wiped down after each use or frequently between trips. Dirt and residue build up on the fly line can corrode and damage the line, causing irregular casts and in worse case scenarios, break-offs when you have a feisty, fighting fish on the line.

For saltwater anglers, more care is needed to fight the corrosive strength of saltwater on gear. Proper washing directly after use (not a month later!) with fresh water or dish-soap water will prevent rusty guides, reels and hooks.

Check the reel seat, cork handle and guides for any unusual wear or tear before and after fishing. The tip of the rod is precarious to breaking at the worst moment or getting snagged on a tree or bush. Always handle the rod with your conscious on the entire length of the rod; you would be surprised how many rod tips have fallen victim to a closed car door or a villainous big foot!

Poorly designed rods will be difficult for the angler to cast- making even the best of pros curse like a sailor as their line tangles or their fly flops terribly onto the water.

However, when just getting into fly fishing, maybe a small investment at first is ideal before taking the plunge into top-quality gear. Beginner rods can teach all generations how to properly move the rod, back and forth into the typical fly fishing casts. Once you are hooked, a hand-me-down, well-loved rod always makes a treasured gift or priceless token.


Sage, a leader in the fly rod manufacturing world since 1980 is a top performer when it comes to casting rods and catching fish. Professionals or amateurs who pick up and cast a rod designed from Sage enjoy their easy casting ability and versatility. Proven to outcast rods of all sizes- from 00 to a 12wt, Sage fly rods have a bigger fanbase than The Beatles.

Generations of Experience

St. Croix knows fishing and what fishermen want. Building both fly and conventional fishing rods for over 7years off the shores of the St. Croix river in Wisconsin, their fly fishing combo, or fly fishing set is the best in the market.

Whether you are looking for a spare rod or are buying your first, a St. Croix fly fishing combo is an easy bet on your wallet and on the water!

Triple texture technology

If you want to get into the details, fly fishing is all about the fly line. After all, it has an intimate relationship with presenting the fly to the fish. By using fly line from Scientific Anglers, all doubts on poor fly line quality can be erased. Tough, dependable, science-infused technology from Scientific Anglers will get your flies where they need to be!

Reel and fly line included

Instead of searching for everything needed to get started, Wild Water Fishing offers the perfect setup for a new fly fishing angler. Equipt with everything you need- even down to the fly, this package is ideal for anglers fishing in medium sized rivers, lakes or ponds for trout, small carp, barbel or bass.

Also included is a fitted case for the rod and reel. Take your rod across the world or store it safely at home with their well padded carrying case.

Wild Water Fishing Complete / weight Starter Package

Equipt with everything you need- even down to the fly, this package is ideal for anglers fishing in medium sized rivers, lakes or ponds for trout, small carp, barbel or bass.

Plusinno Lightweight Ultra Fly Fishing Rod and Reel / weight 

Great for small streams

Offering a variety of rod and reel combos, a beginner fishing small streams or in lakes will find their ideal rod and reel through White River Fly Shop’s Dogwood Canyon fly fishing outfit. Starting at a two piece, weight, 7’ rod that’s ready to catch wild brook trout in the Appalachians, this rod is accurate, casts great and won’t break the bank.

For those fishing for steelhead, carp or pike, try out their weight, 9’ rod. Where quality and affordability meets, this fly rod and reel setup is it.


Another top rod from White River Fly Shop where good grip meets a lightweight, 7’10” rod. For a or weight, this rod is shortened down to 7’10” to allow easier casting, all day. Fight fishing fatigue with a shorter rod and comfortable casting design- your casting hand will thank you! Try different lines with this versatile rod- go low in lake fishing with a sinking line or cast a popper on a floating line; all types of flies and lines cast well with the The Heat, Stage Fly rod.

PLUSINNO Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Graphite

Great for Beginners

If you are interested in learning about fly fishing and  want something to pick up quickly and go with, this fly fishing package is an affordable and useful tool to begin fishing with. At a price that won’t break the bank, a 4-piece fly rod, reel, line, fly box and flies is how to quickly learn about fly fishing, the hassle-free way.

This rod will teach you how to properly ‘load’ the rod and perform a variety of casts. This rod is accurate at a variety of distances and can load a great D-cast, or roll cast to your target.

PLUSINNO Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Graphite

Beginner friendly!

Trusted as a leader in the fishing industry for many generations, Eagle Claw offers this lightweight, 6’6, two-piece fiberglass rod is perfect for teaching children or adults how to fly fish- affordably! It is truly the best deal in the fly fishing world.

Though not as quick as a typical medium-action rod, this fiberglass rod is a graceful medium-slow action rod. In addition, Eagle Claw offers a one year warranty on their rods, and stand’s by the quality of their products! At this price point, it wins the Best Discount Choice by us.


This slow action rod is a favorite among many fishermen when they just need a little rod for some easy fishing. Fishing for small panfish, saltwater bait fish, croppies or small wild trout is exciting and rewarding with a small fiberglass rod. This rod is particularly designed well through years of research and is an excellent fly rod to cast.

Fiberglass rods don’t break as quickly as their graphite counterparts, making this rod almost indestructible when fishing for small to moderate sized fish. Beyond stylish vintage feel to Echo’s 5wt fiberglass rod is a great, enjoyable rod to catch fish with!

Perfect for Trout

If you ever dreamed of owning a bamboo rod that looks great on the shelf as well as it does catching fish in your local waters, the Orvis Penn’s Creek is the perfect partner for such a dream. Balanced through hours of meticulous work, this two piece bamboo rod is ideal for throwing small dry flies on a bushy stream, river or lake.

With a comfortable ergonomic cork grip, learning the slow action to this traditional bamboo rod is a comfortable transition to casting bamboo. As a leader in rod building, Orvis stands by their rod quality and has delivered yet again another attractive bamboo rod!

Attractive Design

The beauty of a hand crafted bamboo rod shines in this series of bamboo rods offered by Orvis. As a premier rod maker in the business since the 1850s, Orvis knows a thing or two about rods- especially bamboo rods.

Before fiberglass and graphite rods, Orvis was reinventing the ‘bamboo wheel’, so to say, and the results are in their bamboo rods of today.

The Adirondack, a full flex, slow-action, 7’5” rod is ideal for casting accurate dry fly presentations in difficult fishing surroundings. At 7’5”, the Adirondack can easily cast to difficult pools or below branches- and looks darn good doing it, too.

Improved Machine Technology

Going out on the water with a Ross reel and you can never go wrong. One of the easiest reels to use, it’s large arbor and smooth drag system is reliable against a tough fish every time. Known in the fly fishing industry for their durability, Ross is at the top of the list when it comes to fly fishing reels- both in the salt or freshwater. Both easy to use and maintain, they are built to last a lifetime.

Easy to Use

Since a long time, this reel has been a favorite among light-tackle fly fishermen. Built without a drag, this lightweight reel is perfect for fighting and casting to small trout, panfish and other small freshwater fish species. Ready to send out or reel in fly line at any second, it is an affordable and dependable reel capable of all day fishing with any rod smaller than a weight.

Great Casting Control

Fishing a weight rod for trout, bass, panfish, or anything you can find in the backyard pond or lake is a delight with the Encounter, a weight 8’6” rod from Orvis. Balanced, well designed graphite gives you a lightweight rod and reel to cast without casting fatigue on an all day trip out fishing.

The Encounter reel included fits the weight of the rod perfectly; providing no errors in balance. The better balanced rod and reel combination, the easier it is to smoothly cast a rod. Also included is a top fly line by Orvis, the Clearwater, fly line backing, leader and rod carrying case.

Lightweight Rod and Reel

You can fish for days and never get tired with this combo from Redington. Redington, known for their great fishing gear offers the Path fly rod combo at a very affordable price. Set up with a balanced reel, fly line and leader, this rod is good to go as soon as it arrives on your doorstep. A 5-weight, perfect for trout, panfish and small bass fishing can be ordered in either a 8’6” length, best for windy conditions, or a foot length; ideal for nymph fishing and typical fishing conditions.

A fine selection of fly rods and flies

Next up you need a fly fishing rod. Here your choice depends to a large extent on where you’re hoping to fish, what species you’re most interested in catching, and whether or not you’re likely to be travelling with your fishing rod.

Fly rod selection is a tough subject, so check out our guide to choosing the right fly fishing rod for more tips and advice.

Here’s what the guys here at Fishtec thought of it when it was launched:

Flaming fly lines

Now for your first fly line. For beginners we recommend a floating line because you’ll be able to use it for fishing both dry flies on the surface, and wet flies just under the water. The weight of your line or AFTM rating should match the rod you fish with, so make sure you look for the information written just above the handle of your rod.

Fly fishing clothing

Image source: Unaccomplished Angler Traditional fly fishing clothing

Fly fishing clothing needs to do three things: wick moisture away from your skin; hold warm, dry air close to your body; and keep the elements out. Layers are the answer, the more you have, the more clothes you can take off as it gets warmer, or put on as the temperature drops.

Putting it all together

Pair the right equipment with a steady hand

You’ll need some basic tools to get tying. Start with the holy trinity of vice, scissors and bobbin holder.

While it’s possible to tie a fly totally by hand, we wouldn’t recommend it to a beginner. Most fly tyers choose to use a vice, and so should you. There are many types available, so do your research before you buy. As the Fly Dressers’ Guild advises: “Choosing your first vice and tools is a bit like buying your first car: very exciting, potentially expensive, but easy to end up with something poorly made and not up to the task.”

Pick a vice that’s easy to use, has a good grip and will hold a variety of hook sizes.


Next on your shopping list is a pair of sharp, pointed scissors. Those rusty old scissors in your kitchen drawer literally won’t cut it. Get yourself a dedicated pair of fly-tying scissors.

If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, Global Fly Fisher has the most comprehensive guide to fly-tying scissors you’ll ever read.

Master fly tyer Barry Ord Clarke recommends two pairs of scissors: “one with extremely fine points for the more intricate work and a pair with larger and serrated blades for deer hair and heavier work.”

Hackle pliers

Hackle pliers are useful for big fingers that can’t get a good grip on small feathers. But the Fly Dressers’ Guild warns: “Check that the edges of the jaws are not sharp or they will cut through your materials. A quick rub with emery paper or the addition of a small piece of silicone tubing will cure this problem.”

Dubbing needle

A dubbing needle performs a variety of roles. It will pick out dubbing (fur), apply varnish, undo knots and separate feather fibres. You don’t necessarily need to buy a dubbing needle if you can find something else that’s long and pointy to use instead – the Fly Dressers’ Guild recommends “Grandma’s hat pins”.

One of Hillend Dabbler’s al fresco creations

Depending on where your tying table is located you might need to shine some light on your handiwork. There are a number of fly tying lamps that give the magnification and shadow-free light you’ll need for the fiddly stuff.

How It Works

Most fishing trips take place as a half- or full-day outing floating downriver in a drift boat big enough for a guide and two guests to comfortably fish from as you pass a variety of water features and landscapes. Wading is difficult in some of our rivers and fishing from shore can be have accessibility issues, so this is generally reserved for more instructional trips where certain spots work well. While going at it on your own is rewarding, hiring a guide is strongly suggested. The options and information can be overwhelming without their expert local knowledge and fishing on their drift boats entirely changes the game!

Note: All fishing in Jackson Hole is catch and release in order to maintain our healthy populations of wild trout!

The Last Word

Fly fishing in Jackson Hole is a special and unique way to interact closely with the local rivers. Much of the face of our valley here is dominated by the rough physical beauty of the mountains, so to spend a day focused on the smaller nuances of our waterways is a treat for anyone. These strong rivers, running creeks and delicate streams form the veins of the earth.

Explore them out here in the solitude of the Wild West for a day of fly fishing and make your cast at catching the Big One!

The valley’s most extensive and knowledgeable fishing resource offers full and half-day guided fishing excursions, wading trips and casting lessons. Stop in for fishing reports, licenses, information about local waters and all the gear you need for any angli…

Join one of the fly’s good-natured guides on a guided fishing trip to one of the regions best rivers or remote backcountry creeks or lakes. Combine the serenity of the river with the thrill of the take for a vacation memory you will not soon forget! We packa…

Grand Teton Fly Fishing will show you the best in fly fishing in Jackson Hole. They are a proud concessionaire for Grand Teton National Park and are an authorized commercial outfitter for Yellowstone National Park to which the fishing access is unparalleled.

Our professional guides make you feel like family and share their passion for some of the finest trout fishing in the West – on the Snake River in Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park or Yellowstone’s spring creeks and mountain lakes.

READY, SET, FISH! West bank Anglers offers guided fishing trips for all anglers. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, Westbank Anglers will get you on the fish. We offer guided trips on all the major waters in the Jackson Hole area, including the Snake River,…

Hackle and Feathers

For wooly buggers, they require a slightly different long hackle. Luckily, Whiting makes a wooly bugger hackle pack. I’d recommend black to start, and grizzly olive to start. Along with these, get yourself some black or olive marabou feathers which make up the bushy and fluffy tail of the fly (they are used to make those feather boa’s).

Hungarian partridge feathers are a useful and cheap feather to use for everything. Make collars on nymphs and emergers, to use for tails and wings on dries. Once you master using them, you can do quite a lot.


Chenille remind me of the garland you put on a Christmas tree. They are a very useful material to make bodies and eggs with and beef up a fly. Buy a set in black and olive color for your wooly’s and expand from there. If you plan to fish for salmon or steelies, buy a red, orange, or peach color to tie eggs (very easy pattern).

Other Fly Fishing Resources

We also provide useful fly fishing resources such as a beginners guide that covers the basics of fly fishing, fly fishing hatch charts that explain the best flies to use, and reviews of our favorite fishing spots.

Stay in Touch


A sporty design, the Heron Angler is an easy-to-paddle kayak that can maneuver perfectly into your favorite fishing spot. An affordable choice for casual anglers seeking a lightweight, compact kayak outfitted for fishing and cruising in calm waters.


The Predator XL Minn Kota bridges the gap between a fishing kayak, a bass boat and a shallow-water skiff. The combination of a Minn Kota motor and a foot-controlled rudder system truly allows hands-free fishing. Work the local shoreline without taking your hands off the rod to reposition your boat.


Engineered both above and below the waterline to be the perfect fishing platform, the Predator family from Old Town has what it takes to target everything from small-pond largemouths to rough-seas stripers. The Predator comes loaded with features, including a slip-resistant deck and the Element Seating System. The Predator MX, or Mixed Water, features a slightly more rounded hull, designed for moving water conditions without sacrificing its class-leading stability and performance.

Extra Tools

Additionally, there are a lot of gift sets out there, but they are kind of pricey.

It took me a lot of trial and error to figure out what size and what colors of thread to buy. In my opinion, the basic colors to buy are black, grey, white, brown, and olive green.

Fine Rib Wire

Buy a spool of gold, silver, and copper wire. Danville makes a Fine wire, but I generally like the look of the slightly thicker gauge UNI Ultra Wire Medium size. To me, it stands out more when tying nymphs or using it as ribbing on wooly buggers. If you plan to tie brassies, well, then buy the UNI Ultra Wire Brassie size.

Basic Non-Feather Materials

For Nymph Patterns: Daiichi  1550 Standard Wet Fly Hook, and Daiichi 116Klinkhammer Hook (for scuds)

For Streamer and Wooly Bugger Patterns: Mustad Signature R74-9674x Long shank, 2x strong wire hooks. They make a coated variation for salt water flies here: Signature S74DT-3401Hook

Soft Hackle

Soft hackle are feathers that come from upland birds and are used in a variety of flies. Unfortunately, there are so many different types of soft hackle out there and its very hard to figure out which you need. Luckily, Nate over at Stone River Outfitters (my local fly shop), introduced me to Hungarian partridge feathers. These feathers are really cheap and come in just about every color. What makes them so versatile is that they have parts to them. The bottom of the feather is a soft, wispy downy feather, which can be used in nymphs like a soft hackle Ray charles. The middle portion is webby and can be used for collars for wet flies. The tip is soft enough to be used as the wing on an Adams Dry. Three different pattern families out of one cheap little feather. Ya dig?

Switch Rod Details

A switch rod is a mix of a single handed rod and a spey rod. The idea being that you can fish both styles when needed. For steelhead fishing, the switch is nice because you can go from nymph fishing to swinging flies in the same outing.

Rio lines

Air flo  are still leaders in most of the new development of lines here.

With a switch rod, it’s not going to spey cast as well as a longer spey rod, and it’s not going to fish nymphs as well as a single hand rod in many situations. But, put together, it’s a pretty sweet all around deal.

Switch Rod Lines

When setting up your line, the first question is to ask what length and weight is your rod.

There’s a good chance it’s in the 11’ range and in the or weight line range. Match your line weight with the rod to start. That’s the easy answer. Now the bigger question. Which line brand and type do you use?

The what line to use question always varies with the waters you are fishing, but there are a few general lines that should meet your needs whether you are in large river or smaller shallow rivers.

There are two general types of lines you might use depending on the conditions and the size of fly you’ll be using. These are the Skagit and Scandi lines.

Before we get to far into this, watch this video from Simon at RIO who breaks down the spey line types:  This gives you a good general overview of spey lines as you begin to think about getting more specific.

As switch rods gain more popularity, more lines continue to be produced. The skagit style lines continue to dominate the switch line choices and now have new options. Along with the skagit line, you will need to purchase tips to cover different conditions. The Mow RIO tips are a great package that gives you a number of different sinking and floating options.

This article from Deneki talks about the MOW tips.  The lengths and weights balance out well with the skagit lines.

The Rio skagit max short is the line to go with if you are casting larger and heavier flies. The basic setup is a length of sinking tip, like the MOW attched to your skagit line, plus a 4-8-lb mono leader.

Casting a Switch Rod

You now have a rod with a balanced fly line that is setup up for swinging flies. If you have an 11.5’ weight switch rod, the corresponding wt. skagit Max short from Rio should do the trick for swinging. breaks down the skagit casting basics.  Here’s a quick video from Rio that runs through all of the different casts.  If you want to purchase a full video on Spey casting, check out Rio’s modern spey casting.

My favorite and easiest casts to use are the snap T and the single spey and double spey.

The skagit style of spey fishing is as easy as it gets in some situations. The weight is all up front, so you just need to get it going. Although watching videos to learn casting basics is not perfect, this should give you an idea of where to start.

Flies for Swinging

Now that we have the rod and line details out of the way, and a little casting primer, the next question is what fly are we going to use. Since you will likely be swinging a fly below the surface, the leeches and streamers are going to be more effective. wooly buggers zonkers





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Final Word

First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.

Most important, have fun and choose your Wet Flies wisely! Good luck!

So, TOP3 of Wet Flies



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