The Best Fly Fishing Combo Under $200 (Reviews and Buying Guide)

The Best Fly Fishing Combo Under $200 (Reviews and Buying Guide)

For me the thought of fly fishing invokes images of picturesque scenes of meandering streams and surfacing trout.  It also takes me to glassy smooth lakes and early morning mist. I love fly fishing. I love fishing large streamers for trout and also watching bass crash through the surface to grab a top water fly. 

Whatever thoughts come to mind about fly fishing, the fact is, it doesn't have to break the bank to enjoy the sport. While there are fly rods and reels that can cost upwards of $1000 an more, there are excellent quality fly rods that are much more affordable.

And that's exactly what I want to cover in this post. I want to help get you setup with the best fly fishing combo under $200.   There are three fly combos I recommend for this price range, and below I'll review each of them.  

So check them out and let me know if you have any questions about any of them.  And don't miss the guide at the end explaining what you want to pay attention to when looking for a new fly rod and reel combo. 

Best Fly Fishing Combo Under $200 (Reviews)

This fly fishing rod and reel combo by Redington is a nice selection for the angler who wants a basic setup with minimal bells and whistles.  But what this combo does do, is allows you to have your choice in a variety of rod weights and lengths and a properly matched spool and reel.

Redington is a well known name in the fly fishing world and regularly produces products with reputable quality and no-hassle guarantees. It's this combination of reputation, quality and affordability that makes the Reddington combo my top pick.

The Rod 

This fly rod and reel combo allows the buyer to have their choice of a variety of rod weights and lengths. You can choose rods between 4 weight and 9 weight in lengths of 8.5 feet or 9 feet, allowing for more targeted fishing opportunity. The Redington PATH rod included is a medium-fast action graphite rod that is reportedly a very smooth caster. This type of performance will lend itself well to anglers of all levels.

The Fly Reel 

The Crosswater reel included with this setup is also made by Redington and is featured on several other combo setups. This durable polymer reel is stylish and functional. The disk-drag system is certain to slow down even the largest of fish with a nice 100 yard line capacity.

The fly reel conveniently comes already spooled up with backing and fly line. The fly line featured on this rig is a weight forward line called Mainstream by RIO Fly Lines. Rio is another reputable name in the fly-fishing industry and tends to be found on most of my setups.

Bottom Line

The focus on this fly combo is highly focused on offering a quality built rod and reel. It comes with  a durable 4 piece break down case which is designed to hold your rod with the reel still attached. This is an extremely convenient feature in my experience.

With this setup, you'll still need to go out and get yourself leader line, tippet and flies. However, with this fly rod and reel combo, you'll be able to rely on it for years to come.

The Orvis Encounter rod and reel combo is designed to be a high performing setup for both beginners as well as more experienced anglers.

At just under $200, this setup will be easy on your wallet and serve as a great primary setup beginners or even a backup travel setup for well experienced anglers.

This fly fishing setup represents a reasonable and affordable choice for those who don’t want to sacrifice quality and performance in a complete fly rod setup.

The Fly Rod

In my opinion, this is a great all around fly rod and reel combo. It features a versatile 5 weight 9 foot rod that will perform exactly how you want it to, regardless of the situation. In In addition, you also get the quality and reliable performance of the Orvis name behind it.

This medium to fast action rod will be able to excel well in both fresh water and saltwater like it is designed for. If you are looking for a slightly lighter or heavier weight not, this rod is available in additional weights. Allowing better selectivity for your specific fishing needs. With a 4 piece break down design, it keeps this rod ultra portable and packable.

The Fly Reel

The Orvis Encounter reel included with this package is designed to be a true and proper match to the rod. Sharing it’s design with higher end reels, the lightweight and large arbor design lends itself well to reducing line twists and kinks. Its sleek design is accompanied by an efficient disk drag system that can handle some serious fish fighting.

The reel comes spooled up ready to fish. The Orvis Floating Line is spooled onto the reel with backing and leader already installed. The line has a weight forward taper design. This is an easy casting taper that is preferred by beginner fly anglers. 

The Bottom Line

Built for the experienced and beginner angler alike, the Encounter rod series remains priced with frugality in mind. Reviewers agree this is a smooth performing and well put together package. The Encounter rod outfit is easily the best fly fishing combos for beginners.

This complete fly rod and reel starter package by Wild Water has everything you need to get started. In addition to a complete fly rod setup, this package comes with all the other necessary accessories to get you on the water which even includes a box of flies.

This kit is put together to get you out on the water fishing as quickly as possible, all for under $200.

The Fly Rod 

This beginner fly fishing kit comes with a rod rated for 5 or 6 weight line. I feel that this is one of the most versatile do-it-all weights out there. At 9 feet long, it is a nice proper length for the rated weight. Still manageable enough to get into smaller creeks for trout fishing. Yet is retains enough length and power to throw larger flies farther in certain situations.

This IM6 graphite rod is a 4 piece take down. This allows it to pack down into a compact sub 29” length to store in the accompanying rod sock and carrying case. I appreciate 4 piece break down rods for their ease of transport, lending well to increased versatility.

The Fly Reel

The reel in this kit is a nice lightweight machined aluminum design. The reel has a larger arbor (diameter) to help keep your line from kinking into tight coils once spooled out. Larger arbor iTs generally a sought after feature in higher end reels.The reel comes pre-spooled ready to go. This is made up of 20# backing and a 5 weight floating line. The line is a weight forward line which assists in cast-ability. To top it off, it comes tipped with a 9’ tapered leader ready to go. All you have to do is tie on a fly and get to casting.

The Accessories

The great part of this fly fishing combo kit is the included accessories, all meant to get you out on the water as quickly as possible. In addition to the versatile rod and reel setup this kit comes complete with a fly box pre-packed with 18 good all around flies. With plenty of room for more yet. The rod comes packaged safely in a sock and a larger rod tube, designed to hold the 4-piece rod with reel attached for safe transport and quick setup.

The kit also comes with a few extra key components that include:

  • 5x (4.3 lb) 9’ long tapered leader (quantity 2)
  • 5x tippet (30 meter spool)
  • Line nipper
  • Hemostats
  • Retractable tool holder (quantity 2)

The Bottom Line

If you want everything you need to get out in the water in one package look no further. Not only does this fly fishing kit come with a full rod and reel outfit, but includes a few other essential pieces. Best of all, this kit comes in at an ultra low price point so there is no excuse to not get out fly fishing.

How to Choose a Fly Fishing Setup

So what is there to consider when buying a beginner fly fishing kit? If most are designed to be versatile and easy to use, why bother getting picky with it? As with anything, the proper tools to do the job are imperative. Even though most of these kits are good for general use, there are definitely some factors you want to consider for your own personal fly fishing goals.

Fly Rod Weight

Probably most importantly of all, is choosing a proper rod weight. The weight of the rod determines nearly everything about the setup. It determines which reel and line to buy. It also dictates how easy it will be to cast. It affects what size flies you can fish with. And it even may limit the size of fish you can target. The rod weight is essentially how rigid and powerful the rod is. You will want lighter weight rods (1-5 weight) for smaller fish, and heavier weight rods (5-12+) for larger fish.

Most beginner setups are available in 4 weight to 8 weight. This is due to the versatility and casting ability of this weight range. With a 4, 5, or 6 weight you can target most species of fish except for bigger gamefish such as larger bass, salmon, steelhead, pike, etc. For larger fish such as those, you will want to be using a 6-8 weight at bare minimum. Personally? I find a 5 weight to be the most versatile rod in my arsenal. With that said, I think a 4 weight rod offers the beginner the easiest casting ability.

To choose your weight of rod; consider how big of fish you will be target and how big of flies you will be fishing with. Salmon, pike, and big bass? Consider a 7 weight or so. Think you will be primarily trout fishing in creeks? Try a 4 weight. For all around versatility go with a 5 or 6 weight.

Fly Rod Length

Another primary variable among beginner rod setups will be length of the rod. This is a less important variable than the aforementioned rod weight. However, you will want to take into consideration where you will be fishing to select a proper rod weight.

If you plan on fishing in small creeks, brushy situations, or any sort of casting obstacles; stay on the shorter length range (8.5 ft. or under). Most general fishing situations will suit an 8.5 to 10 ft. rod pretty well. Hence, most beginner setups out there are available in this range of length, with 9 ft. probably dominating the market.

Fly Reels

The most important aspect of a reel is to match it with your rod weight. Beyond that, a reel serves as a line holder and as a drag system to slow down large running fish. Combination setups of rods and reels are always going to have properly matching equipment.

For most beginning fishing situations, reel performance will hardly be noticed by the angler. If I was buying a combination setup, I would take more consideration in the rod and line available in the setup rather than the reel.

Final Thoughts

Owning a great quality fly rod and reel doesn't have to break the bank and is actually quite within reach. I'm confident that any one of these three that I mentioned here qualify as the best fly rod and reel combo under $200, but there's one that stands out above the others.  And that's the Redington Path II. It's a down to basics quality fly rod and reel combo that gives you the most bang for the buck. 

VIDEO Review Of The Reddington II Fly Rod

About the Author

When I'm not bass fishing or looking for steelhead in my home state of Oregon I can be found working on house projects dreaming of my next fishing adventure. I started this website to share just some of the things I've learned along my fishing journey, and the many things I'm still learning. Enjoy!