Choosing your first fly rod and reel is very important. You need to have a balanced fly-fishing outfit that will match the type and size of your fish. For example, the fly rod and line need to be the same weight, #5 weight fly rod and a #5 weight fly line.
The weight and length of the fly rod will be printed on the rod just above the handle, it might read: 9’5 “weight. The weight of the fly line will be on the fly line box, a 5 weight could be shown as: WF-5-F, which would be a (Weight Forward), (#5 weight), (Floating fly line).
The weight numbers of the fly rod and fly line will go up or down depending on the type and size of flies, fish, and types of waters that the angler is fishing. The common weight range is #3 thru #12. A 10-weight fly rod and line will cast large salt-water flies but is much too heavy for casting small trout flies. A 5 weight balanced outfit will work nicely for a #14 trout fly but will not cast a 3/0 tarpon fly.
Purchase a good quality brand name fly reel to match your fly rod and line so the outfit is balanced. I would also suggest opting for a good quality weight forward (WF) dry fly line, it will last you for years. Also have the sales clerk put the fly line and approximately 50 yards of 20 lb. fly line backing on the fly reel for you.
Some sporting goods stores and fly shops may offer a fly-fishing starter package; .rod, reel and fly line. This may be a way to go but first shop around. The next question, what should I pay for my starter outfit? Good question, but remember you get what you pay for, and you owe it to yourself to have the best you can afford. In the sport of fly-fishing, quality equipment will reward you in the years ahead. Ask the sales clerks for information about the fly rods they carry, also ask to cast the different brands and sizes of rods. Get other people’s opinions and be sure to look at all the popular brands, and make your decision on what feels good to you. Fly-fishing is a never-ending learning experience, so enjoy and good fishing.