Affordable fly fishing gear for beginners

caorach

Well-Known Member
Stalking and fly fishing compliment each other well so I thought it might be fun to suggest decent but inexpensive gear that might be ideal for someone just starting out to cast the fly. I guess it would be helpful to keep it to the essentials rather than the "gadgets" that aren't really necessary.

So, I'm going to kick it off with the Shakespeare Agility 2 fly rod - I have the 11 foot 7 weight version and it is a great rod for brown trout, sea trout and salmon on the lochs and also salmon and sea trout on smaller rivers. They can be had for £60 - £70 depending on model. If you can find one then the Leeda Volare IV are also excellent general purpose rods for salmon, sea trout, brown trout on smaller rivers and lochs. I don't think they are made any more but a 2nd hand one or a new one if there are still some about will get you a great rod that will certainly do everything you'd ask of it in the Hebrides or in similar areas.
 

GWP

Well-Known Member
Shakespeare rim fly reel its only needed to hold the line when not actually fishing anything else is just a waste
 

Fair Hill

Well-Known Member
I bought a Shakespeare Sigma (similar to the Agility) combo kit a few years ago for 70 euro and it's a great deal for someone starting off.
 

Scandially

Well-Known Member
My mate is the owner of Gaelforce. His rods are £1200 upwards and the holders of many records in the US. Check Gaelforce out on YouTube for some amazing casting.
I bought a Shakespeare Oracle Scandi 14'9" rod and Jim admitted for the money they are punching way above their weight. I am friends with Gary Scott who is Shakespeare's product promoter and he says they lose money on their rods 👍.
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
Pfleuger Trion salmon reels - John Norris used to sell these new for a bargain price, but these days you have to trawl eBay for them.

STH reels - manufactured in Argentina, these can often be picked up for peanuts because punters are more focused on the famous names.

Wonderful reels the pair of them.

Sadly the days of picking up bargain Orvis Battenkill or Scientific Angler System Two reels seem to be long gone :(

Daiwa Salmon rods - tend to get looked over because of the synthetic reel seats, but they’ve been responsible for catching a mess of fish!

LL Bean rods and reels. Again, most people tend to overlook these, but the earlier Bean rods were made by Loomis, the reels by STH.

Personally I’d never buy a new rod or reel again!
 

Sash

Well-Known Member
Sadly the days of picking up bargain Orvis Battenkill or Scientific Angler System Two reels seem to be long gone :(
I agree: very sad! But buy either of them, even at current prices on the auction site, and you have a reel that will both see you out, and land pretty much any fish you hook.
That’s my definition of good value.
 

caorach

Well-Known Member
Decent value reel recommendations would be appreciated gents - I am aghast at the cost of some of the fancy reels...

For years I used a Leeda Dragonfly (??? something like that anyhow) reel and it did me good service but after maybe 30 years the disk drag wore out. I can't comment on modern Leeda quality.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, but not the crazy boutique money, then the Danielsson reels are decent and reliable reels that are well made and I think I paid £170 for mine, to me £170 still seems like crazy money for a reel in view of the fact it is a pretty low tech bit of gear but compared to the competition they seem to be good value in the present time.

Needless to say I would suggest the beginner should look at paying a lot less and I bought the Danielsson on recommendation from some folks I know to see what it would be like, if it had been my own choice I'd have spent about £40 :)
 

willie_gunn

Well-Known Member
For years I used a Leeda Dragonfly (??? something like that anyhow) reel and it did me good service but after maybe 30 years the disk drag wore out. I can't comment on modern Leeda quality.

If you are willing to spend a bit more, but not the crazy boutique money, then the Danielsson reels are decent and reliable reels that are well made and I think I paid £170 for mine, to me £170 still seems like crazy money for a reel in view of the fact it is a pretty low tech bit of gear but compared to the competition they seem to be good value in the present time.

Needless to say I would suggest the beginner should look at paying a lot less and I bought the Danielsson on recommendation from some folks I know to see what it would be like, if it had been my own choice I'd have spent about £40 :)

Still have a Dragonfly, from back in the BFR (British Fly Reels) days! Often use it on the Stillwater near me. I also have one of the Leeda Concept (LC) 80 reels - one of the first reels to be designed to use a changeable cassette. They’ve caught a lot of fish over the years.

Like you, though, I can’t speak to the modern Leeda Quality. I believe all the designs and machinery were shipped off to China when Leeda’s Falmouth factory was bought out.
 
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