Most Recommended Fly Rod Outfits under $500

Updated

There are lots of great fly rod outfits and fly fishing combos out there, but how do you know which one is the best one for you? Here at Curated, our independent experts recommend rods to customers just like you every day. Check out this list of our experts' top-recommended fly rod outfits under $500, then chat with a Fly Fishing expert to make sure you find the perfect fly fishing combo for you.

Lawson T., Fly Fishing Expert
Rylyn S., Fly Fishing Expert
conner deck, Fishing Expert
By Outfits ExpertsLawson, Rylyn, conner and others
The Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit is a top-notch choice for both beginners and experienced anglers looking for a versatile, all-inclusive package. It's an 'affordable awesomeness' that offers smooth and crisp performance. The rod is a great caster and is easy to set up right out of the box. It's particularly ideal for trout fishing in various conditions, from alpine lakes to freestone and tailwater rivers. The medium action is easy to learn with a variety of casts, and the rod's forgiving nature makes it a great learning tool. However, it's not the best for long casts, saltwater fishing, or larger fish that require a more robust drag system.
Ideal for
  • Beginners looking for an easy-to-use, all-inclusive package
  • Experienced anglers seeking a versatile rod
  • Trout fishing in various conditions
  • Anglers who prefer a forgiving rod that's easy to learn with
  • Those who value affordability without compromising on quality
Not ideal for
  • Long casts
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Fishing for larger species that require a robust drag system
Rylyn S., Fly Fishing Expert
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
conner deck, Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Rylyn S., Matt Beam, conner deck
The Orvis Clearwater Complete Fly Rod Outfit is a versatile setup that's perfect for both beginners and experienced anglers. Its medium-fast action and forgiving nature make it easy to cast, while the reel's large arbor and Rulon disk drag ensure smooth pick-up and easy adjustments during a fight. It's a great choice for fishing in various water bodies, from small streams to large rivers and lakes. However, it may not be the best choice for larger species or saltwater fishing.
Ideal for
  • Beginner fly casters
  • Experienced anglers looking for a versatile setup
  • Fishing in various water bodies
  • Anglers who prefer a forgiving rod
  • Anglers who want a rod with a good warranty
Not ideal for
  • Fishing for larger species
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Close quarters sniper applications
  • Anglers who prefer premium rods
Joseph Smith, Fly Fishing Expert
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
Rylyn S., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Joseph Smith, Matt Beam, Rylyn S.
The Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit is a perfect pick for beginners looking to dip their toes into the world of fly fishing without splurging. This outfit comes fully assembled in a protective case, with a rod, reel, backing, fly line, and a leader. Its medium-fast action is ideal for newbies to get a feel of loading a rod when casting. However, it's not meant for casting bigger flies and poppers or for frequent use due to its limited durability.
Ideal for
  • Beginner fly fishers
  • Anglers looking for a budget-friendly option
  • Those who need a complete set-up
  • Anglers targeting panfish, medium trout, small smallmouth, small largemouth
Not ideal for
  • Frequent users
  • Casting bigger flies and poppers
  • Anglers targeting large species
  • Those seeking premium components
Baily Dent, Fly Fishing Expert
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
Stefan E., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Baily Dent, Matt Beam, Stefan E.
PROGRESS

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The Orvis Clearwater® Fly Rod Outfit is an excellent choice for entry-level fly fishing enthusiasts. It's a versatile, multi-purpose rod outfit that comes with everything needed to start fishing. The medium-fast action makes it easy to cast, regardless of style, and it's suitable for small streams, larger rivers, and lakes. The outfit is backed by a 25-year warranty, indicating its quality and durability. It's a bit heavier for small stream and creek fishing, but it's still capable of getting the job done.
Ideal for
  • Entry-level fly fishing enthusiasts
  • Anglers looking for a versatile, multi-purpose rod outfit
  • Those who prefer a medium-fast action for easy casting
  • Fishing in small streams, larger rivers, and lakes
  • Those looking for a quality, durable outfit with a long warranty
Not ideal for
  • Small stream and creek fly fishing due to its size
  • More experienced anglers who might prefer a more advanced rod and reel
  • Those who require a longer casting range
  • Those who prefer a fully machined fly reel over a die-cast reel
  • Those who require a hook keeper on the rod
Joshua Britton, Fly Fishing Expert
Joseph Smith, Fly Fishing Expert
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Joshua Britton, Joseph Smith, Matt Beam

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Result Summary
  1. Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit
  2. Orvis Clearwater Complete Fly Rod Outfit
  3. Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit
  4. Orvis Clearwater® Fly Rod Outfit
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