Boats, fish finders, boat paints, diving computer watches and things like that are all very cool, but not if you are only starting to learn what fishing is all about firsthand.

I believe that you know quite well that the first tool for any fisherman to acquire is a fishing pole. Indeed, it is one of the most ancient fishing tools. It’s far from the only one you’ll need, though. In addition to the fishing rod, you will undoubtedly have to get a reel, hooks, fishing lines, and plumbs. You’ve probably figured about the lines, hooks, and weights, but very few beginners realize just how badly they need a good reel, if only because they don’t know anything about fishing just yet.

If you are a beginner, you need to get a fishing rod and a good reel pronto. I recommend purchasing them as a package deal. After you buy a good fishing rod and a reliable reel, all you need is a quiet calm beach, the sound of flowing water, and there it is – your first big fish.I highly recommend picking your new rod and reel from the variety of combos explicitly designed for beginners. They have every feature you need to start fishing, and while professional kits come with many useful and unusual features starter-kits lack, beginners don’t typically know how to use them anyway. Simply put, buying above your skill and experience is a waste of money. It is much better to purchase those sets later when you know for sure that you’re really into fishing. When it comes to newbies, control and flex are paramount. Slow action rods typically fit that description best, or more often than other types, at the very least. I advise coupling them with large reels, as they tend to perform best together.

Top 5 Beginner Rod and Reel Starter Kits in 2019

Crystal River Fly Fishing Combo — Best Overall

The combo is shipped in a quite good foam travel box, and the contents are secured with a strap. That prevents the rod and the reel from getting damaged when in transit. That’s quite thoughtful, but then again, it’s more of a standard these days.

I have to say, you can also store them in that travel box if you wish, it is more than suitable for that.

The rod is very beginner friendly, and even an expert angler would be pleased with it. The reel is far from the best one, unfortunately. Oh, it’s excellent and durable, but it has a few significant disadvantages.

The reel is pretty generic, and it’s decent, but it lacks a fly line backing, and if you don’t know what I mean, just trust me, it’s something you want to have.

Speaking of the fly line, and it’s pretty good, other than its leader end is flat style. That said, such fly lines have their own uses, but still, the lack of a welded loop is a little disappointing.

Aside from the line, the package also has a fly compartment, and there’s nothing bad I can say about it.

Now, to the good stuff, namely the rod. It is what makes this combo worth buying.

It’s not really a competition for some of the more expensive rods. The handle is made with very cheap materials, and that may cause some problems in the long run. However, for a few seasons, that is going to be enough. It also lacks alignment dots, but those aren’t necessary, strictly speaking.

The rod is pretty slow action, and while expert anglers may complain that it makes detecting the bites more complicated, it’s a great starting point for a beginner. Another thing that I like about the rod is the snake guides. They are a little bit more reliable than a simple ring, and neither does it making handling the rod more complicated for a beginner.

  • Foam travel box
  • A fly compartment
  • Slow action. It's a great starting point for a beginner
  • Snake guides
  • The reel is pretty generic, and it’s decent, but it lacks a fly line backing
  • Lack of a welded loop on the line

Goture Fly Fishing Combo — Most Advanced Kit

This fly fishing combo is more impressive than most. But then again, it’s also more expensive than most, at a price that high, you should expect it to be better.

The set includes more than just a rod and a reel. It’s a full starter’s kit. It also features a fishing line set, a fly box complete with more than a dozen different flies, and a bag to carry all that stuff.

Before I get to the rod, I’d really like to mention the reel. It’s awe-inspiring, and the way it looks it just perfect. Of course, that’s an aluminum alloy, so it’s not strange that it does. It’s precision made and very powerful and rigid. It’s not often that you can come by an anodized reel like this. Most of the time, reels are made from less durable materials, especially in beginner’s combos. This time is different.

The carbon fiber rod is also straightforward to handle and performs quite spectacularly. The handle is made from cork, and the reel seat is the same material as the reel. The stainless steel snake guides allow for better line guiding.

Speaking of the other parts, the line has welded loops on both ends, has a low memory effect and is very strong. It’s surprisingly easy to cast it far away.

  • Fly box complete with more than a dozen different flies
  • Anodized reel
  • Carbon fiber rod
  • The handle is made from cork
  • Stainless steel snake guides
  • Line. The line has welded loops on both ends, a low memory effect and is very strong.
  • More expensive than most

NetAngler Fly Fishing Combo — For Complete Newbies

If you think something like the Goture combo is going to break your bank, the NetAngler is a suitable replacement. The difference in price is hard to ignore, and the difference in performance is hard to notice.

The thing that makes this combo peculiar is not what is shipped to you. It’s how it’s shipped to you. Now, you get a rod, a reel, a fishing line, a backing, flies and all the little things. But there’s a catch, one that you’re going to enjoy if you’re a beginner. The aluminum alloy reel comes with the fishing line already installed. You don’t have to figure out a way to do it yourself, you can just mount the reel, guide the line through the guides and loops, and you’re ready for fishing. Granted, it’s not really quite as simple as it sounds if you have no experience, but you have one less step to take. You will have to learn how to install the line on the reel eventually, however, with this starter kit it’s far from an urgent business. But if you’re a pro, paying for something like that would rub you the wrong way.

It still has a cork grip handle and aluminum alloy reel seat.

All in all, it is a very beginner friendly fishing kit, and including price-wise.

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  • The aluminum alloy reel comes with the fishing line already installed
  • Cork grip handle 
  • Aluminum alloy reel seat
  • Beginner friendly fishing kit
  • If you’re a pro, paying for something like that would rub you the wrong way.

Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo — Best Bang for the Buck

It used to cost a little bit less when I first heard of this kit. Now, it’s somewhat more expensive, but the price may change yet again. Or not. You never know. Anyways, even at the current rate, it’s actually a terrific deal.

The package includes quite a few things. The first one you’re going to take note of is the case itself. It’s pretty long and sturdy. Your rods and tackles are not going to be damaged as long as they are stored there. The case happens to have an elegant strap on it and is quite comfortable to carry.

Your reel will actually have your line on it. It will also have backing on it, and your leader line is already tied to the fly line as well. Too bad that the leader line doesn’t have a loop in it. The fly line doesn’t have a loop in it either. What I’m trying to say, you’re tying your leader line directly to your fly line, which is hard for a beginner, and it’s a good thing that the leader line and the fly line are both already tied together. Still, you will have to learn how to do that after the first few times that you use this starter kit.

The reel is pretty sturdy and heavy duty but also pretty basic at the same time. It’s effortless to use even for a beginner, and even a child could do it quickly.

Another thing that I like about this combo is the lifetime warranty. It doesn’t cover abuse and broken rods, I think, but even then repairing the rod won’t cost you as much as getting a replacement by buying a new rod.

The nine-foot rod is actually pretty impressive from the get-go. It is pretty easy to set up the screws to mount your reel in they hold up very well. However, it’s a fast action rod, and that makes it a little uncomfortable for amateur anglers despite its overall beginner-friendliness. But even with that in mind, if you’re looking for something entry level into fly-fishing and fishing in general, it’s the way to go. As a matter of fact, many fly-fishing setups for beginners have outrageous price tags, and while they offer everything there is to provide, that’s hardly efficient and money-saving.

  • Case has an elegant strap on it and is quite comfortable to carry
  • Leader line is already tied to the fly line
  • Reel is pretty sturdy and heavy duty
  • Effortless to use even for a beginner, and even a child could do it quickly
  • Nine-foot rod
  • Leader line doesn't have a loop in it.
  • Fly line doesn't have a loop
  • It's a fast action rod, and that makes it a little uncomfortable for amateur anglers despite its overall beginner-friendliness

Orvis Encounter Outfit ⁠ — Professionally Rigged Starter's Kit

This outfit is obviously high-end. But while it’s high-price, it’s not the most expensive beginner kit that I know of. This is a great gear for any angler, including both newbies and pros. Everyone will find something that looks interesting to them.


This particular outfit of the Orvis Encounter (8 wt) is a perfect general purpose fly rod. It’s balanced, and you can cast just about anything. It’s suitable for beginners, anyone who’s just getting started.

It’s going to work nicely, but the real question is if you need all that stuff? The Orvis Encounter is professionally rigged, and in this instance, the ads are not over exaggerating. That much is true. But as a newbie, do you really need any of those rigs? You may want it because it would give you professional grade equipment at a fairly low price, for that kind of stuff at least, but you can exploit none of the more exciting features, and you probably have a very vague idea about what to do with this rigged rod. Granted, you can use it just fine, the question is, can you use it to its full potential? Do you need it?

I personally think that you may need it in the future, and if you think so too, by all means, it’s a beautiful, fine rod and reel outfit. But if there’s any trace of doubt, it better to get something less flashy and more fundamental.

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  • High-end
  • Perfect general purpose fly rod
  • Balanced
  • Professionally rigged
  • High price

Buyer’s Guide

Choosing a good fishing rod is actually not difficult, but only if you know what to look at. On top of that, if you are just starting as a fisher, then you need a specific fishing rod. Not a complex one by any margin, but a very specific nonetheless.It’s a sort of paradox: if you know what kind of fishing rod you need without advice, then you definitely don’t need a fishing rod for beginners. And if you’re truly a beginner who is yet to read anything on the subject, you can’t possibly know what you need. In that situation, the best way to choose a beginner fishing rod is to seek help from a friend who’s also a fisher. But, naturally, the method only works if one of your friends is a fisher, and he or she is willing to help you. Besides, even if that person knows how to fish, that does not mean they are well-versed in how to choose the best equipment. Fish can be caught with a regular stick with a string tied to it, after all. It’s just less effective and unlikely to deliver satisfying results. Another method is to read this guide. I’m going to share the most important highlights you need to consider when making a purchase. The third method is the simplest one yet: just pick one of the 5 products in this review. I assure you I researched them carefully.


The first thing that springs to my mind: you should really make sure you’re allowed to fish in the area you’re planning to fish, and if it takes a license to do so, go and get it.If you’re clear (and the river or lake does indeed have fish you may catch), it’s time for the essentials. I can name a bunch of things that are more or less essential for fishing. However, only a few of them cannot be replaced by anything else. Those must have usually include:
  1. Fishing rod
  2. Fishing reel
  3. Fishing line
  4. Hook
  5. Bait
  6. Sinker
  7. Float 
You may also need other tackle, like fly lines, and some tools, like a knife, pliers and the like. But none of those have to be specific for fishing, especially if you’re just starting off. Just use your typical generic tools. To tell you the truth, dedicated tools for dealing with fishing equipment save you a ton of time, but it’s only worth it if you spend a lot of time fishing and you need to work out every little detail to make the entire thing as efficient as it can possibly be. But a beginner like you can afford to not think about that just yet.As for the items I listed in this paragraph, the hook, line, and bait are typically chosen based on what kind of fish you want to catch. You want a stronger line and bigger hook for huge trophy fish, while smaller fish require entirely different gear. In fact, if you’re going to approach this the right way, you’re going to end up with dozens of hooks, lines, and baits for all occasions. It’s not something I can advise you in advance, by the way, it’s something that comes with experience and is different for every angler. But if you want some pointers for choosing a good fishing line, I recommend checking out this link.The float’s primary purpose is to compensate for the weight of the hook and the bait and the road, while the plumb is used to make the float sink a bit and prevent the bait itself from floating.That’s about it.Anyways, this is a rod and reel review. So let’s get to them.

Choosing the Rod

Most people are well aware that a fishing rod is the first thing you need to select for fishing. However, few beginners know what it should be.


The length of the fishing rod is quite essential. On the other hand, the range of beginner-friendly lengths is only so large, typically from 12 to 20 feet. If you’re going fly fishing, you will need the longest rod of the spectrum. 


Bamboo rods are history. But are they?Bamboo is a surprisingly good material for a fishing rod. It’s light, durable, flexible, and, above all, highly-renewable, unlike wood.Still, you can’t really control how stiff or flex bamboo is, and making telescopic rods out of bamboo is a challenge if and of itself. It’s only suitable for non-collapsible old style rods, and that’s where it shines, but it has its practical limits.Synthetic materials are much more variable.  They can be even lighter, they can be as stiff as you want them — or as flexible for that matter  — and unnaturally consistent in their performance.The most common material manufacturers make rods out of is graphite, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. Graphite is the cheapest, but it’s apparently dying off concerning fishing rod production. It’s not as durable as the other materials, but it is very light and allows for making sensitive rods.

Rod Types

Casting Rods

If you are new to fishing, this type of rod is the first you are going to opt for. A casting rod is the most versatile and one of the easiest to recognize. It actually has many subtypes, but I will cover them in a separate guide. With it, you can fish from the shore or from a boat, and you can catch almost any reasonably sized fish in nearly any conditions. The only sort of fishing scenario where a casting fishing rod would be consistently useless is ice fishing. That requires quite short ice rods and lots of extra gear, but I won’t be touching that in this review.A casting rod is not without disadvantages. The fundamental flaw comes from the design and the very concept of a casting fishing road: you have to be patient. That cannot be helped. Equipping a casting fishing rod with a reel is not a necessity as such, but using spin casting rods is preferable to using simpler casting rods, if only because it makes fishing a magnitude more comfortable, especially for a beginner.

Spinning Rod

Spinning is not something I would recommend a beginner to start with. But it’s still usable even without vast experience, and it’s mostly used to predatory fish species. They are attracted by the bait moving as you spin the reel.

Other Types

Those are not the only fishing rods that you can use. There are more, but they hardly qualify for beginner rods. Still, if you want to get one, you can check out my other reviews.

Choosing Fishing Reel

You have a wide variety of fishing reels available to you as an angler. As a beginner, though, you should not really even consider buying some of them. It’s not like you can use them properly until you get past the basics.All I can recommend you is spin cast reels and spinning reels, especially the former. It is the sort of reel you want to mount on top of the casting rod, and it’s mainly used to retract your catch. A spinning reel is used for spinning, and it’s mounted under the rod.

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