Best Budget Fly Fishing Combo (2022 Buyer’s Guide)

Our guide to the absolute best budget fly fishing combos available in 2022, including the best rods of different weights, at the best possible prices!

Not all fly fishing combos have to break the bank. Let’s have a look at the best budget fly rod combos available this year.

I’ve been fly fishing for over 20 years and for many of those years, I’ve been on the road, traveling from place to place. This means that I don’t always have my gear with me and sometimes when I get to a new country, I have to buy new gear so that I can hit the rivers and go fly fishing.

It’s times like these that you don’t want to go out and spend $1000+ dollars on a new fly fishing combo. You want to get all the gear for as little as possible because you know you’ll only use it once or twice.

But this isn’t the only time a cheap fly rod combo comes in handy. When you’re just starting out, it’s not recommended to spend a fortune on the best fly rods and the best fly reels. Instead, you should find yourself a good budget fly fishing combo set to get started with and decide if you even like the sport before potentially upgrading later.

In this post, I’m going to share with you the best fly fishing combos that I’ve personally fished, had in hand, and/or researched myself.

I’ve probably purchased nearly a dozen affordable fly fishing combos over the years and this is from my personal experience.

Shopping for a fly fishing combo but don’t have a strict budget? Check out our Best Fly Fishing Combos Overall for more great combos.

Disclaimer: IntoFlyFishing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Privacy Page for more information.

What’s a Fly Fishing Combo?

Before I get into the list of the best budget fly rod combos, I just want to explain what a fly rod combo is. 

When you’re purchasing fly fishing gear, you can either purchase the rod, reel, line, and leader all separately, or you can pick it all up together as a combo kit.

For beginners, or for those on the road, this is often the best way to go. 

It’s a lot more costly and time consuming to purchase your gear separately, especially because you’ll have to make sure the fly rod weight matches the reel, line, flies, leader, and the rest.

Fly Rod Combo Full Outfit Fly Fishing Kit

With a cheap fly fishing combo, you’ll get all of this pre-matched and pre-chosen so that you can hit the water with what you have.

But be careful. There’s a lot of garbage fly fishing gear on the market today. In this article, my goal is to steer you away from those low-quality rod and reel combos so you’ll get a decent fly fishing set in your hands for a good price.

Best Budget Fly Fishing Combos

Okay, here it goes. Let’s get into the good stuff. Below I’ll list the 7 best budget fly fishing combos on the market in 2022.

This list will be updated each year to include new cheap fly rod combos that hit the market.

For the purpose of consistency and convenience, this 2022 buyer’s guide will include mostly combo kits that have at least the very basics of a rod and a spooled reel.

More often than not, the combos I’ve listed will include everything you need, like some flies, nippers, pliers, leaders, tippet, backing, and more.

Each budget fly fishing combo has to be under $200 to be considered truly a “budget fly rod kit.” 

Let’s get started…

1. Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Combo

  • Price: $170-190
  • Available weights: 3wt, 5wt, 6wt, 8wt

I’ve purchased this Maxcatch Premier kit on multiple occasions, and over the past 7 years I’ve fished this budget fly rod combo extensively. It’s really hard to beat. There are cheaper options by Maxcatch (which I’ll list below), but for the small added cost, I think upgrading to this Premier kit is worth the money.

You’ll get a better rod that will last you longer and a better reel. Basically this kit is more “upgrade-proof” all around, meaning you can fish it for a year or two and not feel like you need to upgrade to something better right away.

This is always a huge bonus for any best value fly fishing combo.

What I Personally Like About This Budget Combo

  • It includes everything you need.
  • It’s great value for money.
  • The rod is actually decent quality, especially for the price.
  • I used the reel in salt water and it was fine (rinse thoroughly after each use).
  • The reel is made from bar stock aluminum and is better than most on this list.
  • The cork handle is comfortable.
  • The flies are actually good quality (rare with cheaper fly fishing combos).

What I Personally Don’t Like About This Budget Combo

  • The rod, while good quality, is slightly heavy.
  • You only get a floating line with it (sinking tip would be nice).
  • I wish they had a 2wt and 4wt option.

Maxcatch Premier Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: Yes
Fly reel: Yes Tools: Yes (Nippers, pliers, line straightener)
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1 year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: Yes (10 flies) Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

2. Wild Water Standard Fly Fishing Combo

  • Price: $99-125
  • Available weights: 5wt, 6wt

The Wild Water Standard is another great budget fly fishing combo kit on the market. It’s not quite as extensive of a kit as the Maxcatch Premier, but it’s still a decent budget fly fishing setup to get you out on the water.

Wildwater is another company out of China that’s making a lot of good quality budget fly fishing kits.

The fly reel that comes with this kit, while durable and definitely fine for a beginner, in my opinion isn’t quite as high quality as the Maxcatch Avid that comes with the Maxcatch Premier Combo. But for a 50% lower price, it may be worth it.

Keep in mind, though, this kit doesn’t include extra leaders, tippets, or some other extras like the Premier kit does.

What I Personally Like About the Wild Water Combo

  • The fly rod tube feels sturdy and it has a place to also hold the reel, so you don’t have to completely disassemble the rod after a day’s fishing or between fishing spots.
  • They have some gear made in the USA.
  • High quality stripping guides & snake guides

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Wild Water Combo

  • It doesn’t include extra tippets, tools, etc.
  • The leaders aren’t very high quality.
  • Fly line is also not highest quality.
  • Not very many options for rod weights (just a 4wt and 6wt at the time of writing)
Wild Water Standard Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: Yes
Fly reel: Yes Tools: Yes (Nippers, pliers, line straightener)
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: Yes (9 flies) Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

3. Redington Path Fly Fishing Combo

  • Price: $127-179
  • Available weights: 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, 8wt

I know I said I was going to only include budget fly fishing kits that came with everything you need, but I really can’t leave out the Redington Path Fly Rod Combo

When you can get a fly fishing kit from a great brand like Redington for under $200, it’s hard to not include it, even though you’ll have to go and purchase some extras like extra leaders, fly fishing tools, a net, etc.

It doesn’t matter, though. I love this combo. I’ve been fishing Redington gear for years, and guides have reviewed a lot of their products on this site. 

They’re a well-established budget fly fishing brand with a decent warranty and great products.

The Redington Path definitely isn’t their top-tier fly fishing rod and reel combo, but it’s the best cheap fly rod combo they offer.

What I Personally Like About the Redington Path Combo

  • Redington is a great fly fishing brand.
  • The reel and rod are both high quality.
  • The cork handle is comfortable.
  • The rod is surprisingly light for this price range.
  • There are lots of line weight options.

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Redington Path Combo

  • It doesn’t include many fly fishing essentials like flies, tippet, leaders, tools, a fly box, net, etc.
  • Redington charges too much to replace broken sections (up to $60 for a section when the full combo is under $200).
Redington Path Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: No
Fly reel: Yes Tools: No
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: No Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

4. Wild Water Deluxe Fly Fishing Starter Package

  • Price: $100-120
  • Available weights: 5wt, 6wt

The Wild Water Deluxe is a slightly more extensive cheap fly fishing combo set. It includes 10 flies, zingers, nippers and the lot. Not a bad deal for just over $100. 

20 years ago when I started fly fishing I never would’ve thought you’d be able to buy a great combo like this for such a low price. But here we are.

The Wild Water Deluxe Combo comes with pretty much everything you need to hit the water. 

What I Personally Like About the Wild Water Deluxe Kit

  • Includes most of what you need on the water.
  • Wild Water makes some of their products in the USA.
  • The rod is good quality.
  • The cork handle is comfortable and decent quality.

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Wild Water Deluxe Kit

  • The reel is not the best quality.
  • The fly line is not the best quality.
  • I’d like to see more line weight options.
Wild Water Deluxe Kit Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: Yes
Fly reel: Yes Tools: Yes (Nippers, pliers, line straightener)
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: Yes (18 flies) Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

5. Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit

  • Price: $198-210
  • Available weights: 5wt, 6wt, 8wt

I purchased the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit a few years ago when I was living in the Caribbean, and I actually fished it extensively in salt water. 

Even though the reel doesn’t have a super-sealed drag and isn’t recommended for saltwater use, mine lasted just fine. I simply rinsed it off well with fresh water after every use.

Orvis is another great fly fishing brand, which is why this cheap fly fishing outfit made the list despite not including everything you need like flies and leaders.

It comes with the rod, a rod tube, and the spooled reel (with backing, fly line, and one 9 ft leader).

This is a great beginner rod and I highly recommend it. Mine is still going strong today, and over the years I’ve put it through a lot.

What I Personally Like About the Orvis Encounter Outfit

  • Orvis is a well-respected fly fishing brand.
  • The Orvis warranty is quite good.
  • The rod has a comfortable grip.
  • The reel does ok in salt water.
  • The line on this reel is better than most others on this list.
  • Lots of line weight options
  • Long-lasting kit

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Orvis Encounter Outfit

  • It doesn’t include everything you need to hit the water.
  • The reel has a plastic frame. This isn’t a deal-breaker, as it’s still decent quality, but I’d like to see at least die-cast aluminum.

Orvis Encounter Outfit Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: No
Fly reel: Yes Tools: No
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: No Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

6. Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Combo

  • Price: $84.99-92.99
  • Available weights: 3 wt, 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, 8wt

The Maxcatch Extreme is another great fly fishing combo from Maxcatch. In my experience, the rod doesn’t feel as high-quality as the Maxcatch Premier rod and the Eco Reel. While it’s still decent quality, it’s made from die-cast aluminum instead of the better-made forged aluminum Avid reel that comes with the Premier set.

Nevertheless, this combo is considerably cheaper than the Premier Combo, so I’d say if you’re really strapped for cash and you want to get a fly fishing set with pretty much everything you need to hit the water, then this is the one to go for.

What I Personally Like About the Maxcatch Extreme Combo

  • Great value for money
  • Includes almost everything you need for fly fishing
  • Comes with a nice Maxcatch hat
  • The flies are relatively good quality in this kit.

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Maxcatch Extreme Combo

  • The reel isn’t as high quality as the Premier Combo.
  • It doesn’t include a fly fishing net.
  • The rod is a bit heavy and stiff.
Maxcatch Extreme Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: Yes
Fly reel: Yes Tools: Yes (Zinger, nippers, pliers, line straightener)
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: Yes (12 Flies) Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

7. TFO NXT Black Label Combo Fly Rod

  • Price: $229.95-249.95
  • Available weights: 5wt, 8wt

Okay, now we’re getting to the bare bones of a combo. The TFO NXT Black Label Combo comes with the fly rod and fly reel only, but when you can get a Temple Fork Outfitters rod and reel combo for under $200, it has to be included in any list of the best value fly fishing combos.

I’ve used and tested the NXT and many of TFO’s other gear, and I love their kits. They’re a great fly fishing brand, well-known in the industry with a good warranty and a cult-like following (us included).

I’ve personally fished their pro series as well and love it. The rods feel great in hand. They’re built to last and are built in Korea, where some of the better blanks are from.

What I Personally Like About the TFO NXT Combo

  • TFO is one of my favorite brands.
  • One of the cheapest TFO fly rod combos on the market
  • Great quality rod for the price
  • Good TFO reel included
  • Quality rod tube with reel holder
  • Made in Korea

What I Personally Don’t Like About the TFO NXT Combo

  • Really basic kit, only the rod, tube and reel
  • Zippers on the rod tube a bit flimsy
TFO NXT Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: No
Fly reel: Yes Tools: No
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: Yes
Flies: No Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

8. Echo Lift Fly Fishing Combo

  • Cost: $179.99-189.99
  • Available weights: 4wt, 5wt, 6wt, 8wt

I’ve fished Echo fly rods extensively, and I love their gear. We’ve reviewed and tested a lot of their products on this site and on our YouTube channel, and they’re one of the better budget-midrange fly fishing brands on the market.

I love the Echo Lift fly fishing combo, but I just wish someone would put together a combo with this gear that has more essentials like line, backing, leaders, and flies.

Still though, when you can get an Echo fly fishing rod and reel combo for under $200, it’s definitely a great deal

What I Personally Like About the Echo Lift Combo

  • Echo is one of my favorite brands.
  • Good Echo warranty
  • One of the cheapest Echo fly rod combos on the market
  • Great quality rod for the price
  • Good Echo Base reel included
  • Quality rod tube with reel holder
  • Much cheaper than buying the same rod and reel separately

What I Personally Don’t Like About the Echo Lift Combo

  • Really basic kit, only the rod, tube and reel
  • The reel, while good quality, is composite (not aluminum) and feels quite heavy.
Echo Lift Fly Rod Combo Includes:
Fly rod: Yes Fly box: No
Fly reel: Yes Tools: No
Fly line & backing: Yes (Floating WF & backing) Net: No
Warranty: Yes (1-year limited) Leaders/tippet: No
Flies: No Made in: China

SEE PRICE ON AMAZON

 

Other Gear to Buy

As you can see from the above cheap fly fishing outfits, not all of them come with everything you need. In fact, sadly, none of them do! There seems to be one thing missing from every fly fishing combo on the market, and that’s a net.

Fly Fishing Combo

But the lack of equipment in each combo comes in varying degrees. So in this section, I’ll include some cheap fly fishing combo add-ons to quickly complete your kit. You can add them to your cart while you’re shopping for affordable fly fishing combos.

Fly Fishing Net ($16)

I have no idea why none of these combos include a net. The best cheap fly fishing net that I’ve found is this one by Oddspro for under $25. 

You really shouldn’t head out on the water fishing with only the gear included in the above fly fishing combos. You’ll need something to land the fish safely so you can release it later and not torture it in the process of landing it.

Check out our post on the best fly fishing nets.

Fly Fishing Tools ($20)

Most of the above kits come with at least some tools, but for those that don’t, this cheap fly fishing tools combo has everything you’ll need.

Fly Line ($25)

All but a couple of the budget fly fishing combos I listed in this post come with fly line. In case you go for one of the combos that doesn’t include line, I recommend going for the Scientific Anglers Floating WF Line.

At over $25, it’s a significant portion of the price of many of the best value fly fishing combos listed above, but that’s ok. Fly line is the most important part of your kit when it comes to presenting the fly and casting, so don’t skimp on this.

types of fly lines

In fact, even if the combo you chose includes line, you may want to upgrade to a Scientific Anglers or Rio fly line to give yourself a better shot on the water.

A Fly Vest ($27)

A fly vest is a useful fly fishing accessory to add to your fly fishing combo. Your combo might come with flies, extra tippets, leaders, nippers and pliers, but where do you put them all?

This is my favorite cheap fly fishing vest on the market right now. Don’t miss our in-depth Snowbee Fly Vest Backpack Review.

How to Choose the Best Cheap Fly Rod Combo for You

This is a pretty easy question to answer. First you’ll want to make sure the fly rod combo is within your price range. In my experience, shopping for fly fishing combos for years, anything under $200 for a rod and reel is a great deal.

Best Budget Fly Fishing Combo

Once you’ve found a combo within your budget, you’ll want to start thinking about what kind of fishing you’re doing. Rods, reels and fly lines come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit a variety of fishing scenarios.

If you’re fishing big rivers for large prey, like salmon and big bass, you’ll want a 7 weight or higher. 

If you’re fishing small lakes and streams for small trout (under 2 pounds) then a 3 weight is probably a good place to start.

And if you’re just looking for the best all-around fly rod weight, the 5-weight fly rod is largely considered to be the most versatile fly rod and reel weight. 

Best Budget Fly Rod Combos Summary

When you’re shopping for a good budget fly fishing kit, try to consider more than just the price.

Does the kit come with everything you need? Is the combo from a good brand? Does it have a decent warranty? What kind of reviews have people given the products online?

These are great ways to better your chances of finding a great fly rod combo at a decent price. If you have the opportunity to head into a fly shop and feel the gear, that’s always best.

Hold the rod, see how it feels in your hand, listen to the reel, feel the drag, and test the line. This is obviously the optimal situation for buying any gear.

But these days, with more people shopping online, sometimes reading posts and buyer’s guides like this one, or reading other people’s reviews online, is enough.

Unfortunately, many of these budget fly fishing combos can’t be found in fly shops in America or Europe, as they’re primarily sold online through retailers like Amazon.

Whatever fly rod combo you chose, I hope it serves you well and catches you many fish for years to come.

Tight lines.

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Disclaimer: IntoFlyFishing.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Privacy Page for more information.

Nick Wharton is an expert fly fisherman who has been fishing since he was old enough to hold a rod. After switching to fly fishing at age 8, he never looked back. Today he writes for numerous websites and magazines about his fly fishing adventures around the world. Nick has had his writing and photography featured on Forbes, Lonely Planet, National Geographic Traveller and much more.

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