I didn’t think it was possible to get a beginner fly fishing combo for under a $100 bucks. Especially a fly fishing combo with as many features as this one. This setup is packaged by Wild Water (reg) located in the good old USA – specifically Ontario, NY. The rod has an unbelievable LIFETIME WARRANTY! The rod is an IM8 graphite which will provide a slow action rod – great for beginners! At the end of this article I’ll set through the $100 dollar starter kit in a video, plus I’ll also show how to tie a nail knot with the include tool and switch the reel for left hand to right hand retrieve.
I’m going to spare you the details below and Strongly Recommend the Wild Water 5/6 9’ Rod Fly Fishing Complete Starter Package <- Amazon Link for price and more feedback.
About the Fly Rod
Ok let’s dig into the heart of the package which is the 5/6 weight, 9-foot fly rod. The IM8 graphite is a proven material used for many years on fly rods. Later you might want to advance to a high modulus fast action rod. The beginner fly fisher will appreciate the slow action which will allow you to feel the rod flex (load) which will improve the timing of your cast. The key to learning fly casting is to master the timing which will become second nature with a slow action rod like the Wild Water 5/6. The rod fit and finish is superb, the glossy black guide wraps are very nice.
As a beginner, you might ask what the 5/6 weight means. Essentially fly rods and fly lines are matched, meaning a fly rod must use a correct “weight” fly line to work correctly. In fly fishing the fly line is the weight that carries the nearly weightless fly out during a cast. Luckily you don’t have to worry about this with this under $100 Fly Fishing Combo, the line is already matched to the rod. In fact, it’s already spooled with backing onto the reel. The 5/6 weight fly rod is a perfect “all purpose” line weight for the beginning fly fisher, blue gills, medium size trout and decent size bass are just right for this size.
The reel seat on the fly rod is an aluminum up locking which is correct for a rod in this line weight rod. The reel seat is connected very nice half wells cork handle, which has composite ends to protect the cork from wear. The stripping guide (the guide closest to the handle) is stainless steel and contains a silicon insert to reduce wear. The rest of the guides are bright stainless steel.
Details on the Fly Fishing Reel
I was pleasantly surprise that this fly fishing combo came with a die cast aluminum fly reel. The reel has disc drag and converts easily from left hand to right hand retrieve. The video below shows how to switch the reeling direction. The reel has the backing and 5 weights forward line already installed so you don’t have to deal with that, but it is a good skill to learn for when you clean your line and occasionally do maintenance.
The Storage Case / Tube
The included tube is neat, you can keep the reel on the fly rod and slide the outfit into the protective tube. The tube is hard for maximum protection and has a denier covering. A small pouch is on the side of the reel storage area which is convenient for carrying the fly box. A wide carrying strap make traveling to the river a snap. (no pun – “snap a rod” 🙂 You can still use the included rod bag that has individual slots for each of the 4 rod sections.
A Fly Box with a Nine Flies
The fly box contains 9 flies; 3-adams, 3-gold rib hares ears and 3 black ants. This is a good start but I would recommend getting more flies. You can read about the flies I recommend for brown trout here. I would also get some dry flies like beetles, hoppers, hendericksons, griffins gnats and elk hair caddis.
The only thing you need to figure out is attaching the fly to the leader and you’re ready to fish.
What is a Tapered Leader and a Tippet?
A tapered leader is a section of monofilament typically nylon (the combo includes two leaders) that is tapered in diameter from the Butt (thick end) to the thin end which is called the tippet section. Leaders usually have 12 inched of “tippet” which is the fine line that hopefully the trout doesn’t see. The tippet section of the leader is tied to the fly with a clinch knot. Do a YOUTUBE search of clinch knots. Lots of good instructions on how to tie.
Leaders are sold by the length and X size. I know it seems confusing but I’ve included a chart below that provides the conversion of X to breaking strength in pounds. In fly fishing the thickness of the line is important so the fish don’t see it. So, the x term references the thickness and breaking strength. For this setup, I would also purchase a spool of 5 x tippet. I wrote an article about tippet and leaders here. It’s also important to match the fly size with the leader/tippet. I’ve provided some guidance below in the chart. The higher the X number the lower the breaking strength. So, an 8X will break way before a 1X. 5X that’s is included is great to start out with, 4.75 pounds of breaking may sound low but with the shock absorbing qualities of the fly rod, you should be able to handle a 2-3-pound trout in a current.
About the Warranty
I am flabbergasted that this rod comes with LIFETIME WARRANTY. I tried to get into the business of selling fly rods. I couldn’t figure out how to offer a competitively priced rod with a decent warranty. Folks just don’t realize how fragile a rod tip is, yes you can fight a 4-pound bass with this rod, but if you apply 4 pounds tip the tip of the rod – SNAP. Having the company here in the USA does two things – first cheaper to mail the rod. Second faster replacement time. Most of the time I’ve had the rod company just send another new rod. So how does the lifetime warranty work?
- register the rod – got to Wild Water Rod Warranty Registration
- it’s not free – Yup you must pay a little bit – $35
- send all the sections back to Wild Water
- send a note with the rod with YOUR ADDRESS – you’ve got to let them know where to send the replacement back too.
Also, you can follow the INSTRUCTIONS HERE
All the REST
Can you believe it, you still get more? Also included in the package is:
- a booklet containing some great instructions for getting started fly fishing.
- a nipper/nail knot tool – an essential knot I just love.
- a zinger, convenient for attaching you nipper to yourself for easy access.
- an extra 9 feet, 5X tapered nylon leader
- 20 lbs. backing already spooled onto the reel with the weight forward floating fly line
My Test of the Folks at Wild Water
I thought – is it possible to talk to anybody at this company? So, I called and guess what, I got an answering machine. Then in less than 10 minutes I got a call back. I quizzed the folks there to see if than knew anything about fly fishing. So, my question was about tying the leader onto the fly line and they knew the answer. Just like me they recommend using a nail knot to attach the fly line and leader.
The specifics of the 5/6 Fly Rod Starter Kit
Even though this is sold as a combo the more appropriate name would be starter kit. The kit contains all the basics to go out and catch a fish within 5 minutes of opening the package. Tie on a fly and start casting – that’s it. So, next I was going to provide some of the fancy details and specs.
Rod Technical Specs
- Line Weight: 5/6
- Length: 9 feet
- Number of Sections: 4
- Action: Slow/Medium
- Blank Color: Graphite Black
- Blank Material: IM8
- Wrap Color: Black
- Handle: Cork
- Reel Seat: Heavy duty anodized aluminum
- Reel Seat Color: Silver
Reel Technical Specs
- Black anodized reel size 5
- Converts to Right Hand or Left-Hand retrieve.
- Adjustable composite disc drag with 2 ball bearings
- OD Dia: 3 inches – 75mm Spool Dia: 2 inches – 50mm
- Reel weight: 5.5 ounce, 147g
Fly Box Specs
- Black plastic with a waterproofing gasket – I’m not guaranteeing this is “waterproof” the seal is going to make it water resistant though.
- Size: about 3″ by 5″
- Slit foam insert for holding flies
- Has the capacity to hold over 200 flies
- Foam has 6 rows and is on both inside areas of box
- Flies “back into” the slits to hold
Fly Line Specs
- 5 weights forward floating – what’s this mean – essentially the weight on the line is located forward on the line. This helps for casting. The typical taper for a 5 weight forward is below.some typical fly line tapers for FORWARD FLOATING FLY LINE
Conclusion and RECOMMENDATION
Ok I’ve rambled on for a while about this fly rod starter kit. I didn’t think I could get a fly fishing combo for under a $100 bucks but here it is the Wild Water 5/6 9’ Rod Fly Fishing Complete Starter Package <- Amazon Link for price and more feedback. Hundreds and hundreds of reviews at an amazing price. My setup is going to be used as a spare for when a buddy is fishing with me.
Video Review of Wild Water 5/6 9’ Rod Fly Fishing Complete Starter Package
I thought It would be great to go through this product with a video plus I’ll detail how to switch the reel from left hand retrieve to right hand. I also show how to use the combo nail knot nippers.