So you are in the market for some new gear. You can make a fair assumption about quality based on a brand, but it all looks the same? Sounds about right?
Well, don’t worry, when it comes to fishing gear, I’ve got you covered.
I’ve been doing this a while and want to give you some recommendations about the best fly fishing brands out there.
I’m going to run through a few suggestions that you can look out for when making a purchase…
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TOP 9 Best Fly Fishing Brands in 2023
Sage has been around in the fly fishing game for a while.
Do you know what that means?
They really know what they are doing when it comes to fly fishing tackle. If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I choose homegrown USA brands when I can.
Sage is a great example.
With 40 years of experience in creating rods, reels, and lines, they have expanded to become one of the USA’s most well-known fly fishing tackle manufacturers. They haven’t strayed far from their roots. Each and every fly fishing rod they produce passes through a 23 stage process. They are constructed individually in a workshop in Bainbridge Island, Washington State.
The same process is used for their reels, which are designed and manufactured in America.
Sage isn’t a budget company. But you could consider their gear a one-off purchase as it’s such great quality.
Orvis is another big hitter in the fly fishing game. They create and stock absolutely everything you could want if you were trying to assemble a list of fly fishing essentials. They are literally world leaders.
Just like Sage, Orvis has genuine and real roots in fly fishing. Originally established in Vermont over 100 years ago, they can boast experience like no other when it comes to fly fishing tackle and apparel.
With over 5000 products on their website, you will be spoiled for choice.
Do you know what I love best about Orvis?
They aren’t just about selling fishing tackle. They have a genuine love of the sport, and this ethos makes up the backbone of what they are trying to achieve.
Want an example?
Check out their fully comprehensive guide to fly fishing. It’s free and a source of inspiration to hundreds of thousands of people, and you can learn to flyfish online!
I have a real soft spot for Redington. As fly-fishing gear goes, they are affordable yet still exceptionally high quality.
I’ve got a pair of Redington waders and boots hung up in my fishing cupboard. Seriously. They are a solid and reliable brand that won’t cost the earth. If you don’t know what to look for in fly fishing waders, hit up my guide here and learn everything you’ll need to know.
For the beginner, Redington makes the ideal choice. You won’t break the bank with their prices, but their gear is built to last, so as you advance, you can take it with you on the journey.
Redington is another brand that would allow you to get fully kitted out in a single visit to their website. What’s more, they have a whole section devoted to the beginner.
While I love their apparel, they also produce some really high-performance rods and reels that will easily keep up with the more premium brands.
If you want another example of how awesome Redington is, check out my review of their fly fishing vest here, it’s top quality!
If you are on the lookout for a fly fishing rod that will last a lifetime, then Greys could be the brand for you.
I’ll give you a warning.
They aren’t cheap. But if you believe that in the phrase ‘you get what you pay for’, you will be getting an awful lot of bang for your buck.
For the money, Greys are one of the best fly fishing rod brands. Think of their rods like a Ferrari or a Maserati. Sleek, lightweight, and powerful. The GR80 streamflex is their most popular rod. For a less premium (but still equally awesome) variation, try the cheaper Greys GR60.
Guess what I like to pair mine with?
Greys reels are also super high quality and built to last. They are very reasonably priced and are built to last a lifetime.
Among Greys collection, you’ll also find various tools, gear, and clothing, which matches their rods’ performance in quality and durability.
Are you looking for something special in a fly rod?
Let me tell you this…
You’re in the right place. Scott doesn’t make rods… They craft them. Each and every rod that they produce is handcrafted and checked to ensure it is of the utmost quality.
Scott markets itself as a bespoke rod manufacturer that produces the best fly rods on the market. So much so that they claim you’ll be able to feel the ‘Scott’ difference.
This custom feel and selection comes at a price, but if you are looking for your ‘forever rod’, this would be the place to find it. They even offer the option for you to create your very own, one-of-a-kind, custom-designed rod.
Even if you can’t afford one, they are nice to look at and might give you some ideas about what to look for in other more mainstream products.
We aren’t quite sure what happened in the ’80s, but it seems a great year for fly fishing. Simms was founded by a river fishing guide and has grown into one of the world’s leading fly fishing brands.
Ok, so you aren’t going to find rods and reels here. But what you will find is a smorgasbord of high-quality fishing clothing and gear. They are one of the best fly fishing clothing brands out there.
If you’ve already got kitted out with a rod, then Simms is the place to head for the very best in fishing apparel.
They will have you covered…
Regardless of the weather or time of year, Simms stock a massive selection of everything you’ll need to keep you warm and dry. I particularly like their fly fishing waders and jacket combos.
And here’s something else.
Simms makes some of the best fishing vests on the market. If you are looking for a portable storage solution when it comes to fly fishing, you could even have a glance at their fishing packs too. If you have never seen a fishing pack before, check out my guide here, there’s lots of information.
Simms also stocks a wide range of fishing gloves for pretty much every condition you could ever encounter.
Let’s be straight with each other.
As fishing goes, in terms of expense, fly fishing can sit pretty high on the list.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Take Airflo, for instance. Since 1984 they have been producing high-quality fly-fishing gear designed to let anyone and everyone access the sport without having to take out a small loan.
Airflo products are designed for fishermen by fishermen. Even their sales director and chief engineer are avid fly fishermen!
Airflo reels, for the money, are some of the best reel brands on the market. They offer great value and are lightweight, making them balance perfectly with most fly fishing rods. The reels are super easy to use too, with a unique removable cassette, ideal for beginners who might get into tangles.
If you are a beginner, keep an eye out for Airflo’s starter kits. These are an affordable and easy way to get into fly fishing without sacrificing quality.
Ever wished that a company would just commit to something and do it well?
Allow me to present RIO.
RIO is another of those brands that have genuine and authentic credentials when it comes to fly fishing. Born in Idaho, their sole focus is producing the best lines for fly fishing. By dedicating all of their efforts to one field, they produce some great fly fishing lines, and they have done so for 20 years.
Here’s something else.
They produce some really great flies too. When I say ‘great,’ I don’t just mean great quality. I mean great value too! If you are new to the game and want to get kitted out with a decent selection of flies, RIO offers some amazing starter packs.
Fly lines aren’t cheap. Compared to normal fishing monofilament, they can seem super expensive. So it makes sense to choose one from a brand that will last. Rio takes pride in their work and even offers tips to prolong the life of their line.
Want to see what I mean?
Here’s a video where they explain how to care for their fly lines… Look at that line go!
You know how I was just talking about brands that commit to something and do it well?
Here’s a great example.
G Loomis focuses on building high-quality rods for fly fishing. They don’t just design and build either. Before a G Loomis rod design ever makes its way into an angler’s hands, it has been tested rigorously by fly fishing guides and refined by casting experts.
G Loomis entered the market as a major player in 1982, so just like our other brands, they’ve got form. Offering a healthy mix of durability and performance, you’ll find their rods unsurpassed in handling qualities.
You can catch a quick review of their rods just here.
When buying fly fishing gear, it can be tough to know the established ‘good brands’.
I have a lot of experience in trying and fishing with some of the best fly fishing brands out there. Pick up any of the above list, and you won’t go far wrong.
What’s your brand of choice when fly fishing?
Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see about adding it to the list.