Best stillwater fly fishing gear: Fly rods, reels & lines

Stillwater fly fishing is a popular form of fly fishing that involves fishing in lakes, reservoirs, and other bodies of still water. To get started with stillwater fly fishing, you'll need some essential equipment, even if you’re a beginner.

Good quality equipment will increase your angling abilities and expectations, and will provide you with a great fishing experience overall. Here's a list of the basic equipment you'll need, and recommendations from John Norris…

1. Fly rod

A 9' to 10' rod with a 5 to 7 weight line is ideal for stillwater fly fishing. This will allow you to cast the larger flies and provide the power needed to fight bigger fish. A great rod is a staple piece to any fly fishing kit, and purchasing a durable and quality rod can last you for many years to come and be by your side through all angling experiences.

2. Fly reel

A reel that matches the weight of your rod and has a smooth drag system is essential for stillwater fly fishing. Make sure to choose a reel with a large enough arbor to hold the amount of line you'll need.

Our recommended fly reel brands include Vision, Snowbee, Guideline, FLyLab and more – offering both quality and affordability.

3. Fly line

A floating fly line is the most commonly used line for stillwater fly fishing. Make sure to choose a line that matches the weight of your rod and reel.

Your fly line should have a brilliant power, enough to reach a distant target while also being fast-loading and compound. Also, don’t forget a great leader – used to connect your lines to your flies.

4. Flies

There are a wide range of flies that can be used for stillwater fly fishing, including nymphs, streamers, and dry flies. Some popular patterns include damsels, leeches, and chironomids.

Flies come in all shapes and sizes – research what does best depending on what type of catch you’re after, or pop into our store in Penrith for expert advice, and to see the flies up close, ensuring you find your perfect match.

5. Waders

Depending on the water temperature, waders may be necessary to keep you dry and comfortable while fishing. Make sure to choose a pair of waders that fit well and are made from breathable materials.

6. Polarised sunglasses

Polarised sunglasses are essential for stillwater fly fishing, as they will help you see fish in the water and reduce glare from the sun.

Protecting your eyes from the sun is super important, especially in the summer months when the sun can be extremely powerful. Reflecting UV away from your eyes will ensure your eyesight and health is a priority even when angling.

7. Other accessories

Other accessories that can be useful for stillwater fly fishing include a landing net, forceps, and a fly box to store your flies.

Ensure you have a mix of accessories, especially if it’s your first-time fly fishing and you’ve yet to explore exactly what products work best with your ability.


best stillwater fishing gear

That is it when it comes to some basic equipment you will need to have a great angling experience, regardless of your abilities. Investing in some great quality basics is the surefire way of knowing you’re prepared for all possibilities and are protecting your comfort and safety.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to fly fishing gear, or want a helping hand, visit us in store or browse our fly fishing tackle here at John Norris.