April 18, 2022
By Dr. Todd A. Kuhn
This story accompanied "Weather or Not: How to Catch Trout No Matter the Conditions," which was featured in the West edition of the March issue of Game & Fish Magazine. Click here to subscribe.
The quality of your trout fly-fishing tackle is directly proportional to your level of on-the- water enjoyment, but finding the perfect pairing can be a daunting task. We’ve assembled three perfect combos at three different price points.
Our “good” combo pairs the Fenwick HMG rod ($159.95) and Pflueger Monarch reel ($54.99).
The combo is the perfect entry-level package, with a rod capable of casting just about any fly and a reel that will withstand the bumps and bruises newbies typically inflict on their gear. The lightweight rig can be cast all day without producing fatigue.
We chose the Greys GR60 rod ($199.95) and Greys Tital reel ($225.95) as our “better” combo.
Greys has been a popular brand in the U.K. for years, and last year it was introduced stateside. In fact, the Tital won the “Best Fly Reel” category at the 2020 iCAST fishing industry trade show.
With both rod and reel being from the same manufacturer, the balance is delightful. This will be appreciated by discerning fly anglers who enjoy the experience of casting as much as catching fish.
The rod is available in single- and two-handed models, as well as a switch rod, so you can pick a rod that matches your favorite technique.
Hardy has been a symbol of uncompromising quality in fly gear since 1872. For our “best” combo, we chose the brand’s Ultralite X rod ($850) and Ultraclick UCL reel ($250).
The rod’s stiff butt section makes it an easy lift when fishing sinking lines.
The blank fishes very responsively, with little to no wasted energy in the form of unwanted vibration. It’s these qualities that make the rod a pleasure to throw articulated patterns with tight loops. As the Ultraclick name implies, the reel offers audible feedback while stripping line or when an aggressive fish makes a run. The incredibly light 4/5 weight reel (2.11 ounces) makes it easier to fish sinking lines all day with less fatigue.