Fly Fishing Vs. Regular Fishing

Kristian Ole



For years, people have been debating about fly fishing vs regular fishing. There have been several questions regarding the methods. Many people ask; Which is the best? Which is more fun? Which is the most superior choice?

Choosing your method doesn’t have to be complicated. And if it seems to disturb your mind, don’t worry. I got you covered.

Fishing is a sport with one goal, catching fish. Oh! Sorry to the friends who fish for livelihood. I respect your full-time job.

To clarify my statement, fishing is done for economic and recreational purposes. However, today, let’s discuss fly fishing and regular fishing for recreation.

Frankly, anglers are different as human beings have different interests and personalities. Either method is fit for you, provided you take fish home.

The most interesting thing with fishing is that there is always something to learn each day, whether a veteran or a newbie. So, put on your fishing vest, boots, and hat as you wait for the best advice.

Fly Fishing VS Regular Fishing: Brief Definitions

Understanding fly fishing and regular fishing has been challenging for years. Today, let me take the bull by its horns and make it clear.

1 .Fly fishing

woman fly fishing in river

Fly fishing involves using artificial flies that look like natural invertebrates to trick fish. The flies are made of feathers and animal hair.  They are hand-tied together to form the desired fish food choice.

The artificial flies are cast with a rod, reel, and weight line. The key notable feature of fly fishing is that the tapered line adds weight to the light fly to get into the water.

For a fishing hobbyist, fly fishing can be the most enjoyable challenge. To have a productive fishing day, you have to figure out the seasons’ emerger flies hatch and the fish behavior.

On the other hand, fly fishing is best in rivers or streams. Additionally, it’s limited to certain fish types.

You’ll learn further before the end of the article. Keep reading!

2. Regular fishing

woman in striped shirt fishing in lake

Regular fishing is wider to discuss in a single writing. It involves various methods like bait fishing and spin fishing.

This article will loop you in on fly fishing vs spin fishing for a clear understanding.

Unlike fly fishing, spin fishing has a weighted hook. Anglers can use live bait, and they also don’t cast lines like fly fishing.

Usually, spin fishing is carried out where water is still, like lakes, ponds, and reservoirs. However, that doesn’t mean regular anglers don’t visit the rivers.

Regular fishing can catch a wide variety of fish.

Analysis of Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing (Spin)

Is fly fishing harder than regular? Check on the comparison in the table below;

Fly Fishing Regular Fishing (Spin)
Baits used Small baits called flies are used. They are usually simple flies, nymphs, small fish, or worms. Larger baits, usually frogs or birds but not limited to the above examples.
Fish variety Fish found in rivers. Examples are trout, catfish, crappie, etc. Wide variety of fish found in larger water bodies like lakes.
Water bodies They are usually carried out in rivers and streams. It’s very effective in shallow waters. It’s done in still waters like lakes and ponds. Additionally, it’s practiced in fresh and salty waters, provided the equipment is designed with water conditions.
Rod and line The rod is light and flexible. The line contains leaders and tippets invisible to fish. It’s traps fish from longer distances. The rod is heavier and durable. On the other hand, the line is held closer to you.
Costs Fly fishing equipment are more expensive. Equipment are less expensive.
Training It’s more complex compared to regular fishing. It’s easier to master.

Factors that Would Determine Your Fishing Method Choice

Some factors may lead you to choose your method between the two. But after all, your goal is to fish.

Take a look;

1.      Your Purpose

Fly fishing is fooling fish with artificial food choices. It’s always limited to certain fish found in rivers. However, fly fishing can be your best choice if you want to challenge yourself and have a big day.

Don’t forget; you may have fewer fish in the end.

In regular fishing, you have a chance of catching a large number of fish. It will give incredible results if you’re looking forward to having something for dinner.

Related article: How to fly fish for largemouth bass

2.      Availability of Equipments

You may need a boat and a standard rod to use the spin fishing method. Equipments like the boat may be expensive to hire.

On the other hand, fly fishing equipments may be costly but mostly available with friends. You may decide to borrow or hire equipments for any method.

You should aim to pursue your purpose.

3.      Nearest Water Body

Fly fishing is done in shallow water bodies. If you have rivers or streams around, you’re good to pursue your purpose.

Regular fishing requires still waters like ponds and lakes. The nearest water body may determine your fishing method.

4.      The Cost

Is fly fishing more expensive?

The honest answer is yes.

Spin fishing equipments are way cheaper compared to fly fishing equipments.

Pros and Cons of Fly Fishing

Pros Cons
Relaxation and mental benefits Casting is technical
Best challenge Requires patience
Flexible on fish prey choice More expensive than spinning
Works in both fresh and salty waters Limited to certain fish types
Artificial flies are cheaper than lures
Doesn’t harm the fish

Pros and Cons of Regular Fishing (Spin)

Pros Cons
Wide variety of fish It harms the fish
Stiffer rods that land on larger fish Lures may be difficult to handle
No special techniques required The rod is heavy

What is the Advantage of Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing can give you the best challenge, provided fish volume to take home for dinner is not your big concern.

Can You Catch More Fish With a Fly Rod?

You can catch a wide range of fish with a fly rod. In rivers, there are various fish species that fly fishing rod is proven to catch.

What Fish Do You Catch With Fly Fishing?

Fly fishing is best known to catch trout, salmon, panfish, etc. In most cases, varieties found in shallow waters are the best for the fly method.

Fly fishing vs regular fishing choice depends on your personal preferences. Whether you choose to challenge yourself or go the spin way, you’ll have seafood for dinner.

Related article: See how to easy organize your flies in fly box


About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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