Beginner's Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing on Long Island, NY

The ultimate beginner's guide to saltwater fly fishing covers fly rod, reel and line selection for new fly fishers.


Sergio Diaz

4/28/20243 min read

Getting Started

Long Island, New York, stands as a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, boasting pristine beaches, abundant marine life, and some of the finest saltwater fly fishing opportunities on the East Coast. Whether you're a seasoned angler seeking a new challenge or a beginner eager to delve into the world of fly fishing, Long Island's coastal waters provide an exhilarating playground.

Given the frequent inquiries I receive about fly rod and reel recommendations, mostly from individuals just venturing into the realm of fly fishing, I've decided to create a dedicated video. This video will cover the basics, including how to assemble a fly fishing outfit and how to embark on your journey into fly fishing.

A fast action fly rod (8-10 weight) and reel specifically designed for saltwater conditions, paired with cold water intermediate fly line is all you need to setup a fly fishing outfit for most of the inshore fishing on Long Island. Add fluorocarbon leader material between 12-20lb and a spool of 18-20lb steel wire for bluefish and you are all set to tie your flies.

An assortment of saltwater flies such as Clouser Minnows, Deceivers, and UV Resin Minnows in different colors will complete your fishing setup.

Fly fishing Rod
Fly fishing Rod

Choosing the right fly rod as a beginner can feel overwhelming, with a wide array of options available across a range of prices, from a few hundred to over one thousand dollars. To navigate this sea of choices effectively, I recommend test casting fly rods spanning the entry-level to high-end spectrum. This hands-on approach, coupled with consideration of your budget, will help you find the perfect rod to suit your needs and casting style

Saltwater fly reel
Saltwater fly reel
Learning to cast
Learning to cast

Choosing the right fly line for your Long Island fishing adventure is straightforward. Opt for a cold water intermediate line, which is ideal for most fishing scenarios in the area. While fly lines come in three types—floating, intermediate, and sinking—an intermediate line will suit the majority of your needs on the water.

Sergio Diaz Clouser Minnow
Sergio Diaz Clouser Minnow

We've used the following products and have placed links directly to vendors that offer them to you.

Fly Rods
Rise Fly Rods:
Sage R8 Core Fly Rod:
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod:

Stripping Baskets
Orvis Stripping Basket:
Ahrex Flexistripper Line Basket:

Fly Reels
Orvis Mirage Fly Reel:
Tibor The Everglades Fly Reel:
Hatch Iconic Large Arbor Fly Reel:
Orvis Hydros Fly Reel:
Nautilus CCF-X2 Fly Reel:
Sage Spectrum Fly Reel

Fly Lines
RIO Saltwater fly lines:
Scientific Saltwater fly lines:
RIO Saltwater fly lines:

Orvis Mens Ultralight Convertible Waders:
Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Waders:
Simms Men's Rivershed-Half Zip Fleece:

Understanding the Basics

When it comes to saltwater fly reels, the options also greatly vary in both price and performance. However, for most inshore fly fishing ventures on Long Island, beginner anglers can suffice with a reel specifically designed for saltwater conditions that matches the weight of their fly rod. In your search, prioritize value, exploring both new and used options to find the best fit for your needs

Saltwater fly line
Saltwater fly line

Long Island's coastal waters boast a rich diversity of saltwater species, including striped bass, bluefish, fluke (summer flounder), weakfish, and more. To enhance your fishing success, it's crucial to familiarize yourself with the habitats and feeding patterns of your target species. Additionally, gaining insight into factors such as tides, currents, and seasonal migrations will greatly inform your fishing strategy.

In an effort to demystify the challenges that beginners may encounter in saltwater fly fishing, the following video offers a concise introduction to this world. My goal is to provide insights that I wish I had known when I started.

I hope this guide aids you in your journey, and I look forward to seeing you on the water!


The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Saltwater Fly Fishing, Long Island video.

Products tested on this video