Today we are going over our Good, Better, and Best Euro Nymphing combinations for 2022. The euro-nymphing specific setups below have been hand-picked to put you in a position for a successful day out on the water.
However, before we begin, what separates a Euro Nymphing set up from a "traditional" fly fishing set up? For starters, you will have a fly rod that is uniquely longer than most traditional fly rods. Typically you will find Euro Nymphing fly rods come in either 10', 11', or 12' variations. And along with the longer fly rod, Euro Nymphing fly rods also see a uniquely sensitive rod tip that allows the angler to feel out every bounce and roll their fly makes through the current. The extra rod length allows for the use of longer leaders that are thinner in diameter when compared to traditional setups, an optimal choice for presenting balanced and jigged flies. While the fly rod tapers to accommodate light lines and delicate tippet, the butt sections of the rod remain stout, which allows even more protection to your tippet and helps put the wood to a 20"+ fish that makes a run.
Another hallmark of a euro nymphing setup is a moderately heavy fly reel that creates a well-balanced rod and reel combination allowing for the typical "lift, lob and repeat" motion performed by the euro nymphing anglers. Whether you are looking for a low-cost option to enter the Euro Nymphing world or looking for a high-end option, below is an option for you!
Cover photo by Jakob Burleson
For the first-time Euro Nympher, a pre-packaged option is a perfect way to get out on the river and try something new. The Greys Fin Euro Nymph Outfit is a fantastic first option for a prospective Euro Nymph Angler ready to go right out of the box. This outfit comes equipped with a Greys 4-piece 11' 3WT rod paired with a sturdy and well-balanced, high-quality, die-cast, machine-finished fly reel. This fly rod and reel combo is expertly crafted with the modern angler in mind. Anglers can expect a sensitive and flexible rod tip that is sensitive enough to detect the most subtle takes and absorbs properly when a trout bites your fly - crucial for euro nymphing. Designed by a 2X World fly fishing champion, Howard Croston, this fly rod and reel was designed with champion anglers in mind and is everything a beginner euro nymphing angler could ask for.
If you're a little Euro Curious, I highly recommend our brand new, Intro To Euro Nymphing Course! In this class, you will learn about the basics of Euro Nymphing, including the difference between indicator nymphing, rigging, specific fly selection, presentation, and reading water to create the best success for you!
The Fly Rod
If you’re looking for value, it’s hard to beat a combo like the G. Loomis IMX-PRO Euro Fly Rod and the Redington Tilt. The G. Loomis IMX-PROe was designed with the demands and heavy use that Euro Nymphing and Tight-line nymphing require. It is no secret that Euro nymphing is one of the most effective ways to catch trout, and the unique and highly refined design that went into the IMX-PROe shows with every cast and hookset. The G. Loomis IMX-PROe was designed with G.Loomis's iconic conduit core technology and features a multi-tapered design that provides the angler a fly rod that loads quickly, cast effortlessly, and applies the appropriate amount of energy when setting the hook. The sensitive rod tip and the moderate power found in the midsection of the rod provide the angler with a super responsive fly rod that allows you to feel every bounce and bobble as your fly makes its drift down the river. This rod is a challenging option to pass on for those looking to diversify their fly rod arsenal. At under $600, this American Made fly rod is an example of when high-end quality meets affordability.
The Fly Reel:
One of the most anticipated products in the Redington Fly Reel lineup, the Euro-specific Redington TILT Fly Reel is an ideal fly reel for those looking to dedicate more time to Euro Nymphing. The full-frame fly reel design comes equipped with three (3) one (1oz) removable weights that allow the angler to fine-tune the reel to a wider variety of fly rod weights. Those familiar with the SAGE ESN fly reel, another notable option, will notice that the Redington Tilt is very similar to the Sage ESN. The Tilt is machined out of the same material ( anodized 6061-T6 aluminum) as the Sage ESN and offers many of the same capabilities at almost half the price. The narrow ultra-large arbor design works in the angler's favor for maximum line retrieval. If you need to put the brakes on the fish of a lifetime, the smooth, compact carbon fiber drag system has you covered. When spooled with a high-quality fly line, this fly reel is ideally at home in the double-locking reel seat of The G. Loomis IMX-PROe.
The Fly Rod:
An ultra-sensitive high-quality fly rod is paramount for the angler committed to the Euro Nymphing discipline. Last year, Orvis unveiled their Helios Blackout fly rod series, and in that series, was an 11' 3WT Euro Nymphing rod. This member of the Blackout series is a shining example of what happens when American ingenuity meets the demands of the Euro Nymphing fly fishing style. The Orvis Blackout 11' 3WT is a supremely accurate euro-nymphing machine and features a welcomed extra 6" (when compared to the IMX-PRO-E) for extraordinary and intuitive drift control. The Orvis Blackout is ideally at home when the currents get complex and offers the angler superb long-range mending abilities. You’ll be searching every side seam and section of the water column for the fish of a lifetime with ease. Born from the minds of guides who expect more out of their gear, the design team at Orvis proved that they are industry leaders driving innovation and pushing the envelope of what fly rods are capable of, especially in the world of Euro Nymphing.
From a company founded on click-and-pawl fly reels, the Ultradisk UDLA is an ideal example of Hardy's dedication to innovation and design. Touted by Hardy as "everything you need and nothing you don't need in a disc drag fly reel," their Ultradisc UDLA has proved to stand above the rest in looks and, most importantly, the performance department, especially for dedicated competition anglers. Coming in a wide range of sizes, the UDLA Fly Reel is unbelievably lightweight and boasts a buttery smooth disc drag system. The UDLA also features an undetectable amount of start-up inertia, making this high-end disc-drag reel a Euro Nympher's dream, and it will protect the most delicate tippets. If you happen to be looking for a fly reel with incredible fish stopping power as well, the UDLA checks all the boxes. From nymphing small trout streams in Colorado to floating down the Maddison, the Ultradisc can handle any situation you can throw at it. Truthfully, this is a reel that you cannot go wrong with, and while a bit pricey, remember, so is a Rolex Submariner. In the end, the UDLA is a fly reel that delivers on all its promises and is a testament to Hardy's dedication to making innovative fly gear.
If and when you decide to invest in a Euro-specific fly rod set up, remember that you are doing just that, investing. This means that as you move up in price point, you will find better, higher-quality materials often backed by more satisfactory product warranties. In addition to higher quality products, you invest in products designed and manufactured right here in the United States, the IMX-PROe and Orvis Blackout are perfect examples. And, remember, while it is perfectly reasonable to want to dive into a new hobby with the lowest price point if you end up enjoying it, you will find that you quickly outgrow the starter kits and will find yourself wanting something better and of a higher quality. This is all to say that we often can only progress as far as our tools will let us in fly fishing.
No matter where you are on your Euro Nymphing endeavor, there are plenty of fly rod and reel combinations to choose from. However, the above list is what we here at Trouts Fly Fishing believe is the best for the job and price point. If you still have questions regarding Euro Nymphing or looking for specifics for how to rig up your new fly rod and reel, click the video link below to watch Umpqua's Russell Miller break down his Euro setup and his step by step tactics for on the water situations!
As always, feel free to swing by the shop and test out the setups mentioned above!