Review: Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit

Inflation aside, outdoor gear is getting ridiculously expensive—and nowhere is that more apparent than in fly fishing. Thankfully, a few manufacturers are keeping it real and providing at least a few affordable options. One of those is the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit, a solid rod-reel combo that weighs in at a reasonable $198, which also includes a handy carry case. Five different sizes—from 5- to 8-weight—allow you pick the best rod for your particular penchant, and the large-arbor reel performs well on all of them. Also included are backing, line, and leader, so all you need to do is hit the fly shop for some tippet and flies, and you're on your way. Make no mistake, this four-piece is no second-rate duffer; it casts well and has surprising sensitivity. Meaning, it's a rod made not just for the beginner, but for the frugal as well. Amid all the outdoor opulence these days, the Encounter is a refreshing reminder that fishing doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Well done, Orvis. Available online.