Fly Fishing vs Regular Fishing: Which One’s For You?

Fly fishing vs regular fishing is a hot topic among anglers as well as the general masses. If you’ve been active in the angler community, you’ve come across those terms for sure.

There seems to be a lot of discussions and debates regarding fly fishing and regular fishing. People mainly want to know which one is better than the other and what benefits would they get from choosing either of them.

So, I’m writing this post hoping that I’ll give you my two cents about fly fishing vs regular fishing as I’ve been enjoying both for a long time.

Before I start with the details of fly fishing vs regular fishing, I want to save you some time and tell you that neither of them is better than the other.

In the end, it all boils down to the perceptions of an angler. Both fly fishing and regular fishing have their features, benefits, and demerits. So, if you know when to go with which, you won’t have to confuse yourself with endless debates.

fly fishing on a boat


What are we covering in this post?

What is Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing?

What are the Key Differences Between Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing?

List of Pros and Cons of Fly Fishing vs Regular Fishing

Let’s start with our first question:

What is Fly Fishing vs Regular Fishing?

Fly fishing is the sport or activity of fishing using a rod and artificial fly as bait. The idea behind fly fishing is that you will try to mimic a type of food the fish eats and lure it. You will make the fish take your artificial fly over other food in the surrounding water.


Anglers typically practice fly fishing on moving water, although sometimes anglers also do it on ponds and reservoirs.

Regular fishing consists of many types of fishing, such as bait fishing and spin fishing, to name a few.

We can define regular fishing as any recreational fishing that uses a rod and reel that is not a fly fishing rod and reel combo. Anglers use live bait for regular fishing, and they don’t always cast their lures like they do in fly fishing.
Anglers mostly practice regular fishing like spin fishing or bait fishing on lakes, reservoirs, and ponds. However, they sometimes do it on rivers.
Now that we know what fly fishing and regular fishing are, let’s see what key features make them different from each other.

What are the Key Differences Between Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing?

The difference between fly fishing vs regular fishing boils down to a few key comparisons. To better understand how they differ from each other, we consider their setup, intent, place of usage, and some other criteria.

So, let’s get to know some of them:


This is probably the most significant difference between fly fishing and regular fishing. Fly fishing uses fly lines and lures.

It uses artificial lures such as dry flies, nymphs, emergers, streamers, poppers, saltwater flies, and wet flies as baits. The primary goal of the fly is to imitate a living fly and lure the fish. 

On the contrary, regular fishing like spin fishing or bait fishing uses living baits to catch fish.

It can be a worm such as nightcrawlers, redworms, minnows like flatheads, shads, creek chubs, leeches ranging from a small to large, and insects. Most of the time, anglers use smaller lures to catch big fish.


Fly fishing uses lightweight rods, and also uses false casting to cast a line.

It also uses a fly line as its primary line.

Anglers often use a heavy rod for regular fishing instead of fly fishing, which uses a lightweight rod.

Fishers also use regular fishing rods to cast monofilament line with a single cast. 

Place of Usage

We already know that fly fishing is a good idea for moving water, but sometimes it’s done on still water.

Conversely, regular fishing is good for still water and rivers.

boy fishing

List the Pros and Cons of Fly Fishing and Regular Fishing?

As we all know from our childhood, there is no unmixed good on earth. Everything has its ups and downs. So, we discussed what makes fly fishing different from regular fishing. The main idea is that fly fishing uses artificial lures, so it gives the angler particular benefits in certain situations. 

Fly Fishing Pros

Uses a lightweight rod, easy to carry.

Suitable for upstream fishing and stealthier operations.

Artificial flies are cheaper than lures.

Regular Fishing Pros

Very easy to learn and perfect.

Other than lures, everything else is much cheaper than fly fishing equipment.

Suitable for catching fish for food.

Fly Fishing Cons

It requires a lot of room to cast the line.

It has a steep learning curve and takes much practice to perfect.

More expensive than regular fishing.

Regular Fishing Cons

It uses a heavy rod, and it’s hard to cast a line.

Living lures make it hard to be stealthy and quiet when casting.

It can be tedious to new or enthusiastic anglers. 

If you’re looking for an adventure near the stream and want the necessary tools and techniques to aid you in catching fish, then fly fishing is right for you. 


Otherwise, if you want a soothing experience and want to cook a delicious meal for dinner, then regular fishing is all you need. 

So, there you go. It is all you need to know about fly fishing vs regular fishing. If you’re looking to start with any fishing methods, I suggest that you get the right equipment for the correct purpose.


I’ve reviewed amazing products from Amazon on various fishing equipment. You can read about the post I wrote about carp fishing, where I reviewed some of the top products for fly fishing and regular fishing.


I hope I was able to answer all your questions regarding fly fishing vs regular fishing. Good luck on your next fishing adventure!