I have been fly fishing for trout since about 1964. When I started out there wasn't such a thing as tapered line or tapered leader. I could only afford a cheap rod and reel that I had to put the line on (never heard of backing). My flies were all commercially made - cheap ones! An older adult taught me how to tie on a fly and the rest I learned on my own. Today, as in my younger days, I still use the cheap stuff. The tapered leaders are nice for the really small flies, but I still buy commercially made flies. I also fly fish for bass & pan fish now using an 8 weight rod. I guess what I am saying is that you don't need to sink a lot of money into this to start with (someone stated that earlier), after all you may discover that you don't really like it. And expensive gear is not what catches the fish!
LM since 2005 Bushwacker Deputy Sherif from S.E. Pa.