The present study aims to investigate the effect of various fluids on dam-break flow propagation in a rectangular and horizontal channel under dry bed conditions. Laboratory experiments were carried out to produce dam break flood waves in a tank by the sudden release of a movable gate that divided the tank into a reservoir and a downstream channel. In these experiments, three different fluids were used as Newtonian fluids in the reservoir: normal water, sunflower oil, and salt water. A digital image processing technique was adopted for the experimental characterization of the dam-break waves. Instantaneous free surface profiles of the dam-break flow were captured by a high-speed camera. Free-surface profiles for different times and time evolution of the flow depths at four selected locations were determined. The types of fluids had an effect on the results due to their specific characteristics such as density and viscosity. Furthermore, numerical simulation of the problem was performed by Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Volume of Fluid (VOF) based software Flow-3D. When the experimental data were compared with the numerical simulation results, there was good agreement for the elapsed time and selected measuring locations.