Fishing Rods

Best Fly Fishing Rods (2021): Legends are Caught & Reviewed!

Are you new to fly fishing and in need of durable rods made from proprietary blends of light chemical elements? You need to get yourself familiar with the types of materials because the marketplace has many choices. When I first tried fly fishing, it was not easy to choose from a myriad of options.

However, over the years, I’ve learned that fly rods came with different features. An ideal model should be lighter than aluminum yet stronger than steel. Regardless of the type you need, it’s important to consider the weight of the line, length of the rod, your budget range, handle, and composition.

Usually, it’s hard meeting all of these requirements in a fly pole. To help you make the right buying decision, we tested and reviewed a number of these tackles to help you find the best fly fishing rod as per your own needs.

Top Fly Fishing Rods : Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Our Top ChoiceTailwater Outfitters ToccoaCheck Price
Top Rod & Reel ComboWild Water Complete 5/6 Starter PackageCheck Price
Good Value for MoneyPiscifun SwordCheck Price
Beginner’s ChoiceM Maximumcatch Maxcatch ExtremeCheck Price
Great for Trout FishingRedington ClassicCheck Price
Our Fast-Action ChoiceHardy Zephrus FWSCheck Price
7thPLUSINNO Rod & Reel ComboCheck Price
8thFenwick AETOS Fly RodsCheck Price
9thOrvis EncounterCheck Price
10thEcho Base Fly RodCheck Price

Why Should You Trust Us?

It’s normal to get confused when you have myriad options on the internet but have to pick only one to buy. We’re here to ease your way out of this nuisance. This buying guide will help you make an informed decision before choosing the right fly rod. Why would you trust us?

Well! We’re passionate anglers that have been reviewing and using fishing equipment for the last few years now. Our experienced team knows what they do and what you need to know from them to have a pleasant fishing experience with your fly rod.

We have no partnership or sponsorship with any of the manufacturers. So, we promote only the deserving products from different brands. Moreover, at Fisher Reel, our reviews are 100% unbiased as no financial gain involved.

How Did We Pick These Products?

We underwent painstaking research to narrow down our options among hundreds of fly rods. After conducting thorough research we shortlisted 25 products to carry out physical testing.

Then, we engaged our experienced volunteer team in the testing process. They took the rods in the waters and tested the models in practical situations. We supervised the whole process and collated our findings with that of the volunteers. After meticulous analysis, we finalized the top 10 list.

We showed our list to other expert anglers of our locality. They shared their experiences and valuable opinions with us. We considered their recommendations and carefully made the final list. Thus, we preserved the authenticity of our fly fishing rod reviews to help the readers find the best model for them.

Our Top 10 Best Fly Fishing Rods

You’ll need a reliable fly rod to kick-off your fishing hobby or career in the right way. Our team of fly casting instructors has selected 10 best models for both beginners and expert users. Read on to know who makes the best fly fishing rods and find the right product without having to go from one store to another.

01 Our Top Choice: Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa

This high-performing 4-piece model from Tailwater Outfitters is made from IM8 graphite materials. As a fast action rod, experienced anglers will enjoy longer casts while fishing in freshwater lakes. Let’s see the amazing features that make it an excellent choice.

Cordura Rod Tubes: Its graphite body is sensitive and the package comes with a 4-compartment Cordura tube. With compartments for each section of the rod, it becomes easy to protect the rod. Also, the tube is convenient to transport because of its adjustable shoulder strap. Simply sling the strap over your shoulder and hit the river.

A Sturdy Graphite Construction: As a highly-sensitive carbon fiber fishing rod, this IM8 graphite pole has a sturdy construction. Also, it allows anglers to drag big fish without breaking the rod. However, this fly pole is ergonomically enhanced with ceramic stripping and chrome snake guides. These aesthetic features reduce friction and improve the smoothness of the fly line.

High Performance: These Tailwater Outfitters products come with half well cork handles that prevent hand fatigue and comfortable grip. Casting is smooth and precise because graphite rods have high-performance and are suitable for handling hard fighting fish.

Easy Set Up: Each section of this Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa assembles easily through their alignment dots. It’s easy to set up the four-piece pole, and aluminum reel seat without needing any assistance.

Specification

  • Material: IM8 Graphite (carbon fiber)
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Fast Action
  • Brand: Tailwater Outfitters

Pros

  • It offers great handling for windy conditions
  • The package comes with a 4-compartment Cordura tube that has adjustable shoulder straps
  • It comes with double lock rings and a sturdy aluminum reel

Cons

  • The weight is a bit heavier than we expected

Our Verdict

This is a great chance for experienced anglers to buy a high-performing, fast-action IM8 graphite fly rod. You’ll enjoy longer casts while using the Tailwater Outfitters fly rod. Also, it’s easy to handle windy conditions, and drag big fish without snapping the line or pole.

02 Top Rod & Reel Combo: Wild Water Complete 5/6 Starter Package

The 4-piece fly rod (5-6wt, 9 feet) and reel combo by Wild Water makes a complete starter kit for anglers. This 9-foot model is fitted with a 7-inch western-style grip of cork and each section of the pole measures 28.75 inches. There are amazing features that make this model a good buy apart from its rod sock and protective case.

Fly Rod Package with Complete Accessories: You’ll find an array of high-quality accessories with this fly fishing package. This 9-footer has a rating of 5-6 weight, a rod sock, preinstalled line, case (zippered pouch), arbor reel, and a fly box. Other accessories include the nipper/knot tying tool, zinger, and instruction manual.

High-Quality Craft: This Wild Water fly fishing pole has machined-aluminum reel seat and a fixed reel hood. It’s a slow-action rod with two locking rings that are attached to the reel. Also, this high-quality anodized craft is coated with Titanium color.

Durable Materials: This mid-flex rod is made from a combination of durable materials like IM8 graphite, stainless steel stripper, and single foot snake guides. Its reel seat is aluminum and the lightweight is 5.7 ounces.

Ideal for Freshwater and Saltwater: Wild Water designed this product for 5 or 6 weight line, and fishing in both freshwater and saltwater bodies. It’s an ideal choice for anglers that love trout, and panfish.

Specification

  • Material: IM8 Graphite, Die Cast Aluminum, and Stainless Steel
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Slow Action
  • Product Weight: 5.7 ounces
  • Brand: Wild Water

Pros

  • Its stainless steel components can be used in freshwater and saltwater
  • This package includes a lightweight case with a zippered pouch and bag
  • The storage bag has a waterproof seal that prevents damp or corrosion

Cons

  • The 5-6 Die Cast aluminum fly reel is designed for left-handed retrieve and conversion to right-handed retrieve requires special tools to set up.

Our Verdict

This lightweight choice has a quick release aluminum spool that makes fishing pleasurable and its instruction manual will help you learn new knot-tying techniques. This combo is what you need to catch the fish you are seeking without any difficulty. And, you can win the battle fly fishing vs spin fishing if you use these types of high-end rods while fly fishing.

03 Good Value for Money: Piscifun Sword

A top-rated choice from Piscifun, this 4-piece rod is made from IM7 carbon fiber materials. It’s a travel-friendly choice that allows for easy portability. Also, it can be used by both beginners and experienced anglers.

This model comes in a variety of weight and lengths. Here are some features that make this it one of our top picks.

Portability: As a travel fly rod, this 4-piece (4/5/6/7 feet) model is easy to transport. Also, it comes with a PVC tube the reduces the risk of damage to the body.

Ideal for Experienced and Beginner Anglers: While this medium-action 5wt/6wt-9′  works well for trout, you can use the slow-action 4wt 8’6″ rod for large streams. Also, beginners can use the 7wt-9′ (medium -action) and 9wt-9′ (fast-action) for landing saltwater salmon and winter steelheads respectively.

High Performance: Its main component is IM7 Graphite. It’s a durable product that offers high performance because it has a sturdy aluminum reel attachment. Also, this Piscifun model comes with chrome guides that allow fly lines to glide smoothly.

Lightweight Handles: Its handles offer comfortable grips in all weather conditions. They support longer casts and are made from 3A-grade ‘Full Wells’ and ‘Half Wells’ corks.

Specification

  • Material: IM7 Graphite, and Aluminum Reel
  • Rod’s Flexibility: 4wt-8’6″ slow-action, 9wt-9′ Fast-action, 5wt/6wt-9′ and 7wt-9′ Medium Action
  • Product Weight: 3.9 to 5.3 ounces
  • Brand: Piscifun

Pros

  • These high-performance rods are designed with chrome guides and ceramic stripping guides insert
  • The package comes with a durable PVC tube
  • The cork handles have double lock rings’ design on the reel seats

Cons

  • There’s no material in its component that’s corrosion-resistant

Our Verdict

Handles with ‘Half and Full Well’ cork designs prevent fatigue, and enable anglers to apply adequate force for long casts without damaging fly rods. So, this high-performance model is sensitive and durable. Both beginners and advanced fishermen can have successful fly fishing expeditions with this choice.

04 Beginner’s Choice: M Maximumcatch Maxcatch Extreme

Do you need fly fishing rods that have been fabricated with the reinforced muscle carbon-layering technology? Generally, this Maxcatch Extreme is stronger than regular fishing rods. It’s one of the most competitive choices in today’s market. Here are its features that guarantee the satisfaction of any fly fishermen.

Reinforced Muscle Carbon: As a mid-flex rod, it has been improved with five layers (Reinforced Muscle Carbon) of carbon fiber materials. Its high tensile strength allows anglers the opportunity to enjoy the MAXCATCH quality.

Lightweight Material: Its main component is IM7 graphite carbon fiber. As a lightweight fiber, this is appropriate for backpacking. It also comes with some hard-chromed stainless steel snake guides and the MaxSelect stripping guides for smooth flies.

Distance and Presentation: The craftsmanship behind this pole allows flies to be laid down on the water gently. This fast-action rod is easy for anglers to enjoy long-distance casting and presentation.

Pure Cork Handles: Maxcatch Extreme has pure A+ contoured cork handles. It also features high-density aluminum reel seats and is ideal for saltwater fishing.

Specification

  • Material: IM7 Graphite (24T and 30T carbon fiber), and Aluminum Reel
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Fast-action
  • Line Weight: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and 10wt
  • Brand: MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme

Pros

  • The aluminum reel seat has two up-locking rings
  • Five layers of graphite, including the Reinforced Muscle carbon layer
  • The design comes with a slim taper that’s engineered to offer long and powerful casts

Cons

  • Ideal for expert users only

Our Verdict

This fast-action MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme has been improved with more power to retain its smoothness. It’s a 4-piece set with a total length of 9 feet, and this model comes in various sizes (3/4/5/6/7/8/ and 10wt). Avid anglers that need fly fishing rods with excellent distance and presentation properties will find this model useful.

05 Great for Trout Fishing: Redington Classic

All fly fishing rods are not designed to catch trout. However, those into trout fishing will find the Redington Classic Trout useful. An excellent choice for trout fishing, this moderate-action rod can be used to cast dry flies. These are the features of Redington Classic Trout that caught the attention of our fishing experts.

Nylon Rod Tube: After spending your hard-earned money on this trout fly rod, you will be impressed by its durability. It comes with a ballistic nylon tube to reduce any risk of damage during transport or after use. It’s ballistic outer cover is shock-resistant and the inner layer is water-proof.

A Sturdy Construction: The 4-piece construction of this medium-action rod has lightweight materials. After purchasing this accessory, the trout angler will be happy to use a machined reel seat with high-quality components.

Versatility: This is a moderate action fishing equipment offering optimum performance on a range of species in any fishing environment. It offers dry flies and small nymphs while casting shorter and medium distance impressively. Being a versatile choice, it can be used in small creeks, streams, big river, and freshwater lakes.

Ease of Use: Entry-level fly anglers usually prefer the use of medium-action rods to enhance their skills. However, expert users might consider Redington Classic Trout as a backup fly pole. Unlike regular models, the Redington Classic Trout comes with titanium oxide stripping guides that enhance smooth line flows.

Specification

  • Product Dimensions: 29 x 3 x 3 inches
  • Line Weight: 5wt
  • Length of Rod: 9 feet
  • Brand: Redington

Pros

  • Though versatile, it’s specifically designed for trout anglers
  • It comes with Titanium oxide stripping guides
  • The package includes a ballistic nylon rod tube

Cons

  • It has plain designs (dark clay brown), and there’s no aesthetic beauty in their appearance

Our Verdict

This excellent choice from Redington provides dry flies and small nymphs excellently. It comes in a customized dark clay brown color with rosewood reel seat insert. This is the best fly fishing rod for the trout loving beginner anglers who are looking for a 4-piece set.

06 Our Fast-Action Choice: Hardy Zephrus FWS

The Hardy Zephrus FWS is a premium, all-around model with fast-action. However, it’s a bit on the expensive side. This craft is a fusion of beauty and function, and here are its main features.

High-quality Construction: This all-in-one model has Sintrix 440 Blank construction, Triaxial carbon (fiber) spacers, titanium designs, and a hardwood grip. These amazing features help increase comfort and reduce friction during usage.

Fuji Titanium: Unlike ceramic stripping of regular rods, it comes with Fuji Titanium stripper guide. The guide improves the smoothness of the fly line and presents the fly gently.

REC Black Pearl Recoil Guides: Hardy makes one of the most attractive and efficient rods. This model can help anglers drag big fish without snapping the line or breaking the rod. Also, it comes with the REC black pearl recoil guides that enable fishermen to pull their catch onto boats.

Aesthetic Beauty: Combining excellent performance and fine design, the Hardy Zephrus FWS works so fine that you will simply be impressed. It’s tough to make a bamboo fly rod, you can use this model to get the artistic look of a bamboo fly fishing rod.  Also, the hardwood grip is well-polished that enhances its aesthetic beauty.

Specification

  • Material: Hardwood and Triaxial carbon spacers
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Fast-action
  • Line Weights: 3 to 6wt
  • Rod’s Length: 9 feet
  • Brand: Hardy

Pros

  • It’s a premium, hard-fighting rod
  • This model is highly-improved with REC Black pearl recoil and Fuji Titanium stripper guides
  • It offers high line speed and control

Cons

  • It’s a bit hard to cast

Our Verdict

It’s not in every fishing environments that you bring your specialty rods. It’s like engaging in a gunfight with a penknife. However, the Hardy Zephrus FWS is the ideal tackle for experienced anglers. It might be a pricey product, but it’s definitely worth every penny.

07 PLUSINNO Rod & Reel Combo

This is a great fly rod and reel combo that comes with a sensitive tip for accurate, and short casts. As a complete starter package with carrier bag, this 4-piece model offers line weights and length measurements of 5-6wt and 9 feet respectively. Combo fishing accessories help anglers save money for other needs. Here are some interesting features about this model of fly rod.

Lightweight Design: This PLUSINNO combo weighs only 4oz. The pole’s mid-flex IM8 graphite scrim layered construction offers high performance and durability. With the rod’s high compression molding design, its dense fiber allows for seamless energy transfer while fly fishing in small streams and ponds.

Ideal for All Anglers: Beginners and experienced anglers can use it with less effort. Generally, mid-flex IM8 graphite rods are dependable, and compatible with a range fly fishing techniques.

Die Cast Aluminum Fly Fishing Reel: Apart from being attractive, high-end features like aluminum reels are durable. This Die Cast reel has a gear ratio of 1:1, and it operates with a one-way roller bearing system.

Comfortable Handles: PLUSINNO combo comes with stripper guides that minimize heat and friction. However, their ergonomically designed handles have western-style grips. These handles are designed with compressed cork trim rings, and they help to prevent fatigue and enhance your casting accuracy.

Specification

  • Material: IM8 Graphite, and CNC Aluminum Reel
  • Line Weight: 5-6wt
  • Product Weight: 5.2 oz
  • Brand: PLUSINNO

Pros

  • Its Chrome stainless steel snake guides are resistant to corrosion.
  • Starters and experienced anglers can use this combo kit with ease
  • Ideal for trout and panfish

Cons

  • Practically, it is less flexible than regular mid-flex rods

Our Verdict

Naturally, fly rods with anodized reel seats are great for saltwater bodies. They are durable and can retain the efficiency of their roller bearing systems. Also, this PLUSINNO Combo’s DieCast Aluminum reel comes with a Teflon disk drag design. It high performance make it a must-have for pro and new anglers.

08 Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods

The Fenwick AETOS is a pure graphite blank that is powerful and accurate. Its handle is satisfying to hold and easy to use. Its high-quality construction helps anglers to fish in saltwater and freshwater lakes. Here are some features that make this model an amazing tool.

Fast Action: Fast-action fly rods are great for lugging around because of their sturdy constructions. Also, Fenwick AETOS has a stable balance with flexibility and durability.

Graphite Blank: Carbon fiber rods are stronger than their regular counterparts. They have high tensile strength, making them ideal for all types of fishermen. This high-end option offers accurate presentation over any distance.

Low friction: The handle material of this Fenwick AETOS’s ‘AAA’ grade cork. It comes with double foot snake guides that enable anglers to keep the pressure on as it offers smooth line flow. The guide also reduces friction and makes handling easy under all weather conditions. You’ll also find its large diameter gunsmoke stripping guides easy to use.

Durability: As a durable choice, it’s reel seat’s double-up lock is made from aluminum anodized. When you pull big fish, its secure reel attachment prevents any damage to the rod.

Specification

  • Material: Graphite pole, and aluminum reel
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Fast-action
  • Line Weight: 5wt
  • Rod length: 10 feet
  • Brand: Fenwick AETOS

Pros

  • This 4-piece fly fishing pole comes with fabric-covered rod tube
  • It works well for freshwater, and saltwater fly fishing techniques
  • Lightweight and fast-recovering

Cons

  • The rod tube is not waterproof like other cases with nylon linings

Our Verdict

As one of the most reliable fast-action fly rods in our top selections, the Fenwick AETOS has an overall length of 10 feet. However, it comes as a set of 4-piece for experienced and beginner anglers. Anglers will be able to face whatever challenges their environment and catch may send when fishing with this amazing choice.

09 Orvis Encounter

Orvis is a big brand in the fly fishing industry, and this model is designed for hardcore anglers. As one of the top rated fly rods, the Orvis Encounter model is a combination of design and performance. Let us share all the features that make this a must-have for beginner and expert fishing enthusiasts.

All Styles of Fishing: New and hardcore anglers like to fish in freshwater, and saltwater oceans. So, Orvis offers an opportunity to add an affordable fly rod that is designed with ultra-high-tech to their collections of fishing accessories.

9-feet Length: This Orvis product has a measurement of 9 feet. It comes as a 4-piece pole that supports a line weight of 5wt. Usually, entry-level fly fishing rods are versatile. This is suitable for fishing in bigger rivers and streams for trout fishing.

Pre-installed Components: Fly fishing rods that are sold with pre-installed components don’t require special assembly. This 4-piece fly pole comes with weight-forward floating line and a large arbor Encounter reel that is already set up.

Great Quality Construction: This 9′ 5-wt Encounter rod outfit by Orvis makes a perfect backup for anglers. Usually, angler relies on their experience to supplement low-budget fly rods with a great value-priced outfit like this model. They can drag and fight fish the Orvis Encounter without causing damage.

Specification

  • Line Weight: 5wt
  • Rod length: 9 feet
  • Brand: Orvis Encounter

Pros

  • When fighting fish, the Orvis Encounter’s cork handle provides a comfortable grip
  • It comes with a large arbor Encounter reel, weight-forward line, backing, and leader
  • There’s no need for any set up after buying this item

Cons

  • This 9-footer offers stiffer action in the water

Our Verdict

Offering a mix of style with crisp performance, this Orvis Encounter combo is suitable for any kind of fly fishing. This is one of the best fly rods for the money. If you want a budget model, go grab this.

10 Echo Base Fly Rod

The Echo Base is made from graphite, and it comes with a Cordura nylon case for optimum protection. It’s ideal for hunting sunfish and small bass in freshwater lakes, and small rivers. Here are the features that make this an excellent choice.

Portable and Travel-Friendly: Do you need fly fishing tackles that are easy to transport? The Echo Base is travel-friendly; like modern rods, this 4-piece fly rod is portable and can be arranged for backpacking trips.

Accurate and Precise: This lightweight Echo Base provides accurate control when you cast. Anglers can enjoy a high level of precision with every cast because this model of fly rod offers impressive line momentum to cast reasonable distances.

Affordability: The Echo brand is reputable for its range of inexpensive fishing equipment. Regardless of the Echo Base’s high-quality graphite material, beginner anglers that are on tight budgets can still afford this product.

Versatility: Advanced and beginner anglers can use this model of Echo Base in freshwater and saltwater oceans. It is powerful, but flexible enough to land dry flies on small water bodies.

Specification

  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod’s Flexibility: Medium-action
  • Line Weight: 5wt (Half Wells Handle), and 8wt (Full Wells Handle)
  • Brand: Echo

Pros

  • It comes with a Cordura nylon case
  • The 4-piece alignment dots are quick to assemble
  • Portable and travel-friendly

Cons

  • It has a plain design and lacks aesthetic beauty

Our Verdict

As a portable choice, the Echo Base is always ready to fish. It comes as a 4-piece construction with the Rio Mainstream trout fly line, and tapered leader. Starters and pro users will experience greater satisfaction while using this model.

Fly Fishing Rods – Buying Guide

best fly fishing rods

A fly fishing rod, whether for saltwater or freshwater, allows lines to be cast with precision and accuracy. When the line is in the water, these rods should ensure greater control, strength, and flexibility without challenges.

1. Action

What type of action should you expect with the fishing rod? Generally, action refers to its flexibility and three categories exist in this regard.

  • Slow Action: Slow-action fly rods are also called ‘full flex’ rods and they are the most flexible of all categories. These are the perfect option for beginners and can bend to about ¼-inch from their ends. A slow-action rod might be difficult to control, but it can flex back to 90 degrees. Also, its flexibility enhances the presentation of the fly.
  • Medium Action: Mid-flex choices are ideal for freshwater fishing, especially for trout. These medium-action fly rods are versatile, and they bend from their tips ends to about halfway. Unlike slow-action rods, these types offer longer casts and greater control than fast-action rods.
  • Fast Action: Usually, fast-action rods are stiff and they have the least flexibility when compared with other categories. Tip-flex fly rods offer longer casts and faster line speeds. They are suitable for advanced anglers, easy to cast on windy days. A fast-action fly rod might have its tip bent, but the stiffness of poker-straight rods enhances their dominating powers.

2. Type of Fishing

Practically, there is no one-size-fits-all rod for landing any type of fish species, which is why the choice varies from one angler to another angler. Depending on where you would be fly fishing, always select rods that are type-specific. However, there are versatile choices for both freshwater lakes and saltwater ocean.

Generally, fly rods for saltwater fishing are suitable for bonefish, redfish, and striped bass. They offer longer fights and can handle larger fish. Don’t forget that saltwater is corrosive; so, it’s only corrosion-resistant fly rods that are durable for this type of fishing. Fly rods for ponds and freshwater lakes species like salmon and carp can be caught on the fly.

3. Material

Shaft materials for fly fishing rods determine the quality of construction. Most of the modern designs are flexible and made from different materials like graphite, yew, Tonkin cane, split bamboo, boron composite materials, and fiberglass.

Graphite fly rods have seen many improvements over the years, and are easy to cast. They make better casting rods because of their strength and durability. As the most popular and sensitive fly rods, graphite types are easier to hook a fish.

Beginners usually prefer fiberglass fly rods because they are durable models that often inexpensive. However, they have a slow-action and were the favorite before graphite rods became popular.

Naturally, fly fishing poles that are made from bamboo have eye-catching craftsmanship. Unlike machine-crafted rods, vintage and antique bamboo fly poles are handmade and expensive. They are suitable for experienced anglers too.

4. Length

Usually, fly rods for freshwater are longer, while the rod length is the same for the saltwater ocean. Also, the type of fishing determines what length of the rod to use. A longer model is ideal for big fish like salmon.

There are multiple length options, but fly rod lengths vary between 6 to 10 feet. Generally, the rod length affects it’s casting ability and you must learn how to find the perfect length for different fishing situations.

An 8 or 7-footer fly rod can be used for short casts, while a 9 or 10-footer handles fish in bigger waters perfectly. So, short rods are made for short casts, and long rods for long casts respectively.

5. Line Weight

Usually, fly lines are determined in weights. Consider fly line weights when buying fishing rods. Fly lines with lighter weights offer smaller flies when you cast. You’ll need fly line weight 7-9 for large trout and salmon.

Generally, most rod’s line weights are written on their handles, and manufacturers have unique numbering systems. Depending on the type of fishing, you might be disappointed if you mismatch the fly to the fly line weight and the fly rod weight. Fly line weight 5-6 can offer both long and short casts, while 1wt, 2wt, and 3wt are ideal for small fish. Don’t forget the formula (Fly Rod Weight = Fly Line Weight = Fly Reel Weight) if you want the right balance of casting accuracy and performance.

6. All-Around vs. Specialty Rods

Interestingly, avid anglers invest their money on multiple (a ‘quiver’ of rods,) rods for different types of fishing and sizes of water bodies.

You’ll need a specialty rod that can handle the hassles of large saltwater fish. A 9-foot, 5wt fly rod might be ideal if you feel smart enough to use multipurpose all-around rods. However, to catch fish on the surface of slow-moving waters, you’ll need a slow-action 3 or 4wt rod. It might not be cost-effective to buy multiple rods, but beginners with tight budgets can start with an all-around rod.

7. Freshwater vs. Saltwater

Best Fly Fishing Rods

There’s a huge difference between fly fishing in freshwater lakes and saltwater oceans. So, manufacturers make varieties of rods for freshwater and saltwater. However, the fish can’t distinguish fly fishing rods, but saltwater rods are corrosion-resistant and stronger than freshwater rods.

Usually, lakes and freshwater bodies have smaller fish, and mid-flex fly fishing poles are ideal for this environment. It might not be a bad decision to buy bigger and faster rods that can withstand corrosion and wind if you decide to sit on the fence.

8. Number of Pieces

You’ll need to consider the ease of transport. Usually, fly rods are delicate, and it might be challenging to transport them. The one-piece, 9-footer fly pole has no break in its construction. So, the drawback with this type of rod is the difficulty of transporting it.

The portability of multiple-piece rods is not in doubt, and they can be arranged for backpacking trips. Presently, there are more modern fly fishing poles of 4-pieces constructions than single-piece rods. They break down into two, three or more pieces at their connection points. You should understand the parts of a fly fishing rod to assemble it perfectly.  The rod’s connection points are quick to quick to assemble and disassemble; they are called ferrules.

9. Handle

The handles on fly fishing rods are often ergonomically designed. Some of them are covered with anti-slip materials that ensure firm grips while casting under wet conditions. Usually, these handles are comfortable, and they enhance the fishing experience by greater offering control for anglers. Here are the three categories of fly rod handles.

a) The Cigar handle on fly fishing freshwater or split cane rods have sliding reel seats, and you’ll need friction to keep to hold the reel securely.

b) The half wells handles are compatible with lighter and shorter fly rods. Usually, these models have screw-locking reel seats and wooden space inserts.

c) Longer rods can withstand pressure during casting. So, these fly fishing poles work well with the full wells handles.

10. Reel

fly fishing reel attaches to the rod at the reel seats. An unlocking reel seat functions as the holder. It holds the rod by screwing up the fastening mechanism towards the fighting butt. Reel seats also hold fly lines; they allow anglers pull fast-moving or heavy fish without snapping both the rods and lines.

However, a down-locking reel seat’s mechanism works by screwing down the rod securely. Whatever fits your fishing style, ensure to pair rods with compatible reel seats.

11. Cases

Protective cases are provided with this accessory to prevent damages when transporting fishing rods. Some cases have extra compartments for protecting reels. Whether you use hard-sided or PVC case, don’t place a damp fishing rod in its case.

12. Warranty

Warranties from different manufacturers often come with different terms for buyers. A warranty is a policy document (agreement) between the manufacturer and buyer that an item with defects can be returned within a specific period after purchase. Normally, a fly rod that comes with warranty can be replaced or fixed without hassle.

Some makers offer generous terms in their warranty documents. Unlike the cheap options, original owners of high-end fishing rod models might get refunds for shipping costs.

13. Good Value for Money

It’s important to consider what type of fishing rod offers good value for money while shopping for one. Unlike inferior quality rods, the high end models with reel combos are ideal for new and avid anglers. If you are on a low budget,  you may go for the discount fly rods.

Useful Terms Need to Be Known for Fly Fishing

Spey Rods

Best Fly Fishing Rods

Spey casting requires specialty rods that are cast with two hands, and they are called Spey rods. Unlike normally handed rods, Spey rods are double-handed, long, and heavy. For new anglers that don’t understand what Spey casting means; it’s a fly fishing technique (without backcast) that swing streamers for catching salmon, steelhead and big trout in large rivers. Also, the name – Spey was gotten from the Scottish River.

Tenkara

According to the Japanese tradition, Tenkara is a fly fishing method. This technique involves the use of a telescopic rod and a line fixed at the rod’s end to present the fly into position. Unlike the Western fly fishing technique, Tenkara is challenging and its rod comes without a reel. Usually, this Japanese technique is suitable for fish fighting in a smaller stream.

Final Thought

To conclude, when looking for the best fly fishing rod, the first thing you should consider is the material it’s made of. Initially, making an informed buying decision might be difficult for beginners, but they can find help with our reviews.

Usually, starters end up buying more than one fly rod when they build their interest in fly fishing techniques. Our top 10 fly fishing rods contain all-around and specialty rods for new and expert anglers. I’ll recommend the Piscifun Sword for starters. This brand has options of fast-action (9wt-9′), slow-action (5wt/6wt-9′), and medium-action (7wt-9′) fly rods.

Also, the Fenwick AETOS  is suitable for experienced anglers because they can handle high-quality fast-action rods. This Graphite blank is fitted with a low-friction handle that prevents fatigue during long hours of fly fishing expeditions.

Apart from the mentioned models, there are hundreds of products in the market. But, we put only the best 10 on our list. The rigorous selection process excluded different models from prominent brands like Scott, Loop, Douglas, Epic, Syndicate, Clutch, Shakespeare Ugly Stik, Thomas, Mystic, Wade, LL Bean, Pflueger, Bloke, NFT, Wychwood, Winston, Wright, and Mcgill.

As a regular user, I can confirm any combo that delivers great performance is often pricey. I have given you accurate information as recommended by our team of angling instructors. It should be a walk in the park for everyone that needs to find the best fly rod out from a myriad of options. So, I look forward to getting your feedback and you can also take a look at our other reviewed fishing rod types, including baitcastingspinning, and ice fishing rods.

FAQs

Q: Is a longer fly rod better?

Ans: A longer fly rod will give you more range to fish. More range of water means you have more chances of hooking a fish from a certain depth of water.

Q: What is a 5 weight fly rod good for?

Ans: Known as the king of versatility, the 5 weight fly rods are hugely popular among freshwater anglers. Apart from catching trouts, these rods can also be used to catch a wide range of freshwater fish including carp, bass, perch, bluegills, whitefish, and catfish.

Q: Can you use a fly rod for float fishing?

Ans: Yes you can. But you’d have to use a float to reach the right depth. This would help you float fish successfully using a fly rod.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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