If you’re going to fly fish in saltwater, you’ve got to be careful about your gear. I wish I knew these years ago when I tried fly fishing for the very first time in saltwater.
I chose a random rod, probably my dad’s freshwater stuff, and ended up breaking it in pursuit of catching salmons or trouts!
At that point, I learned the hard way where I’d gone wrong; a strong and durable fly rod designed particularly for saltwater fishing could’ve saved the day.
Whether you’re a beginner or a pro angler, we know that you want to make the most of your fishing expeditions. This is the reason our seasoned anglers thoroughly tested several fly fishing rods and finalized a top 10 list.
Here is your opportunity to find the best saltwater fly rods today without having to try out several models yourself!
Our Top 10 Saltwater Fly Rods (Quick View)
|Pick Name||Thumbnail||Product Name||Price|
|Editor’s Choice||Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod||Check Price|
|Also Great||Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods||Check Price|
|Best Combo Choice||KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo||Check Price|
|4th||Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod||Check Price|
|5th||Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod||Check Price|
|6th||M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme||Check Price|
|7th||Redington VICE Fly Fishing Rod||Check Price|
|8th||Moonshine Rod Co. The Outcast Series Hybrid Fly Fishing Rod||Check Price|
|9th||M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch 3-12wt Fly Rod-IM8||Check Price|
|10th||Goture Fly Fishing Rod||Check Price|
Best Saltwater Fly Rods Reviews
01 Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod (Editor’s Choice)
Why Is This Product Our Editor’s Choice?
- We analyzed and focused on 15 of the most important features of each of these fly rods before listing them in this review. This Moonshine Rod Co. Drifter Series fly rod contained the maximum number of features among all others. Additionally, it has a blend of features that make it usable in both saltwater and freshwater.
- In comparison to all other saltwater fly fishing rods that we tested, this one was the lightest in weight. It comes with several options for length and weight. Moreover, it has a hard canvas rod tube with 5 sections while others have 4 sections. There is also a really comfortable grip made of high-grade AAA cork with burled ends.
- It is one of the most frequently and highest rated rods on our list. Most users gave it a positive rating that proved that like us they were also happy with their purchase.
We placed this Moonshine Rod Co. Drifter Series at no.1 position because of its incredible features. These high-quality rods from this series are known for their flexibility, durability, and lightness.
They vary in line weight and rod length. Compared to other fly fishing rods on the market, we found them lighter and really comfortable to cast.
These medium-action rods have smooth casting with great accuracy. Their stiffness allows you to comfortably shoot long distances. They are soft enough for bending at half-length, giving you a fun and pleasurable fishing experience.
The anodized copper used to make the reel seats allows you to use this model in both saltwater and freshwater environments. This rust-resistant material makes them long-lasting. The high-grade graphite used in the blank also prevents it from corrosion.
No matter what your age or skill level is, you’ll find the grip comfortable as it comes with a good size and made with high-grade AAA cork. Our anglers used these rods for hours without ever getting tired.
The no-fault lifetime warranty makes it a reliable choice. For the travelling angler, it’s simply great since it’s a 4 piece rod.
Its fit and finish impressed us apart from all of its other great features. Although the tip is quite delicate, it anyhow doesn’t break. Overall, this fly rod is super easy and comfortable to use for all types of anglers.
- Comfortable Action
- Smooth Casting
- Great flexibility
- 5-sectioned hard canvas rod tube
- No-Fault Lifetime Warranty
- Delicate tip
If you expect your fly fishing rod to have all the great features that you desire for fishing in saltwater, this Moonshine Rod Co. Drifter Series is the best saltwater fly rod you can buy! Its great sensitivity, flexibility, and smooth casting makes it an exclusive choice. You can undoubtedly invest your money in such a great product with a lifetime warranty.
02 Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods (Also Great)
Why Is It Our Runner-Up Pick?
Fenwick AETOS fly rod is our runner-up for exhibiting great features that are no less than our top pick. It’s also a 4-piece rod that offers a range of weight and length choices. Similar to our top pick, it offers you great flexibility and accuracy.
However, this rod is delicate and needs to be used with care. When we compared the rating of our top pick and this model on Amazon, we found it less frequently rated. This is the reason we positioned it in the 2nd place.
This Fenwick AETOS fly rod is known for its versatility and ability to withstand any harsh weather conditions. It’s a fast-action rod with a great performance and amazing features.
Made from lightweight and durable carbon fiber blanks, it has an impressive design and style with a lightweight feel.
While testing this fly rod in saltwater, we could instantly feel fish movements since it took a bite. So this rod has an excellent sensitivity feature. Moreover, you can comfortably cast a longer distance with this strong rod.
The handle is made with triple-A grade cork that makes your grip firm but easier. This way your arm or wrist doesn’t get strained when you fish for a long time.
Fast-action and modern tapers used in this rod help it remain unbreakable even in adverse fishing conditions. Additionally, the anodized aluminum reel seat prevents corrosion and rust.
Even though it is durable, you need to use it with care since it can be delicate to handle. Other than that, you can expect hassle-free fishing with this fly rod for a long time.
- Classic Loops
- Great Accuracy
- Good Casting Distance
- Value for money
- Delicate to handle
Fenwick AETOS fly rod is one of the finest choices in rough weather conditions. You can choose one from a great range of rod length and line weight that it offers. On top of everything, it provides you great accuracy and flexibility.
No wonder why it’s one of the best-rated models on the list. If you’re looking for a great fly rod under 200 bucks, this is exactly what you need!
03 KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo (Best Combo Choice)
Why Did We Pick It as The Top Combo Model?
Out of all the fly rods listed here, this fly rod from KastKing includes all the necessary tools and accessories for saltwater fly fishing. We chose it as the best combo because you’re getting all tools with a single purchase and the overall performance of this fly road is simply great.
This is one of the best saltwater fly rods for beginners. You will get it with aluminum fly reel and all other materials used in it are of high quality. The casting is also easy with high accuracy.
The lightweight of KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo will make your fishing comfortable. It offers a good range of line length and weight and each part of the rod is well balanced with this length and weight. These are the reasons this is our choice for the supreme fly rod and reel combo.
KastKing Emergence fly combo is a beginner’s choice. It’s a combo that includes the most important tools that will save your time and money from buying the pieces individually.
This 4-piece fly rod made of graphite comes with four line weights and lengths. You can comfortably use this fly rod for a long time because you’ll hardly feel the weight.
It’s a medium-fast action rod that lets you cast comfortably and easily.. We had a smooth casting experience when trying out this rod with excellent accuracy.
You’ll get this versatile fly rod with a high-quality and lightweight aluminum fly reel, so you don’t have to look for the quality fly reels. All of its parts are nicely balanced with the length and weight.
Not only beginners, anglers of all levels will like the features and performance for fishing in the ocean. You’ll also like the travel case it comes with. There are other essential accessories for fly anglers, such as line nipper, stainless forceps, split shot and strike indicators.
You can use this fly rod both in saltwater and freshwater though. Apart from all the great features, we also liked its impressive design. Its overall performance was satisfactory but it came without an instruction manual.
- Comparatively affordable
- Includes travel case
- High accuracy
- Doesn’t come with instruction
KastKing is a well-known and trusted brand for fishing gear and most users on Amazon rated it highly. It comes as a combo with necessary tools for fly fishing. If you want to start flyfishing in the easiest way, this is the best cheap fly rod you need.
04 Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
The 4th position goes to the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa fly rod. It’s the highest reviewed fly rod on our list with positive ratings from real users.
This fly rod has high-end features for the price. It has great accuracy, sensitivity, and durability. You can cast at a long distance with minimal effort. Moreover, the half-well cork handle allows you to cast the fly in the right direction with a comfortable grip.
This sturdy 4-piece fly rod from Tailwater Outfitters can withstand rough weather conditions due to being made of high-quality IM8 graphite.
Its reel seat features machined aluminum and double-lock rings that help keep the reel at its place. This 4-piece fly rod is one of the best fast-action rods you can get.
This travel friendly fly rod has a 4-compartment rod tube that keeps it safe. You can store every rod segment separately in the compartments. What’s more, you’ll find adjustable straps that’ll let you hang it on your shoulders.
You have the opportunity to catch a variety of fish species with this versatile fly rod. In fact, you can easily tackle a 20-pound fish when you have this rod in your hands!
It comes with a user-friendly design. The setup is easy even for a beginner. The complete instruction provided with it makes it even easier to use. Though it doesn’t come with a warranty, we found it sturdy and durable.
- Highly accurate
- 4-section tube
- No warranty
Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa fly rod is an excellent option for travel anglers on a budget. It offers features you might find in expensive models. It’s easily transportable and light in weight. You can use this fly rod in any weather condition without causing any damage to it. It’s even recommended by the professionals.
05 Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
Piscifun Sword Graphite fly rod is a budget-friendly rod. For those looking for a decent fly rod at a lower price, this can be a great choice. It doesn’t compromise with the quality despite having a cheaper price tag.
This fly rod comes with a variety of line weight and two rod length. Different length and weight offers different action and is suitable for catching different fish. The 7wt and 9wt are best for fishing in saltwater.
It is great for beginners as well as experienced anglers. The half-well cork handle ensures accuracy and doesn’t cause you fatigue. It assembles and disassembles easily because of its 4-piece design.
This super sturdy rod is made of IM7 graphite, making it durable, flexible, and lightweight. Moreover, the tightly attached machined aluminum reel makes it super strong.
You can cast at a long distance with this Piscifun Sword Graphite fly fishing rod that we really liked.
But you need to be careful about the tip as they could break easily. We found them delicate. You should avoid catching heavier fish with this fly rod. Apart from it, this is a great value for money product with amazing features.
- Precise accuracy
- Low price
- Great casting distance
- High performance
- Breakable tips
Piscifun Sword Graphite fly rod is a must-have for those searching for a quality fly fishing rod at an affordable price. Under 100 bucks this rod is unparalleled by its own virtue. You can fish for long hours with this lightweight. You can certainly give it a try!
06 M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme
This is another budget fly rod worth a try. It costs the same as the Piscifun Sword Graphite but has some unique features.
This fast action rod is designed for all water conditions. Its most unique feature is its 5-layer lightweight Nano+ Carbon rod that increases its durability. It’s made of pure IM7, 24T+30T carbon fiber that gives it durability.
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme offers you a wide variety of weight and length combos. You can get a different length and weight based on your water conditions.
The AA+ cork handle is comfortable for your hands. It also ensures a comfy grip and better casting. Additionally, the aluminum reel seat improves your casting ability.
This fly rod’s rust-resistant ability is so excellent that even if you submerge it in saltwater for hour after hour, it won’t catch rust. It’s so sturdy and strong that there’s hardly any chance that it would break in half or at the tip.
One of the best-selling points of this fly rod is that it offers one-year warranty and lifetime repairing warranty. However, it’s sensitivity was not up to the mark as we noticed.
- Lifetime Repairing Warranty
- Wide variety of rod weights
- Very durable
- 5-layers nano+ carbon rods
- Lacks sensitivity
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme fly fishing rod is extremely durable and ideal for all time use. On top of its sturdiness and durability, you get a lifetime repair warranty!
It’s a blend of affordability and quality. If you are concerned about your budget but still want a top-class fly rod, this is the best option for you.
07 Redington VICE Fly Fishing Rod
If you want a fast action all around fly rod with a great casting accuracy, the Redington VICE fly fishing rod should be in your consideration. This one is extremely versatile that can accompany you in all waterbody types.
We experimented with this 3wt 8’6″ 4-piece rod from Redington in saltwater. The casting was easy and quick at long distances. However, at short distances, we found the rod relatively heavier.
We were impressed with its sleek design and the great color combination of green and black. The anodized aluminum reel seat and blank made of multi-modulus carbon-fiber make it even more durable and fishable in different water conditions.
Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an advanced angler, you’ll find this high-performance fly rod comfortable to use with its lightweight feel. You don’t need to worry about corrosion or rust in saltwater or saline water because it’s corrosion-resistant.
You’ll get the ultimate travel protection with its cordura rod tube that has built-in rod dividers. One of the most amazing factors is that you’ll get a lifetime warranty with the VICE against any damage or defect.
Compared to the other fly rods listed here, this one had lesser reviews on Amazon but got positive ratings with recommendations to give it a try.
- Lifetime warranty
- Durable construction
- Affordable price
- Great accuracy
- Comparatively heavy at short distances
Fishing tackles and gear from Redington are known for their quality and durability. The VICE comes with such advanced features that make it worth the money spent on it. It can also be a great alternative to ice fishing rods. The versatility it offers is amazing compared to other fly rods that come at this price range.
Considering the lifetime warranty, price and the great features, we think the Redington VICE fly rod is a wise choice for your saltwater fly fishing adventurers. You can count on it without any doubt.
08 Moonshine Rod Co. The Outcast Series Hybrid Fly Fishing Rod
If you’re planning to catch heavy game and cast at long distances, we found one for you that should fulfil these requirements. You can use this fly rod from Moonshine even in the harshest of weather and water conditions.
This Outcast Series fly rod is made from graphite that makes it sturdy. Moreover, it comes with two tip sections with super sensitivity. You can try to land bigger and heavier fish species with its aggressive taper.
You’ll get this 4-piece rod in only 9′ length and three different weights. It’s a saltwater grade fly rod suitable for fishing in saltwater but is also usable in freshwater. The corrosion-resistant materials used in it makes this fly rod a great choice for fishing in erosive saltwater.
You can cast at a great distance with this fast-action rod. The casting is really smooth. On top of that, it offers you great accuracy.
The high-grade AAA cork handle makes your grips comfortable. The sturdy fighting butt allows you to fight and tackle large fish. You will have a super fun fishing experience with this fly rod that has an amazing recovery speed.
This product also comes with a no-fault lifetime warranty just like our Top Pick that belongs to the same brand. It was actually the most expensive and highest rated choice among the fly rods on our list.
- Durably constructed
- Smooth casting
- No-fault Lifetime Warranty
- 5-compartment rod tube
- Limited range of rod weights and line lengths
Smooth casting, great action, high accuracy, and a lifetime warranty make this fishing rod an excellent choice. You’ll surely enjoy its overall performance just like we did.
However, this product is comparatively expensive. If you can afford it, get it without any hesitation.
09 M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch 3-12wt Fly Rod-IM8
This cost-effective fly rod from M MAXIMUMCATCH comes with an attractive premium design. Unlike our 6th pick from the same brand- Maxcatch Extreme fly fishing rod, this model is suitable for beginners.
This fly rod is made of 100% IM8 carbon fiber that increases its strength by 25% and decreases its weight by 15%. It comes with a sturdy case that allows you to travel with it without any damage.
Its best feature is that it comes with a wide range of weights and lengths. You can choose from 3-12wt according to the fish types and water conditions. You should use 3-5wt for small fish and 7-12wt for larger fish.
We loved the smooth casting and accuracy of this rod when testing. The AA+ cork handle allows for a comfortable grip too.
Its attractive design won’t let anyone know that you are fishing with a budget rod! We will always appreciate the craftsmanship. Moreover, you can get your money back with one-year-warranty and fix it anytime in case of damage or breakage with a lifetime repairing warranty.
The whole rod is strongly built with high-grade materials. However, we didn’t find the quality of the aluminum reel seat up to the mark. Another drawback we noticed was that although this was suitable for beginner anglers too, it could be difficult for them to learn how to assemble. Apart from these, you can’t beat this Maxcatch model for the price.
- Great accuracy
- Comfortable grips
- Lifetime Repairing Warranty
- Attractive design
- Affordable price
- Lower quality reel seat
- Can be difficult for beginners to assemble the rod
The wide range of weight-length combo of M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch fly rod is suitable for catching both small and large fish. Apart from its lower quality reel seat, the rod is strongly constructed with high-quality materials.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, you’ll find its performance impressive for the price. Sometimes great products come at lower prices too!
10 Goture Fly Fishing Rod
Goture Fly Fishing Rod is specifically designed for beginners with a decent performance. If you’re just starting to learn fly fishing in saltwater and want to experience effortless fishing, this is the ideal choice for you. You’ll find it easier to use than most other rods on the market.
This fly rod comes in four sizes with slow, medium, and medium-fast action. With an average weight of around 12 oz, it feels light and comfortable to cast. What’s more, its stripping inserts guide allows you to cast smoothly.
The aluminum reel makes it durable. Its burl wood insert provides you with a balanced performance. The AA cork handle feels warmer to your hand and ensures a comfortable grip too.
The PVC rod tube allows you for easy transport and storage. You can use this fly rod for both freshwater and saltwater but we’ll suggest you to use the 7wt and 8wt for saltwater fly fishing.
Goture fly rod comes at an affordable price with a ‘no hassle’ warranty for one year. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have alignment marks for the sections. But you can draw some dots by yourself with a white marker pen!
- Decent performance
- Easy to use
- Comfortable grip handle
- No alignment marks for the sections
We are confident that Goture rod is a high-efficiency choice for surf fishing. It’s easy and comfortable to use with high strength. You probably can’t get a better fly rod like this one under $70. It’s obviously a good value for the money. If you’re a beginning-level angler, we’ll suggest you consider this fly rod. You can even gift this fly rod to your fishing lover friend!
Best Saltwater Fly Rods for the Money [Buying Guide]
You should first know whether you need a lightweight rod or a heavier one. It depends on the type and size of the fish as well as the weather condition. For catching small fish, a lightweight rod will be enough but for larger species you need a heavy and strong rod.
The weight of the fly line and related equipment is equally important and should be the same as the rod to ensure an unweighted fly. With the wind becoming stiffer, you’ll require a heavier rod with a heavier fly line. Similarly, the larger the body of the water, the heavier the rod should be.
The length of your fly rod is another important factor for saltwater fly fishing. Fly rods are generally longer than the traditional fishing rods. They are generally 6-10 ft. in length.
You need a longer fly rod for covering a larger area. However, using a long rod for a long period of time can make you tired quickly.
3. Material & Quality
With the advancement of technology, a range of different materials have been introduced in fly rods to improve their quality. Each of these materials comes with different advantages. Some common materials used for fly rods are graphite, nano-silica resin, boron, fiberglass, and bamboo. Among all these materials, graphite is the most commonly used one and most of the high-performing rods are made of it.
A fly rod’s action refers to its loading and unloading timing. The heavier the rod, the slower it’ll take to load and unload. So. lighter rods result in faster action. Depending on your purpose of fishing, you’ll require a fast-action or slow-action rod. If you’re a left-handed person, get a two-sided or ambidextrous rod setup for faster action.
5. Size of fish
For heavier fish, you need heavier rods. If the fish weighs 1-5 pounds, your rod should be around 6-weight whereas you’ll require as heavy as a 16-weight rod for a fish weighing 200 pounds.
6. Size of fly
The heavier the rod, the shorter the length of the fly will be. The maximum length of the fly is generally 10 ft.
Some fly rods can be used for catching different fish species in different conditions. You’ll love such versatile rods that you can use for several purposes.
8. Grip Styles
You should choose the grip depending on your comfort and fishing conditions. Here you have tons of options for DIY customizations. Light rods typically come with ultrafine and cigar grips and midweight rods with half-well grips. The former has a distinct down taper whereas the latter has less distinct front taper. Heavyweight rods often come with reverse half-wells and full-wells grips with reverse taper. Again, if you don’t like the stock grip, get a custom one.
9. Reel seats
The type of reel seats you need depends on your fishing environment. For fishing in the sea, you should choose a reel seat with components like aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium, as they are safe for saltwater. Remember not to use a wooden reel seat because they might deteriorate in saltwater over time.
10. Multi Piece Rods
You’ll find different types of rods on the market which are made from different types of materials. Fly rods nowadays are made in 2-7 pieces. It’s more convenient to store if the rod has more pieces.
Ferrules connect the pieces of your fly rod. Sleeve-over ferrules are typically used on larger rods while spigot ferrules are used on smaller ones.
Guides on a fly rod help keep the fly line straight. They are usually three types- stripping guide, snake/running guide, and tip guide. The stripping guide is the first and largest guide on a fly rod; running guides number 6-9 in the middle of the rod; the tip guide is located at the very end of the rod.
You can expect to get a good saltwater fly rod at $55-$200. However, some high-end models can cost you as much as $1000. Then again, if you want to get deals, look out for discounts clearance sale campaigns like Black Friday and the likes when expensive models are put on sale.
Saltwater Fly Rods Clean, Care & Maintenance Tips
To ensure the longevity and high efficiency of your fly rod, you should keep it clean and take special care of it. You have to clean it regularly to protect it from rust and corrosion.
Here are some useful tips that you can follow to keep your saltwater fly rod in good working condition all year round:
- Clean up your saltwater fly rod with fresh water after every fishing trip. Remove its reel and each component separately to efficiently clean every surface. Wipe all parts with a cotton cloth
- Wash and dry your lure after each use
- Clean the rod with soap and warm water after every 4-5 months
- To prevent breakage during travel, always carry your rod in a case
- Never bend any section of the fly rod
- Never add lubricants to the cork handle and reel
- Remember to remove the unused line on the reel
- Always check your fly line for any cuts or nicks before every use
- You can occasionally clean the rod tube with gentle detergent with a soft brush
Wrapping It Up
Before you start your hunt for the best saltwater fly rods, keep in mind your skill level and what you’re really looking for in your fly rod. We hope that this guide will guide you to the right direction.
For fishing in saltwater, we just love the features of our top pick – The Drifter Series fly fishing rod from Moonshine Rod Co. Its smooth casting, sensitivity, and flexibility make it an amazing choice.
As far as the overall performance and price are concerned, we personally like the KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo. You can get all the necessary fishing tools with this combo and it comes at a great price too! But if you have a good budget, you can go with The Outcast Series of Moonshine Rod Co. Other than that, feel free to contact us via Email, we’ll be quick to respond.
1. How many rods should I bring in my fishing expedition?
Ans: This depends on your fishing destinations. Where there are more varieties of species, you’ll require more fly rods. You’ll need rods of different weight ranges for each type of fish. For example, 8wt fly rod for a bonefish, 10 weight for a permit, 12wt for a tarpon, and so on. Always keep backup rods when fishing.
2. Do I need a backup rod and reel?
Ans: Yes. It’s a regular scenario that reels and rods break during saltwater fishing. We recommend every angler to keep a backup rod during the trip. If you’re fishing with a bunch of friends, every two of you can keep one backup rod and reel. You should have an insurance policy too.
3. Can I use the freshwater line in saltwater?
Ans: You can generally use freshwater lines in saltwater. But it’s recommended to use lines designed and made for a particular condition only. Freshwater lines can be sticky and limp at high temperatures whereas saltwater fly lines can function perfectly in such conditions. For a saltwater fishing trip, get fishing gear especially designed for this type of fishing.
4. Do longer fly rods cast further?
Ans: Yes. Generally, you can cover more distance with longer rods. The further you want to cast, the longer fly rod you’ll require. But sometimes longer rods can feel heavier.
5. Is a longer rod better than a short one?
Ans: It really depends on the angler’s working capability as well as their body structure. Anyone can handle a short rod as it is lightweight. But for heavier longer rods, you need to be stronger with more muscles.
6. What is the difference between a saltwater fly rod and a freshwater fly rod?
Ans: The fittings of fly rods is the main difference between a saltwater and a freshwater fly rod. Moreover, their structure and purpose are completely different.
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