If you are going for fly fishing for the first time, then buying the best fly rods of all time can be intimidating. We both know how important is it to choose the best fly rods. You don’t want a rod that will end up broken after a few months. Also, on the other hand, you also don’t want a rod that will cost you a fortune.
And above all, you want your fishing trip to be loaded with fun, right? Then you should not make any compromise in choosing the best items. In order to make your fishing trip worth and help you to experience an awesome fly fishing trip, we have designed a list on the best fly rods of all time. Choose the one that suits you and you are all set to hit the water.
Top 8 Best Fly Rods of All Time
If you are new to fly fishing, then you can get started with this wild water rod fly fishing starter package. It is one of the best fly fishing starter kits on the market which includes one of the best fly rods of all time. It literally comes with all the equipment needed for fly fishing.
- You’ll get a fly rod, a disk drag aluminum large arbor reel, 5 weight floating fly line, tapered leader, rod case, a waterproof fly box with 9 flies, extra leader, and a rod case with this package.
- The rod is highly durable. It is made of graphite and comes dissembled in four pieces.
- The rod is a slow action rod which is ideal for fishing small fishes and that makes it suitable for beginners.
- The arbor reel is highly durable and smooth, plus the weight is also ideal.
- The package includes a carry bag which makes it easy to carry it wherever you want.
- The rod features a cork handle for a secure and comfortable grip. Furthermore, it will also help you to hold the rod for a longer period of time.
- Best starter kit for beginners.
- Comfortable handle.
- Comes with all the necessary items.
- Durable reel.
- Made of graphite.
- We have seen some users complaining that the rod broke after a few months. Let us clear out one thing, it is a slow action rod with which you can’t catch heavy fishes. This rod will serve you longer if you use it for catching small fishes only.
Overall, the wild water rod fly fishing starter package is one of the best fly fishing starter kits if you are just starting out with fly fishing. Also, it doesn’t cost a fortune.
Are you a fan of intensive fast action rods? Then this K&E Outfitters Rod and Reel kit will be a great catch for you. This kit is for professionals. As this combo offers a fast action rod, beginners will find it very hard to control.
- This package offers an aluminum-made large arbor reel which is very lightweight and also gives smooth action and drag.
- You’ll also get a high-quality line which is honey colored. Because of the color, you will be able to see the line even when the water shines into your eyes.
- A waterproof fly box comes with this kit and the box is made of transparent lid. It is floatable too.
- This combo package also features a fast action rod which is suitable for catching bigger fishes. The Rod comes dissembled in four pieces.
- Fast action rod.
- Aluminum arbor reel.
- High-quality honey colored line.
- Waterproof floatable fly box.
- Comfortable grip
- This Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Package is not suitable for beginners.
The K&E Outfitters Rod and Reel Package will save you a lot of time and money. This combo is a complete ready to go solution. If you are experienced in fly fishing, then this combo is definitely for you. This is simply the best fly rod combo for the money.
This one is not a combo package, it just a top-notch fly fishing rod. If you are just starting out with fly fishing, then you might want to take a look at the Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod. In one word this rod is outstanding for its quality.
- This fly fishing rod comes in different sizes ranging from 8.6 ft. to 9.9 ft. And the supported weight also ranges from 4 wt. to 9 wt.
- As this rod comes in a variety of sizes and weights, you’ll have a flexible choosing option. But remember, different sizes are for different criteria.
- As the name suggests, this rod is made of an IM7 graphite material which is known as one of the highest-quality materials for fly rods.
- It is a slow action rod which makes it perfect for newbie anglers who just started their journey in fly fishing.
- This rod comes dissembled in four pieces. Assembling them is very easy and quick.
- Top-notch quality.
- Easy to assemble.
- Comes in different sizes and weights.
- Best for beginners.
- Few users have complained that they have got the wrong size. So before you place an order, make sure the size and weight are right.
This Piscifun Sword is a slow action rod suitable for beginners. These rods are ideal for making short casts and catching small fishes.
Here comes another fly rod which is even better than the previous one, The Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod. This rod is best suited for experienced anglers. The accuracy and control it offers are simply amazing.
Here are the features in details:
- This Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod is made of IM8 graphite which is considered as one of the best materials for constructing fly rods.
- It comes dissembled in four pieces but don’t worry, the assembling process is quick and straightforward.
- This rod offers great accuracy, control, and performance which makes it a great weapon for catching the bigger fishes.
- Comes with a rod case that looks classy and durable. Moreover, the manufacturer has installed a nice cork handle for extra comfort.
- Suitable for professionals.
- Highly durable.
- Offers great accuracy.
- Classy rod case.
- Easy to assemble.
- The cork handle is not very comfortable. It would be better if you purchase a grip separately and install it.
The Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod is leading the market right now. With proper use, it can last for many years.
Headwaters Bamboo Fly Rod is the first bamboo fly fishing rod we are reviewing, obviously because of its great features and functionalities. This rod comes in six different sizes so you can choose the one that suits you most.
- First of all, this bamboo fly fishing rod comes at a cheap price, and even after being so cheap the quality is decent.
- It features six-strip construction, two tips, and aluminum tube.
- This rod works best in short casts and catching small fishes.
- It is a medium action rod, means this rod is ideal for small fishes but sometimes you can also use them for catching big fishes. However, it is not recommended to use this rod for catching heavier fishes.
- This rod comes dissembled in three pieces. Also, it comes with a hard case for easy portability.
- Cheap Price.
- Six-strip construction.
- Medium flex rod.
- Comes with a hard case.
- Easy assembly
- This fly rod is a little bit heavy because of its construction material.
The Headwaters Bamboo Fly Rod is an ideal rod for catching small fishes, though it is a medium action rod it’ll be safe to use it in catching small fishes.
The brand M Maximumcatch is well-known for fishing accessories. It is serving the fishing market for a long period of time. All of their products are highly trusted and reliable, so is the M MAXIMUMCATCH Extreme Fly Fishing Rod.
- This rod is made of pure IM7 24T+ 30T carbon fiber which ensures great durability.
- It is a fast action fly rod which will give you nice control over the cast. It offers precise accuracy which is ideal for making longer casts.
- It features pure A+ contoured cork handle which offers a nice grip and allows you to hold the handle for a long period of time comfortably.
- It also comes with high-density machined aluminum reel seat along with the two up-locking rings.
- It comes dissembled in four pieces. The white dots make it easy to assemble the pieces quickly.
- Easy to assemble.
- Fast action rod.
- Nice handle.
- Offers precise accuracy.
- Comfortable cork handle
- This fast action rod is for pro level anglers, beginners may find it very hard to control.
The M MAXIMUMCATCH Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod is awesome for intensive fishing. So if you are an experienced angler this rod is just for you!
This is another fly rod from the brand M Maximum. This is a medium action fly rod, which is suitable for both professionals and beginners. So, unlike the previous one, beginners can use this fly rod too!
- The M Maximumcatch offers a one-year warranty for this fly rod. And unlike others, they have the best customer service.
- This rod is made of IM8 30T carbon fiber, which ensures its high durability and strength.
- This rod will give you full control over the cast and offer great accuracy.
- This rod comes dissembled in four pieces along with a hard case which makes it easier for you to carry it.
- It features a reel seat and pure cork handle for more comfortable grip.
- Solid construction.
- High-quality rod.
- Comfortable cork handle.
- Features a robust reel seat.
- Comes with a hard case.
- The assembling process might take some time.
As I have said before, this M MAXIMUMCATCH medium flex fly rod which is suitable for both beginners and professionals. It can also be used for catching both small and medium-sized fishes.
This is the last fly rod of our review, the Moonshine Rod Drifter Series Fly Fishing pole. It is a fast action rod that is best suited for professional anglers. Like the M Maximumcatch, Moonshine also provides a top-notch customer support.
- The manufacturer has used graphite to make this fast action fly rod.
- As this is a fast action rod, it is ideal for bigger fishes and professional anglers.
- The brand Moonshine offers top-notch customer service 24/7. There are very few brands that offer something like this.
- The best part is, the manufacturer has given this rod a lifetime warranty, which gives a hint of its awesome quality.
- It has a high-quality AAA cork handle which is slip resistance and gives the anglers full comfort while fishing.
- Easy to assemble.
- Comfortable handle.
- Made of graphite.
- Lifetime warranty.
- Fast action rod.
- Suitable for professionals
- This rod will be too much to handle for the beginners
The Moonshine Rod Drifter Series is overall an outstanding fly fishing rod. You can catch bigger as well as heavier fishes with this and also can cast hassle-free in windy environments.
Why Do You Need the Best Fly Fishing Rod?
Before we dive into the buying consideration, let me clear out why exactly you need the best rod for fly fishing. Mainly a fly rod has three functions which we have broken down below. Have a look:
A good fly rod will allow you to cast the fly line with accuracy and power. This is the most important thing in fly fishing. If you are not able to cast accurately you will be missing your target all the time.
On the other hand, accuracy mostly depends on the skill. If you don’t know how to cast effectively, no rod in this world can help you. Your skill and the combination of a good rod will offer you a great fly fishing experience.
Fly rods give an amazing control over the line. Once the line is floating in the water, a good fly rod will help you to control the line with no hassle and mess.
Hooking and catching the fish
The main purpose of a fly rod is to hook the fish, fight with it and catch it. These things demand a flexible and solid rod otherwise the rod may break off easily. A good rod will give you superb control, flexibility as well as durability which will definitely make your fly fishing trip a success.
How To Buy The Best Fly Fishing Rod and Reel?
Choosing the best fly rod is a tough job for sure but it’s easy with the proper guidance. In order to get your hand on the best fly rod & reel, you have to consider a lot of factors. We have broken down all the factors below:
What Type Of Fishes You’ll Be Fishing?
As we now know the purpose of a fly fishing rod, now it’s time to question yourself, what species of fish you’d actually want to catch? The answer is very important because everything else depends on this answer.
You can’t be fishing all kind of fishes with the same fly rod. There are different rods for different fish species. So whether you need a fast action rod or a slow action, depends on your answer.
On the other hand, it is also important to decide where you’ll be fishing, saltwater or freshwater? That also matters a lot. If you are planning to go after freshwater fishes with a rod that is suitable for saltwater fly fishing, then you’ll end up with something bad for sure.
Fly Rod Action
Understanding the action of a fly rod might seem very hard but it’s actually very simple. The action of a fly rod refers to how flexible the fly rod is. Just forget all the technicalities, simply remember that the measurement of the fly rod flexibility is called fly rod action.
So how to take a measurement of the flexibility of a fly rod? Simple, with the back cast. The more the fly rod bends the more flexible the fly rod is. There are basically three types of fly rods which have been classified by their flexibility.
Three Actions of Fly Fishing Rods
As we said in the earlier section, the action is nothing but the measurement of the fly rods’ flexibility. There are 3 types of action: fast, medium and slow action. All the fly rods have one of these three actions. Different actions are for different needs. Below we have given the drawbacks and benefits of each action. Have a look:
Fast action fly rods are also known as the tip-flex rods. As the second name suggests, fast action rods are stiff in the bottom and slightly flexible at the tip. Fast action fly rods are for professional anglers. Let’s have a short look at the benefits and drawbacks:
- Because of the stiffness of the fly rod, the angler can make a more powerful cast.
- The stiffness of the fly rod allows the angler to make an accurate cast.
- As the fly rod is straight and solid, the angler can make an easy cast even in windy environment.
- Fast action fly rods require less power in casting compared to the slow action rods.
- Fast action rods are not for beginners. Because of the stiffness, beginners will have a very hard time controlling it.
- Fast action fly rods are not perfect for making a short cast. A slow action fly rod would be best for this because of the flexibility it offers.
These are the most versatile rods because they perform well in different conditions. On the other hand, they are also easier to control compared to the fast action rods. Medium action fly rods bend to halfway down. They are a combination of both stiffness and flexibility.
- These fly fishing rods are easy to learn and control. Newbies can use them after a few practices.
- One specialty of medium action fly fishing rods is they work well in different types of conditions.
- Works better than the fast action fly rod for making shorter casts.
- As the medium action rods are flexible at the top, casting it requires little more energy than the fast action rod.
Slow action fly rods are also known as Full flex rods. These rods are very flexible. They can bend 1/4th downwards. Slow action fly rods are suitable for beginners and catching small fishes.
- Slow action fly rods are easy to control.
- Slow action rods are best for short casts.
- They are used widely for catching small fishes.
- These fly rods are not ideal for big fishes. The weight of the heavy fishes can break the rod.
Why Should You Care About Fly Line Weight?
Did you ever wonder whether line weight matters in fly fishing? Honestly speaking, it does. It plays a very important role. I am going to explain it in details in this section:
The fly line manufacturers have introduced a numbering system which indicates the lines’ weight. The number ranges from 1 to 15, where 1 is super light and 15 is very heavy.
Now let us tell you why the fly line is so important. The line is the thing that will cast the fly. If any angler chooses wrong weight it can create a big trouble in casting,
For example, if an angler uses a line of 7 (weight) with the 14 tiny dry flies, the angler will have no control and even worse, the fly will hit the water with a hard splash. Because of the line weight, the fly will go down to the water harder. On the other hand, if you use a light line with a heavy fly, the fly will direct the destination which means you’ll have no control either.
So because of all these, it is mandatory to ensure that whatever rod you get, it must be compatible with the line and the size of the fly.
How to choose the perfect fly line weight?
That’s very simple. We have designed a chart below. That will definitely help you to choose the perfect weight of the fly line:
Weight 1-3: This is considered as the lightest fly line weight. This weight is perfect for small fishes such as small trout or panfishes.
Weight 4: it will work fine for small to medium-sized fishes.
Weight 5: It is another good fly line weight for catching fishes like bass and trout.
Weight 6: This fly line is perfect for catching medium-sized fishes such as trout, salmon, and bass.
Weight 7: This weight can be used for bass fishing. It’ll also work great for monster trout. On the other hand, this fly line weight is suitable for steelhead and small to medium size salmon fishing.
Weight 8 or plus: It is a heavyweight fly line that is used for larger and stronger fishes. Mostly used for saltwater fly fishing.
Length of The Fly Rod
Choosing the length of the fly rod is also very easy. You have to choose the rod length depending on your plan, like where you’ll be fishing, what type of fishes you’ll be catching and how long you’ll be casting, etc. The length between 8 to 9 ft. works fairly good for everyone. Below you’ll get a chart of what length is good for what situation. Take a look:
9 feet: If you use a heavy fly line, then you might get a rod with 9 feet length.
8.5 feet: This length works fine for almost everyone. You can call it an all-around fly rod length.
8 feet or below: If you are up to small stream fishing where you’ll be making short casts then get 8 feet or shorter fly rod.
How to Buy a Fly Reel?
Fly reels are awesome. They are designed in a way so that everyone wants to hold them. However, only look isn’t beneficial, performance is also needed. Below we have made a buying guide for choosing the best fly reel:
Material: Nowadays manufacturers are using different kinds of materials for producing fly reels. However, the best one is the machined bar-stock aluminum as they are long lasting and highly durable.
Sound: You may know reels make a ‘click’ sound when the line goes out or comes in. This sound makes a big difference, if the click sound seems to be erratic, don’t choose that. A good reel sound will make you smile.
Weight: There are different types of reel weights available for different needs. You should choose a reel weight depending on your fishing type, line and fly. You’ll have to make a balanced setup for a smooth fly fishing experience.
Price: This could be an issue for most anglers. Just because of the cheap price don’t choose something bad. A good reel will cost you a good amount of money. Buying cheap reels can cost you more bucks in the long run. Always remember you get what you pay for.
Matching Up Everything
I hope by now you know why all these things matter so much. Any misbalance will cause you trouble. And before doing anything you should know exactly what type of fish you want to catch. You’ll have to choose the line, reel, and rod according to that.
There is a rule given below so that you can understand it better.
Line weight = Weight of the rod= Reel weight
Before you hit the water make sure you have a balanced setup. The above formula clearly describes that, if an angler plans to use a line that weighs 5, the weight of the rod, as well as the reel weight, should also match with that.
We have come to the end of our guide. Hope this list of best fly rods of all time will help you to get the most suitable rod for yourself. If you have any question, don’t forget to ask in the comment box below. I’ll get to you as soon as I can.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the best fly rod weight for trout?
Answer: For panfish and smaller trout, the ideal rod weight would be 0 to 4. And for an average sized trout, the weight should be between 4 to 6.
Q. Do I need a tippet?
Answer: Yes, you do. Tippets are very important because they help to make your fly go deeper into the water.
Q. What type of rod is best for me?
Answer: It actually depends on your skill and type of fishing. If you are a beginner and planning to catch small fishes, then the slow action rod is ideal. Fast action rods are more suitable for professionals.
Q. What is the best material for fly rods?
Answer: Fly rods are made of basically three materials: graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo. Bamboo rods are the traditional and little bit heavier. Overall, we think graphite fly rods are best.
Last update on 2019-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API