Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Rods – Reviews & Guide for Beginners
There’s no piece of equipment harder to pick than a fly fishing rod. Not only you need to pick a rod that is durable and resistant enough, but you also need to make sure it is affordable and perfect for your fishing requirements. So choosing the right one can be a demanding activity.
That’s why we’ve made a list with the best fly fishing rods in the market and brought it to you. This way, you can take a look at the highest-quality options in the market, all of them with different designs, prices, and applications.
You’ll have it easier & much faster when choosing. So come further, and learn more about this vital yet hard-to-pick piece of fishing equipment so that you can buy the perfect one for your needs.
Best Fly Fishing Rods in 2020 - Comparison
Where to Buy
Redington Path II
Moonshine Drifter Series
Best Fly Rod Reviews
1. Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod
Coming in six different weights from 5, 5/6 and up to 8 - the Fenwick AETOS is a versatile yet useful rod for demanding users. It also comes in eight different lengths, so you can pick the one that fits your needs the most.
But the availability of the length & weight is not what matters here. This is a fast-action rod, perfect for those who want a much more effective performance in demanding situations.
It is exceptionally resistant as well and provides an aluminum anodized AAA-grade cork handle for superb comfort.Something that stands out is the gunsmoke stripper guides of large diameter, which work amazingly with the double-foot gunsmoke snake guides.
Any line you want to attach will fit completely, no matter your needs.The rod comes with a 4-section blank with carbon accents, which make it look well. So you get a product that not only provides exceptional results but also helps you look excellent while fishing.
And of course, you also get high-performance tapers, perfect for those who prefer a light feel in their fly rods. And of course, you’ll be able to use it practically anywhere without any issue.
All this is improved by a high-grade aluminum anodized double uplock so that you can handle the device without any issue. And if you pick a 10-feet or an eight weight model, you get a full wells grip and fighting butt - perfect for demanding fishers.
Where to Buy
2. Redington Path Fly Rods
A medium action fly rod has never been as good-looking as useful as the Path II. This is a perfect fly rod for those who like a lightweight design with exceptional resistant & flexibility.
This fly rod made of graphite works for all types of anglers, as it offers six different weights for users who like a more versatile performance.
It only comes in a 9-feet design, so you don’t get much versatility there, yet it always provides reliable constructions that will promote a much more enjoyable and productive fishing experience.
You can also enjoy a half-wells handle with wood reel seat augment overall comfort & grip, in the models up to 6 weights. It also makes the fly rod look outstanding, giving a classic touch with a very reliable feel.
On the 7-weight models, you get a total full-wells grip with anodized aluminum reel seat. This makes it flawless for a wide range of applications, including salt and fresh water. And of course, it still provides the comfort and good looks every demanding user expects.
The tube is a Cordura model. This means you get exceptional durability & resistant not many fly rods to offer in the market. And of course, it comes with the essential rod dividers every experienced user can get the most from.
But this option does not only come with the fly rods but also with the Crosswater combo. This means you get from 2 to 4 pieces models that provide outstanding flexibility to work on any fly fishing angler situation.
For those who want a complete fly fishing activity, this Crosswater Reel 4PC comes like a gem.
Where to Buy
3. Moonshine Fly Rods
Boasting a vintage color scheme, a Burl wood reel with a double seat, and anodized copper hardware - the Moonshine Rods Drifter Series is a magnificent option for anyone.
Perfect for those who want to get excellent quality for a reasonable price, the Drifter Series provides everything from flexibility to the most versatile of applications out there.
Excellent for those who want a medium action with comfortable results, you can use this rod for a long distance without any problem. And of course, it gives a soft yet reliable feel when handling.
Whether it is rolled casts or long double hauls, you get exceptional results with this rod. The casting process is effortless, even for beginners who have never done it before.
And what’s even better, it comes with two tip sections, so you get an extra reason to choose this one and get all the benefits you are looking for.
The design is also excellent, with a dyed finish that delivers a sensational graining touch in the wood - perfect for those who love a unique texture. This gets even better when you consider the AAA cork grip, which boasting burled ends maximize the overall looks of the rod exponentially.
The rod comes with medium graphite action - this way you get small to medium sized fishing with the best results you can think of. This is the perfect choice for those who love excellent rod blank performance and custom reel seats with superior grip & comfort.
You can pick between four different sizes from 7.6 to 10 feet and six different weights from 3 to 7 according to your needs. This way you select the right rod that meets your fishing requirements.
Where to Buy
4. Maxcatch Extreme Fly Rod - Best Fly Rod for Beginners
Delivering an IM7 carbon fiber body with MaxSelect Stripping Guide and the smoothest performance for lines in the market - the MaxCatch Extreme is an outstanding performance rod in every way.
Not only it offers that, but also an ultra-lightweight hard-chromed stainless steel snake guide set plus an over-sized tip, so you can get a smooth and long-lasting cast without issues.
All of that is improved when you consider the durable aluminum reel seat, which promotes a comfortable yet reliable design.
The best of all, the fly rod is entirely affordable. Users attest that it can quickly become the best fly fishing rods for beginners, boasting different weights from 3 to 10 and various lengths from 8.4 to 10 feet. This makes it the perfect choice for those who want versatility & quality at the same time.
The MAXLINQ Blank technology is also a feature you shouldn’t dismiss. Offering a carbon fiber blank with IM7 245 and 30T body, you get one of the most resistant & flexible in the market.
The Reinforced Muscle layer adds up to 20% more strength than traditional carbon-fiber blanks, so you get a strong product entirely.Everyone can use this fly rod comfortably and effortlessly. Especially when you add the pure A+ contoured cork handle, adding much more grip and reliability to its feel.
This also makes the casting a lot easier, even more so with the aluminum reel seat and the two locking rings.
Finally, when you add up the fast-action design with smooth & powerful Slim taper, you get an exceptional product without a doubt. So you get a perfect rod for high-efficiency loading, fast action, and for different types of experiences, especially beginners.
Where to Buy
5. Tailwater Outfitters Fly Rod
The best among the best fly rods for the money, the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa is exceptionally efficient in every way, especially for its affordable price. As a 4-piece travel-ready rod, you get a high-quality fast action that provides top-notch resistant & flexibility.
Each cast will be more extended and will work amazingly well no matter the weather condition. And of course, it helps to increase drag exponentially so that you can catch even the strongest fish out there.
You get all this with an IM8 graphite body, perfect for durability and sensibility when dragging. You won’t ever break this rod, even for the most prominent and strongest catch out there.
And when you add the Cordura rod tube, you get even better results. The 4-compartment design will give you everything you need and more when it comes to comfort & feel.
And for those who want even more convenience, you get an adjustable strap so you can transport your rod in your shoulder wherever you go. When the moment of assembly comes, you just put the alignment dots together in each section, and that will be it – you will have your fly rod ready for action.
Let’s not forget this excellent rod also looks fantastic. With a gray color with a dark touch, you get a natural style that promotes a much more effective fishing performance.
You won’t scare fish, and it will quickly go unnoticed in dark waters. Then you get a high-quality cork handle, perfect for less fatigue and much more comfort when handling.
Finishing the whole fly road that will help you have the most enjoyable fishing experience, you can pick between 3, 5 or 8 WT according to your needs, in a 9-feet design.
Where to Buy
Things that Make the Fly Fishing Rods
As you know already, picking a fly rod is not an easy job. Having to consider all the features every option offers is hard, especially if you don’t know a thing about them.
Luckily, we can help you learn more about these critical features fly rods offer. Take a look and find out!
1. Slow Action
These are the most flexible of fly rods, perfect for beginners who want to learn to cast and fly comfortably. They are slightly harder to control after catching something, and drag is not the most effective.
2. Medium Action
This action is both flexible and stiff enough. It is the mid choice for those who want enough flexibility yet still need superb stiffness for better control. This is the favorite choice of fishing enthusiasts.
3. Fast Action
The stiffest of the bunch, they offer a fast action because they will promote a harder cast and drag performance. There’s no flexibility in this type, and it’s usually tough to use. Most professionals who need a fast casting & instant results love the fast action.
The weight comes in various forms as well. You will find the same model of a fly rod coming with different weights, as it is the strength and weight capacity the rod can provide depending on the situation.
The weight measurement goes from 1 WT in the smallest rods, to 12 WT in the largest ones. Usually, from 1 to 4 WT you can fish trout and similarly small fish in rivers and lakes.
For larger animals, you will need at least a 7 WT up to 9 WT - perfect for large bass and similar ones.
But the type of water is also essential. Freshwater fish are much weaker than saltwater fish, so you must take that into account. That’s why it is always recommended to choose a fly rod between 4 and 8 WT so you can get a strong enough product for different situations.
Similar to the weight, the length of the rod also matters when it comes to performance and convenience. Mostly, the length will tell the difference whether you want to have the lure close to your boat or seating place, or if you want it away from you.
Most fishers love going for at least a 7-feet rod. This way they can fish comfortably, get the advantages of their design, and still transport the rod everywhere without problems.
But of course, the longer the rod, the stronger it will also be - so if you want to catch a huge bass, for example, go for a 9-feet rod at least.
Another vital part of the fly rod - the material will tell you how strong and flexible the product is. Also, it will help you find out the durability and overall resistance, so you can use your rod expecting the right performance. Here are the most common materials for fly rods:
1. Bamboo or Wood
Most wooden rods are made of bamboo. This is the perfect choice for anglers who have more experience with fly rods. They demand much more maintenance and care and provide a stunning finish most of the time.
And of course, they offer great feel and resistance. But they are not as durable as other materials.
This is not a common type of rod, yet it is popular between budget anglers. Fiberglass is resistant and durable nonetheless but does not offer the strength other materials offer. And what’s even more important, they are slightly heavier as well, but with a much more flexible performance.
3. Graphite or Carbon Fiber
This is the most common and popular in the market. Not only graphite or carbon fiber rods are affordable, but they also offer a stronger & more resistant performance than fiberglass.
They are lighter than fiberglass yet doesn’t provide the same flexibility. Also, they have a better sensibility and tend to last a lot more than wooden or fiberglass options.
Frequently Asked Questions
Think you know enough about fly rods? Well, think again. Here are a few common questions most buyers have when it comes to fly rods - you may find one of your doubts here!
Are salt and freshwater rods the same?
There’s no real difference between a freshwater or saltwater rod. You have to make sure that you have a strong-enough product for your needs, especially according to the type of angle you want to catch.
Saltwater fish tend to be heavier and stronger than freshwater fish, that’s the only difference between salt and fresh water you have to consider before buying.
Is the number of pieces that comprise the fly rod important?
The latest fly rods come in four pieces. This is because a 4-piece rod tends to have a much more flexible & reliable construction than a 2-piece, for example.
However, there are still some options with two-piece construction, which means they are a lot stronger but less flexible. Some fast-action rods, for example, come with this build.
What type of handle should I go for?
The majority of handles nowadays are made of cork. They are cigar-like and offer enough comfort and excellent grip even while wet. The only variance you may find is the half or full wells design out there.
A half-wells design means the cork handle is broken in the middle, while a full-wells goes from top to bottom of the handle with no break.
Is the reel seat important?
The reel seat is the part where fishers place the spool or reel of the line. Most reel seats are made of metal, so they are strong and provide excellent resistance for most applications.
It is essential to have one that comes with a straightforward mechanism, that way you can install your desired reel or spool without any issue.
An experienced fisherman knows that a fly rod is an essential part of fishing. Without one, fishing comfortably would be almost impossible. Luckily for you, the best fly fishing rods we reviewed here will come like a gem for you to pick the perfect one.
Don’t hesitate and start catching the biggest fishes out there. With our help, no fish will get away from you - as long as you pick the right fly rod!