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Best Fly Fishing Rods – Comparison and Beginners Guide

The sport of fly fishing has increased dramatically over the last 10 or 20 years.

Materials used in the manufacturing of fly fishing equipment have become lighter, stronger and more durable and flexible.

With the introduction of these new materials fly fishing manufacturers have been able to incorporate them into their products making for a long list of the best fly fishing rods available on the market.

In the old days fly fishing rods were made originally from split cane which was very heavy very sally and quite difficult to cast.

With the introduction of fiberglass in the 1940s, these rods became a bit lighter and more flexible and now with the introduction of carbon fibers again the progress for lighter and stronger materials better fly rods are being produced.

Apart from the strength of the actual rod other aspects of the rod worth looking at are the reel seat that holds the reel, the handle type, how the sections are joined together and the overall finish of the best fly fishing rods.

 


Best Fly Fishing Rods over $350 top range materials, power and flex highly finished blanks

So to our first section rods over $350. In this section, we would expect to find good quality materials, lightweight rods with good accurate action.

The rods will also have top-grade cork on the handle and the reel seat will be light and string.

Additional highlights are section alignment dots and the types of guides used.

Also, the addition of a good rod tube will be provided.


G Loomis IMX-PRO FW Fly Rod – 6wt 9’0″ 4pc

G-Loomis IMX Pro Fly Rod

  • Rod spec – 9 ft 6 weight 3.2 oz
  • Rod Action – Fast-action
  • Materials – IMX-PRO MATRIC Technology
  • Guides – Fuji stripper guides single-foot snake guides
  • Pieces – 4 pieces
  • Handle Material – Full wells Cork
  • Reel Seat – Custom ported aluminum and wood insert
  • Tube – Cordura
  • Warranty – Limited Lifetime Warranty and the G. Loomis Xpeditor service

It might sound too good to be true, however, when you look at the IMX-PRO or use it once, you know you are looking at a PRO rod.

It is one of the few rods on the market that were manufactured according to the specification of professional anglers.

How can you go against that?

This is one of the few rods that even meet the demands of high-performance trout fishing aside from fly fishing.

The material or technology used in the IMX-PRO was specifically designed for this rod.

Using a multi-tapered design with Conduit Core technology you will feel the difference between this rod and another manufacturer.

It is based on using less graphite in wrapping and the result leaves you with an incredibly fast, long action rod.

It is based on delivering a rod that maintains its durability and power, while it has increased sensitivity and is much lighter.

Once you cast this rod you will immediately feel its responsiveness.

You should take note though that the IMX-PRO range is diverse with a long list of rods of various lengths, pieces, and actions.

The 6 weight, 9 feet rod is of fast action and specifically designed for trout fly fishing in particular.

When you love serious adverse conditions to do some fly fishing you will not go wrong.

Extra strong winds and very technical shots are something most professionals will struggle with when they have the wrong rod at hand.

A ramped-up breeze that turns into a strong blaze and long casts are what this one was made for.

At the same time can do equally well in tiny dry flies and delicate tippets too.

An excellent rod for intermediate and advanced anglers who likes a challenging fly fishing expedition under harsh conditions.

Check Trident IMX Price


Best Fly Fishing Rods priced between $150 and $350 – Hidden gems in middle price point!

In this category you will see rods with less high-end quality features, the carbon will be a little heavier and not as strong as some in the high-end market.

The reel seats will not be as highly finished and the cork grade may be a little less, however, for a beginner, these rods are as good as someone’s professional fly anglers still use.

Manufacturers are always coming up with ways to make cheaper rods while not dropping too many of the options the high-end ones have and in the range, you will find some.


Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod

Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod Review
Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod is an all-around rod.

Its action is upbeat- medium action.

Don’t think about the sensitivity because it is faultless so far.

If you compare this rod with popular brands, you will confirm that it beats many of them.

It takes a vintage color scheme and for its worth, you have more than you can imagine.

This is a rod for anglers of all levels thanks to its effortless casting ability.

Graphite is the material used on all rods by Moonshine Rod Company.

It is light in weight and its durability is undoubted.

Something that can last decades and more.

The rods in this series come with a 5 compartment rod tube made of canvas which is weatherproof and durable.

Its interior is sectioned to ensure that your fly rod breaks smoothly during enclosing to ensure transportation and portability is stress-free.

The Moonshine Logo embroidered on it depicts class.

The reel seat and other hardware are made of anodized copper to add to durability.

Copper is among the strongest metals.

Cork grips have burled ends and are gentle on your palms.

You do not need a pair of protective gloves. No blisters.

Moderate action rods are loved for their versatility, more forgiving nature, flexibility and ability to offer good stiffness levels.

As you cast, the rod bends moderately.

You experience improved line control, good accuracy and you can use it in different fishing conditions.

What sizes are available?

You can find these sizes of the Drifter series from 3wt 7’6’’ to 8wt 9ft.

The difference is in the line weight and the length of the rod.

This manufacturer is known for its no-fault lifetime warranty.

The warranty page has all the details with regards to which types of repairs and replacements will be catered for.

Check Amazon Drifter Price


Moonshine Rod Co. The Epiphany Series (Euro/Czech Nymph Style) Fly Fishing Rod

Moonshine Epiphany Fly Rod Review
European nymphing is a different way of fishing nymph and it is distinct from traditional nymphing because you will maintain a direct connection to your fly at all times.

Forget about bobbers, plus will not be casting a fly line-only the leader.

By this, you need a very light rod to give you the highest accuracy levels and one of them is the Moonshine Rod Co.

The Epiphany Series (Euro/Czech Nymph Style) Fly Fishing Rod.

This graphite rod is lightweight, durable, flexible and less brittle.

The rod holds more resistance resulting in high performance compared to fiberglass rods.

Its fighting butt is removable to allow an angler to balance the length of the rod.

You cannot doubt the flexibility. However, you can choose to use the rod with or without a fighting butt.

Your skills will speak volumes here.

The rod weighs 3.1 ounces-quite light compared to other rods.

Thanks to the material used during construction.

New anglers will find this length to their advantage.

To its dimensions, the rod is 10 feet long.

One foot longer than the standard length.

It is a 4 piece rod but has an extra tip included.

The matte black color tones down the glare when the rod is reflected on the water surface.

The rod has black wraps and high-quality anodized hardware on the real seat and the rod.

This makes its use effective in all types of water.

The spalted burl is hand turned and well dyed to show off the graining in the burl- quite aesthetical.

You will find it a beauty.

An embroidered rod case allows for easy storage and transportation of your fly rod.

To avoid damage when not in use, use it.

There is a no-fault lifetime warranty that will cater to the replacement of your rod and other repairs.

All these will be indicated in the terms and conditions section.

Check Amazon Epiphany Price


Redington VICE Fly Fishing Rod w/ Tube

Redington Vice Fly Fishing Rod Review
Redington VICE Fly Fishing Rod w/ Tube offers great casting, high accuracy levels and control. It is non-discriminative and is usable in all types of water.

Craftsmanship is something it boasts about.

The color scheme, performance, versatility and affordability make this rod irresistible.

Blanks made of multi-modulus carbon fiber are important for accuracy and greatly increase the levels of line recovery as you cast.

Something unique about the VICE.

Designed as a fast action rod, an angler can shoot the line a long distance and will often land bigger fish.

You easily survive the winds with this type of rod.

The ceramic stripping guide will add to the castability of your rod.

Anodized snake guides provide functionality and performance.

Both guides are of the same color.

Redington has a laser-etched reel seat on this rod.

It is made of anodized aluminum to allow it to perform well in saltwater too.

Anodization is a special treatment that prevents corrosion and rusting.

The etching is for quick and easy line identification.

A Reversed half wells cork handle is on the small-sized rods while larger weighted rods have a full wells cork handle that has a fighting butt. All of them are safe in the hands.

The Cordura rod tube is for maximum travel protection.


Check Trident Vice Price


Its interior has dividers to allow the rod to be broken down easily into its four pieces to reduce the chances of breakage and damage during traveling.

A limited lifetime warranty to rod replacement only is issued by Redington.

Damages as a result of using the rod will not be catered for.

Redington has the VICE in different sizes ranging from 3 WT 7’6’’ to 9 WT 9’0’’.

So many models to choose from depending on your use.

The rod lengths vary but the longest of them all is the 10 foot while the shortest is the 7 foot.

Check Amazon Vice Price

 


Douglas DXF Fly Fishing Rod DXF5904 9′ #5

Douglas DXF Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 2.9 oz
  • Rod Action – Fast action
  • Materials – High modulus blanks
  • Guides – Hard chrome guides
  • Sections – 4 pieces, alignment dots
  • Handle – RHW AAA-Grade cork
  • Reel Seat – Double locking, wood insert
  • Tube – Cordura tube
  • Warranty – Lifetime to the original owner

When you buy a normal Douglas rod you know you have a high-quality rod in your hands, however moving on towards the DXF range you get a premium rod.

Within the DXF range, they aimed at specific anglers fishing in different environments and species.

The DXF 5904 9 feet, number 5 referred to here is ideally set up for trout fly fishing.

You could be skeptical about buying a DXF as it’s a fairly new company, but rest assured the designer Jim Murphy came from Hardy and before that Redington and Albright.

He is one of the best fly rod designers out there and has done amazing work if you need a little bit of background on the DXF.

Trying it at a short range of around 25 feet you find its accuracy reasonable, but it lacks the smoothness.

You will feel as soon as you cast that it feels too stiff into the rod’s third section and this is where the accuracy fails when casting short distances.

Casting it at mid-range of 45 feet and immediately you will feel a difference.

There is more improvement however when casting with a fast-action at that range and the accuracy is improved significantly with better loop control too.

Now I can say with confidence that you must cast this DXF 5904, #5 at greater distances of 70 feet and more to really see its performance, here it excels.

When you consider its low price, which is moderately priced, you know you have value for money.

It feels like a pro fly fishing rod that has a massive price tag and is classed as one of the best long-distance rods.

Take note though that you need to put some action into your cast as this is what it was designed for.

The stiffer tip of the DXF hits the mark accurately, the tracking is incredible, and you have amazingly tight loops.

The 2.9 ounces of the 5 weight tells you that it is a lightweight rod and while most of these weights typically cast better at mid-range, let me tell you now that it wants a fast-action long-distance cast.

If your looking for a rod to cast at distance then without spending a packet the Douglas DXF could fit the bill perfectly.

Check Amazon DXF Price

Check Trident DXF Price


TFO Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Professional Series II Graphite Fly Fishing Rod

TFO Professional II Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 3.8 oz
  • Rod Action – Medium Fast
  • Materials – IM6 Graphite
  • Guides – Hard chrome and stainless steel
  • Sections – 4 pieces dot alignment
  • Handle – RHW AAA-Grade cork
  • Reel Seat – Anodized with braided carbon insert
  • Tube – Cordura tube sold separately
  • Warranty – Lifetime for the original owner

You might be like a lot of anglers and buy yourself a TFO Lefty Kreh Pro just to have it as part of your tackle or as a backup rod especially when you look at its low price.

Believe me, you will continue to use it, once you have tried it out during a fly fishing trip.

You will notice that it is not a very beautiful rod like some, but when it comes down to what it can do, you will agree that it is a great buy.

It is supposed to be a medium-fast rod, however, when you handle and cast with it, it handles much like six or seven fast action rods.

It feels quite heavier and handles like a heavier rod as mentioned, however, this specifically causes it to show more predictability and extreme smoothness through a cast.

While you are supposed to have a few rods in your kit, you will do well in all seasons and all conditions with just the Lefty Kreh Pro during any fly fishing trip.

From lakes to rivers and streams the Lefty Kreh Pro Fly Rod can cover it all.

One thing you can say about TFO throughout their fly rod designs, especially with the Kreh Pro, they believe in handling ability and distance.

Two very important factors that you get with this rod.

As a fast action rod, you will handle short distances when you are an experienced angler, however, both beginners and professionals will find that during a mid-distance and even greater lengths it handles magnificently.

This is the type of rod you will use exclusively during all fly fishing trips.

You will find the shorter lengths do better in creeks and rivers while the longer lengths do exceptional at distances regardless of weather conditions.

Check Amazon Prof Price

Check Prof Web Price


Orvis Clearwater 5 weight 9 ft Fly Rod

Orvis Clearwater Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 3.25oz
  • Rod Action – Fast
  • Materials – Helios technology
  • Guides – Chrome snake
  • Sections – 4 pieces
  • Handle – RHW AAA-Grade cork
  • Reel Seat – Anodized
  • Tube – Cordura tube
  • Warranty – 25 years

Orvis has been in the sporting and fishing goods industry for over 100 years and continues to make some best rods as you will see with the Clearwater fly rod.

The name Clearwater should indicate to you that this rod is aimed at freshwater fishing, which it is.

When you look at its moderate price, you might wonder if its features are equally moderate.

However, moderation stops at its price.

While you will find most anglers with a 5 weight, nine-foot rod in their tackle for all-rounder fly fishing, you find that fly fisherman prefer the Clearwater.

Even though you can use it for just about any kind of fly fishing, it is a dream rod of exceptional quality.

It is very lightweight and line control is exceptional which makes it perfect for fly fishing.

Aimed at both beginners and advanced anglers it maneuvers very well regardless of the weather.

It performs well with wind both from the shore or in a small creek.

Also, from a boat down on the lake, its performance is equally great.

I must add though that when you cast to distances of over sixty feet it loses some of its accuracy and sensitivity.

However shallow and short distances show tremendous control with super tight looping.

Moderate distances up to 45 feet proved to be even better even when using weighted flies.

You will immediately feel a bite of a fish with its sensitivity, making it impossible to miss your fish.

When you go on a camping trip or a few days out you only need one rod in your gear then you need the Orvis Clearwater.


Check Amazon Clearwater Price


Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod

Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 2.9 oz
  • Rod Action – medium-fast
  • Materials – Carbon fiber
  • Guides – Titanium oxide stripping guides
  • Sections – 4 pieces. alignment dots
  • Handle – Half wells, grade AA cork
  • Reel Seat – anodized, wooden insert
  • Tube – Ballistic Nylon Tube
  • Warranty – Lifetime for the original owner

If you are an all-around angler that tries his hand at different kinds of fishing and looking for fewer rods to cart around, I suggest you try the Redington Classic.

It is very rare that you find such good a rod at such a low price, thus is it something to take advantage of.

Initially, this rod was designed specifically with trout anglers in mind.

The problem with the Redington Classic is that many anglers gave it a miss as they thought of it as a backup or beginner rod, simply because of its price.

However more and more fly fishing was done with it causing Redington and more anglers to take another look at it.

While they designed it for small trout in tiny streams, larger trout fly fishing seemed to take prevalence.

As a great moderate action rod, you get the best of both worlds, while it offers enough delicate and sensitive action for small creeks and streams, it is equally successful for a boat, big river, and larger lake fishing.

I must add that it works best at shorter and mid distances though with distances of a maximum of fifty feet.

It is a smooth loading rod with great flexibility which makes it better for shorter distances too.

It bends delicately at the tip and is much more flexible than most of its competitors.

The deep-bending action of the Redington Classic cannot cast long lines as it results in tailing loops.

You would be able to cast a moderately far distance like sixty feet when you do not strike hard and fast, but a smooth throw.

The 3 and 4 weights are very light, very accurate and responsive.

The 9 feet, 5 weight rod has exceptional accuracy while better distances of up to forty feet while maintaining accuracy even when the wind is blowing.

The 9 feet, 6 weight, however, gives a better distance but loses some accuracy when reaching about sixty feet plus.

Rio Gold fly line is recommended by many as a good line to use on this rod.


Check Amazon Trout Price


Best Fly Fishing Rods 2021 under $150 – You don’t have to spend a fortune to get fly fishing

In this category, we look at some of the best budget fly fishing rods available.

They are not going to have all the bells and whistles that the top to middle categories have but for someone starting out then, that is not a problem.

Every manufacturer does a lower end budget rod for the market and some put little to no effort into produce a nice starter rod, however, there are a few who go that extra mile and come up with a rod that not only can be a beginner rod but one that a Pro will use as a backup rod.

These rods are generally a bit heavier, don’t have the high-end cork or reel seats but do have good functionality and will get you catching fish which is what it’s all about anyway.


Redington Path II Fly Fishing Rod

Redington Path Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 3.2oz
  • Rod Action – medium-fast
  • Materials – graphite
  • Guides – Ceramic stripping guide with stainless steel snakes.
  • Pieces – 4 pieces, alignment dots
  • Handle Material – reverse half wells
  • Reel Seat – anodized aluminum with wooden insert
  • Tube – Cordura tube with dividers
  • Warranty – lifetime warranty

The Redington Path II gives you the perfect balance between control and moderate action.

It is an ideal rod for beginner fly anglers while experienced anglers will love it too.

As an all-around rod, you will find it equally great for boat, shore, slow currents and quick streams too.

What I like about this rod, in particular, is its adaptability to suit all experience levels and conditions.

Its sensitive tip ensures you don’t break your tippet in a trout take.

Try it from the shore under harsh conditions and you will find its aim remains where you intended.

Something all anglers love is getting value for money and with the low price you would be forgiven to think it was not worth looking at but the Redington Path is a great rod and one the manufacturer have developed to get more newbies into the sport.

You will find that it does well when throwing short distances but while most beginners do not attempt distances of 70 feet and up, it remains accurate with excellent tight loops.

This is the type of rod that will not tire you when you cast continuously all day as your arms do not get sore with the relaxed casting strokes either.

A great beginner rod or a well worth having as a backup for when things go wrong.

Check Amazon Path Price


Fenwick Aetos Fly Fishing Rod

Fenwick Aetos Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 3.6oz
  • Rod Action – fast
  • Materials – high-quality graphite
  • Guides – gunsmoke stripping guide with stainless steel snakes.
  • Pieces – 4 pieces
  • Handle Material – reverse half wells high-grade cork
  • Reel Seat – black anodized aluminum double lock nuts
  • Tube – cloth-covered tube
  • Warranty – Limited Lifetime “get your Fenwick fishing” program

Something important about the Fenwick Aetos that needs to be shared is that it was known under a different name.

Until 2013 it was known as a Greys XF2, thus check if you have it in your tackle box.

When Pure Fishing Inc. bought the brand, it was renamed and subsequently sold as a Fenwick.

If you are familiar with the Hardy Zenith, you will find it is quite on par if not better than the Zenith.

Take note though that some changes have been brought to this upgraded Fenwick.

It is only cosmetic though and predominantly color, changes to the reel seat and contrasting handle colors too.

For the low price, it is one of the best with an impressive performance.

You will love this rod that holds its own against rods that is four to five times its price.

It casts with smooth power, while it remains lightweight and it simply feels great in your hand.

Fly fishing anglers that love this rod will find that you have 17 different fly rods available in this Fenwick Aetos.

This 9-foot, five-weight, however, is one of the best and favorite from this brand.

As a fast action rod, you will find the tip flexes with perfect accuracy and smoothness.

The loading times are impressive and over various distances, it remains equally impressive.

Regardless of distance, you maintain tight loops which attune to its accurate perfect loading.

While you probably know most fast action rods lack accuracy in the shorter distance department, not so with the Fenwick Aetos which remains fairly accurate at 25 feet, but then again with this 5 weight, it is possible to throw a perfect cast at under 20 feet and longer distances though from 45 feet and 65 plus were where it truly shines.

One thing is for certain, this rod is underestimated and undervalued simply because of its price and the appearance of a low-value rod.

Beneath it, however, it is a different story.

Check Amazon Aetos Price


Okuma SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly Rod

Okuma SLV Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight, 4.8oz
  • Rod Action – moderate-fast
  • Materials –Lightweight graphite blank
  • Guides -Titanium oxide stripper and stainless steel snake guides
  • Pieces – 4 pieces
  • Handle Material – reverse half wells high-grade cork
  • Reel Seat – Aluminum reel seats with carbon fiber inserts double lock nuts
  • Tube – Okuma rod bag
  • Warranty – 1 year

When you are serious about fly fishing you might decide to give the Okuma SLV range a miss, as such a low price could indicate low quality and poor fishing.

I am here to tell you different as hundreds of satisfied customers will repeat.

It is the perfect rod when you are a beginner and do not want to spend too much while seasoned professional anglers add this brand to their gear.

The quality is good, while it is a well-balanced lightweight rod.

With its lengths and moderate-fast action, it does cast more like a fast action though and compared to other rods of the same weight it does feel slightly heavier too.

The Okuma SLV is equally capable for use at saltwater flats, large rivers, and small streams as well as fishing from boats too.

There are loads of rods in the range and the shorter lightweight models are great for the small stream as the 10 weight 9 ft is great on the estuary or saltwater boat.

However, the 9ft 5 weight is the best all-rounder and will cover many situations.

It does well as far as accuracy and tight looping are concerned and delivers perfect long-distance placements.

This is a great buy when you want to diversify with species and conditions while you are a fly fishing beginner.


Check Amazon Okuma SLV Price


Piscifun Sword 4 Piece 9 feet 5 weight fly rod
Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod

  • Rod Spec – 9ft 5 weight 4.2oz
  • Rod Action – Medium action
  • Materials – IM7 Carbon Fiber Blank
  • Guides – Ceramic stripper, Chromed Stainless Steel Snake Guides
  • Pieces – 4 pieces
  • Alignment dots
  • Handle Material – reversed half wells
  • Reel Seat – Machined aluminum, with single lock nut
  • Tube – Plastic Tube
  • Warranty – 1 year

When you are learning to fly fish you want a rod that falls into your budget while giving you everything you need before advancing to professional rods.

The Piscifun Sword is such a rod with a moderate action mode that will allow you everything a professional rod does.

At the same time do I have to add that even professional anglers love to have this rod as part of their tackle and use it as a backup rod.

It is a real bargain that allows varying techniques of fishing.

I need to tell you that it does not have the quality of a high-end rod, however, it does incorporate some high-end features.

One of these is the materials used for the blank, which is IM7 Carbon Fiber.

This, in particular, is something you only get when buying an expensive rod.

The snake guides are made of stainless steel, which will prevent corrosion for many years.

In fact, the entire rod is designed for durability when you consider the stain-resistant cork grip and the reel seat that is also chip and rust resistant.

While many longer 8 and 9 feet rods of these 5 and 6 weights do not do well in short casts, the Piscifun delivered beautifully.

You will land where you aim to cast even when you cast under 20 feet.

At the same time, it does give you excellent longer and medium-length casts with seamless loading and tangle-free lines.

Taking into consideration that you only pay a small amount, you will have years of use while you grow from a novice to a pro and learn all the fly fishing skills.

You may struggle to get great distance with this rod as the slow action doesn’t allow the speed to get those 60+ yard casts incorrectly.

Negative comments included some snake guides came loose and needed fixing and the single locking nut sometimes comes loose and needs re-checking while fishing and although the manufacturer states it’s a moderate-fast rod it really is more like a slow-medium action rod.

That is easier for the beginner to master anyway so not a big problem.

Check Amazon Piscifun Price


Things to look out for when choosing a fly fishing rod.

When looking for a new fly fishing rod it is first beneficial to decide what kind of fly fishing you’re going to be doing.

There are so many types of fly fishing and not one rod will do all, there are some that will do a few but will go into that detail later.

For instance, if you’re thinking of fishing saltwater for tarpon or striped bass etc, or large sport fish then you will need a fly rod that is weighted between 8 and 10 preferably.

If fishing for stillwater rainbow trout maybe a 7 weight would do and on a river, you would go down to maybe a 4 or 5 weight as the river gets smaller.

It is imperative therefore that you try to decide on which of these areas you’re going to do the most fly fishing.

You can get a rod for instance for saltwater fly fishing that you could use on a river with a lighter line but that rod will not be properly balanced and will hinder your progress.

It would be better that you purchased a second rod for the river with the correct weight.

As most people start out their fly fishing experience on a river we will work this post on a 9 foot 5 weight which will be ideally set up for fishing for trout in the range of 1-2 pounds in weight.

So for our 9ft 5 weight fly fishing rod what characteristics or features do we expect to see?

Most fly rods nowadays come as a 4 piece set up.

That means the road is divided into 4 equal length pieces it makes it easier for traveling and that you can break the rod down easily to put it into the boot of a car or take it on an airplane.

There are also some examples of rods out there called frequent flyers which come in 6 or 7 pieces again breaking the rod down even smaller for easy portability.

One thing I would say is the more sections a rod has the more it affects the action because each join will affect the flex from the butt to the tip of the rod.

Saying that materials have got so much better nowadays that this is minimal and a beginner will not really notice a difference.

It has been said that a 1 piece rod has the best action as it is made in one continuous piece but this is not practical in any sense.

I would say a 4 piece fly rod would be perfect for our example however you can get some two pieces on the market today and these are good because there’s only one joining section but I wouldn’t make the decision between a 2 or a 4 on price either would do perfectly well.

Next, you’ll have the guides these are the little eyelets that hold the fly line up the rod typically you may have two at the bottom close to the butt which will have a ceramic disc which are called the stripping guides and take the most pressure while your stripping line in the retrieve.

After that you will have several wire guides, these can be made from different materials with the top end products being very smooth which aid in the casting speed of the line.

Not totally imperative but the guides can make a difference in casting distance.

Some manufacturers especially as you go up the quality will have a nice little line and dot setup at the joint so you can make the rod align nice and straight.

While lining up your sections and guides correctly will make the line move a lot quicker through the rod as you fish.

However, your rod will be induced to torque from your casting and your guides may slightly move offline so it’s important therefore that you check this from time to time to keep them straight.

Next, we have the reel seat. These come in a mixture of different materials the better ones would be aluminum-based so they are slow to corrode and very lightweight.

The reel seat would be incorporated into the cork part of the handle this cork will come in different grades the better.

The grade triple AAA is the smoothest in your hand and will hold up to weathering better.

There are different types of handles mainly half wells and full wells this is more to do with the grip that your hand will have placed on it and it can be a personal choice I myself like the full wells.

It seems the smaller rods will have the half wells while anything over 6-7 weight will have full wells which also goes up further into double-handed rods which we are not thinking of here.

The last part of the fly fishing rod would be the tube that it comes in, some manufacturers provide only a cloth bag while others will give you a Cordura tube or an aluminum tube which is stronger again.

These are used to protect your rod while traveling to and from your fishing destination.

A rod left in the boot of a car just in a cloth bag can get broken very easily when other gear moves when traveling.

Although the carbon fiber is particularly strong when flexing and casting fly lines and handling trout or other fish, however, to get it knocked with something hard can cause slight damage that will then cause the rod to break while fishing.

Even dropping your rod accidentally on the bankside or in the bottom of a boat can cause a slight weakness that you may not see at the time but will damage the rod when it is next flexed.

It’s important therefore to be wary of the warranty setups with the different manufacturers some allow one year some five-year some have a lifetime.

Although some of these will say there’s a Lifetime on a particular rod they will still charge you carriage costs to get it replaced typically $30 to $40 to send the piece to you.

That can be a lot cheaper than having to pay for a new rod though so worth checking out beforehand.

Warranty can make the difference between having a good product for a lifetime or maybe only a few years but if you can learn to look after your fly rod correctly keep it well protected while traveling to and from your fishing venues and also protecting it while you’re fishing.

Protecting while fishing just means watching where you cast and always being wary of bankside vegetation in your way or overhead wires etc always be in the lookout for hazards while you make the forward and backstroke.

If you learn to look after your rod well from the start it will stay with you during your lifetime of fly fishing I have broken many rods some through my own fault some through fishing.

It’s not nice when it does but its not the end of the world either when it does as most manufacturers will have spare sections, you may be out a few dollars to get one but it’s cheaper than buying a new rod.

The only downside to this if the rod is older sometimes spares are no longer available and you will have to go get another.

“Check out some of our other Buying Guides”

Best Fly Reels Best Fly Rods Best Fly combos
Best Trout Fly Lines Best  Fish Finders Best Fly Sunglasses
Best Winter Fly Gloves Best Wading Jackets Best Vest Packs
Best Mens Chest Waders Best Ladies Chest Waders Best Wading Boots
Best Saltwater Fly Reels Best Nymph Fly Rods Orvis Fly Gear
Redington Fly Gear Best Winter Fly Jackets Best Winter Headgear
Best Cassette Reels Best Fly Kayaks Best Winter Clothes

 

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