Are you new to fly fishing? Or, maybe you want some new fly rods to add to your arsenal. Regardless of your experience level, this buyer’s guide will help you find the best fly fishing rod for your needs. Here, we’ll share the best fly outfit for beginners and roundup which rods to buy to target specific species. Whether you are fishing for panfish, trout, bass, or salmon, we’ll assist you in picking the correct gear.

Hook and Bullet Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Rods

Wild Water Fly Fishing Starter Kit - The Best Fly Fishing Rod for Any SpeciesWild Water Fly Fishing Starter Kit
  • Action: Moderate-fast
  • Length: 9'
  • Weight: 5/6
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Redington Trace Fly Rod - The Best Fly Fishing Rod for Any SpeciesRedington Trace Fly Rod
  • Action: Moderate-fast
  • Length: 8'6
  • Weight: 3
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Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4 - The Best Fly Fishing Rod for Any SpeciesOrvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4
  • Action: Moderate-fast
  • Length: 9'
  • Weight: 5
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Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Fly Rod - The Best Fly Fishing Rod for Any SpeciesTemple Fork Outfitters Legacy Fly Rod
  • Action: Fast
  • Length: 9’6”
  • Weight: 7
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Redington Vice 890-4 Fly Rod Outfit - The Best Fly Fishing Rod for Any SpeciesRedington Vice 890-4 Fly Rod Outfit
  • Action: Fast
  • Length: 9'
  • Weight: 8
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Why Can You Trust Us?

The Hook and Bullet team are writers and anglers who genuinely want to create valuable content for sportsmen and sportswomen. Whether you’ve recently started fly fishing or you’re a seasoned angler, we want to ensure you have the appropriate gear. So, for this reason, we took it upon ourselves to round up the best fly rods on the market.

Furthermore, we understand having a quality fly rod is essential to your success. So, we contacted some of the best fly rod companies and asked them product questions about their rods. In addition, we went a step ahead and thoroughly examined consumer feedback to ensure these rods were up to standard. Thus, let’s take a closer look at these top 5 rods for fly fishing:

Best Fly Fishing Rod Outfit for Beginners

    Wild Water Fly Fishing Starter Kit
    This fly fishing starter kit by Wild Water is perfect for beginners. The kit includes a complete fly rod outfit, pre-spooled fly line plus backing, tapered leader, rod bag, and fly box with freebies.

Why We Like It: Although Wild Water isn’t a well-known brand like Redington or Orvis, they make good quality yet affordable gear. For instance, this 5/6 weight fly rod features an IM8 graphite material, giving the rod sensitivity and rigidness. Additionally, more durability highlights include an aluminum reel seat with double lock rings, a laser-etched butt cap, and stainless steel guides with silicon carbide rings.

In addition to its durability, this rod is also beginner-friendly. Beginners get a complete ready-to-use fly outfit with accessories that won’t break the bank. Plus, the medium-fast action rod is easy to cast and has excellent handling.

Who Should Buy It: Beginner anglers looking for an affordable yet good-quality, ready-to-use fly rod outfit.

Best Fly Rod for Panfish

    Redington Trace Fly Rod
    The Redington Trace is a moderate-fast action rod that’s lightweight and perfect for finesse fishing. Aesthetic features of this rod include a matte mahogany blank finish and dark wood reel seats.

Why We Like It: First off, although Redington markets the Trace as a trout rod, I find it’s better suited for targeting panfish. For instance, the 3-weight is shorter than your average 9-foot rod, making it ideal for small streams and ponds. For example, this rod’s accuracy is dead-on up to a 30-foot cast.

Furthermore, the rod’s action is perfect for throwing dry flies and allows for a very delicate presentation. Plus, it’s sensitive, so you’ll be able to detect bites from panfish and small trout easily.

Who Should Buy It: Anglers who exclusively fish in small streams and ponds for panfish and small-sized trout.

Best Fly Rod for Trout

    Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4
    The Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod outfit is fantastic for all-purpose trout fishing. The clearwater outfit includes the Clearwater rod and LA II reel, pre-spooled with fly line and 20-pound dacron backing.

Why We Like It: This fly outfit by Orvis comes shipped in a Cordura rod tube, and it’s a ready-to-use setup for trout anglers. As soon as you hold the Clearwater rod, you’ll realize how high-quality of a product it is. For instance, the rod’s action makes it easily castable, whether you’re gently laying down dry flies or throwing a streamer.

In addition to the Orvis’s smooth casting ability, it is also very lightweight with a rigid backbone. So, you can land trout or bass confidently with its proven durability.

Who Should Buy It: Anglers of all skill levels who want an all-around mid-priced rod for trout and bass.

Best Fly Rod for Bass

    Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Fly Rod
    Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Rod features a high modulus carbon fiber blank with a sleek matte-grey finish. The Legacy is backed by TFO’s no-fault lifetime warranty so that you can fight big fish confidently.

Why We Like It: Temple Fork Outfitters designed the Legacy rod with their experienced anglers in mind. The Legacy is a fast-action rod that’s accurate and smooth, whether you’re throwing flies, nymphs, or streamers. Plus, this rod is 6-inches longer than your traditional 9-foot, which improves its roll casting and increases its casting distance.

Additionally, not only does this rod have high-performance castability, but it is also durable and robust. So, you would be able to take on steelhead or bass even in unfavorable weather conditions like high wind.

Who Should Buy It: Intermediate to advanced anglers targeting steelhead or bass in bigger bodies of water.

Best Fly Rod for Salmon

    Redington Vice 890-4 Fly Rod Outfit
    The Redington Vice is a fast-action rod with a durable multi-modulus carbon fiber blank. The Vice is backed Redington’s lifetime warranty.

Why We Like It: The Vice is an affordable fly outfit by Redington, perfect for fly anglers who want to progress in the sport. The outfit comes with the Vice rod, I.D. fly reel, Dacron backing, Rio Mainstream fly line, and tapered leader. In addition, the Vice outfit will come shipped in a sturdy Cordura rod tube and be ready to use.

Additionally, the Vice is perfect for fighting salmon and steelhead, even in windy weather conditions. For instance, Redington’s Vice offers in-hand balance and can produce a high line speed. Furthermore, the Vice is precise when casting around 45 to 60 ft.

Who Should Buy It: Intermediate fly anglers looking to upgrade to a fast action fly rod for salmon and steelhead.

Things To Consider Before Buying a Fly Rod

After you’ve decided what fish species to target, there are a few things to factor in before purchasing a rod. First, you want to match up your rod weight with what species you’ll be fishing. Next, you need to select an ideal length, and lastly, examine the rod’s action.

Understanding Rod, Reel, and Line Weights

It is essential to carefully read your rod, reel, and line weight labels because you want to ensure everything matches. For instance, your rod weight should be the same as both your reel and line. Furthermore, line weights are measured in a numbering system starting from 1 to 14, with one being the lightest weight. So you can better understand line weights, here’s a list of popular species and what line we recommend using:

  • Panfish: 1 to 4-pound fly rod weight
  • 10 to 17-inch Trout: 4 to 6-pound fly rod weight
  • Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass: 5 to 9-pound fly rod weight
  • Bonefish and Redfish: 7 to 9-pound fly rod weight
  • Carp, Steelhead, and Salmon: 7 to 10-pound fly rod weight
  • Striped and Peacock Bass: 8 to 10-pound fly rod weight
  • Northern Pike and Muskie: 8 to 12-pound fly rod weight
  • Mahi Mahi and Bluefin: 10 to 14-pound fly rod weight
  • Sailfish and Marlin: 14-pound fly rod weight

Selecting a Rod Length

Next, after you select a rod weight, you need to figure out what length to buy. Like regular fishing rods, two factors will determine what rod length to purchase. One, what size body of water you’ll be fishing, and two, how far you’ll need to cast.

For instance, While browsing the market, you may find the average rod length for a fly rod is 9-feet. 9-foot rods are a great middle-ground and will work in most fishing applications. So, to help you understand rod lengths easier here’s a quick reference to use:

  • 7’6” to 8’6” fly rods: You’ll use these rods for small streams that require shorter casts.
  • 9’ to 10’ fly rods: Average-sized fly rods suitable for medium-sized waters 40 to 50-feet wide.
  • 11’ and up fly rods: Rods over 10-feet in length are considered long rods and are ideal for Spey casting.

Understand Fly Rod Actions

Then, after you have chosen a rod length, you need to examine the rod’s action. The action of a rod refers to how the rod flexes. Fly rod actions range from extra fast to slow, with extra-fast rods having the least amount of flex. Here’s how to differentiate between each rod action:

  • Extra-Fast: Flexes at the tip, not for beginners, powerful rod, and long casting ability.
  • Fast: Flexes at the tip, not for beginners, ideal for quick long casts, works well in windy conditions, and it’s good for fighting large fish.
  • Moderate-Fast: Same benefits as fast action rods but allows for a deeper flex. For instance, about a quarter of the upper portion of the blank will flex.
  • Moderate: Approximately a third of the upper portion of the blank will flex. Additionally, moderate action rods allow for more line control and accuracy, and it’s easier for beginners to use.
  • Slow: Allows for the most flex with half of the blank flexing and is ideal for short, gentle casts.

How We Picked

What we examined when selecting these rods for our product roundup are:

  • Consumer accessibility
  • Rod durability
  • Versatility
  • Castability

The products mentioned in this review needed to be in the mid-price point for fly rods. Specifically because we wanted to ensure that they were easily accessible for most consumers. Next, we looked at each rod’s performance regarding durability, versatility, and castability. Thus, we are confident these rods are capable of getting the job done and doing it well.

For this review, we selected the specific model of each of these rods that would be ideal for catching popular fish species. However, these rods are versatile and come in various weights and sizes, capable of targeting whichever species you need.

How To Choose the Best Fly Rod for You

Lastly, there are many components to selecting the correct fly rod for your application. So, always remember to match your line weight with what species you’re targeting. In addition, be sure to envision how big the bodies of water are that you plan on fishing.

Which of these five fly fishing rods are you planning on buying? Please, let us know in the comments below. Do you need to send a hint to a friend or family member for your upcoming birthday present? Then, please consider sharing this article with them.