Best Fly Fishing Rods

Whether you’re a seasoned fly angler, or if you’re trying out fly-fishing for the first time, you’ll know that no tool is more important than their fly-fishing rod. Finding a rod that suits you and your style, preferred type of fish, and fishing spot is the dream of every angler and the right rod can elevate your skills and help you cast accurately and precisely. Even seasoned fly anglers find that a great rod can affect their casting ability, so the rod is crucial for a successful fly -fishing expedition.

If this is your first fly fishing rod, or you’re returning to fishing after some time away than finding a rod is an important first step in your fishing career. Your rod needs to support your style and technique, but you probably don’t want to spend too much money in case of fly-fishing is not for you. Finding the right balance between budget and performance can be hard especially considering the number of options currently available. This guide is here to take you through our picks for some of the best options available for a fly-fishing rod, remind you of some of the most important features to look out for in a fly-fishing rod, and answer some of your questions.

Top 5 Best Fly Fishing Rods

OUR TOP PICK

Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod: High Performance 4 Piece, Fast Action IM8 Graphite with Rod Tube. (8 Weight)

Summary

First up we have this high-performance fly rod from Tailwater. This well-crafted rod is made from high-quality materials and is designed well enough to be able to compete with some of the more expensive rods. The rod is made from IM8 graphite which makes it lightweight and sensitive, this is a very durable rod thanks to the inclusion of graphite and the ceramic stripping and chrome snake guides help make sure the line flows smoothly and easily with minimal friction. The rod breaks down into 4 pcs so if you’re looking for something portable than this could be the right choice for you. The rod also comes with its own carry tube, so you’ll be prepared for all those sudden perfect fishing spots.

This rod would suit both experienced anglers and beginners equally well, and you’ll be impressed with the smooth and accurate casting no matter what skill level you are. This rod suits a range of fishing styles and situations due to its mid-lengths and weights. The reel seat is made from aluminum and has double lock rings to make sure your reel is securely attached and protected. The cork handle is well made and offers a comfortable grip that will reduce stress on your hands and wrists which you may find increases the amount of time you can spend out on the water without getting tired.

This is a fast action rod that consistently performs excellently. It’s perfect for long-range casting and has the power to back itself up. The graphite construction makes this rod very sturdy and it has more than enough backbone to handle the more ferocious fish. The rod is still sensitive enough to let you feel the lighter bites and considering how easy and comfortable it is to use any fly-angler would be glad to have this rod in their arsenal.

Pros

  • Collapses into 4 portable pieces that make the rod easy to carry

  • Powerful casting

  • Cork handle for a sturdy and comfortable grip

  • Comes with its carry tube for protection and easy transportation

  • Suitable for all skill levels

Cons

  • Some experienced anglers might like more backbone

Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod: High Performance 4 Piece, Fast Action IM8 Graphite with Rod Tube. (8 Weight)
  • 9' long, fast action IM8 Graphite for durability, accuracy and performance
  • Travel friendly, four piece, with alignment dots for fast setup
  • Ceramic stripping guides, chrome snake guides for smooth gliding fly lines
  • Machined aluminum reel seat with double lock rings for sturdy reel attachment
  • Full well cork handle with fighting butt helps casting accuracy, avoids fatigue. Four compartment rod tube included.

EDITORS CHOICE

Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4 Piece 9ft - IM7 Carbon Fiber Blank - Accurate Placement - Ingenious Design - Chromed Guide and Durable Rod Tube (Size: 4/5/6/7/9wt)

Summary

This is another very popular option that’s great value without sacrificing quality. If you’re getting back into fly-fishing after some time away than this rod might be just the sort of thing you’re looking for. This IM7 graphite rod divides into 4-pcs for easy portability and it comes with its own rod tube so you can take it on the road knowing it’ll be protected from any bumps along the way. The rod is available in a variety of lengths and weights so whatever your fishing needs this is a good rod for both beginners and those with more experience.

The rod is made from IM7 graphite so it’s lightweight but very durable and sturdy. If you’re looking for sensitivity than this is a good rod for you, this option offers consistent accurate performance where you’ll feel even the lightest bites. The rod has ceramic stripping guides inserts and chrome guides which make sure the line flows easily and smoothly, and you’ll find white dots that make it easy to make sure your guides are correctly aligned. The reel seat is made from aluminum which makes it durable and the inclusion of double lock rings means that your reel is securely attached to the reel seat.

The cork handle is comfortable to hold in all weather conditions to make it easier to cast and control the rod. Using cork makes the handle comfortable to use while also making it sensitive and lightweight. A lightweight handle means you don’t have to worry about hand fatigue which can cause damage to your hands and wrists and instead can focus on enjoying your fly-fishing trip in comfort. This is a great option for a range of skill levels, and it particularly good for those who have some experience fly-fishing but have only recently taken it back up again. The rod provides a consistently high performance and is more than capable of catching some great sized fish, but is also easy to use with smooth accurate casting.

Pros

  • Included PVC rod tube for portability

  • Well thought out 4-piece design

  • Excellent casting distance

  • The high-quality handle gives a comfortable and solid grip

  • High-quality construction and materials

Cons

  • Takes a bit of practice to get used to collapsing the rod

Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4 Piece 9ft - IM7 Carbon Fiber Blank - Accurate Placement - Ingenious Design - Chromed Guide and Durable Rod Tube (Size: 4/5/6/7/9wt)
  • Professional - 4wt-8'6" Slow Action for sunfish, small trout and small streams; 5wt/6wt-9' Medium Action for general trout, larger streams and rivers, a universal size for beginners; 7wt-9' Medium Action for bass, carp, light steelhead, salmon and saltwater; 9wt-9' Fast Action for winter steelhead, salmon and saltwater.
  • High Performance - IM7 Graphite for durability, accuracy and performance; Machined aluminum reel seat with double lock rings for sturdy reel attachment; Ceramic stripping guides inserts and chrome guides for smooth gliding fly lines.
  • Precise Accuracy - Precise fly placement and instant pulling power spell the difference between landing the fish of a lifetime and a history lesson.
  • Travel Friendly - 4-piece design makes the rod a great carrying around equipment for all fly anglers. Pair with a durable PVC rod tube which offers great protection for your rod and portability.
  • Ingenious Design - The white dots on the fly rod help you align the guides easily and accurately. Half wells cork handle helps casting accuracy, avoids fatigue; Full Wells enable the caster to apply the power for long casts to rods rated for line weights 7 and above, good to balance the rod and offer comfort when playing fish.

BEST VALUE

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4-Piece 9 Feet IM6 Carbon Blank, Hard Chromed Guides(3/4/5/6/7/8/10wt)

Summary

If you’re a beginner whose not certain that fly-fishing is for them but wants to give it a chance then this is a good rod to take a look at. This affordable rod is a great option for hiking or backpacking with and offers a great performance without breaking the bank. This rod can perform against some very expensive rods and give them a real run for their money. If you’re a seasoned fly angler, you may be surprised by what this rod can offer you. Constructed from of IM7 24T plus 30T carbon fiber this lightweight rod is well-made and is made from 5 layers which give it a boost in strength and performance.

The rod is lightweight enough to not cause wrist fatigue and the cork handle is contoured to help you find a comfortable and sturdy grip. The snake guides are made from hard-chromed stainless steel which is durable and helps the line to flow smoothly. The inclusion of an over-sized tip loop increases the rod’s casting distance and this rod casts smoothly and easily. The high density machined aluminum reel seat has 2 up-locking rings which help keep the reel in place securely. The rod can be used in saltwater which gives you a real range of locations where you can use this rod.

If you want excellent performance at an excellent price, then this portable rod that divides down into 4-pieces might be just what you’re looking for. It looks great and can be easily put in a backpack and taken out on the road without worry about damage. Whether you’re a beginner looking for a rod that’ll give you a good feel for fly-fishing, an experienced angler who wants a good backup rod to keep in the car for fishing emergencies, this rod is well-constructed and a lot of fun to use.

Pros

  • Well constructed and made with high-quality materials

  • Lightweight and durable

  • Divides into 4 easily portable pieces

  • Excellent value option for beginners and seasoned anglers

  • Available in a range of different lengths and weight

Cons 

  • A bit heavier than some of the other options

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4-Piece 9 Feet IM6 Carbon Blank, Hard Chromed Guides(3/4/5/6/7/8/10wt)
  • DESIGNED for a PREMIUM ENTRY LEVEL AT AN OUTSTANDING ATTRACTIVE PRICE - a high quality blank, using the best available components for this price, the rod just feels like most rods twice or triple of the price. Best choice for the young guys to get into fly fishing and also works reliably for the experienced angler for a back-up rod. We just want to make fly fishing simple and affordable.
  • EXCLUSIVE MAXLINQ BLANK TECHNOLOGY – Pure IM7 24T plus 30T carbon fiber. With mixed 5 layers of carbon including Reinforced Muscle carbon layer for at least 20% increase in strength.the high performance blank will prove the quality is not only associate with high dollar price tags, the highest performance to price ratio
  • DISTANCE and PRESENTATION – a fast action design rod blank to excel in distance and presentation. Loading easily for long casts into the wind. Slim taper engineered to be smooth and powerful, all for easy long distance casting. Making it easier for new guys getting in to fly fishing to become a high frequent fly fisher.
  • HIGH STANDARD SMOOTH GUIDES – MaxSelect Stripping Guides and Ultra lightweight Hard Chromed stainless steel snake guides and Over-sized tip loop for smoothest longer casting. PURE CORK HANDL and REEL SEAT – Pure A+ Contoured Cork Handle for comfortable gripping and also helpful for casting. High Density machined aluminum reel seat with two up-locking rings for reliable fixing of the reel foot. And will tolerate saltwater environment.
  • ONE-YEAR-WARRANTY and LifeTime Repairing Warranty - MAXCATCH as a 15 years fly rod factory,offer “No Hassle” warranty for all our rods for one year. If you are not 100% satisfied with our rod, you can return it in any time. And we also offer lifetime repairing for All Maxcatch rods.

RUNNER UP

PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, 4 Piece Lightweight Ultra-Portable Graphite Fly Rod 5/6 9’ Complete Starter Package with Carrier Bag

Summary

This rod and reel combo is the perfect solution if you’re looking to get into fly-fishing but are worried about ending up with a mismatched rod and reel. This option comes with a complete starter pack which is a great way to get hold of everything you need to get started so you can just head out to the water and start practicing. Starter kits generally have everything you need and more besides, and they’re a good way to work out what accessories you like and don’t like so you can start to get a feel for your preferences in fly-fishing. This rod and reel combo will consistently perform and offer everything you need to get started as a beginner, and if you’re just looking for a good value portable rod to take traveling with you or as a spare than there is the option to get just the rod alone.

This is a lightweight, ultra-portable graphite rod that measures 8' feet in length and offers strong and consistent performance. It includes 30-ton Toray carbon fiber blanks and anti-corrosive chromed stainless-steel snake guides which combine with the adjustable reel seat to help the line flow smoothly. They also reduce friction and heat which reduces the risk of damage to your line and rod. This rod looks great and is very sensitive with a tip that flexes well and ensures very accurate short casts. The rod has excellent quality of construction and is very durable. It has great action and a good amount of backbone which will help you land larger fish. The rod also casts very smoothly, and the wooden handle offers a good grip and excellent control.  

The rod’s line rating is 5/6 and with a moderate/fast action, the rod will suit a range of fishing situations and will be able to hold it’s own against a variety of fish including medium-sized trout, bass, and sunfish. It breaks down into 4-pieces and is convenient to travel with. It feels great in the hand and will help you catch some real whoppers. If you’re looking for a rod that is durable and well-constructed to take out on the road with you then this is a good portable option.

Pros

  • Handle feels very comfortable and offers a strong grip 

  • Breaks down to an easily portable length 

  • Well-constructed and durable 

  • Easy and comfortable to use

  • Includes full starters kit

Cons

  • Sleeve bag may need to be replaced at some point 

PLUSINNO Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, 4 Piece Lightweight Ultra-Portable Graphite Fly Rod 5/6 9’ Complete Starter Package with Carrier Bag
  • 🎣 Complete 5/6 weight Fly Fishing Rods Reel Combo Kit - 4 piece fly rod contains a free rod tip, a large arbor reel, preinstalled line, a fly box, flies, and a lightweight rod case with a zippered storage pouch.
  • 🎣 Premium Performance Fly Rod - The mid flex IM8 graphite fly rod comes with stainless steel stripper guide which reduces friction and heat, and won't harm the fish line. It’s also made up of superior single foot snake guides and metal adjustable CNC aluminum reel seat which effectively avoids loose swing phenomenon on fishing. The western-style grip made with high quality cork and compressed cork trim rings helps casting accuracy and avoids fatigue.
  • 🎣 Diecast Aluminum Fly Fishing Reel - Durable aluminum construction and spool, Gear ratio is 1:1. One-way only roller bearing system, Ball Bearings: 2+1BB. Superior Teflon disk drag design, Line Weight: 5/6 External Dia: 2-9/10", Net Weight: 5.2 oz. Pre-loaded 20lb 98ft backing, weight forward 6-weight floating 100ft fly line, and 9ft 3X leader.
  • 🎣 Floating Fly Flies Kit and Excellent Rod Case - The Beginner Fly Fishing Kit is composed of a 4.5" x 3.2" x 1.2" waterproof fly box and 16 flies. It's the best fishing kit suited for trout, pan fish, small streams, ponds, and backpacking. The study rod case with a zippered storage pouch holds everything you need for fly fishing. It suits a wide range of abilities and techniques, especially for starters and experienced anglers.
  • 🎣 Perfect Service - For assuring our customer enjoy a superior shopping experience, we offer 12 month warranties on all of our products. Warm Prompt: as you encounter any quality problem, please contact us directly and our friendly customer service professionals will address your needs as soon as possible. It's the best gift to send father, son, husband, fiancé, boyfriend.

RUNNER UP

DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 12' Tenkara Rod Plus Complete Starter Package – Flies, Leader, Tippet, Line Holder, Storage Tube, and Rod Sock

Summary

If you haven’t heard of tenkara before than all you need to know is that it’s a minimalist fly-fishing method from Japan that focuses more on casting and presentation and gives you the opportunity for some exciting manual fish fighting as tenkara rods don’t use a reel. Tenkara rods need to be lightweight, flexible, and sturdy, and they are normally longer than your average fly-fishing rod. Many anglers have fallen in love with Tenkara for its simplicity and elegance and if you want to try this exciting fly-fishing technique out than this is a good rod to use. The rod offers excellent performance and is built from high-quality materials. It also is very easy to set-up and start trying out so you can catch your first fish and start mastering this technique.

This is a great graphite tenkara rod made from IM 10 graphite which makes it lightweight and sensitive but gives you a sturdiness that you need when fighting the larger fish. This rod has enough backbone to easily handle medium-sized fish and can hold its own against the larger ones too. The grip is very important in a tenkara rod as you don’t have a reel to help you fight the fish and this rod caters to this need with a comfortable cork handle that makes it easy to find a grip and reduces tiredness in your wrists and hands so you can fish for longer periods comfortably. At its full length, the rod is 12 ft long and can be collapsed in 9 segments to a compact length of 20.5 inches and can easily fit inside a backpack if you’re looking for something easily transportable. As you don’t have a reel the equipment you need is minimal, so portability isn’t an issue with this rod.

Pros

  • Great rod for beginners at tenkara fishing

  • Easy to set-up and start catching fish even as a beginner

  • Comfortable cork handle for a great grip

  • High quality, lightweight construction

  • Capable of handling the medium-large fish

Cons

  • Collapsing and reassembling can take a while to get used to

DRAGONtail Shadowfire 365 12' Tenkara Rod Plus Complete Starter Package – Flies, Leader, Tippet, Line Holder, Storage Tube, and Rod Sock
  • HIGH QUALITY ROD - The Shadowfire 12-ft Tenkara Rod is comparable to other mid-tier rods that are priced much higher. IM 10 graphite is strong yet lightweight and can handle medium sized fish.
  • COMPLETE STARTER PACKAGE - Includes everything you need to start tenkara fly fishing: 3 soft hackle flies, ultra-premium American made furled Moonlit line, tippet, an EVA foam line holder, storage tube, and stylish rod sock.
  • SET UP IN UNDER 3 MINUTES - Tenkara fly fishing is all about simplicity. With no reel, you can rig up quickly and hit the water. No need for tons of expensive fly fishing gear.
  • CLASSIC TENKARA ROD - The Shadowfire is 12 ft long and 2.9 oz light. With 6:4 action and 8 segments, this fly fishing rod gives lots of play, but is strong enough to give an experienced angler a fighting chance against larger trout.
  • BACKPACKER FISHING FRIENDLY - The Shadowfire Tenkara Rod collapses to 23.25 in, which makes it easy to fit into your backpack for fishing the backcountry, or as a general purpose travel fishing rod.

Best Fly Fishing Rods Buying Guide

Hopefully, you now have a better idea about the kind of fly-fishing rod that’ll suit you and the kind of thing you’re on the lookout for. But if you still want a bit more information on how to pick the right rod than keep reading. This section will take you through a few of the most important features on a fly-fishing rod that you should be aware of before you decide on what rod to buy. Getting the best rod for you is the most important thing as you want it to match your style, regular fishing spots, and the type of fish you want to catch.

Action

A fly-fishing rod’s action tells you how much the rod will flex, where it bends, and how quickly it can take a load being removed. The action affects how a fly pole will take the weight of a fly-line when you cast, how well it casts, and how it can handle fish. So, the action is a very important part of any fly-fishing rod and you need to make sure it matches p to what you want to catch and your preferred technique. You can get fly poles that are fast, medium-fast, medium, and slow action, and you need to choose the best action for your needs. If you need a rod with a powerful casting distance than a fast action rod might suit you the best. Fast action rods aren’t the best choice for beginners as they normally need a more advanced skill to handle them. If you’re after big fish in large bodies of water, then a fast action is a good choice.

Medium fast action rods are more flexible and give you more control when you cast, but still have a lot of power when you need to cast long distances. Medium actions are normally what people go for as they’re equally stiff and flexible and a good place to meet in the middle. These are great options for beginners as they are easy to learn on and can give you a good feel of the fish. Slow action rods are great for more gentle casting like if you fish in creeks and rivers for smaller fish. They deliver a gentler fly placement that won’t frighten the fish away but be warned they don’t cope well in the wind.  

Length

Most brands offer different length options for fly-fishing rods and this is because the length affects the rod’s ability to cast and because you need different lengths for different locations. Most fly-fishing poles are around 9-foot as it’s a good versatile size that gives you a good balance between control, casting distance, and power. It’s a good choice for beginners because it suits a variety of fish and conditions and is generally a good allrounder

If you want a more powerful cast than you want a longer length. Larger fish also normally need a long pole length that can keep up with them, and some anglers find they can control the line better with a long pole. If you’re fishing someone were there heavy vegetation than a shorter rod that won’t get the line tangled is the best option.

FAQs

How much does a fly-fishing rod cost?

Fly-fishing rod comes in a range of budgets and there’s something that matches everyone’s budget and needs if you look for it. Finding the right rod can take time and get the best value for your money it’s worth thinking about what you want before you start looking.

Is it hard to learn to fly-fish?

Fly-fishing isn’t hard to learn, though some techniques like Tenkara are easier to get a handle on the basics than others. Compared to baitcasting many beginners find fly-fishing easier to learn!