So you want to fish with a fly rod.
A fishing fly rod is not as common or popular as the standard cast and retrieve rod. However, there is a different kind of excitement in catching a fish with a fly rod. Fly-fishing for native trout on a stream in the middle of nowhere can lead to one of the most exciting, rewarding experiences of a lifetime. That is exactly why a select few of us opt to go against the grain.
Fly rods are typically longer, thinner, and more flexible than usual fishing rods, and are designed for casting the fly. They use heavier line to support the weight of fishing lures.
There are several types of rods available, taking into account differing factors such as weight, length, action, material, sections, color and various stream conditions and characteristics. There are plenty of rod makers also, giving you a multitude of choices when it comes to picking the right rod for yourself, whether you are a novice, intermediate or a grizzled old angler that knows how to lie with the best of them. You may even discover that you need two or more rods to satisfy your fly-fishing desires.
Fly Rod Materials: There are three basic types of fly rods: fiberglass, graphite, and bamboo.
1. Fiberglass fly rods
It has historically been the most popular, being the least expensive. They’re also quite indestructible, being able to withstand heat, cold, water, and the sun. They can boast of being extremely lightweight but still strong. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll snag a fish that will break a fiberglass fly rod, although you can step on one the wrong way and snap it in two! Fiberglass fly rods are often referred to as “hollow glass” rods, because of the way they are manufactured. They used to be the rod of choice, but now they’re difficult to find, except perhaps at your local department store, or in people’s garages and attics!
2. Graphite fly rods
The “newest kids” on the block, have replaced fiberglass as the most popular fly rod today, despite the fact that you’ll pay more for a graphite rod than for a fiberglass rod. Their growth in popularity stems from the fact that graphite fly rods are the most versatile type, and are lighter in weight, more sensitive, and have a faster response than a bamboo or fiberglass rod. The user will be less fatigued at the end of the day when using a lighter weight graphite rod. Graphite rods are also more forgiving to beginner casters, allowing anglers to cast longer and more accurately than when using fiberglass rods.
Additionally new types of graphite are always being introduced. The major difference between various forms of graphite is the weight; some graphite is heavier than other graphite. You’ll find that the lighter the graphite is, the more expensive the fly rod is!
However, buy the more expensive graphite rod, and you won’t be sorry. Spending the money upfront to get a good fly rod will likely mean that you will be much happier with it from the start, so you won’t need to replace it soon. Besides being lighter to use, a more expensive graphite fly rod has higher quality detail, such as reel seats, guides and wrappings, which the less expensive models leave off all together. A quality rod will last a long time.
3. Split Bamboo fly rods
They were one of the very first fly rods ever manufactured, and are considered to be the “traditional” fly rod. The fact that they are still in use is a strong indication about how well they perform.
It is true that bamboo rods are a bit heavier, but this can actually be advantageous, since this additional weight allows for very smooth casting. Though they can be quite expensive, split bamboo rods have an aesthetic advantage over glass and graphite, in that they are made of an organic material that blends in somewhat with its surroundings.
Despite the fact that bamboo fly rods are quite a bit heavier than today’s lightweight graphite and glass fly rods, and the fact that you’ll pay more for bamboo, they are still considered by some to be the finest fly rods on the market today. Many fly fishermen swear by them, saying they are the best type of fly fishing rod that you can use.
Are you looking for a fly rod for a traveler or businessman?
Amazingly enough, manufacturers have come up with a style of fly rod poles that fold up or breakdown enough to fit into a briefcase or suitcase. A 7 or 8 piece fly rod makes for a great travel or pack rod, or if you are hiking or backpacking any significant distance to the stream you plan to fish. The downside is that it takes a little time to assemble all the sections so that the guides are all lined up. The largest selling rods come in 4 sections for obvious reasons. Just add a pair of chest waders, and you’re all set!
For beginners, the basic rod and some bait will do. During this time, the type of material used and the features it has is not important. What matters is getting the feel of it and having fun. When the person is comfortable and ready to move on to the next level, then one can invest in other more complex, and more expensive, pieces of fishing equipment.
There is no age limit for anyone to start fishing. Kids of all ages will enjoy and appreciate the chance to try a new type of fishing, so don’t be afraid to treat your youngster to a day by your side in the middle of the stream. Fishing takes a lot of practice before being able to excel at it. Becoming an expert at fishing won’t happen in one day, but don’t let that discourage your youngster. Make sure he or she has an enjoyable time.
When considering what kind of fly rod to purchase for the kids for fishing in your local pond or to accompany you on a “real” fishing experience, a fiberglass fly rod will do nicely.
Choosing the correct fishing fly rod will definitely enhance your angling experience and greatly increase your chance of reeling in your fish. If you are new to fly fishing and still unsure about picking your first fly rod, I recommend a graphite rod with medium action, with an 8 foot length, and a weight of 4-6.
Check out the 11 Best Fly Fishing Rods on the market right now:
1. TFO Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Professional Series II Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
With 14 models available from a delicate 3 weight through their popular 10, the Professional Series II travel rods have taken TFO’s reputation to new levels. These medium fast and progressive action rods are smooth casting and powerful, yet very forgiving—and are an incredible value. Lefty says they are the perfect rods for all anglers and skill levels. Traveling anglers can afford to take them as a backup, but often return with a new favorite. Cosmetics include matte black finished blanks and subtle gold logos. They feature alignment dots color coded by line weight, premium grade cork with burled accents, and oversized stripper guides. New anodized reel seats with braided carbon fiber inserts make these rods as forgiving on the eyes as they are in the hand. Each rod comes with an attractive logoed rod sock so you can add their optional tube or customized your own.
2. Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod
The Tatula line of premium tournament rods will take your fishing experience to new levels. Exclusive X45 Bias Graphite construction with SVF (Super High Volume Fiber) Carbon Technology added to increase strength. The Zero G design reduces weight on the Tatula rods to a shocking new low. The strong and sensitive micro-pitch taping blank is topped with Fuji Alconite guides, a lightweight Daiwa custom reel seat with machined aluminum hood nut, ultra-lightweight split EVA grips.
3. Fenwick HMG Fly Rods
Fenwick HMG Fly Rod. The world’s FIRST graphite rod makes its triumphant return. The HMG changed fishing forever as the world’s first graphite rod. 40 years later, Fenwick has reinvented a classic with the lightest, most comfortable HMG ever! The new version is designed with a crisp, forgiving action that can generate high line speeds and accuracy both up close and afar with minimal effort. Lots of configurations available, so take a look. They’re sure you’ll find one for you.
4. DRAGONtail Tenkara Shadowfire 360 12’ Fly Fishing Rod
The Shadowfire tenkara rod is a great choice for water where the fish are mostly under 17 inches. The Shadowfire can handle larger fish than 17 inches but it is designed for mid-sized fish. The soft casting action of this rod will help you cast more naturally and accurately. If you are using level line, you will want size #3 or #3.5 with this rod for best performance. They designed the handle to fit the hand more comfortably to reduce hand fatigue and to give you more casting control. You will most likely be pleased with the feel of this rod handle. The matte black color keeps the rod from reflecting the sun and possibly alerting the fish of your presence. Despite being matte black, this rod is very appealing to the eyes and has a quality finish. Although this rod is not necessarily designed as a big fish rod it can get the job done if you have room to move. They have landed a 23 inch rainbow with this rod, it helped that I was using a longer line when I caught it. You are going to love this rod.
5. Maxcatch for Traveler 7-piece IM10 Carbon Travel Rod Fly Fishing
It is suitable for travel fishing (The package length is less than 60 cm). This maxcatch travel fly rod has high configuration, IM 10 carbon fibre and AAA cork have made it among top rod. Solid machined aluminum reel seat with hard wood inserted. Built on Sapphire blue painted blank with transparent blue wraps. Fitted with Tip-over-butt ferrules with alignment dots. Two strippers, hard chrome snakes and tip-top. Come with a Cordura rod tube and cloth bag.
6. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
This is positively one of the best rods you can buy for the price. This is a 4 piece, travel ready rod. Half well, high quality cork handle. Comfortable and avoids fatigue for casting-heavy days. It’s fast action for longer casts, handling windy conditions, and has backbone for determined fish. Made from IM8 graphite (carbon fiber). It’s designed for maximum sensitivity and durability. So you can focus on presentations and fighting fish, not breaking your rod. Your rod will be protected in a four compartment cordura rod tube. Each rod section has its own cozy compartment to feel safe in. The rod tube includes an adjustable shoulder strap for worry free bushwhacking and long approaches. Sling it over your shoulder and go. Assembles easily via alignment dots, which help get the sections lined up right the first time. Stylish dark gray color: looks great, and is a natural color to help avoid spooking fish with overly flashy or distracting colors, thread, etc.
7. Okuma Crisium Graphite 2-Piece Fly Rod
With a traditional build that includes a half wells grip, rosewood reel seat and stainless steel snake guides, Crisium fly rods are constructed for those who cast with a smooth and patient stroke. As reward for their patience, casters receive nearly effortless casting and exceptional protection of light tippets. Built in two-piece models from 7- to 9-feet in length, Crisium fly rods are exceptional on smaller waters where the quality of the presentation reaps greater rewards than casting distance.
8. Piscifun 4-Piece 8-Feet 6-Inch/9-feet Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
Designed for the serious angler who doesn’t want to break the bank, this four-piece rod incorporates high-end features while maintaining an attractive price point. Moderate/fast action suits a wide range of abilities and techniques. The durable, Japanese 30-ton carbon fiber blanks delivers performance typically reserved for top-dollar fly rods. Chromed stainless steel snake guides provide a lifetime of corrosion resistance. Up-locking aluminium alloy reel seat; aaa portuguese cork grip; comes with rod sock. The components create a look and feel you’d expect from a rod costing three times as much.
9. Eagle Claw Trailmaster Travel Spin/Fly Fishing Rod
For almost 50 years, Trailmaster is the name that has been synonymous with fishing and family tradition. More Trailmaster rods have been passed down through generations than any other rod made. Lightweight and built for a lifetime of use, there is a trailmaster designed for every angler. IM-7 complex composite blank construction provides incredible performance titanium oxide guides and beautiful custom cork handles engraved aluminum reel seatBeautiful, padded travel case included.
10. Maxcatch Explorer Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4-Piece 9 Feet
A medium-fast action rod that’s great for beginning casters or experienced angler as backup. Four- piece models offer flexibility for the traveling angler. Medium-fast action, 100% IM6 / 24T carbon fiber. A grade cork grip. Solid machined aluminum reel seat features twin locking rings. Built on matt green painted blank with transparent green wraps. Fitted with Tip-over-butt ferrules without alignment dots. Two strippers, hard chrome snakes and tip-top. Come with a plastic rod tube.
11. PLUSINNO Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Graphite Pole
Designed for the serious angler who doesn’t want to break the bank, this 4-piece rod incorporates high-end features while maintaining an attractive price point. Moderate/fast action suits a wide range of abilities and techniques. The durable, 30-ton carbon fiber blanks delivers performance typically reserved for top-dollar fly rods. Chromed Stainless Steel Snake Guides provide a lifetime of corrosion resistance. Up-locking aluminium alloy reel seat; the components create a look and feel you’d expect from a rod costing three times as much. Cast one, price it, compare it, and you will buy one more!