My sister came to me and asked what type of fly fishing rod she should get her husband who was just starting out. I have my personal opinions but I also wanted to do some digging and here is what I found.
Here is a list of my top seven fly fishing rods for beginners:
- Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod with Rod Tube
- Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4 Piece 9ft – IM7 Carbon Fiber Blank
- Redington Crosswater Fly Rod Outfit
- Sougayilang Fishing rod reel
- Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
- PLUSINNO Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod
- Temple Fork Outfitters TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II Braided Graphite Fly Fishing Rods
There is a lot about those rods and some might fit better than others, depending on what you are looking for.
1. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
This fly rod is great for any experience fisher, new and old. It is awesome because you can’t grow out it by becoming too good for it. It’s a super reasonably priced rod as well especially for the quality you get.
It is made graphite which makes it strong durable and light. It’s made into 4 pieces, so taking it apart and putting it together makes it super easy. I really liked that when I began because I didn’t have much room in my place or a garage or anything for storage.
It made it nice and easy to put it away and I actually usually kept it in my car most of the time.
It is what’s called a “fast action” type of rod and is high-performance. This basically means that casting will be made easier. It is actually a good thing because when people get frustrated they tend to try and muscle through it, making their cast terrible.
With this, you won’t feel like you have to do that and instead, you can take your frustration out on your buddy. This rod is available on Amazon, you can view it here.
2. Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
Obviously being in the title, it is made with graphite, which is always a plus when it comes to fly rods. This fly rod is really cheap for being made with this material as well.
I would say this is a rod that is not just for beginners, but for those that have been maybe fishing for a few years as well.
It comes in a rod tube and collapses into 4 pieces so traveling with it is made easy as well. The machined aluminum reel seat is durable and has double lock rings on the reel seat that ensures the reel is securely attached which can come in handy if you are are a little more reckless with your things.
The best part is this cast makes great casting distance and accuracy with a smooth loading, which just makes life easier.
If you are interested in this awesome rod, it’s available on Amazon and you can view it right here.
3. Redington Crosswater Fly Rod
This Redington Crosswater fly rod is great for someone that is just starting out. It is awesome for many reasons, but one is that it has the full setup on this package. Rod, reel, line, and a carry case which is more useful than you might think.
It is good for all types of waters so you can take it anywhere you will be fly fishing. It is a medium-fast action type rod, which some would say is better for beginners. It is also made out of graphite so it is going to be light yet strong and will make your day out on the water more enjoyable.
If you are a little hesitant and aren’t sure what type of fishing you want to be doing, I would try this one out. Like I said it comes with everything you need and you know that it is all compatible.
More experienced fishers sometimes like to get different types of reels and mix things up, but if you don’t know what you are doing it can mess things up for you and you will hate this new hobby. If you are interested in taking a closer look at this rod, you can click here and we will hop you over to Redington website.
4. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combo Kit
This rod reel combo kit is great for someone that is getting started, on a budget, and/or might not be sure if this is something they are going to stick with. I only say that because it has most things you will need right away, but is cheaper.
This is a medium action rod with a cork handle, making it nice and comfortable. the reel is made with aluminum alloy and this comes with a 12 piece fly-kit.
Something I really like about this product is they have a 5-year warranty and say that if you have any issues, to call them and they will take care of it. I have never had one of these, but with the cheaper material, at least you know you are getting great customer service who will take care of you.
If you would like to take a closer look at this rod, you can find it here.
5. Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
This rod is yet another great choice. I think if you are looking to go for something reasonable and new to the fly game, this is a top consideration.
You might be thinking that since it is super cheap is it any good? Well yes, yes it is.
Some might even say this rod is better than those expensive rods you can find getting into a couple of hundred dollars. It is an all-around good rod and since it is so cheap, that is why I recommend it more for beginners. This way, if you somehow dislike this sport, it didn’t cost you an arm and a leg.
It is made with carbon fiber, so it still going to be really light, but not as strong as those made with graphite. It is made with cork handles so it going to be really comfortable to those that aren’t used to fishing for hours.
If you are looking for a cheaper way to get into the game and aren’t sure if you will be sticking around for long, this might be a really good choice for you.
If you would like to take a closer look at this rod, click here to see it on Amazon.
6. Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Another rod reel combos and kit that is perfect for those that know this is something they want to get into. Plusinno is a well known and highly rated brand, so you know you are getting good quality and probably won’t have many issues in the future.
It is a little bit more pricey, but that is because it has everything you need to get started and the brand name. It is as if you want a good quality running shoe, you might go to Nike. Are they way overpriced?
Sometimes. But people still buy them because they know that if the shoe falls apart sooner than it should, they can call customer service and they will be well taken care of. (I know first hand)
It is made with carbon fiber and a very nicely crafted wooden handle. It is a medium-fast action rob, which as I said, is great for a beginner. At 8 feet long, it can handle many different types of fishing situations and can handle almost anything that comes its way.
It breaks down into 4 pieces, making traveling with it very easy. Overall great for someone that is getting into fly fishing and has maybe been before so they know they are most likely going to stick with it. Or just someone that doesn’t care too much about money. Either way.
To view this product on Amazon, click here.
7. Temple Fork Outfitters Braided Graphite Fly Fishing Rods
This is a really good brand and a rod for you lefties. TFO is well known in the flying business. It is a good all-around pole that’s smooth as well as powerful in its action.
It is a pretty reasonably priced rod and once again comes with the name brand. It is another medium-fast action rod that will make preference easy for you. Casting is made really easy and you won’t have to put as much effort into it.
It is a bit shorter, so it more for those in creeks or shorter rivers as well. Sometimes it can be harder in those open rivers with a shorter rod.
To view this product on Amazon, click here.
Advice For More Personal Searching
As you are trying to find rods you will realize there are many different lengths that you can purchase. This is because the length affects the cast and where you are fishing can determine what length you are going to want to have.
If you want something general and aren’t sure how big or small water you will be going to, I might suggest getting an 8-9 foot rod. It is a pretty good happy medium length for those starting out.
You should be able to target almost any kind of fish with this length as well. it is a good balance of control, power, distance, and accuracy as well, which is key when fly fishing.
The longer the length the bigger the cast will most likely be. Starting out, I would not suggest you want a super-powerful, long cast. It can change up the whole style and really make things difficult for you.
Shorter rods can just get annoying as well, but there is nothing “wrong” with them, besides the fact that they have a short cast and can make some feel awkward casting.
The weight is super important when it comes to fly fishing and picking everything out as well. It is what delivers the fly where you want it placed and how deep it will go.
Some fish like to hang out up top, and some are bottom feeders and hang out at the bottom of the river. If you don’t have the right weight accommodated for the type of fish that are there, you will have a rough day.
0, 1, 2 weights are made for the smallest fish species in small streams using very tiny dry flies.
3, 4 weights work well when using small, light tippets, to make delicate presentations using small flies and targeting panfish and trout.
5, 6, 7 weights are the most common and versatile fly fishing line and rod weights. These can handle about 90% of all fishing situations when fishing for trout, bass, bluegill, fishing in big rivers and lakes, deep nymphing with weighted flies and casting larger streamers, poppers, and split shots.
at 7 you are going to go for larger bass, steelhead, and salmon.
5 is the most versatile weight rating and suits a variety of species, flies, and environments. It is also the ideal weight rating for learning fly fishing for you beginners.
8, 9, 10 weights suit saltwater fishing and for long-distance, heavy flies.
In all types of fishing, there are 4 different types of reels. In fly fishing, there is really only one, a fly fishing reel. The reels are on the reels seats and hold the line for you as you are casting. it can help with how it drags for fighting heavy or fast-moving fish without breaking the line or snapping the rod.
The rod and reel should be well balanced and some rods and reels do not match. This is why I said previously if you are just starting out, getting a combo with everything can be super helpful.
It takes the stress away of “did I get the right combo? Is this cast supposed to feel like this or is it off-balanced?” If you have a shop nearby they can usually help you find the right combos as well if you are still unsure.
Fly reels are used with a disc drag system and can be really fun. A lot of those that fly fish can’t go back to any other type of fishing because of the constant movement they are used to with this.
By actions, I mean how much the rod bends when fighting for a fish. How much it bends, where it bends, the flex and how it recovers when the load is gone or removed.
There are fast, medium-fast, medium and slow action fly poles. it depends on where you are fishing and what you are fishing for to determine the action you want.
Fast action rods are going to have a very fast, powerful release or cast coming off. when fighting for a fish, it bends just at the tip. They tend to be harder for beginners to learn, but if you can learn on a fast action rod, you won’t have any problems in the future.
Medium fast fly rods bend mostly in the top third. They have more flex than fast action rods but don’t have as much force coming off the cast. Still having a lot of power and making a good long cast.
Medium action fly fishing rods bend in the top half and are equally flexible and stiff. It is a really good happy medium action for those that want a little of both worlds. I think this and medium-fast action are the best for beginners. It has a good amount of flex, making it accurate, and can handle most fish.
Slow action has the most bend, bending through the whole rod. It makes for a gentle slower speed and works well when in creeks or a smaller area.