The Best Fly Fishing Rods 2020: Top 10 Rods Reviewed, Compared, and Rated
One of the best ways to de-stress and connect with nature is fly fishing. However, there’s more to this exciting activity – even when you capture just a few fish, you can still have a great time as you share some photographs of your conquests with your friends and family to marvel at. Remember, having one of the best fly fishing rods can bring the difference between a successful fishing trip and wasted time.
Picking a fishing rod that matches your fly fishing requirements is quite a task. After all, you don’t need a rod that can easily snap under pressure, letting the most photo-worthy moment slip in between your fingers. And you don’t want a rod that will cost you all your savings!
A reliable fly fishing rod often makes a big difference between an exciting fishing adventure and failure. Even for anglers who have been in the game for many years, a highly responsive, well-balanced fishing rod drastically boosts their ability to catch their target fish. For beginners, an excellent rod suited for their specific needs is essential. To give an idea of everything you need to consider when choosing a high-quality fly fishing rod, read through these reviews and the buying guide.
- The Best Fly Fishing Rods 2020: Top 10 Rods Reviewed, Compared, and Rated
- Fly Fishing Rods: Comparison Table
- The best fly fishing rods - reviews
- 1. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Fishing Rod
- 2. Fenwick AETOS Fly Fishing Rod
- 3. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod
- 4. Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) Lefty Kreh Fly Fishing Rod
- 5. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod
- 6. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod-Reel Combo
- 7. Aventik Z Ultra-Light Fly Fishing Rod
- 9. Mounchain 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod
- 10. Fenwick AETOS Switch Fly Fishing Rod
- The ultimate buyers guide for fly fishing rods
- Wrap up
Fly Fishing Rods: Comparison Table
Well, the reviews here are detailed and quite long. Here is a comparison chart that can give a rough idea of each rod’s features, price, and rating.
The best fly fishing rods - reviews
1. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Fishing Rod
This Toccoa Fly fishing rod combines everything you anticipate from Tailwater Outfitters – a perfect combination of affordability and superior quality. It is a four-piece fishing rod that’s easy to pack and carry around during your usual fishing trips.
It’s associated with fast action that lasts longer compared to other rods, with enough backbone to handle various types of fish. Besides, you can use this fishing rod even during windy conditions without compromising your ability to catch fish.
Durability and sensitivity are some of the significant factors to consider when choosing a fishing rod. This unique fishing rod is made of carbon fiber (IM8 graphite). The material boosts its durability will keeping the product lightweight for ease of use. Therefore, you can focus on fighting fish rather than the possibility of the rod snapping off.
Other outstanding features of this product include chrome snake guides and ceramic stripping guides that facilitate smooth gliding fly lines. For all fishers looking for a fishing rod that could quench their fishing desires, this Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Fishing Rod is an ultimate choice.
2. Fenwick AETOS Fly Fishing Rod
Sure, there are more affordable fly rods compared to Fenwick’s fly rod. However, in the long-run, it is way better to spend more bucks to get a premium-quality fishing rod that you will not need to replace after a few months. This Fenwick AETOS Fly Fishing Rod is an exceptional rod with top-quality graphite blanks that offer fast action for reliability.
Besides, you can break down into four distinct pieces. Thus, you can easily pack it and carry it with you during long fishing trips. The rod has gunsmoke snake guides and gunsmoke stripper guides that facilitate seamless casting and efficient line retrieval. The handle is made of AAA-category cork for extra comfort for the user.
The Fenwick’s AETOS rod series comes with a regular, Spey-switch model in various line weights and lengths. The sleek design and elegance of the product promise many hours of exciting fishing adventures. For fishers looking for an affordable fly rod that doesn’t compromise on performance and quality, this is an excellent option.
3. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod
This is a medium-fast fly fishing rod made of Japanese 30-ton Toray graphite. This lets you handle fish effectively while fly fishing. It also features a durable and robust butt section that gives enough backbone for accurate, long casts. The sensitive tip flexes easily to facilitate seamless shorter casts.
This unique Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod features half wells cork handle that offers accurate castings and allows the user to enjoy many hours of fatigue-free fishing. Its full wells cork handle allows the caster to apply the full power for accurate, longer casts to the specific rod rated for line weight seven an more. Besides, the rod balances perfectly and provides better comfort.
The 3A-grade cork handle is made of lightweight materials and offers a higher level of comfort. They are more sensitive and feel warmer to the user’s hand. Therefore, you can still use the rod even during cold weather.
4. Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) Lefty Kreh Fly Fishing Rod
Novice and experienced fishers can rely on this fly fishing rod in various fishing areas, including creeks, rivers, and large distances as well. It is a medium-fast action fishing rod that’s strong enough to be used in various weather conditions. The rod is made of IM6 graphite, a material that is highly reliable due to its durability and the fact that it is lightweight. To make the rod sleek, it is fitted with a fly fishing reel seat made using anodized hardware and carbon inserts.
The TFO fly fishing rod is a four-piece product which is more convenient compared to the two-piece options. This is because it is easy to fold, pack, and store when traveling or not in use. You can also put it in your backpack and carry it with you everywhere you go.
One good thing about this fly fishing rod is that its manufacturer fitted it with dot alignment, and this makes the assembling process super easy for the users. Besides, it is lightweight (for reliable sensitivity to fish bites), fitted with a standard size cork handle to fit in the user's hand perfectly, and oversized stripper guides to minimize line friction and boost its speed.
Lastly, the rod comes in 14 different rod sizes, varying weights, and different lengths to cater to all fishermen’s needs.
5. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod
Are you looking for an excellently-performing fly fishing rod at an affordable price? This rod is the ultimate choice. The rod can be used in both saltwater fishing and freshwater fishing. Besides, it features a fast-action blank design to perform better when it comes to casting distance and presentation. It’s equipped with a slim taper that’s engineered to be smooth and strong. This facilitates efficiency in loading and easy casting even for long distances.
Another benefit of using this fishing rod is that it has a pure cork handle and a high-quality reel seat. The cork is contoured for a comfortable grip, something you need for smooth casts. It has a high-density machined aluminum reel seat equipped with two up-locking rings that a user can count on when it comes to fixing of the reel foot.
Exclusive MAXLINQ Blank tech is also another feature that sets this rod apart from most fishing rods out there. It features pure IM7 24T and 30T carbon fiber with five layers of carbon to increase the product’s strength by 20%. This rod offers optimum durability, and you no longer need to worry about replacing it after a few months. In fact, it gives you the opportunity to enjoy many years of seamless fly fishing experience.
6. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod-Reel Combo
This fly fishing rod-reel combo is ideal for anyone seeking exciting fishing experience. It’s professionally designed to catch large fish without compromising the fisher’s comfort. It is made up of high-quality graphite that makes it stronger and lightweight, making it easy to use and durable. This 9-feet long fishing rod weighs 5.7 ounces and can cast effectively even for longer distances
This fly fishing combo from Wild Water is known for its outstanding functionality and flexibility. It has a unique ability to be dismantled into four pieces to make it easier for you to pack it in a backpack and carry it nearly everywhere. Its casting reel is ideal for both right-handed and left-handed retrieve.
Another feature that has contributed to the fame of this fly fishing rod-reel combo is its flexibility. The long, sleek rod is also lightweight and easy to use, even for beginners. The casting reel facilitates flexible throw even longer one and no difficulties. The reel is also pre-spooled and is compatible with braid. The product’s waterproof floating fly box lets users fishing even during those heavy-rain days.
Lastly, this fly fishing combo has a strong construction to ensure it lasts for many years. It is made of top-quality materials such as cast aluminum, IM8 graphite, and stainless steel – an excellent combination that makes this fly fishing gear long-lasting.
7. Aventik Z Ultra-Light Fly Fishing Rod
This fly fishing rod is ultra-light and super compact. It is 6’1” and weighs 3.15oz. Besides, it is a four-piece fishing rod, and that means you can fold it, pack it in your backpack, and carry it with you to the fishing grounds. The simple design makes it easy to store the rod as well.
This Aventik Z Ultra-Light Fly Fishing Rod features blanks made of an attractive finish that 100 percent 24T carbon fiber. Besides, it is associated with multi-graphite positioning tech to make lightweight and boost strength. Other outstanding features include a perfect balance, long-accurate casting, superb presentations, and more.
The rod is equipped with premium-quality components to offer the users superb fishing experience. For example, it has a hard chrome-plated one-foot guide with a large tip top and stripping guides that are rust-resistant for an excellent performance. Also, it has the latest design CNC reel seat that offers better comfort to fishers.
Lastly, this fly fishing rod is guaranteed for about 25 years. Before shipping, the product must undergo a QC system as well as field casting testing. If you have been searching for a fishing rod that can offer the full value of your money, this Aventik Z Ultra-Light Fly Fishing Rod is the ultimate choice.
8. DRAGONtail Shadowfire 12-Ft Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod
Though this fly fishing rod is available at a competitive price compared to other entry-level, high-performance fishing rod, it has always outperformed other similar rods priced within $50. It is 12 feet, 6:4 soft-action fishing rod. Its light balanced feet, and somewhat soft-action offers fantastic fishing experience. The product is an excellent choice for fly fishing trips in rivers and streams where a larger number of fish is usually less than 18 inches and sometimes as small as four inches.
This DRAGONtail Shadowfire 12-Ft Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod blends simplicity, elegance, and tradition. Generally, Tenkara fishing has made its way into many anglers’ hearts globally, particularly those who appreciated the level of minimalism associated with this traditional fishing technique. The absence of reel puts the fisher closer in touch with the fish, and he or she is required the fish out of water manually.
The rod is renowned for its smooth casting with a low oscillation that allows the user to cast accurately and more naturally. If you choose to use a level line, you may opt for #3.5 or #3 for excellence performance. It is equipped with handles that are professionally shaped to offer maximum comfort to the users. For anglers looking for highly versatile fishing gear, this DRAGONtail Shadowfire 12-Ft Tenkara Fly Fishing Rod is a good option.
9. Mounchain 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod
Do you plan to go fishing outdoors with your friends or family on weekends or holidays? This Mounchain 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod is professionally designed to offer premium fishing performance. It is equipped with 5wt-9’ medium-action to facilitate fishing in rivers and streams. Also, it is suitable for both beginners and experienced anglers.
This Mounchain 4-Piece Fly Fishing Rod is created using top-quality chrome plating tech and attractively decorated. It is heat-resistant and performs excellently in different environments. The chrome-plating technique used guarantees a durable guide rail. The rod’s cork is made of wood, making it lightweight. Thus, you don’t have to be worried about the rod slipping off your hands during your fishing activities.
Another post of us: 12 Best Fly Tying Vise [Helpful Buyer’s Guide]
10. Fenwick AETOS Switch Fly Fishing Rod
For decades, Fenwicks has been designing and developing fishing rods of top quality and outstanding performance. Their rods are created to last long and have an impressive design and style. The AETOS fly fishing rod has a fast-action, excellent performance modern tapers that are artfully crafted with a somewhat lightweight feel.
Its fast-action blanks facilitate efficient recovery while the unique design makes sure that the fishing rod is lightweight enough to allow you to enjoy fishing all day long. On the other hand, the 3A grade cork handle that makes it easier to handle this rod – you can enjoy fatigue-free fishing.
The ultimate buyers guide for fly fishing rods
Just like any other fishing rod, all fly fishing rods are specially created to cast, control the line, and help you land fish. The element that differentiates fly fishing rods from other rods is the casting technique as they use small fish as lures or baits. They must have line guides, rod, and a good reel.
Additionally, fly rods are lightweight compared to other types of the fishing rod. First, the reel is positioned at the handle’s end to create balance in the rod because it is long. Unlike spin fishing rods, these rods don’t use a reel to cast. Rather, they rely on the stretching line out of the cast before you cast and use the rod to throw the line to your desired distance.
Thus, the overall line weight is one of the major differences between a spinning rod and a fly rod. Note that you cannot flick your wrist and throw the line on a fly fishing rod just as you would if you were using your grandpa’s Zebco. Fly fishing and casting requires you to learn a few new tricks in addition to your current fishing skills.
What are the benefits of using a fly rod?
Long casts with small baits
The fly line is thick in diameter, and you can cast a much smaller lure that you would while using a standard fishing line. Generally, this is a benefit when angling fish that might be intimidated by a big lure and the loud splash resulting from the bait presentation.
You can pick-up on a long-distance
This is a benefit for anglers who understand fly fishing techniques as they don’t have to reel in prior to casting.
A bobber isn’t necessary
Whenever fish strikes the fly line, you will definitely know even when you don’t feel it at all. Note that the heavy line (usually colored) will move along the water, and this is a sign that you are about to pull out fish.
It’s good for the fish
Unlike other types of fishing rods with lures, flies tend to have small hooks without barbs. That means you will a lighter footprint on all the fish you reel in. It doesn’t matter your intent to catch and release or keep, it’s recommended to cause less suffering for the fish.
Good for your soul
Most anglers report that this type of fishing is a fantastic treatment for their stressful lives. Note that fly fishing requires a higher level of physical and mental mindfulness in cohesive oneness with your fishing environment.
Generally, fly fishing often conjures images of a fisher gracefully casting on a mountain stream. Note that this form of fishing goes beyond just trout fishing. Actually, you can catch nearly any type of fish using a fly rod. This opens an exciting world of fishing for most anglers. But before you purchase a fishing rod, it is best to think about the type of fish you’re angling for. Taking a rod specially made for freshwater fishing for a day you planned to do saltwater fishing is never a good idea.
Choosing a good fly fishing rod
One of the best ways of making a good choice is by determining the main reason you need the fishing rod. Think about the specific kind of fish you want to catch and whether you will be fishing in a freshwater or saltwater environment. The latter requires a fishing rod whose components are made of rust-resistant materials. The rod should also be strong enough to survive the pressure associated with big saltwater fish. Here are other factors you should consider.
Length and material
Often, fly fishing rods are six feet to ten feet in length. The short ones are most preferred for short casts. These rods are ideal for small mountain streams. On the other hand, a long fly fishing rod is best for making long costs or whenever you don’t want the line getting caught in branches or snags. Therefore, it is recommended to use a rod of eight to nine feet if you want more versatility in your fishing trips.
Fly fishing rods are made of different materials, including fiberglass, bamboo, and graphite. Generally, rods made of fiberglass are excellent for beginners or anglers looking for an affordable and long-lasting fishing rod. Though they’re affordable, it appears they are losing their popularity to graphite fishing rods.
Fly fishing rods made of bamboo are excellent for highly experienced fishers. This is because they tend to be heavier, slow action fishing rods that need great care to keep them in perfect shape. One good thing about bamboo fly rods is that they are considered the most beautiful rods because they have a natural feel. Graphite fly fishing rods are new to the market and have become the most popular.
Weight of the fly fishing line
Generally, the weight of a fly fishing rod is determined based on a 1-12 scale. Heavier rods provide a better chance to cat bigger fish. For example, if you own a 3wt rod, you can have an exciting fishing experience at a small stream where you can catch panfish and trout. On the other hand, a 9wt rod is more suitable for large bass, big saltwater fish, and more.
The 1-12 measurement scale determines the thickness and overall weight of the fly fishing line that the rod can efficiently handle. This is the primary reason it’s important to match your rod’s weight and the weight of the line. For instance, if your fly rod is light, you shouldn’t buy an 8wt fly line. After all, your rod will not support the thick line effectively.
A larger number of fly rods come with a matching line and reel in special packages known as bundles. It’s recommended to purchase such bundles to avoid the inconveniences of mismatching your rod and fly line. For anglers who prefer saltwater fishing, you require a rod that can stand the pressure associated with big saltwater catches.
Experts recommend that you acquire 6wt, medium-action rod of 8.5 feet to 9 feet long. If you choose freshwater fishing, its bet to purchase a rod that casts, but offers a soft presentation for trout and smaller fish. When determining the right rod length, you must consider different elements and make the right choice.
One of the most critical factors you should consider which choosing a fly rod is its weight. Note that weight doesn’t refer to the actual weight of the fly rod’s line rating. You will always find the rod’s weight indicated in a label on the blank. For example, a 4-weight fishing rod should be matched with a 4-weight fly fishing line.
You must make sure that the weight of the fly matches the line weight. A small fly sent on a heavy fishing line is likely to splash hard. This will increase the chances of the fly sinking and also scaring the target fish away. Therefore, it is important that you match your line weight with the right fly for seamless fishing. Always remember that the fly line weight must be equal to the fishing rod weight, which must also equal the reel weight. This is a general rule that must be followed when choosing a fly fishing rod.
Generally, your rod’s action fly rod action impacts how it will send the fly line when casting, the overall feel of the pole in your hand, and how the rod throws. A fishing rod’s action is like a springboard. An effective springboard offers a solid surface for the jumper, facilitating fast, long-reaching jump.
Longer fishing rods are associated with a better casting distance. This is an essential factor if you want to hit hard-to-reach fish. Remember, you must avoid long rods if you intend to embark on fishing small streams, mangroves, creeks, and marshes.
Many modern fly fishing rods are made of graphite. It is a revolutionary material that decreases the weight of the rod while boosting its overall strength to produce long, strong rods with an outstanding casting potential.
Whether you’re a novice or an experienced angler, fly fishing is an exciting adventure as long as you have the right fishing gear and the right skills. Picking one of the most reliable fly fishing rods guarantees better fishing trips and the full value of your money. We hope this unbiased review created by our editors has given you the right information you need to make the right choice.