A fly rod is a specific type of fishing rod used for angling. During fly fishing, you utilize a lightweight lure, called a fly, to help you catch fish from rivers, lakes, and streams. To cast the lure, the rod uses a fly rod, reel, and specialized weighted line. It can be done in fresh or saltwater, and it is also possible to find specific models for cold and warm water fish.
To find the best fly rod, however, takes almost as much skill as angling itself. You need to take numerous factors into calculation, including the type of fly, the material of the weighted line, and the entire length of the rod. If the thought of all of these details is giving you a headache, don’t worry. This guide has taken all of these factors into account and created a comprehensive guide designed to help you find the best fly rod for beginners that is currently on the market.
What to Look For in a Fly Rod
When it comes to choosing the best fly rod for you, you need to understand the overall purpose of each piece. When crafted properly, this device needs to be used for casting, line control and striking and landing a fish.
Casting is when you throwback and launch your lure into the water. Line control refers to how well you can manage the line that is in the water after you have cast. More experienced anglers have an easier time with this because they have developed their skills over the years. Finally, striking and landing a fish refers to luring one, hooking it, and then being able to successfully reel it in. You will not be a successful angler if you cannot get a fish.
For a beginner, these features need to be simple and easy to use. Attempting to use a rod that is intended for pros is a great way to catch nothing at all and even wind up tangled in the line. To determine what works best for you, make a note of what type of fish you are interested in, the type of action (also called flexibility) you would prefer, the line weight, and the rod length. This can be more difficult than it sounds if you are just starting out and are unsure of what to catch.
Read this careful guide to figure out what will work best for your desired activity.
Type of Fish
The type of fish you are interested in catching will greatly affect the type of rod you need. In short, anglers divide fish between freshwater and saltwater, especially in the United States. You do not want a rod intended for the sea when you go after a freshwater fish like trout, and vice versa.
Flex or Type of Action
This is a difficult concept for amateurs to understand because “type of action” is the popular terminology. The type of action is how flexible the rod is, particularly when casting and trying to reel prey in. It is divided into three separate categories: Fast, medium, and slow.
A fast action fishing rod is the hardest to use, and it should, therefore, be avoided by beginners. This type of fly rod is used for long casts and fishing on windy days. It has almost no flex, consisting of a straight rod topped with a slightly bendable tip utilized when casting line. It is not physically demanding to use, but you are unlikely to catch anything if you are just starting out since it is difficult to manage.
For an amateur, and almost everyone, the most reliable fly rod will have a medium type of action or moderate flexibility. These rods are easy to learn and control. The base is long and straight but starts to bend halfway down the shaft for easy casting and reeling. If you are uncomfortable or inexperienced, we recommend this choice.
Finally, there is slow flex. These rods are highly malleable and ideal for fishing in small ponds or streams. The line does not extend far and requires more physical control.
You can actually change the type of line you use depending on where you want to go fly fishing, so this factor is not as important as others on this list. However, having this information can help you make the best decision, especially if you struggle to replace the line.
There are numerous levels of line weight, typically ranging in size between 1 and 15. This line weight will affect the type of fly you can use since a small size fly does not fit your large-size line. It throws off the entire balance of the rod and makes it difficult to fish.
In general, the lower line weights will be meant for smaller fish, while higher ones are for larger. The lures themselves have the opposite numbering system, with small numbers being for heavy lines and large numbers being for lightweight ones. For example: Never combine a size 14 fly with a size 5 line weight, because the line will be too heavy for the lure.
Finally, you need to pay attention to just how long your fly fishing rod is. In general, any tool that is 8 ft. or less in length will be used for small stream fishing. Around 8.5 ft. is average and considered ideal if you are just starting out. Anything 9 ft. longer or greater should be used with a heavy line and for sport that takes place on windy days. Do not attempt to use a rod out of your comfort level.
Check Out These Great Options
This choice from NetAngler is actually a complete set intended for beginners who do not have the equipment they need but would like to become active in the sport. The line weight can be adjusted between 5 and 6, and the rod itself is 8 ft. long and can be broken down into four sections for easy storage. Included in the kit are the rod, a free tip, a fishing reel with a preinstalled line, a monofilament fishing leader, a carrying case, 28 flies, and a box to store everything securely.
This is a freshwater rod ideal for catching trout and similar fish. The rod is made of carbon fiber and is meant to be incredibly lightweight so beginners can become accustomed to the feel of this style of angling. The line is 100 ft. long, the spool is made of durable aluminum, and there is a Teflon disk drag design.
Overall, the NetAngler Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is ideal for beginners for numerous reasons because the equipment is designed to be perfectly average and usable in the majority of situations. It is also of high quality and not easy to break, so you can make mistakes without worrying about your equipment.
- Includes flies suitable for the line weight
- The rod can be deconstructed for easy storage
- Average line weight and size
- Reduced drag for simpler angling
- Places excess strain on the second piece of the pole
This Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is another complete kit intended for beginners who do not have the equipment they need to start angling. It includes a broad range of pieces necessary to begin, including a waterproof fly box, deconstructable pole, aluminum reel seat, a diecast aluminum spool, and a monofilament line. The rod is around 8.5 ft. long and the line weight varies between 5 and 6 depending on which one you want to use. One line comes pre-installed so you don’t have to worry about getting it set up correctly.
One unique element about the Wild Water is that it comes with 9 lifelike lures designed to mimic the insects most attractive to freshwater fish like trout and crappies. The foam fly case itself is also capable of holding 372 flies if you are interested in collecting or want adequate storage space. Unlike other models, this product includes a lifetime warranty so you can get replacement pieces if you accidentally break something while learning.
- Lifetime warranty for easy replacement
- Made in the United States
- Average line weight and size
- Can be deconstructed for easy storage
- Average quality
- Does not last longer than a couple of years
Because of the different specifications and broad variety in fly rod types, it can be difficult for beginners to find a kit that suits all of their needs. After a careful search, these two options are the best ones on the market for someone who is just starting to angle and is curious about freshwater fishing. Out of the two kits, the best one is the Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo. It is perfectly average and comes with all of the pieces you will need. Plus, the foam case is indeed waterproof, and the warranty will have you covered if you make a mistake while on the water.