10 Best Fly Rods for Beginners – Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Fly Rod

The fly rod is the oldest and most traditional type of fishing rod that is normally used with live baits like nymphs, dry flies or even fish food. It is a very lightweight rod that generally comes in multiple rod pieces for versatility.       

What differentiates this rod from other types of fishing rods on the market is its signature cork handle that makes it extremely comfortable to hold, even for an extended period.

Best, the fly rod is extremely user-friendly and even young anglers who have no experience can start using this fishing rod right away.

In order to help you find the best fly rod for the money, we have gathered some popular models and give you our impressions below. Let's find more about them!

You can also read other product reviews on the same niche such as crankbait rodtelescopic fishing rod, fishing rod, surf fishing rodrod and reel combo, and many more.

Image

Product Name

Rod length

Rating

Current Price

Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod

1. Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod 

6 ft 6 in

4.4

Wild Water Fly Rod Complete Starter Package

2. Wild Water Fly Rod Complete Starter Package 

 9 ft

4.7

Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Rod

3. Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Rod 

8 ft 4 in - 10 ft 7 in

4.6

Piscifun Swoord Graphite Fly Rod

4. Piscifun Swoord Graphite Fly Rod 

8 ft 6 in - 9 ft 9 in

4.5

Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod

5. Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod 

7 ft 6 in - 9 ft

4.6

Okuma Crisium Graphite Fly Rod

6. Okuma Crisium Graphite Fly Rod 

7 ft - 9 ft

4.3

Plusinno Lightweight Fly Rod and Reel

7. Plusinno Lightweight Fly Rod and Reel 

8 ft

4.1

Sougayilang Fly Rod With Reel Combo Kit

8. Sougayilang Fly Rod With Reel Combo Kit 

8.85 ft

4.0

Orvis Clearwater 5 Weight Fly Rod

9. Orvis Clearwater 5 Weight Fly Rod 

9 ft

5.0

G.Loomis NRX Lite Presentation Saltwater Fly Rod

10. G.Loomis NRX Lite Presentation Saltwater Fly Rod 

7 ft 6 in - 9 ft

3.8

1.Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
  • Rod length: 6 feet 6 inches
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: 3.2 ounces

The Eagle Claw fly rod is considered one of the best fly rod when it comes to weight. Indeed, this model weighs only 3.2 ounces which is featherweight even by fly rod standards. It will be highly maneuverable and not cause hand fatigue, even if used for an extended period.

This is not a long fly rod as it measures only 6 feet 6 inches. Therefore, it is recommended only for short distance casting and for freshwater fishing where its weight to size ratio is more appropriate.

This is a two-piece fiberglass rod that is very durable and long-lasting. It is easy to fit together. The handle is not very long as it is a single handle fly rod but it is still very comfortable.

Additionally, this fly rod is also one of the cheapest around. We recommended it as the best freshwater fly rod solution in this review.

Pros:

  • Very affordable. The cheapest fly rod in this review
  • 2-piece fiberglass rod. Durable and long-lasting
  • Very lightweight at 3.2 ounces. Extremely easy to maneuver

Cons:

  • Short cork handle

2. Wild Water Fly Rod Complete Starter Package 

Editor's Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5)

Wild Water Fly Rod Complete Starter Package
  • Rod length: 9 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: N/A

The Wild Water is a little more heavy-duty fly rod compared to other models. It comes as a kit with a carry bag, a fly reel, baits, and an instruction manual to help you get started right away.

This model can be used for long distance casting as it measures an impressive 9 feet and the SiC guides are made out of stainless steel which promotes accuracy when long distance casting.

Moreover, the included fly reel makes it very versatile and value for money as you do not have to purchase a compatible fly reel with this fly rod. Best, it comes pre-spooled for even more convenience.

Pros:

  • All-inclusive. You get the bait, a fly reel and a carry bag on purchase
  • Comes with a pre-spooled fly reel
  • Long length of 9 feet for long distance casting

Cons:

  • None

3. Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Rod 

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Rod
  • Rod length: 8 feet 4 inches to 10 feet 7 inches
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: N/A

The Maxcatch Extreme is a series of graphite fly rods that come in a wide range of sizes. For smalltime freshwater fishing, you can purchase the smaller 8 feet 4 inches fly rod while the longest unit measures an impressive 10 feet 7 inches intended for long distance casting in both freshwater and seawater.

The rod is made out of a flexible graphite that is also very durable. Best, it offers excellent responsiveness which translates to better maneuverability when fighting your catch.

For even more convenience, all models have a 6061T aluminum reel seat for affixing the base to the rod fixture in a small boat like a kayak.

Moreover, the handle is extremely comfortable as it is made out of a Portuguese cork material which is known for its long lifetime and comfort.

All in all, despite being a little bit expensive, the Maxcatch Extreme is one of the best value fly rods you will find in this review. Especially considering its excellent build construction, high responsiveness and comfort.

Pros:

  • Good value for money
  • Very comfortable Portuguese cork handle
  • Flexible. A wide range of sizes to choose

Cons:

  • None

4. Piscifun Swoord Graphite Fly Rod 

Editor's Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

Piscifun Swoord Graphite Fly Rod
  • Rod length:8 feet 6 inches to 9 feet 9 inches
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: 3.9 ounces to 5.3 ounces

The Piscifun Swoord has an excellent price to weight ratio. Indeed, despite being highly competitive in its pricing, it is also quite lightweight with the lightest unit measuring only 3.9 ounces.

You have the possibility to choose different sizes with this fly rod depending on your need and purpose. Moreover, the build quality is excellent as the rod is made out of a durable graphite.

Furthermore, the ceramic inserts are made with precision and offer accuracy when casting your line.

Since this is a 4-piece design, the sensitivity is a little bit dampen compared to a single-piece or even a 2-piece. However, for general purpose fly fishing, this is not a big issue.

Pros:

  • Graphite rod. Durable and long-lasting
  • Ceramic inserts for accuracy during casting
  • A wide range of rod length to choose from

Cons:

  • 4-piece rod. Not the most responsive fly rod.

5. Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod 

Editor's Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

Redington Classic Trout Fly Fishing Rod
  • Rod length: 7 feet 6 inches to 9 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: N/A

For years, the Redington Classic has been a specialist and reference freshwater trout fly rod. It is used by many experts and beginners with great success.

The Redington Classic is a medium action fly rod that despite its high price is still well sought after mostly because of its excellent build construction, durability and ease of use.

Where this fly rod absolutely shines is with its accuracy. Its guides are very precise and made out of titanium oxide material so that the fishing line can guide easily. Moreover, it is slanted in such a way to provide backlash on your line.

Lastly, you can choose between a wide range of rod lengths from 7 feet 6 inches to 9 feet with the Redington Classic.

Pros:

  • Premium fly rod with excellent craftsmanship
  • Moderate action fly rod with good responsiveness at the tip
  • Titanium oxide guides for maximum accuracy

Cons:

  • The price. It is a very expensive fly rod

6. Okuma Crisium Graphite Fly Rod 

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Okuma Crisium Graphite Fly Rod
  • Rod length: 7 feet to 9 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: 9.6 ounces

The Okuma Crisium is one of the most modest looking rods in this review so far. This is a 2 piece fly rod model that easily snap in position and does not sacrifice responsiveness.

Furthermore, it is still quite accurate as it has stainless steel snake guides as well as titanium oxide stripper guides. Those guides will not rust making it one of the best saltwater fly rod on the market.

The cork handle is large and ergonomic making it an excellent choice for those who like to fly fish for an extended period.

Moreover, when it comes to flexibility, the Okuma Crisium comes in a wide range of rod length to fit individual needs.

Pros:

  • Different rod sizes based on your needs
  • Stainless steel and titanium oxide guides for accuracy when casting
  • Large and ergonomic cork handle. Easy to maneuver

Cons:

  • Expensive for the features set. Not value for money

7. Plusinno Lightweight Fly Rod and Reel 

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Plusinno Lightweight Fly Rod and Reel
  • Rod length: 8 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: 4 ounces

This Plusinno offers a lot of value. It comes as a complete set with no less than 4 fly rod pieces that gives it a total length of 8 feet. Not the longest we have seen in a fly rod, but still adequate for long distance casting.

Moreover, this is a complete kit that comes with a carry case, hooks, as well as a fly reel right out of the box. For more flexibility, you can purchase this model in different colors and prices as well.

Where the Plusinno absolutely shines is in the weight department as the fully assembled fly rod weighs only 4 ounces which makes it very maneuverable.

The handle looks like cork but it is actually made out of wood. Of course, it is not as comfortable or effective as a true cork handle but it can still be held for an extended period without hand fatigue.

Pros:

  • Comes as a complete kit. Convenient
  • Easy to assemble even by beginners
  • Lightweight at 4 ounces. Highly maneuverable

Cons:

  • Handle is made of wood and can sometimes be slippery

8. Sougayilang Fly Rod With Reel Combo Kit 

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Sougayilang Fly Rod With Reel Combo Kit
  • Rod length: 8.85 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: 17.6 ounces

Sougayilang is one of the best fly rod brands you can find. This company makes highly affordable and yet quality fishing materials.

In this Sougayilang fly rod kit, you get a lot of worth for your money. It not only comes with a quality and highly durable fly rod that is made out of graphite, but you also get a heavy-duty fly reel with this purchase.

Moreover, you have a wide range of colors and sizes to choose based on your need. The price of this kit is very competitive considering that you are getting a quality fly rod as well as a quality reel here.

The only caveat is that the fly reel is not pre-spooled with either a braid or monofilament line. You will have to do it yourself.

Pros:

  • Comes as a combo kit that includes a quality fly reel
  • Value for money
  • Durable and long-lasting fly rod

Cons:

  • Reel is not pre-spooled

9. Orvis Clearwater 5 Weight Fly Rod 

Editor's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)

Orvis Clearwater 5 Weight Fly Rod
  • Rod length: 9 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: N/A

Without a doubt, the Orvis Clearwater is one of the best fly rods that you can buy. The only problem is that this fly rod comes at a high price as it is very expensive.

However, it is built out of very high-quality material that is extremely durable and long-lasting. To make it a superior fly rod, there is a deep attention to detail and various technologies at work in this unit.

Indeed, it contains the Helios technology tapers that makes it an exceptionally accurate fly rod to cast. Moreover, the responsiveness is possibly the best despite being a 4-piece model.

The cork handle is extremely comfortable and anti-slip. Furthermore, with its long length of 9 ft, the Orvis Clearwater is definitely a long distance casting champion.

When combined with its accuracy and excellent build construction, this model will offer you an unbeatable fly fishing experience in both saltwater and freshwater.

Pros:

  • Long length of 9 feet. Excellent for long distance casting
  • Premium build construction. Extremely durable and long-lasting
  • Very responsive and accurate fly rod

Cons:

  • The price. It is a very expensive fly rod

10. G.Loomis NRX Lite Presentation Saltwater Fly Rod 

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

G.Loomis NRX Lite Presentation Saltwater Fly Rod
  • Rod length: 7 feet 6 inches to 9 feet
  • Power: N/A
  • Rod weight: N/A

The G.Loomis NRX is used mostly by experts and can be used as a substitute for a surf rod when fishing in the marine open. Additionally, it is a good fly rod for small-time freshwater or saltwater game where a high responsiveness is necessary.

This is not a model for beginners, as it is extremely expensive and there are easily more affordable fly rods with similar features on the market.

However, if you demand the best out of the best in terms of accuracy, build quality and responsiveness then the G.Loomis NRX is a worthwhile model to consider despite its high price.

Pros:

  • Premium fly rod made out of very high-quality materials
  • Versatile. Excellent for both freshwater and saltwater fly fishing
  • Extremely accurate and responsive
  • Flexible. Ability to choose between different rod lengths

Cons:

  • Prohibitively expensive

How to Buy a Fly Rod

How to Buy a Fly Rod

#1. Action

The action (or tip action) is simply how quickly the fly rod will bend at the tip when force is applied to the fishing line. In short, it is a measure of the responsiveness of the fly rod. The quicker it bends, the more responsive the fly rod is said to be.

The action in a fly rod usually comes as slow, fast and ultra-fast. Choosing between those values will depend on your lure type, purpose and need.

In general, a fast action is usually preferred in a fly rod. That's because a fast action offers a lot of responsiveness as the fly rod is essentially a fishing rod that is meant to be used for small to medium-size fish only.

Moreover, the action will also depend on the power of the fly rod.

#2. Power

Simply put, power in a fly rod is how much the rod bends when the fishing line is pulled. The more the fishing rod bends under force, the less power it has.

For best user experience, both the action and power of the fly rod must match. When used with an artificial lure like the crankbait or spinner bait, a medium to medium heavy power is usually the best option as it offers good responsiveness and maneuverability.

For other types of lures that sink to the floor like the jig, you can go with a medium-heavy or heavy power.

#3. Weight

The weight is an extremely important factor in the fly rod. After all, this fishing rod is reputed for its lightweight. A lighter fly rod will be more easy to maneuver and used for an extended period without causing discomfort.

#4. Material

The build construction or material used in the construction should also be taken into account. This will essentially dictate how long the fly rod will last as the more durable the materials used in the construction, the more long-lasting the fly rod will be.

Look for construction materials like stainless steel, fiberglass or graphite as those are extremely durable and will not corrode when it comes in contact with saltwater.

#5. Freshwater vs Saltwater Rod

In order to get the best fly rod for the money, you need to first know where you will use it.

There is a difference between a freshwater fly rod and a saltwater rod. In general, a saltwater rod is more versatile and can be used in both saltwater and freshwater.

The contrary is not true, as the freshwater fly rod cannot be used in saltwater as it does not have construction materials that can withstand contact with saltwater.

#6. Single vs Two-handed Fly Rod

A single and two-handed fly rod is also known as a single piece or a 2 piece where each piece has a handle. It is basically the number of pieces that fit in together to make a functional fly rod.

A single piece fly rod is generally the best solution as it offers better responsiveness due to the fact that it has no connecting parts that will dampen the sensitivity of the rod.

Modern advancements in fly rod technology have made 2 pieces or more models rod as sensitive as a single piece unit.

However, a two-handed fly rod can still be considered superior to a single-handed one because it offers more surface area to accommodate both hands and therefore, it is more maneuverable.

#7. Handle

Regardless of whether you choose a single or a two-handed fly rod, the handle remains the most important part of the fly rod. This is where your hand will rest most of the time and it needs to be as comfortable as possible so as to limit hand fatigue.

Moreover, a good fly rod must come with a cork handle as this is the most comfortable handle material available for the money. It is extremely lightweight, anti-slip and will prevent sweating in your hands even if it is used for long hours.

Further, the length of the handle is also important as the longer the handle, the more surface area you have for you to position your hand comfortably during fishing.

Conclusion

As all good things do, this fly rod review finally comes to an end. As we have seen, when it comes to fly rods there are many models that come at different prices to fit different budgets.

This is a simple and yet highly practical fishing tool that you absolutely must have. It is lightweight, comfortable to hold, durable and extremely versatile.

Best of all, it is user-friendly and you do not need any prior skill or experience to use this fishing rod.

Finally, if you have still not found a good fly rod for your need, we recommend that you go through our review again.