How do I Purchase a Fly Fishing Rod?

How do I Purchase a Fly Fishing Rod?
When fly fishing, the rod plays a central role. Unlike other forms of fishing where reels are equally as important, anglers use their fly rods to create the momentum necessary to propel their lines without the use of sinkers or weighted lures and to pinpoint their casting. Additionally, a fly fishing rig makes its reel a secondary apparatus as lines are manipulated largely by hand. With this in mind, choosing the best fly fishing rod for your intended application becomes a necessity.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Choose a for freshwater applications. Use a 3- or 4-weight rod for smaller fish, such as stream trout or panfish. Purchase at least a 7-weight rod when seeking to hook larger fish--Alaskan salmon or bass, for example. Select a 5-weight rod as the best all-around option.
Step 2
Select arod for saltwater applications. Select at least an 8-weight rod if you're saltwater fly fishing since these fish are generally larger than freshwater species. Pick an 8-weight rod if bonefish is the priority. Cast a 10-weight rod for barracuda, and for tarpon use a 12-weight rod.
Step 3
Choose a rod of appropriate length. Select a rod between 7 feet to 10 feet, noting that the best all-around length is a 9-foot rod. Opt for a shorter rod if fishing in streams and creeks where brush is dense where larger rods may get tangled. Use a longer rod when the emphasis is on fish that feed on sub-surface insects or nymphs.
Step 4
Consider the rod materials. Select a bamboo rod if flexibility over normal casting ranges is important. Pick a fiberglass rod if an inexpensive option is the priority. Choose graphite for the stiffest, lightest option when casting long distances. Select a composite rod made of boron and graphite for casting in long distances where wind is an obstacle.
Step 5
Choose a rod that breaks down according to your needs. Pick a two-piece rod if stowage is not a concern. Pick a three-piece rod if stowing in a car or closet is a necessity. Pick a four-piece rod if your priority is to store the rod in tight places such as an overhead bin during a flight, in luggage or to secure to a backpack.

Tips & Warnings

Remember that rods are designed to be used with lines of a corresponding weight. A 5 weight rod, for example, is meant to be used with a 5 weight line. By following manufactures guidelines you ensure the best performance possible of the rod you choose.

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.