Fly fishing is defined by its iconic rod, which is supposed to represent a graceful, slim extension of the fly-fisherman's arm. The fly-fishing rod gives its user the ability to place a near-weightless artificial fly on the surface of the water with precision. Usually divided into four sections with a length of nine feet, every part of the fly rod is designed to transfer energy from the fisherman's arm through the rod to the fishing line, the leader and finally the artificial fly.
The thickest and most stiff section, the butt is the first section of the fly rod. The end of this section can have a detachable piece called the fighting butt. Its purpose is to protect the fisherman when he is pulling in a fish. Other parts of this segment are the handle grip, which is usually made of cork, and the reel seat, which secures the fly reel to the rod. The butt's stiffness provides the power for casting as well as for putting leverage on the fish when bringing it in.
The middle sections of the fly rod add length to provide flex and power to the fisherman's cast. Tapering from the thickest section (the butt), the sections of the body of the fly rod are more flexible, allowing for the loops in the line that effectively transfer power from the rod to the fly, allowing the fly-fisherman to accurately cast flies from distances as close as 10 feet to distances up to 100 feet away.
The end of the rod that is farthest away from the fisherman is the tip. The thinnest part of the fly rod, the tip contains the tip-top (the smallest line guide) and is the point where casting power transfers from the rod to the line. The tip-top controls the direction, distance and ultimately the fine touches of motion of the fisherman's artificial fly.
Article Written By Billy Brown
Billy Brown is an outdoor sports writer living in Northern California.
An avid rock climber and trail runner, he's been writing about outdoor activities, fitness and gear since 2005. He regularly contributes to "The Record Searchlight," uncooped.com, and Trails.com, as well as other print and online publications. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Simpson University and is a NASM-certified personal trainer.