Best 6 Weight Fly Rod

What's the most important factor when choosing the best 6 weight fly rod? We give you our complete in-depth guide and list of the best 6 weight fly rod!
best 6 weight fly rods

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If you’re looking for advice on how to choose the best six weight fly rod, you’ve finally come to the right site. In this article, I’ll share my process to buy the best fly rod suited to your needs. Also, we go through ten of my favorite premium and affordable rods on the market today. 

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageTop PickSage X
  • Premium Fly Rod
  • Strong & Lightweight
  • Comfortable Grip
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flyfisherpro-table__imageAternative to Sage XSage Pulse
  • Affordable
  • Made in USA
  • Quality Materials
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost LightweightG Loomis Asquith
  • Super Lightweight
  • Incredible Power
  • Excellent Freshwater Rod
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flyfisherpro-table__imageAlternative to G Loomis AsquithG Loomis IMX Pro
  • Durable & Capable
  • Cheaper Option
  • Great Fast Action Rod
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost DurableOrvis Helios 3D
  • Lightweight Reel Seat
  • 25-Year Warranty
  • Comfortable Grip
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flyfisherpro-table__imageAlternative to Orvis Helios 3DOrvis Clearwater
  • High Value - Low Cost
  • Made in USA
  • 20 Years Warranty
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest All RounderThomas and Thomas Avantt
  • Perfect for Lake Fishing
  • Durable
  • Perfect for light surfcasting
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flyfisherpro-table__imageAlternative to Thomas and Thomas AvanttThomas and Thomas Zone
  • Perfect for Saltwer
  • Easy to Control
  • Affordable
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost FeaturesScott Centric
  • Ultra-light
  • Easy To Control
  • Premium Fast Action
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flyfisherpro-table__imageAlternative to Scott CentrixScott Flex
  • More Affordable
  • Slower recovery Rate
  • Has More Bend
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Sage X

Sage X Fly Rod

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’ and 10’
  • Weight (6wt 9’ model): 2.81oz

The X is Sage’s premium freshwater rod. The 6wt rendition is ideal for the angler looking for a versatile streamer rod that can be used both in rivers and lakes. It comes in two lengths. The standard 9’ model suits most applications, allowing you to form tight loops and fish off boats. It is available either with a snub-nose half-wells grip, or a full wells handle with a fighting butt. The 10’ model is ideal if you’re mostly fishing in lakes and light surf conditions.

The dark spruce colored blank is constructed on Sage’s latest KonneticHD technology making it very light and strong. It has dark green primary thread wraps with metallic grey accents. High-quality Fuji ceramic stripper guides and hard-chromed snake guides ensure that the line goes like hell. 

The grip is made from Flor grade cork, and the reel seat features a Vera wood insert with black anodized hardware. 

The Sage X 6wt is an incredible all-around fishing tool that you’ll want to fish for many years to come. 

Affordable Alternative – Sage Pulse

Sage Pulse

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’ and 9’6”
  • Weight: 3.310z

The Sage Pulse 6wt is an excellent affordable alternative to the X. As expected at half the price of the X; there are some drawbacks. The most noteworthy is the weight, being 0.5 heavier, and the material used. Sage constructed the Pulse’s blank using their Graphite IIIe carbon fiber, which is four generations old.

That being said, the rod still has many details worthy of the Sage stamp. It is still hand made in the USA, features the same high-quality line guides as premium rods, and has a rosewood reel seat insert. The Pulse also comes with a lifetime warranty, a rod sock, and a fabric-covered rod tube. 

G Loomis Asquith

g loomis asquith

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Ultra-fast
  • Available lengths: 9’
  • Weight: not disclosed, but it’s super light

The Asquith results from a collaboration between G Loomis and Shimano, and the result is, what they believe, the ultimate fly rod. I cannot comment if it’s better than any of the other rods we have in this article because it all boils down to personal preference. But, what I can say is that the Asquith is one mean fly rod, especially in the hands of an expert caster. 

The blank has one of the fastest actions I have ever felt in a fly rod. The result is incredible power, which allows you to make long casts and pick up a long line from the water. Due to the fast action, you’re also able to form very tight loops with ease.

The downside of it all is that it is a rod more suitable to a good fly caster. 

The 6wt G Loomis Asquith is ideal for the angler who targets big freshwater fish with chunky streamers. Yes, you will be able to present a big dry fly with the rod, but it’s not where the rod shines. 

Affordable Alternative – G Loomis IMX Pro

g loomis imx pro

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’ and 9’6”
  • Weight: not disclosed

Looking for a capable and durable streamer fly rod and want to stick to G Loomis? It’s tough to beat the IMX-Pro. The 6wt IMX-Pro is one solid streamer rod that comes in 9’ and 9’6” models. It also costs half the price of the Asquith.

Orvis Helios 3D

Orvis Helios 3D

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’
  • Weight: not disclosed

The Orvis Helios 3D always impresses me when I spend a day with it on the water. It suits my fishing style, and it’s one of those rods that you don’t think about constantly. It just gets the job done. 

The Orvis Helios 3D has a matte black finish and a lightweight reel seat with a matching carbon fiber spacer. On the line guide side of things, you’ll find  SiC and titanium stripper, and REC recoil line guides. 

Orvis provides a 25-year guarantee on the materials and craftsmanship of the rod.

Affordable Alternative – Orvis Clearwater

Orvis Clearwater

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’
  • Weight: not disclosed

Another Orvis rod that I’ve been impressed with of late is the Clearwater, especially when you consider that it costs under $200. The 6wt Orvis Clearwater easily holds up to rods double its price. To keep the cost down, it must be mentioned; it is made in the East.

It is lightweight, comes with high-quality components, and has a medium to fast action. This rod is ideal for the beginner and moderate angler. It also makes for an excellent backup rod for your next trout trip.

Thomas and Thomas Avantt

thomas and thomas avantt

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’ and 10’
  • Weight: not disclosed

The Avantt is Thomas and Thomas’ fast action freshwater offering. It’s available in a large selection of weights, but the 6wt is my favorite. It comes in two lengths, each with a specific fishing scenario in mind. 

The 9’ model is the all-rounder. It performs exceptionally well in almost all conditions, from fishing off the front of a drift boat to casting big streamers at angry bull trout. The 10’ is perfect for lake fishing or light surfcasting. 

The blank has a matte Thomas and Thomas blue finish. Strapped to the blank, you’ll find titanium frame ceramic stripper guides and Snake ECOating line guides. The reel seat features a burled Black Ash spacer and black anodized skeleton. 

Affordable Alternative – Thomas and Thomas Zone

Thomas & Thomas Zone Fly Rod

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’ and 9’6”
  • Weight: not disclosed

The Zone is one of my favorite saltwater rods. Recently, I spent some time fishing the freshwater range, and the 6wt models are an absolute blast to fish with. The 6wt is available either in a 9’ or 9’6” option. Both are incredible, with the 9’ being slightly more versatile, but the 9’6” giving you a little more reach when mending and controlling drifts. 

The Zone is not only affordable but also provides the buyer with incredible value for money. It’s made in the USA, comes with a lifetime warranty, and has high-quality components.

Scott Centric

scott centric

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: fast
  • Available lengths: 9’, 9’6”, and 10’
  • Weight: not disclosed

The Scott Centric is a fast action multi-application freshwater rod. The 6wt range offers incredible versatility with three lengths available. 

Scott pulled out all the stops on the Centric to produce one of their most advanced rods ever made. The list of technologies and features built into it is quite staggering. It includes features such as Expanded Core, which is a wide diameter and thin-walled construction, resulting in a low weight rod with a lot of feeling. 

The action of the rod is very fast. I recommend the Centric only to anglers who are comfortable casting fast rods. The 6wt Centric is ideal for anglers who target large freshwater species with medium to large streamers. 

Affordable Alternative – Scott Flex

scott flex

Available at:

Features:

  • Action: Fast
  • Available lengths: 9’, 9’6”, and 10’
  • Weight: not disclosed

If you’re in the market for a fast-action 6wt Scott but not ready to flog out close to $1000 of your hard-earned cash, consider the Flex. It’s built in the same facility as the more premium offerings and comes with exceptional quality components. It will don’t disappoint. 

The Scott Flex is slightly heavier in hand and has a slower recovery rate. 

How to Choose the Best 6wt Fly Rod

how to choose

So you’re in the market for a new, or even your first, 6wt fly rod. You walk into your local fly shop and there are a plethora of rods to choose from. How do you decide which one is for you? Let me take you through my process when buying a new rod. 

Price

The first choice you have to make is to establish how much you are willing to spend. If money is not an issue, then just jump to the next section. However, to most of us, and myself included, I have a set budget when going into a fishing shop. 

Most premium rod manufacturers have excellent affordable alternatives. All the brands mentioned in our list above have rod models that will do the same thing for less than half the cost. Yes, they might not perform at the same level, but that is to be expected. 

Keep in mind that when you’re buying a new rod, you have to take into account what you’ll be spending on the reel and line as well. I always tell fellow anglers to buy the best line they can. Then buy a fly rod. In my opinion, a fly line makes the most significant difference to how good or bad a rod casts. 

Application and Length

Think about where and how you’ll be using the rod the most. For instance, if you know you’ll be spending 80% of the time on the bow of a drift boat, chances are you won’t be buying a 10’ rod. In this case, you’ll look for an 8’6” or 9’ model. 

In contrast, if you’ll be fishing in surf conditions or need a longer rod to help you with long mends and reaches, a 10’ rod will be ideal. 

If you don’t have a specific application in mind, buy a 9’ rod. It gets the job done 99% of the time. 

Action

action

Most of the premium 6wt rods on the market have a fast action. In lighter line weights, below 5wt, I do have a problem with this as I question the suitability of fast actioned rods on small streams. However, in the 6wt range, I believe fast action rods are the best.

The reason for this is that you’re mostly casting big streamers and nymphs with a 6wt. You probably won’t be using a 6wt fly rod to cast a size 20 midge in a small stream. No, you won’t. A 6wt is made to target big angry trout with large buggers and heavy stoneflies.

Keep in mind that fast action rods are not the beginning and the end. They are not suitable for all anglers. If you’re a beginner, I would not recommend buying an ultra-fast action rod. You’ll find the rod is terrible to cast. In this case, I recommend something with a slower action. 

The best way to choose a rod for its action is to pop on your 6wt fly reel, thread the intended fly line through the guides, and give it a cast. Don’t be scared to ask your local fly shop for a test drive on any rod, especially when you’re spending a considerable amount of cash on it. 

After Sales Service

You’ll find that I always labor on this point. Yes, all rod manufacturers promise a full lifetime warranty. But, a rod’s material and craftsmanship rarely fails these days. Rods break due to a small nick or being slammed in a car’s door. A warranty does not cover this. So, instead, we should ask: “How good is a manufacturer’s after-sales service?”

Conclusion

I hope that you found this article insightful and helpful. Any one of the 10 rods mentioned above will serve you well for many years to come. They are all made by great manufacturers who have an excellent and longstanding reputation. These rods are not only fishing tools but fishing partners. 

If you’re not interested in the suggestions I have made, follow the process on how to Choose the Best 6wt Fly Rod. It’s a sure way to ensure that you buy the right 6wt suited to your needs.

Please share this article with your fellow anglers and friends. Also, leave any comments and questions below. We would love to hear about your favorite 6wt fly rods and how you use them.

Until next time.

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