The flyfishing rod has undergone tremendous technological developments in the last few years. As a result, modern fly fishing rods have become lighter, sturdier and provide greater casting ability. In this article, we review different fly rods to determine the best beginner fly rod for you.
If a beginner rod isn’t what you’re looking for (and you’re looking for something to grow into) we reviewed the Orvis Helios 3 and some of its competitors.
Fly Fisher Pro aims to teach you how to become the best fly fisher you can. We’ve taught thousands of visitors how to get the most out of their set up with our fly fishing lessons. Make sure to check out our homepage if you’re interested in the fly fishing basics.
How Are Fly Rods Made?
The rods are made of carbon fiber, outfitted with resin where the carbon cloth is wrapped around a mandrel and reinforced with resin to form a long slim cone called a blank.
The blank is then crashed to eliminate any unevenness that develops when using the cloth and is fitted with a reel seat and a cork handle. Guides are also whipped and layered with a transparent resin to protect the rod against the weather elements.
The developments have introduced a multitude of line ratings, different lengths, prices and rod actions, which makes buying single-handed rods an incredibly daunting process. Here is a look at fly rod history of various products and factors to consider when buying these devices.
What to Look for when Buying a Fly Fishing Rod
Fly Rod Weight
The fly rod weight refers to the rod’s weight class determined by the standard classification system that is used for identifying fly rods. As such, a six-weight rod means that it is used along with a 6w fly line. When looking for fly fishing rods for beginners, the perfect fly rod weight will depend on the type of water you are fishing, the size of the fish and the fly, and the weather conditions. Large fish require a heavy fly, hence a heavyweight rating.
Fly Rod Length
Fly rods are available in lengths that range between 6′ and 15.’ Rods under 7 and more than 10 feet are considered extreme, and beginners should avoid them. 8-9 foot rods are general purpose especially if the weight ranges from 4 to 8w. The standard length system is represented in 6” increments, ranging from 7-10. Here are specifics on how to choose the ideal fly rod length:
Less than 7 feet
They are the shortest rods and are great for shorts casts in restricted spaces. Most of them come in 2 pieces. Beginners may find it difficult to cast when using them.
7-8 foot rods
They are popular choices and are easier to throw than the 7-foot rods. The rods come in 2-piece and are ideal for casting in small water bodies.
8-9 foot rods
These are some of the best beginner fly rods types as they are easy to throw and keep the line above the vegetation on the backcast. They are available in 2, 3 and 4 piece selections.
9-10 foot rods
These kinds enhance line mending and are stronger for large water bodies and catching bigger fish.
10-12 foot rods
They are designed for saltwater fishing and casting long distances in open water.
12-15 foot rods
These are the longest and used for unique, open water environments. This unique length requires skilled casting proficiency and endurance.
Fly Rod Action
The rod action explains the way a rod flexes in response to casting. There are three types:
Fast action rod
It flexes through the tip section and recovers pretty fast after flexing. The swift action rod is ideal for casting long distances as it allows an experienced caster to have greater control over the loops of the line.
Moderate action rod
It is not as powerful as the swift action rod and loads slower. The rod does not generate high line speeds hence, can’t cast long distances. Medium action rods are suitable for beginners as the line speeds are quite forgiving.
Slow action rod
This kind is excellent for making delicate casts because it generates relatively slow speeds. It is designed for beginners.
Fly Rod Material
Numerous fly-rod technologies have introduced a range of materials that are used to make different fly fishing rods:
The best fly fishing rods are made of graphite. This material is light, durable, sturdy and extremely sensitive. Manufacturers continue to improve graphite fishing rods, pushing the limit for fly rod length to develop rods that are 10, 11 and even 14 feet long. Rods made of graphite are ideal for fly fishing in physically demanding environments like during strong winds and when throwing heavy nymphs and hopper-dropper rigs.
It offers a readily available alternative to traditional bamboo rods as it is light durable and flexible. Fibreglass rods are suitable for fishing with small dry flies, small streamers and light dry-dropper rigs on small to medium-sized streams. They are, however, slightly heavier than graphite rods by 0.1 ounces.
The oldest fishing rods were made of bamboo. They are designed for delicate presentations and slow casting action. Just like fibreglass rods, bamboo fly rods deliver a unique experience when battling fish.
The technology used to make nano-silica resin rods pushes the benefits of graphite rods to new levels. Hundreds of Nano-silica particles are added to the resin to fill the gaps between cross-sections of the fibres, making resin a structural component of the rod, instead of a fill-in element.
The Best Fly Fishing Rods for Beginners
Orvis Clearwater Rod
Orvis is known for producing lightweight and affordable fly fishing rods and the Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit is no exception. This nine-feet, five-weight fly fishing rod is great for first-time anglers looking to catch large trout. It is made of aluminium, which gives the impressive lightweight feel while providing strength and durability. The four-piece design makes it pretty convenient to carry around and cast, according to fly rod reviews.
I particularly liked its rod action; it wasn’t too fast or too slow, making any first-time angler cast like a pro. This was because of Orvis Helios tapers build and profile, which helps anglers cast with power and precision whether you are throwing large or small flies during a windy afternoon. I also noticed the standard cast aluminium Clearwater LA II or LA IV and a large arbour standard to Clearwater Outfits that come with a strong Rulon-to-stainless steel inline drag to assist anglers catch fast fish. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit is also ideal for anglers fishing in a river, lake or flat and who do not want to spend a fortune.
Wild Water Starter Package
This fly fishing rod is ideal for fishing large game, hence the line capacity of between 5 and 6. The reel and the rod are designed for freshwater and saltwater lakes, so you don’t need to change when switching from one environment to another. Its kit comes with a rod sock that prevents the line from tangles and abrasions when you tire lures on the reel. The sock also protects the fragile tips and guides of the rod.
I found its slow action feature incredibly impressive as it gives anglers a vast range of choices when handling a broad spectrum of fish targets; just the versatility that any fish needs when your game keeps on changing. You will also be impressed by its 5x tapered leader and the high sensitivity of the graphite composite rod, which allows the angler to detect fish strikes much easier. The aluminium oxide guides provide a smooth casting experience that gives you the medium flex for beginner angling techniques.
This rod is also pretty lightweight, portable and easy to use. The graphite composite feature combines strength and its lightweight nature to allow anglers to cast with precision. This rod has also been designed to accommodate mono-lines.
This medium action rod is easy to cast, making it one of the great fly fishing rods for beginners. Its ability to provide greater casting distance than standard fishing rods and its ample hook-setting power make it one of the best fly rods for applications that use treble hooks like crankbaits, topwater lures or recreational baits such as spinner baits. Its four-piece design offers excellent flexibility for fishers on the go. Redington Crosswater beginner fly rod is available in single rods, and complete outfits allow professional anglers to begin fishing right away.
Its graphite construction with chrome snake and stripping guides fitted with a wood insert to function as a reel seat give this fishing rod great tensile strength. It means that the fishing rod is made of little material that makes it lighter and more sensitive to fish strikes compared to other types of fishing rods.
Its laser-etched reel seats and durable anodised aluminium seat will give you great value for the money. Most cheap rods have a plastic cushion inside the metal hoods, leaving the reel prone to stain and rust. The Redington fishing rod, on the other hand, is made of aluminium and wood, which reduce the risk of stain and rust development. The feature is especially useful for anglers looking for the best fly rods for the money with medium fast action.
Temple Fork NXT Review
This all-in-one Temple Fork NXT Outfit makes the best fly fishing rods for non-experts. It features a high-performance setup that helps shorten any beginner’s learning curve while letting him develop exceptional fly fishing skills. The kit comes in a Custome Cordura case to include the backing and the leader, a light floating line and a rod. Temple Fork NXT Fly Fishing Outfit is made from IM6 Graphite, a high-quality material that is lightweight and durable. The rod is fitted with aluminium oxide stripping guides, an anodised aluminium reel seat, chromium-impregnated stainless steel snake guides and a highly durable composite cork handle.
This fast-action rod allows anglers to catch different types of fish, including trout. The feature also means that the rod can bend half-way onwards to provide great controlling capabilities; it resumes its original form pretty fast, so it doesn’t feel stiff. You can disassemble the rod into four pieces for easy storage and packing and assemble the parts quickly whether you have prior knowledge or not. The reel is made of cast aluminium, which is durable and provides a lightweight feel when casting. Its spool is smooth and guarantees a hassle-free cast when targeting game, making it one of the top fly rod brands.
Sage Foundation Review
Sage is one of the top fly rod brands that are known to deliver high-performance flyfishing rod varieties, and the 690-4 fly rod is no exception. It can go sub-surface using heavy nymphs and large dry flies that have droppers. There’s a lot of feel to this rod, which allows anglers to fish pretty well when using mayflies to catch trout in large and small water bodies.
The Sage operates like other modern fast-action rods; it offers effortless control and efficient casting power. It is outfitted with hard chrome snake guides, ceramic stripper guides, and a black-anodised aluminium locking reel seat. Its snub-nose cork handle gives security and comfort while its high weight feature is great for saltwater fishing. The package includes a rugged black nylon tube that has a divided liner.
I believe this detailed discussion has enlightened you about some of the best fly rods on the market today. Choosing the best beginner fishing rod is about knowing the right fly rod weight based on the type of game you want to catch and the kind of fly you are using, among other factors. 5-6 weight fly rods make best fly fishing rods for most beginners.
The rod material mostly depends on the angler’s preference, but graphite rods are the most popular these days. For the fly rod action, a moderate action rod like the Redington Classic Trout outfit is another great beginner fly rod as it is easier to cast and provides reasonable line speeds.