The 6 Best Dry Fly Rods in 2023 – Buyers Guide

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After many hours on the spring creeks back home in New Zealand, and over 30 fly rod reviews, I can say the best value for money dry fly rod I have ever used is the Echo Dry Fly Rod.

best dry fly rod

It has a compact form factor, and a medium action to help get that delicate presentation and the Echo warranty really came in handy when the rod was shut in the car door again.

A Purist would say that dry fly fishing is the only ‘REAL’ form of fly fishing and frown at the other styles. While I don’t agree with it being the only form of fly fishing, I do agree that it is the most exciting!

So here are some of our favourite dry fly rods on the market today:

Image Product Details  
flyfisherpro-table__imageBest OverallSage X Fly Rods
  • KonneticHD Technology
  • Fuji Ceramic Stripper Guides
  • Lifetime Warranty
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flyfisherpro-table__imageBest BudgetECHO Dry Fly Rod
  • Stainless guides
  • Four-Piece Travel Design
  • Moderate action
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost VersatileSage SONIC Fly Rod
  • Matte Black Aluminum Rod Tube
  • Ceramic Stripper Guides
  • Hard Chromed Snake Guides
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost LightweightScott F Series Fiberglass Fly Rod
  • Natural Colored Blanks
  • E- Glass Construction
  • Metal & Titanium Strip Guides
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost AccurateG.Loomis NRX+ LP Fly Rod
  • Half Wells Cork Handle
  • Dynamic Recovery Technology (DRT)
  • 15% Lighter than Original NRX
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flyfisherpro-table__imageMost Easy to UseScott G Series Fly Rod
  • Aluminum Tube
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime Warranty
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Best Dry Fly Rod Reviews

ECHO Dry Fly Rod

ECHO Dry Fly Rod

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Key Features:

  • Four-piece travel design, with covered rod & reel case
  • Moderate action
  • Stainless guides with a low-friction ceramic stripper
  • Choice of two grip styles,
  • Matches perfectly with standard weight fly lines
  • Warranty

The ECHO Dry has been designed by head rod designer Tim Rajeff and is his dedicated dry fly rod in the ECHO range of fly rods.

Ranging from 2wt to 6wt, the 9’ECHO Dry is designed for accurate and delicate casts.

These are medium action rods that can deliver tight loops in confined spaces. The stiffer base helps with those longer casts when needed and the soft tip gives the rod a lovely sensitivity that is needed when fishing dries.

Sage SONIC Fly Rod 

sage sonic

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Key Features:

  • 4 piece, timeless juniper colored blank
  • Charcoal primary thread wraps with Gunmetal trim
  • Ceramic stripper guides
  • Hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
  • Matte black aluminum rod tube
  • 3WT – 6WT has a snub-nose half-wells cork handle
  • 6WT – 8WT full-wells cork handle with cork fighting butt
  • Hardwood insert with the anodized aluminum up-locking reel seat
  • Warranty

The Sage SONIC family of rods isn’t strictly a dry fly rod and offers the angler uncompromised versatility, with a balance of power and feel.

It can throw a streamer or nymph rig just as well. The soft tip makes it extremely suited to dry fly fishing.

A lovely crisp and light rod that has a level of performance that stands out from the crowd. It has a slightly quicker action giving it that ability to perform well in the other formats of fly fishing.

If laying down dry flies with accurate finesse is your thing then the Sage SONIC is the fly rod for you. The Konnetic Technology blank gives the ultimate in-hand feel and tracking qualities.

Weights available are 3wt -8wt, with the 6wt-8wt coming with a fighting butt.

Scott F Series Fiberglass Fly Rod

Scott F Series

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Key Features:

  • Natural coloured blanks
  • E- glass construction
  • Metal and titanium strip guides
  • Patented nickel titanium snake guides
  • Medium speed, full flex recovery
  • Warranty

Scott Fly rods first came onto the scene over 30 years ago when they started making fiberglass fly rods. These were for backcountry fly fisherman who fished small mountain streams targeting natural trout on dry flies.

Years on, they are now one of the world’s best fly rod manufacturers in both glass, carbon, and graphite.

The Scott F series fly rods combines modern technology with years of experience to make this ultra-modern, super-light fiberglass fly rod.

Made for the small streams and close casting conditions, the tapered blank and soft tip provides great tippet protection whilst having sufficient backbone power to throw a tight loop over 25 feet.

Rods available are from 2wt up to 4wt.

G.Loomis NRX+ LP Fly Rod

G.Loomis NRX+ LP

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Key Features:

  • 4 piece rods
  • Dynamic Recovery Technology (DRT)
  • 15% Lighter than Original NRX
  • Half wells cork handle
  • Amboyna Hardwood insert with unlocking reel seat
  • Limited warranty

The G. Loomis NRX+ LP is the ultimate fly rod for accurate and effective fly presentations.

Designed for ultra-technical dry fly fishing it will boost any angler’s effectiveness to present a dry correctly.

The NRX+ LP has been tailored for extreme versatility in casting strokes and has a very smooth medium action. These dry fly rods also have that reserve power for when it is needed to shoot a long line.

The rods are designed from 3wt -6wt, so all your trout fly fishing needs will be covered.

If one rod could be called the best trout rod, it could very well be the NRX + LP.

Scott G Series Fly Rod

Scott G Series

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Key Features:

  • 4 piece, multi-modulus fiber lay-ups blank design.
  • Patented nickel titanium snake guides
  • Aluminum tube
  • Lifetime warranty

The Scott G series is one of the most iconic rods they have ever produced.

First made in the 1970s the Scott G series was the first 4 weight 9’rod made and changed the freshwater fly fishing world forever.

The all-new G series is super light with a medium action. The combination of cutting-edge fiber and resin systems results in a more stable midsection of the rod with a quick recovery, great loop control, and line speed.

Its classic flex provides great accuracy and protects those light tippets.

There arent many rods like the Scott G series, made in weights 3wt to 6wt, it is made to ‘feel the line’ while you target tricky trout with long leaders in mid-range conditions.

Sage X Fly Rods

sage x

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Key Features:

  • KonneticHD Technology, black spruce blank color
  • Dark green thread wraps with metallic grey trim wraps
  • Fuji ceramic stripper guides
  • Black rod bag
  • Evergreen powder coated aluminum rod tube
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Proudly made in the USA

The Sage X fly rod is a fast action tapered blank that can really be used for any fly fishing conditions but it’s the crisp tip stop and recovery that makes it a great dry fly rod.

Its faster action gives great loop control on various casting strokes.

Points can be given to the Sage X series, during your casting stroke you can really feel the momentum move deeply into the lower part of the blank giving the caster great power.

The lighter-weight rods 4wt – 6wt are ideal for small creek and streams where dry flies are the name of the game.

The heavier weights will have you covered when you chase those bigger fish.

What makes a good dry fly rod

Over the years manufacturers have redesigned and developed some great dry fly-specific fly rods.

If we look closer at 90% of dry fly fishing situations, you will rarely cast over 30 – 40 feet, and a very subtle presentation is needed to present those tiny dries.


The action of a dry fly rod is very important as you don’t need a super stiff (fast) fly rod but rather a fly rod that bends from the middle to the butt section (traditionally classed as a moderate action rod). This will give you the performance and accuracy needed to present the dry fly.

With a longer leader for stealth reasons a moderate rod will load easier with less fly line being out, this is an added benefit to fly fishing with these types of rods. This is not to say you can’t fish a dry fly rig with a faster action rod, but you may find it difficult to cast with the light tippets and flies. A slower action rod does have its benefits in this style of fly fishing

Most modern dry fly fishing rods are classed with moderate action which is perfect for all fishing situations.

The best is to grab a rod to cast and feel it for yourself.

Rod weight

This is still an open debate between many dry fly purists as to what weight fly rods are best? A 3weight, 4 weight, or 5 weight are your common fly rod weights used. A 3wt is ideal for small streams and creeks, while the 4, 5 weight rods are great for your bigger still waters or rivers.

Rod length

The length of the rod can vary depending on the rod you choose to fish. Carbon and graphite are the modern-day choices and range from 8′ – 9’6 in length. If you choose to go the old school route with a fiberglass rod or even a bamboo fly rod then they are much shorter in length so anything from 7′ would be fine.


What makes a good dry fly rod?

A good dry fly rod should have a fast action, be lightweight and have a sensitive tip. It should be able to cast accurately and be able to handle both long and short casts. It should also have a smooth, easy to handle cork handle for better grip and comfort. Finally, it should have high quality guides and components that are durable and corrosion resistant.

What length fly rod for dry flies?

The length of your fly rod will depend on the type of fishing you plan to do. Generally, a 9’ to 10’ rod is best for dry fly fishing. However, if you plan to fish in small streams, a 6’ to 7’ rod may be better suited for the job. It is important to consider the type of water you plan to fish in when selecting a rod length.

What is the best all around fly rod for trout?

The best all around fly rod for trout is a medium-fast action 9 to 10 foot rod. This type of rod offers the perfect combination of power and flexibility. It is also lightweight and can handle a variety of techniques, from dry flies to streamers. It is also a good choice for beginners.

What is the easiest dry fly rod to use?

The easiest dry fly rod to use is a medium-fast action 9 to 10 foot rod. This type of rod offers the perfect combination of power and flexibility, making it suitable for both beginner and experienced anglers. It is also lightweight and can handle a variety of techniques, from dry flies to streamers.


Whether you are going on a dry fly-specific trip or you are just an old-school classic purist the right action and weight rod is going to make your life easier. From a delicate bow cast to a long tight loop cast getting that fly down delicately is the first objective. The second is to get the Eat. Then the fun begins.

With the range of modern rods that we have available to us and with their abilities to be used for various casting strokes and techniques, the choices can be difficult. I would have to go for the Sage SONIC 5wt. It is a great fly rod to fish dries with but can also be used in other formats of fly fishing which is added bonus. No need to carry that second rod.

Happy fishing!

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