Best Dry Fly Rods

In this post we give you our top recommendations for the best dry fly rod in the market. We'll go through each of the fly rod's best features and also where to purchase them!
best dry fly rod

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A Purist would say that it’s 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!

There is very little that can beat your level of excitement when you watch your dry fly land beautifully then drift over a feeding trout. The eat can be from a subtle disturbance to a vigorous inhale.

Historically dry fly fishing was considered the only acceptable form of fly fishing and many foundations were built on the famous chalk streams of Great Britain.

If you’re looking to see the difference between dry fly vs wet fly fishing then see our article here we also recommend the 30 best fly rods overall here.

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

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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.

  • 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

See also our Echo Fly Rod Reviews for a full breakdown of all fly rods by Echo.

Sage SONIC Fly Rod 

sage sonic

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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

  • 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

See also our Sage Fly Rod Reviews for a full breakdown of all fly rods by Sage

Scott F Series Fiberglass Fly Rod

Scott F Series

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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.

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

See also our Scott Fly Rod Reviews for a full breakdown of all fly rods by Scott.

G.Loomis NRX+ LP Fly Rod

G.Loomis NRX+ LP

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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.

  • 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

See also our G Loomis Fly Rod Reviews for a full breakdown of all fly rods by G Loomis.

Scott G Series Fly Rod

Scott G Series

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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.

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

Sage X Fly Rods

sage x

Available at: Trident Fly Fishing

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.

  • 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

For our full Sage X Review see our post here.

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.

Action

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.

For more on fly rod weights see the following reviews:

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.

Conclusion

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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