If you are just starting to get into fly fishing it can be quite overwhelming trying to make the correct choices regarding what gear to get to start. From the correct weight setup to flies and clothing it can all be a bit too much.
Budget fly rods have become a very demanded piece of equipment and leading manufacturers have risen to the challenge of producing some great value for money fly rods.
That said, it will be difficult to find a specific purpose rod like a tactical nymphing rod or 11′ Spey fly rod for under $200 but there will definitely be some great general fly rods to look at.
|Orvis Clearwater||Check Today's Price|
|Redington Crosswater||Check Today's Price|
|Echo Base||Check Today's Price|
|Temple Fork Outfitters TFO Signature Series II||Check Today's Price|
|Redington Classic Trout||Check Today's Price|
|Echo Carbon XL||Check Today's Price|
|Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series||Check Today's Price|
|Fenwick Aetos||Check Today's Price|
There are so many important factors to consider when choosing a new fly rod under $200. What weight fly rod will I need? This will be determined by what species you are targeting and where you will be fly fishing for this species.
What length rod do I need to get 8’6 or 10′ these are all things that need to be considered. Another consideration is what warranty the rod comes with, most of the leading brands will offer some sort of warranty and this is always worth looking for. Another factor to consider is the rod action. Now if you are starting out and looking for the best fly rod under $200 a medium action fly rod would be the best suggestion.
If you are an experienced fly fisherman and are just looking for a backup budget fly rod then you will know your capabilities with casting and what action rod is best suited to you.
Whilst a fly fisherman can get away with a budget fly rod the fly line can t be overlooked and with most beginners thinking they need to spend more on the fly rod than a line, I would recommend switching that viewpoint.
Rather take a less expensive fly rod and up your budget, on the fly line, it is so important and mostly overlooked. Yes, the rod does the casting but it’s the line that will be turning over the fly and presenting it.
The recommended way would be to start looking at reputable brands, like Redington, Orvis, Echo, or Moonshine. It’s comforting to know that whatever you buy from them the fly rod will be of a certain quality, to begin with.
Buying something that hasn’t got a good name from a random online store may cause some issues. The biggest problem with these types of fly rod purchases is the actual blank construction and composition.
Most of the cheap fly rods these days will be made from very cheap graphite or carbon if you are lucky and they are basically just generic versions of the mainstream brands.
Not to worry this is what we will do over the next couple of paragraphs, is break down the fly rods that we recommended are the best for a $200 budget. From there you can decide on the best fly rod under $200 for yourself.
Best fly rods under $200
Redington Crosswater: $75-100
Available at: Trident Fly Fishing
The only fly rod that is under $100 in this category and worth mentioning is the Redington Crosswater. If you are new to the brand, Redington has been around for years and is considered one of the top brands to fish with. Their Crosswater fly rod is no exception to their standard and don’t be fooled by its price. With a medium-fast action, it is the best beginner fly rod for those who need to learn the techniques and perfect them.
The fly rod will easily fish nymphing waters, throw a streamer, or a delicate dry so it is a great all-around rod to start with or to have as a backup fly rod.
Ranging from a 7’6 4 weight up to a 9′ 9 weight it really does cover all categories. All Redington’s rods are 4 piece sets and the 7-9 wt range comes with a fighting butt and anodized guides to protect it from the saltwater elements. The 5 weight is the most popular but merely because it can fish a variety of waters.
With a 1 year warranty, the Crosswater is one of the best fly rods available.
For our full Redington Crosswater Review see our post here.
Echo Base: $100-115
A great beginner’s rod the Echo Base fly rod has been the introductory fly rod for years. After a recent upgrade to the LIFT, it now has an improved blank design giving us a choice of different actions. Being able to choose the action of a fly rod and get it for under $200, is not a common thing and makes for a great addition. With the fly rods being medium fast they cater to all levels of casting
This is what Echo is aiming for with this range of fly rods, bringing you the best fly rod under $200. These fly rods make a great backup fly rod for the more experienced as well. Available in 3wt up to 8wt they cover most aspects of fly fishing, so you can t really go wrong with an Echo LIFT.
With a 1 year warranty added to this fly rod, it has great value for its price point.
For our full Echo Fly Rod Reviews see our post here.
Temple Fork Outfitters TFO Signature Series II
When names Lefty Kreh and Temple Fork are mentioned in the same sentence any fly fisherman regardless of experience, listens! Temple Fork is known for their Signature series which produced a classic style for rod at a great price point. Following its success, the TFO Signature II series has been released and they have paired up with no other than Lefty Kreh.
This series delivers a medium-fast fly rod available in weights 2 up to 10 with the 7wt,8wt, 9wt, and 10wt all having an additional fighting butt. Retailing in the $129- $139 price range, you really are getting bang for your buck.
An improved progressive taper gives the fly rod reserved power for distance and line speed while maintaining the best loop control. The only issue is that it’s a 2 piece fly rod which does make for troublesome travel and storage but other than that it is one of the best medium-fast action fly rods available for its price.
See our TFO Fly Rod Reviews for a full breakdown of fly rods by TFO.
Redington Classic Trout: $114-170
Redington’s resurgence in fly fishing and its focus on delivering high-quality fly fishing rods at a lower price has brought us the impressive Redington Classic Trout. With a lifetime warranty, it sweetens the deal immensely. The fact that this fly rod is available at this very affordable price makes it one of the more popular rods choices for fishermen.
A slower action fly rod, ideally designed for delicate dry fishing presentations but can also be used in other types of fly fishing situations including some high sticking or streamer fly fishing. The lighter makeup allows for easy all-day fishing without experiencing the fatigue that one would with a different fly rod. With trout in mind, this fly rod won’t disappoint.
For our full Redington Classic Trout Review see our post here.
Echo Carbon XL: $150-170
A super light fly rod ideal for trout and bass, the Echo Carbon XL is a lovely rod for its price. Some say it’s the best fly fishing rod under 200. The lighter sibling to the Echo Ion XL series this Carbon XL (Xtra light) was Tim Rajeff’s goal when designing the new XL fly rod. By lightening up the blank Tim focused on the castability of the fly rod improving on the Echo Ion series even when it was thought possible.
Resulting in a beautiful medium fast performer that can be fished in many different scenarios. Available in 2wt up to a 6 wt all your fresh waters are covered. With high performance, moderate pricing, and a lifetime warranty, it may just be one of the best fly rods under 200 on the market.
Orvis Clearwater Freshwater fly fishing Rods ($198)
The Orvis Clearwater Fly fishing rod is perfect for any freshwater fly fisherman. available in various weights and lengths there is a fly rod for all purposes. whether you fish for small creek cutthroat or fat browns in your local river there will be an Orvis Clearwater rod to meet your needs. The Orvis Clearwater fly rod has been designed to cast the tiniest of dry flies right up to a large streamer.
With a great balance between strength and precision, this fly rod is a great deal for its price. With a 25 year warranty, it’s going to be with you for many years and land you plenty of fish.
The fly rod blank can become slightly heavy over a whole day’s fishing but it comes with a very impressive medium fast action that is crisper than relaxed, making it a very forgiving beginner’s rod when learning to cast. The sensitive tip does wonders for those 6x tippets and smaller, absorbing more shock than other fly rods in its class.
The only negative comment about this Orvis fly rod is that it doesn’t have a hook keep which some dislike but that aside it is still one of the best rods for under $200. Available in weights 2 to 6 all your freshwater adventures are covered.
For our full Orvis Clearwater Review see our post here.
Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter Series Fly Fishing Rod $199
Just imagine walking into your local fly shop and seeing the most beautiful fly rod you have ever seen just sitting on the rack. Then think of if you were to cast that rod and it felt like no other before it. Throwing super-tight loops with minimal effort and putting that fly within inches of your target. With all this going on in your imaginative mind you dream of the price for this ‘wonder rod’ being under $200. Well, look no further! The well known Moonshine Rod Co Drifter Series is the rod of all your accumulative dreams.
With Moonshine Rod Co being one of the newer companies in the rod building arena they already match up to the legends in the trade. They have been gaining a cult following over the years and one just has to visit their webpage to be instantly entertained. All this attention to detail follows into the rod design and the Drifter series is no exception to this. Its performance and sensitivity are without a doubt innovatory and you will find it very difficult to compare this fly fishing rod to other rods of the same price range.
Available from a 3wt 7’6 up to a 7wt 11′ blank it will suit all classic fly fishing styles and requirements. Made from performance graphite it delivers a medium action and the copper anodized reel seat, guides, and tip-top provide extra protection.
For one of the only fly rods under 200 in the fly fishing market that not only delivers this exceptional quality, it also comes with a lifetime warranty.
Probably the best note is the second tip piece that comes standard with every Moonshine rod is almost revolutionary!
See our Moonshine Rods Review for a full breakdown of Moonshine fly rods.
Fenwick Aetos: $150-200
Being one of the lesser well-known fly fishing brands Fenwick doesn’t disappoint. With the Aetos winning numerous positions in the ‘best buy’ and ‘best fly rod under 200’ categories it truly is a great purchase. Ideal for shorter distance fishing with power from the butt end to the midsection, a softer tip that gives it a smooth moderate action which will suit entry-level casters well. At 30 plus feet, it shows good performance, accuracy, and a nice light hand feel. The cork handle is comfy with its half wells design and a burled double lock ring reel seat completes this fly fishing rod.
A Nano Composite Technology delivers a moderate to fast blank that is available in a 3 wt up to 7/8wt and in various lengths as well. The choice of which cork grip style upon purchase is also a cool added feature. The 5-year warranty is a nice little bonus, no it’s not a lifetime warranty but it will serve its purpose until you need an upgrade. For this price range, the Aetos is a high-quality rod that can be used to catch many species of fish.
For our full Fenwick Aetos Fly Rod Review see our post here.
With so many great brands offering amazing quality and prices, it can be very hard to choose a rod for under $200. Again it’s about taking all your specific needs and finding a rod that can cover most of them at once. Do some research, ask questions and just remember the whole process should be fun, so hurry up, buy a rod and get out on the water and catch some fish.
Happy fishing and tight lines.