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moonshine rods review

Moonshine Rods Review

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The Moonshine Rod Co. is a company that has flown under the radar, but we think it deserves some more attention! The aim of the team behind the Moonshine Rod Company is to create high-quality, high-performance rods for affordable prices, to make fly fishing more accessible.

With a unique fly fishing rods range that they design and manufacture themselves, it all sounds intriguing. So, we couldn’t wait to find out more about these rods and put together a review for you guys.

Here’s our in-depth Moonshine fly rods review, so you can find out whether they have the right fly rod for you!

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All About the Moonshine Rod Company

The Moonshine Rods Co. is an up and coming fly rod manufacturer that prides itself on designing superb fly rods that don’t cost a bomb. There are four guys behind the Moonshine fly rods, with two dedicated rod builders on the team. In their own words, they are a ‘small batch blue collar fly rod company.’

All their products are designed in Virginia, with some of the production outsourced to a reputable company in China to keep costs low. However, all the finishing, final details, and production checks take place in Virginia, USA, to ensure every single rod meets their high standards. 

Moonshine fly rods are made from the best South Korean carbon and Japanese glass and graphite, that have been carefully sourced to create premium, durable rods.

The Moonshine Co. currently has a range of fly rods in production, including their top fly rod, the Midnight Special. Their other rod lines are the Drifter rod, the Epiphany, the Outcast, and the Revival. In this review, we’ll be taking a close look at each of their products to see what features and benefits they have, plus how they compare to other fly rods on the market.

Moonshine Rods Review:

As the company manufactures small batches, what’s available on their site varies from time to time. But here are the current Moonshine fly rods in production:

Drifter Rod

The Drifter is a series of 4-piece, medium-action graphite rods that are designed for optimal performance at a comfortable price point. If you’re into vintage fly rods, you’ll love the Drifter. It takes you back to the good ol’ days of fly fishing with its classic look, deep brown blank, and hand-turned burl.

Sturdy and hardwearing, the Drifter rod is constructed from anodized copper hardware, a top quality cork grip, and a burl reel seat. The dyed finish shows off all the natural beauty of the rod. You get a hard canvas rod case and an extra tip section, too (because accidents can happen!)

But it’s not just about the aesthetics with the Drifter rod! It’s easy to cast for any angler, no matter how much experience you have, and the Moonshine guys have got the action just right. The medium action is the perfect combination of power and flex, and the accuracy is spot on.

Epiphany Fly Rod

The Epiphany is the Moonshine Euro-nymphing rod. Whether you’re a complete nymphing beginner or you’ve been fishing Czech/Euro nymphing style for a while, this rod is just what you need! With a sensitive tip and a strong butt section, you’ll be able to protect your tipper while hauling in those bigger fish.

It’s responsive enough for you to feel exactly what’s happening on the river bottom, so you don’t miss any strikes. At the same time, the butt section feels more like a 5 weight and has plenty of backbone.

This 4-piece graphite rod has a superb construction and faultless matte finish, designed to reduce glare so you don’t spook the fish. The matte black blanks look awesome and is complemented by the dyed burl wood finish and burl reel seat. It’s available in both 2 weight and 3 weight fly rods and 10′ or 10’6 lengths. It’s only missing alignment dots, but that’s not a massive concern.

The Moonshine team pride themselves on listening to their customers, and one thing almost every nymph fisher is looking for is a rod that is easy to balance. That’s why the Epiphany is now available in two different options: a downlocking fly rod, and an uplocking version with a removable fighting butt. You can go for whichever model suits you best, and you’ll be all set for some epic tightline nymphing.

Outcast Fly Rod

The Outcast is Moonshine’s hybrid saltwater fly rod, carefully designed to withstand every kind of weather as well as erosive saltwater conditions. This rod is constructed with high-quality components that are corrosion-resistant.

It’s plenty powerful for chasing bonefish, tarpon, and barracudas, but you can also use it for freshwater fly fishing, making it a versatile choice for any angler. The Outcast’s fast action and aggressive taper are the perfect combination, providing all the strength you need plus a remarkable amount of flex and sensitivity.

The Outcast is available in 3 sizes: 6 weight, 8 weight, and 10 weight, all measuring 9 foot long. It’s made from anodized hardware and has a full wells grip from high-quality, AAA-grade cork. The fighting butt is sturdy enough to put up a fight with big fish and chuck out those hefty saltwater flies. With its cool teal color and matte finish, it’s an elegant and attractive fly rod.

Revival Fly Rod

Fiberglass fly rods used to be all the rage, and now they’re having a comeback. The Revival is the Moonshine fiberglass fly rod with a slower action, perfect for any angler who wants to slow down and enjoy their fly fishing experience.

You get the typical two tip sections and canvas rod case with dividers, like all Moonshine products. But the Revival has incredible flex, a vintage orange/brown blank, copper anodized hardware, and the gorgeous hand spalted burl wood. Available in a 3 weight 7′ version or a 5 weight 8′ fly rod, the Revival will remind you of the rod your granddad fished with (in a good way!) It looks incredible and performs consistently with fantastic precision.

Moonshine Midnight Special Fly Rod

The Midnight Special is Moonshine’s masterpiece and their most popular rod of all time, so we couldn’t wait to review it. A lot of time, energy, and knowledge went into designing this fly rod, and the result is a fast action beast with amazing accuracy. With a fast tip and mid-body flex, those long-distance casts will be a breeze and you’ll land your fly right on target.

Every Midnight Special fly rod is finished with meticulous attention to detail, and they are available as a fully custom fly rod. Available in sizes from 3 weight up to 8 weight and lengths from 7’6 up to 10′, you can choose the rod that suits you best. The Midnight Special costs just $299, which you can pay up-front or in 4 interest-free payments.

If you’re want to up your game, cast further, and improve your presentation, the Moonshine Midnight Special is just what you need!

Moonshine Swag

If you’re a big Moonshine fan, you’ll love that they have a range of merchandise available for you to buy. From their cool stickers to a comfy T-shirt, it’s all available on the Moonshine website. You’ll also find hats, hoodies, and mugs, all decorated with the classic Moonshine logo.

Not looking for something for yourself? A ‘Fish More, Work Less’ T-shirt might be the perfect gift for another avid angler in your life.

Moonshine Customer Service

One significant advantage of buying one of Moonshine’s fly rods is the superb customer service. It’s clear that the team lives and breathes fly fishing, and they’re happy to help with any of your questions or problems. The quick, responsive, and helpful service is a real bonus.

Moonshine’s Lifetime Warranty

The guys behind the Moonshine Rod Co. know that things happen and rod sections can break. When you’re fly fishing all day, anything can happen – damage can even occur when you’re loading your car up for your next fly fishing trip! That’s why they’ve come up with their no-fault, lifetime warranty.

If your rod breaks due to a manufacturing defect, they’ll repair or replace it for you, free of charge. But if the breakage is not a result of manufacturing or product defects, you can still get a rod section fixed for a low, competitive free. Currently, these fees stand at $40 per rod section for all rods except the Midnight Special, which costs $65/section.

This is a fair, generous warranty lasts a lifetime – a real advantage to buying a Moonshine rod. You’ll be able to go fly fishing without being too delicate with your fly rod. If anything does happen, you won’t have to shell out for a whole new fly rod. Phew!

Moonshine Rods FAQ

Does the Moonshine Rod Co. offer a warranty?

Yes, they do! All Moonshine fly rods are covered by their generous lifetime warranty. Even better, it’s a no-fault warranty! No matter what happens to your rod, you can rest easy knowing that they will repair or replace it for you for a competitive fee.

Where can I buy a Moonshine Rod?

If you want to buy online, the only place to buy is from the Moonshine Rod Co. store. However, a few bricks and mortar fly shops also stock the Moonshine products. You can check to see if there are any stores near you selling the brand by clicking here

The Wrap Up

The Moonshine fly rods are a perfect choice for a beginner or an experienced angler who’s shopping on a budget. You get incredible performance, excellent craftsmanship, and perfect action for a fraction of the price of a premium fly rod.

With a comprehensive range of rods, including saltwater and Euro-nymphing options, there really is something for everyone, no matter what kind of fly fishing you prefer. You can choose from the fast action Outcast for power on those long-distance casts, or the medium action Drifter if you like more feel and sensitivity.

You can tell that the guys at Moonshine Co. are avid fly anglers, and they pour their passion into their fly rods. You won’t go wrong with any of their fly rod designs!

If you found this fly rod review helpful, don’t forget to share it on Twitter or Facebook! If you fish with a Moonshine fly rod, drop us a comment and let us know what you think. We’ve got loads more fly rod and fly fishing gear reviews at Fly Fisher Pro.

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