As spring approaches, fly fishers everywhere prepare their gear. If you’re in need of a new fly fishing rod this season, you’re in luck. As technology advances and manufacturers recalibrate gear, fly rods get better and better over time.
Choosing the best fly rod for your needs can be difficult, however. Every angler wants to make the best possible purchase for their money, and no one wants a fly fishing pole that doesn’t perform well. To make things easier, we’ve done the research for you. Check out the best fly rods of 2020.
Top 9 Fly Fishing Rods
These fly rods are some of the best on the market today, and they come in a range of prices to fit any budget. Don’t lose fish by using old fly fishing gear – choose from one of our favorite fly fishing poles to make the most of your next fishing trip!
These are the Best Fly Fishing Rods
- Redington Classic Trout Fly Rod
- Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
- Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods
- Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
- Temple Fork Outfitters Professional Series II Braided Graphite Fly Fishing Rods
- M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
- Goture Fly Fishing Rod – 9ft
- Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
- Okuma SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly Rod
The Redington Classic is designed specifically for trout fly fishing. It has a moderate action, making a versatile fly fishing rod. This fly rod is lightweight and made for freshwater use.
Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
The Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod has a fast action, so it’s great for long casting and heavier fish. It is made from IM8 graphite for extra sensitivity and durability. This rod breaks into four pieces, so it is ready for travel and easily fits in a sling pack or it has its own shoulder strap.
- Fast action, IM8 Graphite for durability, accuracy and performance
- Travel friendly, four piece, with alignment dots for fast setup
- Ceramic stripping guides, chrome snake guides for smooth gliding fly lines
- Machined aluminum reel seat with double lock rings for sturdy reel attachment
- Half well cork handle helps casting accuracy, avoids fatigue. Four compartment rod tube included.
Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods
The Fenwick AETOS Fly Rods are a great option for any angler, and they come in freshwater, saltwater, switch, and spey models. These rods are high performance and made with premium components, including an anodized aluminum reel seat and a AAA cork handle. This is a fast action rod.
- Fast-action blank for ideal performance and recovery
- Artfully crafted with a lightweight feel
- 4-section deep blue fly fishing rod with carbon flake accents
- AAA-grade cork handle for a firm yet comfortable grip
- Fenwick cloth covered rod tube and bag included
Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
The Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod comes in 5 different lengths and weights, ranging from slow to fast action, so it’s a good pick for any fly angler. Its graphite frame makes it durable but sensitive. This rod has a high quality cork handle and it’s travel friendly.
- Professional - 4wt-8'6" Slow Action for sunfish, small trout and small streams; 5wt/6wt-9' Medium Action for general trout, larger streams and rivers, a universal size for beginners; 7wt-9' Medium Action for bass, carp, light steelhead, salmon and saltwater; 9wt-9' Fast Action for winter steelhead, salmon and saltwater.
- High Performance - IM7 Graphite for durability, accuracy and performance; Machined aluminum reel seat with double lock rings for sturdy reel attachment; Ceramic stripping guides inserts and chrome guides for smooth gliding fly lines.
- Precise Accuracy - Precise fly placement and instant pulling power spell the difference between landing the fish of a lifetime and a history lesson.
- Travel Friendly - 4-piece design makes the rod a great carrying around equipment for all fly anglers. Pair with a durable PVC rod tube which offers great protection for your rod and portability.
- Ingenious Design - The white dots on the fly rod help you align the guides easily and accurately. Half wells cork handle helps casting accuracy, avoids fatigue; Full Wells enable the caster to apply the power for long casts to rods rated for line weights 7 and above, good to balance the rod and offer comfort when playing fish.
Temple Fork Outfitters Professional Series II Braided Graphite Fly Fishing Rods
This TFO fly rod is moderate-fast action, but comes in wide array of sizes to fit any angler’s needs. The Professional Series II Braided Graphite Fly Fishing Rods are smooth casting and powerful. Each is made with quality components, including anodized aluminum reel seats, braided carbon fiber inserts, and more.
- Smooth and powerful, medium fast rods
- Black matte finished blanks, gold logos for style
- Anodized reel seats with aluminum inserts
- Premium grade cork with burled accents
- Comes with a TFO-logo red rod sock for optional customization
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod
The Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod is well made and affordably priced. It has a fast action graphite blank and an ergonomically designed cork handle. This rod also comes with a lifetime repair offer and free returns if you’re not satisfied.
- EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO GO FISHING – this most cost effective fishing combos are designed for new angler to get started right away. Includes a performance 9 ft, 5 weight, 4 pc rod, an aluminum large arbor reel with line, backing and leaders pre-loaded. 12 hand tied lures in a waterproof box, neoprene reel cover, 4 essential tools and a very durable travel case to hold everything. Perfect to start fishing at a budget. And also will be good as a backup combo after you upgraded
- ONE-YEAR-WARRANTY and LIFETIME Repairing Warranty - MAXCATCH as a 13 years fishing rod factory, offer “No Hassle” warranty for all our rods for one year. If you are not 100% satisfied with our products, you can return it in any time. And we also offer lifetime repairing for Maxcatch rods and reels
- EXCLUSIVE MAXLINQ ROD TECHNOLOGY – Pure IM7 24T plus 30T carbon fiber. With mixed 5 layers of carbon including Reinforced Muscle carbon layer for at least 20% increase in strength. A fast action design rod blank to excel in distance and presentation. To meet the need of a newer angler, Slim taper engineered to be smooth and powerful, high efficiency loading, all for easy long distance especially for new angler
- Pre-Loaded ALUMINUM REEL – An aluminum lightweight reel with an extremely smooth disc drag system is included. The reel is pre-spooled with backing, Weight-forward floating line and tapered leader. The reel size matchs with each line weight rod for perfect balance accordingly.
- Lures,BOX & ROD BAG – A durable but also convenient travel rod bag with reel pouch to hold everything together. Waterproof, Floating Box-5.24’’X3.54’’1.38’’, holds up to 372 lures. Includes 12 pc hand tied dry and wet lures, hook size:#10. A neoprene reel pouch is included for easy protection of the reel. And a zinger, a line nipper, a line cleaner and forceps are included as gifts.
Goture Fly Fishing Rod – 9ft
The Goture Fly Fishing Rod comes in four sizes, for slow, medium, or medium fast actions. It has a 30-ton carbon fiber construction, so it is strong and durable. The Goture fly rod comes with other premium components and a PVC case for protection.
- ONE-YEAR-WARRANTY and Life Time Repairing Warranty - As a professional fishing tackle supplier, we offer 100%“No HASSLE” GUARANTEE for one year. If you don't like it we'll issue a refund so you have nothing to lose. Additionally, we also offer lifetime repairing for our fly rods.
- High Balancing Performance - Customized burl wood insert in reel seat provide high balancing performance rather than aluminum insert like other brands.
- Super Light and Sturdy - 30+36T Carbon fiber blank construction makes the rod at least 20% increase in strength and at least 20% lighter in weight significantly. High-grade AA cork grip for more comfortable gripping and helps with casting
- Widely Used in Freshwater or Saltwater - 4wt slow action suitable for small trout & sunfish in small streams; 5wt medium action suitable for general trout in larger streams and rivers(a universal size for beginners); 7wt/8wt medium fast action suitable for bass & salmon in saltwater.
- Travel Friendly - Super compact, all in 4 pieces, very easy to safe storage with a durable PVC rod tube (only 31.5” in length).
Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
This freshwater fly rod has a medium power and slow action. It has a sensitive fiberglass blank, cork grip, and aluminum and cherrywood reel seat. The Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod is great for beginners and works well with multiple species.
- Forgiving yet durable two-piece fiberglass blank
- Cork grip offers traditional feel
- Line flows freely through aluminum-oxide guides
- Length: 8'
- Reel Seat- Aluminum w/Cherry wood
Okuma SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly Rod
The Okuma SLV Graphite Fly Rod is made with lightweight IM8 graphite, so it is strong and durable without causing fatigue. With a moderate-fast action, this rod is versatile. It comes in 7 sizes, all held up to Okuma’s high standards.
- Lightweight Graphite Construction
- 4-Piece Rod Design
- Titanium Oxide Stripper Guide
- Stainless Steel Snake Guides
- Aluminum Pipe Reel Seat with Aluminum Hoods
Fly Fishing Rod Buyers Guide: How To Choose a Fly Rod
If you’re not an expert on fishing rods, it can be difficult to determine which one you should buy. Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Use this fly fishing rod buying guide to learn how to choose a fly rod and which one is best for your fishing needs.
Fly Rod Action
Action refers to the bend in the rod when casting, which affects how fast and how far the line casts. Actions range from slow to fast, and there are fly rods available across actions – many of the rods on our list come in different actions to fit your needs.
A fast action fly rod is stiffer and bends less, which results in fast, long distance casts. A slow or slow-medium action rod bends more, resulting in a slower cast and a softer presentation. This means that the line enters the water more delicately, which is important if you’re fishing for skittish fish.
Both fast and slow action work well for fly anglers – your choice may come down to personal preference. If you’re fishing for a species that is easily spooked, or you’re fishing in a quiet, calm area, a slower action may be better. A busy river with lots of noise may be better suited for fast action rods. There are fast action rods that can cast without scaring off fish, however, so consider your needs before you buy. A medium action rod may be a good compromise as well.
Fly Rod Weight
Weight is especially important for fly rods. The fly rod weight has to match the weight of the line – so a 5-weight rod should be paired with a 5-weight line. If the line weight and rod weight don’t match up, it can cause issues with casting.
When choosing a weight, consider what flies you plan to use and what fish you plan to catch. The flies should determine what weight line and rod you use, so if you typically use lightweight, dry flies, a 3 or 4 weight rod will do. If you’re using heavier flies, opt for a 5 or above.
The length of your fishing rod typically affects how far you can cast. Fly rods generally range from 7 to 10 feet. Choose your rod length based on your own height and based on your style of fishing. If you prefer casting long distances to reach for good areas, longer is better. Keep in mind that a long rod can be difficult to manage on smaller streams, however.
The material of your fly rod, and any fishing rod, is important to its performance. Today, most rods are made of either graphite or fiberglass. Graphite is generally preferred because it is strong and lightweight, so they are ideal for fly fishing.
Saltwater or Freshwater Use
Most fly fishermen prefer freshwater fishing, but if you plan to use this rod in saltwater then it needs to be saltwater safe. Certain materials degrade due to saltwater corrosion, so check the material of the rod and manufacturer information to ensure that it can be used in saltwater. Freshwater fishing should be safe for all fly rods.
Fly Rod Handle
Most fly rods today use cork handles. Cork is great because it is typically comfortable to hold and lightweight. Check the handle of your fly rod to ensure it is comfortable to hold over long days of fishing. The best handles are made with high quality cork and are ergonomically designed.
Number of Pieces
Most fly rods come with the ability to break down into smaller pieces. This is useful for travel purposes, especially if you’re camping or hiking to reach a body of water. Breaking your rod into several pieces used to affect performance, but the technology has improved so that performance usually is not impacted.
Your reel has to fit with your rod! If you already have a fly fishing reel or you have one chosen, make sure that it fits with your fly rod of choice. The weight of your reel must match the weight of your rod and fly line. The reel also must be able to lock into your fly line’s reel seat.
Chose from these top-rated fly fishing rods and you’re sure to have a great day out on the water! Don’t forget to pack fly fishing waders if you’ll be getting wet.