Home ยป Best Fly Fishing Rods: A Buyers Guide

Introduction to Fly Rods

Fly fishing is a specific fishing technique where a synthetic fly is used to catch fish. Even though the method seems a bit similar to spinning, best telescopic fishing rod, and casting, there are subtle differences between the three. And as such the best fishing rods made for fly fishing purposes are different from the ones created for casting and spinning. Fly rods look similar to other types of rods but they differ largely in appearance and application. Fly rods are basically thinner, and the guides that are used to control the line, are typically tiny and arranged close to the blank. The lower end of the rod is where the reel seat is situated, to generate proper balance when the line is hooked to a fish. It is contrary to the popular method you might have seen on TV or in movies, where the reel is used to haul in the fish by pulling on the line.

Best Fly Rods 2018 Comparison

Name Length Rating Price  
Sage One Series Fly Fishing Fly Rod 8.2 Feet  $475.00 Buy Now
Redington Classic Trout Fly Rod 6 – 9 Feet  $149.95 Buy Now
Echo Ion XL 9 – 10 inches  $159.99 Buy Now
Winston Boron IIIx 8 to 10 inches  $795.00 Buy Now
Orvis Adirondack Full-Flex Bamboo 7’6”  $2,595.00 Buy Now
Orvis Clearwater 9 Feet  $295.00 Buy Now
Redington PATH 8’6 – 10.0’  $179.95 Buy Now
Redington Crosswater Fly Rods 7’6” – 9’  $139.95 Buy Now
TFO BVK Series 8’ – 10’  $124.95 Buy Now
Temple Fork NXT 8’6 – 9’  $178.00 Buy Now
St. Croix Legend Elite 7’9 – 9’  $430.00 Buy Now
St. Croix Avid Series 6’ – 9’  $250.00 Buy Now
Hardy Zephrus FWS Fly Rods 8’ – 10’  $649.00 Buy Now
Hardy Shadow Fly Rods 8’6”  $359.00 Buy Now
Allen Prelude Fly Rods 9’  $159.00 Buy Now
G. Loomis NRX Lite Presentation 7’6 – 9’  $664.40 Buy Now
Fenwick Aetos 6’ – 15’  $141.52 Buy Now
Fenwick Fenglass Fly Rods 7’ – 8’3  $173.20 Buy Now
Mystic Inception Fly Rods 8’6 – 9’  $169.95 Buy Now
Loop Cross SX Fly Rods 9’ – 10’  $749.00 Buy Now

Editor’s Choice

Fly fishing can cost you a fortune, thus you should consider all your options before buying best fly rods. I will recommend you a cheap and high-quality rod that is not heavy on your pockets and is durable.

The Mystic Inception fits the description if you are a beginner fly fisherman because the rod offers you a range of basic features that you need to learn the skill and costs you only a hundred dollars. If you are an intermediate or pro level fly fisherman I recommend an upgrade to the Sage One Series fly rods or the Orvis Adirondack Full-Flex Bamboo if you are feeling lucky. You will certainly be satisfied by these best fly rods.

20 Best Fly Rods for the Money

Incorporating all the factors above you should be qualified enough to choose fly rods and reels suiting your needs and preferences. Below I have provided a short list of best fly rods that are worth a mention, followed by our recommendation.

01

Sage One Series Fly Fishing Fly Rod

Overview

The Sage One fly rod is Sage’s crown jewel, meaning it is the most premium rod by the company that is suitable for accurate casting in diverse conditions. This Sage fly rod is hand-made using Sage’s Konnetic Technology under which the revolutionary rod was tried tested and perfected to be fit for the best. The Sage One’s fast action will provide you with the best opportunity to learn and enjoy fly fishing. Some exciting features of these Sage fly rods include a round tip eye, brand-new ferrules, Fuji stainless steel construction, aluminum reel seat with walnut insert and more.

Specs

  • Length: 8.2 Feet
  • Action: Fast
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Price: $475

Pros

  • Excellent customer service
  • Sharp and accurate action as well as response
  • Warranty

Cons

  • A bit expensive

Conclusion

The Sage One fly rods are the best rods for fly fisherman appreciating rods that adapt to any condition, are durable and strongly built. Endowed with a fast action, the Sage One can easily be a handful tool in the hands of upcoming fishermen or a veteran angler. The Sage fly rods are optimal for stream fishermen who revel in the idea of throwing all kinds of fly and appreciate a sturdy well-equipped rod. The sensitivity of this Sage rod allows you a fluid response that you are able to feel at your fingertips. Sage crafts brilliant rods that are sensitive as well as extremely long lasting, which are two integral features of the best streamer fly rod. The rod is immensely fast offering great leverage when you are tackling differently sized fishes on the stream.
Most fishermen regret buying fly rods that break easily when under stress, but the Sage One fly rod will never give up on you, with its strong and flexible construction. In the event that some damage does come to the rod, you can get it repaired or replaced by Sage at a low cost. The One is a rod built to satiate your hunger of stream fishing.

02

Redington Classic Trout Fly Rod

Overview

The Classic fly rod by Redington is an improved rod which revives the conventional ways of casting and fly fishing, with an exquisite design and lightweight construction. This best fly rod for trout is perfect if you use it for trout fishing on rivers and streams, as it can be disassembled, making it travel-friendly. It is available in several lengths and actions to suit your needs.

Specs

  • Length: 6 – 9 Feet
  • Pieces: 4 to 6
  • Weight: 2 – 3.1 oz
  • Handle: A
  • Line: 5wt
  • Price: $149.95 – $169.99

Pros

  • Smooth action
  • Thick but durable
  • Soft and flexible tip

Cons

  • Susceptible to shocking when casting long
  • The reel seat is not high-quality

Conclusion

The Redington Classic fly rod has been given this name because it is built just like the ones from the 1970s. Those times were the golden era of rod craftsmanship with a great focus on fly rods that were capable of casting at close distances. The trends have been changed but the raw technique of fishing remains the same and that is what you are going to experience with Classic fly rods. You would thank us later for suggesting such a great rod, so go get it while it is still on the market.

03

Echo Ion XL

Overview

The Echo Ion fly rod comes at an incredibly reasonable price. Built for saltwater fishing, the rod features exceptional low swing-weight and a fast action. The XL fly rods are a capable option for all types of flies. Thanks to the salt corrosion-resistant items, used to craft the rods, the Ion XLs are durable and strong. The rods are great for your travel excursions owing to the 4 piece rod construction.

Specs

  • Length: 9 – 10 inches
  • Pieces: 4
  • Grip: A & B
  • Weight:7 – 5.8 oz
  • Action: Medium Fast – Fast
  • Price: $159.99

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Great travel fly rod
  • Value for money

Cons

  • None could be found

Conclusion

The latest model of Echo Ion fly rod has been upgraded and made lighter. You will immediately feel the difference if you have used the previous old model. The rod has a very strong backbone to fight big fish. Also, the new Ion XL fly rod has an attractive design which would turn heads while you are out fishing.

04

Winston Boron IIIx

Overview

Winston fly rods offer supreme performance and the Boron IIIx series is not an exception. These are one of the most outstanding fly rods ever made. Built using higher modulus third generation Boron/Graphite composite, IIIx delivers performance, feel, power, and speed that are second to none. The lightweight material of the Boron IIIx provokes a greater response coupled with a seamless and dynamic feel that you can apply to a wide range of flies.

Specs

  • Length: 8 to 10 inches
  • Line: 3wt – 8wt
  • Grip: Cigar & Full Wells
  • Price: $850

 

Pros

  • Perfect for dry flies
  • Exceptional accuracy at a range of distances
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Not suitable for longer distance
  • Not as gifted as other 5wt fly rods

Conclusion

With this Winston fly rod, you can forget all your worries since it is arguably the best in the market. The improved faster action allows the most prime stiffness at the tip and at the backbone providing you with great leverage battling the huge mean fish. However, this fast action may not be that good compared to other fly rods in this price range. That being said, with Winston fly rods you get the premium Winston balance and smoothness, which make these great fly rods overall.

05

Orvis Adirondack Full-Flex Bamboo

Overview

The Orvis Bamboo fly rod is simply one of the best 5 wt fly rods that ever graced the market. The rod is built keeping in mind the traditional practices and values of fly fishing, and as a result of sharp and accurate casting, the bamboo accent fly rod was forged. A balanced blank, strong backbone and immaculate sensitivity make this rod a class apart from its competitors.

Specs

  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 5 wt
  • Pieces: 2
  • Price: $2,595

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • Great attention to detail

Cons

  • Ridiculously high price
  • Difficult to put together

Conclusion

You could be probably kicked out of your house if you even intend on buying the Orvis Bamboo fly rods. You can even buy a good family car for the price of this rod but if you are crazy enough to buy this rod, you won’t be disappointed. The high price certainly translates to a premium quality rod that looks and feels good at the same time. In any case, you can buy a fly rod half the price of the Orvis Bamboo and still cast with precision.

06

Orvis Clearwater

Overview

The Orvis Clearwater fly rod is a great rod among other Orvis fly rods. Trout fishing is a measly task thanks to the Clearwater and that too at a reasonable price. Equipped with an action and power drafted from the award-winning Helios technology, the Orvis fly rod fuses balance with immense power and line control, that is supported by a 25-year warranty.

Specs

  • Length: 9 Feet
  • Line: 5wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Action: Moderate
  • Weight: 2.8 oz
  • Rod Tube: Yes
  • Price: $301

Pros

  • Lightweight and flexible
  • Durable and dependable
  • Value for money
  • Warranty by Orvis

Cons

  • Unable to cast accurately at longer distances

Conclusion

The Orvis fly rod is one to remember as you will get the performance of a thousand dollar or above in under $500. The cast friendly moderate action is perfect for long hauls at moderate distances and the beautiful olive blanks are enough to turn a few eyes at the lake.

07

Redington PATH

Overview

Redington fly rods are one of the best when it comes to fly fishing. The new and improved Redington PATH fly rod is capable of seamless casting, thanks to its medium-fast action and graphite blank construction, that is sure to give you astounding performance in fresh and saltwater conditions. These come with a Half Wells handle for rods smaller in length and a Full-Wells handle for those fly rods that reach lengths 7 ft and above while being equipped with an aluminum reel seat for your saltwater fishing adventures.

Specs

  • Length: 8’6 – 10.0’
  • Line: 3wt – 8wt
  • Pieces: 2 & 4
  • Action: Medium – Fast
  • Weight: 1 to 5.7 oz

Price: $179.95 – $199.99

Pros

  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Amazing castability
  • Great for beginner anglers

Cons

  • Warranty does not cover shipping costs and you are still required to pay a small fee

Conclusion

The Redington fly rods are a must buy for upcoming fishermen. You can learn the tricks of the trade with the Redington and then upgrade to advanced fly rods. However, this rod is acclaimed amongst the pros so you are not worse off in any way. The Redington brand is there for you if you have any problems or queries regarding the product and is replaceable and repairable owing to the lifetime warranty. Furthermore, you can also opt for a Redington fly rod case, which is always a bonus.

08

Redington Crosswater Fly Rods

Overview

The Redington Crosswater fly rod is a medium-fast action rod which is perfect to start out your fly fishing journey, owing to its accurate and easy castability. The Redington Crosswater fly rod comes with a combo option, which matches the rod with a case and reel and comes in a travel-friendly 2 or 4 piece option, though a rod excluding the combo can be bought.

Specs

  • Length: 7’6” – 9’
  • Line: 4wt – 9wt
  • Piece: 2 & 4
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Weight: 5 – 4.9 oz
  • Price: $139.99

 

Pros

  • Great quality
  • Flexible tip
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Sensitive

Cons

  • Need of upgrade

Conclusion

The Redington fly rod combo which comes with the Crosswater, is a life saver, especially if you are a fisherman just starting out in the sport and learning about flies. You will not be disappointed by the accuracy, durability, and sensitivity the fly rod delivers at a very low price. Great to give as a gift and for travel as the rod case allows portability together with protection.

09

TFO BVK Series

Overview

The TFO fly rods and their premium BVK Series are a force to be reckoned with. A lightweight and extremely responsive rod that was deftly built to compete with the best in the business. The TFO BVK fly rod is built using brand new materials, lessening the weight and increasing strength overall, and as a result, a great fly rod has been brought into existence. The fast taper TFO fly rods are crafted to cast a mile and look good while in your hands. Olive blanks, carbon fiber reel seats, stainless snake guides, and Tactical Series Stripping Guides are some of the impressive features you would love this rod.

Specs

  • Length: 8’ – 10’
  • Line: 3 – 10 wt
  • Weight:4 – 4.5 oz
  • Handle: A & B
  • Action: Fast
  • Price: $124.95 – $349.95

 

Pros

  • Fast action provides perfect stiffness
  • Casts a good distance
  • Perfect for saltwater fishing

Cons

  • No covers or sock
  • Compared to Orvis Clearwater not that good

Conclusion

The action of the BVK Series rods is faster compared to other fly rods. It is ideal for long distance casting to allow you some leverage against wind resistance. The quality isn’t that great but it is bearable at the low price you get the product. Overall, TFO fly rods are good for the money you pay and are enough to last a decent amount of time.

10

Temple Fork NXT

Overview

Another great TFO fly rod is from the NXT Series. The NXT fly rod is great for all new folks who want a rod that loyally helps you out in your learning process. High-grade NXT rods have a medium fast action, making them entirely capable of casting at long as well as short distances. The appearance is exciting with attractive forest green colored blanks. Other exciting features such as the composite cork handle, aluminum oxide stripping guides and the ability to use the rod in both salt and fresh water conditions are a big plus.

Specs

  • Length: 8’6 – 9’
  • Line: 4 – 9 wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Handle: A & B
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Price: $179 – $209.95

Pros

  • Optional carry case
  • Great value for money
  • Ideal for travelers

Cons

  • Aluminum might not give the same feel as the graphite material

Conclusion

The NXT rod from the TFO fly rods range is an ideal entry level rod and naturally, it is great for beginner anglers. The medium-fast action of the rod will help you adapt very easily to all types of distances when casting. Its overall beautiful construction and incredible performance will leave you awestruck, making this rod the highlight of your fishing rod collection.

11

St. Croix Legend Elite

Overview

St Croix fly fishing rods with their Legend Elite Series have revolutionized the fishing industry. The craftsmanship is clearly evident from the impressive balance. The rods have a fast action providing just the right amount of stiffness you require for long distance casts. Construction of the fly rods consists of SCV graphite which makes them dependable and durable for a lifetime of use. In addition, the premium customer service is one of the best in the fishing industry. The fly rod is available for both saltwater and freshwater conditions.

Specs

  • Length: 7’9 – 9’
  • Line: 3wt – 12wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Action: Fast
  • Weight:2 – 4.9 oz
  • Price: $430 – $540

Pros

  • Casts a great distance
  • Compatible with most flies.
  • Performance matching expensive fly rods

Cons

  • The fast action might be too stiff for some

Conclusion

St. Croix fishing products especially the St. Croix fly rods are a great tool for all types of anglers. The low price and the customer service are hard to beat. You can’t go wrong with the Legend Elite Series, especially if you are just starting out and budget is low. The fly rods cast like a dream, accurately at long distances, so it is great for saltwater fishing specifically on those windy days.

12

St. Croix Avid Series

Overview

The St. Croix Avid fly rod comes with different specifications suitable for all types of trout fishing. The moderate action is great for beginners and pros alike, to cast with relative ease, thanks to the IPC technology used for the blanks, and that is why you will love it. The attractive finish on the St Croix Avid fly rod is enough to catch the eye of any angler on the stream.

Specs

  • Length: 6’ – 9’
  • Line: 2wt – 7wt
  • Pieces: 2 & 4
  • Action: Moderate
  • Weight: 2 – 3.9 oz
  • Price: $250 – $310

Pros

  • Great mid-level fly rod
  • Sensitive and responsive
  • Cheaply priced

Cons

  • Not enough backbone for long distance casting
  • The tip is a bit too flexible

Conclusion

The St. Croix Avid fly rod is made for those who are looking for an upgrade to a mid-level fly rod after learning the art of fly fishing. The balance and feel are good as well as the sensitivity is given the cheap price tag of the rod. You won't find difficulty hooking in fish but a longer cast is not something the Avid fly rod can handle.

13

Hardy Zephrus FWS Fly Rods

Overview

Hardy Zephrus fly rod blank is forged using Sintrix 440, REC Black pearl and Fuji Titanium stripper guides. The fast action is great if you want to cast a great distance. The rod is well balanced and smooth in its action allowing anglers enough ease while casting at high line speeds. Hard wood and Triaxial carbon spacers give these fly rods a handsome appearance.

Specs

  • Length: 8’ – 10’
  • Pieces: 4
  • Action: Fast
  • Price: $649 – $779

Pros

  • Perfect rod reminiscent of other Hardy rods
  • Exceptional accuracy
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • Minor upgrade from the Zenith model

Conclusion

Hardy has paid special attention to the Hardy Zephrus fly rod. It will not disappoint as it is capable to handle most fly applications. The construction is rock solid thanks to the award-winning Sintrix technology and the price is great as well. You should really consider Hardy Zephrus fly rods, and why shouldn't you? The company provides a lifetime warranty.

14

Hardy Shadow Fly Rods

Overview

The Hardy shadow is one of the best Hardy fly rods in the market. The new version that was renewed in 2015 brings together premium carbon technology and high performance in a fly rod that is built to perfection. The fly rods have been constructed keeping in mind a mandrel design which gives them just the right amount of power, dependability, and sophistication to make them capable of delivering high line speed and optimum control for accurate long-distance casting.

Specs

  • Length: 8’6”
  • Action: Medium Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Price: $379

Pros

  • Lightweight and responsive
  • Appealing olive color
  • Accurate at both short and long distance
  • Very cheap

Cons

  • Discontinued so only limited rods available
  • A better-enhanced version is now being sold

Conclusion

Hardy fly rods have upgraded the Shadow to Shadow AWS which is much better. The color has been changed as well from olive to a dark wine red. Hardy has incorporated the Sintrix technology to be abreast with all the latest in fly rod building craftsmanship. You should rather go for the newer version which is much stiffer and accurate than the Shadow. However, if you are light on money and want a cheap option you can select the Hardy Shadow fly rod.

15

Allen Prelude Fly Rods

Overview

The Allen Prelude is an entry level fly rod and a proud part of the Allen fly rods family. Although cheap, the Allen has not cut down on quality materials for the Prelude. The company uses the same premium quality components for the Prelude, which is built from graphite material and fixed with an aluminum reel, a floating fly line, and a 9’ tapered leader. The Allen Prelude comes in a combo package which includes a reel, the fly rod and a case for safekeeping.

Specs

  • Length: 9’
  • Line: 5wt & 8wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Action: Medium-fast
  • Weight: 8 & 4.2 oz
  • Price: $159

Pros

  • Commendable customer service
  • Available in a package deal
  • Great for beginners

Cons

  • Old model and hence availability is an issue

Conclusion

Allen fly rods are simply the best for the price. You will be satisfied with the rod’s performance whether you are just a beginner or a professional. Thankfully, the fly rods come with a package deal, so you don’t have to worry about pairing them with a separate reel. It is ready to fish package that you can take directly to your favorite fishing destination and enjoy the accurate castability and strength of the fly rod while you hook in some large fish.

16

G. Loomis NRX Lite Presentation

Overview

The G Loomis fly rods are built to appease fly fishermen and it is exactly what G. Loomis delivers with the NRX Lite Presentation. This G Loomis fly rod will allow you to manage long and subtle casts using exceedingly light leaders to ensnare the clever fish. Great for small and mid-sized flies, the lightweight fly rods can be utilized for casting a healthy distance with commendable accuracy and authority. You also have the option of two different color schemes, where you can opt for the matte black with blue wraps or get an evergreen with green wraps.

Specs

  • Length: 7’6 – 9’
  • Line: 3wt – 5wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Handle: A & B
  • Price: $709.99 – $755

Pros

  • Well balanced and sensitive fly rod
  • Able to resist strong winds which speak volumes of its action
  • Incredible at small and medium distances

Cons

  • Design problems
  • Unsatisfactory customer service

Conclusion

You can’t go wrong with G. Loomis fly rods and that is a fact. The G. Loomis NRX is a great example of this claim since it gives you immense power and accessibility to fish in the lake or on a saltwater surface. Although it cannot cast a long distance, you can use it for nearby distances from about 20ft to 70ft with relative ease. The quality is great so you won't have to worry about the rod snapping allowing it to last a lifetime for you. The price is on the higher side and we think you can get some other great fly rods at a lower price, for example, the Allen Prelude.

17

Fenwick Aetos

Overview

Fenwick fly rodsAetos. With a fast action for stiffness, a sturdy carbon infused blank, gunsmoke stripper guides and double foot gunsmoke snake guides, the Aetos stands a class apart from its competitors. Once you hold this lightweight fly rod in your hands, you will feel the traditional Fenwick craftsmanship that embodies premium quality and performance. The Fenwick Aetos Series fly rods are available for all kinds of fishing surfaces and conditions from freshwater to saltwater and more, allowing you perfect liberty to apply your fishing methods.

Specs

  • Length: 6’ – 15’
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Price: $99.99 – $309.95

Pros

  • Top quality rod for the low price
  • Value for money
  • Great for beginner anglers

Cons

  • Weak backbone resulting in the rod snapping

Conclusion

For the price you pay for most fly rods, you don’t get the top quality that Fenwick fly rods provide. Simply given the price of the Aetos, you should not think twice before purchasing it because at this low price you are getting a great fly rod with a wide range of applications. Although, the backbone is inflexible and breaks if you cast heavyweights, the Aetos makes up for it with the ability to cast healthy distances. We definitely recommend the Fenwick Aetos, especially to new anglers.

18

Fenwick Fenglass Fly Rods

Overview

Fenwick used to be a prime fishing rod maker in the olden days, fortunately, their deft craftsmanship hasn’t faded over the years and that is proven by the Fenwick fiberglass fly rods that are reminiscent of that traditional rod building expertise. The Fenglass has come a long way since its inception, but the fly rods are still modeled on the fiberglass models of the past evident from its classic design. The Fenwick fenglass fly rods allow you to make delicate casts to catch the freshwater fish. The cork handle and reel seat together with the fiberglass construction help reduce the weight of the rod. And if you are an avid traveler you will love the 3-piece design which allows easy portability anywhere in the world.

Specs

  • Length: 7’ – 8’3
  • Action: Medium
  • Pieces: 3
  • Price: $157.77 – $249.95

Pros

  • Performs exactly as advertised
  • Great customer service
  • Exceptional for roll casting

Cons

  • Contrary to the medium action the rod feels stiff

Conclusion

Fenwick Fenglass fly rod is a great option except for the fact that it feels a lot stiffer than it is supposed to. The rod does not have the forgiving action that you would want from fiberglass fly rods, to make delicate and accurate casts. If you have not fished with a traditional fiberglass fly rod before, you won’t feel the difference but for the veterans of this sport, who have years of experience, the Fenglass is a disappointment.

19

Mystic Inception Fly Rods

Overview

The Mystic Inception is one of those Mystic fly rods that are tailor-made for beginners so that they can learn the art of fly fishing without a hassle. The Inception fly rod is durable, economical and dependable making it a complete package. You can get the rod in two separate line weights, a 5wt, and an 8wt, owing to Mystic’s idea of the most popular weights demanded by anglers. The performance is excellent, contrary to the price you pay to get the rod. Built for open fly fishing, the blanks are premium quality as well as all other components that make the rod exceptional. At half the price of most fly rods, you will get an attractive rod which is easy on your bank balance and can work as your backup rod as well as act as your main weapon.

Specs

  • Length: 8’6 – 9’
  • Line: 5wt & 8wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Price: $100

Pros

  • Easy on your pockets
  • Great value for money
  • Comes with a combo deal
  • Perfect for trout fishing

Cons

  • Best as a backup rod

Conclusion

Do not be deceived by the price of the Mystic Inception as this fly rod embodies superior performance and great build quality, making it reachable for those of you that have a tight budget. Sadly, only two line weight options are available, so you don’t get a lot of diversity in terms of the models, but the limited models have extraordinary capabilities for fly fishing. You can buy the Inception, from the wide range of mystic fly rods, if you are a starter or if you are just browsing for a great backup fly rod.

20

Loop Cross SX Fly Rods

Overview

The new Cross SX fly rod is the latest addition to the Cross S family of the Loop fly rods. This rod has been perfected after countless trials over a course of two years to provide you with a fly rod that is unmatched in quality and performance. The construction is based on the Cross Core Technology System that incorporates carbon and nano-resin in the blank to solidify the rod giving it immense strength, accuracy, and flexibility. Loop designers have judged the rod against all major fishes and fishing conditions throughout the world so you can relax and revel fishing anywhere you please without any performance fears. The attractive design also makes it worth the purchase.

Specs

  • Length: 9’ – 10’
  • Line: 5wt – 8wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Action: Fast
  • Weight: 5 – 4.4 oz
  • Price: $749 – $799

Pros

  • Flexible and sensitive tip
  • Castable at long and short distances
  • Precisely accurate

Cons

  • Seems like an imitation of the Douglas Sky rods

Conclusion

Conclusion
Loop fly rods are one of the greatest fly rods and the Cross SX is no exception. The rod is marketed as being a top performance rod for the company and it stands true to that claim. The versatile rod is capable of providing you enough assistance to cast lengthy and short distances with equal ease. Although the price is a bit high, we recommend this piece by the loop, if you can gather the money.

Buying Guide

Fly rods come in all types of sizes, actions, and weights, and you should be well aware of characteristics of different rods. For this reason, we are going to talk about a few features that you should keep in mind before making your purchase decision.

Weight

The weight of a fly fishing rod is completely dissimilar to the weight you look at when buying a casting or spinning rod. Here the weight corresponds to the weight of the fly line that will fit your fly rod and not the body weight of the rod. Hence, the weight of the fly rod or more precisely the ‘line weight’ is the most cardinal ingredient to consider when choosing a fly rod, because if you match an incorrect rod with an incorrect line, you won’t be able to cast properly.

Line weights can range from 2-weight to 12-weight in fly rods, and if you are looking for an all-purpose line weight a 5-weight rod should be your first choice. However, be mindful of the fly you are using, as the line weight accounts for the weight of the fly, so if you are opting for practically weightless dry flies a 2 to 4 wt fly rod would serve you well. For the weighted flies used for catching salmon and other large fish, you will be comfortable with a 4 to 5 wt fly rod, while for the nymphing technique a 5 to 7 wt fly rod should be your companion. Similarly, the more intense you get with the flies the bigger line weight you will need.

Most importantly, line weights can vary from one manufacturer to another, so it is better to weigh all your options before making any decision about fly rods.

Length

Fly rods are available in variable lengths, starting from as short as 6ft and going as big as 10ft. Size does matter in this case, as a long fly rod will allow you to cast longer, however, be wary of using long fly rods near vegetation. Generally, streams are encapsulated by bushes and trees, which means you will only be getting your rod stuck in awkward situations rather than doing actual fishing.

Naturally, long fly rods will do you wonders in larger waters with expansive space to swing your rod and there you will do great with a 9-footer. In cramped up spaces, go with the fly rods on the shorter side like 6 or 7-foot fly rod.

Blank Material

Blank Material

The blank makes up the major part of a fly rod and so the choice of material for the shaft is integral to your decision. Over the years, many materials have been tried, tested and improved but the one that stands out is graphite. The compound has magical capabilities, as it can provide incredible strength while being extremely lightweight and so it is the prime ingredient for best fly rods today.

Fiberglass comes second in popularity, especially when it comes to top fly rods, although it was once the most favored material by manufacturers. The use of fiberglass to make fishing rods has diminished over time, but there are still a few like the Fenwick Fenglass that make best fiberglass fly rods.

Bamboo is also widely used as shaft material for fly rods, mostly because it allows flexibility and looks naturally great. However, bamboo fly fishing rods can cost a fortune, making them a luxury only a few can afford. You will be better off opting for a graphite fly rod instead of a bamboo fly fishing rod or a fiberglass fly rod, simply because it is the latest advancement in the fly fishing rod industry and is reasonably priced.

Action

The action of a fly rod actually tells you how much a rod will bend when casting. Fast, Medium, Medium Fast, and Slow are some of the actions you must already be familiar with. Fast action fly rods are the stiffest among all the different actions, meaning they curve the least and help you to throw long casts that generate high line speeds. Medium or slow action fly rods, on the other hand, will cause the rod to flex a little more, allowing you to throw gentle casts that don’t scare away the fish.

Your choice must depend on the condition and surface where you are fishing. In quiet streams and lakes, you will be better off going for a slow action fly rod and if you are fighting raging rivers or strong winds, a fast action fly rod shall serve you well.

Freshwater & Saltwater Rods

Fly rods like other fishing rods are built to be compatible with both freshwater and saltwater. So, there are saltwater fly rods and freshwater fly rods, or models designed for both purposes. There is not a big difference between the two variants and both can be used interchangeably without any issue but a saltwater fly rod is specially made to resist strong winds, generate high line speeds, cast long and tackle larger fish that put up a good fight, all the while being salt corrosion resistant to last a lifetime.

Two-Handed Fly Rods

Spey fly rods are longer than their one-handed counterparts and because of their long length, they have a few advantages over the one-handed rods. A Spey fly rod can cover more distance and with it, you can cast farther, even while standing on the shore lurking for potential prey. Look for these fly rods if you hope to fish in large rivers or streams.

Rod Handle

Fly rod handles are commonly made of cork. Some manufacturers use ‘cigar’ style handles that are thin, while others use a reverse taper handle providing better grip toward the front end near the thumb. Primarily, you should look for a fly rod handle that feels comfortable since you can be holding it for long durations and a chaffed hand is the last thing you would want while on your fishing trip.

Premium and expensive fly rods will offer you a top-quality handle, whereas the cheap fly rods may slack in this department, so check the feel of the fly rod carefully before you make your buying decision.

Pieces

Since fly rods are long they are usually built in pieces of 3 or 4, to allow portability. This makes them easier to carry if you are packing up for a leisure trip abroad. In the earlier days of fishing, those fly rods with lesser pieces were thought to be better and consequently lesser ferrules. However, thanks to the recent technological advancement in rod building, you won’t find any of the issues your ancestors used to face with fly fishing. There still might be minor jerks you will feel on conventional fly rods, but too minute to notice.

Reel

Reel Seat

This is the place just below the handle, where your reel is fitted. There are two kinds of reel seat fittings in fly rods, one is tightened toward the upper portion of the reel seat, and the other has a down locking mechanism, which is tightened toward the lower end of the rod, so that gravity acts as a leverage when fighting fish. Determining the fly rod reel seat fitting depends on your preference. Both mechanisms work great in every situation.

Be careful if you have a wooden reel seat since it can deteriorate when it comes in constant contact with saltwater. That means you can’t use your freshwater fly rod a lot in salty conditions.

Reel

Matching the right reel with your rod and line is also very important. We stress a lot on this because if you are careless with this your complete setup will be ineffective. Get a reel that matches the line weight your rod has, so it can withstand the tugging. For example, if you have a 5wt fly rod, you should find a reel that goes with your rod. We discussed earlier, the reels are primarily there to provide balance. A heavy or light reel will offset the balance of your rod and you won’t be able to achieve anything. If you are opting for dry flies, that are practically weightless, attach a lightweight small reel to keep the rod well balanced. For weighted flies and long casts, a heavy reel is ideal.

Rod Cases

Almost all the fly rods come in three or more pieces, thus manufacturers have started to make fly rod cases, which you can use to take the rod anywhere with ease. Fly rod cases vary from one manufacturer to another and they also get better as you go up the price bracket. There are soft fly fishing rod casesWe call it fly rod and reel case.

Make your travels hassle-free, however, make sure you are mindful of the quality of the fly rod travel case you buy. Rod tubes can curve over a long period of time and that could damage your rod. Plus, always keep the inside of the tube or case dry to avoid damage to the inner protective fabric.

Tenkara- An Ancient Technique

The Japanese use a fishing technique called Tenkara which involves the use of a very long shaft that is extended far toward the river where the rod is gently lowered to place the fly trap. The method does not allow the use of a reel, the line is attached to the rod’s butt and the fish are fought in this manner, hence a small river or stream is preferably used as the hunting ground. This technique has been making rounds around the world due to its effectiveness and the raw nature of its style.

There is less focus on the apparatus you use and more focus on your fishing skill. And that is primarily why we would not suggest Tenkara for upcoming anglers. However, if you are highly interested in this art form, you should prefer buying Tenkara fly rods, you cannot use your conventional fly rods for this purpose.

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