5 Minute Reading to Choose The Best Fly Fishing Rod

Out of all fishing styles, fly fishing is probably one of the most difficult and demanding. Your skills have to be at a certain level so you can execute this technique. At the same time, your equipment has to be properly equipped. And by far, the most important thing is the equipment. They are what determine whether you’re returning home with a prize in your hand or not. Read on to know how to buy your perfect fishing rod for fly fishing.

To choose your fly fishing rod, here are few things you may want to take into consideration:

Fly fishing rod weight

Now when I wrote ‘weight,’ I didn’t mean the actual weight number of the rod. What I meant was rather the indicator of how to pick the best line weight for your rod. Line weight is ranging from 1 to 14, with one being the lightest and 14 being the heaviest.

Now you’ll be wondering why you may need to care about rod weight. Technically speaking, any line weight can be cast with any rod. However, the trick is that you won’t get anything you want unless your line weight and rod weight are matching.

Therefore, the question is “how to know which line weight suits your rod best?” Usually, the conditions in which you are fishing and the size of your fish will determine your weight line and rod. But there are some general guidelines and rules that you can follow:

  • 0-3: perfect to catch small fish species
  • 4-7: applicable to a variety of fish, including small sized, averaged sized and large sized fishes. Fly rods in these line weights are pretty versatile. I also recommend that you should start with these line weights first if you’re a beginner. Usually, a line weight of either 4 or 5 would be a great start.
  • 8-10: for dealing with large fish species.
  • 11-14: for catching large and hard-fighting species.


Fly rods range from 4 feet to 14 feet. Again, much like fish rod weight, the length of your rod depends on what kind of fish and area you’re fishing.

Fly fishing rod length

Image source: Scouting Outdoors

Short fishing rods: < 8ft

Measuring less than eight feet in length, they are perfect for catching fishes in deep water where there are many bushes and streams. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that shorter rods have less action. This is because they do not generate as much torque when casting as medium sized and large sized rods do. Therefore, they are usually stiffer and harder to control.

If you happen to be a beginner, I advise you not to choose this length.

Medium fishing rods: 8-9ft

Ranging from 8 to 9 feet in length, they are exactly what you need when it comes to fishing. With its length ranging in the middle range, it allows users to have a one of a kind experience. They allow anglers to have longer casting range, at the same time, make it easier for them to maneuver in the water.

Unless you’re aiming for musky, steelhead or other massive species, this is all you need. I highly recommend this for inexperienced anglers. At this length, you will have no problem with the casting distance.

Large fishing rods: > 9 ft

Anything measuring more than 9 feet long is considered a large fishing rod. They are your traveling buddies if you want to catch and lure challenging big fish species.

My tip for you is “the smaller, the shorter.” In other words, if the area you are fishing is a small place, then go for a short fishing rod. If the area is large, then do use a large one. Of course, medium-sized is an exception as it can be used in both situations.

Fly fishing rod action

Though fancy it may sound, the term ‘rod action’ actually describes the stiffness and flexibility of your rod. There’re three types of rod actions: slow-action, medium-action, and fast-action. And again, this also depends on the size of the fish you are aiming for.

Fly fishing rod action

Image source: Orvis

Slow-action fishing rods


+ Perfect for catching small fish streams.

+ Offer accurate cast.


+ Too easy to bend

+ Especially challenging for beginners

+ Can only be cast in short range.

Medium action fishing rods


+ Quite versatile as they perform well in both short range and long range.

+ Offer much more range than short-action fishing rods

+ The easiest to handle


+ Their flexibility sometimes backlash them

Fast-action fishing rods


+ Deliver a powerful cast

+ Demand less physical work

+ Perfect for reeling massive fish species


+ Challenging for beginners

+ Can only be cast in long range

+ Doesn’t offer accuracy

Fly fishing rod features

Bamboo fishing rods

Though these rods may be heavier than fiberglass and graphite, anglers still manage to cast smooth casting. Their additional weights reduce the bounciness of a back cast, as well as, reducing the speed of the cast. This way, anglers can have a total control of their fishing rods. Moreover, due to the flexible nature of bamboo, bamboo fishing rods can deliver the most accurate and efficient cast. This helps beginners when they first start out fishing.

Bamboo fishing rods

Image source: Pinterest

Fiberglass fishing rods

They are smaller, lighter and not as costly as graphite or bamboo rods. However, when it comes to speed, they are quite slow.

Fiberglass fishing rods

Image source: Arizona Wanderings

Graphite fishing rods

One of the most common types of fishing rod nowadays. They are the ultimate fishing rods with no drawbacks. However, their high prices put people off.

Graphite fishing rods

Image source: Pinterest

Well there you go, that’s my guide on how to choose your fly fishing rods. I hope after reading my guide, you’ll have a better understanding about everything necessary for choosing fishing rods. See you next time, stay tuned my readers!