Best 6wt Fly Rod – Top 10 of 2022 – Buyer’s Guide

// By Leonard Schoenberger
Leonard Schoenberger
Latest posts by Leonard Schoenberger (see all)

When you ask an angler what’s their favorite all-around rod, chances are high they will vouch for a 5 weight one.

That’s due to their versatility when fishing for freshwater species such as trout, grayling and perch. These rods are lightweight and yet powerful enough to give you an optimum performance even with larger flies

However, one thing that most anglers don’t realise is that 6 weight fly rods can be even better as an all-around rod—it’s the perfect fishing companion for casting dry flies, nymphs, and streamers of all sizes in freshwater as well as for catching various sizes of trout. 6 weight rods are the perfect combination of heavy and lightweight, embodying the features of rods that are 7 weight or higher, and at the same time possess the same qualities as those of lighter 3 to 5 weight fly rods. If you want something that can ensure you a great setup for targeting trout and bass of all sizes, as well as sea trout, then a 6 wt fly rod is the way to go. 

Douglas Sky G 6wt fly rod
Douglas Sky G 6wt fly rod – one of the best 6 wt fly rods money can buy

6 wt fly rods vs 5 wt fly rods

While it’s quite understandable that most anglers prefer 5 wt fly rods since they are marketed to be the best beginner and all-purpose rods, 6 wt fly rods are becoming more and more popular as some finally take notice of their advantages over the former ones. A #5 can be great for casting dry flies, but any angler that has been using streamers and nymph fishing would most likely opt for a 6 wt fly rod. Now, why so?

6 weight fly rods are a lot more versatile, and while they possess the basic qualities of a 5 weight rod, they are more reliable in terms of action and power. 5 wt fly rods aren’t powerful enough to be cast in the wind, while 6 wt ones can hold a lot more power and can withstand winds (great for sea trout fishing) so you won’t have to worry about harsh weather conditions with this one. 6 weights are also great for heavier and lighter flies alike, while 5-weights can only accommodate lighter ones.

5 wt fly rods are best suited for freshwater applications, while 6 wt fly rods can be cast in both freshwater and saltwater. If you are an angler who always looks for equipment that would be able to handle both surroundings, then a 6 wt fly rod is a must-have and would be a much more practical choice than 5-weight ones.

Casting a 6wt fiberglass fly rod
Streamer fishing with a #6 fiberglass fly rod

When should you use a 6 weight rod?

If you value versatility, then there really is no other reason to not use a 6 weight fly rod. They can take on a wide variety of fish species in various fishing conditions, along with any kind of technique or casting style that you often use. 

You can use a 6 wt fly rod when you want to dwell on the water for hours fishing for bluegills. Even though these fish species are often associated with lighter rods, 6 weights can handle targeting small salmon and big trout pretty well. They are also great companions when you want to catch some largemouth bass, baby tarpon, and snook species.

Not only that, but 6 weight fly rods are also reliable on shallow saltwater. But that doesn’t stop there—these rods can also help you catch bluefish and Spanish mackerel when fishing in the ocean. They are also reliable on windy days, and they can fight against winds of 15-20 mph. However, there are lighter action 6 wt rods that won’t be able to handle harsher conditions like this one. 

Moreover, a 6 wt rod would be the perfect partner for fishing not only with large dry flies but smaller ones as well. They’re powerful enough to work with the former but can still be delicate enough to accommodate the latter. They are also great for fishing with multiple flies, nymph rigs, split-shots, and medium-sized to big trout streamers

Smallmouth Bass on a 6 weight fly rod
Small bass are a great species to target on a 6 wt fly rod

Important Features of 6 Weight Fly Rods

Like for every other piece of fishing equipment, you must be able to fully distinguish your needs when you are searching for a new fishing rod to add to your collection. 6 wt rods are ideal for both freshwater and light saltwater environments. If you often only fish in one more than the other, figuring out what you are going to use it for it can help you narrow down your choices if you want to stay well within your means but still getting what you need. 

6 wt rods have already established their reputation as having more power than 5 wt rods, but you shouldn’t just stop there. However, if you are still skeptical about getting a 6 weight fly rod over 5 weight ones for your fishing needs, here are some of the features that the former takes pride in:

Presentation

6 weight fly rods are often paired with slightly heavier lines and flies, thus, they can have a higher line speed compared to 5 weight rods. If you are looking for a rod that can generate longer casts while using heavier flies, then a 6 weight fly rod would be able to deliver. 

It is also important to find a good model that can let you cast streamers of various hook sizes without any trouble. Whether you’re still just a novice or already a pro, 6 weight rods would be your best bet when you want to present both small and large flies with ease.

Power

If there’s one thing that you can truly rely on in a 6 weight fly rod, it’s its power and fighting ability. These rods can effortlessly handle salmon, large trout, and other saltwater fish without fail. If you are also an avid fan of bass fishing, then 6 weights would definitely be a great choice. Its power mostly comes from its butt and mid-section.

Action

6 weights are usually marketed as fast-action rods, but you may still choose ones that coordinate with your fishing method and casting styles. You may opt to choose medium-action rods if you still consider yourself a beginner, as these would be more suitable if you prefer slow casting styles.

Durability

Of course, durability is something that you should never overlook when it comes to buying any kind of fishing equipment. It’s always better to invest in something that can guarantee you years of usage than one that would only break in months. 

Choose fly rods that are made with durable materials such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. Just be sure that the material equates to the kind of action that you need. Note that the most durable ones are also often the heavier ones, thus, providing slower action. This could also come down to the brand of your choosing, opt for a brand that has a reputation for manufacturing quality rods. 

coastal cutthroat in salt water
Sea trout or coastal cutthroat can be targeted on a #6 wt fly rod

Review of the Best 6 Wt Fly Rods In 2022

With its rising popularity, there is a broad range of 6 weight rod selections available in the market. When choosing the most suitable one, it will all come down to your budget, casting styles, fishing techniques, and the sites you usually fish on. You won’t have any problem whether you fish in saltwater or freshwater more often, but distinguishing all these can help you narrow down your choices.

Notice: We take part in affiliate programs. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we are convinced of. 

Douglas Sky G

Lightweight and powerful – the Douglas Sky G is one to watch out for, especially for trout fishermen. It can cast great distances with a foolproof accuracy, just the perfect 6 wt rod to have for targeting trout species. The Douglas Sky G is made of graphene, and the brand assures ten times more powerful than steel rods with its high recovery speed and medium-fast action. 

The Douglas Sky G also has a skeletonized reel seat built with aluminum paired with a blackwood insert, adding to the lightweight feel of the rod, as well as double uplocking rings that secure the reel in place. A fantastic 6 wt fly rod that you will enjoy fishing for years to come.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT ON AMAZON

Hardy Zane Pro

If you have heard of Hardy’s Zephrus SWS, then you would take delight in knowing that the Zane Pro rivals it far better in terms of technology advancement and performance. With a shorter shaft diameter, more lightweight feel, more developed guides, and a reworked blank, this rod is perfect for anglers who often fish saltwater flats. The Hardy Zane Pro fights off the wind in a more refined manner and is able to coordinate with various flies in targeting a wide variety of saltwater species. 

It’s embedded with the brand’s SINTRIX technology, with its newer editions being 30% more lightweight than their original rods made of traditional carbon fiber. Their newer and more progressive SINTRIX 440 makes this rod have improved strength, and pressure and compression resistance from any angle. The Hardy Zane Pro‘s fast action and takes pride in its accuracy, guts, and finesse in ensuring that any angler who handles it is never left unsatisfied.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Orvis Recon

Versatility is not only something that the Orvis Recon fly rod series are great at; these rods are also lightweight, durable, and assure a top-notch performance whether you are angling in the great seas or targeting trout in freshwater. If you have been eyeing the brand’s Orvis Helios 3 fly rods, then you would be glad to know that the Orvis Recon has some of their significant features and performance embedded in them, at a much lesser price. 

They are built with heavy-duty reel seats, ensuring years of usage without the expense of easy wear and tear. If you are looking for a 6 weight rod at a mid-range budget but still want optimum performance and quality, then the Orvis Recon would be a great choice.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Echo Carbon XL

Whether you are an intermediate fly angler or consider yourself a beginner, the Echo Carbon XL is one rod to look into. It is is designed for any anglers of any skill level who wants to have an all-around rod to rely on for various fishing techniques and casting styles.

The Echo Carbon XL has a moderate action; just enough for your nymphing, streamer fishing, and dry fly fishing adventures. At such an affordable price, the Carbon XL provides well-assured quality and performance that is miles away from other rods in its price range.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT ON AMAZON

Redington Classic Trout

Also more on the budget side, the Redington Classic Trout is the perfect choice for anglers that prefer fishing in smaller streams, and creeks, and often go drift boat fishing on rivers and tailwater fisheries. It’s made for doing short to mid-range presentations, with a moderate action blank that well accommodates slower casting strokes and mid-flexibility.

If you want something to elevate your dry fly fishing game, then the Redington Classic Trout would be one of your best bets especially if you don’t want to burst your pockets. 

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT ON AMAZON

G. Loomis NRX+

G. Loomis NRX+ rods are most anglers’ favorite, but the newer NRX+ Series takes the rods to a whole new level of quality and performance. The brand has embedded a newer Dynamic Recovery Technology that adds a whole new dimension to every angler’s fly fishing experience. They combined this technology with their Mega Modulus+ graphite matrix, together with a Gl8 resin system that gives the rod a crisp and smooth blank as well as outstanding accuracy. 

The G. Loomis NRX+ are much more advanced than their original models, and it assures a great deal of versatility, durability, lightweight feel, and power; as well as smoother performance and quicker recovery speed.

GET IT A TRIDENT

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Sage R8 Core

The Sage R8 Core is a fast-action rod that ensures optimum quality and performance that truly makes it worth its price. Its versatility is more than enough, and it provides a seamless energy transfer with every cast. With R8 Core’s newer technology and an Amplified Two-Way Feedback Loop, it gives you outstanding control over your presentation, casting, and fights while you are out fishing.

No matter what time of the month or year you go fishing, the Sage R8 Core is ideal for any kind of fishing journey you would be having, even in any kind of weather conditions. If you want a rod that could handle just about anything all while giving you the fishing performances of a lifetime, then choose this Sage R8 Core

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Echo Bad Ass Glass

True to their name, these rods are the perfect companion for serious anglers who are always on the lookout for big fish to catch and at the same time, want to fish in style. The Echo Bad Ass Glass rods contributed to the resurgence of fiberglass fly rods, and for all the right reasons.

The Echo Bad Ass Glass is great for those who prefer saltwater, and great for chasing monster fish because of its incredible fish-fighting capabilities, stout butt, and impressive power. 

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT ON AMAZON

TFO Pro II

If you are intent on looking for an affordable yet quality rod, then consider the ones from the TFO Pro II Series. These medium-fast rods are versatile enough to withstand any angling style, and they can handle a broad range of casting strokes. It comes with a powerful accuracy that can be used at long distances, with a progressive taper that ensures smooth performance.

Powerful, forgiving, and versatile, these TFO Pro II are the perfect choice for any novice anglers who don’t want to splurge on something extravagant but still want to be assured of quality.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT ON AMAZON

Winston Air TH Spey

Talk about early success—the Winston Air TH Spey have earned a reputation for winning as best new fly rod at the European Fly Fishing Trade Expo. That alone speaks volumes about the quality and performance that these medium-fast action rods provide. These rods are perfect for anglers who marvel at fishing with both hands. It’s also embedded with Winston’s Boron III Technology which gives it its lightweight feel and powerful strength, as well as greater impact resistance and stability. 

If you want something that offers a great assurance of smoother transfer of energy, excellent casting accuracy, a buttery-smooth performance, and all things that you would expect from a rod at its price, then the Winston Air TH Spey is the best choice if your budget is not an issue.

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT AT BACKCOUNTRY

Best 6wt Fly Rod Combos

If you want to spare yourself some trouble trying to match up rods and reels, then these combos would be a great alternative for you when shopping:

Echo Carbon XL 690 Fly Rod Outfit 

The Echo Carbon XL 690 Fly Rod Outfit  is a great choice for anglers who want an all-purpose fishing companion designed to work perfectly well with fishing for trout and smallmouth bass species on medium to large freshwater bodies.

With the smooth power and effortless casting of the Carbon XL rods paired with a Lamson Liquid Fly Reel and a Scientific Angler Frequency Trout Fly Line, any angler who goes for the Echo Carbon XL 690 Fly Rod Outfit  will be given the assurance of greater precision, near-flawless delicate presentations, and optimal fishing performance, all in all. 

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

G Loomis IMX Pro 696-4 Fly Rod Outfit

The G Loomis IMX-PRO fly rod, Waterworks-Lamson Guru S Fly Reel, and the Scientific Anglers Mastery MPX Fly Line tandem is the perfect combo for serious anglers that know exactly what they are doing and how they want to execute their fishing techniques.

Together, the G Loomis IMX Pro 696-4 Fly Rod Outfit  takes pride in the lightweight feel it provides, pushing for a more positive fishing performance with its buttery-smooth power and reliable durability. It’s the perfect balance of everything that you may need, and it’s a much safer choice for those who can’t afford the costs of an NRX.

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Conclusion

Some would question the capabilities of 6 wt fly rods as an all-around rod because of the popularity of 5 weights, but if you truly want something that could accommodate your needs as well as elevate your status as an angler all while fishing in either freshwater or saltwater, then a 6 wt fly rod is perfect for you.

Switching between fishing in large rivers and targeting species while out in the seas won’t be a problem with 6 weights, and when you just invest in the right 6 weight fly rod, you would sure be grateful in the long run. 

Notice: We take part in affiliate programs. If you click on one of the links in the text and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products we are convinced of.