Best 7 Weight Fly Rod – Top 10 of 2022

// By Leonard Schoenberger

Whenever you ask an angler about the best fly rod size, they will most likely recommend a 5 weight or 8 weight – but almost never a 7 weight.

That may be indeed justifiable since 7 weight fly rods are mostly regarded as rods that are only “in-between”, but what most anglers don’t realize is that they are actually one of the best rods to choose if you want something that’s an all-rounder. 

If you are someone who often fishes in fresh and warm water and occasionally goes on an angling adventure to fish in the salt once in a while, then 7 weight fly rods are the way to go. They are great for targeting larger freshwater species and work excellently well when you are looking for smaller saltwater fish—which is a win-win, either way. 

Table of Contents:

Best 7 Weight Fly Rods Quick Answer Guide

The Difference Between 7 Wt and 8 Wt Fly Rods

7 Weight Fly Rod Uses

Important Features In 7 Wt Fly Rods

Review Of The Best 7 Wt Fly Rods

Conclusion

A bonefish caught on a fly rod
A 7wt fly rod is a great choice for bonefish

Best 7 Weight Fly Rods Quick Answer Guide

1. Sage R8 Core

2. Winston Saltwater AIR

3. G Loomis IMX Pro 7810-1 Streamer

4. Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch

5. TFO Axiom II Switch

6. Echo Streamer X 790

7. Douglas Sky

8. Sage R8 Core 790-4 Fly Rod Outfit

9. G Loomis NRX+ 790-4 7Wt Fly Rod Combo

10. Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch Fly Rod Outfit

The Difference Between 7 Wt and 8 Wt Fly Rods

You might wonder why you should be even considering 7 wt fly rods when 8 wt ones are the commercially more popular choice. To put it simply, 7 wt fly rods are more subtle and have more finesse than 8 wt ones. That being said, they are lighter and can perform a more airy presentation and casting performance. This proves to be helpful in situations where you need to hook skittish species that are traveling in schools.

Generally speaking, a 7 wt fly rod is ideal for fishing in streams and rivers, especially for bigger trout. 8 wt fly rods, on the other hand, are better used for fishing bass in saltwater for example. However, 7 weight rods still prove to be great when you go fish in the salt every now and then, especially with moderately-sized streamers and a couple of weighted flies. There is no need to worry about bringing in your 7 wt rod when fishing in saltwater because there’s a guarantee that they get the job done accordingly.

Winston Air Salt - Best 7wt Fly Rod
The Winston Saltwater Air is one of the best 7 wt fly rods

7 Weight Fly Rod Uses

Versatility is something that 7 wt fly rods take pride in, and for all the right reasons. These rods are perfect for various fishing techniques, and it’s something that you can afford to be experimental with. 7 wt fly rods are best used when:

Casting streamers

7 weights are the perfect rods to use for launching streamers. The rod’s structure emits a strength that’s more than enough to fling heavy steel and feathers and enough flexibility to fight fish without the chance of breaking off. 

Targeting smaller saltwater fish species

Going out onto the beach to fish with a 7 wt fly rod may seem like a dead-end adventure, but it’s actually the way around. There are plenty of small saltwater fish species that can be easily hooked with a trusty 7 weight fly rod, such as bonefish, sea trout, and small tarpon.

Bass, steelhead, and salmon fishing

7 wt rods are the perfect companion when you are fishing for both largemouth and smallmouth bass species, as well as targeting steelhead, salmon, small stripers, pickerel, and smaller pike. These rods can handle both large fish and flies with no problem. Using them to hook steelhead or salmon proves to give a more effortless casting performance compared to using a heavy 8-weight

7 Weight Fly rod for Carp
7 Wt Fly Rod Uses: Carp is another species that you can target with a 7wt fly rod

Important Features In 7 Wt Fly Rods: An Overview

7 weights are a must-have, indeed, but before going to choose one, you must still consider the following things before deciding which kind of 7 weight fly rod would work best for you. 

Don’t take the time to do your research for granted because remember, when you have the correct rod in your hand, your fishing journey will always be more enjoyable and without much hassle. The following are the most important features that you would need to keep in mind when choosing the best 7 weight fly rod:

Portability

Most rods in the market are sold in a 4-piece structure, which is handy enough when you are often traveling. There are also options for backpacking fly rods. However, if there is no need for you to have a portable fly rod, you may still choose a 1-3 piece 7 weight fly rod as your new fishing companion. 

Material

Fly rods are usually built with either bamboo, fiberglass, or carbon fiber. Bamboo rods are less popular now, but there are still some custom manufacturers that make them. These ones are ideal for traditional anglers that prefer the feel itself of casting, more than the performance. 

Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are for anglers that want both the aesthetic and smooth, slow action. Rods of this material are the most enjoyable to use when playing fish. Anglers that prefer this value the more defined casting stroke it performs. 

Carbon fiber is easily the most popular material today that manufacturers use for fly rods. It’s lightweight and rigid and the perfect choice for anglers that want a feel of sensitivity.

Length

You have four options when choosing a fly rod in terms of length. Rods that are below 9 feet long are ideal if you often fish on a boat. 

9 feet rods are enough for throwing large streamers and flies to lure in large trout and streamers. At the same time, it’s also short enough to accompany you while you are on a drift boat

10 feet 7 weight fly rods, on the other hand, are a great option when you often fish for steelhead and salmon, as they go well with single-hand spey lines. 

Action

This all goes down to your preference and casting ability. Some anglers prefer ultra-fast rods, while others prefer the slower-action ones. If you see yourself as a beginner in terms of casting performance, go for a rod that has a slightly slower action. If you are more comfortable with fast action rods, however, go for it. The decision all boils down to what you are most comfortable with. 

Review Of The Best 7 Wt Fly Rods

Now that you have adequate knowledge of what to look for when choosing the right 7 weight fly rod, here are some excellent choices handpicked and reviewed for you to consider before making your decision.

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Sage R8 Core

The Sage R8 Core is the perfect companion for anglers who want something versatile whether they are throwing streamers on freshwater or basking in the sun fishing in saltwater. Considered one of the most technologically advanced rods on the market nowadays, this rod is one of the greatest choices when you favor targeting bonefish, bass, and redfish.

Made with woven carbon fiber, the Sage R8 Core has a new pattern that makes way for the proprietary resin to be imparted into the blank, making it stronger compared to its competitors. The fusion of carbon fiber and additional resin makes this rod incredibly lightweight, without sacrificing the strength needed. 

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Winston Saltwater AIR

True to its name, the Winston Saltwater AIR is one of the most lightweight saltwater fly rods on the market, embedded with Winston Boron III technology that makes it easy and swift to cast because of the additional energy and fighting power. These properties, together with its Winston Progressive Action, make it have an excellently fast recovery, no matter what the length of your cast is. 

Made with advanced carbon fiber plus the brand’s SuperSilica resin system, the Winston Saltwater AIR guarantees durability and toughness with such a lightweight feel. This is a perfect choice for anglers who want versatile rods and often fish in saltwater as it can be easily managed in windy conditions.

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G Loomis IMX Pro 7810-1 Streamer

If you consider yourself a steadfast angler who always knows what to look for and how to catch targets, then this G Loomis IMX Pro 7810-1 Streamer would suit you best. These rods are made to be used by professional guides and confident anglers that want an effortless and crisp casting performance. 

The G Loomis IMX Pro 7810-1 Streamer is manufactured with less graphite, making it a lot more lightweight and sensitive than its competitors, but not at the expense of its durability and power. With less material used, this rod can be easily balanced and can transfer energy a lot more efficiently through its blank. Add to that, it can be bought at half the price of other quality 7 weight fly rods, while still giving you optimum performance that won’t disappoint.

The G Loomis IMX Pro rods also take pride in their design and smooth line feel and fast action. At such a decent price point, you would already get a distinct rod with a premium black finish, a matching black nickel reel seat, and a dark wood insert.

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Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch

If you’re an avid fan of swinging flies to catch steelheads, then this Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch would be great for you. This rod exhibits excellent line control and can easily cover large bodies of water. It’s versatile enough to catch stripers by overhead casting and launching bugs to catch big bass species.

This rod enables you to easily switch to a two-handed technique, especially when you find yourself in tight areas, or when you need to swing flies at a great distance. If you want something that could make you learn to do two-handed casting or other casting techniques, then this one is for you. The Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch is also generally cheaper than its competitors, but it’s decent enough for an average angler.

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TFO Axiom II Switch

The TFO Axiom II Switch is another solid choice if you are looking for a 7 wt fly rod that you can use as a single hand or double handed rod. The rod’s kevlar technology makes fishing multiple techniques easy even for intermediate fly fishermen and women. You can use the TFO Axiom II Switch to swing big streamers or wet flies for steelhead but also to fish a heavier nymphing rig.

The TFO Axiom II Switch features hard chrome guides that are known for their durability even after fishing hard for several years. The reel seat made from anodised aluminum is another high quality component that contributes to the overall premium feel of this switch fly rod. Last but not least the TFO Axiom II Switch comes with a no-fault lifetime warranty – a great feature for a mid-priced rod.

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Echo Streamer X 790

Also on the less expensive side, this Echo Streamer X 790 easily outshines its competitors with the accuracy and ease it gives when casting large flies, minus the excessive false casting. This one is perfect for anglers that often fish with large streamers as it features snake guides and oversized stripping for a faster line speed, as well as a lightweight machined aluminum reel seat.

The Echo Streamer X 790 also features a Kelly Galloup grip and a high-end resin. This rod is a great choice if you are looking for a versatile rod that can cast big streamers for big trout in wider rivers or bass poppers for smallmouth bass in small lakes or ponds.

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Douglas Sky

Considered one of the best saltwater and freshwater fly rods in the market that offer premium performance and excellent fast action, the Douglas Sky Fly Rods are a great choice for anglers who value topnotch accuracy and longer, effortless casting. Its unique tapers make it both have moderate fast and fast actions as well as quick recovery.

The Douglas Sky‘s fast action and versatility are well translated into its aesthetics, especially with its skeletonized anodized aluminum reel seat and black burled wood insert that gives it a classic feel, all without sacrificing durability and functionality. These rods are also embedded with nano carbon xmatrix materials that make them a lot more lightweight but still have power that can be cast at a great distance. 

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Best 7Wt Fly Rod Combo

If you’re fairly new to fly fishing, then you still might have trouble matching up rods and reels. If you want to ensure that your setup would work perfectly well with each other, here are some of the best 7 weight fly rod combos you can purchase to lessen all your worries. 

Sage R8 Core 790-4 Fly Rod Outfit

This combo comes with the Sage R8 Core 790-4 fly rod and the incredible Sage Spectrum LT silver pine fly reel. It also comes with an RIO Tapered Leader, RIO Perception WF floating fly line, Dacron backing, and a Sage aluminum tube and sock for storage and transportation. The Sage R8 Core 7wt Fly Rod Combo is already professionally loaded when you receive it and you would be ready to fish in no time!

The reel in this Sage R8 Core 7wt Fly Rod Combo is a piece of excellent all-purpose equipment for targeting freshwater bass and trout. It gives anglers excellent control over the rig because of its lightweight structure and it makes use of Sage’s SCS drag system for hassle-free management at the end of the line. It also features a large-sized arbor for faster line pick-up, concaved to provide greater capacity and strength. 

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G Loomis NRX+ 790-4 7Wt Fly Rod Combo

Versatile, adaptive, and powerful—this G Loomis NRX + 790-4 combo is definitely one to watch out for especially when you’re an angler who wants to slowly learn how to face difficult fishing situations. When used together, this combo provides the speed, stability, and power that you would expect in most modern fast-action rods, all not at the expense of the feel and finesse.

The G Loomis NRX + 790-4 combo is also a great companion to have when you are just aiming for short casts. If you want something that can boost your confidence even when you are faced with an unfamiliar sitch, then this combo is for you.

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Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch Fly Rod Outfit

The Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch Fly Rod Outfit is the perfect go-to if you would like to have an optimum experience targeting steelhead and salmon. The rod is paired with Orvis Battenkill IV Fly Reel, a click and pawl reel, and the Orvis SWITCH WF floating fly line, for effortless casting performance and tighter loops. 

The Orvis Clearwater 117-4 Switch Fly Rod Outfit leans more to the affordable side, so if you want a complete set while you are on a budget, then this combo sure won’t fail you.

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Conclusion on the Best 7wt Fly Rods

Some anglers would frown upon the thought of getting a 7 wt rod when you could just buy the more popular 8 wt rods, but what most of them don’t realize is that 7 wt rods are just the perfect equipment for various applications. The obvious difference is that it is just more lightweight!

One way or another, though, you must still thoroughly research and think about the features that you would need the most when deciding which fly rod to purchase. After all, it all boils down to how good you would want your fishing journey to be.

Note: If you click one of the links and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend products for purchase that we tested and believe in. Thanks for your support!