Best 9wt Fly rod – Top 10 of 2022

// By Leonard Schoenberger

Anglers today go for fast-action fly rods that are comfortable to use, lightweight, and above all, come with softer tips to help maximize line control.

Moreover, they also look for products that allow for streamlined casting and enhance presentation. This is exactly where a 9wt fly rod comes into play. However, these rods are typically used by experienced anglers and are designed for heavy saltwater fishing or spey casting. 

The 9wt fly rods manufactured today feature the same type of line sensitivity that 8wt models have, however, they have the pulling force and durability comparable to a 10 wt. In addition, you’d be surprised to know that modern 9wts have the same swing weight as 6wt and 7wt fly rods. So yes, they’re incredibly diverse. 

Moreover, 9wt fly rods are also designed to load bigger flies, specifically for targeting larger and more aggressive species of fish such as steelhead and salmon. In light of this, we’re going to talk about some of the best 9wt fly rods available on the market and some reasons why you should opt for them. 

9 wt fly rod for salmon fishing
A 9wt fly rod is the right choice for salmon fishing

Why You Should Consider Switching to the 9 Wt

Great for Betting Against the Wind

While windy conditions can be a good sign anglers will have a fun time fishing, it also means that casting over longer distances is going to be a bit of a challenge. A 9wt fly rod is designed for fast-action performance with powerful swing rates. This means you can easily launch big flies over considerable distances in bustling winds and yet remain precise. You could say that a 9 wt fly rod is somewhere in the middle of being a lightweight and heavy duty fly rod. You can easily hunt for smaller fishes too. This is something infinitely harder to achieve with a 10wt.  

Harass and Lock-In Bigger and Badder Fish 

One of the best things about a 9wt is the fact that you can have a pretty fun time playing and harassing the fish. However, there’s a difference between having fun and getting exhausted. 9wt fly rods are designed for allowing anglers to remain calm and anxiety-free, especially when it comes to hard pulling fishes, such as carp or salmon. The 9wt is the muscle-car of fly rods!

Easily Load Larger Flies

If you want to cast large flies then the 9wt will give you all the freedom to do so! One of the best things about a 9wt is the fact that it has considerably more swing and pulling power than an 8wt. Plus, with the types of products out there, you could easily opt for one that’s specially built for comfortable handling without compromising on performance. This means you can cast for days without letting your arms go numb.  

Release of a big rainbow trout
A 9 weight fly rod can be a great choice for stronger species such as steelhead or salmon

Best 9 wt Fly Rod at Different Price Points

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Sage R8 Core 990-4

If you’re looking for a top tier fly rod for catching large freshwater fishes such as salmon and steelhead, then the Sage R8 Core 990-4 is perhaps one of the best tools for the job. The 9 wt fly rod is specifically designed to deal with aggressive and heavy fish species. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that the Core 990-4 can even handle smaller fishes such as redfish or bonefish. The Sage Core is unquestionably a versatile, durable, and fun to use 9wt rod recommended for both experienced and beginner anglers.  

The Sage R8 Core 990-4 is made with high-quality carbon fiber (woven) and the blank incorporates the company’s patented resin technology. The resin and carbon fiber blend gives the rod a pretty powerful blank, especially at the top compared to a lot of other products. In addition, it handles like a charm. It’s lightweight and doesn’t compromise performance for comfort.  

Pros

Made with Sage’s Revolution 8 Tech

Stripper guides by Fuji ceramic 

Snakes guides are hard chromed 

Rod tube made with machined aluminum

Wood insert with Ziricote wood

Uplocking reel seat made with anodized aluminum  

Half-wells cork handle (top of the line Flor grade)

Cons

Expensive

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

GET IT AT TRIDENT

G Loomis NRX+

The G Loomis NRX+ is an upgraded edition of the company’s renowned NRX fly rods. The NRX+ features state-of-the-art graphite design incorporated with the company’s unique resin tech, making the fly rod ridiculously superior in terms of power, handling, loop precision, casting, and overall versatility. The new 9wt fly rod by G Loomis is designed to help anglers cast with considerable ease, without having to worry too much about windy conditions. The loop control of the rod is pretty strong and highly responsive. Not to mention, it’s frightfully precise. 

Moreover, the G Loomis NRX+ also features DRT (Dynamic Recovery Technology) along with a powerful blend of the patented GL8 resin technology and the graphite matrix. Add to that GL’s award-winning taper construction and you have a fly rod that’s uniquely versatile with crisp casting and rapid recovery. 

Pros

Graphite matrix makes the fly rod significantly lightweight, adding superior balance and high-end ergonomics

Highly responsive with smooth and powerful casting 

Precision-based loop control

Quick dampening componentry provides superior handling 

Snakes guides are designed with recoil tech

Stripper guides are SiC titanium

Cons

Not for beginners

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GET IT AT TRIDENT

Scott Tidal 909/4

If you’re looking for an affordable, all-round 9wt fly rod for general fly fishing in saltwater then the Scott Tidal 909/4 is just for you. While not especially designed for professional anglers, the rod caters to beginners and avid fly fishers and is perfect for catching bonefish and salmon in particularly windy conditions. The 909 Scott Tidal casts effortlessly and is uniquely designed to cast larger flies like musky or pike (both of which are great for hunting redfish). 

The 9wt fly rod is built with ARC (advanced reinforced carbon) adding to its strength and durability. In all, the Scott Tidal 909/4 is a pleasure to use and is exceptionally precise, especially when it comes to casting in windy situations. 

Pros

ARC design adds to the rod’s overall torque and strength while minimizing stiffness

Great line control 

Controlled stiffness thanks to the rod’s multi-modulus blank

Graphite blank makes the rod even more lightweight 

Cons

Not recommended for professionals

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Redington Predator 990-4

The Redington Predator 990-4 is the company’s latest installment, designed for perfection when it comes to higher weight categories. The Predator is uniquely built to handle heavy casting lines, allowing anglers to effortlessly and accurately cast over longer distances, cutting right through heavy gusts of wind. This 9wt fly rod is perfect for catching larger and more aggressive species such as carp, salmon, and bonefish

The Redington Predator 990-4 is a fast-action rod that offers anglers power and honed intuition to tackle and harass big gamefish. Designed for saltwater fishing, the fly rod can also be used to catch trophy largemouth, redfish, golden dorado, etc. The Redington Predator is hailed as one of the most powerful and comfortable 9 weight fly rods amidst other popular brands. Couple the rod with the Outbound Short line made by RIO and you’ll have something even more powerful in your hands. 

Pros

Highly responsive fast-action fly rod

A great balance between power, precision, and light weight design 

Reel seat made with machined anodized aluminum 

Responsive casting

Features epoxy resin to make the section tips non-sticky

Stripping guides contain ceramic inserts 

Cons

Not recommended for novice fishers

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GET IT AT TRIDENT

TFO Axiom II 990-4

When it comes to precision and smooth handling, it doesn’t get any better than the TFO Axiom II 990-4. This particular fast-action 9wt fly rod has a purposely softened tip, which is exceptional for casting more accurately over long distances. Plus, it’s quite precise even in close. The Axiom is built for saltwater fishing and anglers will have no problems casting in windy conditions. The rod can be used to catch a variety of aggressive and large species such as bluefish, redfish, bonefish, salmon, tarpon, strippers, and much more. 

The TFO Axiom II 990-4 also features a Kevlar, high-modulus graphite blank for casting over longer distances. Overall, a great fly rod for novice to avid anglers. 

Pros

Kevlar blank infused with carbon fiber for strong and streamlined casting

Alignment dots are color coded for quick assembly 

Half-wells cork grip (made with premium Portuguese wood)

Composite fighting butt handle 

Double uplocking reel seat made with machined anodized aluminum

Stripping guides are SiC tactical 

Snakes guides are made with chromium infused stainless steel 

Cons

Not recommended for experienced anglers

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Thomas and Thomas DNA Spey Fly Rod

The Thomas and Thomas DNA Spey is another diverse and versatile 9wt fly rod that uniquely caters to professional and competitive anglers. The DNA is built with a combination of three tapers to help anglers use different spey styles and strategies of fly fishing. A fast-action rod, the DNA Spey has topnotch componentry and is highly responsive. 

The 9wt fly rod features a cutting-edge graphite blank (multi-modulus) and is specifically made for Scandi spey lines. In addition, the Thomas and Thomas DNA Spey is also designed to handle long distance casting.  

Pros

The fly rod features Fuji stripping guides

Reel seat is made with milled aluminum

Reel seat also features double down locking mechanism

The rod tube is made with aluminum 

Cons

Expensive

Not for beginners

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GET IT AT THOMAS & THOMAS

Hardy Ultralite NSX Spey Rod

HARDY ULTRALITE NSX SPEY ROD

The Ultralite NSX by Hardy is another state-of-the-art 9wt fly rod that’s specifically designed for professional anglers. It’s definitely a gamechanger compared to the company’s previous models both in terms of performance and weight – the Ultralite is far more lightweight than its predecessor. The rod features a medium-fast action blank, providing anglers with streamlined accuracy and a balanced feedback at both short and long distance casting. 

Moreover, the Ultralite offers a great balance between line control, precision, and power – allowing you to accurately land your flies especially at long distances.

Pros

High-end, cutting-edge double-handed rod

Extremely lightweight with exceptional ergonomics

The blank is made with top of the line SINTRIX NSX

Powerful long distance casting 

Medium-fast action fly rod with exceptional line control and balance 

The stripping guides are made with recoil titanium 

Stripping guides comes with a ceramic inlay

Reel seat is super lightweight – made with machined aluminum 

Recoil snake guides

Topnotch cork handle

Cons

Not for beginners

GET IT AT TRIDENT

GET IT AT HARDY

Best 9 wt Fly Rod Combos

Since it’s not always easy to make sure your rod and reel work together nicely, especially when you’re a beginner or intermediate fly angler, you can also go for a fly rod combo right away. These sets make sure that everything is nicely balanced and you can hit the water right away.

Sage Foundation 990-4 Fly Rod Outfit

The Sage Foundation 990-4 Fly Rod Outfit features a topnotch graphite blank built for high-performance and agility. This helps make the 9wt fly rod infinitely more streamlined, delivering powerful fast-action performance that enables anglers to use multiple styles of fly fishing.

The fly rod features deep loading, enabling you to smoothly cast heavy flies over longer distances with strict control and precision.

Pros

Built with cutting-edge graphite technology

Features ceramic stripper guides

Snake guides are hard chromed

Uplocking reel seat is made with anodized aluminum

Rod tube features weaved black nylon 

Has a divided liner

Cons

Not for beginners

GET IT AT REELFLYROD

Orvis Clearwater 909-4 Fly Rod Outfit

The Orvis Clearwater 909-4 Fly Rod Outfit comes with multiple components such as the Orvis floating line and the IV fly reel. It’s perhaps one of the more diverse and versatile 9wt fly rod outfits out there and is exceptional for catching aggressive and hard pulling fish species such as the steelhead, redfish, salmon, and bonefish. 

Moreover, one of the best things about the Orvis Clearwater 909-4 Fly Rod Outfit is the fact that it can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. In addition, it’s a breeze to cast because it’s so lightweight. Moreover, the fly rod features a topnotch fighting butt made from high-quality and sustainable foam and has a top tier half-wells cork grip. 

Pros

Smooth casting thanks to the cutting-edge Helios technology

Graphite blank

Snake guides are chromed

Divided interior

Cons

Not recommended for competition anglers

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Winston Saltwater AIR 990 Fly Rod Outfit

The Winston Saltwater AIR 990 Fly Rod Outfit are designed based on the company’s award-winning AIR series. These are top-class, world-renowned fly rods used by both professional and competitive anglers all over the globe. The rod outfit comes with a dearth of components and gear such as the renowned RE (Ross Evolution) fly reel, topnotch Grand Slam fly lines, tapered leader by RIO, and a high-quality backing (gel spun). 

The Winston Saltwater AIR 990 Fly Rod Outfit is incredibly lightweight thanks to the Winston Boron technology, making it smoother to cast. 

Pros

Super Silica resin technology and cutting-edge carbon fiber mechanism, making the rod lightweight and highly durable

Tremendous casting power with twice the comfortability 

Fast recovery with WPA (Winston Progressive Action)

Small guides to help anglers hold the fly line as close to the shaft as possible, improving line control

Cons

Expensive

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Bottom Line

So there you have it – a list of some of the most versatile, diverse, and high-performing 9wt fly rods at various price points. And like everything else, choose a product that’s in line with your fishing style and after determining the type of fish you want to catch. 

Note: The Wading List is reader-supported. If you click on one of the links and end up purchasing a product we might earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. We only recommend high quality products. Thanks for your support!