Last updated on January 3rd, 2024.
- How to Choose the Right Size for a Fly Fishing Backpack - February 28, 2024
- A Fight to Keep Iceland’s Salmon Wild - February 8, 2024
- Salmon Solitude on the Eira River - February 5, 2024
Are you a beginner fly fisherman looking for the best rod to get started with?
With so many options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you. Whether it’s weight class, rod length or action that matters most in your decision-making process – we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips on how to choose the best beginner fly rod of 2024 and which species of fish will give you an optimal experience when starting out. Read on as we dive into each topic and help make your choice easier than ever before.
Table of Contents:
Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never get paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.
An Introduction to Beginner Fly Fishing Rods
In this big guide we’ll review the best beginner fly rods and best beginner fly rod combos on the market in 2024. We’ll show you our favorites and we will explain why we picked them and go into their pros and cons. In the second part of this buyer’s guide you can learn about important features of beginner fly rods.
As a rule of thumb, the most important factors in choosing the best beginner fly fishing rod are weight, length, and action. Lightweight fly rods are recommended for beginners due to their ease of handling, while medium-weight rods offer more power. Short fly rods are ideal for tight spaces, medium-length rods provide a balance between portability and power, and longer rods offer maximum reach. Fast action rods are stiffer and more powerful, while moderate action rods offer a balance between power and finesse, and slow action rods provide maximum feel and sensitivity.
Best Fly Rod for Beginners of 2024
In this first part of the review we’ll be looking at the best beginner fly fishing rods. In the second part of the article we’ll check out the best beginner fly rods combos. A combo has the advantage that fly rod and reel are ideally balanced as they are picked by experts to form a set. Some fly rod and reel combos even include a fly line and leader. All you have to do is tie on a fly and you’re ready to catch your first fish. Now let’s jump right in and check out the best beginner fly fishing rods on the market in 2024.
Echo Carbon Xl
Why we picked it: The Echo Carbon Xl is a great option for beginner fly fishers. It has an impressive combination of power and sensitivity, making it perfect for anglers who are just starting out. The rod is lightweight and easy to maneuver, allowing you to cast accurately with minimal effort.
Specs: The Echo Carbon Xl comes in multiple sizes ranging from a #2 wt to a #6 – all of which have a 4-piece construction. This makes the rod easy to transport when traveling or storing at home. It also features a medium-fast action that provides plenty of power without sacrificing accuracy or feel on the water. I can recommend the #2 or #3 only if you are fishing tiny creeks. If you are looking for a good allrounder to start with, go for the #5 (which is considered the gold standard if you’re mainly targeting trout). Should the river you’re going to be fishing hold big trout, you might want to consider the #6 as it has a little more backbone which will make handling the fish easier once it’s hooked.
Key Features: One of the key features of the Echo Carbon Xl rod is its carbon fiber blank construction, which helps keep weight down while providing excellent strength and durability. I like the fact that it has high quality components like Fuji ceramic stripping guides and hard chrome snake guides that will last through many fishing trips without needing replacement parts or repairs – definitely a plus in this entry level price range. Finally, the cork handle ensures comfort during long days on the water by reducing fatigue in your hands from casting all day long.
The Echo Carbon Xl offers several advantages over other rods on the market today including its light weight design that allows you to cast more easily with less fatigue; its medium-fast action gives you plenty of power while still being accurate; and its durable components make sure your investment lasts for years to come without needing repairs or replacements often found with cheaper rods made from inferior materials like aluminum or graphite blanks instead of carbon fiber ones used here.
While there aren’t many drawbacks associated with the Echo Carbon Xl, one potential issue could be cost as it’s slightly more expensive than some other models available today due to its higher quality components such as those mentioned above (Fuji ceramic stripping guides). Additionally, if you’re looking for something even lighter than what’s offered here then there may be better options available elsewhere as well depending on your needs/preferences .
My verdict: The Echo Carbon Xl offers an excellent value for its cost, boasting a carbon blank construction that increases sensitivity, stainless steel guides that improve accuracy, cork handles which provide enhanced comfort during extended periods of use and a fast action tip to enhance casting distance and an included tube for convenient storage and transportation.
Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout Rod With Tube
Why we picked it: The Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout is another solid option if you’re just starting out, looking for a quality fly rod that won’t break the bank. This rod has all the features needed to get started in the sport of fly fishing.
Specs: The Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout also comes in a wide range of weight classes ranging from #2 to #6, 4-piece medium action graphite blank and rosewood reel seat insert. The rod also includes titanium oxide stripping guides, which help reduce line friction and improve casting accuracy. For those looking for a lightweight rod that can handle larger fish, this one fits the bill perfectly. The four-piece design makes it easy to transport and store when not in use while still providing plenty of power when fighting bigger fish on the water. I like the traditional features on this rod, like its subtle brownish blank color and the wooden reel seat insert.
Key Features: One of the best features of the Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout is its cork handle that provides comfort during long days on the water without sacrificing control over your cast or presentation. Additionally, its moderate fast action helps increase casting distance while still allowing you to make delicate presentations at close range if needed.
Pros: The Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout provides excellent value for money, boasting features such as a graphite blank construction which increases sensitivity. The cork is a high end material from Portugal and the rod comes with a lifetime warranty which is great especially as a beginner.
Cons: The maximum rod length of the Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout is 9ft. A rod of 10ft or 11ft would be a great addition to the lineup as it would be the ideal choice if you want to mainly fish a nymph setup.
My verdict: The Redington Fly Fishing Classic Trout has all the features of a traditional fly rod such as a rosewood real seat insert, a beautifully subtle blank color and a moderate fast action. In my eyes it’s ideally suited to get started but great as well as a rod that you want to keep fishing for a few years after starting out.
Douglas Outdoors Era Fly Rod
Why we picked it: The Douglas Era is a is worth a look if you’re looking to get into fly fishing. It’s lightweight and easy to use, making it perfect for those just starting out.
Specs: The Douglas Outdoors Era comes in four weight classes: 4wt, 5wt, 6wt and 8wt. Each of these rods has a length of 9 feet and is fast action meaning the rod won’t bend down into the blank as deep and is a little more forgiving then a slow action rod because it’s easier to get the timing right. This makes the rod suitable for targeting trout (5 weight) or bass species (8 weight) in both stillwater and rivers alike.
Key Features: One of the key features of Douglas Outdoors Era is its lightness which helps reduce fatigue when casting all day long. Its fast action also allows you to cast accurately at longer distances while still providing enough power to handle larger fish if needed. In our test, we found the cork handle to provide a little less comfort than the Redington for example due to its slightly different shape. In terms of performance, we found the Douglas Outdoors Era to do surprisingly well in most conditions as long as it’s matched up with a good quality reel and line combination. It has quite a bit of backbone to make long and accurate casts.
Pros: The Douglas Outdoors Era casts smoothly and accurately even at longer distances due to its fast action design which helps make it easier for beginners who are just learning how to cast properly with a fly rod setup. The lighter grey is a modern color that underlines the character of the rod.
Cons: A few more line classes would be a nice addition to the ERA lineup. But for the beginning you should be fine choosing between the four existing ones.
My verdict: The Douglas Outdoors Era is a very modern fly rod for beginners. Its fast action makes it easy to get the timing right in the beginning. Plus it pleasantly surprised us in the test with having a good backbone resulting in long and accurate casts.
Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series Fly Rod With Extra Tip
Why we picked it: The Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series offers excellent performance and features at an affordable price point, making it perfect for those just starting out in fly fishing. Plus it comes with an extra tip (trust me, they can break in the beginning).
Specs: The Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series comes in six different weight classes ranging from #3 all the way to #8 – so you can choose the one that best suits your needs as a beginner angler. It also has two different lengths available – 9” or 10’0” – allowing you to customize your setup even further depending on where you plan to fish and what type of species you are targeting. The 10″ is a good option if you’re mainly looking to fish nymphs. Lastly, this rod has a medium action which provides enough power to cast long distances while still having enough flex for delicate presentations when needed.
Key Features: This Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series is made from high quality graphite material which makes it lightweight yet durable enough to withstand the rigors of everyday use without sacrificing any performance capabilities along the way. Additionally, it comes equipped with stainless steel guides that provide smooth line management throughout each cast and retrieve cycle as well as an extra tip section that allows for easy replacement should something happen during transport or storage of your gear between trips out on the water. Finally, this rod also includes a limited lifetime warranty from Moonshine Rod Co., giving buyers peace of mind knowing their purchase is covered no matter what happens down the road!
Pros: The Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series offers excellent value for money due its combination of specs and features at such an affordable price point; perfect for beginners who want reliable equipment without breaking their budget! I like the extra tip that means you can keep fishing even if something happens to your rod. Also, a warranty is always good to have in the beginning.
Cons: The only real downside I could think of for the Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series is the fact that it weighs in at a little more than the Echo Carbon for example. However, especially in the beginning you probably won’t be fishing all day anyways as fly casting can be tiring (you’ll know what I am talking about once you get started…)
My verdict: The Moonshine Rod Co. the Drifter Series is another great option for a classic trout fly rod (like the Redington) features components of classic rod making and design such as burl reel seats and a brown blank color.
Tfo Signature 2
Why we picked it: The Tfo Signature 2 is a moderate action, which makes it ideal for beginners who are still learning the basics of casting and line control. Additionally, due to the use of corrosion resistant materials, you can use this rod in the saltwater as well.
Specs: The Tfo Signature 2 is made from high-grade graphite and features oversized stripping guides to ensure smooth performance. It also comes in different weight classes ranging from 2wt to 10wt, so you can find the perfect size for your needs. In terms of design, the Tfo Signature 2 has a classic look. I personally really like the translucent greenish blank color that gives this rod a high-end feel which is rounded-off by the black reel seat.
Key Features: When it comes to performance, the c delivers impressive results on both fresh and saltwater species such as trout or striped bass. Its moderate-fast action helps beginners learn how to cast accurately without having too much power behind their casts. In addition, this rod’s lightweight design allows for long days out on the water without fatigue.
Pros: Beautiful sleek modern design that is backed up by excellent casting performance. I also like the fact that the Tfo Signature 2 is saltwater proof and as of 2022 comes with a lifetime warranty for the original owner.
Cons: I’ve tried hard to find a con for this rod – I have to disappoint you.
My verdict: The Tfo Signature 2 is the right choice if you’ve made your first steps in fly casting and are looking for a rod for the next few years to raise your level. Beautiful design, excellent power and accuracy even on longer casts and a good warranty. The man behind TFO is Lefty Kreh – just look up his name and you know you’ll be buying a quality product.
Best Beginner Fly Rod Combos on the Market in 2024
Now that you have a good overview of some of the best fly fishing rods for beginners, we want to throw in a couple of options in case you want the perfect setup right out of the box. Here are some of the best fly rod and reel options money can buy in 2024.
Redington Original Combo
Why we picked it: The Original (read our in-depth review here) is Redington’s new entry level fly rod combo. At only $199 this is an excellent choice for beginner fly anglers. This combo comes with a rod, reel, and line that are all designed to make your first foray into the world of fly fishing as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Specs: The rod itself is made from high-quality graphite and features a medium-fast action that allows you to cast accurately while still having enough power to land larger fish. It also has an ergonomic handle design that makes it comfortable to hold even during long days on the water. What I like about the Original kit is the fact that despite it being Redington’s entry level combo, it’s made with quality components that allow you to easily fish this set for a few years and grow your skills as you go along.
The set includes Redington’s popular Crosswater Reel that also got a slight makeover. First off, it comes pre-spooled with backing so you can get started right away without having to worry about winding your own line onto the spool. The reel also has adjustable drag settings so you can customize how much resistance there is when fighting bigger fish or when trying out different techniques like nymphing or streamer fishing. Put shortly, this reel has all the features you need when starting out (and even beyond).
Key Features: To make life easier for you, particularly when you’re just starting out, this fly rod combo is only available in two sizes: a #5 and an #8. Redington decided to do that since a 5 weight fly rod and reel is probably the most popular choice for all trout fishermen. Additionally, the #8 is the way to go if you plan on catching bigger species such as pike or striped bass.
Pros: The Original is a well-balanced setup with quality components. I particularly like the rod tube that features an integrated protective case for your reel. A Rio mainstream fly line rounds-off this great package that provides excellent value for money.
Cons: The only downside to the Original kit is the fact that it does not include a leader or a few flies which would be the icing on the cake as it would allow you to make your first casts in seconds.
My verdict: If you’re looking for an affordable way to get into fly fishing then we highly recommend giving the Redington Original a look – it won’t disappoint!
Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Combo
Why we picked it: The Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Combo is another great fly rod and reel combo if you’re making your first steps into fly fishing. I like the tradition of Orvis in making high end fly rods and reels which guarantees their knowledge trickles down into entry level products such as this one.
Specs: The rod itself is made from high-modulus graphite and features a medium-fast action that allows for easy casting and accuracy when targeting fish. You can choose from rod lengths ranging from 8’6” to 9’6” and weight classes from 5-8, giving anglers plenty of options depending on their preferred technique or species they are targeting.
Key Features: As far as other important criteria when choosing a beginner fly rod goes, the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Combo has everything you need – lightweight design, durable construction materials, comfortable grip handle and reliable performance overall. One of the biggest advantages of using this particular combo is its affordability compared to some higher end rods on the market today – yet it still offers excellent performance without sacrificing any quality components or craftsmanship along the way. In addition to all these benefits, I am a big fan of the Orvis lifetime warranty that comes with every purchase so you can rest assured knowing your investment will be protected no matter what happens down the road!
Pros: Just like the Redington, the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Combo is ideally balanced. On top of a rod, reel, backing and fly line, this set also comes with a leader (the final piece of your fly line). So all you have to do is tie on a fly and you’re ready to go. The Orvis guarantee is a big plus and their customer service is very friendly and helpful.
Cons: If value for money is one of your main concerns, go for the Redington Path Ii as it’s slightly better than the Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Combo.
Important Features of Beginner Fly Rods
By now you know about the best fly fishing rods and combos for beginners out there on the market. If you want a little more knowledge on the important features of fly rods and reels, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s what you should pay attention to when shopping for your first fly rod (and reel).
Lightweight Fly Rods
Lightweight fly rods are ideal for beginner anglers, as they are easy to cast and handle. These rods typically range from 4-6 weight, making them perfect for small streams and rivers. The light weight of these rods also makes them great for fishing in tight spaces or around obstacles like trees or rocks. They are also well suited for smaller fish species such as trout and panfish.
Medium-Weight Fly Rods
Medium-weight fly rods offer a bit more power than lightweight models, but still maintain an easy casting action that is suitable for beginners. These rods usually range from 6-8 weight, making them better suited to larger bodies of water with bigger fish species such as bass or pike. They can be used in tighter spots too, but their heavier construction means they may not be able to make the same delicate casts that lighter models can manage.
Heavyweight fly rods provide the most power out of all the different rod weights available on the market today. These heavy duty sticks usually come in 8+ weights and are designed specifically for big game species like salmon or steelhead. While these powerful tools can certainly help you land a trophy catch, they require much more skill to use effectively due to their stiffer actions and longer lengths which make them harder to control when casting long distances into strong winds or currents.
Short Fly Rods
Short fly rods are usually between 5 and 6 feet in length, making them the most compact option for beginner anglers. They are lightweight and easy to maneuver, allowing you to cast accurately even in tight spaces. This makes them ideal for fishing small streams or rivers with lots of vegetation or obstructions. However, they can be difficult to use when casting into the wind or at longer distances due to their shorter length.
Medium-Length Fly Rods
Medium-length fly rods range from 7 to 8 feet in length and offer a good balance between portability and power. These rods provide more reach than short fly rods but still remain relatively light and easy to handle. They are great for beginners who want a rod that is versatile enough for different types of fishing conditions such as larger rivers or lakes where long casts may be necessary.
Longer fly rods typically measure 9 feet or more in length and offer maximum reach when casting into the wind or at greater distances. While these longer lengths require more skill on behalf of the caster, they also allow for accurate casts with less effort due to their increased leverage over shorter models. Longer fly rods are best suited for experienced anglers who need maximum distance when targeting large fish species such as steelhead trout, salmon, pike, and musky.
Fast Action Fly Rods
Fast action fly rods are designed to be stiffer and more powerful than other types of fly rods. They provide the angler with a quick response when casting, allowing for greater accuracy and distance. These rods also have a higher line speed, which is beneficial when fishing in windy conditions or for larger fish species. The downside to fast action fly rods is that they can be difficult to control for beginner anglers who may not yet have developed their casting technique.
Moderate Action Fly Rods
Moderate action fly rods offer a good balance between power and finesse. They are generally easier to cast than fast action models, making them ideal for beginners who are still developing their skills. These rods also allow you to make delicate presentations while still providing enough backbone to fight larger fish if necessary. However, moderate action fly rods may not be as accurate or powerful as faster models when it comes to long-distance casts or windy conditions.
Slow action fly rods provide maximum feel and sensitivity when casting and retrieving lures or flies from the water’s surface, making them great options for novice anglers who want maximum feedback from their rod while learning how different techniques affect their casts and retrieves. These models also tend to be softer overall, meaning they can absorb shock better during fights with large fish species like salmon or steelhead trout without breaking the line prematurely due to excessive pressure on the rod blank itself.
Key Takeaway: Fly rods come in a variety of actions, from fast to slow, with each providing its own advantages and disadvantages. Beginners should look for a moderate action rod that offers the best balance between power and finesse for learning the sport.
Species to Target
Trout Fishing with a Beginner Fly Rod
Trout are one of the most popular species to target when starting out fly fishing. They can be found in rivers, streams, and lakes all over the world. When choosing a beginner fly rod for trout fishing, it is important to consider weight class, rod length, and action. Lightweight rods are best for small streams where accuracy is key; medium-weight rods are better suited for larger bodies of water; and heavyweight rods can handle heavier flies and bigger fish. Short rods offer more control while long rods provide more power. Fast action fly rods will help you cast further but may require more skill than slower action models which are easier to learn on but don’t cast as far or accurately.
Bass Fishing with a Beginner Fly Rod
Bass fishing with a beginner fly rod requires different considerations than trout fishing due to the size of bass compared to other species like trout or panfish. A medium-weight rod between 8-9 feet in length should be used when targeting bass as they need extra power behind them in order to land these larger fish. Fast action models work well here too since they have enough backbone to fight large bass without sacrificing accuracy or distance when casting lures into tight spots where bass often hide out during feeding times.
Key Takeaway: Fly fishing for beginners requires choosing the right rod depending on the species, with lightweight rods being ideal for small streams and medium-weight or heavyweight rods better suited for larger bodies of water. Fast action models provide more power to fight large fish without sacrificing accuracy.
Conclusion on the Best Fly Fishing Rods for Beginners
The best beginner fly rod is an important tool for any aspiring angler. It’s important to consider the weight class, rod length and action when selecting a fly rod that fits your needs. Whether you’re looking to target trout or bass, there are plenty of options available on the market in 2024. With so many choices out there, it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. However, with careful consideration of these criteria and some research into what species you want to target, you’ll be sure to find the perfect beginner fly rod for your next fishing adventure.
Why You Should Trust Our Reviews
Leonard Schoenberger and his team spend plenty of days out fishing. Their goal is to test and review products for you so you can make a solid purchase decision and improve your fly fishing game. We always express our honest opinions, never get paid for reviews and are proud of our editorial independence.
FAQs in Relation to Best Beginner Fly Rod
What is the best length fly rod for a beginner?
A 9-foot fly rod is often recommended for beginners due to its versatility in various fishing situations.
Should I buy a 4 or 5 wt fly rod?
For beginners, a 5-weight fly rod is a good balance, offering versatility for various fish species and casting situations.
How do I choose my first fly fishing rod?
Consider factors like rod length, weight, and action. A versatile 9-foot, 5-weight rod with a moderate action is a common choice for beginners.
Is a 7-foot rod too long?
No, a 7-foot rod is not too long. It’s a suitable length for specific fishing situations, providing accuracy and control.
How much should I spend on my first fly rod?
When it comes to buying your first fly rod, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The amount you should spend depends on several factors, such as the type of fish you plan to catch and the frequency with which you will be fishing. If you are just starting out, a mid-range rod in the $100-$200 range should provide good quality and performance for most anglers. As your skills improve, investing in higher end rods can help increase accuracy and casting distance. Ultimately, finding the right balance between cost and performance is key when selecting a fly rod that fits your needs best.
What weight fly rod is best for trout?
The best weight fly rod for trout depends on the type of fishing you are doing. Generally, a 4-weight or 5-weight rod is suitable for most trout fishing situations. A 4-weight will give you better accuracy and delicacy when casting small flies to rising fish in smaller streams, while a 5-weight provides more power and line speed when casting larger flies in windy conditions or covering large rivers. Ultimately, the choice comes down to personal preference and what works best for your particular situation.
What is the most common fly rod size?
A 9-foot fly rod is the most common size, appreciated for its versatility and suitability for various fishing environments.
Disclaimer: All products in this guide are independently researched by our team. We only recommend products we believe in and never get paid for the reviews. Learn more about our review process here.