Last updated on January 3rd, 2024.
Fly rods come in all price ranges. You can easily spend several hundred dollars. But you don’t have to. Here is our guide to the best fly fishing rod under 200.
Most anglers have a budget for their equipment. If yours is big, you won’t have a problem spending more than $500 or even $1,000 on a fly fishing rod. The great thing though is: you don’t have to in order to get a quality fly rod.
In this guide we want to give you our top choices for the best fly rod under 200 dollars. Our focus will be on the #5 weight section since that is the type of fly fishing rod most people use. It is a great weight class to fish for trout and small bass for example. If I had to get one rod, it would be a #5. If you are looking to get an entire fly fishing set, make sure to check our Fly Rod Combo Guide.
The supply for products nowadays is huge. As a consumer it’s not always easy to fight your way through. Especially as a beginner you need someone to help you make a decision. This could be a fly fishing friend or an expert at your local fly fishing store. In this review we want to give you our top 5 best fly rods under 200($).
Table of Contents:
What to Look for in a Quality Fly Fishing Rod
Just because you don’t want to spend $500 or more on a rod, doesn’t mean you won’t get quality. There are two things that you should consider when getting a rod.
Often the premium manufacturers offer entry level products at a fraction of the price of their high end rods. What’s great about this is the fact that they will still use their know-how for these less expensive rods. Such is the case in our review for example with the rods from Fenwick, Redington or Echo.
Another important aspect you should consider is warranty. Many manufacturers offer great (lifetime) warranties for their products. These can be really helpful in case your rod breaks due to a technical defect.
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Best Fly Rods under 200 Quick Answer List
2. TFO PRO II
3. Penn Battle
4. Douglas Era
5. Echo Lift
Review: Best Fly Rod under 200
Redington Classic Trout 9’ 5wt
Most people looking for a fly rod under 200 bucks will probably target popular species such as trout. If that’s the case for you, I know few rods that are better suited than the Redington Classic Trout. It has the classic look and feel with a wooden reel seat, the simple cork handle and its subtle dark brown blank color. The Classic trout comes in many different weight and length options but if you’re looking for an allrounder, I’d recommend the 9ft #5 version. That’s the ideal rod to cover all trout fishing scenarios such as dry fly fishing, streamer fishing and nymphing. Even euro nymphing, where you tend to fish slightly longer rods for extra reach, can be done with this stick.
At $169.99 you get excellent value for money with a rod that features a medium-fast action, ideal for beginners and intermediate fly anglers. If you’re looking for the utmost in packability, there’s even a 6 pc version of this rod.
TFO PRO II
The TFO PRO II is another great fly fishing rod for well less than $200. With rod weights ranging from a #2 all the way to a #10, there is the right choice for every angler. This rod aims to convince beginners and intermediates as its action is forgiving and it still delivers even if a cast doesn’t come out perfectly. The TFO PRO II is held in a beautiful classic black with silver markings at the bottom of the blank which has a medium-fast action. Compared to the Redington, one downside of the TFO is the fact that it only comes with a rod sock but no tube for protection.
In terms of performance the TFO PRO II does not need to hide behind higher priced models. The reel seat features carbon fibre inserts for less weight and hard chrome snake guides round off the solid build quality of the TFO PRO II.
Penn Battle Fly Rod
Are you looking to pursue big freshwater predators such as pike or big bass or saltwater species such as striped bass? Then the Penn Battle fly rod (make sure to read our hands-on review) might worth a look for you. At $120 you get a quality fly rod with enough backbone to cast big streamers. This rod is a graphite rod with a medium fast action that will be a good choice for intermediate fly fishermen. I was surprised by its casting capacities when we took it out to the salt to fish for stripers and albies in Montauk, NY.
The Penn Battle is available as an #8 weight (which is a great allrounder for most predatory species) and a 10wt which can handle strong saltwater species such as bonefish or false albacore. Both rod lengths come as 4 piece rods.
Douglas Era Fly Rod
Douglas has been making a name for themselves in recent years for building some great fly rods at decent prices. Their Era Fly Rod is no exception to this rule and offers a quality fly rod for well under $200.
The Era Fly Rod is available as a #5 and an #8. The five weight is a great choice if your main target are species like trout or small bass. With the 8wt you’re capable of chasing bigger predators like bike or muskey. The Era Fly Rod is a fast-action rod that makes casting easier for beginners and intermediates. It comes with a corder tube and Douglas’ great lifetime warranty.
With the Echo Lift we wanted to include a fly rod that does not only come in at below $200, it even comes in at less than $100. The man behind Echo is Tim Rajeff, one of the most respected fly anglers in the game. He knows a thing or two about casting performance. The Echo Lift is the successor of the hugely popular Echo Base rod line and has been improved even further to cover more fishing situations. The medium-fast action model shines throughout all distances. You can choose from weights ranging from a #3 all the way up to an #8. The Echo Lift comes with the company’s lifetime warranty. For a product at less than $100 this one is hard to beat.
Best Fly Rod Combos under 200
If you’re just starting out with fly fishing, choosing the right gear can be a challenge if you don’t have a fishing friend who takes you by the end. A good option in such as case is to go for a fly rod combo, often also called fly fishing rod and reel combo. These sets most often include a fly rod, a reel, plus a fly line and a sometimes even a leader. This makes it a lot easier for beginners, since you can be sure that the rod and reel will work well together. Here are a few solid options to choose from.
If you want to learn more about fly rod combos, make sure to check out our Ultimate Buyer’s Guide.
Redington recently premiered a number of new fly rod combos such as the Redington Original (read our in-depth review here). For the new Redington Original fly rod combo, Redington raised their game when comparing it to its predecessor, the Redington Path. The path was a really popular fly fishing set already, but the Original is a nice evolution of what was good already, and is just a little better overall.
Go for the #5 if you’re mainly intro trout and panfish and the #8 if you’re after freshwater and saltwater predators. Both sets come in at $199.99. Besides a quality fly rod with vintage looks, the Original features the Crosswater Reel that is a real workhorse. The set also includes the popular Mainstream fly line that can handle all trout fishing scenarios nicely. What’s nice about the Original kit is that ir comes with a great protective rod and reel case that makes it easy to bring this outfit along on any trip.
Cortland Guide Series Combo
Here’s another great fly fishing outfit that just clocks in at below $200. Cortland, who are well known for their fly lines have now entered the world of fly rod and reel combos with their Cortland Guide Series Combo (read our in-depth review here). During our testing, I liked the lightweight graphite rod with a fast action that works nicely with the WF line that is included in the set.
The reel on the Guide outfit is a mid-arbor that comes with an adjustable drag. It definitely has enough power to stop a trout. What I liked in particular about the Cortland fly rod combo is the all black look of the rod blank, the reel seat and the reel (see photo below) – nice job here Corland.
Conclusion on the Best Fly Rod under 200
As you can see from our best fly rod under 200 dollars review, you don’t have to spend $500 or more for a quality rod. All the products in our test also come with great warranties. You can’t go wrong with any of these models. Since they all come in at less than $200 (the Echo Base at even less than $100) they also make for a great gift to your fly fishing friend.
What features should I prioritize when choosing a fly rod under $200?
When shopping for an affordable fly rod, focus on factors like versatility, build quality, and the rod’s intended use. Look for a balance of performance and value.
Are there any reputable brands offering quality fly rods in this price range?
Yes, several reputable brands, such as Redington, Fenwick, and Echo, offer excellent fly rods under $200. These brands are known for delivering reliable performance without breaking the bank.
Can I expect a warranty with budget-friendly fly rods?
Many manufacturers provide warranties, even for their more budget-friendly fly rods. It’s advisable to check the warranty terms for each specific model, as they can vary.
Are these rods suitable for different types of fly fishing, or are they specialized?
While some affordable fly rods are designed for specific purposes, many under $200 options are versatile enough to handle various fly fishing scenarios. Consider your preferred fishing style when making a choice.
Do these rods come with additional accessories, like a rod tube or case?
Some budget-friendly fly rods may include extras like a rod tube or case, while others may offer them separately. Consider whether these accessories are essential for your needs and factor them into your decision-making process.
Read more of our Gear Guides here:
Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in the Amazon Associates Program and earn a small commission at no extra cost for you if you end up making a purchase. We only recommend products we are convinced of and use ourselves. Thanks! Learn more about our testing here.