Best Pike Fly Rods – Top Choices of 2024

Last updated on January 31st, 2024.

Leonard Schoenberger

Both musky and pike are similar species of fish with particularly larger teeth, and a lot of fly fishers utilize one type of fly rod to catch them.

Moreover, both species have similar characteristics in terms of aggressiveness and size. Plus, both are predatory, which is why hunting and catching them can be a really enjoyable and unique experience. And because you can use one type of rod to catch musky and pike, this article is going to talk about the things to look for in a fly rod for pike and the best products money can buy. 

Disclaimer: We take part in affiliate programs such as the amazon associates program. If you click on one of the product links provided in this review, we may earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. This helps to run our business. We only recommend products we would recommed to our friends and family and that meet our quality standards. Learn more on our testing process here.

Table of Contents:

Best Fly Rods for Pike and Musky Quick Answer List

Top Factors to Consider When Buying a Pike/Musky Fly Rod

Review of the Best Fly Rods for Pike and Musky

Best Fly Rod Combos for Pike and Musky

Bottom Line

Frequently Asked Questions

Pike at Night

Best Fly Rods for Pike and Musky Quick Answer List

1. Atlas Signature

2. Redington Predator Pike/Musky

3. Douglas Era

4. Sage Payload Pike and Musky

5. Hardy Ultralite

6. Penn Battle

7. Redington Original

Factors to Consider When Buying Pike Fly Rods

Fly Rod Weight 

When it comes to pike fishing, anglers usually use an 8wt or 9wt fly rod. But for quickly reeling in the slightly larger musky, it’s strongly recommended that you go for a 10 or 11wt. In some cases, especially for bigger musky, fly fishermen will also reach for a 12wt.

However, keep in mind that fly rods in the 10 to 12wt categories are massive and can quickly lead to muscle fatigue and overall exhaustion. You can’t keep casting these heavy rods all day long. After all, adult muskies can reach more than 4 feet and weigh more than 40 lbs.

Pike and Musky Will Tease You 

What does that mean? Well, you’d be baffled by the fact that both musky and pike will follow the bait but won’t necessarily take it. This can be seriously off-putting leading to stress and frustration. The solution? Always go for a fast action fly rod for pike. Plus, ensure the rod has a strong blank, which is essentially going to help you recast quickly, fight off the fish, strip the line, and pick up the line. Because when these fish don’t take the first time, you’ll need to strip the line again.

Fly Rod Reel 

While pike and musky can be aggressive and enormous, you won’t have a particularly hard time on the reel. However, it’s still a good idea to opt for a fly rod that comes with a durable reel and a slightly bigger arbor. Why? Well, a large arbor will make it easier for you to control your casting and recasting, especially when the fish bites and you’re ready to reel it in. With a durable arbor, you’ll be able to pick up the line effectively and efficiently without quickly losing patience. 

Fisherman holding a pike
A nice pike caught on a fly rod

Best Pike Fly Rods at Different Price Points

Notice: The Wading List is reader-supported. We take part in various affiliate programs such as amazon associates or avantlink. If you click on one of the links in this article and end up purchasing a product we earn a small commission at no extra cost for you. Thank you!

Atlas Signature

Atlas Signature Series: One of the best pike fly rods
Atlas Signature Series

The Atlas Signature series (read our in-depth review here) is a newcomer on the fly rod market, targeted at fly fishermen pursuing predators, no matter whether it’s in freshwater or in the salt. The company was started by Ben Freeman of Trident Fly Fishing and the first time you pick up that rod, you can tell that Ben has cast a lot of fly rods and knew exactly what he was doing. The new brand aims to offer premium rods with excellent performance at a price that won’t break the bank. I have no fished this rod for stripers and albies in the salt and for big European pike and have to say I am still impressed by it’s punch. For $499 you get an excellent rods that delivers big streamers without a problem even when they are soaked after a couple of casts.

I also really like the subtle looks of the Atlas Signature. Ben clearly didn’t want to show off with this rod but rather convince fly fishermen with its qualities. Personally, I am a big fan of the dark blue/grey blank color that portrays quality. Look at this beauty in front of the New York skyline below.



Cheeky Sighter 425 Fly Reel and Atlas Signature Fly Rod 8
This is the #8 9ft version paired with the Cheeky Sighter fly reel. Photo: Christian Anwander

Redington Predator Pike/Musky

Redington Predator Pike/Musky: a very good pike fly rod
Redington Predator Pike/Musky: a very good pike fly rod

The Redington Predator Pike/Musk (you guessed it) is a rod designed for larger predators. While the Predator series offer two different types of fly rod for pike, you can use one of them to catch both types of fish. Anyhow, the rods feature a slightly longer rod butt, which will help you when fightin a big fish, since it provides enhanced lifting strength.

In terms of blank color, the Redington Predator Pike/Musky is somewhat similar to the Atlas but its blue is a little lighter and brighter. I have been a fan or Redington rods since forever. The reason is that this brand is part of the farbank empire that also owns Sage fly rods. I am convinced that Sage engineers share their knowledge with their brothers over at Redington. You get a quality fly rod for a lot less. I dare to say that only excellent fly casters will even recognize the difference in casting since most high-end rods set themselves apart at longer distances that most fly anglers don’t (need to) cast anyways in their daily fishing. Comes with the faboulous farbank warranty for the original owner. (Also make sure to check out the new Redington Original fly rod combo that we’ve featured further down in this guide).



Douglas Era

Douglas Era
Douglas Era: One of the best pike fly rods on the market

Douglas is a small rod manufacturer based in upstate New York. Their Sky G series has been highly acclaimed and made us test a couple of rods from their lineup. One that I was particularly impressed by, especially considering the low price point of $169 (for the #8) is the ERA. Since it’s a fast action rod, I think it makes for a great pike rod where you need to be able to deliver big streamers precisely.

As an #8 it is on the lower end of pike fly rods but in my eyes it has enough backbone to handle evern bigger fish. Also, the fighting butt makes playing big pike and musky a little easier. The blank color is not my absolute favorite with the light grey but that’s personal taste of course. When it comes to performance I don’t know of another rod in this price segment that delivers what the ERA delivers. Plus, it comes with a limited lifetime guarantee. Show me another rod that offers the package of the ERA.



Fly Rod and Patagonia Guidewater Hip Pack
The Douglas Era fly rod paired with the Abel Rove fly reel. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Sage Payload Pike and Musky

Sage Payload: One of the best pike fly rods

The Sage Payload is designed with additional ruggedness and boasts a particularly bigger set of components to help anglers effectively cast and control fly lines for musky and pike. The Sage Payload is an exceptional product that helps fishers wrangle, fight, and win against aggressive saltwater and freshwater fish. Moreover, the best fly rod for pike incorporates the company’s patented Konnectic technology and has a durable, strong, and flexible midsection with a strengthened tip. 

Moreover, with the use of the company’s innovative Konnectic tech, they’ve been able to completely redesign the fly rod incorporating it with topnotch graphite technology. By adding a new graphite-to-resin formulation in the Payload, Sage has been able to add a high degree fiber composite for added density to help the rod become increasingly flexible, stronger, and more accurate. 



Hardy Ultralite

Hardy Ultralite: One of the best pike fly rods in the premium segment

Hardy’s Ultralite (read our in-depth review here) series is the latest addition to the company’s long line of products (Hardy’s been in the game for more than a century!). The Ultralite rod is features Hardy’s Sintrix NSX technology, which creates fly rods that have a considerably reduced weight. What that means in real life for you as a pike fisherman is less fatigue which definitely plays a role in case you’re out fishing all day. What I also like about the Hardy (besides it’s excellent casting performance at all distances) are its classy looks. The dark green blank color is most beautiful when the sun’s out and in combination with the wooden reel seat it’s everything you’re looking for in a classy fly rod. Top it off with the Hardy rod sock and tube and you’re in for a treat. Yes, this rod is expensive but I am sure you’ll use it for years (if not decades).



Best Pike Fly Rod Combos

Now that you have a good overview of the best fly rods for pike and musky out there on the market, we also want to take a look at fly rod combos for pike. A fly rod combo offers the advantage that you can 100% sure your gear will work well together. Especially for beginners and intermediates it is not always easy to understand which fly rod will work well with which reel. Take out the guesswork if you’re unsure and go for a one of these fly rod combos for musky and pike.

Penn Battle

Penn Battle Fly Combo
Penn Battle

The Penn Battle Fly Outfit (read our in-depth review here) is a gerat choice if you’re afters predators in the saltwater or in ponds or rivers. Available as an #8 or #10, both models come as 9ft 4 piece rods in a rod and reel protective tube. If the waters you’re fishing hold big pike and musky, I recommend getting the #10 but also the #8 has a lot of backbone (it’s the better allrounder if you’re also after bass for example.)

The Penn Battle rod is a medium fast action rod that works well in combination with the WF line that is included in the kit and has no trouble transporting bigger streamers right where you want them to be. That holds true even when you’re casting into the wind. I also liked the reel on this set so much that I even paired it with other rods (see photo below where we tried it with the Atlas Signature rod) . The reel has a very solid drag system (although from my experience that is not the most crucial thing in pike fishing) and it comes with a tapered leader. For pike and musky though, you need a hard mono or even wire leader or you’re fly will be gone quicker than you think.




Penn Battle Fly Line
The Penn Battle fly reel paired with the Atlas Signature fly rod. Photo: Leonard Schoenberger

Redington Original Kit

Redington Original Fly Fishing Kit
Redington Original Fly Rod Kit

The Redington Original fly rod combo (read our full review here) is another great value for money option if you’re looking for a set to fish for pike and musky. What I like about this combo is the fact that Redington went for an old-school blank design (in terms of color and type) and paired it with modern elements such as the aluminum reel seat. I like this combination as it makes the Original stand out from the crowd. The Crosswater reel on this set is a large arbor reel with a high quality drag system that will serve you well when a pike hits your streamer hard. The reel is pre-spooled with Rio’s Mainstream fly line that is a classic weight forward line (which has the power to transport big streamers to pike). Again, like I said for the Penn Battle Outfit, you should exchange the leader that comes with the set for a hard mono or wired one if you’re hunting pike because their razor sharp teeth will cut your leader otherwise.

The Original set comes with a rod and reel tube for easy transport and features a warranty of one year. In my eyes, you get a lot vaue for $199 and are ready to target pike and musky within minutes.




Redington Original Kit in the hands of a fly fisherman
The Redington Original during our test. Photo: Shane Rickert

Bottom Line on Pike Fly Rods

So there you have it – some of the best fly rods for pike at different price points. Moreover, what you opt for will mostly depend on the type of fishing activity you want to do and the features you’re looking for. Stick to more affordable fly rods if you’re a beginner. However, if you’re a more serious angler, go for the Sage Payload for an amazing yet challenging experience. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes a fly rod suitable for pike and musky fishing?

A suitable fly rod for pike and musky fishing should be robust, typically in the 8 to 12 weight range, to handle the large and aggressive nature of these fish. It should also have the backbone to cast heavy flies and handle powerful hooksets.

What length of fly rod is recommended for pike and musky?

Fly rods in the 9 to 10-foot range are commonly recommended for pike and musky fishing. This length provides the necessary leverage for casting heavy flies and managing these powerful predators.

What line weight should I pair with a pike and musky fly rod?

ypically, an 8 to 12 weight fly line is recommended for pike and musky fishing. The line weight should match the rod’s power to effectively cast large flies and handle the strength of these fish.

Are there specific rod actions better suited for pike and musky fly fishing?

Fast to extra-fast action rods are often preferred for pike and musky fly fishing. These actions help generate higher line speeds, crucial for casting large, wind-resistant flies.

What material should the rod be made of for durability?

Look for pike and musky fly rods made from durable materials like high-quality graphite or composite materials. These materials provide strength and durability to handle the stress of battling aggressive predators.

Can I use the same fly rod for both pike and musky fishing?

Yes, an 8 to 10 weight fly rod can be versatile enough to handle both pike and musky fishing. However, if specifically targeting larger musky, a heavier 11 or 12 weight rod may be more appropriate.

What features should I consider in the rod for handling big flies?

Look for a fly rod with a powerful butt section and sufficient backbone to handle the casting of large, wind-resistant flies commonly used in pike and musky fishing. A rod with a strong tip is also essential for effective hooksets.