Best Trout Fly Rod – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide 2021

When new to fishing, fly anglers can get overwhelmed by the variety and options on the market.

How do they choose the best trout fly rod as a newbie? Not to mention, the high-tech names have made things harder, making it harder to choose from the assortment of options. 

When it comes to fishing for a specific fish, a trout in our case, how do we go about making the choice? Trout fishing has become common as lakes are regularly provided with rainbow trout. In addition to the other species, such as the cutthroat, brook, and brown trout anglers are provided with an increasing number of opportunities to fish. To take advantage of the large supply, you need to equip yourself with the best trout fly rod

Table of Contents:

An Introduction to Trout Fly Rods

10 Best Trout Fly Rods Quick Answer List

Best Single Hand Fly Rods for Trout Reviewed

Entry Level

Mid-Range

High-End

Best Trout Spey Rods

Best Fly Rod Combos for Trout

Conclusion

5 wt as the Gold Standard of Trout Fly Rods

The 5wt fly rods are the most common and popular fly rod model for anglers. It can be used to fish for a variety of species but is commonly used for trout. You can opt to buy a 4wt as well, which is slightly smaller than a 5wt but works to fish for small bass and carp. The versatility of a 5wt, however, is unmatched. 

To help you out, we have created a guide to help you understand how to choose the Best Fly Rods for Trout available in 2021. We have identified the three top rods for different levels of anglers to help you make the right choice. Read on to dive into deeper details about the best trout fly rod. 

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Fly fisherman on the river: Review of the best trout fly rods 2021
A trout fly rod is probably the most important one in a fly fisherman’s arsenal

10 Best Trout Fly Rods Quick Answer List

1. Redington Classic Trout 9’ 5wt

2. Fenwick Aetos 9’ 5wt

3. Moonshine The Revival Series

4. Orvis Clearwater 9’ 5wt

5. Douglas DXF 9’ 5wt

6. Sage Pulse 9’ 5wt

7. Hardy Wraith FWS 9’5wt

8. Douglas Sky G Series 9’ 5wt

9. Thomas & Thomas Paradigm

10. G. Loomis Asquith 9’ 5wt

Entry Level Trout Fly Rods

In the first part of this ultimate buyer’s guide to the best fly rod for trout, we’ll be looking at entry level products that come in at under $250. The great thing about these trout fly rods is that they won’t break the bank but still offer great quality.

Redington Classic Trout 9’ 5wt

In the midst of all the expensive (and yes, even overpriced) options, the Redington Classic Trout 9’ 5wt stands out as one of the lowest-priced options. The rod is perfect for beginners and like most of the rods from the parent company, Far Bank Enterprises, it loads smoothly.

The trout fly rod bends well, easy at the tip, getting stiffer towards the handles. The Redington Classic Trout 9’ 5wt weighs just 2.9 ounces, and its design gives it a lux appearance. An entry level rod that you can easily fish for a few years.

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Fenwick Aetos 9’ 5wt

Fenwick has been producing fishing rods since the 50s. Chances are your grandfather may have used a Fenwick back in his days just as you do now. This low-priced model is built for functionality.

The Fenwick Aetos 9’ 5wt has a reverse half wells fly grip and the handle is made of cork. The rod weighs around 3.44 ounces, which is a bit heavy for a 5wt but is perfect for the occasional cast. 

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Moonshine Co. The Revival Series 8’ 5wt

This fiberglass rod produced by Moonshine Rod Company has made a recent comeback. A medium-fast rod, the Moonshine Co. The Revival Series 8’ 5wt loads smoothly. Its name is indicative of a much more classic look, which is improved upon by adding some of the conveniences from today. 

A fibreglass fly rod is not for everyone because of its slower action. On the upside glass rods provide supreme presentation capacities and a lot of fly anglers don’t go back to fibreglass once they tasted glass. If you want to learn more about fibreglass fly rods, make sure to check our Ultimate Guide to the Best Fiberglass Fly Rod.

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Orvis Clearwater 9’ 5wt

Orvis Clearwater 9’ 5wt: One of the best trout fly rods for beginners
Orvis Clearwater: One of the best trout fly rods for beginners

The Orvis Clearwater may be on the lower end of the prices, but is a match for tough competition. The rod can be purchased with a reel and line and is a great rod for anglers of any skill set. It isn’t light, but the medium-fast rod, with its soft tip, does a great job of tippet protection, which will be valued by beginners.  

The Orvis Clearwater comes in a variety of size and weight options. If you are looking for an allrounder go for the 9′ 5wt 4 pc. If you are mostly fishing small creeks and want to have fun even when catching smaller trout, you can opt for the 3wt.

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Best Mid-Range Trout Fly Rods

In this second part of this review, we’ll take a look at mid-range trout fly rods which are great choices if you’ve left the beginner’s stages of fly fishing but don’t (yet) want to spend a fortune on a high-end one.

Douglas DXF Fly Rod 9’ 5wt

Fly rods can get lost in the sea of other mid-priced rods, but Douglas Outdoors is known for making some of the best ones. The Douglas DXF 9’ 5wt rod is impressive because of the attention they gave to details that pair well with their price tag.

The Douglas DXF 9’ 5wt feels crisp during casting, no matter what you tie at the end of it, making it even simple for novice casters to deal with. The weight of the rod can be a burden, after a full day of fishing. Still clearly one of our mid-range favourites.

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Sage Pulse Fly Rod 9’ 5wt

The Sage Pulse doesn’t look very exciting, with its simple design and cork handle, but that’s where you would be wrong. The weight of the rod, at 3.25 ounces, is heavier but unnoticeable. The rod isn’t very fast, so you shouldn’t be competing at casting it. Despite its lower speed, it is accurate and works amazingly at 45 to 60 feet. This is a good option, as it nails the action, and will undoubtedly please even intermediate fly fishermen and women. 

The Sage Pulse is available in a wide range of length and weight options. Go for a 3wt or 4wt if you are only looking to fish it at small creeks and a 5wt if you want a great allrounder for any kind of trout fishing.

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Hardy Wraith FWS 9’5wt

The Hardy Wraith FWS 9’5wt resembles the older Hardy Zenith (one of our trout favourites in recent years) in fit and feel, but under the label, it describes how the rod was constructed. The rod weighs around 3 ounces, which is light enough when you cast it.

The Hardy Wraith FWS 9’5wt can travel far, very fast, and is one of the most accurate when compared to other fast rods. It doesn’t work quite as well under 30 feet, but when you cross 40, the rod works like magic. At 60 feet, it’s even better. Plus, the attention to detail of Hardy (rod tube and cloth) is unmatched.

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High-End Fly Rods for Trout

In this last part of the big trout fly rod report we want to focus on high-end rods. These are the best trout fly rods out there on the market. Yes, they are expensive but these are rods with a strong focus on performance and built quality. Hence, they will last you longer and accompany you on your adventures for years to come.

Douglas Sky G Series 9’ 5wt

The Douglas Sky G Series 9’ 5wt was touted as one of the best trout fly rods on the market, and maybe even of all time in several shootouts. The rod’s blank is made of Graphene, which is one of the strongest materials in the world. But with just 5% of the density of steel, it is also very light.

That makes the Douglas Sky G Series 9’ 5wt the strongest and lightest fly rod in the market. It weighs just 2.85 ounces and has the lightest swing weight. At a distance, the medium-fast rod isn’t too powerful but makes up for it in terms of accuracy. At short distances, under 30 feet, or long distances, over 45, it maintains its accuracy. 

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Thomas & Thomas Paradigm 9’ 5wt

Thomas & Thomas’ most recent release, the Paradigm, is their most refined classic fly rod. The brand continues to deliver with its newest model, and the Paradigm is a crisp action rod, perfect for anglers of all experience levels. The rod bends further to help you cast with even more accuracy. 

Looking at the design of the handle, we can see that the cigar grip is made of a tight cork, with no sign of any imperfections. The reel seat is made of silver, satiny hardware that is very unique from other rods. The tightening ring is textured, which makes our grip on it a lot stronger and the band is engraved with the brand name. 

The deep blue shades of the Paradigm are accentuated with light blue shades and silver accents that speak fine craftsmanship.The rod is light and nimble in your hand. It casts exceptionally once you have gotten a hang of it and is also very smooth. It is perfect at short and medium distances and very accurate. 

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G. Loomis Asquith 9’ 5wt

G. Loomis Asquith 9’ 5wt: One of the best fly rods for trout money can buy
G. Loomis Asquith 9’ 5wt: One of the best fly rods for trout money can buy

The G. Loomis Asquith 9’ 5wt is one of the most unique high-end fly rods in the market. It is easily the lightest and most advanced fly rod which is one of the reasons why it’s so expensive. The Asquith provides anglers with a balance between power and feel. The rod works well at short and long ranges. 

The rod’s blanks are rolled out on special Spiral X platforms that are only available in Japan. The final product, assembled in the USA, is very stable, which makes it very accurate. The stability reduces the stress, which makes the cast sensitive and gives the rod its pinpoint precision. The Asquith is 15% lighter than other ones, making it very easy to handle. The fast-action fly rod is able to produce high power to increase the line speed while maintaining its accuracy. It works perfectly in windier conditions and over long distances, which makes it an impeccable trout fly rod. 

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Best Trout Spey Rods

Now that you’ve got a good overview of classic single hand trout fly rods from all price and performance ranges, we want to also give you a quick overview of so-called trout spey rods. This style of fly rods has become increasingly popular in recent years since it provides a relaxed and effortless way of fishing for trout especially on wider rivers. The trout spey technique is based on classic salmon spey styles but uses lighter and shorter rods. More and more manufacturers are getting into the game increasing your options to choose from.

Learning to use a two-handed rod can take the time to get used to. The jargon can be confusing and you may feel intimidated. Depending on the rod you start with, your experience at spey casting can either be frustrating or fun. Learning to spey cast with a trout spey rod is quite easy. You should consult a local instructor to learn the basics and can then practice on your own. We’re pretty sure you’ll like this kind of trout fishing. Here are a few quality trout spey rods to consider.

The OPST Micro Skagit Trout Spey 10'4" 5wt: One of the best trout spey rods
The OPST Micro Skagit Trout Spey 10’4″ 5wt

Echo Trout Spey Fly Rod 11’ 4wt

The Echo Trout Spey 11’ 4wt is one of the best spey rods in the market and on the lower end of the price range. The new model is vastly improved. The weight of the rod is a bit on the heavier side but is almost unnoticeable during use on the water. When you use the Skagit setup, the echo works wonderfully. The smooth rod can easily compete with the higher-priced products on the market. It is a well-balanced rod that offers amazing features without the price tag. 

At 11′ the Echo Trout Spey 11’ 4wt does offer reserve power even when going for the long cast. The design of the rod is sleek and simple, meant to offer functionality. This mid-priced trout spey rod is purpose-driven and a great entry into the world of trout spey rods.

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OPST Micro Skagit Trout Spey 10’4” 5wt

The OPST Micro Skagit two-handed rods have been designed to work with single-handed casts and double-handed casts as well. Whether you are on foot, finding your way through small and medium rivers, or fishing off a boat, the hybrid rod should be a part of your arsenal. The rod took five years to develop and is proof of Ed Ward’s vision. 

The handles of the OPST Micro Skagit Trout Spey 10’4” 5wt are cigar-styled and offer a good grip on the rod. Its shorter length makes it perfect for overhead casting as well. This allows you to swing with a Skagit head, or opt for a dry fly line. The medium-fast action trout spey rod is perfect for trout and even smaller fish. Make sure to read our in depth review of this fantastic rod.

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Sage Trout Spey HD – 11’3” 4wt

Sage’s new Trout Spey HD – 11’3” 4wt showcases the benefits of the brand’s Konnetic HD technology. The rod is lighter, more responsive, and more sensitive to an angler’s movements. The rod’s conifer blank, the Vera wood reel seat, and the full-wells cork handle make the rod stylish, yet functional. 

The Sage Trout Spey HD – 11’3” 4wt weighs 4.44 ounces and has a considerably higher swing weight than other rods. However, due to the downlocking reel seat, the rod feels much lighter in the hand. It is a powerful rod. In fact, it is easily one of the most powerful trout spey rods in the market. The rod works well with experts as you need to get the timing right to shoot more line. For an experienced angler, this rod is the best one in the market. 

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Best Trout Fly Rod Combos

If you are new to fishing, figuring out what the right setup is can seem daunting. In this case, you can opt for trout fly rod combos. The combo includes the rod and reel, the line, backing, and a tapered leader as well. 

Junky combos do exist in the market and may include poor-quality components. But as time has passed, brands have released worthy combos that can be purchased. It is a lot of variety available online. But the increasing variety can make it tougher to choose what’s best for you. We have found two of the best combos in the market to make matters simpler for you. 

Redington Trout Fly Rod Combo 590-4

Redington Trout Fly Rod Combo 590-4: Best Trout Fly Rod Combo for Beginners
Redington Fly Fishing Combo 590-4: Best Trout Fly Rod Combo for Beginners

The Redington Fly fishing combo comes with a rod and reel, a case to hold it, a fly line, fly line backing, and a tapered leader. The combo comes with a CROSSWATER 905-4 rod that is built beautifully, with absolutely no blemishes. The rod alone costs under $100, which makes the combo’s price much more attractive. The cork grip is comfortable and the glossy blue blank makes the rod look pricy. 

The CROSSWATER reel is made of polymer and is smooth to the touch. The reel comes with a spoked design. This medium-fast action rod is perfect for beginners. Once you practice with it, the rod casts wonderfully. It cast well at all distances and got smoother at long distances. The cost of the separate components would set you back around $200. So, for just $140, this trout fly rod combo is one of the best out there. 

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Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit

The Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit has been one of the best trout fly rod combos in the market for years. The combo comes with a rod, reel, line, and backing. The cost of the combo is higher than many others but is well worth it. The Clearwater rod is a medium-fast action rod that is softer. The 9′ 5wt Clearwater rod is very flexible and offers high cast accuracy at medium to longer distances. The rod is made of black chrome blanks that make it look very luxurious along with a cork handle.  

The Clearwater reel’s disc drag system is smooth and solid. The large arbor design helps to reel the line in faster and feels very light. The quality of the components is well above the price tag, which makes this trout fly rod combo a superb steal. 

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Conclusion on the Best Trout Fly Rods 2021

Let’s take a moment to see what factors are important in trout fishing rods. A lightweight rod is clearly preferable to heavier models. Longer rods are preferred to absorb the energy of hard-fighting fish. For a light rod, a medium action rod is appropriate. We will advise not to worry about the weight of the fishing rod in the earlier stages of your learning, and simply work on your skills to catch a trout.  

This is a comprehensive guide to help you find the best trout fly rod that is available online. If you are new to fishing, opting for a cheaper rod is better for you. Some of them work just as well as the pricier options and allow you to improve your technique. If you’re an experienced angler, the guide can help you decide which pricier option can make you the envy of others while offering you every advantage possible. 

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!