Fiberglass fly rods have seen a revival in recent years. We’ll give you an overview of what’s out there and what to look for.
For a long time fiberglass fly rods (often also called fibreglass fly rods) were a thing for enthusiasts and specialists. Recently however, the good old glass has seen a revival and more and more fly fishermen and women discover this material.
You can either approach the topic as I did and build your very own fiberglass fly rod using a fly rod building kit such as the Epic Fly Rod Building Kit (read our Guide to Building your own Fly Rod here). Or you can get yourself a fiberglass fly rod and experience a new, delicate way of fly fishing.
History of Glass Fly Rods
It was back in the 1940s that manufacturers began making fly rods out of fiberglass. Back then the standard were bamboo fly rods and fiberglass made for a cheap alternative. The new fiberglass fly rods offered durability and were much more lightweight than their wooden counterparts.
Already back then some fly fishermen described the rods’ action as “whippy”. Until the 1970s fiberglass fly rods continued to be the standard and were then replaced by graphite fly rods.
Why Choose a Fiberglass Rod Today?
Fiberglass fly rods feel and cast differently than the gold standard of today: fast action graphite rods. If you cast a fiberglass fly rod for the first time you will most certainly immediately feel the high flexibility and response of the rod. The action is much slower on a fiberglass rod and it loads much deeper into the blank.
The positive side of this kind of action is the fact that you “feel” the cast much more and can make very delicate presentations. Hence I love using a glass rod for fishing small dry flies to rising fish for example. Modern day fiberglass rods however allow you to target big species such as redfish or musky as well.
Good casters can easily cover distances of 30 – 50 feet with a fiberglass rod. However, where fiberglass really shines is in tight quarters and when short but precise casts are needed. The deep flexing of fiberglass fly rods serves as an extra shock absorber allowing you to fish delicate tippets of 6x/7x.
Best Fiberglass Fly Rods on the Market
We now want to take a look at what’s out there and recommend a few fiberglass fly rods to you.
The Moonshine Rod Co. The Revival Series is a great way to enter the world of fiberglass. It comes in two versions: a 3wt – 7′ – 3pc model for small creeks and streams and a 5wt – 8′ – 3 pc as a classic trout fly rod.
The Moonshine Rod Co. The Revival Series is a beautiful, slow action rod featuring a two tip sections. This can come in very handy since fiberglass is very delicate and a tip can break.
The Moonshine Rod Co. The Revival Series features a reel seat made from hand turned burl giving the rod a beautiful, traditional look. Comes with a hard canvas rod tube for save transport.
With seven weight classes to choose from, the Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod offers a great way to explore fiberglass fly rods no matter what species you’re after.
You can fish tiny streams and rivers using the #1 – #3. The #4, #5 and #6 of the Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod make for excellent trout rods and the #8 enables you to target bigger species such as pike or bass for example.
Built on Redington’s Heritage Taper, the Redington Butter Stick Fly Rod is a great modern glass rod with a slow action and deep flex. Comes with the excellent Redington lifetime warranty.
Just like the Redington, the Echo Fly Rods River Glass comes in multiple weight variations. On top of that you can choose an alternative color called glacier, which gives the rod a very modern, edgy look.
The Echo Fly Rods River Glass rods are hand-built making each rod unique. The rod’s action is medium-fast (that is in fiberglass standards) which still makes it a “slow” rod in graphite standards.
The Echo Fly Rods River Glass features alignment dots and comes with a very sturdy rod tube.
In recent years Epic has become one of the leading brands in fiberglass fly rods. Their rods don’t come cheap but are some of the finest fiberglass rods you can get.
The Epic 580 FastGlass Fly Rod comes in multiple color, grip and reel seat variations allowing you to create your dream rod. The 580 casts extremely smooth and allows for delicate presentations. As mentioned above, Epic enables you to build your very own fiberglass rod with their Fly Rod Building Kit.
The Orvis Superfine Glass is another of our high-end glass favorites. Everything about this rod portrays quality and craftsmanship.
The Orvis Superfine Glass is available in weights ranging from #2 for tiny streams all the way to #8 for big rivers and stronger species such as pike or bass.
The Orvis Superfine Glass has gotten a lot of praise from fly fishermen and women around the world for its feel and accurate casting. The rod comes in a beautiful olive color and features a metal rod tube that contributes to the traditional, classic feel.
From personal experience I have to “warn” you that you might not go back to graphite rods after you have tried a glass rod. That is at least for delicate dry fly fishing in my case. I love the feel and feedback of a these rods and the delicate presentations that come with them.
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