A [Beginner’s] Guide to the Best Fly Rods of All Time

Best Fly Rods of All Time

Have you been wondering what the best fly rods of all time are?

Hopefully, this article will reveal it to you. Well, in the end, it really depends on your needs. This is a very common question that budding and veteran anglers alike ask. But, in truth, the best fly rod of all time is determined by what you fish for – now and in the future.

When I see many people ask me this question “What’s the best fly rods of all time?” on this site, I interpret that what’s a fly rod that’s reliable, efficient, and well-worth for your fishing needs. So, I have picked a few fly rods that I believe will be excellent for your needs – and particularly they provide excellent value for your money.

Before jumping into my breakdown of the best fly rods of all time, let’s be clear on our fishing gear.

Questions to ask yourself

  • What types of fish do you fish for?
  • How many pieces can the fly rod be broken down into?
  • What particular line weight can the fly rod cast?
  • What is the fly rod made of and its length?
  • What fly rod action can you handle?

By answering these questions honestly, you’ll be able to settle on the best fly rod for you. You don’t need recommendations from your friends or neighbors. Still, sifting through hundreds of fly rods for a single fly rod is nearly impossible.

That’s where this article comes in!

We had selected a panel of 10 experts in the sport of fly fishing. The 10 experts waded through all the fly rods available in a given market and made their decisions for the best ones.

Within this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the best fly rods of all time. Also, we’ll share reviews of our 2 top picks as the best fly rods of all time!

Let’s go!

How to Choose the Best Fly Rods Of All Time?

How to Choose the Best Fly Rods Of All Time

Just being able to catch fish isn’t what the sole purpose of a fly rod is. There are many components go into fly rods that need to be considered carefully before purchase. These components can make or break your fly fishing experience.

Check out the following factors before purchase.

Fly Rod Length

Fly rods are usually 6 to 10 feet long. Short rods are best for short casts and tiny stream settings. And, long rods are for longer casts. Here’s the quick review on fly rod lengths.

9 feet: Best for making distant casts – if you fish in windy situations or use a heavy line, get 9 feet.

5 feet: Best in general for a wide range of fishing conditions.

8 feet or less: Best for short and precise casts – if you want to chase pan-fish, streamers, or use a light fly line, then get 8 feet.

Fly Line and Rod Weight

The weight of Fly rod is measured between a 1 to 12 scales. A rule of thumb is the heavier the rod weight, the heavier the fish you’ll be able to catch. The scale measurement refers to how thick and heavy fly line the rod is capable to bear.

It’s very crucial that you get the weight of your fly rod right for the weight of your fly line. If you have a 3wt fly rod, purchasing a 5wt fly line would botch up your expedition.

How to know what weight of fly line should you use?

Check the chart below:

Get weight 1-3: if you plan on catching small fish species (trout, brook, etc.).

Get weight 4: as it’s generally an all-around fly line weight for all small fish species.

Get weight 5: if you want to catch average sized fish species.

Get weight 6: if you want to hunt down brass, salmon, and other similar sized fish.

Get weight 7: for bass fishing.

Get weight 8: or above if chasing larger or stronger fish species is your passion.

Best Fly Rods of All Time

Here are our picks for the best fly rods of all time:

01. Orvis Superfine Carbon Fly Rod

02. Sage Method Fly Rod

Now, let’s check out why our experts recommended the fly rods.

Market Place Rating

4.6/5
Cadence CC5 Best Fly Rods of All Time

1. Orvis Superfine Carbon Fly Rod

Incredibly well-built, yet surprisingly lightweight, the Orvis Superfine stands up to even the most difficult and challenging of fly fishing situations.

Superior to any other competitor in the mid-range rods, the Orvis Superfine is the ultimate outcome of avant-garde technology and continuous innovation.

Native to Manchester, Vermont, Orvis is a familiar name in the fishing gear industry.

 Orvis’ line of fishing rods appeals to budding and veteran anglers alike.

Most of its rods come with a generous 25-year guarantee.

Watching my Dad and gramps angle and fly-fish for three decades, I too took fishing to heart. And, rods with slow, classic action are my absolute favorites. I came across this series from Orvis that features beginner-friendly, slow-action fly rods.  The Orvis Superfine, in particular, is the kind of complete fly rod that covers any and every bass or trout fishing expedition imaginable.

Despite its rugged strength, the 9’ Orvis Superfine fly rod is sensitive to small bites. It has a bit heavier-than-average swing weight due to its full-flex and slow action. With super-grade cork, up-locking reel seat, the superfine fly rod takes fly fishing to an epic level. This fly rod comes in two models – 905 and 804. The 905 model handle windy conditions and nymphs better. 

If you are a connoisseur of aesthetic craftsmanship, you’ll love this fly rod. A lightweight reel seat and gold-plated guides are visually pleasing. Paired with unsanded graphite blanks, the Orvis Superfine becomes even reliable in the extreme.

Casting within 50 feet, the Orvis Superfine is extremely accurate and incredibly stable even in windy conditions. However, the fly rod tends to lose power after exceeding 50 feet. Of course, this will vary according to casting skills.

The ergonomic design of the full-cork grip helped me cast for four hours straight. Handling large fish species was easy. As I was using the 5wt rod, I was able to catch some largemouth bass. Besides, the 905 model handles streamers just when you need it to.

Pros:

  • Solid build
  • Capable of resisting gusts
  • Nymphs with heavier rigs
  • Lightweight and ergonomic
  • Maintains incredible accuracy within 50 feet
  • Backed by a 25-year warranty

Cons

  • Higher swing weight can be an issue
  • Performance dwindles beyond 50 feet

You Can See the Tutorial:

Market Place Rating

4.6/5
Best Fly Rods of All Time Sage Fly rod

2. Sage Method Fly Rod

There’s nothing like fishing in a smooth, ultra-fast action and loading and unloading lines at great speeds. One of the fastest fly rods on the market, the Sage Method is the go-to rod for many anglers wishing to punch through the wind.

Improved with patented Konnetic Technology for ultra-fast action, the Sage Method allows you to load and unload line within a fraction of second.

This fly rod is a tremendous improvement in the fast-action rods.

Inevitably, the fly rod will be an eye-opener for many. If you are looking for a fly rod that could make distance casting a breeze, then look no further. You can easily cover 80-90’ with this fly rod – surreal!

The butt is an upgrade from its competitors as many saltwater rods have stiff butts, making it inconvenient. But, the butt of the Sage Fly Rod is tapered to use its loading energy for your forward cast. The butt-to-tip taper contributes to accuracy further.

Pros:

  • Sheer power
  • Ultra-smooth, ultra-fast
  • Eliminates vibration for accuracy
  • Covers 80-90’ easily
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Great reel performance

Cons

  • Comes in brazen red
  • A bit expensive

You Can See the Tutorial:

Best Fly Rod under $200

When the budget for a fly rod is set to $200, you have game-changing gear.  The best fly rod under $200 are the ones that feature solid build, smooth drag, increased accuracy, encompassing, and above all excellent value for money.

If you’d like to chase average-sized fish species that make long runs, you’ll need a reliable rod that can hold a lot of line.

Here are our picks for the best fly rod under $200:

01. Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo Fly Rod & Reel

02. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Fishing Rod

Now, let’s check out what our experts have to say about them.

Market Place Rating

4.4/5
Cadence CC5 Best Fly Rods of All Time

1. Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo Fly Rod & Reel

For tremendous flexibility in catching small to average-sized fish, a fly fishing combo set is worth considering. The Cadence CC5, in particular, offers a combination of superior-designed fly rod and reel. Construction complemented by durability and innovations, the Cadence CC5 will be well-worth your investment.

An ultralight spinning rod and reel can be an excellent choice for the budding anglers who don’t want to chase monstrous catfish, but simply want to catch small stuff on a weekend trip. 

Weighing less than 2 ounces, anglers love the Cadence CC5 reel because they can fish all day without fatigue and catch bass, trout, redfish, etc effortlessly.

Why wouldn’t they?

At under 2 ounces, you can pack the combo and be about your business right away.

The Cadence CC5 uses graphite construction technology that limits the weight without compromise quality. The Cadence CC5 also utilizes stainless steel guides that resist corrosion and stand the test of time. The strong carbon composite frame can stand up to high pressure and torque.

Incredible, right?

What’s more, the ergonomic EVA handle provides extreme comfort for handling. The stainless steel main shaft keeps the fly fishing combo on the lightweight spectrum. For smooth and resistance free casting, I like the fact Cadence utilized 8 ball bearings coupled with instant anti-bearing.

Highlights:

  • Carbon fiber drag system
  • Carbon composite drag
  • 24-ton graphite
  • EVA handle knob
  • Stainless main shaft & aluminum pinion gear

Pros:

  • Great rod and reel performance
  • Ergonomically designed
  • Solid construction
  • Smooth casting
  • A variety of rod actions and sizes
  • Ideal for freshwater fish

Cons

  • Drag setting is not satisfactory
  • Flimsy tip

You Can See the Tutorial:

Market Place Rating

4.7/5
Cadence CC5 Best Fly Rods of All Time

2. Tailwater Toccoa Fly Fishing Rod

Excelling in terms of performance and durability is the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa. This is one of the best fast-action fly rods available in any given market. To bring dynamic to your saltwater fishing expedition, the Tailwater Toccoa is highly reliable.

What is unique is that…

…rather than packing the bells and whistles, Tailwater Outfitters focused on convenience. To achieve this, they crafted this fly rod out of IM8 Graphite blank. 

This construction provides added strength without compromising quality. The denser the graphite, the stronger the rod will be.

I always remember this.

The fly rod offers a machined aluminum reel seat. To ensure solid reel attachment, there are double lock rings, so it is nice. Improved with AAA grade cork, the handle provides optimum gripping and helps cast with accuracy.

Fan of bass fishing?

Honestly speaking, bass fishing requires a completely new fly rod setup. If you’re looking for a fly rod particularly for bass fishing, then the Tailwater Outfitters is incredible! It’s an ultra-lightweight yet durable rod. This is a fast action, hence perfect for bass fishing. With the perfect amount of flex delivered, you’d never go wrong with casting.

Let me tell you more.

Made of ceramic stripping guides, the fly rod is visually pleasing as well. If you have been following me on this site for a while, you know I’m a sucker for aesthetic craftsmanship. When it comes to design, the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa is an absolute beauty.

Tailwater Outfitters kept the design minimal for optimum performance. The Toccoa is a 4-piece takedown. Transport and storage won’t be a concern. If you still worry about keeping the fly rod at home, know that a 4-compartment Cordura red tube is keeping it safe. 

Highlights

  • Konnetic Technology (blank)
  • Fuji ceramic (stripping guides)
  • Half wells, full wells handles

Pros:

  • Comfortable to use
  • Breaks down into 4 sections
  • Excellent quality cork handle
  • Visually pleasing color
  • Great for beginners and veterans alike
  • Easy transport and storage

Cons

  • Flimsy tip
  • No warranty

You Can See the Tutorial:

Frequently Asked Questions

Generally, the length of fly rods varies from 6ft to 10ft. Fly rods tend to be longer than conventional rods. Choose short rods if you want to fish in small creeks. Long rods work well in large bodies of water.

Depending on what you fish for, the weight of your fly rod will vary. 5-weight rod being the best for overall use, you can pick 4-wt, 5-wt, or 6-wt depending on your fishing journey.

A fast-action rod helps you chase larger fish. This type of rod offers sheer power and performance with relatively less flex.

Most people choose monofilament for fishing line. Additionally, yellow is sensitive to bites. You may also go for red, which becomes invisible underwater.

Final Words

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a clear idea of the best fly rods of all time. Now all you have to do is pick a rod from our recommendations based on your fishing needs. In this article, we looked at the best fly fishing rod in different price points, particularly under $200. We hope that our recommendations and buyers’ guide will help you enjoy fly fishing sport to the fullest.

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