The Best Fly Rods to Buy in 2018: (A Complete Review and Comparison Guide)

Overview: In this article we have selected, tested and reviewed 10 best fly rods for beginners that are available online. Moreover, we have also shed some light on critical factors which beginners need to know before buying their first fly fishing rod.

As a beginner picking up a fly rod that could meet all your needs is a quite exhausting task.

With so much variety of different brands, lengths, weights, flex and materials, the selection of the fly rod that could be best for beginners gets more confusing.

However, this research is also vital because having the right flyrod in the right conditions will have the most significant impact on the results of your fishing trip.

And in order to eliminate this mental chaos, we have selected, tested and reviewed the best fly-fishing rod for beginners available online.

While selecting these fly rods, we have also taken it into consideration that all the fly rods we review are;

  • of Reputable/ Reliable brands.
  • Great in due performance.
  • Affordable and provide the best value for money.

But before getting into details if you want to go for the best fly rods we have selected for you then here they are.

Our Pick For The Best Fly Rods.

Product

DETAILS

OUR RATING

​FENWICKS

AETOS Fly Rods

  • Material: Graphite and Carbon.
  • Weight: 2.3 Lbs
  • Dimensions: 32.2” x 4” x 3”.
  • Number of styles available: 8wt.

Our #1 Rated

5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​​ORVIS

Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4

  • Material: Graphite.
  • Weight: 3.4 Lbs
  • Dimensions: 31.5” x 2.5” x 3”.
  • Available weights: 1wt.

Our #2 Rated

5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​MAXCATCH

3-12wt Medium-Fast Action Premier Fly Rod

  • Material: Graphite and Chrome.
  • Weight: 3 Lbs
  • Dimensions: 31” x 3” x 3”
  • Available weights: 3wt-12wt

Our #3 Rated

5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​TAILWATER OUTFITTERS

Toccoa Fly Rod

  • Material: Graphite.
  • Weight: 3 Lbs
  • Dimensions: 30” x 2.5” x 3”
  • Available weights: 3wt.

Our #4 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​NETANGLER

Fly Fishing Combo,Lightweight Portable Rod And Reel Kit

  • Material: Graphite.
  • Weight: 2.2 Lbs.
  • Genderless
    Dimensions: 27” x 3” x 3”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 1wt.

Our #5 Rated

5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​PLUSINNO

Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod And Reel

  • Material: Graphite.
  • Weight: 1.1 Lbs.
  • Dimensions: 27” x 8” x 4”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 1wt.

Our #6 Rated

3.5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​M MAXIMUMCATCH

Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod

  • Material: Carbon Fiber.
  • Weight: 1 Lbs.
  • Dimensions: 30” x 6” x 4”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 6wt

Our #7 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​PISCIFUN

SWORD GRAPHITE FLY FISHING ROD 4 PIECE

  • Material: Graphite.
  • Weight: 3.5 Lbs
  • Dimensions: 30” x 9” x 4”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 5wt.

Our #8 Rated

4.4 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​EAGLE CLAW

FEATHERLIGHT 3/4 LINE WEIGHT FLY ROD

  • Material: Graphite and Fiber.
  • Weight: 3.2 Lbs.
  • Dimensions: 39” x 3.2” x 3.2”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 1wt.

Our #9 Rated

4.5 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

​WAKEMAN

Charter Series Fly Fishing Combo With Carry Bag

  • Material: Carbon fiber.
  • Weight: 1.9 lbs.
  • Dimensions: 35” x 4.5” x 3”
  • Genderless
    Available weights: 1wt.

Our #10 Rated

4 out of 5

In The Fly Rods Category

Things You Need To Consider Before Buying Fly Rod.

i, Flex.

Rods are designed with different flex ranges. The flex means how deep the rod is willing to bend during casting. There are three categories in which a rod can fall in:

  • Full – The rod bends fully.
  • Mid – The rod flexes in half.
  • Tip - Only the first third of the rod will bend.

ii, Material.

Just like the flex feature, you need to pay attention to the materials the rod is created from. Each material has its own advantages so whatever one you find the most suitable depends on you. These are the most popular materials that you will find:

  • Graphite – This material will provide you with high performance. They are most suitable for professionals as the rods made out of graphite are more expensive. These rods are lightweight, yet so you can control a range of fish species.
  • Fiberglass – These kinds of rods are suitable for those that want a slow casting however full control. They are ideal for those fishing in small streams as they release a slower amount of line casting.
  • Bamboo – This material is traditional. Thus, some purchase these types of rods just because of nostalgia. It has a slower recovery, and they are usually much heavier than the others.

iii, Grip Style.

Whatever grip style you choose, depends on what you find the most comfortable. You will see that some people experience hand fatigue much easier than others. These are the most popular grips:

  • Ultrafine – You will find that these have a distinctive look. They are used for lightweight rods.
  • Half-well – This grip will provide superior control for the rods that are not too long and not too heavy. It works in a perfect combination with the rods that are used in freshwater.
  • Full-wells – These grips are made for the heavy rods. It allows you to take better control, so you have a faster casting.

10 Best Fly Reels Reviewed.

1. Fenwicks AETOS Fly Rods.

This is one of the most reliable rods on the market. If you are a professional and you know how important it is to have a fast recovery, you should consider this model. You will be able to use it in any type of water and stream as it will provide you with the same efficiency. This fly rod has been designed with attention to detail to ensure that it’s lightweight yet effective so you will be able to cast at a different range of distances precisely. Designed with carbon mixed with graphite, so it remains efficient over the years.

Best Features:

1, Large Guides.

In addition to this, it has been created with large stripper guides and double-foot snake guides, so you have a smooth operation. As well as, it also ensures that you retrieve fast without a struggle. It also reduces the friction.

2, Material.

The rod has been made from anodized metal. This means that you can use it in whatever waters you want without worrying about it catching rust. It’s corrosion-resistant and the premium handle will ensure a proper grip.

Pros

  • Lightweight.
  • It provides large line capacity.
  • Carry bag is included.

Cons

  • The guides do not line up correctly.

Conclusion.

This model is one of the best on the market without a doubt. It provides efficiency and durability. You can take full advantage of the fast recovery and the fact that you can use it in whatever waters or streams you want. Furthermore, the fact that it’s lightweight, it means that you can take full control of the rod. This model is mostly used by professionals or those that have experience dealing with such rods. If you do not line the guides correctly, you will inevitably believe that they are positioned in the wrong place. Thus, we rate this model a 5 out of 5.


2. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4.

This mid-flex rod will provide you with short and accurate casting. The quick-loading is straightforward, so you can use it in long-distance streams. If you are someone that has done this sport for a while, you should know that this model is suitable for you as it allows fishing in more than one way. You can go after big fish species in large streams.

The best thing about this fly-rod is the fact that it comes with 25-Years Warranty. If the rod breaks, you can send it back and without any questions asked or extra charges, the company will fix the damage for you and send it back.

Best Features:

1, All-In-One.

When you receive the package you will notice that you will get a reel that is made out of aluminum, a carry case, and a durable rod. All of these will contribute to a successful fly fishing trip without breaking the bank.

2, Grip.

The model has been designed with a superior cork that will fit nicely in your palm. The grip is half-well which means that you can easily control it if you are not a professional or you do not have experience.

Pros

  • Accessories are included.
  • The reel is built from anodized metal.
  • Carry bag is included.

Cons

  • Only one weight available.

Conclusion.

Taking all of this into consideration, this baby will not restrict you to just one type of waters. It’s suitable for a wide range of fish species and it’s long lasting. At no extra price, you will receive a package that includes everything you need to get started. You do not have to be a professional to get it set up and you will feel ready to have a successful trip. The carry case is a big bonus as it will help to keep everything into place. Thus, we rate this model a 5 out of 5.


3. Maxcatch 3-12wt Medium-fast Action Premier Fly Rod.

The rod has been created from high-grade materials. It’s mixed with 5 layers of carbon fiber. This will be able to increase the strength by up to 25% and it makes it 15% lighter than the other rods. The handle has a rating of AA as it has a Portuguese cork handle and ceramic guides. It has been designed with stainless steel snake guides so you will have a smooth operation.

The carbon tube has twin locking rings made from heavy-duty aluminum. You can take advantage of the fact that it comes with a 1-Year limited warranty of getting your money back and a lifetime warranty of getting you rod fixed in case it breaks.

Best Features:

1, Action.

The fast action of the rod will ensure that you have a high line capacity and that you can use it in a different type of waters. You will not be limited to narrow streams and to a specific fish. It’s smooth and powerful.

2, Guides.

The long snake guides are made from ceramic inserts. It will make the rod lightweight. Thus, if you’re a beginner, you can easily control it. The stainless-steel guides are long-lasting and will not catch rust.

Pros

  • Cork handle.
  • Comfortable grip for large hands.
  • It works in saltwater.

Cons

  • Some would have preferred it as full flex.

Conclusion.

In conclusion, this model is great for those that want practicality and durability. It’s made from carbon and graphite so you can take full control of the line capacity and backing. You do not have to worry about how long it will last as you can take full advantage of the lifetime warranty. The cork handle will provide you with a superior grip so you will never have to lose the fish back into the water. Even though some would prefer it as full-flex, the way, it’s designed it makes it a high-quality product. Thus, we rate this model a 5 out of 5.


4. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod.

This fast action model has been created with graphite to ensure that you have it for many years to come. It ensures durability and performance regardless of what conditions you use it. The greatest thing about this product is the fact that it’s one of the most suitable models for beginners. It comes as a four piece and those have alignment dots. Thus, you will know exactly what to put where.

In addition to this, the ceramic guides and the chrome snake guides will provide you with a smooth operation. The rod has been created with double lock rings. The half cork handle will fit perfectly in your hand, so you have an excellent grip.

Best Features:

1, Action.

You can rely on this rod to provide you with reliability when you are retrieving large fish. The rod and the line will stay secure while you are recovering the fish fast without putting too much physical effort.

2, Reel Section.

This section has been created with heavy grade aluminum. The chosen reel will sit securely on it and the seat with the reel will work in perfect harmony. You do not have to worry about the metal catching rust.

Pros

  • The carry case has been made with shoulder straps.
  • Natural design will not scare the fish.
  • The cork handle fits comfortably in big hands.

Cons

  • Some say the rod is too stiff.

Conclusion.

The fast action review will ensure that you have an easy time to control it and retrieve the fish. It’s suitable for beginners because it shows you exactly what to put where. Only the tip flexes so some people feel like the rod is too stiff. However, this doesn’t affect the rod’s efficiency. In some cases, how much experience you have will determine whether you lose the fish or not. You will be thoroughly pleased to know that the model has a natural color so the fishes do not get spooked. Taking all of this into consideration we rate this model a 4.8 out of 5.


5. NetAngler Fly Fishing Combo,Lightweight Portable Rod.

Just like the other high-quality materials, you will find that this model has been designed with a cork handle. As well as, the seat of the reel is made out of aluminum. This means that it’s safe to submerge it in saltwater. The rod has been created from graphite which makes it lightweight and easy to work with.

The greatest thing about this model is the fact that it’s layered. This means that its performance will be exceptional. The package includes a 1:1 gear ratio and all of the accessories you need to get started straight away. You can take full advantage of the excellent customer service team that is always available to deal with your concerns.

Best Features:

1, Combo.

If you’re a beginner or someone that is tired of spending a lot of money on equipment, you should consider this model. Inside the package, you will get everything you need. You will receive a reel, fish line, fish flies, waterproof box for the flies and a case.

2, Guides.

The aluminum guides will last for many years to come. The guide has been made from stainless steel in order to reduce friction to a comfortable level. Thus, it’s very unlikely that you will hurt your fingers while retrieving a heavy fish.

Pros

  • The case is waterproof and lightweight.
  • The line is pre-installed.
  • The rod has a natural color.

Cons

  • The carry case has straps that cannot be adjusted.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    The container for the fish flies is made from plastic.

Conclusion.

Taking all of this into consideration, you can see that this is one of the best rods on the market. It has a smooth operation and it has been made from heavy-duty materials. The greatest thing about it is the fact that for a small price, you can purchase everything you need to get started straight away. You can retrieve the fish fast with reduced friction. Without too much effort, you will have an efficient fly fishing trip. However, the fact that the container and the carry case hasn’t been designed with quality materials.But,since it does not effect its efficiency we rate this model a 5 out of 5.


6. PLUSINNO Lightweight Ultra Portable Fly Fishing Rod.

Best Fly rod for anglers who want a high-quality model without spending a lot of money. It has a fast action and it will provide you with a wide range. Therefore, you will not feel limited to narrow streams. The rod comes as a 4-piece so you will find it easy to piece the rod together. The stainless-steel snake guides will ensure that you will have it for many years to come.

This is another product that comes as a kit. Inside of the package, you will receive a long-lasting reel, fish line, and fish lures. All of them are placed in a durable case. The reel has been made with a Teflon disc drag and ball bearings that will allow you to use it with both hands.

Best Features:

1, Guide.

It’s a significant advantage to have snake guides as they are the most important features to provide a smooth operation. This model’s guides are so great that they significantly reduce the friction, so it gives the rod with higher elasticity.

2, Reel.

This item has one of the best reels. It comes included at no extra price. The reel has a large arbor which means that you have a large line capacity. The fixed reel is efficient and durable. As well as, you will be able to cast properly without the too much physical struggle.

Pros

  • The gear ratio is 1:1.
  • The pole is thin and lightweight.
  • The item is sold as a combo.

Cons

  • Large fish species may break the tip.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    The rod is stiff.

Conclusion.

As it seems, this rod will allow you to get started as soon as you get it. The rod is lightweight and easy to control. In addition to this, the reel is durable and will last even if you use it in harsh conditions. The snake guides will allow a fast operation and retrieval. It’s very unlikely that you will break a sweat with this model. However, due to the fact that the rod is described as stiff and sometimes it can break under a lot of pressure. Nonetheless, some people may argue that it depends on your experience whether the rod breaks. Thus, we rate this model a 3.5 out of 5.


7. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod.

If you’re someone that is looking to purchase a fly rod that will provide you with a high-quality grip, you should consider this product. The rod has been designed with a mixture of carbon fiber. In fact, it has 5 layers of carbon in order to enhance the strength by 20%. This is much better than many of its competitors.

It features a fast action so you can use it in a variety of waters. You can choose between a range of weights so you can use it in different conditions.

The best thing about it is that you have a lifetime warranty.

Best Features:

1, Cork Handle.

If you want to have a successful fishing trip, you need to have a comfortable handle. This cork handle is rated as AA+. This rating is one of the best and not many competitors can boast of this feature. If you have large hands, it will fit comfortably in your hands.

2, Strength.

This model is very unlikely to break at the tip or in half. Therefore, you will not be limited to just one type of fish species. You will thoroughly like the fact that you do not have to send it back to the company constantly for them to fix it.

Pros

  • The rings are suitable to be used in saltwater.
  • Generous warranty period.
  • Wide variety of rod weights available.

Cons

  • Some people claim that it lacks sensitivity.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    The cast is too short.

Conclusion.

This fly rod is undoubtedly one of the best on the market. The product is so great that you can submerge it in salt water and it will not catch rust. The handle will not give you hand fatigue and you can hold it for many hours. The warranty period is very long. This shows that the brand stands strong with their product. However, it has been claimed that the rod lacks sensitivity so you cannot take proper control of the fish. Thus, we rate this model a 4.5 out of 5.


8. Piscifun Sword Graphite Fly Fishing Rod.

The ceramic stripping guides inserts and the chrome guides provides smooth gliding. The graphite rod ensures accuracy and high performance. The cork handle has a rating of AAA which means that they are very responsive. The double lock rings where the reel will be positioned feel very sturdy.

The overall durability ensures that you will be able to use it in a range of conditions and for many years. Very easy to align due to guiding dots. The 4-pieces will come in a PVC rod tube and each piece has its own compartment.

Best Features:

1, Variety.

This model is available in a diverse range of weights. This means that you can use it for a wide variety of fish species and waters. You have the freedom to choose between freshwater, saltwater, and small streams.

2, Material.

The product has been made from different materials to provide durability. You will find that the rod is made from graphite, the reel seat is made from aluminum and the tube is made from PVC.

Pros

  • Cork handle has a rating of AAA.
  • Suitable for beginners.
  • The grip can handle the heavy weight.

Cons

  • The tip is prone to breaking.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    Some find it as heavy.

Conclusion.

Taking all of this into consideration you will find that it will provide a successful fly fishing trip. It’s suitable for beginners because it has dots which will guide you towards positioning it correctly. The grip is full-wells which means that the grip will handle a heavyweight. You can easily take control so you have a fast casting. However, some people find it heavy. Therefore, we rate this model a 4.4 out of 5.


9. Eagle Claw Featherlight 3/4 Line Weight Fly Rod.

This Fly rod has been recently upgraded. It has a much faster action than the previous models. It has been made from a mixture of graphite and fiber. You can use it in harsh conditions and the rod will still last. Therefore, its functionality is impressive. The guides are functional and the guides will help you with a smooth operation.

Just like the top-notch models, you will find that this model also comes designed with snake guides. The greatest thing about this is the fact that you can use it for a variety of fish species. Even though it’s lightweight, it will not let you down.

Best Features:

1, Guides.

These have been made from heavy grade metal. If you’re looking for a reliable model that will last for years, you should consider this product. The material is corrosion-resistant, so you do not have to worry about it catching rust when you use it in saltwater.

2, Cork Handle.

If you want an efficient and comfortable model, you should consider this item. The cork handle will allow you to take full control of the rod whenever you are dealing with a large fish.

Pros

  • The rod comes as a 2-piece.
  • It has been quality tested.
  • It has stainless-steel guides.

Cons

  • Some only purchase it as it looks trendy.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    The customer service isn’t great.

Conclusion.

If you are not looking for anything fancy or any other unnecessary accessories, you should thoroughly consider this fly rod. It comes as a 2-piece and the guides are made from stainless-steel. The material will not catch rust. Before the product has been placed on the market, it has been quality tested and continuously upgraded. However, when you have a concern or a question to ask the company, the customer service isn’t great. Therefore, we rate this model a 4.2 out of 5.


10. Wakeman Charter Series Fly Fishing Combo with Carry Bag.

If you're going to take fishing more serious, this fly fishing set is a good starter kit for beginners. It comes with a fish line. This fish line is known to be a leader in the niche. The only thing it does not come with is the backing, you will have to buy your own backing depending on what stuff you get with you. The rod itself comes as a 3-piece rod made from carbon fiber with a secure grip handle. The rod is not too heavy and it is very easy to hold. This model also comes with a little carrying case which is easy to pack around.

Best Features:

1, Material.

This is one of the main features of this product. Made from carbon fiber, this means that you can take full control when casting large species of fish. If you’re someone that is looking for durability, you should thoroughly consider this model.

2, Combo.

For a small amount of money you get the solid rod and a reliable reel. Thus, if you’re a beginner, this model is suitable for you as well.

Pros

  • It comes as a 3-piece.
  • It provides a comfortable grip.
  • Easy for beginners to use.

Cons

  • The tip is prone to break.
  • Exclamation Triangle
    The rod is stiff.

Conclusion.

In conclusion, this set of knives is excellent for those that love the outdoors. They are very convenient because you can see them in the dark and they provide excellent grip even when your hands are wet. However, the fact that the tip may need extra grinding isn’t ideal. Especially if some people do not have the right tools to do that. For this reason, we rate this model a 4 out of 5.


Final Verdict.

We believe that the information provided above is the most relevant, accurate and latest to assist you in make a better purchase decision. However if your still a bit shaky in taking that decision here are the best fly rod combos we have sorted out for you.

Why combos?

Because just like fly rods choosing the best fly reels and fly lines that cloud complement your rod is an uphill task. And in combos companies make this task easier for you by pre-selecting the related equipment to provide you the best combination. Apart from this in combos you usually get a lucrative discount and free accessories which typically are not offered in individual purchases.

And based on it this is what we come up with;

Thanks for staying till here, for further reviews and any questions regarding fishing equipment please comment below,

Cheers.

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