Fly fishing rods – Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison
If you want to find the best fishing gear, but you don’t have time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best fly fishing rod. After analyzing a lot of feedback coming from both amateur and professional fishermen, we have concluded that the Eagle Claw Featherlight is the best because it was created and manufactured in the United States by a well known company with more than 85 years of experience in the industry. It is constructed from fiberglass so it is responsive, lightweight and durable, and the cork handle doesn’t add any extra weight and it is comfortable to grasp. The stainless steel guides are resistant to rust and corrosion, and they also make rigging a breeze even if it is your first time fly fishing. To ensure that it is easy and convenient to store and carry, it can be broken down into two pieces and quickly reassembled when you are ready to fish. If the Eagle Claw Featherlight is not available, you should consider the Okuma Crisium Graphite 2-Piece as it is a reliable alternative both in terms of performance and quality.
Our top choices
If you are looking for affordable fisherman’s gear, there is no better choice to turn to than Eagle Claw, a company with over 85 years of experience in making hooks for both seasoned and novice anglers. The Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod is no exception to the rule and it has managed to gather overwhelmingly positive reviews from anglers who have already tried it.
The Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod is made of high quality materials and it is produced in the US. Its pricing is competitive without sacrificing performance or quality and anglers praise the attention to detail employed on every product made by Eagle Claw.
The people working at Eagle Claw run their hooks through a series of field tests to make sure that passionate anglers get nothing but the best. This two piece fly fishing rod is made of fiberglass, so it maintains its weight low, making it easy to manipulate by anglers of younger ages and women. The guides are made of stainless steel, which is resistant to rust and also very durable. With just a small investment in a good quality fly fishing rod, you will be able to enjoy hours of fresh or saltwater fishing.
Fiberglass fly fishing rods are preferred to older models that were made of bamboo. While bamboo was used because it was lightweight, it also had the tendency to wear out quite fast. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is durable and sturdy, without adding weight to the fly fishing rod. It must be mentioned that this particular model has the handle made of cork, which, again, keeps the total weight of the model to a minimum.
Reviewers particularly praise the high performance this fly fishing rod offers for the money. The Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod casts fast and it is considered a quick action rod, so you will have plenty of fun with it. Another aspect noticed by reviewers is that the rod is painted yellow, so it looks like a classic bamboo rod.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($24.99)
Effortless casting and sturdy build are two of the most important advantages offered by this graphite fly fishing rod. Whether you are just a beginner learning how to fish for sport, or you are a seasoned angler on the lookout for a reliable fly rod, you will find the Okuma Crisium Graphite 2-Piece Fly Rod to be incredibly reliable, given the competitive price tag that comes attached to it. Every little piece making the construction of this fly fishing rod is made of high grade materials and it is intended to last for a long time.
The reel seat is made of rosewood and the guides are made of titanium oxide – for the stripper guide – and stainless steel for the snake guides. All in all, this is a high quality fly rod that will help you catch the fish you have always dreamed of being able to catch.
In regards to how fast this rod is, it falls in the medium/fast category, so you will have no issues casting. Plus, because it is so affordably priced, you will most probably see no issue with investing a little in your favorite pastime.
Many anglers who have already tried this fly rod appreciate its traditional build with half wells grip and high grade materials for the reel seat and snake guides. While you may have to be a bit patient with your stroke, your patience will be rewarded by how smooth this graphite fly rod casts. This two piece model is highly recommended to those who love fishing in smaller waters, where the distance of the cast is not that important. Another aspect mentioned by reviewers is that the Okuma Crisium Graphite 2-Piece Fly Rod is a great choice for catching bigger fish than what you might think possible with this lightweight rod.
As many other graphite rods, this one provides great sensitivity and consistent casting. However, it has to be mentioned that the model is sold for only a fraction of the price high end graphite fly rods usually demand.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($51.7)
Graphite fly fishing rods are known to be smooth casters, but many anglers can only dream about them, since they are usually pretty expensive. This manufacturer manages to keep costs low, and offers the Professional Series II of fly fishing rods for a competitive pricing. The model reviewed here is a medium fast rod, so, if you are looking for a quick cast, you may want to look elsewhere. In its category, the TFO Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Professional Series II Graphite Fly Fishing Rod is strong and reliable, and it also looks great.
Great care was invested in the making of this type of rod. Starting with its appearance, well complemented by black matte finishing and gold logos, and continuing with its anodized reel seats equipped with aluminum inserts, this fly fishing rod is geared towards those who really like fishing. Still, you do not have to be a seasoned angler to be able to enjoy the smooth casting of this medium fast rod. These rods are very forgiving and they are a good choice for anglers of all skill levels, so, even if you are a novice, you can take full advantage of the great characteristics of this model.
Many anglers prefer graphite rods because of the increased sensitivity they offer. If you are the kind of fisherman who likes ‘feeling’ the fish and react fast, you will find graphite fly fishing rods like this one, to be a great ally during your fishing adventures. Another great advantage offered by this high quality rod is the fact that it is very lightweight, even more than fiberglass models. When comparing graphite to fiberglass, it must be noted that graphite fly rods are more forgiving and a better choice for beginners.
If you are looking for a fly rod that will consistently cast, helping you enjoy your fishing travels to the maximum, the TFO Temple Fork Lefty Kreh Professional Series II Graphite Fly Fishing Rod is a recommended choice.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($169.95)
What is fly fishing?
Fly fishing is not all about catching flies. Rather, it is a type of fishing that uses an artificial ‘fly’ to capture fish. This nearly weightless fly or lure is cast via the fly rod and reel, along with a uniquely designed line that is weighted. Casting the fly alone requires not just owning the best fishing rods but also entails the use of casting techniques that are notably different from other casting methods.
Fly anglers utilize hand-tied flies that look like natural invertebrates. They can also use other food organisms or baits that entice the fish to bite.
Doable in both fresh and saltwater, fly fishing has been distinguished in North America through the species that is caught in the type of water it is done. For freshwater angling, freshwater fish like trout, salmon and steelhead are caught while bass is a common warm water catch. The less varied water temperatures in Britain only distinguish between catching game fish such as salmon and trout and coarse fishing for other fish species.
Habitat also makes a difference in the kind of techniques employed for fly fishing.
What distinguishes fly fishing from bait or spin fishing is how the hook is carried through the air by the weight of the line, unlike how the end of the braided or monofilament line carrying the weight of the sinker or lure delivers the casting distance when spin or bait fishing.
The prize of fly fishing
Fly fishing is a typical method of angling when aiming to catch salmon, trout and grayling, but is also a preferred fishing style for catching a wide range of species including carp, panfish, bass and pike, along with other marine species including striped bass, bonefish, tarpon, snook and redfish. One can easily catch rudd, bream and chub even when they’re primarily angling for trout. The fisher can readily catch plenty of different species with the fly. Thanks to the myriads of advancements in the manufacture of the best fly fishing rods and reels, the activity can easily land tuna, wahoo, sharks and marlin.
For all intents and purposes, any fish can be caught when fly fishing using a replica of the main food source as the fly and ensuring the use of the right gear.
Choosing the right fly fishing rod
It isn’t enough that one reads plenty of fly rod reviews. One has to be familiar with the essential aspects to consider in this type of gear.
From the original bamboo construction, fly fishing rods nowadays have been made of either graphite or fiberglass, which are not only easier to handle but also lighter than their predecessor. Fiberglass rods are perfect for most fly fishing conditions. Fiberglass is much tougher than graphite, which costs more but does provide more accurate casting.
The flexibility and stiffness of the rod is referred to as its action. It is also the level of speed at which the rod rebounds when pulled in a given direction. The size of the fish will dictate the amount of action required along with the necessary technique.
Slow action models
A slow-action fly fishing rod offers enough capability to reel in small lightweight fish. This type of rod offers the greatest level of bend, which isn’t something that beginners can easily control. For short-distance casting, a slow action fly fishing rod delivers the highest degree of accuracy.
Medium action models
A medium action fly fishing rod is easy to handle when you are a beginner. Offering more flexibility compared to other types of rods, a medium action fly fishing rod bends in the middle and at the tip, making it perfect for both short and long distance casting.
Fast action models
A fast action fly fishing rod offers stiffness by bending at the end and not really offering a lot of give. Perfect for long distance casting, fast-action rods are great for landing large fish despite not offering the same degree of accuracy as short-action rods. Beginners find them quite difficult to handle.
Shorter rods deliver less action due to their inability to provide more torque when casting and reeling. They are great for fishing in areas that restrict movement of a larger rod, such as those with bushes, trees or where the stream is quite small.
Beginners are better off with a rod long enough to deliver reliable casting distance while still being short enough for easy maneuverability in the water. A medium-length fly fishing rod between 8 and 9 feet long offers the strength, casting control and action usable in most fishing situations. It can handle more weight than a shorter rod. A large fly fishing rod is over 9 feet long and offers longer distance casting as well as landing big game fish, especially large saltwater fish. It can entail the use of both hands when fishing.
The fly lure or artificial fly serves as the bait for fly fishing. Typically, it is an image of natural food sources for the target fish species.
There are several types of flies and they include: dry; wet; nymph; emerger; streamer; terrestrial; pike and musky; bugs, poppers, bass and panfish; carp; salmon; steelhead and Pacific salmon; egg; flesh; saltwater; bonefish; tarpon; striped bass.
Fly Fishing – A Short History
The Roman Claudius Aelianus has been credited by many for having recorded first use of an artificial fly towards the end of the 2nd century. Observing Macedonian anglers on the Astraeus River, he chronicled how the fishermen had a hook around which they fastened red wool. The red wool was fitted with two wax-colored feathers sourced from a cock’s wattles. According to Aelianus, the rod the fishermen used measured six feet long, with the lines of identical length as well. The snare was thrown and it enticed the fish, which came straight for it due to how the pretty sight suggested a great deal of food to be enjoyed. Once the fish opened its mouth, it was hooked and caught effortlessly.
William Radcliff, who, in his book called Fishing from the Earliest Times, recounted how some two hundred years before the birth of Aelianus, Marcus Valerius Martialis had already written about deceiving flies serving as decoys to kill sparus, a Mediterranean parrotfish that was a prized dish on the ancient Roman dining tables.
In Japan, Tenkara is known as a traditional method of fly fishing. It served as a means for innkeepers and professional fishermen to catch local fish in the mountains of Japan. The typical catch consisted of char, trout and ayu, which were sold and given to guests during meals. The activity used a long rod that enabled positioning of the fly right where the fish were when fishing in small streams.
The historian Andrew Herd also recounts how ayu fishing was another fishing style used in Japan. Herd talks about how 12th century Japanese peasants spread the activity as a Bushi-status pastime that effectively trained the mind of the Bushi when not engaged in war. Primarily describing ayu fishing, the style used fly as bait, aside from longer rods. However, the activity involved no casting technique and was more similar to dapping, which is a fishing method where a baited hook is made to gently fall into the water.
After the English Civil War, the fishing method grew popular by leaps and bounds. Richard Franck was a civil war veteran who first described salmon fishing in Scotland and talked about engaging in practical angling using an artificial fly in trout and salmon catching. He was the first to name the freshwater food fish burbot and praised the salmon from the River Thames.
During the 18th century, the techniques developed during the previous century were consolidated together, with the appearance of running rings along fishing rods that delivered the needed control over the cast line. The rods became more elaborate and specialized for a variety of uses. From the middle of the century, jointed rods gained popularity and bamboo was used on the rod’s top segment to provide flexibility and more strength.
The commercialization of the industry was an eventuality, with haberdasher stores selling tackle and rods. The multiplying winch was invented by Onesimus, who went to market it.
The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the making of fly lines using novel textile machines that made the manufacture and sale of tapered lines the best alternative to the time-consuming and tedious process of twisting lines.
Fly fishing clubs emerged with the continuous development of British fly fishing, which also resulted in the production of a number of books on fly tying and fly fishing techniques.