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Fly Fishing Rods

No matter what the job, the right tool makes all the difference. At Golden Fly Shop, we stock a wide variety of fishing rods to match your fishing style, fishing environment and your unique desires. Find the rod action, weight, length, materials, grip style and price that fits your needs! We stock the latest and greatest from trusted brands like G.Loomis, Douglas, Winston, HardySage and Orvis.

Check out our Selection Guide Below.

Fly Fishing Rods Guide

Most anglers would agree that the rod is the most important tool when it comes to fly fishing. Without it, we simply could not fish. It can be daunting when it comes to finding the right rod, but we are here to help. Golden Fly Shop strives to provide the best rod options from the best brands. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to fly rods; it really comes down to what makes you happy. Selecting a rod isn’t always an easy process, but it should be a fun one. Our guide is here to help keep it that way.

How to Choose a Fly Fishing Rod

Before ever buying a rod, we recommend going to your local shop and casting the rods you're interested in before making a purchase. Fly rod companies make rods for anyone, but not everyone. Each rod has its own nuances and cadences, so it’s good to actually try casting different brands, lengths, and actions to find the one that best suits your casting and fishing style.

If you don’t have the option to go cast rods in a local shop, we have all the information you need to help find a rod. When it comes to choosing a fishing rod, whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there are a few things to consider that can help you make the best choice.

What Makes a Good Fly Rod?

Rod Materials

The majority of fly rods are built with graphite, although other common options are fiberglass and bamboo. R.L. Winston has used boron as a graphite substitute in the past. It’s important to note that not all graphite is the same. The graphite in a $200 rod is going to be much heavier and weaker and will not cast as far or accurately as a more expensive rod. Additionally, rods with lower-end graphite are going to have poorer tracking. Tracking is the fluctuation of the rod tip throughout the cast and where the line will inevitably follow. Rods with poor tracking will not cast accurately, no matter how good of a caster you are. Remember that the more you spend on a rod, the better the graphite. the better the graphite, the better the rod performs.

Rod Weight

It’s important to find a weight of rod that will fit your specific fishing needs. The weight of the rod is a number that determines the rod's power and the amount of grains required in a fly line for it to load properly. Weights of fly rods will range from 2-14 weight, and that means the lower the number, the lighter the fly line.

For general trout fishing, we recommend a 4wt, 5wt, or 6wt rod. These rods can handle most of the situations thrown at you when trout fishing. The 4wt is best for delicate presentations and generally smaller fish. The 5wt is considered the best do-it-all rod, whereas a 6wt is better for bigger fish and flies. However, none of these rods would be a bad choice; just refine the exact weight for where you live and the types of fishing you will be doing.

When fishing in freshwater, it’s generally best to match your rod’s weight with the type of fishing you’ll be doing. For saltwater fishing, it’s more appropriate to match the rod’s weight to the size of the fish you’re targeting, and most would recommend an 8wt or 9wt as a do-all saltwater rod.

For example, where a heavier weight is needed, such as catching musky or migratory tarpon, an 11wt or 12wt rod is an appropriate rod for both. A rod of this size is required to effectively fight a migratory tarpon, but that much rod power is overkill for musky. However, this size of rod is still okay for musky fishing because of its ability to cast incredibly heavy sinking lines and 12-15-inch flies.

You should also match your fly line weight to your rod weight. We carry a good selection of fly lines that will match up to what you need.

Rod Length

What is the best length for a fly fishing rod? Rods lengths vary from short 6 feet rods to very long rods that can be 12 to 14 feet. The best length will really depend on where and what you are fishing for, as both short and long rods have their pros and cons. Shorter rods are great for catching smaller fish or fishing in streams. While longer rods are better for longer casts and fishing in windier situations. The most popular and most recommended rod length is a 9-foot rod because it has the best balance and maintains accuracy.

Rod Action

The rod action simply means how flexible the fly rod is. There are three types of action: fast, medium, and slow. Why is the action important? The rod’s action and flex are important because they will directly affect how the rod feels and the presentation of your fly.

There are many unique actions and casting tolerances in the rod market, but when first looking, it’s best to make your first criteria list with the general action. Most anglers prefer a medium-fast action because this universal action allows you to be versatile on the water regardless of conditions. However, If you fish in windier places or have a faster casting stroke, you would likely prefer a fast action rod. At the same time, anglers who are used to classical tapers would much prefer a slow or medium-action rod.

What Fly Rod Do We Recommend?

Golden Fly Shop carries numerous high-quality rod companies, including Sage, Hardy, Orvis, G. Loomis, R.L. Winston, Scott, Douglas, Redington, and Lamson. We carry this many companies to ensure we have the proper rod that meets your criteria. Below are some of our recommendations to get you started, but if you have questions or just aren’t sure, we would love to talk to you and help you find the right rod for you.

Best Selling Rods:

Sage R8 Core
R.L. Winston Air 2
Orvis Recon

Saltwater Rods:
G. Loomis Asquith
Scott Sector
Sage Salt R8

Freshwater Rods:
Hardy Marksman
Scott Centric
R.L. Winston Pure

Beginner Rods:
Orvis Clearwater
Lamson Guru
Redington Crux

ALL RODS* ship in the US with FREE SHIPPING.

*One and two-piece rods have additional shipping charges due to the size of the box.

Need more help choosing a Fly Fishing Rod?

Talk to the Experts at Golden Fly Shop for personalized recommendations.


Need more help choosing a Fly Fishing Rod?

Need more help choosing a Fly Fishing Rod?

Talk to the Experts at Golden Fly Shop for personalized recommendations.


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