Tips for choosing the right fly fishing rod

The right rod can make or break your fly fishing experience, so it’s important to choose a high quality product. Here we’ll share our top tips on how to choose the right rod, which will go on to be your ultimate fishing companion.

A carefully selected rod will make all the difference to your fly fishing experience.

Questions to ask before you start

Choosing the right fly fishing rod takes careful consideration, so before you head to the store or start searching online ask the following questions…

Firstly, where will you be using the rod?

The type of fly fishing rod you choose will depend on where you plan on fishing e.g. lakes, streams, rivers or saltwater.

What are you hoping to catch?

It’s a good idea to know what species of fish you intend to catch, as this can influence the type of fly fishing rod you buy.

How frequently will you be fishing and will you be travelling far?

Finally, you need to think about how often you will be heading out to fish. If you will be fishing on a regular basis, you will need something more durable than if you plan to only fish once in a blue moon. You also need to consider whether you’ll be travelling a lot, as this may influence your purchasing decision.

Fly fishing rod lengths and actions

Fly fishing rods are available in a number of different lengths and actions, which each being designed to suit different fishing situations. Shorter rods tend to be used for dry fly and nymph fishing on small rivers and still waters, whereas longer rods, which can take heavier weights, are ideal for bank and boat fishing.

In terms of a rods action, you will need to choose between slow action, medium action and fast action. Slow action rods are ideal for fly-fishing on smaller rivers and streams, which require short, accurate casts. Medium action rods are the most versatile and ideal for a wide range of fishing situations and fast action rods are best for achieving long distance and greater accuracy.

Fly fishing rods tend to be made from graphite and have a cork handle.

Fly fishing rod materials

Fly fishing rods can be made from a number of different materials; however the most popular is graphite. This material is extremely durable, yet lightweight, making it very user-friendly. Using a graphite fly fishing rod you will be able to benefit from a greater casting distance and accuracy.

You will also need to look carefully at the material used to make the fishing rod handle. Most fly fishing rod handles are made using cork. The higher quality of the cork, the longer it will last.

Travelling fly fishing rods

If you plan on doing a lot of travelling, then you might be wise to invest in a multi section fly fishing rod. These come in a number of parts, which you can connect together, making them more convenient to travel with. The fact they come in pieces makes no difference to their performance.

Setting your budget

Before choosing a fly fishing rod, it’s important to think about how much you are willing to spend. The higher quality the rod, the more expensive it will be, so you need to decide whether to go full price or look for a slightly cheaper rod.

A more expensive fishing rod will benefit from being lighter in weight and more responsive, allowing you to achieve more accurate casts. However, if you are new to fly fishing or only plan on going fishing every now and then, it’s probably not worth spending too much, until you know it’s definitely the sport for you.


When it comes to buying your first fly fishing rod, the key is not to let yourself get overwhelmed by choice. Spend time thinking carefully about what you actually need and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Follow our tips and you are sure to choose the right rod for your new fly fishing hobby.

Image credits: sfkjr and neoproton

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