Best Fly Fishing Rods of 2020: Complete Reviews with Comparisons
As one of the oldest fishing techniques, fly fishing has been used for catching various fish for millennia. Of course, the technique has improved over time, along with the equipment, but it’s still among the most exciting angling techniques out there.
Since it differs from all other techniques, you need to find the right equipment. If you’re not familiar with what this means, here you’ll see some of the best fly rods that money can buy. So without further ado, let’s dig into the reviews.
Fly Rods Reviews
1. Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod
The Toccoa fly rod offers pretty much everything an angler needs to perfect this technique. Aside from a few shortcomings, it’s good enough to satisfy the needs of average and more experienced anglers.
This 4-piece rod is made of IM8 graphite for durability and high flexibility. However, this is also its main drawback. As much as fly fish rods should be flexible, some users might find this one too wobbly. This might be an issue especially for those that don’t have a lot of experience with this technique, as it can make the rod hard to handle.
Another thing that some users have encountered is the tip breaking, mostly due to the combination of high flexibility and lightweight material. However, this is rare, so it shouldn’t be that big of a problem to most users and is only mentioned in the interest of full disclosure. We’re talking about less than 1 percent rare.
It’s a fast-action rod that offers enough backbone to handle more aggressive fish while still providing for long casts. It’s good for windy conditions, although it might not be able to withstand long periods of heavy use especially if not handled properly.
It’s very easy to assemble, thanks to the alignment dots that lets you see how to properly line up the four sections. When not in use, it can be conveniently stored inside the included rod tube (made of Cordura). It features separate compartments for all pieces so they’ll be well-protected. There’s also a shoulder strap for convenient carrying.
Overall, it’s a very good rod that will make fly fishing as exciting as it should be. Keep in mind it’s more suitable for experienced anglers, as the issues as mentioned that might arise from mishandling the rod.
2. PLUSINNO Fly Rod Starter Package
This fishing rod and reel combo comes with a variety of features and extra equipment that will provide you with pretty much everything you need right out of the box. The quality is such that it can easily withstand regular use.
This is another 4-piece rod of the same IM8 graphite as many fly rods. It features stainless steel guides that are pretty well-made, so much so that you can use any type of line. This fly rod also comes with a pre-installed line which adds to the convenience and saves some prep time.
The diecast aluminum reel has a gear ratio of 1:1, and features a one-way roller bearing system. Unfortunately, the standard reel isn’t going to wow too many anglers. Some users find it cheaply constructed for the price of this fishing rod.
On the flipside, what adds a lot to the value is the additional equipment that comes with the purchase of this rod. There’s a 4.5″ x 3.2″ x 1.2″ fly box with 16 flies in it, as well as a sturdy case with a zipped pouch-like compartment for storing smaller items.
If the price was a bit lower, this would be a great rod for beginners. It offers everything you need to start learning the fly fishing technique, and the quality should be good enough for most newbies. Free stuff doesn’t grow on trees. You’re paying for the included accessories in this starter package. Take a look at the full review here.
3. Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
Eagle Claw is one of America’s oldest fishing equipment brand with a long tradition of making high-quality rods. The Featherlight continues this tradition. It offers surprisingly good performance in light of the very low price.
This is a 2-piece fly fishing rod that measures 6 ft. in length. It’s made of fiberglass that provides great longevity. The guides are stainless steel, which adds to the overall build quality and durability.
Design-wise, it’s not the sexiest-looking rod, so it’s easy to see that Eagle Claw focused more on functionality than style. The biggest issue with the design is that the paint might start to chip after some time. It’s not all bad though. A well-worn fishing rod can be as appealing as a well-worn acoustic guitar that your favorite artist has used for ages. Just saying.
The handle is a standard corked handle. Its quality seems to hold up even after heavy use. This is even better considering the affordable price. If you’re shopping on a budget, you may not have to look any further.
The rod offers the best value for money for those that are looking for a good deal. As long as you don’t expect a superlative performance, this rod shouldn’t disappoint you. It might even thrill and surprise you
4. Okuma Crisium Fly Rod
This is a kids’ fly rod that can withstand prolonged and rough use without problems. The quality is good for the price, and aside from a few functionality issues, it’s an excellent rod overall for the average user.
This 2-piece rod is made of lightweight graphite, making it great for various fly fishing conditions. It’s sturdy enough to survive more aggressive and heavier fish, while at the same time providing optimal flexibility.
It features a titanium oxide stripper guide and stainless steel snake guides. All the guides are very well-made so you shouldn’t encounter any durability issues.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the reel seat. Some users have complained about it wiggling around, so you might have to put in some effort to make it work.
Speaking of downsides, a few users have received broken parts in the mail. Okuma does have good customer service, so getting a new replacement shipped out immediately shouldn’t be that big of a hassle.
5. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Fly Rod
Last but certainly not the least, the M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme fly rod is definitely worth taking a look at. It features some of the most premium materials out there, so even the most demanding of users should be satisfied with it.
The Maxcatch Extreme is made of IM7 24T plus 30T carbon fiber. It features five mixed carbon layers, one of which is the Reinforced Muscle carbon that provides great strength. If you need a rod that will survive even the most extreme of conditions, this one shouldn’t disappoint.
The stripping guides feature the MaxSelect technology that makes them very durable, and the snake guides are made out of hardened stainless steel. The rod also features an oversized tip loop to provide for smooth casting.
The corked handle features a contoured design that provides a tight grip and great comfort. Long hours of use shouldn’t be exhausting and uncomfortable. The reel seat is high-density machined aluminum that is able to withstand salt water without issues.
This is a 4-piece rod, and its main drawback is that it might be quite hard to assemble. Some users, especially beginners, had quite a lot of issues trying to put it together. Needless to say, this might not be that big of a problem if you’re a pro. A slightly bigger issue is the price of this premium fly rod.
Each of these rods can be a good option for someone. They come with features that should satisfy the needs of anglers of all skill levels and preferences.
However, based on the overall quality and variety of features, the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa is the best fly fishing rod that you can buy right now. It covers the widest spectrum of needs that anglers of pretty much all skill levels have.
All in all, this is the one to get for an exciting fly fishing experience. It does come at a slightly high price, but look at it this way – you will get what you pay for and it’s not even close to the most expensive fly fishing rods, only that it performs like one.
For those shopping on a budget, the Eagle Claw fly fishing rod ought to do the trick.