Which fly rod should I buy?
Flyfishing - Which fly rod should I Buy?
All beginnings are difficult. That’s the way it is with every hobby you want to start. Be it a hobby like hunting, road biking or even skiing or snowboarding. The question always arises, what do I need? For example, which rifle do I need when practicing hunting? Which bike is best for me? Do I need special ski gloves when skiing?
In terms of fly fishing, I think it’s fair to say that next to the flies, the fly rod is the centerpiece of any fly fishing equipment. The decision as to which rod to buy is, in my opinion, an extremely difficult one. On the market you can find countless rods from different manufacturers, in different colors and price segments. A decision that is not well thought out can end annoyingly after the purchase, because as a newcomer to this hobby, the wealth of experience that you can otherwise fall back on is not yet particularly developed.
The following article will try to shed some light on the darkness and help you in your decision making.
If the budget plays a role in your decision-making, it is important to come up with a price range. It is worth mentioning that you can find in all price segments. You can buy a fly rod for as little as 50€ and there is no upper price limit. From 50 € to say and write 3000 € for special rods, mostly made of bamboo, the market gives everything. It should also be noted that the purchase of a fly rod is only one of many essential purchases to practice the hobby of fly fishing. The rod should make up a quarter of your budget. The rest should be spent on things like waders, fly reel, fly lines, imitation flies and minor necessities.
Once the budget for the rod is decided, nothing stands in the way of browsing for rods in stores or even online. But there are other questions that arise.
The type of Rod
Fly fishing, a very old sport, which was driven to perfection in England, has its roots in antiquity. At that time, a “fly rod” was often understood to be a willow or hazelnut stick with one or more horsehairs as a “fishing line”, to which an imitation fly was attached.
Over the centuries, this rather rudimentary “fly fishing” changed into a high-tech sport. The willow rod has been replaced by carbon fiber and fiberglass. Rarely you still see the one or other bamboo rod in use.
Fiberglass rods are also rather exotic these days and are used less and less.
The stuff most fly fishing dreams are made of is usually carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber has the advantage that it is extremely light and flexible, can be mass produced and is cost-efficient. A fly rod for beginners is usually made of carbon fiber. If you want an “exotic” you can of course also reach for fiberglass and if you are looking for a “back-to-the-roots” experience you choose the bamboo rod.
However, as already mentioned, the most common is to reach for the carbon fiber rod.
If you have now selected the appropriate rod type, the next step is to choose the rod action that suits you.
The action of the rod
Fly rods have different actions. A distinction is made between the tip action, the progressive action and the slow action. There are therefore “fast” (tip action), “medium-fast” (also: semi-parabolic) and “slow” (also: parabolic) fly rods.
When buying a rod online, the action of the rod is usually in the description. When buying in a trusted fishing store, the seller knows about the action of the rod.
Now to find out which action of the rod suits you, you need to clarify other parameters.
Where to fish and what is my target fish?
The most important criterion when buying a fly rod is where you will ultimately fish and which target fish you are aiming for. This can be derived a lot, which is essential for the purchase!
The “where” and the “what” in this case are to be considered symbiotically:
-Salmonids on the stream/small river
If I fish in a stream or a small river preferably on salmonids, it is recommended to fish a rather shorter rod. One speaks of a brook rod predominantly with a length of 8 feet. The shorter rod makes it possible to cast without hangers and to present the fly.
If I fish on the river for salmonids such as grayling, brown trout or rainbow trout , a rod with a length of 9-10 feet can generally be recommended. However, when fishing for salmon on the river, a rod of 14 feet is recommended.
It is important to once again address the “where”: For example, if you live in a region with a lot of wind or you fish on the coast, it is advisable to resort to a “fast” rod with tip action. This allows you to cast tight loops even in headwinds.
If fishing on different water systems, here’s a little tip at this point: A rod of line class 6 in 9 feet is a real all-round weapon. Here, however, another term emerges with a need for clarification: The line class.
Which line class for which fish
So what is the line class and for which fish do I need which line class?
Very simple: The line class designates the weight of the first 9 meters of the fly line. The designation of the line class can be found on the fly rod above the handle, this is usually behind a diamond (#). So if you buy a rod of class #5 you need a line of class #5.
But which line class is suitable for which fish? This is also quite simple: for fishing for trout and grayling class #4 and #5 is recommended. For fishing for sea trout the class #6 and #7 is recommended. If you want to fish for pike or carp use classes #7 and #8. For salmon use classes #8, #9 and #10.
Conclusion: As you can see, there are many factors to consider, so the purchase of a fly rod should be well thought out. In addition, you want to enjoy the good piece for quite a while. From an impulse purchase or the purchase of a fly rod because of its paint or color, is therefore not advisable. Although I must admit, the eye sometimes also fishes 😉.
I hope this article could answer some questions about buying a fly rod and will be useful to you when buying. Petri Heil and have fun on the water wishes the Flyfishingcrew Bavaria!