Fishing with a fly is a very fun and effective way to catch most game fish. If you are just starting out, it can seem a little intimidating. There are so many flies, lines, and other equipment to choose from. The most basic component of any successful angler is the rod once you find the fish. If you are new to the sport, you probably want to choose a rod that you can use for years and catch everything on in the meantime.
You likely want to make a one-time investment that will pay off in the long-term. The best fly fishing rods for beginners are ones that are easy to use, durable, and most importantly, effective at fighting fish. There are a few different things to look for before you consider getting one. They can be used to catch freshwater as well as saltwater fish and those who have not used one before are looking for an easy way to get started. Before you grab your first one, consider a few things that may help first.
How To Select A Fly Rod Correctly
Consider What To Fish For – The very first set of criteria is to determine what species as well as the size of fish you will be fishing for. The answer to this question really does matter. It will be very hard to catch panfish on a setup designed for huge bass. You also don’t want you to use a freshwater rig in the ocean. You should consider where you fish the most and base your decision around that.
Price – One of the most important factors of Rod selection is the price. If an item is too expensive for your budget, you should consider a lower-priced option. Prices can vary drastically between brands and companies depending on factors like craftsmanship, materials, and other things. Don’t ever try to justify high prices if you know you cannot afford it. Rather, go after lower ticket rods and reels. For fly fishermen, more expensive is not always better. Consider cheaper options just as much. You don’t need a $500 trout setup to catch trout effectively. What matters in a rod is always a personal decision.
Length/Action – While two separate categories, the length is important to make long casts and it also plays a role in how well it targets fish. The action is basically the rod’s flexibility and where it bends. This is essential on fighting big catches and both factors play a role together in every setup. This should change based on what you are trying to catch and what lures you throw.
1. Maxxon TimberHawk Fly Rod & Reel Combo
The Maxxon TimberHawk combo is the best beginner rod we have found yet. It even works great for veteran anglers. It features a 33 million modulus blank that is of superb quality. It is durable yet sensitive. The blank is made up of four pieces which makes traveling with it a breeze. It comes equipped with a hook keeper.
This will allow you to store it completely rigged. It has stainless steel snake guides that allow the line to slide through easily without damage. The handle is made out of cork which is extremely sensitive.
Cork allows you to feel every bite as you hold it. it has lightweight aluminum dual uplocking rings. It has an aluminum pipe reel seat which is corrosion resistant and very durable. It will last a lifetime. The paint job on the road itself is lovely. The blank is dark blue with a gloss coat over the top and slate blue-gray wraps to finish. It has a graphite “Hawk” reel which is extremely great on its own. It comes in a length of nine feet which is versatile pretty much everywhere. It comes in models that are medium action as well as medium-fast action. It even comes with its own dark blue segmented rod sleeve.
We love the price too. For only $120, you get a rod and reel combo that comes with a lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects. While that may seem like a very steep price point too many people, the value for what you get is incredible. It is a professional combo that comes in its own carrying case and can be used for pretty much any species that you would like to use it for. We love this combo a lot.
2. Maxxon Stonefly Rod And Reel Combo
The Maxxon Stonefly rod And reel combo is an awesome setup for most species when looking for something tough yet budget-friendly. It features a stonefly blank that is made from very high-quality graphite. Graphite is the best rod material.
The blank separates into 4 pieces and it could not be easier to transport or take with you. The guides are something special. The guides are very smooth. Cork is the material used on the body’s handle.
This makes for a very sensitive and comfortable grip on the blank. The reel seat is made out of very tough aluminum so it can properly seat your reel. As far as color and paint, it is pretty basic. Solid gloss black on the entire blank as well as the line guide wraps with its branding in a silver color above the reel. Included is an aluminum “Talon” diecast reel which is made of corrosive resistant aluminum.
Aluminum reels are the golden standard for fly reels because they hold up to abuse and do not corrode. It already comes pre-spooled with line too. The lengths available vary from eight feet and six inches to nine feet choices. The Stonefly comes in three available actions. Slow, medium and medium-fast actions are the ones available. It also disassembles for easy use after you store in the very soft-lined, segmented Cordura travel case. The price is also really good for what you get. It is only $189.95 for absolutely everything. You can catch pretty much everything on it. Trout, bass, you name it.
3. Maxxon Passage Rod & Reel Combo
Although Maxxon Outfitters appears on this list a few times, it is for a great reason. The Passage combo is an absolute pleasure to have with you. The blank is made out of extremely sensitive graphite that transmits every bite to the angler’s fingertips.
It is a very portable product too. In fact, the entire design is centered around being very easy to travel with. Instead of the traditional four, it comes with an astonishing six different parts. Say bye to clutter.
As you can imagine, this makes for a tiny package of convenience. The line guides are pretty nice. Very smooth and very reactive to bites. The cork handle lets you be in tune with your fly as you retrieve and in tune with bites when they happen. The reel seat is made out of high-quality aluminum which will last forever. The paint job is interesting and a little out of the ordinary. It is actually tan with green wraps around the line guides. It is almost the same color as the cork handle. It’s actually very nice looking.
There is an included aluminum diecast “Raven” reel made specifically for this outfit. The Passage combo comes in one length. This model is eight feet long. There is also only one action. It is in the moderate action class. The travel case it comes with is also very nice. The case comes with a paracord handle and it is pretty small in size at only nineteen inches. The case color is deep forest green. The Passage is a little more expensive than other choices at $219.95. Still, we think it is worth the steeper price point because of how portable and effective it is. That is actually a great value for everything.
4. NuCast Blue Crush And Reef 8+ Combo
The NuCast Blue Crush and Reef combo are only for the beginner angler who is sure that they will be doing a lot of fishing after they learn the basics. While the setup is very high quality, it is also intimidating for the beginning angler.
Those who will not learn to use it much later will make a poor investment. It is more for that advanced stage of entry-level equipment. It is designed exclusively for surgical precision casting and distance in both freshwater and saltwater.
The blank is made out of some of the best graphite money can buy. This provides unmatched sensitivity and performance. The Blue Crush comes in four pieces. The chrome snake guides are excellent and some of the best. The handle is made out of some of the best grade cork out there. This translates to incredibly sensitivity and contact with the lure and to the fish. The reel seat is made of very heavy-duty aluminum and it even locks in place for security.
The paint job on the body is absolutely incredible regardless of what your favorite color is. Saltwater anglers will be especially pleased with it. It shares the same deep ocean blue that all of us anglers have come to know and love. It is even adorne$179d with a water pattern in silver near the reel seat! The reel is a Blue Crush reel which is incredibly good. It is made out of saltwater resistant aluminum. It even has its own royal blue travel case to store it. Although it is awesome, it is extremely expensive. It is $599 so it is certainly not for everyone. No amount of features could justify such a price tag to many people.
5. NuCast Smokin Hot Rod
If you are in the market for a great rod for pond or stream fishing but already have a reel in your possession, you cannot go wrong with the NuCast Smokin Hot Rod. No, it doesn’t come with a reel but some anglers may not want one either.
This could be because they already have one or because they will get another one soon. This particular blank is unique because it does not use graphite of any kind. No graphite to be seen.
Instead, it offers a high modulus carbon fiber. That makes it extremely tough. It is not as sensitive as graphite but still very, very, sensitive. Also, carbon fiber is more durable than graphite so it holds up better to abuse. This makes it much better for pond fishing or targeting streams, creeks, and rivers. It is a four-piece model. The guides on it are made from pure stainless steel and are aluminum oxidized to provide superior damage resistance. It uses an excellent cork for the handle which is nothing short of incredible. The real seat is an anodized aluminum cutaway design with a woven green carbon insert.
The paint job is an olive green with a translucent finish and the NuCast logo is present in gold print. Again, this does not come with a reel. It is for anglers who already have a reel to put on it. NuCast Smokin Hot Rods are nine feet long and are always in the medium-fast action class. They ship in a protective rod sock. A strong polyurethane rod tube covered with a green olive oxford cloth is what accompanies the product. The NuCast logo is on both. Pricing varies slightly depending on what weight you get. It starts at $159 and goes up to $179. We consider it to be a great value for a great product.
In Summary – There Is Not Just One Best Fly Rod
When someone asks what the best fly fishing rods for beginners are, the appropriate answer is that there is no best rod. It is just what works best for you. What works best for you may not work the best for other anglers. Factors like price, materials, actions, reels, and many other things come into play. The list goes on almost indefinitely. One thing is for sure though. Fly fishing is one of the greatest sports in the world and it starts with getting a good rod. Regardless of what you decide to choose, always understand that you can be successful if you chase success hard enough.
Do you agree with our list? Leave a comment below so we can hear your favorites!