Selecting A Fly Rod


What weight for trout        Reel cases

If you have reviewed other chapters in this text, you have likely encountered the basic premise from which we make most decisions relating to fly fishing: what are you going to be fishing for?

It is with this question you should start when thinking about buying a fly rod.  Species specific rods

This section describes several key factors to consider in the decision-making process.  It is designed to quantify the specific kind of fly fishing situations under which you will ask your fly rod to perform.

Ask yourself these questions:

Consider these factors:

"What specific fish do I intend to fish for most often with this fly rod?" break down your analysis by "category" of species: "panfish" (bluegill, sunfish, etc.); "bass" (largemouth, smallmouth, etc.); "trout" (brown, brook, rainbow), etc.
"Will there be other fish I want to catch with this rod other than my primary species?" generally speaking, it is possible to use a heavier-weight rod to fish for species smaller than that for which the rod is "rated"; conversely, it is not practical to use a lighter-weight rod for fish significantly larger than the category of fish for which the rod is "rated"
multiple line weights most fly rods are able to handle one line weight both lighter/smaller & heavier/larger than the line for which the rod is rated; e.g., a "6 weight rod" (designed for a 6 wt. line) can also be used with a #5 wt. & #7 wt. lines
"Where will I be doing the majority of my fly fishing with this fly rod?"  in "Moving water?" . . . or, will you fish in running water? (creeks, streams, rivers); these waters generally require frequent, quicker casting where a shorter may be better than a longer one
" . . . in "still water?" or will you be fishing "still water"? (ponds, lakes, reservoirs); here, where slower, more delicate and generally longer casts are needed, a longer rod would likely be a better choice
"Will I be casting this rod in confined or restricted conditions?" . . . or, if you fish in tree or brush-lined streams (where your backcast is restricted), it is much easier with a shorter rod than a longer one that catches on everything
". . . will I be fishing out in the open?" such as saltwater, lakes, etc.; casting in wide open areas (with no casting obstacles) is made for longer rods, longer casts and more power
"Will my fly fishing be mostly with floating dry flies?" . . . or, flies imitating surface insects require the most delicacy you can muster; casting speed and distance are not as critical, and may be a negative in the some situations;
". . . will I be fishing with sinking, subsurface flies?"

sinking flies, and sinking fly lines, require a more "brutish" rod that should be stiffer, have more "backbone", enabling you to lift the submerged line/leader/fly from under the water

"Will I be using big, "bushy" flies?" larger flies (say, size #4 & larger) need more energy to deliver/cast them because they are heavier and more wind resistant; this requires larger/heavier line weights which in turn calls for larger/heavier rods

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