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Choosing the Right Fly Rod Size, Length, Number of Sections and Action

The fly rod is the angler's primary tool. Other than the fly, it's the most important part of your
fly fishing outfit. To become a master at fly fishing, it's essential that you maximize your
performance casting and presenting the fly. Other than your own skills and ability, the fly rod
plays the most important role in accomplishing that.

There are three things the rod must do well in order to be a good fly rod. It must cast, set the
hook and fight the fish. At the same time, it should do each of these three things in a manner
that provides the highest degree of pleasure to the angler.

Fly Rod Size (Line Weight Size)
Some anglers think the size of the fly rod should be determined solely by the size of the fish
you plan on catching. While it's generally true that both the weight of a fly line and size of the
fly rod should be proportionate to the size of the fish you're after, more importantly, it must be
able to cast the size and type of flies you need to use to catch the fish you are after. If you
are fishing for small fish, the best fly line size is most likely the one that allows you to present
small flies accurately. If you are after large fish, you may need a heavier fly line to turn over
larger flies on long cast, even in windy conditions. Once you determine the species and size
of fish you want to be able to catch, you should determine the size and type of flies you need
to use. When that's done, the next step should be to choose the size of fly line that best
presents those flies. Finally, you should choose the rod that best cast that particular size fly

To summarize, the size of the rod is determined by the size of the line that's required to
properly cast the correct size of the fly necessary for the fish you pursue.  

By the way, the most versatile fly line for freshwater fishing is a five weight. It will cast a large
variety of flies that are commonly used for the majority of the species of freshwater fish.
That's why we chose to manufacturer five weight rods prior to other sizes.

Fly Rod Length
The type of fishing and the type of water determines the best fly rod length. In the case of
small streams, anglers tend to disagree. Many contend that since small streams usually
means tighter casting situations shorter fly rods are better. Others will quickly tell you that a
long rod can offer some big advantages on a small stream. It will reach farther, control the
line better and make better roll cast. The shorter rods are more manageable, but they won't
perform as well, even in small streams.

When it comes to fishing big Western rivers or saltwater, there isn't much question about the
length. You need a longer rod. It will increase your casting distance. Steelhead and salmon
anglers prefer longer rods where roll cast and large mends are easier to make.

The best all around fly rod length for the great majority of fly fishing needs is nine-foot. It's
not only the most popular selling length of fly rods, it's the most versatile length. Generally
speaking, a nine-foot rod is ideal for the vast majority of fishing situations.

Fly Rod Action
The action of a fly rod is determined by where the rod flexes. A "slow action" rod flexes near
the butt of the fly rod. A fast action rod flexes near the tip. A "medium action" rod flexes  
somewhere in between the fast and the slow action rods, usually near the middle of the fly
rod. There isn't any set standard manufacturers use.

The action of a fly rod determines how well the rod will generate line speed. Line speed
determines how quick the loop travels away from the rod tip. A fast action rod requires less
effort to cast farther than a medium or slow action rod. It also cast more accurately.  

Many think beginners should start out with a lower priced fly rod. That's can be a big mistake.
There isn't any sense in anyone learning to cast a poor performing rod. Some anglers will tell
you that you should start with a slow action where you can feel the line better; however, in
most cases it's much easier for a beginner to cast farther and more accurately with a fast
action fly rod.

Number of Fly Rod Sections
If it was convenient to carry around and stow a one piece fly rod, rods wouldn't need to come
in sections. Two piece fly rods are convenient to carry around in most large vehicles but are
not so easy to carry on long hikes or on the airlines. We chose to make our first fly rods in
four pieces simply because they would work well under any of these conditions. It cost a little
more to make more sections and it takes a few more seconds to assemble, but you can use
the four piece fly rod anywhere you want to fish and however you need to travel to get there.
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