Fly Fishing Gear - Fly Rods

Choosing a Fly Rod:
By now it should become quite clear that you should choose a fly rod that can best cast
a specific line size that best delivers the certain size range of flies used to catch the
species of fish that you are interested in.

Now we realize that we have yet to cover the size and type of flies that work best for the
various species of fresh water fish and it is, in a way,  premature for us to infer that you
should, at this point in the program, be able to select a fly rod that works best for you and
the particular fishing adventures you pursue. However, it is very important for you to
understand the principles involved in choosing a fly rod.

After you have determined the size and type of flies that you want the rod to cast and
you have chosen a fly line size that best cast them, these are some of the important
things that you will need to consider.

First, decide on the action of the fly rod. Remember, moderate to slow action rods are
better suited to those that don’t need to throw a long line, or for the beginning angler
because they are more forgiving in nature and tend to hide casting errors better than the
fast action rods. They are also great for casting fine tippets because the extra flex
protects the fine tippets from breaking.

After you have decided on the action, you may want to consider the type of material the
fly rod should be made of. To make it simple for you, choose a graphite rod. There is
absolutely nothing wrong with choosing a fine bamboo fly rod if you have a reason to do
so.  It is more of a personal matter, however, certainly not a matter of pure technical or
practical choice and not a subject for us to deal with in depth here.

Next, consider the length of the rod. Since you have already decided on a rod that cast
a certain line size, the range of lengths that are available to do this has already been
somewhat decided. You cannot intelligently choose a seven-foot rod length to deliver a
twelve-weight line, for example. Within the range of lengths available for a rod that
handles a certain line weight, select one best suiting the conditions of the water that you
intend to fish. Choose shorter rods for small streams and heavy cover and longer rods
for large, more open areas or where longer cast are required.

Given a choice of a two, three or four piece rod that fits all other criteria, select the two-
piece rod unless you have travel or storage situations that dictate a shorter rod case.
The number of ferrules may somewhat affect the action of the rod, although some
manufacturers claim theirs don’t. To be safe, less ferrules would be the preferred choice.  
Another important consideration is the manufacturer’s guarantee or warranty. If you
should break this rod, for example, within twenty-five years of the date it was purchased,
the manufacturer will replace it free of charge.

One more point to remember, is that a small fly can be cast on a larger line, but is
difficult to cast a larger fly on a light line. Given only one choice, always match the rod
size to the largest fly that you intend to cast.
Copyright 2013 James Marsh
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