Fly fishing is an easy and relaxing hobby and can be a very rewarding experience. Finding an opportunity to go fishing in a lazy stream, lake, or even on the open ocean has attracted millions of people, and with good reason. From panfish and brook trout all the way up to bass and more, fly fishing is an opportunity to catch all sorts of interesting fish.
If you are considering getting into this sport, you may be wondering how to find a good fly-fishing rod, and if you have to spend a lot of money to get it. Even a basic search for fly rods shows there is an overwhelming number of options out there. Fortunately, there are plenty of great fly rods out there for under $200. Read on to learn the basics of what you should look for.
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In Fly Fishing, The Action is Where to Start
Fly rods have different action ratings, which is a fancy way of saying they all have different flexibility levels. The more flexible it is, the slower the action. The different action levels have different pros and cons, so you should know what your comfort level is and what kind of fishing you are planning on doing.
Faster action rods are more rigid. This means you can get a stronger cast, and more experienced fishers will have finer control over where and how their line lands in the water. Medium action rods provide a good balance between different control levels and environments, and slow action rods are better for beginners.
In addition to your comfort level, consider where you are planning on fishing. If you are looking at wide open areas, then a faster action rod with a stronger cast may be best, if not necessary. Alternatively, lazy streams and ponds or lakes may take to slower action rods just fine.
Getting your Fly Rod Numbers Lined Up is Crucial
There are three fundamental numbers to look at when buying your rod: Your line, rod, and reel weight. The heavier these are, then the heavier the fish you are going after, the stronger the cast you will need, and the greater strength and control will be necessary to cast with finesse.
Whatever number you want to go for, a good basic rule is to have all three numbers line up. For example, if you are looking at catching small panfish, then a line, rod, and reel weight all at 4-5 will probably serve you just fine. Alternatively, larger fish may need all three at 8 or even higher.
Keeping these lined up is crucial to a quality fishing experience. Fly rod casting is all about precision, both in where you land and how. If you are landing right on top of your fish, but do so with a splash, you’ll scare them off. Furthermore, having a heavy line makes the overall cast harder to control. Make sure you have the right setup for your experience level.
A fourth and final number to know is the length of your fly rod. While fly rods vary in length from 6-10 feet, a rod anywhere from 8-9 feet is probably your best choice. This will have the strength and length to do a wide variety of fishing.
Once Your Numbers are Set, Fly Rods Under $200 Have Variety and Quality
Fly rods used to come in fiberglass, and you may still find some out there like that, but these days almost everyone is using carbon fiber. This is true no matter the price point, so even cheaper rods are going to have solid construction you can rely on.
Are you planning on just fishing in your backyard, or do you need a rod that can travel well? Even under $200, there are plenty of excellent collapsible fly rods for fishing campers. Though there is some variety in the number of sections, it collapses into, finding a nice portable rod has plenty of options.
What kind of style rod do you like? Fly fishing rods are all long and graceful creations designed to minimize the hardware necessary between you and your target. Still, with different color palettes, cork handles, and overall design, you can find something that suits your personality.
Getting a Quality Fly Rod for Less than $200 is Easy With a Little Prep
Fly fishing is a fun and fulfilling practice with a ton of history behind it. Whether you are a new arrival or a veteran angler, finding a high-quality rod to get into the sport can be done with a reasonable price tag. As long as you are prepared to know where you want to fish, what you are fishing for, and how experienced you are, your shopping experience is off to a great start. Good luck out there!