Best Fly Fishing Rods

Welcome to my review of the best fly fishing rods for 2020.  

There’s a lot that goes into getting a new fly fishing rod and you don’t want to make the wrong decision, especially if you are planning on spending upwards of $400 on one.  You obviously don’t need to spend that much cash on a rod, but you definitely don’t want to be wasting time or money on rods that aren’t going to serve you any purpose if they break or fall apart.

These are the best overall fly fishing rods. 

Best Fly Fishing Rods

Overall I do believe that if you can afford one of the top three fly rods on this list, they are worth it.  You are definitely going to pay the price for it, but you won’t need to worry about getting a new rod for many years to come.  Quality and warranty considered.

Let’s dive into the list of the best fly fishing rods!

G. Loomis Asquith

The best fly rod that you can possibly get is the G. Loomis Asquith.  If you were looking for a cheap fly rod, well this isn’t it.  This is the elite of the elite, thousand dollar plus mark, Lamborghini of fly fishing rods.  Here you go.

You might ask, “what makes this rod better than the rest?”

Well… a lot of things.

For one, the quality is the best in the world.  It would take effort on your part to actually break it.

It’s just not going to happen.  But at the same time, you can get solid durability in a lot of fly rods…

Fair enough, then let’s talk about performance.  This is where the G. Loomis Asquith separates itself from the pack.

It is an incredibly smooth casting rod…

Like very smooth.

Which should be expected in a fly rod of this caliber.

It just makes sense.

But that’s not all:

This rod is super accurate.  And I’m not just talking about at 20-20 feet, I’m talking out at 70.  If you are a veteran in the fly fishing game you’ll have no troubles with accuracy.

I guess that’s what you get when you pay top dollar for your equipment.

And lastly, G. Loomis offers a lifetime warranty on their products.

picture of G. Loomis Asquith Fly fishing rod.

Advantages

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Fast action
  • Accurate
  • Durable
  • Very soft touch, energy transfer is ridiculously smooth
  • Lifetime warranty

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Fast action rods are tough to control as a beginner

In fly fishing rods, there are levels and tiers…  the G. Loomis Asquith is at the topCheck the latest price on amazon here.  

Sage X

The Sage X fly rod is another one of my first choices for best fly fishing rods.  There’s a couple reasons for this, one it’s an extremely high quality fly rod.  It’s made in America with quality materials that are meant to last.

Two, casting with the Sage X is a dream.  It is very smooth and accurate.  In comparison to the G. Loomis Asquith, the Asquith is a bit more smoother – but the Sage X is still incredible.

If you’ve only been casting low end fly rods up until this point, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made the switch to an elite rod a long time ago.

And not to mention the fact that the loops are very tight and precise.  Which is the reason for it’s elite accuracy that not many fly rods can compete with…

Lastly, Sage has a great warranty policy on their equipment.  You could break this rod and years later have the ability to get it replaced.

This is a picture of the Sage X, a must have fly rod for 2020.
Sage X

Advantages

  • Tight loops + accurate
  • Soft touch (2nd best on this list – behind the Asquith)
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Beautiful

Disadvantages

  • Price
  • Less accurate than the Scott Radian and G. Loomis Asquith

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Scott Radian

The next best fly fishing rod for 2020 is the Scott Radian.  This is one of the most popular fly rods for Trout fishing, and let me tell you why.

It’s powerful.

It’s accurate.

It’s sensitive.

It’s really good in windy conditions.

BUT, it’s not very easy to control.  As a matter of fact, it’s very difficult to control.

When you get the hang of fly fishing with it, you gain all those benefits…

But until then – well it might be a pain in the butt to try use.

However, if you are a veteran or somewhat experienced fly angler you should have no problem with this rod…

Picture of scott radian fly rod.

Advantages

  • More power and better accuracy than the Sage X
  • Lightweight
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great quality

Disadvantages

  • Not easy to use
  • Pricey

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

Orvis Helios 3

The Orvis Helios 3 is a quality fly rod for the ocean.  It’s one of Orvis’s newer fly rods, and it’s also their flagship ocean rig.

This is the rod that you get when you need something that can really push your flies into and through the wind.

It’s biggest advantages are power and accuracy at long range.  It has the ability to cast large streamers out into the ocean, no problem.

So essentially exactly what you need for the big bodies of water…

Again, the price tag isn’t cheap – but if you are interested in ocean fly fishing, this is the way to go.

Picture of orvis helios 3 fly rod.

Advantages

  • Most powerful fly rod on this list
  • Designed for the ocean (no corrosion)
  • Very good in windy conditions
  • 25 year warranty

Disadvantages

  • Expensive
  • Not recommended for freshwater

Sage Trout LL (Best Trout Fishing Fly Rod)

I ranked this the number one overall Trout fishing fly rod because it’s, well, a Trout fly rod.  Made by Sage, one of the best fly rod brands in the world.

Let me give you a little background on this one.

It’s actually only meant for dry flies because it’s so lightweight.  It’s very sensitive and it’s overall pretty small.

This is to enhance the battle with the fish since Trout usually aren’t that big.  And to most people, they’re considered small.  Which is why this rod is great for Trout!

It’s also a medium action rod.  This allows for really easy casting if you are new to fly fishing.  Which is perfect…

Overall, in my review of the best Trout fly fishing rods, I ranked this one number one.

I think that it’s the best you can get.

Picture of Sage Trout LL fly rod.

Advantages

  • Small, lightweight rod creates a lot of excitement
  • Very accurate at short distances
  • Tremendously smooth
  • Sage lifetime warranty

Disadvantages

  • Only meant for dry flies
  • Expensive

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Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series Fly Rod (Best Budget Fly Rod)

I’ve been a fan of the Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series fly rod for a little while now.

There’s a couple reasons for this.  For one, it doesn’t cost very much money (obviously).  You could eat out at a fancy restaurant in a single night and spend the same amount of money.

For two, it’s a medium action fly rod.  Anyone can use this rod with excellence, it’s very easy to control.  The loops that it creates are medium sized, so not the best for accuracy at long distances, but it’s very easy for new fly anglers to learn the sport.

It’s the perfect little fly rod for Trout fishing…

This is a picture of the moonshine co fly rod, drifter series.
Moonshine Co. Drifter Series Fly Rod

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Accurate (short-mid ranges)
  • Inexpensive
  • Lifetime warranty

Disadvantages

  • Doesn’t have the best long range power
  • Don’t expect it to be Sage quality

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Related: Best Fly Fishing Combos Under $300

Redington Path II (Best Beginner Fly Rod)

Redington is very well known for their beginner fly rods and reels.  They are actually under the same company as Sage.  Sage creates the elite end fly equipment, Redington is crafted for beginners.

The Redington Path II is the best fly rod that you can get if you are a beginner.  Actually, I would recommend either this or the Moonshine Drifter Series rod.

Those are two of the more popular fly rods for beginners.

Now, I don’t love recommending inexpensive fishing products (you’ll find out why), but if you need something on a budget, here you go.

It’s fairly smooth, especially for the price that you will pay.  Very easy to control though… Very easy.

It can also be used for both fresh and saltwater fly fishing.  Which, I’d recommend staying away from the salt as a beginner, but you’d have no problems with the rod in doing so.

Lastly, it also got a lifetime warranty.  Not a lot of fly rods in this price range have a warranty on them, much less one that lasts a lifetime.

Picture of Redington Path II Fly Rod.

Advantages

  • Easy to use
  • Decently accurate
  • Fresh and saltwater fly rod
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Inexpensive

Disadvantages

  • Doesn’t have supreme power
  • Not G. Loomis or Sage quality

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And if you are a beginner looking for other really good fly fishing rods, we have another article about the best fly fishing rods for beginners if you want to check that out here.

Orvis Recon 2 (Best For The Money)

The Orvis Recon is the best fly fishing rod that you can get for the money.  It’s in the middle in terms of price, but it’s at the top in terms of performance.

It’s extremely high performing, no exaggeration.  If you get the 9ft 5wt fly rod, it can be used for both streamer and dry fly fishing.  Bass, Trout, Panfish (it may be a bit large for Panfish) are just a couple species you could catch with this.

The material that makes up the majority of the Orvis Recon is extremely responsive.  It’s also a medium action rod, so whether you are a beginner or a vet, you can use this rod with great ease.

Power, and long distance accuracy is what you are going to get here.

Picture of Recon 2 fly rod.

Advantages

  • Very versatile
  • High performance (accurate, power)
  • Responsive
  • 25 year warranty

Disadvantages

  • Price

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TFO BVK (Best Bass Fly Fishing Rod)

A lot of fly fishermen and women use the TFO BVK as their go-to Bass fishing fly rod.  It’s actually not designed specifically for Bass fishing, but it’s very good at it.  You can use this fly rod for Trout and have great success with it as well.

If you are using it for Bass fishing, I would recommend getting the 9 ft, 7 wt model.  It’s very powerful.  Which is exactly what you need because you will most likely be using streamers and heavier flies.

Accuracy-wise, the TFO BVK is great for the price you pay.  It’s not as great as say, the Sage X fly rod, but still really good.

Like many fly anglers that have used the TFO BVK, I think that it’s underrated in performance.  While the $1000 fly rods are usually the highest performing, you don’t always need to spend that much money to get a great rod.

Picture of TFO BVK fly rod.

Advantages

  • Great for Bass fishing
  • Powerful
  • Accurate at long distances
  • Fast action
  • Underrated
  • Lightweight

Disadvantages

  • Wouldn’t recommend for beginners

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Echo Trout

I put the Echo Trout fly rod on this list because it’s another good option if you are looking for a middle of the road Trout rod.  It’s not the best of the best, but it’s very solid.

What’s interesting about this rod is that each model you can choose from has a different action.

Essentially what that means is if you get a 9 foot, 5 lb weight rod Echo Trout, it will be different from to the 9 foot, 4 lb weight Echo Trout.

The purpose of this is to create a fly rod that will truly be perfect for Trout fly fishing.

In my opinion, the best of the Echo Trout fly rods you can get is the 9 ft 5wt.  It’s super smooth and controlled, yet has decent power and accuracy.

You get the best of all fly fishing worlds.  As a beginner, you would have the ability to use this and control it well.  It’s not as easy to use as the Redington Path II, but it isn’t as difficult as the Sage X.

This rod is also in the middle in terms of pricing.  Not too cheap, not too expensive.

Juuuust right.

this is a picture of the echo trout fly rod.

Advantages

  • Specifically designed for Trout fishing
  • Accurate (obviously not as accurate as the Scott’s or G. Loomis rods)
  • Decently powerful
  • Easy to use
  • Warranty

Disadvantages

  • Designed for Trout
  • It’s an “in the middle rod” – it doesn’t excel at one thing, but is good at almost everything

CHECK PRICE ON AMAZON

How To Choose a Fly Fishing Rod

The process to picking out and buying a new fly fishing rod can be stressful.  There’s a lot that goes into it such as size, weight, length, price, looks, etc.  We have another article on the website that includes everything you need to know about choosing a fly fishing rod here, if you want to check that out.

What Are The Best Fly Fishing Rod Brands?

If you aren’t a fan of the fly rods on this list, there are a couple brands that I would recommend getting fly rods from.  We’re not sponsored by anyone here either.

Orvis, Sage, Hardy, Redington, Scott, G. Loomis and TFO are some of the most popular fly rod companies.  There are more such as Hardy and Scott, but it you are getting a rod with one of those names you are definitely getting something that is worthwhile.

The performance is unmatched.

Many of these fly rod brands have great warranties on their equipment as well.

Overall, you know that you’re getting a great fly rod if it has one of those brand names on it.

Best Fly Fishing Rods: Conclusion

The best fly fishing rod really comes down to what you are looking for.  Is it ease of use?  Power?  Durability?  Accuracy?  Consistency?

While many fly rods do have some of those categories, it is going to be difficult to get a fly rod that has all of those.  Unless you are somewhat of an experienced fly angler and decide to go with the Sage X.  Then you check all of those boxes.

Fly fishing is very fun, I hope this article helped you out!

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