Welcome to my review of the best fly rods for Trout fishing.
If you’ve never fly fished for Trout before, and are getting into it – you’re in for a fun time. Trout aren’t the largest of fish in the water, but they taste amazing and put up a really good battle. In that case, what you are looking for in a Trout rod is something that is lightweight, smaller and accurate. And you’ve come to the right place to look for fly rods that have those characteristics!
These are the best fly rods for Trout fishing.
- Sage Trout LL (Best Overall)
- Echo Trout
- Orvis Recon 2 (Best Fast Action)
- Hardy Shadow
- Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series
- Sage Foundation
- Redington Path II (Best Budget)
The action of the fly rod you will want to get will come down to your experience and the location of where you will be fishing. If you’re going to be fishing small mountain streams, I would recommend going with a smaller rod such as the Sage Trout LL or the Echo Trout. If you’re going to be fly fishing large rivers or lakes, I would suggest getting the Orvis Recon 2.
Best Fly Rods For Trout
I’ve ordered these fly rods from best to worst specifically for fly fishing Trout. This does not specifically mean that a fly rod that is lower on the list isn’t as good (they are all good), but rather the rods above are just handier for Trout fishing. If you are interested in reading about the best overall fly fishing rods, we have an article on that here.
Sage Trout LL
The Sage Trout LL is the first and best overall Trout fly rod. What could possibly make this fly rod so good? Well, for one the name tells us all “Sage Trout LL”. It’s meant for Trout fishing specifically.
How did they do this?
Sage designed it to be very lightweight and sensitive. It’s actually a dry fly rod so it’ll be perfect for use during the hatch, or other times when the Parachute Adams are hitting hard.
And because it’s so sensitive, even the smallest of Trout will feel like you are pulling in a giant fish.
This fly rod also has a medium action blank, so even beginners can use this rod with ease. Up to a point that is, fly fishing isn’t necessarily a cake walk. If you do think that this rod is the one, I would recommend getting the 5wt option. It’s the most versatile of them all.
- Medium action
- Great quality material
- Sage’s warranty
- Built in the USA
- Only meant for dry flies
The Echo Trout is the way to go if you're on a budget but are still looking for an awesome Trout fishing rod.
The Echo Trout is the second best Trout fly fishing rod. Similar to the Sage above, it’s specifically designed for Trout fishing. The difference between the two is that this fly rod can use more flies than just dry flies.
This is a big advantage if you want to use nymphs. However, I don’t think I would use streamers with this rod. It’s still very lightweight and too big a fly might break it.
What is interesting about the Echo Trout fly rod is that each model or wt has a different action. So if you purchased both the 4wt and 5wt rods, the actions are different. The may be the first time we’ve seen anything of the sort in a fly rod.
The goal of having different actions for each model is that Echo wanted to get the perfect fit and feel for on the river.
A great Trout fly fishing rod.
And if you are wondering if it’s on the powerful or lightweight side, it’s actually in the middle. So you get a mixture of both power and sensitivity. A perfect match.
- Each model has a specific action
- Mix of power and sensitivity
- Good price
- Isn’t the best for using streamers
- Not quite the performance of a Sage
Orvis Recon 2 (Best Fast Action Trout Rod)
The Orvis Recon 2 fly fishing rod is a great fast action fly rod. While it is a bit more expensive than a lot of fly rods, it's worth it.
The Orvis Recon 2 fly rod is the next best fly rod for Trout fishing, and it’s the top fast action rod for it as well. This is one of Orvis’s newest fly rods that they’ve released up to this point and it’s highly popular so far.
The Recon 2 is not meant for fly fishing the small western streams, it’s meant for large rivers or even lakes. It’s a very powerful rod that has the ability to cast long distances accurately.
As you probably noticed, this rod is the second “Recon” fly rod from Orvis. The first one was really good, the second only got better.
It’s now stronger, more durable and has better accuracy.
A big advantage that the Recon 2 has over the other Trout rods on this list is that it can be fished with streamers and nymphs no problem.
- Good for open areas
- Can be used with streamers and larger flies
- Fast action
- Orvis 25 year warranty
- Made in the USA
- Not great for small streams and close quarters
- Difficult for beginners to use
A great fly rod for fly anglers of all levels. It's a smooth casting medium action rod with great mid range accuracy.
The Hardy Shadow is another great fly rod for Trout. It’s a medium fast action rod with buttery smooth casting. It’s deadly accurate in tight up to about 40 feet, but has the ability to reach out past 40 feet somewhat accurately (from the Yellowstone Angler).
Again, this isn’t the best fly rod for using streamers (unless you get the 6wt+) but it’s awesome for smaller dry flies.
It’s also a medium action fly rod, so regardless of your experience you can use this rod with ease.
- Very smooth
- Accurate at short ranges
- Hardy warranty
- Reasonable price
- Medium action
- Loses some accuracy out at long ranges
- Not the best for large flies
Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series
One of the most popular fly rods on amazon right now, the Drifter Series rod greatly outperforms its price. (Medium action blank).
The next best fly rod for Trout fishing? The Moonshine Co. The Drifter Series rod.
This is probably one of my favorite fly rods to recommend to anyone that is just beginning to fly fish. It’s not very expensive and it’s easy to control. Anyone can get the hang of it pretty quickly.
And not only is it easy to control, it’s actually a decent quality rod. You don’t have to worry that it might break on you during your first trip to the river, unlike some other inexpensive fly rods.
It’s a sort of in the middle fly rod for Trout fishing. And what I mean by that is you can use this rod with dries and streamers. Some streamers might be getting a bit too heavy for it, but a lot will work.
- Easy to use
- Fish with dries and streamers
- Decent accuracy out to short ranges
- Medium action
- Not Sage quality
- Accuracy dips off at long ranges
The Sage Foundation is another great fly rod for Trout. Why? Because it’s a lightweight fast action rod. It’s the perfect rod for veterans of fly fishing that want to catch Trout with dry flies, but also want the accuracy and power of a fast action rod.
You get the best of both worlds in the fly rod. Now, is it going to be great for large streamers? No, not at all. But, if you are using nymphs, which are a very popular Trout fly, you can cast them out far distances.
Plus you get the Sage quality of fly rod. Sage has always made very high end rods, and this one is no different. When you get a rod like this, you know that you are buying into something great.
- Awesome for dries and nymphs
- Powerful and accurate
- Sage quality and warranty
- Don’t recommend for streamers
- Not as smooth as the Trout LL from Sage
Redington Path II
The Redington Path ll is one of the best budget fly rod options on the market. It also comes with a lifetime warranty.
The final fly rod of the top Trout fishing rods is the Redington Path II. It’s the lowest end fly rod on this list, but it’s a solid option if you running on a budget. This rod has a medium action blank and comes with a lifetime warranty.
It’s obviously not going to be as high performing as the previous fly rods on this list, but it’ll work very well in the mountain streams in Colorado.
Plus I already mentioned this but it DOES have a lifetime warranty. Which is very rare for fly rods that are the price that this one is.
Back to the Trout fishing aspect of this rod though.
I probably wouldn’t recommend using this rod for streamers. For nymphs and dries, yes those will be fine.
Because this rod is pretty small, battles with Trout will be a blast!
- Solid budget rod
- Easy to use
- Small and lightweight make for fun battles
- Lifetime warranty
- Don’t recommend using streamers
- Not the highest performing rod on this list
What to look for in a Trout fly fishing rod
First things first… Fly rods for Trout fishing typically aren’t very big. That’s because unless you are fishing for Lake Trout or large Rainbows, Trout just aren’t that big themselves.
And if you are using a huge rod for a small fish, well, the battles aren’t really that exciting.
And that’s not to say that you can’t use a powerful rod for Trout, I mean I recommended getting the Orvis Recon 2 for a reason. In some cases you just need a little bit of extra oomph to help get your streamer across the river or lake.
But for the rest of us Trout fishermen and women, fishing the little streams and rivers, a small dry fly rod is the way to go.
The battles are always exciting, they’re easy to cast, they’re lightweight.
Just a whole lot of reasons to get a smaller, less powerful fly rod for Trout fishing.
That’s just my two cents, take it or leave it!
Related: How To Choose A Fly Fishing Rod
Best Fly Rods For Trout: Conclusion
Well that wraps up this article. I hope you found a fly rod that will give your endless hours of excitement on the river!
Thanks for reading!