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Different Types of Fly Rods

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So you’re thinking about getting a fly rod?  Great, fly fishing is one of the best ways to forget your problems and get back in touch with nature and your inner self.  But there are some questions you need to ask yourself.  First question – what type of fish will you be going for?


Here's a chart to select the line weight of your rod:

 Line Weight


3 or 3/4

small trout, panfish

5 or 5/6

small to medium sized trout, all panfish, medium size largemouth and smallmouth bass


large trout, all largemouth and smallmouth bass, pike, salmon, redfish, stripers, bonefish, carp

9/10 large salmon, tarpon, redfish, stripers, pike, musky


Rod Length:

Next question – where will you be fishing?  Will it be small streams, good sized rivers, really big rivers where you might be in a boat, or will it be in a pond or lake?   That’s going to help determine the length of the rod you use.


The 5'6" "Wild Country" rod is great for really small streams with very tight brush and tree branches.

The 7 foot rod is good for the precise and short casts that you need when you’re fishing a small stream, brook, or spring creek. Or if you’re going after panfish (like sunfish, crappie, bluegill) with a light fly line.  Use this when you don’t have as much room for a back cast and you don’t need to cast too far. This short rod is great for kids too.

A 9 foot rod is the the most versatile. It's good if you need to make long casts, across a big river or on a lake.  It’s also good when you are using a heavy fly line to toss out nymphs or streamers, or if you fish in places where there’s frequently a big wind.  The only disadvantage comes when you’re fishing waters with lots of brush and trees close by, you’ll frequently wind up getting your line tangled in the overhanging branches.

The 11 foot switch rod is great for big water and big fish. The two-handed design allows you to do both traditional overhead casting and switch casts. You can get a long cast in front of you with little or no back cast with a switch rod but you need a lot of room to swing the rod around. This is great for big rivers and lakes. Also great for saltwater fishing.


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