Selecting the Right Fly Rod
The fly rod is the focal point of your fly fishing gear, so selecting the right fly rod length, weight and action will make a huge difference to your casting performance in a given situation.
Typical Fly Rod Lengths:
6′ to 7’6″ tight spots, small streams and typically smaller species of fish.
8’6″ to 9′ for larger water bodies where casting is easier and casting distance is critical, larger species of fish.
10′ and above: Typically spey and switch rods, large bodies of water and large species of fish.
Fly Rod Weight:
0-4: Small streams to spring creeks, targeting small trout, small grayling or panfish.
4-6: Average-sized trout and grayling, small bass, for medium to larger streams
6-8: Large rivers, targeting large bass, trout, salmon.
8-10: Bass fishing to salmon and bonefish, up to striper and smaller tarpon.
11-12: Yellowfin tuna, large tarpon, king salmon, and dolphin
Action/Stiffness/Speed: Stiff rods require a faster casting speed, soft rods a slower casting speed. This means you need to speed up your casting stroke for a fast rod and slow it down for a slower rod.
X-Fast, Fast, Moderate/Medium, Slow and all permutations between.
Action is usually a matter of personal preference. The best way to find out if you like a fast, moderate or slow action fly rod is to cast as many different fly rods as you can. For light rods, making delicate presentations, slower rods are great. For fishing the flats with larger fly rods making longer casts a fast fly rod is the rule.