Choosing your fly rod – my advice

The best fly rod has three primary purposes. It is used to cast by allowing the casting of your fly line with effective power and accuracy. If you already possess good fly casting skills, a premium quality fly rod should enable efficient presentation of the fly and fly line so the fish doesn’t get spooked. You also use a fly rod to get control of the line. Once you learn how to do it properly, the fly rod provides control over your line when it’s already out on the water. You also use the fly rod for hook setting and for fighting and landing your fish. Because of this, the fly rod needs to be rigid and flexible enough to bend accordingly with the pressure while resisting breakage.
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Fly fishing rods used to be made of bamboo, which made them difficult to handle aside from being heavy. With advanced fishing rod technology, fly rods have evolved to become lighter and easier to handle thanks to the use of graphite or fiberglass in their construction. Fiberglass rods are a favorite of beginners and experts alike in most situations. Fiberglass rods tend to withstand wear better compared to graphite models. Graphite fly fishing rods may be more expensive than fiberglass ones but they do provide greater accuracy in casting. My advice: choose the fly rod material you believe gives you greater comfort and convenience.

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How quickly your rod will rebound refers to its action, or simply the flexibility or stiffness of the rod when pulled in a certain direction. Of course, the size of the fish you intend to catch determines the level of action the rod should be equipped with. Your personal technique also influences this factor. Slow action rods are tight3flexible types that are designed for reeling in small and lightweight species. Slow action models are designed with the most bend so beginners may find them difficult to control. Accuracy for short-range casting is guaranteed with slow action fly fishing rods, however. Medium action rods serve well for both long and short range casting. Easy to handle for beginners, medium action rods have greater flexibility compared to other types thanks to how they bend in the central portion of their entire length and also at the tip. Rods that bend at the endmost segment are stiff fast action rods. Not designed to give plenty of give, fast action models will not be easy to handle for a beginner and are also not designed for long distance casting and reeling in of large fish. My advice: choose the rod action that you can handle with your own skill set.

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Fly fishing action is also influenced by the length of the fishing rod. You can expect less action due to less torque generated by shorter rods during casting and reeling. Short rods (less than 8 feet) are perfect when fishing in areas where longer rods would be useless, as in locations with plenty of trees, or with a small stream size or where there’s plenty of obstruction. Medium size rods (8 to 9 feet) are a favorite for most fishing conditions and locations thanks to their longer casting and ability to handle greater weight compared to short rods. Large rods measure over 9 feet long and are preferred by anglers because of their longer casting ability and reliable performance for catching large game fish. My advice: go for the rod length that gives you better control over your casting and that you can match with your choice of line.

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