Welcome to the exciting world of fly fishing. As a beginning angler, you may be wondering exactly what type of fly fishing rod is right for you. I am here to help you figure that out. There are many different types of fly rods and careful selection will have you on your way to landing your first fish. Let’s start with the basic functions of a fly fishing rods.
It needs to be able to be casted with power and accuracy to prevent spooking the fish! It also must have great line control and it needs to support striking and landing of the fish. This requires the strength and flexibility to withstand a large amount of pressure by bending, but not snaping. Before you do anything else, you need to decide what type of fish you plan to catch.
There are different kinds of fishing rods for different sizes of fish. Also, there are different ones for fresh versus saltwater fishing. Take your time with this decision and do not continue until you are sure, but remember you can always buy a second rod later!
Okay, we need to think about the fly rod action next. The “action” is a measure of how flexible the fly rod is on the backcast. In other words, the more the rod bends during the backcast, the more flexible it is. There are three options for action of a fly rod: fast-action, medium-action, and slow-action. There are positives and negatives to each one. Your job is to match the type of fly rod action with the type of fishing you plan to do.
With a fast-action rod, at the end of the backcast, you’ll notice the tip of the rod only bends slightly, while the rest of it is straight. This is great for long casts because it has increased power. A fast-action rod is also good for fishing in windy conditions and it is less physically demanding on the angler. Unfortunately, this type can be a challenge for beginners. Precise casting can be difficult. Plus, ff you are planning to fish in small creeks, this is not the rod for you. You would want a more flexible rod for short casts as it will offer better accuracy.
In a small creek, the fast-action rod increases the likelihood of the fly line being slammed into the water scaring away your fish. The medium-action fishing rods are the most versatile choice and they perform well in various environments. Another plus is they are easier to handle than the fast-action rods. During the backcast, you will see the rod bent starting halfway down the rod, but the bending is even greater with the slow-action fly rod. These are the most flexible type. With this type, you will notice the fly rod bending beginning at about a quarter of the way down the fly rod on the backcast. These rods are best for fishing in small streams because they are easy to cast. These are also the easiest to learn on. If you plan to primarily fish for smaller fish, this should be your choice.