In our local area there are a number of applications for fly fishing, therefore there will be a range of rods which can be used depending on the circumstances.
The most basic and serviceable rod will be a 9' 5 weight graphite rod. This is a good all round rod which will enable a fisherman to nymph, fish dry flies and throw smaller streamers.
In time the limitaions of such a rod will become evident. For instance if you want to throw heavy tungsten beadhead streamers, the ability of such a rod will be limited. Similarly if you want to fish small mountain streams using light tippet and requiring delicate presentation, a 9' 5weight will probably be too long and too imprecise. And if you want to nymph for large fish from a boat in faster water one may find that a 5# rod is not strong enough to enable the angler to control the fish and get it to the boat.
So there will be evident limiations which will become apparent in time. But one has to start somewhere, so that is why one should start out with an all round rod which will satisfy the requirements of the beginner fisherman.
So lets have a look at some 9' 5weight rods which will do the job. The first thing to remember is that not all 9' 5weight rods are the same. In general terms, a rod can be slow, medium or fast. This refers to the action or the speed at which are rod will return to its natural position after being flexed. In addition, some rods are tip flex while others are mid flex. Again this just refers to the point where the rod will tend to flex.
For the novice, none of this is particularly important. Save to remember that a faster rod requires better timing and is less forgiving than, say, a medium fast rod. In addition a faster rod won't flex as much when fighting a fish, so when using lighter tippet a larger fish will tend to break off more easily than if one was using a more forgiving and flexible rod.
So the first rod purchase should be a medium to a medium fast rod. There are a range of good rods for a relatively reasonable price range. We carry a large range of rods. We mention some of them here but we do carry others as well. You can see some of these rods and the specifications in our online store.
Basic and Entry Level.
Wildwater starter packages from $89. These packages come in either an 8' 4 weight or a 9' 5 weight combo.
Greys. This is part of Hardy Greys from the UK, the greatest and most distinguished name in fly fishing. They started business in 1867 and pioneered much of the early development in fly fishing. They have a range of rods which are good starter rods from $89.
Echo. Is another good value entry rod. Echo have a range of rods which are good value and good performers.
St Croix. Another range of very good reasonably priced rods which will serve the beginner fisherman well.
All of these companies provide the opportunity to get a very good beginning rod for a very reasonable price. We carry all of these brands.
Assuming that you have some familiarity with fly fishing and are prepared to spend a little more on a 9' 5wt, the next range of prices is up to about $350. There are a number of great rods in this area which should be considered.
Greys. The Xf2 is an excellent rod which will perform well.
Hardy. The Hardy Uniqua is a mid range Hardy rod which satisfies all the requirements Hardy afficianados have come to demand over the years.
Orvis. They have just introduced a new "access" range of rods in the mid $300 price range. After Hardy, Orvis is the most well known name in fly fishing equipment in North America.
Winston. A great traditional name in American fly fishing. In response to the growing demand for mid level but excellent rods, Winston have just introduced several fast action mid-level rods. The VSL at $299 fits well in this category.
If you are interested in going straight to the most expensive graphite rods in the market which we carry and recommend, we refer to the following:
Hardy - Zenith. The new Hardy range of Sinitrix rods will change the face of fly fishing. Andy Mill, one of the most celebrated and accomplished saltwater fly fishermen in the world has be intricately involved in the development of this range of rods. He is passionate about the ability of this rod to control and turn big fish and won't use anything else.
The freshwater model is the Zenith. The remarkable development with this range is the ability of the rod to flex. Essentially it means that in fighting a large fish, it doesn't require the heavier weights of traditional graphite rods. Our guides love this rod for freshwater because it enables the angler to more quickly and easily get control of large fish while floating in faster water. The last thing one wants is to hook that large trout and yet be unable to get it into the boat because the rod will not do the job. There are several informative links which are worth looking at in relation to this new material. This video is in german but it eloquently demostrates the ability of the rod to withstand great pressure. And here is a rod review where the Zenith comprehensively blew away all opposition in a comparison of all supposedly leading rods.
Orvis - Helios. The Orvis Helios is remarkable because it is so lightweight. Its attraction is that if a fisherman has difficulty fishing for long periods because of infirmity or some other reason, the light weight of this rod will enable that person to fish for a longer period of time and not be forced to retire early in the fishing day because of physical limitations. The Helios serves a particular purpose for a particular market and serves it well.
Winston - BIIIx The BIIIx is a step up from Winston's BIIx which was a favorite of many fishermen for some years. Winston has its own following, fishermen who love the softer feel of rods which started out with the Winston Traditional and encapsulated best in one of the best dry fly rods out there - the Tom Morgan Favorite (TMF). Winston also has a BIIMx which has been extremely popular with fishermen who liked the faster action which used to be offered by the Sage XP. Sage dropped that line years ago and fishermen have been waiting for a similar performing rod.
But for our purposes we are talking about 9' 5weights and the range listed above is probably as good a range as one needs to consider in deciding to purchase such a rod.
We carry all of these brands and are experienced with all of these rods.
We also carry a selection of pack/travel rods for those back country experiences.
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