The Finest New Fly Fishing Rods of 2022

Fly fishing rods are continually altering with enhancements in development, fly strains, reels, and expertise. These are one of the best new rods of the yr.

Yearly, there’s a brand new record of one of the best rods on the market. With out getting your palms on them, it’s a critical job to weed via the choices and discover the rod that most closely fits your wants.

In our annual hunt to seek out one of the best fly rods available on the market, we took to the water, went to the Worldwide Fly Deal with Vendor Present, requested guides, scoured the web, and browse each tech spec and assessment to deliver you our record of the fly fishing rods we expect measure up for the approaching yr.

Clearly, there are a whole lot of opinions concerned in what it takes to be one of the best, and should you go to six completely different websites, you’ll get six completely different lists.

That being stated, listed here are our suggestions for 2022. Be happy to click on the rods that curiosity you under, or scroll via to see your complete lineup:

The Finest Fly Rods of 2022

Finest Total: Orvis Helios 3 Blackout

Launched in July 2021, the Orvis Helios 3 Blackout ($998) missed lots of the “better of” lists for final yr. With virtually a yr of it being in public palms, there’s been some resounding reward of this specialised rod.

The 9’5″ 5-weight model of the sequence got here out with a pile of hype, and to this point it has measured up.

With its goal demographic being drift boat fisherman, it has turn into a favourite for guides who spend lengthy days afloat. It isn’t onerous to seek out glowing evaluations as fishermen have sung its praises for having the facility and accuracy of a 10-foot rod whereas nonetheless casting with the benefit of a 9-footer.

The rod is extremely gentle in hand but has a noticeably stiffer really feel all over to the tip. That rigidity, together with these further inches, is probably going essentially the most vital contributor to the facility and accuracy fishermen are experiencing from the boat. On the subject of mending, once more, that stiffness permits you to simply direct line for essentially the most sensible float.

Our Hunt & Fish Editor Nicole Qualtieri fished with this rod in 2021, and right here’s what she needed to say about it:

“The Helios 3 Blackout is perhaps my favourite rod I’ve fished with thus far. It’s zippy, enjoyable to forged, and correct. Plus, this stability of sunshine and quick makes the struggle actually enjoyable when a fish is on. The 9’5” size is nice for fishing in drift boats or off a paddleboard.

“However I nonetheless discovered myself reaching for it when wading. Loads of my different rods gathered mud; the Blackout didn’t. Even my information associates liked it, and I might see a smidge of jealousy of their trout-lovin’ eyes. Loads of my different rods gathered mud final yr, principally as a result of the Blackout didn’t. “

The one actual notable disadvantage is the choice to not combine a hook hold. It looks as if an odd omission because it’s such a small element. I don’t know many individuals who truly use them. However for individuals who do, it is perhaps irritating to spend money on such a high-end rod and be lacking that straightforward piece.

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Finest Freshwater: Scott – Centric

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Persevering with the pattern of manufacturing a rod that feels shockingly gentle in hand, Scott has modified issues up with the Centric ($945). This rod is a chief instance of an organization that attempted one thing, realized it didn’t work, and altered course.

The Centric rods have been initially constructed with Scott’s Carbon Net Know-how. This development made its Sector sequence very talked-about.

Actually, the hope was to imitate the facility of the Sector for large freshwater purposes. As an alternative, the corporate shortly realized that the carbon net tech didn’t enhance efficiency on this utility and wasn’t well worth the added weight. The group scrapped it and moved ahead in a special path.

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Focus shifted to bettering its resin and carbon expertise, bringing forth the event of ARC 2. This subsequent section of its carbon development is 35% lighter than the unique ARC tech, which was already loopy gentle.

The end result was a rod that’s sooner, stronger, lighter, and extra correct for large freshwater purposes.

A typical critique of the Centric is that it falls quick on small water — or higher but, it struggles to fall quick. Granted, it wasn’t designed for shut casts on tiny creeks, but it surely’s price noting. If little mountain streams are the place you’re headed, you may need to think about a special rod selection. This one may need a bit an excessive amount of bang.

I’d advocate one thing alongside the strains of the F-Sequence, particularly designed for these tight areas.

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Finest Do-It-All Sequence: Sage R8 Core

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The R8 Core Sequence ($1,050) from Sage was simply launched on April 5. I used to be in a position to get my palms on the R8 Core Sequence final month and get a really feel for what these fast-action multiapplication rods have to supply.

Unsurprisingly, at first look, the R8 Core has the standard we’ve all come to count on from a Sage product. It’s clear, glossy, and has a balanced really feel.

Although this fly rod is focused at freshwater fishermen, the 990-4 truly took dwelling the award for Finest Saltwater Fly Rod on the 2022 IFTD Present. I feel we’ll see the upper-weighted-end of this sequence each throwing streamers for salmon and pike, and wandering into the salt flats for bonefish and allow.

Acknowledging my bias as a mountain carp fisherman, I feel the star of this lineup is the 9’6″ 5-weight. I don’t have a tendency to increase a lot previous the 9-foot mark, however this rod appears to have the responsiveness and management you may count on from a shorter rod. And just like the Helios, this makes for a helluva boat rod.

Primarily, no matter your most popular stretch of water, there’s a rod within the Sage R8 Sequence to suit your wants.

The one actual exception could be in case your principal requirement of a fly fishing rod is huge energy. If that’s the case, avoid wasting forged fatigue and go along with one thing like a Sage Salt HD.

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Finest Spey: Sage Trout G5

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One other Sage rod on the record and one other award winner from the 2022 IFTD Present. The Sage Trout G5 ($650) took dwelling the award for Finest Spey Rod, and for good motive. The rising recognition of spey casting led Sage to reconfigure the G5 to accommodate the newest advances in spey strains out there available on the market.

The G5 is light-weight and constructed with a narrower shaft than the earlier ideation. Guides have praised the noticeable discount in fatigue after an extended day of throwing streamers, in addition to noting the facility it has relative to its light-weight really feel.

While you begin speaking about rods that attain previous the 11-foot mark, responsiveness turns into a difficulty. Sage described the G5 as being a extremely responsive rod at lengths at and previous that, and the sentiment was echoed by the general public.

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Finest Saltwater Rod: G. Loomis NRX+ FLY T2S

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With 5 line weights, all at 8’6″ lengthy, G. Loomis launched a powerhouse sequence with the NRX+ FLY T2S ($895). Constructed with G. Loomis’ Multi-taper Design, this rod is robust the place it must be and lightweight the place it may be. Boasting loopy quick line velocity and sufficient energy to beat unpredictable ocean fishing circumstances, this rod remains to be shockingly delicate and surprisingly gentle.

Breaking from the one-piece saltwater fly rod pattern, this two-piece is what G. Loomis calls its “event” configuration. The draw of one-piece rods is each weight discount and improved efficiency. Nonetheless, they are often brutal to move.

The NRX+ FLY T2S sequence is touted as having all of the efficiency of a one-piece rod, with the additional advantage of portability. Anglers appear to agree with these claims. Although, it might be a turnoff to those that’ve seen the advantages of single-piece efficiency. 

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Except you reside on the seashore, you’re going to want to journey with the factor, and a 9-foot-long tube is a ache to maneuver about with. I feel this rod provides you one of the best of each worlds, with out sacrificing efficiency.

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Finest Starter Package deal: Bozeman Flyworks – The Gold Normal

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The Gold Normal Starter Equipment ($356) from Bozeman Flyworks is without doubt one of the few actually full packages to get you going. This setup is ideal for teenagers and adults who need to check the waters with out investing an enormous sum of cash to take action.

The large distinction between this equipment and different starter kits is high quality. The corporate’s direct-to-consumer mannequin means you get a better high quality product at a far cheaper price level. The rod is matte and appears glossy. The reels are absolutely CNC’d and have an adjustable drag, one thing you won’t discover on a lower-end equipment.

This high-quality bundle is on the market with a number of completely different choices to suit you and your property water. It features a rod, reel, fly line, leaders, tippet, a fly field, a rod case, a reel sleeve, and even the choice so as to add a web. The one merchandise it’s important to buy outdoors of this equipment is a number of flies.

Bozeman Flyworks additionally gives some easy walk-throughs for these simply getting began.

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Finest Price range: Echo Carbon XL

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The Echo Carbon XL ($180) is a superb selection for anybody who needs to do some critical fishing with out breaking the financial institution. The constant assessment from the professionals is that it casts like a a lot higher-priced rod.

This Carbon XL has a reasonable to moderate-fast motion that masses and casts simply for all ability ranges. It makes for an ideal starter rod, an honest backup, or only a stable decide as an on a regular basis price range fly fishing rod. I spent a number of days fishing with a Carbon XL after my gear was delayed in transit and I’ll admit, it fished simply in addition to my go-to rod.

Not solely does it fish properly, however the beauty particulars are additionally there. It has a clear, basic look that’s simply cool. The esthetics are sometimes missing once you hit this cheaper price level, however Echo definitely had seems to be in thoughts.

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Finest Midlevel Rod: Redington Butter Stick

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It is a little bit of a wild card. Simply have a look at it. The Redington Butter Stick ($280) drips with classic cool. It’s been out for a number of years now, however I don’t assume this rod’s been given the credit score it’s earned. Not solely does it have a cool look, it fishes very well if you recognize what you’re doing.

This fiberglass rod doesn’t simply have the seems to be of a throwback — it’s constructed like one, albeit with some fashionable tech. The Heritage Taper is harking back to the previous glass rods you may discover in a dusty storage. What that equates to is a cool, fashionable fly rod that feels just like the rods many people grew up with.

That being stated, this won’t be one of the best rod for a newbie. It takes a gradual, regular forged to essentially ship a fly line. The developments in fly fishing rods have been wild because the 70s, so there’s some ability and finesse required to get this rod to carry out.

Maybe a greater class for this one could be: Finest Midlevel Fly Fishing Rod, for the fly fisherman who has the whole lot.

Except for the ability required, the most important disadvantage is simply the omission of a 9-foot choice. Granted, we’re speaking a couple of rod that fishes fully completely different than our fashionable 9-foot 5-weights, so I get it.

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Finest Tenkara: Zen Tenkara – Suimenka Zoom

The Suimenka Zoom ($260) from Zen Tenkara is only a cool rod. This model of fly fishing rod is totally completely different than another on the record as a result of it’s a completely completely different method of fly fishing. Tenkara actually takes it again to fundamentals, and the Suimenka is without doubt one of the coolest I’ve seen.

It is a telescoping rod, that means it collapses down into itself. The easiest way to equate it to one thing all of us perceive is these Star Wars lightsabers we had as children that you would jab your brother with, and they might collapse inward as a substitute of sending him screaming to your mother. The distinction is you get to regulate the size of the extension from 9 to 12 toes, making it versatile on all kinds of water.

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Equal to 6-weight, and with two included tricks to change motion and size, it packs down right into a slim little case that’s solely 29 inches lengthy. I’ve stated I used to be going to dive into Tenkara for years now, however this would be the rod I put into my backpack for fishing mountain streams on lengthy hikes or hunts.

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Easy methods to Select a Fly Rod

Selecting a fly rod actually comes down to a few parts: the place you’re fishing, what you’re fishing for, and what flies you’ll tie to the top of the rod. Rods are damaged down primarily into size and weight. However the third element you’ll hear specialists speak about is the rod’s motion.

One other factor we’ll all the time counsel is to go to your nearest fly store and ask questions. Usually, you’ll discover a complete crew of specialists prepared that can assist you higher perceive fishing gear, flies, and your native waters.

What Is Motion?

Usually, a rod might be quick, medium, or gradual motion. This delineates the quantity of flexion versus stiffness within the rod.

A slow-action rod is extra versatile all through to permit for brief, correct casts. A medium (or reasonable) motion might be stiffer all through. But it surely’ll nonetheless enable for a modicum of flex for accuracy, providing a gathering level between stiffness and agility.

And a fast-action rod has a minute quantity of flexion. This permits for a stiff spine to set in opposition to a highly effective fish or minimize via the wind with velocity and energy.

The Best Fly Fishing Rods Under $200
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Size and Weight

Determining the fitting rod weight on your goal fish species is usually fairly easy. The smaller the fish, the decrease the load. And relying on the place you’re fishing, a shorter rod is perhaps fascinating.

A typical wade-and-walk, small-stream, slow-action rod is perhaps a 7’6″ 3-weight rod. A extra compact size and lighter weight mixed is nice for casting small flies in a small stream surrounded by brush or bushes that may snag your fly on a backcast.

The basic fly rod that most individuals could have of their setup is a medium-action 9-foot 5-weight rod. Residing in Montana, I can’t appear to have too many of those. I can catch little brookies within the excessive alpine or first rate rainbows in greater water, no downside. The medium motion permits for accuracy in tight spots and stiffness with greater fish on the road.

This additionally works properly for bass, though lots of people will go a bit heavier for these tough-fighting fish. Fashionable bass rods are inclined to vary from about 5 to 7 weight.

If I requested my friends in Washington what they throw for steelhead, they’d inform me a 9’6″ 7-weight rod is essentially the most versatile. But when they have been to be spey casting, they’d go for a 13-foot 7- or 8-weight rod. Anglers will shuttle on whether or not they need medium-fast motion or quick motion in a steelhead rod. However the greater the fish, the extra spine you’ll want.

And, after all, rod weight can go method up within the saltwater world. There, fish like tarpon and marlin name for super-stout rods within the 10- to 16-weight vary!

Packability

The ultimate factor to think about is packability. In case you plan on touring a ton, you’ll need to have a look at a four-piece rod. This may be simply thrown right into a pack or carried onto a aircraft. In case you’re planning on fishing near dwelling, a two-piece can work simply fantastic.

Rods all are available in various lengths and weights. If I have been you, I wouldn’t take their designation of freshwater or salt too intently to coronary heart. Most rods are in a position to carry out in a number of eventualities.

And should you study a bevy of casts past the usual — like false casting, roll casting, or slack line casting — you’ll have the ability to additional dial in presentation for any variety of setups or climate circumstances.