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How to Choose a Fly Rod

The first step in choosing a fly rod is to determine the correct rod weight. The rod's weight rating describes the fly-line weight it was designed to cast. Rods are rated between 0 and 14, with 0 being the lightest line and 14 the heaviest. Big fish and fishing over long distances or in heavy wind may require a heavier weight, whereas smaller fish and calmer conditions may require a lower weight.

0-8 Weight
For most freshwater fish, including trout, you'll typically want a weight between 0 and 8. The lightest line weights are ideal for small streams and fish, whereas heavier lines such as an 8-weight are suited for stiff winds and bigger fish. For example, a 5- or 6-weight rod would be a great choice for someone fishing trout for the first time. Shop 0-8 Weight Fly Rods
Related Content Fly Fishing 101: An Intro to Techniques
9-14 Weight
Saltwater fish, as well as bigger freshwater species such as pike, may require a rod in the 9- to 14-weight range. Heavier lines can withstand stiffer winds, and these lines allow you to reel in bigger fish without overloading the rod. Unless you're mostly fishing in saltwater, it’s usually safe to stick to a low or mid-weight rod. Shop 9-14 Weight Fly Rods
Spey & Switch Fly Rods
Spey rods are used for double-handed casting (Spey casting) on big rivers or at fishing locations where there’s little room for a traditional back cast. You’re able to make longer casts and avoid obstacles by keeping most of the line in front of you. Switch rods offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to make either conventional casts or Spey casts. Shop Spey & Switch Fly Rods