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Guide: How to Choose a Fly Rod

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.

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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 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.

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Fly Rod Action Explained