Tuesday Tip: How To Choose the Right Fly Rod Size


Written by: Tom Rosenbauer

With the holidays approaching, many of you might be putting “New Fly Rod!” on your lists of potential gifts. But this raises the question: What size fly rod do you want/need? As I explain in the above video, this question is really more about the line than it is about the rod. The species of fish you want to chase will determine the kinds of flies you want to throw. If you want to cast size 2 streamers, you’ll need a heavier line (and thus a heavier rod) than you would need for casting dry flies to brook trout.


The 4-weight line (top) is visibly thinner than the 9-weight line.

7 thoughts on “Tuesday Tip: How To Choose the Right Fly Rod Size

  1. Neil McGee

    Great information for the beginner. And…who knew that Tom Rosenbauer is actually a glass comrade underneath that sleek Orvis veneer?!?!? #thefiberglassmanifesto #glassisnotdead #yearofthebluegill

    Reply
  2. Dave R

    This is a good tip for those just getting into fly fishing. I think way too often too much emphasis is put on the rod and not on the line. And to me line is dependant of the type of fish, type of water and size of flies.

    Reply
  3. Ralph Tomaccio

    I agree wholeheartedly with the choosing of a fly rod by line use. But, I would like to take it even one step further by saying that, even before you can choose a fly line, you really need to decide on what type of fish you want to go after. THAT will dictate what line and flies to use and, in turn, what rod you will need.

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Tippets: Pareto Principle, Front Range Floods, Fly Rod Size | MidCurrent

  5. Chuck S

    I use three basics: (1) The fly size, but the fly’s weight is also mixed in here as is the fly’s bulk. Big flies, bulky
    flies or heavy flies might indicate going to a heavier rod.
    (2) The conditions, more wind equals heavier weight rod/line.
    (3) The fish, as some fish due to either their size or their vigor demands a workhorse of a
    rod when the fight is on!

    Reply
  6. Marshall

    I teach to think about the type of fish you go after most of the time and the size of the water you will normally fish plus your normal fishing conditions. Also to pick a rod, reel and line that the beginner has to reach a bit to purchase so they will appreciate it and take care of it.

    Along with matching line weight to the rod is most modern fly rods can be up or downlined one size fly line and still function pretty well for most general stream trout fishing. If the person is going to be fishing big water and steel-heading in Oregon, then a heavier line and rod would be suitable. As would surf or salt water fishing.

    In Colorado the standard recommendation is an 8.5 or 9ft 5wt 4pc generally for the beginner.

    Reply

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