Those who have found themselves bored with traditional and conventional fishing should try fly fishing as a pleasant and challenging change. Attracting your favorite quarry with a wisp of feathers, fine tinsel and a hook is something that many enjoyable.
Many choose not to take up fly fishing because of the perceived expense involved, and frankly, it is not surprising that they feel this way. Fly fishing can quickly get very expensive because of the specialized tackle, lines, reels and rods.
It does not have to be this way, however. It is quite possible to take up fly fishing rather inexpensively, and you will still get the same enjoyment from fly fishing.
Those who have taken up fly fishing and are interested in doing a bit more with it need to start with the most important part of the fly fishing experience – the rod. Finding cheap fly rods is not difficult, and many of the rods commercially available are excellent choices.
A cheap fly rod will certainly not have the same feel and casting quality of the fine rods we have previously discussed, but those who are looking for an upgrade will certainly notice a difference.
Many of the best conventional tackle manufacturers have a fly fishing line. It is these manufacturers that this article will cover in some detail.
As a reminder, a fly rod is determined by the weight of the line used. Therefore, a six weight, seen on the rod as “6#,” needs a six weight line. We will look at the specific manufacturer’s line that will have multiple weights of a particular rod name.
The Eagle Claw company is known for excellent, yet inexpensive fishing equipment. Their conventional tackle line ranges from hooks to tackle boxes and everything in between. This particular fly rod is a travel rod, meaning the rod can be taken down into four separate pieces.
A five weight rod, it is perfect for trout and panfish. An experienced fly fishing angler can even wrestle in nicely sized bass, walleye and even a pike with correct technique and tippet.
- Travel size
- Solid graphite
- Non traditional color
- Stainless steel guides can spur and tear line
- Four piece rod loses some sensitivity
Anyone wanting to start warm freshwater or light saltwater fly fishing will find this rod to more than meet expectations.
This particular model comes in six and eight weights. The six is perfect for large panfish, bass and pike, and the eight weight model is perfect for bass, pike and many inshore salt water species such as trout, red drum and even striped bass.
- Rod butt for better leverage
- Plated guide system
- Two weight classes
- Short rod – 7’6″
- Different shaped handle may have learning curve
- Shorter rod means limited casting distance
Diawa, as you know, is a premiere manufacturer with many professional anglers working under their name. They are more known for their reels and rods, but their fly fishing line is respectable. The Algonquin-A rod comes in a variety of line weights making it a solid choice for the intermediate fly fisher.
- Respected manufacturer
- Variety of line weights
- Removable rod butt
- Four piece rod loses sensitivity
- Medium weight is highest class
- Rod only; no carrying case
Okuma is a relatively new company in the fishing market, but this Japanese company has made considerable strides in all areas of fishing from conventional to fly.
Mostly known for their reels, Okuma does make rods that are moderately priced. The Crisium line has excellent weight choices for virtually any type of fishing except large freshwater and heavy saltwater fishing.
- Large weight selection
- Titanium stripper guide
- Two piece for best sensitivity
- New manufacturer
- No rod butt for larger line weight
- Medium action only
The last rod in our cheap fly rods reviews is from another established fly rod manufacturer in St. Croix.
The Reign is only a five weight, but a solid choice for an intermediate rod for anyone who is looking for an upgrade.
- Rod case
- 9′ rod
- Solid choice for a rod
- Single weight
- On the top end of cheap
- Could be too heavy or too light
There is plenty of cheap fishing equipment available on the market. As with many things, cheap equipment means just that. In fishing, cheap equipment means less sensitivity, limited product choice and cut corners.
This does not mean these are cheap fly rods. These are quality rods chosen for the money and value for the dollar.
It is very easy to get carried away on fly fishing and fly fishing gear, but unless you are planning on changing to nothing but fly fishing, it is not advisable to go overboard.
If you are looking to upgrade, be sure you start with the rod before moving to other elements of your fly gear such as the reel and line.