The 10 Best Fly Fishing Poles

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in August of 2018. Traditional anglers are sometimes hesitant to test their skills at fly fishing, but once they do, they’re usually hooked (excuse the pun). Whether you fancy trying your hand at catching some trout, bass or salmon — in freshwater or saltwater — one of these specialized rods should suit your needs. Some come in the form of starter kits, complete with a reel, line and bait. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Fenwick Aetos

2. Echo Base

3. Headwaters Deluxe

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Editor's Notes

June 04, 2020:

We removed a few items due to quality concerns, including the M MaximumCatch Extreme, which is prone to snapping and suffers from a serious lack of durability. While the Headwaters Deluxe was previously available in multiple sizes and styles, we’ve adjusted the listing to indicate that this is no longer the case. We also note that it comes with a solid aluminum tube for protective storage.

We concluded that the list already contained enough “starter kits,” opting to add models geared toward more experienced fly fishermen who likely already possess much of the necessary gear.

The Okuma Crisium is an affordable option that should satisfy both beginners and experienced users, making it a good choice for budget-conscious fishermen. The Echo Base offers solid performance as well, but it’s also known for its stylish look, with ceramic guides and a polished blue surface.

It’s worth noting that the Fenwick Aetos, our final new addition, is available in a wide variety of sizes, so regardless of the conditions you typically fish in and the species you’re targeting, there’s a good chance you’ll find a style to fit your needs. Anglers praise its sensitivity and the ease with which it casts.

Special Honors

Sage The X Freshwater The X is designed to minimize lateral movement and vibrations while you cast to produce an accurate, efficient presentation through reliable loop control. According to Sage, it’s built with a higher density material than most fly rods, resulting in a stronger pole with superior recovery.

Winston Bamboo This two-piece bamboo fly rod has an eye-opening price tag, but if you’re a passionate fly fisherman who has the means, you may have found your next prized possession. Handcrafted in Montana, it offers slow action with delicate line control, allowing you to cast with remarkable finesse.

CF Burkheimer Kerry Burkheimer — who started this artisan shop more than 30 years ago — believes today’s fly rods are too “fast”. Therefore, he set out to create rods that are slow and soft by comparison, offering specialty options for trout, steelhead, salmon and saltwater fish.

4. Okuma Crisium

5. NetAngler Portable

6. Sougayilang Stream

7. Maximumcatch Tenkara

8. FishingSir Outfit

9. Crystal River Combo

10. Wakeman Charter

Sam Kraft
Last updated by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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