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​Fly Rod Selection For The Beginner

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So, I get asked this question a lot, what fly rod are you using? The fact is, I have a lot of fly rods and routinely use many of them. Many are species and water specific. I’ll use my 2wt popping for blue gill, 4wt. dry fly fishing trout and a 6wt streamer fishing for trout. I’ll use my 8wt switch for steelhead, 8wt. single hand for largemouth bass….it all kinda depends. I’ve put together a chart following for you to take a look at that should give you a general idea.

Mostly though, its beginner fisherman that asks this question. Normally they are going to be going after trout and geared fished previously. If this is the case, I like to put them into a fiberglass rod. There are two things a beginner needs to nail down. Feeling the load of the rod, and casting accuracy. Fiberglass is simply the best for feeling the load of the rod and accuracy, particularly up close.

Reilly Rod Crafters makes some great products and are “lifetime” rods. I’m not talking warrantee here, though they are warranted for a lifetime. I’m talking about a tool that will transition you from beginner to trout whisperer. From a long term use perspective, 90% of the fish you catch are going to be within 50 feet of you. Fiberglass is exceptional from 5 foot to 80 foot. They also have great feel to them where you can really enjoy the fight of the fish.


I also don’t advocate like most going straight to a 5 weight. I rarely use my 5 weight these days, never mind the first 5 weight I owned. I sold that off years ago for half of what I paid for it!

I use my 4 weight all the time dry fly fishing. Nymphing? I usually roll with my 6 weight (sometimes my 4 depending on the situation). Streamer fishing, I’ll break out a graphite, fast tip, 6 weight. The list really goes one. The fact is though, I normally roll with my fiberglass 4 weight for my trout fishing excursions.

For the beginner, I’d recommend to go right into the Fiberglass 4 weight. You can dry fly all day long. It casts fantastic and you can feel the load of the rod easily. It is super accurate. You can also nymph with it, albeit at shorter distances and lesser weights. It’s a greater first rod that you will use for as long as you fly fish. The more you fly fish, the more specialized you will get. However, this rod will be your old faithful, go to rod….no doubt about it.

Until next time my fish friends……

Fresh Water
Panfish 2-3
Trout in small creeks, tributaries, and alpine 1-4
Trout 4-6
Smallmouth Bass 5-8
Largemouth Bass 5-8
Steelhead 6-10
Salmon 8-10
Northern Pike and Muskie 8-12
Carp 6-10
Peacock bass, golden dorado 8-12
Salt Water
Bonefish, redfish 6-10
Striped bass, Blue Fish 8-12
Tarpon, Rooster Fish 10-12
Mahi-mahi, Giant Trevally 10-14
Bluefin Tuna 12-14
Sailfish and marlin 14
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