As a fly-fishing beginner, I have been learning to use different types of fly fishing rods. However, for a long time, I was not sure if I can use a regular or normal rod for fly fishing.
Can you use a normal rod for fly fishing? Well, yes. You could use a normal rod for fly fishing provided you use it with a fly line. However, a normal rod provides limited action and length for fly fishing because it cannot cast over long distances, which is what fly fishing is all about.
Fly fishing rods are designed to carry specific weights. For instance, a three-weight rod is designed to cast a three-weight fly line. Several factors determine the correct line weight and fly fishing rod, including the weather and the target fish. When shopping for fly fishing rods, it is essential to understand what a fly fishing rod is and what makes a good rod.
What is a Fly Fishing Rod?
There are three primary functions of a fly fishing rod:
- Control the line
- Strike and land fish
The main reason for using a fly fishing rod over a regular rod is the great casting distance that a fly fishing rod provides. In addition, fly fishing rods provide incredibly accurate casting. Excellent fly fishing rods present the fly and fly line without spooking fish in the water.
Fly fishing rods also offer excellent control of the line when you pull it out of the water. However, line control is a skill that people perfect with time. Nevertheless, a fly fishing rod provides greater line control than a regular rod, especially for beginners.
Because fly fishing rods are designed to strike and land fish, they are quite flexible to allow you to strike fish, struggle with it, and land it. However, the flexibility of fly fishing rods should not sacrifice strength. A good rod should flex without breaking, even under extreme weather conditions.
Unlike regular rods, fly fishing rods cast further, provide better line control, and catch both small and large fish. On the downside, fly fishing rods are not suitable for casting over short distances and may take a while to learn to use.
Not All Fly Fishing Rods Are the Same
Fly fishing rods are often described by their actions, which refers to how the rods behave in different angling situations. There are three types of action:
The type you choose is determined by the type of fishing you intend to do.
This type of fly fishing rod is stiff and has bent tips to support long casts. In addition, they are easier to cast and pull even in windy situations. You will find this type of fishing rod incredibly easy and less strenuous to use. However, this type of fishing rod is not designed for short casting. In addition, you will find it challenging to use this type of rod if you are a beginner due to its rigidness.
Mid flex fishing rods are more flexible and suitable for a wide range of fishing conditions. This type of rod bends from the end to halfway making it incredibly flexible compared to fast action rods. Mid flex fishing rod is ideal for beginners targeting freshwater fish such as trout.
These are the most flexible type of fly fishing rods. They can bend to about 90 degrees from a quarter-inch of the handle. Slow action fishing rods are ideal for beginners looking for short casts. They are incredibly easy to use and do not spook fish. However, they are not designed for catching larger fish.
Qualities of a Good Fly Fishing Rod
When shopping for fly fishing rods, it is essential to choose ones that meet your personal needs. Not all fly fishing rods are the same; some have better qualities than others. Therefore, it is essential to understand what you should look for in a fishing rod so that you can choose one that has excellent properties and fits your type of fishing.
There are three types of handles on fly fishing rods. The type you choose can make a huge difference in your fishing experience. Split cane rods have incredible friction allowing you to keep the reel in place.
Half wells handles are lighter and shorter designed for use with no more than six weight lines. Some feature screw locking reels and wooden space inserts. However, the most common type of rod handle is the Full Well handle suitable for longer rods because they are designed to handle high pressure during casting.
Length and Weight
Your stature and type of fishing determine the right length and weight of a fly fishing rod. Longer rods are suitable for fishing in large water bodies. Many skilled fishing enthusiasts use long rods.
For saltwater fishing, choose rods that measure at least nine feet long. This rod length can handle most saltwater fish such as bonefish. However, you may have to change the rod weight if you are targeting giants like sailfish.
In freshwater, you will require at least a seven-foot rod and a two and half weight line. However, if you are fishing in large freshwater reservoirs, consider getting at least a ten-foot rod and an eight-weight line.
This is the primary determinant of a rod’s quality. Although many rods feature durable materials, not all are put together to last for longer. Choose rods that do not wobble because they often scare fish away. Rods with tighter constructions have minimal wobbling and tend to cast better.
Types of Fly Fishing Rod Materials
Graphite Fishing Rod
Graphite rods are incredibly efficient for fly-fishing. They are sturdy and durable, which is why they are increasingly popular with many anglers. Graphite fishing rods are available in various designs and prices. Therefore, they cater to broad consumer tastes and preferences.
This type of rod is ideal for beginners because of its user-friendly features. Many experienced anglers also prefer to use this type of rod because it is extremely easy to cast. Graphite fishing rods are trendy because they are lightweight, flexible, and efficient. However, they tend to cost more than other types of rods.
Bamboo Fly Fishing Rod
Some anglers prefer bamboo fishing rods because they are considered eco-friendly. As the name suggests, bamboo fishing rods are made from bamboo except for the metallic screws and parts, making them highly flexible and light. In addition, bamboo has a natural bend that makes it perfect for fly fishing. However, they are difficult to find in many stores because of their high costs of manufacture.
Many angling enthusiasts swear by bamboo fishing rods because they suit both beginners and experts. Some of the first fly fishing rods on the market were made from bamboo, which speaks to the rich history of this type of rod.
Fiberglass Fishing Rod
Many fly fishing rods on the market are made of fiberglass. This material is incredibly sturdy, durable, and flexible. However, fiberglass rods are a bit heavier than other fly fishing rods. Therefore, they require some physical strength to use.
Although it is possible to use standard fishing rods for fly-fishing, you may find it difficult to cast long distances with a regular rod. Fly fishing rods are designed to allow for long casting and ease of use. This type of rod may feature different materials, including graphite, bamboo, and fiberglass. It is essential to choose a rod with a comfortable handle, right length and weight, and excellent construction.