Welcome to our reviews of the Best Fly Rods Under $200!
If you like to fly fish, then you know the importance of getting the right rod. But are you tired of sifting through endless options to find a quality rod that won’t break the bank? Look no further! We have hands-on tested some of the top rods on the market to help you pick a high-quality fly rod for under $200.
If you are in a hurry: Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter is the Best Fly Rod Under $200.
- HIGH-QUALITY CONSTRUCTION – Made with performance, medium...
- DYNAMIC 4-PIECE ROD – Cork grips keep this rod...
- PORTABLE CANVAS TUBE – This rod comes with a durable, hard...
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Here is our list of the Best Fly Fishing Rods Under $200.
Our Top 10 Picks
- Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter – Best Overall
- Redington Classic Trout – Best for Trout
- Temple Fork Outfitters Pro – Best for Salmon
- Redington Vice Fly Rod – Best for Steelhead
- St. Croix Mojo Bass Fly – Best for Bass
- Aventik Whisperer Fly Rod – Best for Travel
- Goture Fly Fishing Rod – Best for Beginners
- Dragontail Hellbender Zoom – Best Tenkara Rod
- Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod – Best Under $100
- Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod – Best Under $50
The 10 Best Fly Rods Under $200
Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.
1. Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter
Moonshine Rod Company is popular for offering high-quality gear at an affordable price. The Drifter is no different. It is the Best Fly Fishing Rod Under $200 as per our reviews.
The Drifter series rods come in different weights from 3wt – 8wt and lengths from 7’6″ – 10′. I picked the 9ft, 5wt to test it out during our fly fishing trip. It is an exciting size that gives you many options and possibilities.
Out of the box, you can see The Drifter is a modern classic. It uses a matter vintage brown color scheme and copper anodized material from the reel seat to the tip of the rod. But don’t let the fancy look intimidate you. The Drifter is far from complicated. It is a comfortable and easy-to-use rod.
I tested the 9ft, 5wt rod for trout and smallmouth fishing on a medium size creek. It helped me catch over 20 trout in the 5-10lb range. I found the rod stiff enough to cast large flies long distances. Yet it was sensitive enough to pursue trout. The medium-fast action helped me throw excellent casts even in demanding conditions.
The Drifter comes in a hard canvas tube to protect the rod while you travel. It gives you the freedom to take the rod anywhere you wish to fish. Any angler would be lucky to get their hands on this!
2. Redington Classic Trout Rod
Reddington Classic Trout is a lightweight, medium-action fly rod. It is a 4-piece rod that comes in sizes ranging from 7’6” to 9’0” and 2-6 weight options. All the models offer excellent power, balance, and accuracy.
You will love the beautiful rosewood inlay on the Redington Classic Trout. The cork handle adds to the stability of this rod so that it balances well in your hand.
I tested the 8’6″, 5wt rod during my fly fishing trip to the rivers in the Northern New Mexico region. The medium action helped me throw casts a decent distance. But this combination of weight and action doesn’t come at the cost of sensitivity. I was still able to feel the fish.
Reddington Classic Trout helped me catch several browns over 20″ during my trip. I was very impressed by its performance with small to medium-sized trout. It offers the flexibility and versatility you need for catching trout almost everywhere.
So, I am happy to rate Reddington Classic as the best trout fly rod under 200. It is among the top-selling fly rods in most online stores. Yet you will struggle to find any negative comments or feedback. Besides great performance, the Redington Classic Trout also comes with a lifetime warranty.
3. Temple Fork Outfitters Pro Series
Professional Series II is a medium-fast action fly rod from Temple Fork Outfitters. It comes in different sizes and weights for targeting different species. You can pick the 3wt rod for catching trout and panfish. The 5wt is an all-around rod for trout and bass fishing. You can use the 8wt rod to fish for bigger species like stripers, catfish, or pike.
I picked the 9ft, 6wt rod to test it out during my salmon fly fishing trip to the AuSable River. The medium-fast action helped me throw long and accurate casts. The TFO Pro 2 helped me land several 5-9lbs landlocked salmon with ease. I am happy to suggest it as one of the best fly fishing rods under $200 for salmon.
I found handling and controlling the rod quite easy. So I can suggest it to both experienced and amateur anglers alike. But although it is easy to use, it can hold up its own even against the more determined fish.
Fishing gear from Temple Fork Outfitters can last for several years due to its build quality. The Pro 2 Series is no exception. It goes above and beyond in materials and construction quality.
4. Redington Vice Fly Rod
The Redington Vice is next on my list. I tested the 10ft, 8wt rod and found it the best fly rod for steelhead fishing. The 10ft, 8wt is ideal for hard-fighting species such as steelhead and salmon.
The 10′ rod may intimidate anglers who aren’t used to handling longer rods. But you will need the extra length for casting when you are in the water till your waist. A 10′ rod isn’t the longest as you can find fly rods up to 14ft long. But it is long enough for steelhead fishing.
I tested it during my steelhead fishing trip to Lake Erie tributaries. I used it primarily for dead drifting and swinging streamers. The Redington Vice helped me land several 4-8 pound steelheads and a few 9-12 pound ones. The fighting butt proved very useful as it gave me extra leverage for fighting larger fish.
All in all, the Redington Vice is one of the top fly fishing rods that I have used. No salmon is safe when you’re out in the water with this rod! But if you are not used to handling longer rods, or if you prefer shorter rods, the 10ft, 8wt may not be the right size for you.
5. St. Croix Mojo Bass Fly
Most anglers know that accuracy, control, and power are essential for targeting bass. The St. Croix Mojo excels in all these aspects as it is specifically designed for bass fishing. I have used it so much over the last few months that it has now become one of my top rods for targeting bass.
I recently tested the 7.11ft, 9wt St. Croix Mojo during my fly fishing trip to Lake Fork, Texas. I was targeting trophy bass in shallow cover and along submerged structures.
Its medium-fast action let me make accurate casts even in windy conditions. It helped me reach even tough locations along the structures where the fish were lurking.
The St. Croix Mojo helped me land several 5-7 pound largemouth bass with ease. It has enough backbone to haul even big fish out of the water.
I tested the rod with both floating and sinking lines, and the rod performed flawlessly. It was even able to handle larger flies, such as streamers and poppers.
St. Croix Mojo delivered a consistent performance during my testing. So, I am happy to suggest it to both beginners and seasoned anglers looking for a new fly rod for bass fishing.
6. Aventik Whisperer Fly Rod
Aventik Whisperer is a four-piece, compact, and lightweight fast-action rod. It is an amazing travel rod that does exactly what a top-quality rod should do.
The Aventik Whisperer fly rods come in four different sizes and weight options. I picked the 7’6ft, 3/4wt model for my hiking trip. It wasn’t a hard decision looking at the abilities of this travel rod.
Out of the box, the rod seems sturdy and balanced. The design is very sharp. The blanks have an attractive red finish. It comes with a compact tube to pack and carry the rod.
I tested the rod during my hiking trip to the mountain streams of North Hampshire. The fast action helped me throw accurate casts up to 30ft with dry flies and an 8’ leader and tippet. Using this setup, I was able to land several brook trout with ease.
I am happy to recommend Aventik Whisperer as one of the best travel fly rods on the market. But don’t just take my word for it. You can read hundreds of online reviews to help you decide. You’ll hardly find any negative feedback.
7. Goture Fly Fishing Rod
Most beginners find throwing long and accurate casts hard. So I suggest beginners buy the 9ft, 4wt Goture rod. Its build quality and slow action gives you better accuracy, timing, and control.
It can help you make accurate casts and presentations even in tight places. It is the ideal fly rod to get started as it allows you to get the most out of your first fishing trip.
It comes in a compact PVC rod tube for easy storage. Out of the tube, the 4-piece rod feels great the moment you pick it up. It is quite balanced due to the burl wood insert. It is not too heavy but weighs enough to know you are holding something.
I am happy to recommend Goture fly rod to any beginner and novice anglers. You can use it to make smooth casts thanks to its sturdy build and the slow-action. It comes with a one-year warranty. But Goture also offers lifetime repairs. So, if your rod needs any repairing, you can get it fixed with ease. Beginners will find it very beneficial.
8. Dragontail Hellbender Zoom Tenkara Rod
Fly fishing is an angling method that has been around for ages. The sport is resistant to change yet it’s safe to say that tenkara is a game-changer. A tenkara rod is not like your ordinary fly rod. In fact, there is no reel to it! Just a rod, line, and dry flies.
It is hard to describe how amazing and humbling it is to handle the Dragontail Hellbender rod. I’m not surprised though. The Japanese have a known track record of creating simplistic designs.
The minimalistic aesthetics will send you back to the earlier days of fishing. It allows you to focus on what fishing is all about. But the simple design doesn’t mean sub-par material. The rod is sturdy and durable.
Dragontail Hellbender allows you a break from the standard fly rigs at a fraction of the cost. It offers you an accessible and affordable entry point. You can use it to catch small to medium-sized fish as Tenkara fishing gear is all about simplicity.
It is perfect for travelers as well as it can easily fit in your backpack. Dragontail Hellbender is the best fly rod under $200 if you appreciate minimalism.
9. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod
Piscifun Sword is a promising four-piece rod that is quite balanced and easy to use. It is built with IM7 graphite which makes it lightweight, durable, and powerful. It is sensitive to small bites yet strong enough to reel in big fish.
The Sword comes in different lengths, weights, and actions to target different types of fish. The slow-action rod is ideal for beginners, while experienced anglers can go for a medium-fast rod. You can choose one as per your specific fishing needs.
Out of the box, you may find the look and design quite simplistic. But Piscifun Sword promises accurate and precise fly placement.
I tested the 9′, 7wt fly rod during my saltwater trip to fish for Sierra trout. Piscifun Sword helped make accurate casts up to 90ft to target fish behind the sand churn. I was throwing Clouser and GSS minnow flies using a floating fly line.
Using this rig, I was able to catch several Sierra trouts in the 9-12 pounds range and a couple in the 12-15 pounds range. Piscifun Sword helped me land all these fish with ease. It is one of the top-quality 4-piece rods you can get at a reasonable price. So, I am to rate it as the best fly rod under 100.
10. Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod
Eagle Claw Featherlight is a great pick for any angler looking for an affordable and durable fly rod. The 2-piece 6.5ft, 3/4wt rod is perfect for making short casts in narrow streams or ones with a dense cover. You can use it for targeting freshwater species such as trout and panfish.
Many beginners are afraid of breaking their new rod while out fishing. But Eagle Claw Featherlight is built with fiberglass so it is extremely durable. Coupled with the moderate-slow action, it gives beginners an excellent chance of success.
Eagle Claw doesn’t come with a rod tube, although my rod was delivered in perfect condition. It is only 6.5ft long so you can maneuver it with ease. It uses fiberglass yet it offers a good amount of bend. In your hands, it feels strong enough to pull a 3-4 pound fish out of water.
I tested this rod for trout fishing in small mountain creeks. Instead of a 3/4wt line, I used a 5wt weight forward floating line. This setup helped me catch several trout and even a small brook trout. I was able to land all the fish with ease. So, I am happy to recommend Eagle Claw Featherlight as the best fly rod under $50 for catching panfish or trout in small creeks or streams.
How to Choose a Fly Rod Under $200
There could be many reasons why you are looking to pick a fly rod for under $200. An experienced angler might buy one for its price and affordability. While a beginner may buy one as their first rod to get started.
All the fly rods on my list are easy to use, effective, and durable. I picked rods with simplistic designs that can help you get the job done with ease. Yet, all of them are very affordable. But the right one for you depends on your specific needs and fishing conditions. So you must consider some key factors while picking a new fly rod.
Fly rods come in various lengths ranging from 5 to 14 feet.
But the right length for you depends on the size of fish you are targeting and fishing conditions.
You can use my ballpark suggestions to help you make the right choice.
Versatile/ All-Around Length: Most fly anglers can pick a 9-foot, 5-weight rod to meet their fishing needs. It is a versatile size for targeting small to medium size fish in streams or rivers. You can use it for catching several freshwater species like panfish, trout, and bass.
For Beginners: Shorter rods are easier to use than longer rods especially when you are just getting started. So, if you are new to fly fishing, you can go for a 7-foot, 5-weight rod to get started. The shorter rods are ideal for beginners as you can handle or move them around with ease.
For Traveling: Rod length is crucial for travelers with less space to carry bigger rods. So, if you’re backpacking or traveling on a flight, taking a 10-foot or longer fly rod may not be a good idea. I suggest you pick a 7 to 9 feet rod with a minimum of 4 sections. It will help you fit the rod in your bag or case with ease.
Fly rods come in different sizes or weights, and each size is suitable for a particular fishing technique.
The weight determines how heavy a line you can use and what size fish you can target.
So you must know what type of fish you’ll be targeting before choosing your new fly rod.
Small Freshwater Species: You can pick 3-4 weight fly rods for catching smaller freshwater fish like trout or panfish in streams and creeks.
Medium Freshwater Species: I suggest you buy a 5-6 weight fly fishing rod if you are planning to catch small to medium size fish like trout, bass, or even smaller catfish.
Large Freshwater + Some Saltwater Species: You will need a 7-8 weight rod for catching stripers, carp, snook, or larger trout. You can also it for targeting some saltwater species like bonefish or redfish in ideal conditions.
Bigger Species + Trophy Fish: The 9-10 weight fly rods are appropriate for catching bigger fish like salmon and pike or if you are planning to go after trophy fish.
Remember, you must pick a fly reel that matches the weight of your rod. You can check our pick of the Best Fly Reels Under $50 if you need a new fly reel on a budget.
Most fly rods on the market come with slow, medium, medium-fast, or fast action.
But, the right action for you depends on your skills, casting style, target species, and fishing conditions.
Slow-Action: I suggest most beginners start with one of the slow-action rods as they are more forgiving as well as easier to control. You can move to a medium or medium-fast action rod once you get some experience.
Medium-Fast Action: You can pick medium or medium-fast action rods once you have developed basic fly casting skills. They are also a good transition for anglers with moderate experience. I find medium-fast action rods as most versatile. I have often used them across a wide range of fishing conditions to catch several different fish.
Fast-Action: Most seasoned anglers prefer fast-action rods as they offer greater power. You can use them to throw long and accurate casts even in windy conditions.
Materials and Construction
I hope you never have to experience your fishing gear breaking while on the water.
But it happens with many anglers due to improper research before buying the equipment!
So you must study the materials and construction before buying a new rod. as they determine the build quality and durability of a rod. They also impact its ability to perform in different fishing conditions.
Anglers use many ways to find out about the build quality of a rod. You can read online reviews, check the brand’s reputation, inspect the rod, or ask your fellow anglers.
If you have some experience, touching and inspecting the rod may be the fastest way for you.
You can easily check if the rod feels flimsy or poorly built.
But remember, the prices don’t always equate to quality. So don’t get awed by expensive rods on the market.
Many fly rods on our list are portable, compact, and easy to pack or carry.
If you’re planning to fish during your backpacking or hiking trip, pick a 4-piece or 5-piece rod.
Such rods are easy to put in a backpack. But you must check that the sections are easy to assemble and disassemble.
I suggest you consider the Aventik Z Fly Rod. It’s a great pick for both beginners as well as experienced fly fishermen. It can fit in your overhead carry-on bag or backpack. You can use it to fish in different conditions.
Ease of Use
Some anglers believe they can handle any fly rod out there.
But I hate to burst their bubble!
You must consider the ease of handling and maneuvering while picking a fly rod.
Choosing the right fly rod is easier if you take into account your skillset and ease of use.
You may buy the best fly rod but it would be useless if you don’t have the skills to use it.
Your skill set and fly rod work hand-in-hand while fishing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a fly rod?
A fly rod is a lightweight pole used to cast a weighted fly or lure. Most fly rods are made out of light and strong materials such as graphite or fiberglass.
What’s the difference between a fly rod and a conventional rod?
Fly rods are generally longer and lighter than conventional rods. They come with sensitive tips to let the angler feel the slightest bite.
What is a fly rod used for?
The goal of fly fishing is to entice the fish to eat the artificial fly presented by the angler.
Fly fishermen use fly rods to cast the fly using an overhead casting motion.
What is the most popular fish on the fly?
It’s no secret that trout is the most popular fish targetted by fly fishermen.
But there are many types of fish that you can catch while fly fishing.
How many fly rods do you really need?
It’s important to understand what type of fish you plan to go after before you buy a fly fishing rod. Every rod can not catch every species.
You need different rods to handle different types of fish. But if you know what type of fish you plan to catch, then you can have a successful trip with even a single fly rod.
To recap, Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter is the Best Fly Rod Under $200 as per our reviews. It was a hard decision as all the rods I picked are great. Any one of them can help you land several fish with ease. You can choose one as per your personal style and preferences.
The Drifter packs a bit more punch than the others. It allows you to cast even heavier flies long distances. It can withstand demanding situations well. You never have to worry about your fly rod breaking while you are out on the water.
Redington Classic Trout is a medium-action rod that delivers excellent performance. It is available in different rod weights and lengths so trout of all sizes are fair game.
Temple Fork Outfitters Pro II Series rods come with a lot of distinguishing features. Many salmon anglers believe that the TFO Pro II is what they’ve always been looking for.
We hope you like our pick of the Best Fly Rods Under $200. Feel free to contact us if you need more help picking a rod. We will be happy to suggest the right one for you as per your specific needs.
Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Blaine Townsend