I thought I would explain my process for selecting the best fly rod kit to build. It really boils down to a couple criteria; how and where you will use the fly rod and how much is it going to cost.
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How and where you will use the fly rod
Fly rods are a lot like golf clubs, you select the right one for the situation. Tarpon or bluegills, tiny dry flies or monster streamers, oceans to tiny seasonal creeks, the variables are infinite.
How the fly rod will be used
- I recommend thinking about what kind of fish you’re targeting. For this fly rod build I’m targeting spring steelhead. The fish are medium sized 2 to 6 pounds. This directs me to a 5 to 7 weight fly rod.
- Next consideration is the casting method. Will you be presenting delicate dry flies? Drifting nymphs with indicators or maybe swing streamers? For me I’m going to be a “swinger”. The length of the rod is getting narrowed down. Streamer fishing is usually better done with longer fly rods – 9 feet and up. If you’re fishing a bigger river the longer rod will give you more casting distance and improved line control.
In the above video, I’m casting a 5 weight medium fast rod that is 8’ 6” in length.
Consider where you’ll be fly fishing
- Big rivers or tiny spring creeks? Choked riverside or open meadows? Bigger rivers typically mean a longer heavier fly rod. Casting over 50 feet is tough with a short 7 foot rod, but that same 7 foot rod is perfect for dropping flies into a pocket of a spring creek.
- Think about if you’ll be fishing from a boat or wading? Will you be smacking the rod tip against bush choked stream banks?
I mention the two bullets above because it durability might be a consideration. I’ll be swing streamers on a 25 to 45 foot wide river that has tag alders and bush covering most banks. I usually make ~ 25 casts to a particular spot then dump myself into a canoe and paddle to the next fishy area. I need a durable fly rod – I’m thinking fiberglass.
Below is a Fly Rod Weight Guide
- 1-4 sun fish and small trout, small streams
- 4-6 general trout fishing, smaller bass think about rivers you can wade. This is a good all purpose fly rod weight.
- 6-8 bass, carp, steelhead and smaller salmon.
- 8-10 saltwater, salmon and west coast steelhead.
- 10 and up – Big game fish….
How much is a fly rod kit going to cost
Fly rod kits can cost under $80 to well over $600. Brand names and component quality are what drive the prices. When selecting a fly rod kit remember most of the time all you get is a blank and generic components. Buying the glues, finish and tools can easily cost another $100. One of the key reasons I selected the Epic Ready to Wrap Fly Rod Kitsis because you get practically EVERYTHING to build the fly rod. Basically you add masking tape, a razor and maybe a fly tying bobbin and start building.
If your desire is to piece together the tools and equipment to build a fly rod PLEASE get the Fly Rod Tools Checklist on the TOOLS page.
Now $400 to $600 is a lot of money, but you’re getting some of the highest quality components on the market. The reel seat is amazing, the cork grip is premium and the blank is a work of art. To buy a factory fly rod with the same components and quality will cost you over $800. (You save about $300 building it yourself)
Choosing the Epic 686 Ready to Build Fly Rod Kit was easy for THE BEST FLY ROD KIT.
- The Epic 686 is the perfect weight fly rod for the streamer fishing. Being a 6 weight you’ll be able to feel the fight while still having the backbone to bring in a steelhead.
- The 8’ 6” length will work perfect in the tighter confines of 30 foot river.
- The durability of fiberglass will stand up to laying in a canoe and a wading around bushy river banks.
- At around $500, you will be getting the best of the best quality components plus you’ll have all the materials and supplies to complete at least one fly rod if not more. An equivalent factory fly rod will cost way over $800.
Lastly when you hold a trout knowing it was caught with a fly rod you built, pride and satisfaction are the only ways to describe it.