Fly Poles Affordable VS Exspensive?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Akuriko, May 22, 2013.

  1. Dan Nelson

    Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    There are some great 'starter' combos available today. Two of the best run approximately $300 for a quality rod, reel and line (with backing). You can read details about the Orvis Clearwater Combo here:

    and the Redington Voyant here:

    If $300 is too steep for a full outfit, the Redington Topo is a more affordable ($200) combo kit (review included in my Holiday Gift Guide package here: with a slower action rod and a cheaper reel. The Topo combo includes a good beginner rod/reel, but you'll grow out of it quickly if you stick with the sport whereas the Orvis Clearwater and the Redington Voyant are both rods (with matched reels) that you'll enjoy using for years. I especially love the Clearwater Rod -- I have a 3 wt I use for fishing on small streams.
    Akuriko likes this.
  2. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

    I can't believe that talk about cheap and expensive rods. The most I ever paid for a rod was $210.00. It sits in its case and rod sock while I use a cheaper rod. I don't use a rod on how much it cost as well as it casts my line and fly. Maybe I will shake the dust off of it this summer and give it a go again. It served me well until I could buy a few 4 piece rods. I seem to like them over the two piece rods.
    Akuriko likes this.
  3. LD

    LD Active Member

    I had an eye opening moment a couple of years ago. I bought my daughter an Echo Gecko kids fly rod. I went out and cast it and was impressed. Then I took out my 4wt rod that retailed for $700 and was really surprised how well the Gecko cast compared to my go to trout rod up to 40 feet. I have cast some inexpensive rods since, factory built and some I built. the fish do not know the difference and to a point you will not know either. If you buy a quality starter rod from echo, redington, ross, cabelas I think they will all get you going and give you good service. I would recommend spending a few more than $30, maybe $75 to $100 range. I would also agree with the opinion that a good line can make all the difference, the rod would be second most important and if I were on a budget the reel(basically a line holder for trout fishing) would be where I would save some money. You can always upgrade the reel later.
    Now that said having a nice quality rod and reel that fits your casting style is nice. They will outperform a less expensive rod in most cases and are nice to handle and look at. I think most of us appreciate good quality workmanship.
    Akuriko and Brookie_Hunter like this.
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member


    Sorry, but before we can have this conversation you'll need to understand that we fly cast with fly rods. Ain't no such thing as a fly pole. Poles are what the utility companies string electrical and telephone wires on. Having that out of the way, there are many good values in low priced fly rods. However, beware that the few lousy rods in the market place are found at the lowest price points. The lowest priced fly rod I will vouch for is the Cabela's Three Forks model at $59 which may be found on sale for even less. It's an excellent buy at $59 and compares favorably with rods costing 3 times as much. Hell, it compares favorably with rods costing 10 times as much. I recommend avoiding Walmart, but then I don't shop there for anything. Basspro may offer a good fly rod. I don't know, but I don't associate good fly gear with Basspro.

    If you have lots of money, go ahead and spend $500 or $900 on a new fly rod. However, just understand that you won't cast any better with it. If you don't have a lot of money to spend, you'll be far, far better off buying the Cabela's Three Forks rod, or maybe the next model up, and a decent fly line and then spend $300 or $400 or whatever it costs on fly casting lessons. Instruction and practice with a decent low cost fly rod will make you a vastly better fly caster than a $900 rod and no lessons. Most fly fishermen can't cast half as well as their rods can because they spent too much on the rod and not enough on instruction.

    Akuriko likes this.
  5. GAT

    GAT Active Member

    Over the years, fly rods have increased immensely in quality and performance. At one time, the inexpensive "beginner" rods were terrible. I even complained to rod companies that whey were hardly encouraging more folks to become fly anglers when the el cheapo rods they sold were so terrible, no beginner could cast one. If anything, the better the rod and line, the more likely a person would master casting and become a dedicated flyfisher.

    I was doing research for a magazine article on the subject of beginner's sets that included rod, reel and line and it turns out Orvis had it right. Their beginner's outfit includes their top of the line rod blank so the rod casts like a dream.... they kept the price down for the kit by using not so hot reel seat and guides and the reel is nothing to write home about but the rod casts great.

    So, while at one time I wouldn't recommend a beginner flyfishing set up, I do now.

    The only fly rod I've come across these days ( at any price) that didn't cast at least decent, is a Ugly Stick fly rod. I bought one as a backup for fishing for Dorado in Baja and the thing would work better as a hood prop than a fly rod.

    Short answer: you don't need to mortgage the farm to buy a fly rod that will cast fine and get your foot in the door.
    Akuriko likes this.
  6. John Wallace

    John Wallace Active Member

    Don't know if it was said, but there is a lot of great used outfits for sell on this site and others that will last a life time!
    Akuriko likes this.
  7. Whatever your budget I'd spend most of my money on the rod and line and pick up a cheap pflueger medalist on eBay.
    Akuriko likes this.
  8. Akuriko

    Akuriko Member

    I want to thank everyone for the help, I do appreciate it very much. As it must be apparent I am new to fishing in general, and even newer so to fly fishing. I'm determined to learn, and I'm really trying to avoid getting a rod that will brake on the first day of use, as so many horror stories I have read in reviews of Rods on Amazon, Cabelas, etc. Being new and not indoctrinated to fishing terminology, I've learned what I know from videos, websites, my neighbor, my best friend and catalogs. Thank you for baring with me and offering me advice. I've learned more on this forum in so short of time then I have in an entire month of my neighbor attempting to teach me. Again thank you kindly.
    Tony Abaloney likes this.
  9. Darthmonkey

    Darthmonkey Active Member

    My advice is don't buy anything. Take some casting classes, fishing classes and even a guided trip or two. That experience will make the decision much easier. You'll get some fishing experience, and you'll probably get to cast a variety of rods at different price points in the real world, not a parking lot. That way when you go to a shop, you might actually be able to tell the difference between an entry level rod made in a 2nd or 3rd world nation, or a top dollar rod made in a 1st world nation and decide for yourself if the price paid will fundamentally alter your fishing experience or enhance your capabilities on the water.
    Take every opinion here with a grain of salt as the experience level is so varied. Some people may have been fishing for 25 years, but maybe putting in only 20 days on the water per year. Some folks may have been fishing for 5 years, but put in over 100 days on the water each year because they've gone completely batshit fucking crazy about hoodwinking fish every chance they make for themselves.
    Ultimately every decision you make in regards to gear is a very personal one, and is as varied as anything else in this world; from taste in women to your opinions on politics. It is also an important one, as the dollar amount represents time you've invested to earn, and thus the investment must pay the dividends in a way that is not calculable by any scientific or mathematic measure.
    Good luck in the future.
  10. wadin' boot

    wadin' boot Donny, you're out of your element...

    Akuriko, You'll soon see there is no right answer ever on any of the "what should I buy" threads. Part of the magic of fly fishing is the realization of what you might need based on what you got. From the rod to the reel to the line, the tippet, the fly, the cast, the mend, the strip...whatever

    Most of us, except Old Man Jim, are always weighing these considerations first and foremost...

    Need: a place with fish and time to fish it
    Got: no place to fish and no time to fish it

    The rod and style and so on, take your time, cheap gear means you can experiment more. This hobby can sustain that "what should I buy" excitement for decades, and hopefully the "what should I buy" becomes "what can i make or tie ..."
    Brookie_Hunter likes this.
  11. This is right on the money. And don't forget the "Where (else) can I go?" and "What else can I catch?"
  12. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

    Another vote here for NOT spending a lot. There are plenty of good outfits in between your Walmart specials and your high end $500+ setups.
    Cabela's usually has some decent deals in the bargain cave section of their website. I bought a couple of their Stowaway rods for very specific fisheries and they've been great. The 6wt has turned out to be a rod I use on a regular basis for summer runs and cutts.
  13. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

  14. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

    ECHO Solo outfit.

    Best $169.99 you will ever spend.
    Greg Price likes this.
  15. Brookie_Hunter

    Brookie_Hunter aka Dave Hoover

    Gary Knowels likes this.
  16. fisherjon

    fisherjon Member

    spend whatever amount you believe you will have fun with and whatever is convenient for you i know alot of people would suggest not to and even i would say avoid it if you can but if you dont want to spend the time and wait for a rod to be shipped or you dont want to drive anywhere far or if you just dont want to spend alot of money go down to walmart get the walmart special if you want thats what i started off with and i had fun with that rod for like 8 years before it finally snapped in half i see it as do whatever you think will make you have a good time because that is what fly fishing is about having a good time
  17. Greg Price

    Greg Price Love da little fishies

    i agree on the echo solo rod. excellent beginner rod.

    Here is link to the rod.

    For Trout, I would get a 5 wt, but talk to your local fly shop. They can help you tremedously in choosing the proper beginner outfit.

    Most important piece of this is to buy from your local fly shop. They have the knowledge to steer you in the right direction. My local dealer is Puget Sound Fly Shop. Excellent service from them. Here is link to dealers who carry Echo

    On another note, I broke an Echo fly rod, my fault. They replaced the broken tip for approx $30.00 and had it shipped to me in Puyallup within 3 days.
  18. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Akuriko, to keep this a simple lesson, remember this: "IM-6." That's a type of graphite that came into widespread use shortly after graphite rods were introduced in 1975. It's usually fast, fairly crisp, not smooth. It's used for many graphite rods and rod blanks to this day. It's inexpensive and makes for a utilitarian rod that will work just fine for a beginner. You can buy used rods from the Classifieds here, and on eBay every day. For less than $100, you can buy a useable, reliable starter rod, that you can use as a backup when you learn about and buy better rods.

    The second thing to learn is to call them rods, not poles. A pole costs a few dollars, and is generally bought from a display bucket in front of a country crossroad store.
  19. Akuriko

    Akuriko Member

    Thanks Again 1 and all for the help, i am now deciding on what rod to get, do i need just 1 or do i need more?
  20. I'd start with one setup and spend your time fishing that for awhile. After you figure out a thing or two you'll know if you want a second setup and what you want out of it.