Need an Inexpensive Fly Rod Quickly

Skook

Member
My son is taking a fly tying/fishing class at college. He called today and asked if I could send up an outfit or two so that he and another kid taking the class could go out and try some fishing. My dad bought my son an inexpensive fly rod years ago when he was younger, but much to my dismay, he never stuck with fly fishing. I have some rods of my own but none that I really want to entrust to the care of a couple of drunken college kids living off campus with a bunch of other drunken college kids.

I'm thinking I might find a 4wt or 5wt rod on ebay and mail it to him so that his friend could use it. I figure it's worth a hundred or two $ if it gives two young guys a chance to cultivate a lifelong hobby. Anyway, my question is, what are my best options? This rod would be used for trout fishing in central PA's limestone and freestone streams. I'm thinking a 8'6" or 9' rod would fit the bill. The class started with tying flies but they haven't fished yet. I think they plan to fish two or three times later in the spring and can use the school's equipment on those outings. I'm not sure if the professor/instructor will teach them "traditional-style" fly fishing or more of a Euro-nymphing style, so I think it might be best to stick with a traditional style rod instead of a more specialized nymphing rod.

I'm thinking Fenwick Aetos, Redington Classic Trout, Echo Carbon XL, TFO BVK on clearance, etc. I have no personal experience with any of these rods, but I wouldn't doubt if they are better than the rods I am fishing from 20 or 25 years ago.

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you.
 

Skook

Member
I have an orvis Clearwater 8’6” 5wt I would be happy to part with of you are interested.
Thank you. I appreciate the offer, but now that I think about it more, I have one 5wt line and one 4wt line that I can spare without leaving myself short of a 5wt line if I send them two 5wt rods.

Seems like a weird way to decide on a rod weight, but if I go with two 5wt rods (my son's rod is a 5wt), I'll need to buy a new line and switch it out on a reel that I already have set up with a spare 4wt line. I think I should go with a 4wt rod for this reason. I wouldn't mind overlining a rod for them but probably shouldn't have one of them being underlined for two new fly casters.
 

Skook

Member
Or check these out. Entry level stuff but a complete package and in your price range.

Not a bad idea. I have a few spare inexpensive reels, so I could get away with just a rod, but this would simplify things. Plus, I wouldn't need to worry about scrounging up a spare line - and hope it still floats....
 

fisher

Member
Not a bad idea. I have a few spare inexpensive reels, so I could get away with just a rod, but this would simplify things. Plus, I wouldn't need to worry about scrounging up a spare line - and hope it still floats....
My thoughts exactly. All rigged up and ready to go.
 

jaredoconnor

WFF Supporter
Funnily enough, I have owned at least one rod in every model you mentioned. Technically I haven't owned a Fenwick Aetos, but apparently they use the same blanks as Greys Streamflex rods and I did own one of those.

I would steer clear of the TFO BVK. I hate those rods with the gravity of a thousand Jupiters and sold mine as fast as I could. Lots of people love them though. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the others, but I don't like Redington CT rods in longer lengths (above 8ft 6in) or higher line weights (above 4wt). If I had to pick one, it would be the Echo Carbon XL.

Regarding rod weights, PA doesn't have as many big and wild rivers as we do, so a 4wt may very well be the ideal choice in any case.

PA is also basically the home of tight-lining, in the USA, so I would be surprised if euro nymphing isn't on the agenda. A 10ft 3wt Echo Carbon XL Euro Nymph is a good do-everything rod and has no problem casting a true-to-weight 4wt line. I'd probably get one of these, if you're sending two rods over, rather than another conventional rod. If they do end up getting into tight-lining, all you need is a leader change; you can just attach a long mono rig to the 4wt line.
 
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