Your favorite rod.

Kyle Smith

Active Member
My Sage Pulse 697 is the rod I grab most of the time. I like fishing big nasty stuff with it, but throw on a long leader for dries, and I don't notice it's a big 6wt. Line of choice: Airflo Kelly Galloup Nymph. Best rod ever, I might buy a second one soon.


Active Member
My favorite rod is the one I am using...I really don't care....all is well when I am fishing, maybe I need to make an adjustment to my cast but who cares as long as I am fishing?

Only one thing for me: never glass!
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David Loy

Senior Moment
Since we’re updating here, I’ll play:
High on my list at least:
Epic 686 (fast glass) - versatile rod, fun to throw. Likely choice for the “if you could have only one” question. Does most things really well and OK on 80% of what’s left.
XP 697 - best SRC stick in my quiver, but the Radian could take it down probably.
McFarland (glass) 7’9” 5wt 6 piece - ultimate travel trout rod, for me anyway. Fits in any carry on or day pack. I just like having a rod with me.
Barclay 70P (7’ 4wt glass) - terrific small water rod. Also a great travel rod, but not quite the “all rounder” that the 5 is.

But, I move around often as to favorite.

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Though it would be fun to start a thread where we name our one and only favorite rod. The one that made you fall in love. The rod that you can not live without. Crack a beer and lets bs about our favorite stick.
Yup, old thread. I don't have a "one" rod that meets the 3 criteria listed by the OP.
In 1972 I begin using an UL spinning rod for high lakes and streams with 1/8 oz Daredevle spoons and a teardrop casting float to cast flies. I was never skunked using that combination.

My first rod for fly casting in the mid 1970s was a Fenwick spin-fly combo and a Shakespear Omni 33 reel.. It was nice because I hiked into high lakes and streams and could use one rod for spin fishing and fly casting.

After reading The Curtis Creek Manifesto in ~1986 I did buy a 9' 6 weight Cortland graphite rod and fell in love with fly fishing and the pursuit of the mythical Curtis Creek small streams (I still have two). However the rod that made me give away the Fenwick and put away the UL spinning rod for many-many years was a 9' 6 weight Gary Loomis Signature IMX in 1992. I still use that rod for fishing nymphs and streamers. Now the bigger waters and large fish were calling.

I rediscovered small streams again in 2009 and was using a very nice March Brown Hidden Waters 9' 7 pc 4 weight rod that is a great all-round high lakes and streams pack rod. But in 2011 I bought the TFO 7'9" Finesse that OMJ raves about. Wow, nice small stream rod, and I fell in love with small streams all over again! In 2015 I bought a 7' 2pc Pennington Pine River bamboo rod (Garrison 201 taper) that fishes best for me with a DTF3 and like it even more. I used the TFO when I knew I would be bushwhacking, and the Pennington for easy access stuff.

However in 2017 I came under the faerie spell. My buddy who taught me to fly fish in 1978 discovered Tenkara :eek:. I fished many small waters with him that year using my bamboo rod. My initial disbelief and disdain slowly morphed to amusement, then to being truly impressed with the number and size of the fish that he landed with just a rod, line, and an unweighted (dry-wet) fly.

At the end of that season, I purchased a very nice Tenkara rod; a DRAGONtail Hydra 390zx that fishes at 3.5 and 3.9 meter lengths, with all the accessories I needed to begin for $125, shipped. In the winter of 2017-2018 I read every article and watched every video I could find about how to fish using the traditional Tenkara methods. In early May 2018 I went to a well known local stream with the Tenkara rod and was skunked. Two weeks later I returned and caught 6 fish including the largest fish I had landed in that stream over 8 consecutive years, using a weighted nymph and dry-wet flies. The "impressed" from 2017 immediately changed to "astonished" that a rod able to detect light takes from a 4" fish and make it seem "sporting" could put up one hell of a fight and land a 16" fish with "authority".

That one fish changed me immediately and probably forever, not so much to be purely a Tenkara angler; ex. my 9' 7 pc 4 weight is a better high lakes rod, but that simple gear and techniques harkening to me all the way back from the 1980s with The Curtis Creek Manifesto along with precise tight line drifts will get it done.

I have since purchased two shorter rods; A full flex Tenkara Times Watershed 300Z that fishes at 2.4, 2.7, and 3 meters that's the ideal rod for brushy creeks with overhead cover, and the DRAGONtail Mizuchi 340zx that fishes at 2.4, 2.9, and 3.4 meter lengths that is more versatile and could almost be an EDC rod. I also bought a much longer Suntech GM "Keiryu" Special 53 rod that fishes at 4.5, 4.8, and 5.3 meter lengths and can cast weighted nymphs or dry-wet flies a good ways out into big water like the Deschutes near Warm Springs and land larger fish, but the Hydra is still my "S" river rod, and a great all-round beginners' rod for EDC.

BTW, I'm going to try using my Keiryu rod at a salt beach in this midday high tide cycle to see if I can hook and land SRC. But I won't be leaving my western 6 weight beach rod at home ;).
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Nick Clayton

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
Scott Meridian 9' 6 is hands down my favorite rod.

Orvis Helios 3D 9' 6 is probably 2nd.

Hardy Zenith 8' 9" 7 one piece is right in the mix as well but I don't fish it anywhere near as much as I used to.

Lately I've been fishing a 9' 12 wt Redington Vapen black and have become pretty attached to that as well but mostly because I've been having so much fun catching albacore on it
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The fish are calling.....
WFF Supporter
This the toughest question I’ve had to answer today.... and today was a day full of tough questions.....

After much consideration, I have failed to come to a conclusion....choosing a favorite fly rod is tougher than choosing my favorite dog.... it just doesn’t feel right to even try...

But, I can tell you which rod I miss the most.... The original Orvis Helios 8’6” 4wt Mid-flex... the slow deliberate action was perfect.... then a triploid broke it on Dec 21, I “upgraded” to a H2 6wt..... but it just didn’t have the same magic.....and I’ve missed that rod everyday since.....

New doesn’t mean improved.... and More Expensive isn’t necessarily More Better....

Several times I’ve thought about trying to find another rod like the one I lost.... but as Thomas Wolfe wrote “ You can’t go home again”.... and instead, I’m focused on trying to find the next rod that I’ll miss years after it’s gone....

(The attached pic was taken moments after my rod broke..... Rest In Pieces....)



Active Member
WFF Supporter
Depends on the fishing but here are my favorites (that I currently own):

Small river fishing: Winston Boron III 8’6” 4 weight
Medium River fishing: Hardy Jet 9’ 5 weight
Big River fishing TFO BVK 9’ 6 weight
SRC Scott Radian 9’6” 6 weight
Beach Coho Sage One 9’6” 7 weight
Chum Sage One 9’6” 7 weight but my Sage X 9’6” 8 weight will pull most duties this fall (purchased this year). My guess is this will be my go too 8 weight.

I also enjoy fishing my Echo River glass 4 weight 8’6” quite a bit when it is a small medium River/ dries only affair.

If I was forced to pick only one though, it would probably the the Radian. Great combination of power and touch on that rod. I would be comfortable fishing dries with that rod as well as catching coho from the beach.

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