Fly Fishing Rods

The earliest record of fly fishing is often cited by an illustration of an angler in Thebes, Greece around 1400 BC. That illustration show an angler with a 6 foot branch with a 6 foot horsehair line tied to the end of the stick. The fly was made of wool and a rooster neck hackle. In the 1600's, Scottish anglers were shaving the tree branches into rods, often willows, hickories, or hazelwood. They continued to fasten horsehair to the end of the rod as it was rot-proof and could last for generations of anglers. In the 1850's, Samuel Phillippe, of Easton, Pennsylvania created the first bamboo rod made with 6 strips of cane. This rod became the standard for flyfishing due to the sensitivity and strength of the material. Most cane was imported from the Tonkin region of China. After World War II, solid fiberglass was used to achieve the modulus similar to bamboo but was heavy. The Fenwick company developed a thin walled fiberglass rod in the 1950's that was much lighter by laying longitudinal lengths of fiberglass around a form and heating the rods within an oven. By the 1970's, Fenwick used a new material developed in the aerospace field called graphite to provide both strength and a higher degree of stiffer action than bamboo rods. Orvis quickly adapted this process for many of their rods and graphite became the mainstay for the fly fishing industry. It's curious that some are returning to fiberglass to get back to a closer modulus of the original quality bamboo rods.Action Chart

When I started to fly fish in the Sierra in the 1970's, I was told that my first rod should be a 9 foot 7wt. I chose a fiberglass Fenwick rod. This was considered a good all-around rod and it served me well for both flinging streamers, hanging nymphs, and casting a dry when called for. It handled well in the wind, particularly with my awful casting and poor loop control. Fenwick was the first rod company to create an all graphite rod in 1973, the HMG. Their rod designer, Don Green, left Fenwick and started a new rod company called Sage in 1980. Today, I fish with primarily a 9.5 foot 5wt as my big water rod and a 7.5' 2wt. Bamboo rod for small creeks. If I encounter windy conditions, I have a graphite 9' 4wt in my arsenal to fight that wind. When midging at Crowley Lake, I find that my 11' 4wt is really the ticket with a soft tip to hook set those large trout. Euro Nymphing calls for long rods and better sensitivity, so I like my Snowbee 10' 3 wt, for those waters. The rods have improved so much over the last 30 years that the 5wt I use today has more power than the 7wt I started with. So, as you encounter different water with different fly rigs, you will realize how the specialized rods will give you quite an advantage. And, you can still do well with a multi-purpose rod.

Fast action fly rods like the Scott Centric, Sage R8 Core, Sage Dart, Winston Air 2, G Loomis NRX+, Snowbee Prestige G-XS , and Orvis Recon have become very popular over the last decade.  Fast action rods are stiff fly rods that require more energy from the fly line to effectively load the rod.  Since the rod is stiffer, when the load in the rod is released, it will release the greatest amount of energy.  This high amount of energy release correlates to more line speed. Effectively loading fast action rods also requires a greater amount of casting ability.

Medium Fast action Rods are the most versatile fly rods you can buy.  They are just stiff enough to cast for distance and line speed when you need to, they bend enough in the middle to allow for decent roll casting & they will load in short range casts. Examples of medium fast rods are Snowbee Diamond2, Sage Payload, T&T Zone, and Redington Trace.

Medium action rods are designed intentionally to decrease line speed. A parachute Adams doesn’t need to hit the water at 100MPH, it needs to land like a fluffy dandylion. In short casting situations, medium action rods will still load with as little as two feet of line out of the rod tip. This allows you to effectively feel the rod load and unload while you cast.  Medium Action fly rods bend in the middle and thus are the best roll casting fly rods. They also are the best mending fly rods. Examples of medium rods are Orvis Helios 3F, Sage Trout LL, Redington Classic, Snowbee Spectre RMX, Scott G Series, T&T Paradigm, and G Loomis IMX.

By today’s standards, most rods produced before 1990 would be what we would all consider slow.  True slow action rods by design still are being produced in both bamboo and fiberglass. They make small fish feel big, and the extremely slow tempo and bend in the rod during the cast allows you really feel the cast happen. Red Truck Fly Fishing produces a wide range of fiberglass rods from a 1 wt. to 12 wt. and custom-built bamboo rods. Based in Sacramento, many of their rods are used within our Sierran waters.


Multi-Purpose Rods


Snowbee Diamond2, 4 to 6 wt

Get More Diversity with Diamond² Fly Rods. Since 1994, the name Diamond Fly has been synonymous with Snowbee and has built a loyal following among fly fishers. Our top-selling Diamond² range incorporates the very latest thinking in fly rod design and material technology. Using our tried and true “Tri-modulus carbon” technology these blanks are fast and light and retain a crisp, middle-to-tip action. Using the finest quality materials available we spared nothing in producing the best looking, best fishing 4-piece fly rods we could achieve at this price.


Snowbee Diamond 2


Sage R8 Core, 3 to 9 wt

At it's core, R8 Core traces a direct lineage to Sage's multi-application vision, one shaped by the fishing evolutions happening all around us- from habitats we stalk and waters we frequent, to the flies we fish and the diversity of the species we now target.With R8 Core, they have enhanced that two-way connection from hand to fly and back for greater feel, flow and control. This amplified two-way feedback loop, due to their new axial fiber formulation, allows you to feel when the power needs to be applied throughout the cast, presentation, and when applying the appropriate pressure to fish- ultimately giving you the angler Complete Control.


Sage R8 Core


T&T Zone, 3 to 10 wt

  • 3wt-4wt Medium/fast action 5wt-10wt fast action.
  • Natural finish carbon appearance.
  • Clear anodized premium aluminum hardware.
  • Blue fiber reel seat hand rolled at T&T.
  • Composite reinforced premium-quality cork grips.
  • Titanium frame stripping guides with Zirconium inserts.
  • T&T Blue thread with silver accent wraps.


T&T Zone


Centric, 4 to 7 wt

Scott put the feel in fast action rods. Now we’re taking it to the next level. Cutting edge Centric series fly rods deliver new levels of stability, recovery speed, and range, while giving anglers tons of feedback through the easy flexing tip sections and highly transmissive blanks. These are the most efficient rods Scott has ever created. High line speed, flat, stable loops are easily generated at any distance with minimal effort from the caster.

Scott Centric

R.L. Winston Rods 

Winston Air2, 3 to 6 wt

The next generation of all-around freshwater fly rods (3wt-6wt). These rods can do anything – present tiny dry flies to wary trout on flat water, cast a heavy streamer to the far bank in the wind, launch the entire line when you need it, and make quick, accurate close-range shots. From high stick nymphing, pounding the banks from the boat, or wet wading, the new AIR 2 is a pack rod, a travel rod, a beautiful rod, and an all-around rod. 


Winston Air

Ovis Helios F 

Helios 3F, 3 to 8 wt

The Helios 3F reduces the variables and harnesses the energy behind each cast for enhanced accuracy, so you can reach the far bank and drop a fly with precision every time. We’ve checked unbeatable accuracy and power off the list, but the H3F also delivers the finesse required to delicately drop a fly without spooking fish, and it has plenty of backbone to haul in the big fish of your dreams without flinching. Whether you’re chasing bonefish on the flats or casting streamers to the far bank, the Helios 3F offers the outstanding casting performance and responsiveness you need to land more fish.

Orvis Helios 3F

G Loomis 

NRX+, 4 to 8 wt

With a primary focus of maximizing versatility, these adaptable actions improve angler capability and expand tactical opportunity in difficult fishing situations. Rolled with G. Loomis' most advanced compound taper construction to date, NRX+ provides the power, line speed, and loop stability expected from modern fast-action rods, without compromising "feel" and finesse in the short game. This means, regardless of casting distance or difficulty, NRX+ empowers anglers with confidence-boosting control in less-than-ideal situations.


Loomis NRX+


Redington Trace, 4 to 6 wt

The TRACE is Redington’s next generation of fly rod family designed specifically for the trout angler. The TRACE’s refined medium-fast action combined with single-foot snake guides to increase both rod tracking and line sensitivity, allowing the angler to deliver the fly with pinpoint accuracy. The classic aesthetic of the Matte Mahogany blank finished with a dark wood reel seat gives the TRACE a timeless appearance, but don’t let the looks fool you… the TRACE will deliver your dry fly, nymph, or streamer in any condition.

Redington Trace

Dry Fly Rods


Sage Trout LL, 3 to 6 wt

Through blank taper optimization and specialized length offerings, the TROUT LL is perfected for wade fishing, closer casts, small flies, and light tippets. A relatively supple tip maximizes light tippet protection and gives way to a smooth easy-loading mid-section that increases feel and feedback throughout the casting stroke. When the hatch is on, the TROUT LL is an angler’s best friend.

Sage Trout LL


T&T Paradigm, 3 to 6 wt

  • Lightweight Titanium finish Single Foot REC guides
  • Matte Titanium finish roll-stamped hardware
  • USA sourced Bird's Eye Maple spacers
  • Beautiful new semi-gloss blue surface finish
  • Hand-written logo, serial numbers, and additional visual accents
  • Ultra-light rods with smooth, medium flex action for exceptional presentations.

Sage Trout LL


Loomis IMX Pro, 4 to 8 wt

Built to the unrelenting specifications of professional fishing guides, the IMX-PRO series is comprised of 6 purpose driven designs to meet the performance demands of modern freshwater fishing. Striking the ultimate balance of handsome appointments, positive feel, and unflinching durability, IMX-PRO is a game-changing addition to the serious angler's quiver.

Loomis IMX Pro


G Series, 2 to 6 wt

These rods advance medium action fly rods with two innovations. We’ve reinvented the hollow internal ferrule to make it more flexible, stronger, and more than 20% lighter. We’ve also combined our cutting edge fiber and resin systems in the most advanced multi-modulus layups we’ve ever created. New multi-slope tapers were designed to take full advantage of the new materials layups.The results are rods that help solve one of the toughest challenges in medium action fly rod design – how to create a rod that both bends deeply and remains stable.

Scott G Series

Creek Rods


Sage Dart, 1 to 4 wt

The small water DART features a short-range fast action for chasing wary trout in still and clear water, close quarters, or obstacle-ridden streamsides. Specifically designed to drive precise loops under the branches of a willow while still providing delicate presentations and delightful feedback to the angler. The KonneticHD materials combined with performance-friendly fast action gives fishermen the ultimate competitive advantage against highly selective trout. The lightest, most precise casting small water rod ever made, the DART is destined to become a cherished tool in the trout fisherman's quiver for years to come.


Sage Dart

R. L. Winston 

Winston Pure, 2 to 5 wt

Perhaps the greatest dry fly rods we have ever made.When you daydream of delicate presentation trout fishing, where does your mind wander off to? Some might imagine casting yellow humpies, stimulators, and Royal Wulffs on their favorite freestones.Some might imagine undercut banks, beaver ponds, and giggling riffles on a secret cutthroat “crick.” Some might imagine a large pod of picky spring creek rainbows dimpling PMDs on a slow-moving current’s surface. If these are your daydreams, we encourage you to explore our all-new PURE series of trout rods.

Winston Pure

Orvis Recon 

Orvis Recon, 2 to 9 wt

Mid-price anglers, your fly rod has arrived. With Recon, you get high-performance feel, lightness in hand, close-in loading ability, and the power for longer reach, and—thanks to H3 construction techniques—improved accuracy. And you get it all at an affordable price. Recon is the rod designed for the anglers who chase blue lines on topo maps and spend their nights bent over maps, plotting the next day’s adventures. For those who manage riverside meals of granola bars and jerky paired with the evening hatch instead of a sit-down meal at a sane hour. For anglers who would rather spend the day in the front of a skiff than behind a desk, we’ve created a rod ready to work as hard as you do in the pursuit of fish.

Orvis Recon

Redington Hydrogen 

Redington Classic, 2 to 6 wt

Designed especially for the trout angler. The moderate action of the rod provides the delicacy needed for technical spring creeks, yet packs enough power for big river and boat fishing. The lightweight blank and forgiving action reduces fatigue for long days on the water.

Redington Classic

G Loomis 

G. Loomis IMX Pro Creek, 2 to 4 wt

Small water. Big rewards. Now more than ever, anglers are searching for new opportunities to explore the path less traveled. Avoiding crowded waterways in search of solitude not only offers pause from the hectic pace of everyday life, it’s also an excellent way to find that happy, unpressured fish of a lifetime. For postwork solo missions or alpine weekend wanderings, IMX-PROc blanks blend a compact 7’9” length with a stable tip to create a moderate action that loads short and tracks true.

Loomis IMX Creek rod

Streamer Rods


Snowbee Denny Rickards, 6 wt

Because strong winds are a common occurrence on lakes, the fast-action construction of this rod utilizes tri-modulus carbon blanks that are light and crisp in nature, while still capable of storing excess power in the butt section for longer casts. This allows the rod to power through wind but also maintain a delicate presentation should waters stay calm. By pairing these versatile blanks with oversized SIC lined stripper rings and high-lift snake guides, accuracy and line control, even in wind, is unparalleled.


Snowbee Denny Rickards


Sage Payload, 6 to 9 wt

Big fish, big fly. While not always the case, this rule does ring true for many warmwater and saltwater fisheries with anglers casting larger flies than ever before. Featuring a fast action for casting large flies and very powerful tip to help pick up heavy lines off the water, the PAYLOAD is tuned for the extreme. These powerful mid sections then transition to a more forgiving butt that allows for a slower and more relaxed casting stroke that reduces fatigue. This softer butt section also allows for more leverage while fighting fish, making it easier to gain ground on hard fighting species.


Sage Payload

Thomas & Thomas Exocet 

T&T Exocet, 6 to 9 wt

  • 4-piece multi-modulus blank with stealth matte “T&T Blue” Low-Friction Finish.
  • Titanium frame stripping guides with ceramic inserts.
  • RECoil titanium alloy snake guides.
  • Ultra-premium cork, full wells grip.
  • Matte black milled aluminum up-locking saltwater reel seat.

Thomas & Thomas Exocet

Thomas & Thomas Exocet 

Loomis IMX Pro Streamer, 7 to 8 wt

The IMX-PRO Streamer is comprised of 4 purpose-driven tapers made to meet the performance demands of modern streamer fishing. Sourced from scratch, actions for the series are tuned for meat-chucking mayhem, making presenting triple articulated patterns on heavy sinking lines a breeze. Multi-Taper Design eliminates potential shear points for max durability and cuts mega weight. Available in line weights 7 and 8, in both 4-piece and 1-piece configurations.

Loomis IMX Streamer

Nymph Rods


Snowbee Diamond 2 Davy Wotton, 4 wt

The Davy Wotton Signature Series Wet Fly & Nymph Rod is offered as a 10ft 4wt which affords many more advantages over a standard 9ft rod. It enables far better line control for drift, with less fly line to be on the water surface, while simultaneously providing easier ways to mend and control line drift to eliminate drag. Able to facilitate the use of longer leaders for a more European style of nymph fishing, this 10ft rod offers more versatility than any shorter nymph rod. “Personally approved” by Davy for the purpose of wet fly and nymph fishing.


Snowbee Wotton Signature Rod


Sage Sense, 3 to 4 wt

The Sage Sense Fly Rods are designed specifically for the European Style Nymphing angler, with a rod that combines Euro Nymphing specific action, optimized components, and stealthy cosmetics to make the perfect tool for those looking to get the most out of their tight line techniques. Engineered with their Generation 5 Technology blank, the action of the SENSE starts with a soft tip for increased effectiveness in working precise nymph rigs and protecting fine tippets, giving greater control of these lighter fishing elements than standard fast action/multi-application rods. Once engaged, the tip absorbs shock and prevents "bounce", that might otherwise break off such fine tippets. Moving down the blank, the soft tip gives way to a stout butt section allowing anglers to fight and control fish with quick hooksets and minimal recoil, keeping the line tight throughout the entire fight, with plenty of backbone to muscle the mightiest of trout to the net.

Sage Sense

Redington Strike Euro Nymph 

Redington Strike Euro Nymph, 3 and 4 wt

Built for tight-line and Euro-style nymphing techniques, the medium-fast action of the STRIKE is finished with an extra-sensitive tip section for superior presentation control and strike sensitivity. With an ultralight, skeletonized reel seat and single-foot snake guides, we’ve reduced the overall weight of the STRIKE to help you stay out on the water longer with less fatigue. And to help you create your ideal set-up, the STRIKE features an extended handle so you can pair it with your reel of choice and still find the perfect balance point. So, whether you’re trying to qualify for the world championships or just enjoying being the top rod amongst your buddies, the STRIKE rod is designed to give you the unfair advantage.


Redington Strike Euro Nymph

Scott Flex 

Loomis IMX Pro Euro Nymph, 2 to 3 wt

With a moderate flex pattern and generous power through the bottom half of the blank, IMX-Pro E is designed to load easily for improved casting accuracy without sacraficing the "oomph" behind the hookset. Conduit Core Technology and Loomis' GL7 Resin System combine to reduce overall weight, resulting in a lightweight, scary-sensitive blank. A custom half wells "Euro Grip", matte finished reel seat with counter weighted fighting butt, precise guide spacing to eliminate line sag, and pointer finger "sensitivity zone" on the blank above the grip round out the feature set for this purpose-driven euro nymphing powerhouse.

Loomis IMX Pro Euro


Orvis Helios 3 Euro Nymph, 3 wt

A product of strong collaboration, the Blackout rods are high-concept, extremely specialized fishing tools—each conceptualized in a partnership between our storied guides and gear designers. New models include an 11' 3-weight Euro-nymphing rod. USA.

Orvis Helios 4 Euro Nymph

Switch Rods


T&T DNA Switch, 2 to 4 wt

  • Four piece, clear-coated graphite blank.
  • Switch grip.
  • Black milled aluminum down-locking reel seat.
  • Spalted maple spacer.
  • Titanium stripping guides.
  • Universal Snake Brand guides with black wraps with olive edging.


T&T DNA Switch

Redington Chromer 

Redington Dually, 5 to 8 wt

The original Dually proved that two hands are better than one, so the progression of this two-handed rod was simple. We lightened the overall rod weight, improved tip stability, and completely updated the handle, while still coming in at less than $300. Whether you’re wanting to be more efficient on your local trout stream or are in search of wild steelhead, the new Dually features rod weights and lengths to cover bodies of water from the Skeena to the MO and everything in between.


Redington Dually

Scott Radian 

Radian 2H, 7 to 10 wt

Light in hand with high line speed, and loads of feel, Radian two handers are perfect for anglers who prefer “touch and go” casts and an up-tempo stroke. They deliver power smoothly and load progressively so whether you’re fishing a close lie against the bank or a seam on the far side of the river, Radian two handers maintain their feel and loop control exceptionally well.


Scott Radian 2H

How to test a fly rod with Kelly Galloup

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