Selecting a Fly Rod for Freshwater Fly Fishing Blog- Murray’s Fly Shop
The easiest way for me to select a fly rod for freshwater fly fishing is to first determine the size flies I plan to use on that rod. Once I know this I know what size fly line I should use. This tells me what weight fly rod I should use. The length of the fly rod is determined by how low the overhead canopy is on the stream.
Suppose I am in a hurry as I head for my Jeep to go to a small mountain trout stream. I accidentally pick up my seven weight 9 foot bass rod and reel. I do not realize my mistake until I get to the stream sixty miles away. Driving back home to get the correct outfit is not a option. I try to make do with my seven weight fly rod outfit. Even if I can find a 6X trout leader in my vest, the bass outfit with the seven weight line cannot give me the accuracy and delicacy I need with the small trout flies. I probably will not catch any trout.
Conversely, suppose I pick up my three weight trout outfit by mistake as I head to my favorite smallmouth bass river. By chance I have some size 6 bass streamers and Chuggers in my vest and one 9 foot 2X Leader. Even with this leader on my three weight line it is very difficult to cast the size 6 bass flies properly.The three weight line lacks the mass to cast those large flies and my fishing is a disaster.
Simply stated, my standard rule is a great help for me personally and for the students in my fly fishing schools. That is: The fly size governs the fly line size. The fly line size govern the rod weight size and the overhead canopy governs the length of the rod.