The weight you need depends on the type of fishing you are looking to do and the species of fish. Fly rod weights go from 00 to 14 with 00 being the lightest.
Light Line Weights (00-3)
Light line weights are for species like panfish and trout. They can also be used for close-quarters fly-fishing in smaller areas.
Ten to eleven foot rods with a line weight of 2-3 are becoming popular because of new fly fishing techniques that allow these rods to be utilized on larger streams, lakes, and rivers.
Middle Line Weights (4-7)
Middle line weights can be used for small fish up to bass, larger trout, and other average-sized fish and are perfect for medium-sized bodies of water. This is the rod for you if you're looking for a rod to be used in a variety of places.
Upper Middle Line Weights (8-10)
These lines are best for encountering large fish species in large bodies of water. 8-10 are typically used for large mouth bass, pike, musky, and several saltwater species.
Heavy Line Weights (11-14)
These area saltwater rods primarily design for marlin, swordfish, tarpon, and other hard-fighting fish.
Fly Rod Actions
The actions for a fly rod are either fast, medium, or slow. This is based on how the rod bends and flexes and are also called tip flex, mid flex, or full flex.
Fast Action (Tip Flex)
Fast action rods are stiff and only bends and flexes in the upper 1/3 of the rod. The stiffness of the rod allows is to provide longer casts and tighter loops in the fly line during the cast. The extra power o the rod may also help you land larger fish.
Medium Action (Mid Flex)
With medium action rods, 2/3 of the rod is able to bend and flex. You will not get the long casts that are achievable with fast actions, but the mid flex offers more sensitivity. This added level of sensitivity allows you to have softer casts, which help with fish that are easily spooked. Medium action rods are also better for beginner casters because it does not create as tight of a loop that can lead to problems.
Slow Action (Full Flex)
A slow action rod bends and flexes almost all the way to the handle of the rod. These are built for close-quarters fishing and in situations where you do not want to spook the fish. This is a great choice for beginners.
Fly Rod Length
Rod length can range from 4 to over 14 feet. The length of the rod should be relative to the size of the area you will be fishing in. For example, it'd be cumbersome to use a 10-foot rod to fish in a 4-foot wide creek. If you're looking to purchase your first fly rod, we would suggest something between 7 1/2 to 9 foot range. This will allow you to fish in multiple areas without a problem.
Fly Rod Materials
Some of the first fly rods were made from bamboo and it is considered the traditional rod. They are created by gluing strips of bamboo together into a hexagonal rod shape. It is a slow action rod and are typically heavy.
These rods are durable, cheap, and lighter than bamboo. They're also slow action and very sensitive so the rod gives to very small fish.
These are the most common rods and embody all of the benefits of fiberglass and bamboo rods without the negatives. Graphite fly rods can be built with different types of graphite material, which allows these rods to range from extremely lightweight to very heavy.
Many people choose to the cheapest fly reel option available without considering what a better quality reel could offer. The primary function of a reel is to hold the line, however, a good reel also comes in handy when dealing with fighting fish. Imagine losing your first 33-incher because your reel failed you.