Get A Grip On Your Fly Rod!

Choosing a Fly Rod for Stillwater or River

Choosing your first fly rod, or even upgrading can be somewhat agonizing, especially for beginners.  Here, we offer advice on what to look for, which those new to fly fishing should find useful.

Listed here are some of our favourites.

We’ve separated this into two categories to cover both stillwater water and river rods.





Stillwater Fly Rods

Firstly, it’s a fallacy that longer rods cast further.  In fact, in many cases they can be a hindrance as with more carbon to turn over (flex) through the air many things can go wrong, resulting in casting faults, like tailing loops for example. 

With that, if you’re solely bank fishing we suggest a rod on 9 foot in length as these are very responsive when it comes to dealing with headwinds. 

The Redington Vice in 9 foot #5 is a star all-around performer, built to offer superb in-hand balance and generate high line speed to cut through wind and toss tight loops. It's perfect for all types of trout flies, any weather conditions, and precision casting.

  • Smooth, easy-casting fast action
  • Anodised machined aluminium reel seat, ideal for all water conditions
  • Laser-etched model reference on reel seat for quick rod identification
  • Alignment dots for easy rod setup
  • Durable cordura rod tube with built in rod dividers
  • Lifetime warranty


Wychwood RS2 9 foot #5 action is a little slower than most fast actioned blanks, which is better suited to all anglers, no matter the ability. Extra power harnessed in the butt and second section means it allows the more competitive angler to achieve distance casts with ease.

  • Lightweight High Modulus multi-layer Toray Carbon Blank
  • Pac Bay guides throughout with single leg guides and two lines stripper rings
  • Machined, high gloss, anodised reel seat
  • Section alignment guides
  • AAA cork handle
  • Carbon / Glass Rod Tube


If however you’re going afloat to fish loch style then you have the wind on your back.  Now as we’re not having to battle niggling breezes a rod of some 10ft can be a bonus.  The extra reach now allows you to dabble wet flies at the surface, or hang your nymphs/lures close to the boat after retrieving them.  This in itself is a lethal method. Those using float tubes will find such lofty rods useful too, as you now have superior control over the business end.


The Vision Onki (rod & line in Finnish) 10 foot #7 will cover most of the situations anglers face when fishing for freshwater species. The quality of high-modulus graphite is something you normally find only in more expensive rods and it enabled Vision to create a very light and sensitive rod.

With this rod your money is truly well spent!

  • Medium Fast Action
  • High Modulus graphite construction
  • Single leg guides
  • Partitioned protective tube
  • Handle: Full wells
  • Weight: 125g





There is a compromise in the form of a 9ft 6 inch rod, which works fine for bank fishing and also allows a little extra reach when drifting from a boat.


With regards to line ratings, a 6-weight outfit is a good all-rounder.

However, if most of your fishing is on large reservoirs where distance and sinking lines are important then a 7-weight rod is beneficial.

 Conversely, if you mainly visit small, intimate stillwaters, or hill tarns then you’ll enjoy the sensitivity of a 5-weight rod.





River Fly Rods

Time was when a 9 foot 5-weight was the standard outfit for river fishing. These days however due to influence from the Europeans, we’ve refined our views.  Not only have we adopted lighter line ratings, longer rods have come into play too with a 10-11 footer being par for the course.  Whilst many seasoned anglers look to 3-weight, or even 2-weight rods, a good all-rounder is a 10 foot 4-weight as this has the required reach to manipulate line (mending etc) and has sufficient backbone to cope with breezy weather, or larger trout. 






Vison's Nymphmaniac 10 foot #3 have been designed to be as light and as easy to handle as possible. The blank dampens immediately after stopping when casting which is extremely important for sustaining proper contact and a feel for light nymphs. 

  • Medium fast action
  • Four-piece rod
  • Extremely light and sensitive
  • Small and light single leg guides




Wychwood Drift XL 10 foot 6 inch #3/4 designed specifically for those that want that little extra edge! With a unique extendable butt section which allows, extension to the rod of up to 8-inches instantly transforming the rod to suit the situation that you find yourself fishing in.

  • Unique, twist and lock 8 inch extendable butt section
  • High Modulus Toray Carbon Blank making the rod flexible and light
  • Four piece construction with Carbon Rod Tube for storage
  • P cork half wells handle
  • Unique 20cm whipped marker


 There is one stipulation to consider however, and that is overhanging trees which reach out into the river and in some cases join up to create a gantry of branches.




To many this might sound like a gimmick, but it actually works extremely well. 

Don’t run away with the illusion you need a reel to hand in case a stubborn fish bolts for the horizon as most trout slog it out in their given pool / domain. 

It’s more about stopping fish reaching underwater snags like tree roots and boulders / ledges.







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