I am new to all this, I just picked up a fly rod for the first time last weekend. I am interested in getting a good fly rod... probably a 9ft. 6wt..... but I just thought I would see what people recommend for a good fly rod that will last me a long time...I don't really want to go over $250 on a rod. Any suggestions would be appreciated... thanks..
It probably isnt a good idea to get a high end rod for your very first fly rod. Need to make sure fly fishing "sticks" with you before you drop $700+ on a rod.
I would recommend either a Echo or Redington rod as a starter. You can get good rod reel set up for under $300 from each. If you really want to save more you can find cheaper by both brands.
My biggest piece of advice would be to find a certified casting instructor from a fly shop and take a lesson or two. It will save you a lot of time and get you into fish all the sooner. Orvis shops offer a free casting lesson if you have one near.
I have the allen fly rod sxp and ive only been fly fishing for about a month. Absolutely love the sport and the allen reel and rod combo is amazing! My friend/guide has been fly fishing for 30+ years and he loved the set up. He said only problem is that its not his haha ! And he has a few high dollar winston rods. But anyways email allen fly fishing and get to know the owner he is a great guy and really dose care about his customers. Also they r lifetime warranty
Cabela's currently has some great "Father's Day Specials" on what could be some good "beginner" rods. That said, I've been eyeballing Allen Rods Rods - Allen Fly Fishing Store as the source of my next (it'll be my fourth) rod.
Depending on how your casting develops, you may want to figure out what action/flex you prefer in rod before you buy one. However, I'm definitely an Allen fan, you can't really go wrong between the performance, warranty, and customer service. Like Rick said, welcome to the addiction, and Vans' suggestion of finding a certified casting instructor is a good one if you can swing it!
I would have to side with Gator on this one. Dropping a ton of money on a first rod probably isn't a great idea because you might figure out that you like a completely different action of rod. Also, as others have mentioned, who knows if you are going to stick with fly fishing. It's pretty easy to forget about it as you may tend to choose to pick up the gear you are used to and leave the fly rod at home.
"By the time I was a teenager I fit the standard profile of a lifelong angler. I was lazy, shiftless, unambitious and willing to work hard only at things that were widely considered useless." ~John Gierach
I am surprised no one mentioned Temple Fork Outfitters yet but I guess I will be the first. I will seconded Allen, great rod great price but personally and currently owning several rods my first fly rod ever was a TFO Lefty Kreh TiCr rod and all I can say is......WoW!! it's finesse is comparable to my Sage Axis rod and it only cost me around $175 bucks for the rod. TFO is a great company both for starters and advanced anglers and non of their rods are priced above $400 bucks.
I think Cabelas does some rod and reel combos with TFO rods and the some of the Cabelas reels are fairly decent, but if you are looking to spend under $250 I say TFO all the way.
I pride myself in finding quality useful setups for under $200, as that is what I have been able to afford, and I can't stand using gear that does not work well. I fish almost daily if that attests to the quality of the gear listed below.
I have the TFO pro 3wt, and a TFO signature series 6wt.
Both cast very nicely, ie little effort. The flex is softer than my comparable weight cabelas rods, but I also find them easier to cast and easier on errors.
Aside from being super affordable and casting nicely, the $25 replacement plan is what sold me after breaking 2 rods this year already (I fish daily, and fall occasionally!).
I really like the Cabelas RLS combo in 6wt, but I slipped on some loose dam rocks and fell on it... no replacement plan. The reel is still great. The cabelas 6wt feels heavier with faster action than the TFO 6wt.
I have an Albright 5/6wt that I got on clearance as a first 'nicer' rod. Too heavy last time I used it, although before I knew any better I liked it just fine. Lighter rods are just so much easier to cast all day, and easier to generate hand and line speed.
On saturday I de-virginized the TFO signature throwing dry dropper setups. Definitely delicate enough to land dries, but the thing can also throw a 5" double bunny streamer without too much hassle.
Reddington surge reels are affordable but seem pretty quality built. The drag seems really nice for the cost.
Greys makes some affordable reels with decent drag also (I have the GRXi, still kicking after plenty of big fish).
Lamson konic has a high end drag in a reel with more affordable metals. I think the drag is still breaking in on mine, it is getting smoother with time.
Good luck, you can't really go wrong, there is always craigslist to ditch the gear you don't like as much. A really fast rod will be tougher to learn timing on, a slow rod may just feel cumbersome. After a few years practice, I tend to prefer a fast rod with a line that is 1wt under; supposedly most lines are a bit heavy these days.
PS when I started out I had 2 different combos under $100. Reels were junk/plastic/dragless. Rods were stiff and insensitive. I never use these except to loan to beginners or maybe for travel (no hard feelings for breakage).