Best dry fly rod

LePetomane

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Robbo5, that is a loaded question. Personally I prefer medium to fast action cane. I have an 8’3” four weight that presents a dry fly beautifully. Others will have differing opinions but that is what works for me.
 

TristianSutton

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I loved the sage circa for dries it was fantastic but it was also 900$ so not mid tier, i like the scott flex it casts wonderfully and its mid tier

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jayr

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Just wondering whats the best dry fly rods? Mid range
That is an almost impossible question to answer.

First of all, define mid range?

Secondly, you need to define the type and size stream and fish size, etc., in order to answer.

That question is so broad you really need to define exactly what all of your parameters are. Much like asking, what's the best car, what's the best boat, etc. etc.
 
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WNCtroutstalker

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You didn't mention your desired weight and length (I'm guessing a 4 or 5 wt between 8'6" and 9') or what action you prefer, but.....

Just based on reviews I've read over the years, where you're located and perceived budget (mid-range = $400-$550 USD?), if you want new you might consider the Hardy Shadow or, if you can find a leftover closeout, the Hardy Zephrus Ultralight. If you like slower, full-flexing rods, the Douglas Upstream 8'8" 4 wt is a nice rod and under $400 USD, at least before any duties and shipping (not sure if available there).

If you'd consider used, then lots of options: Scott GS, Sage Circa mentioned above (deep flexing), too many others to list. It really depends on what action/flex profile you like.
 

Robbo5

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That is an almost impossible question to answer.

First of all, define mid range?

Secondly, you need to define the type and size stream and fish size, etc., in order to answer.

That question is so broad you really need to define exactly what all of your parameters are.
okay
You didn't mention your desired weight and length (I'm guessing a 4 or 5 wt between 8'6" and 9') or what action you prefer, but.....

Just based on reviews I've read over the years, where you're located and perceived budget (mid-range = $400-$550 USD?), if you want new you might consider the Hardy Shadow or, if you can find a leftover closeout, the Hardy Zephrus Ultralight. If you like slower, full-flexing rods, the Douglas Upstream 8'8" 4 wt is a nice rod and under $400 USD, at least before any duties and shipping (not sure if available there).

If you'd consider used, then lots of options: Scott GS, Sage Circa mentioned above (deep flexing), too many others to list. It really depends on what action/flex profile you like.
[/QUOTE
I was thinking 8’6” and a medium action rod around £200-£400
 

Ard

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I really believe that dry fly fishing comes down to the angler not the rod. I've used a few; the old brown Fenwick fiberglass rods in 5 and 6 weights, an Orvis Far and Fine 5 weight followed by an Orvis PM-10 five weight.

There are other fly rods I've used but those would cover the bulk of my fishing in the lower 48 for 34 years. The catch rates went up due to my level of skill improving through the years and I would have to say that the PM-10 was a better tool than the old Fenwick. Here where I have lived for quite some time there's no need to upgrade so I still have the old rods.

I think that you can learn with any of todays rods and may be better served by doing so with some affordable model. By doing that you'll be better positioned to realize if some mid to high priced rod actually seems better for you.
 

trev

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What Ard said, it isn't the rod and that also appies to nymph and streamer rods. Personally I prefer short rods for dry flies <8' and in 5-7wt. My reasons are that I never fish dries at over 30', the short rods work better under trees (for me) and the mid weight lines put mass into the short cast better than light weight lines. I can't see a dry much past 30' so no reason to use a rod built for 110' hero casts. My current dry fly favorite is 7'6"/5wt 'glass rod made a long time ago. This does not mean that this rod would be the best rod for you. I once had a 9' 5wt Clearwater that worked well enough where ever I used it and for all manner of flies. Kind of a generalist rod to me, it was the rod that turned me to using dries more wets after many years of never really learning to backcast.
I suspect the current generation Clearwater might similar.
 

cooutlaw

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Habitat dictates the tool.

Are we talking 70'+ on The Missouri? Crazy downstream shots on Silver Creek to avoid Micro Currents? Are we in the Gunnison Gorge aiming for canyon walls during a Stonefly hatch? Stillwater? A mid size tail water and PMD's or BWO's? Trico's or Spinners? Hoppers out of the boat? #24 Midge Dries or Emergers with 15' leaders and 7x ? A small high country stream and ants or beetles?

There is a large difference between the ocean and a bathtub and between a canoe and a houseboat.....the question poised of "best" is akin to asking which vehicle is "best". Best for what?

I'll reiterate that in fly rods there is no "BEST".....only choices....a rod perfectly aligned for one set of circumstances for one angler may be utterly useless in another set of circumstances for another angler...rods need to fit the individual anglers needs, techniques, habitats fished, and preferences.

Habitat + Payload + Conditions + Technique = Rod Choice.
 

el jefe

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If you want a terrific dry fly rod for a great price, look no further than the Redington Classic Trout (CT). It sells for $150 in the 4-piece version (I like the 4-piece over the 6-piece), and I would pick it over any mid-priced dry fly rod I can think of. In addition, the CT comes in several combinations of lengths and line weights to suit whatever habitat and species you are pursuing. The CT can go toe-to-toe with dry fly rods costing 4-6 times as much.
 

old timer

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I fish nothing but dry flies. My favorite size is an 8 1/2' for a 5wt. Some like a 4wt but Colorado is windy and I like the 5wt better.

As for the action? I'm a fan of bamboo but i'm not recommending it to someone asking what rod to use. I'll use a med action in graphite but for someone new i'd say a faster med action or med-fast. I like to feel the line load the rod. Even for short casts. It's not needed. I just enjoy the feel.

I suggest you go to a fly shop and test cast some rods. We all have a different tempo and you need a rod that suits your tempo.
 

Robbo5

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I fish nothing but dry flies. My favorite size is an 8 1/2' for a 5wt. Some like a 4wt but Colorado is windy and I like the 5wt better.

As for the action? I'm a fan of bamboo but i'm not recommending it to someone asking what rod to use. I'll use a med action in graphite but for someone new i'd say a faster med action or med-fast. I like to feel the line load the rod. Even for short casts. It's not needed. I just enjoy the feel.

I suggest you go to a fly shop and test cast some rods. We all have a different tempo and you need a rod that suits your tempo.
Im more of a medium action rod
 

johan851

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Plenty of good advice and further questions already added, so I won't repeat it all. I'd suggest adding Douglas Upstream to the mix if they have a suitable configuration for your needs.
 

rangerrich99

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Ard is correct; it's more about the individual than the rod. Some like really fast rods for dries, others don't.

However;

My favorite sub-$600 dry fly rod is still the Winston GVX (or GVX Select, which is the same rod with some red rings on it). Medium-fast action, on the 'medium' side. "Buttery" is a term used a lot when describing the action. I don't know about that, but it's extremely smooth. Mine's a 9 foot 5 wt., but I'd bet a pile of money the 8.5 ft. 4 wt. is the Excalibur of dry fly rods for people like me.

Unfortunately, Winston stopped making them a while back, and apparently everyone that bought one loves theirs a much as I love mine, because in spite of searching every summer when it gets too hot to fish, I haven't found one anywhere. I've even gone back to the fly shop where I bought my first one, because they have a 'buy-back' program, and they always have some rods that are hard to find, but no dice. I told them to call me as soon as they get one in, any GVX rod, and I'd almost certainly buy it. That was 7 years ago now. Crickets.

Anyway, good luck in your search, and I'm sure you'll get lots of good suggestions. Probably have already.

Me, I'm going to have a short glass of Ardbeg's Crorryvrecken and dream about finding Excalibur on my next fishing trip . . .

Peace.
 

old timer

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Speaking of Winston. I loved the old IM6 8 1/2' 5wt for dries. Then after that, the WT was almost as good.

I haven't looked at Winston rods in quite a while. The prices are ridiculous now and Boron has ruined the old Winston feel.
 

ibookje

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What the heck is a ‘dry fly rod’?
What is required to fish with a dry fly?

Sounds like a distance pissing contest :)
 

timd

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I love my Winston 8.5 4weight BIIt for spring creeks and smaller waters and my Radian 9’ 5 for rivers out west like the Mo or Madison.


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dtaylo1066

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If you want to wrap your own, I would suggest a 9 foot 5 weight Xi blank from Hook and Hackle. These are delightful casting blanks with moderate action and can fish any teachnique, but are very sweet with dry flies. I first used mine on the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot River and literally caught more than 100 fish on dries in a week. They run sales every few weeks with 30% discounts, or sometimes 50% off around key holidays. If you don't want to wrap a rod, by a blank and have a rodmaker make it for you.
 
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