5 Best Fly Rods under $100 (High Quality Yet Affordable)

Many anglers seem to have a misconception that you cannot find a quality fly fishing rod for less than a hundred dollars. If that’s what you think, you might be wrong. You can still find some quality fly rods under $100, only that you will need to invest your time looking for a quality rod. 

In this guide, I will show you how to choose affordable fly rods and then recommend the top 5 best fly rods under $100. If you are in a hurry, here is a summary of the recommended fly fishing rods. 

RodKey Features 
OKUMA SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly RodGraphite Rod Moderate-Fast Action Rod 4-Piece Rod 
Aventik Z Ultralight Fly Rod Fast Action Presentation Premium Components Double QC System 
Wakeman Outdoor Fly-Fishing Pole Collapsible Rod Fiberglass Material Carrying Case Included Cork Handles 
M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Rod Maxspiral Blank Technology Extremely Smooth Guides Pure Cork Handle 
FISHINGSIR Fly Fishing RodUltralight RodStainless Steel Guides + Carbide InsertsMedium-Action Design 

Benefits of Fly Rods/ Benefits of Fly Fishing 

Fishing is supposed to be fun as a leisure activity, and you can enjoy it even more if you choose fly fishing. Here are proven benefits of fly rods/ fly fishing. 

Longer Casts with Smaller Lures 

Typically, lighter and smaller lures affect your cast’s distance. The lighter the lure, the shorter the casting distance is likely to be. Well, a fly rod makes it much easier to cast smaller lures over longer distances.

24/7 Strike Indicator 

In most cases, you will use a fly line when using a fly rod. The good news is, you can use your fly line as a strike indicator. All you need to do is look at the fly line, especially near where it is connected to the leader line. 

Fly Rods are Fish-Friendly 

There is always the possibility of hurting a fish while retrieving, but the risk can decrease dramatically when fly fishing. Most anglers single hook flies, reducing the risk of hurting a fish once it is hooked. Also, the fly lures are made of synthetic materials, which are environment friendly. 

Improves Your Mental Health 

This might seem like a tall order, but fly fishing relieves stress better than most fishing techniques. Studies show that fly fishing has some therapeutic benefits since most anglers have to explore the environment looking for flies. Adding to the fact that fishing is a leisure and fun activity, fly fishing will make you a happier person. 

What to Look for When Buying a Budget Fly Rod 

The easiest way to buy a fly rod is walking into a fish store and picking the first rod that catches your eye costing $100 and below. While that might be easy, it is not always the best approach. You might get lucky and find a quality rod for the price, but you will buy a substandard fly rod in most cases. 

That said, you should always take your time while purchasing a fly rod, research, and buy a rod that you are sure will serve you right. In your research, consider the following parts and features of a rod.  

Length and Weight 

The right length for you will depend on where you plan to fish, while the weight may be determined by the type of fish you plan to catch.

Longer rods are known for their great casting distances, but they are not as accurate as shorter rods. For that reason, if you plan to fish in a lake from the shore, I suggest going for a longer rod to get a better casting distance. If you plan to catch fish in a vegetated pond, I suggest using a shorter rod since it is more accurate.

On the other hand, the weight of a rod will determine its strength and sensitivity. A lightweight rod is less strong but more sensitive. Therefore, such a rod will be perfect for smaller fish like trout and panfish. Heavier rods are stronger and perfect for larger fish like cats or even sharks. 

Material 

Fly fishing rods are often made of three major materials. They can be made of graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo. Additionally, they can be made of a blend of fiberglass and graphite or other materials such as carbon.

Graphite is lightweight and classy, but it is not excellent at handling challenging fishing conditions such as rocks and vegetation. Fiberglass is slightly heavier but handles the mentioned conditions better. The bamboo rods are not as common as before, but you can still find some if that’s what you want. Price-wise, graphite rods are slightly more expensive than fiberglass ones.

Action 

Action is the term used to explain the point at which a fishing rods bends when force is applied. Typically, the action of a rod determines its sensitivity and casting distance. 

  • Fast action rods bend near the rod tip, making them more sensitive. However, this sensitivity comes at the expense of the casting distance.
  • Slow action rods bend near the reel, and they are handy in longer casts. They are also beginner-friendly. However, they are not the most sensitive, so they may not be the best option for smaller fish. 
  • Medium action rods provide both sensitivity and casting distance. They bend near the tip but lower than fast action rods. They are often the best option for people who want to use one rod for different fish types. 

Rod Guides 

Rod guides help the fishing line stay in “line” while casting. Inside the guides, there are some rings (inserts). Make sure the inserts are made of a smooth material such as ceramic or titanium oxide. If the inserts are rough, they will cause friction with the fishing line, wearing it down. Stainless steel guides are the most common. 

Rod Handles 

Typically, you will be holding the handles when fishing. The handles come in handy when battling hard-fighting fish. For that reason, the handles need to be comfortable and provide a tight grip to give you the upper hand during the battle.

There are various types of rod handles, so be sure to give a few a try before settling for any. Choose the one that feels the most comfortable. However, if you are buying the rod online and you don’t have the chance to try, consider purchasing a rod with Cork or EVA handles. These two materials are comfortable and provide strong grips. 

Fly rod Handle

How to Choose a Budget Fly Rod 

After looking at the above features and identifying a few rods, use the following factors to choose the best among them. 

Look for the Best Warranty 

With a warranty, you can return a rod within the warranted period, and it will be replaced or repaired without any cost to you. However, the problem must be the manufacturer’s fault. Choose the rod with the longest warranty if you are torn between several rods. 

Comfort 

Your comfort comes first, so you should always choose the most comfortable rod among them all. You will know the most comfortable one once you try it. 

Reviews 

Ask fellow anglers what they think about certain rods and get their views about it. If you don’t know anyone to ask, head over to online stores like Amazon and read the reviews from other anglers.

Cost 

Finally, you should always buy something that is worth the price and within your budget. For example, if your goal is to buy a fly rod for under $100, you should not trouble yourself looking for rods costing above that.

Best Fly Rods under $100: Reviews 

Here are budget-friendly fly fishing rods you should consider adding to your collection. They are all under $100, and they are all worth the price. Hopefully, you will find a favorite in this list. 

OKUMA SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly Rod

OKUMA is a well-established brand that has provided us with some fine rods, reels, and other fishing gear. With that in mind, you can expect that the SLV graphite rod is of the highest quality. The rod has received a lot of love, and it is excellent for both new and experienced anglers.

Features 

For a rod costing less than a hundred dollars, the SLV graphite rod comes with some excellent features, which include:

Graphite Rod 

The rod’s blanks are made of graphite, one of the finest materials for fishing rods. Graphite is strong, durable, yet lightweight enough for smaller fish like panfish. You can use the Okuma SLV fly rod to catch smaller to medium-sized fish hassle-free. 

Moderate-Fast Action Rod 

Fast action rods are extremely sensitive, but they are not as beginner-friendly as slow action rods. A moderate-fast action rod provides you with sensitivity, casting distance, and ease of use. 

4-Piece Rod 

While purchasing a rod, it is important to consider its Packability, especially if you are a frequent traveler. A rod with more than one piece is typically more travel-friendly since you can dismantle it and carry the pieces in a bag. A rod with four pieces is excellently packable and travel-friendly. 

Specs 

  • Weight: 0.3 pounds (package weight), 3.8 ounces (item weight)
  • Brand: Okuma 
  • Material: Graphite 
  • Suggested Users: Men 
  • Line weight: 3-4 wt. 

Verdict 

Okuma has done an excellent job with this fly rod. It is beginner-friendly, lightweight, travel-friendly, and durable. For a rod costing less than a hundred dollars, it has it all. I recommend it to all anglers. 

Aventik Z Ultralight Fly Rod 

If you are looking for an ultralight fly fishing rod, you will love this one. It is a lightweight, fast action rod that will serve you for a long time. Its compact design has received a lot of love, and it is perfect for freshwater fishing. 

Features

Aventik may not be as popular as Abu Garcia, Okuma, and Ugly Stik, but they are doing a pretty good job. Their rods are excellently constructed, and this one comes with some excellent features, which include:

Fast Action Presentation 

Fast action rods are known for their sensitivity, and that’s all you can ask from a lightweight rod. You want it to be as sensitive as possible. 

Premium Components 

The guides are made of corrosion-resistant minima material, and the inserts are smooth enough since they are made of burl wood. The reel seat has some metallic finish, making it quite durable.

Double QC System 

All Aventik rods undergo a strict double QXC system and field casting tests before they are shipped to ensure they all meet the right quality. They also provide spare sections and repairs at lower costs for their customers if a rod breaks when you are fishing. 

Specs 

  • Brand name: Aventik
  • Weight: 0.48 kg (package weight)
  • Length: 6 ft. 
  • Action: Fast 

Verdict 

The Aventik Z ultralight rod is a compact fly rod that is excellent for freshwater fishing. It casts excellently and can take a 3wt line without any problems. It is an excellent rod for trout and panfish.

Wakeman Outdoor Fly Fishing Pole 

This Wakeman fiberglass rod is collapsible, meaning you can disassemble it and carry it with you to wherever you want. The rod s in three pieces, and it comes with a carrier bag. It is beginner-friendly, and it comes with a reel and two flies to start with your fly fishing journey.

Features 

Here are the features of the fishing pole:

Collapsible Rod 

The fishing pole features a compact, screw-together design that allows you to assemble or disassemble it when traveling. When dissembled, it is in three pieces, making it easy to travel with during hikes and vacations. 

Fiberglass Material 

The rod is made of fiberglass blanks, one of the finest rod materials. The material is strong, durable, and still lightweight enough to sense the slightest bites. 

Carrying Case Included 

The item comes with a quality carrying bag that you can use while traveling or store the rod inside it. 

Cork Handles 

For maximum comfort and excellent grip, the rod comes with cork handles. 

Specs 

  • Weight 1.02 kg (package weight), 2.02 pounds (item weight)
  • Brand name: Wakeman 
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Number of pieces: three 

Verdict 

The Wakeman outdoor fly fishing pole is an excellent choice for both beginners and experienced anglers. It is strong for larger catches yet lightweight enough for smaller catches. 

M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Rod 

This rod is available with a reel, and the combo is one of the cheapest lightweight fly fishing gear you will find in the market. 

Features 

The combo comes with some fine features, which include:

Maxspiral Blank Technology 

This technology involves combining four carbon layers with Reinforced Muscle Carbon, making the rod up to 20% stronger than a standard carbon fiber rod. 

Extremely Smooth Guides 

The Maxmatch fly rod guides are made of stainless steel, and the inserts are made of ceramic. The stainless steel guides are durable, and ceramic inserts reduce friction, making your fishing line last even longer.  

Pure Cork Handle 

The rod comes with pure cork handles, which are comfortable and provides a strong grip. 

Specs 

  • Weight: 0.36 kg (package weight), 0.79 pounds (item weight)
  • Brand name: M MAXIMUMCATCH
  • Size: From six feet 

Verdict 

If you are looking for a lightweight fly fishing combo, you will love this one from M MAXIMUMCATCH. It is lightweight and comes with a carrying bag. 

FISHINGSIR Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo 

If you are looking for an affordable complete set for fly fishing, you should consider purchasing this kit from FISHINGSIR. The kit comes with a reel, rod, breathable waders, fly lines, and other accessories that will make your fly fishing easier. 

Features 

FISHINGSIR products are made of quality materials despite their low costs. Here are the features of the rod that comes with the package:

Lightweight Rod

The fly fishing rod weighs only 3.1 ounces, which is equivalent to 91g. With such a weight, you can hold it all day and never feel tired in the evening. 

Stainless Steel Guides + Carbide Inserts

The carbide inserts are smooth enough to ensure there is no friction between the guides and the fly line. 

Medium-Action Design 

With a medium action design, you can be assured the rod is sensitive, strong, and can cast over longer distances. Medium-action rods are always very versatile. 

Specs 

  • Brand name: FISHINGSIR 
  • Weight: 3.8 ounces (rod)
  • Material: Stainless Steel 

Verdict 

This kit from FISHINGSIR has received a lot of love, and I bet you will love it too. It contains everything you need to start fly fishing. The rod is pretty good, and the other accessories complement it pretty well. I recommend it to all anglers. 

Wrapping Up 

There are many fly fishing rods, some expensive and some relatively affordable. However, many fly rods under $100 are often substandard, and if you are not careful, you might regret some budget fly fishing rods. 

To get a worthy one, you need to thoroughly compare features such as length, weight, material, and guides. Luckily, you don’t need to do the research yourself. I’ve done it and recommended the best fly rods under $100. My favorite is OKUMA SLV Graphite 4-Piece Fly Rod, but the others are pretty good as well

Finally, If you have a flexible budget and go with a top-quality fly rod in the market, you may read our reviews on the Moonshine Fly Rods

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