There are hundreds of fly fishing rods out there, but not all are always worth the price. Some are too expensive, while others are cheap but of lower quality.
Moonshine Co. balances quality and affordability. I feel like the company is not getting the attention it deserves, and that’s why I will review some of its finest fly rods to help you get a vivid picture of their products. Hopefully, you will find a quality fly rod that you will be proud of.
- 1 All about the Moonshine Company
- 2 Moonshine Fly Rods Reviews in 2021
- 2.1 Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod Reviews
- 2.1.1 Main Features of the Drifter Series Fly Rod
- 2.1.2 Pros: What You Will Love about the Drifter Series Rod
- 2.1.3 Cons: Things You May Not Like
- 2.1.4 Verdict
- 2.2 Moonshine Revival Fly Rod Review
- 2.3 Moonshine Rambler (Spin) Rod Reviews
- 2.1 Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod Reviews
- 3 Moonshine Fly Rods Maintenance 10 Hidden Tips
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions About Moonshine Fly Rods
- 5 Wrapping Up
All about the Moonshine Company
Moonshine Company is a relatively new rod manufacturer that has come up with some quality rods that don’t cost a fortune. Their rods are available in a variety of sizes, materials, weights, and designs. The rod company is owned and managed by four professionals who refer to it as a “small batch blue collar fly fishing rod company.”
The company is based in Virginia, and all their products are designed on the location. However, they outsource some services from China and other third parties to help keep production costs as low as possible. The finishing and product check takes place in the US, though. They always double-check their products before shipping to ensure they all meet standards of the highest quality.
With a variety of rods to choose from, you can find graphite, fiberglass, and carbon rods. Their glass and graphite mostly come from Japan, while the carbon is from South Korea. All their rods are excellently crafted to ensure they are as durable as possible.
Moonshine has many rods in the market, but most of the anglers have probably only heard of the midnight special. The rod has been on the market for some time, and it is considered one of the top fly rods, despite its lower cost compared to rods of the same quality.
Since the Midnight Special is out of stock, I will discuss other fantastic rods from the company that deserves similar attention in this guide. I will compare three, and you can choose one that seems most comfortable for you.
Moonshine Fly Rods Reviews in 2021
You can find Moonshine fly rods on their official website or on online stores such as Amazon and eBay. The company is not a mass manufacturer like huge companies such as Abu Garcia and Ugly Stik, so sometimes the rods may run out of stock. However, they always restock as soon as possible. That said, here are my top three picks for Moonshine Fly rods.
Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod Reviews
The Drifter fly rods from Moonshine are among the company’s top-selling rods, and it is because of good reasons. The rods are available in different sizes and weights. The rod length starts from 7’6″ to 10’0″ while their weight ranges from 3 WT to 7 WT. They all come in the same construction, design, and quality. The only difference is weight and size.
The rod is in 4-piece, meaning you can disassemble it into four pieces and pack it in a bag while traveling. The rods are designed to provide maximum comfort but at a friendly price. And if you love vintage rods, the Drifter series is an excellent option for you. These rods take you back to the good old fishing days.
The Drifter rod reel seat is constructed from sturdy and durable anodized copper. Its dyed finish gives it a cool look, and the rod’s natural beauty makes it even more admirable. When you purchase it, you get an extra rod case (hard canvas) and tip to replace it in case of an accident.
The rod is easy to cast, and it is an excellent choice for beginners and experienced anglers. Furthermore, it is a medium action rod, so you can expect to use for various types of fish and fishing locations. It gives you a perfect combination of flex, power, and accuracy, exactly what you need from a fly rod.
Main Features of the Drifter Series Fly Rod
This well-crafted fly rod comes with some fantastic features that might interest you. These features include:
Graphite Blanks and Anodized Copper Reel Seat
Typically, the material of a rod determines the weight, durability, and power of a rod. If the rod is made of high-quality material, the rod will be durable, lightweight, and sturdy. The Drifter series rods are made of high-quality premium-grade graphite. Graphite is lightweight, durable, and strong. In fact, most high-end fly rods are made of graphite.
Most standard fly rods use aluminum for their reel seats. Aluminum is a durable material, but anodized copper is much better. Copper can handle abuse from tough fishing conditions much better than aluminum. This means a copper reel seat will remain as good as new for years. The Drifter rod also handles corrosion much better than standard fly rods.
Premium Cork Handles
The Drifter fly rod from Moonshine comes with high-grade AAA cork handles to provide you with a comfortable and strong grip when fishing. The handle is also of perfect size, not too large or too small. Such a handle is excellent for people of all ages. You can use the rod all day, and you won’t feel too tired. Also, the grip will always give you the upper hand during battles with hard-fighting fish.
A 4-Piece Rod
All Drifter Series rods are 4-piece. A 4-piece rod means it can be dismantled into four parts packable in a bag. This means whenever you want to carry your rod on vacation or hike, you can just disassemble it, pack it in a bag, and reassemble it once you get to the fishing location. Dismantling it is quite easy, as long as you have a screw, so you shouldn’t be worried about that.
The reel guides for the Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod are made of lightweight and durable material. They are then complemented with ceramic inserts to help minimize friction between your rod and line as much as possible. Less friction allows easier casting and ensures that the guides do not wear your fishing line down.
All Moonshine rods come with a no-fault lifetime warranty, including the Drifter series fly rods. Kindly keep it in mind that the warranty does not cover intentional damage or flagrant abuse. If the damage is your fault, Moonshine can do the repairs at lower prices ranging from $40 to $60. Please visit the Moonshine official website to learn more about their warranties.
Pros: What You Will Love about the Drifter Series Rod
- Lightweight yet strong enough to land larger catches.
- Comes with an extra rod tip and a hard canvas carrying case
- Casts excellently even over longer distances
- A medium-action rod that is versatile and effective
- Premium cork handles for comfortable and stronger grips.
- A flexible and sensitive rod for smaller and larger fish
- A 4-piece rod, which makes it packable and travel-friendly.
- Lifetime no-fault warranty.
Cons: Things You May Not Like
- The dye on the wooden parts may not last for a long time.
The Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod is a perfect fly fishing rod for people of all ages and skill levels. It is easy to use, and it comes at a lower price than other rods of the same quality. The rod is durable, lightweight, and classy. I recommend it to all anglers looking for a fly fishing rod worth the price. You won’t regret purchasing this one.
Moonshine Revival Fly Rod Review
The Moonshine Revival Fly rods are available in two major sizes, seven and eight feet. They are made of fiberglass, a durable and sturdy material. Graphite rods are the most common, but fiberglass is making a major comeback, and many people love it. Fiberglass has proved to handle tougher fishing conditions like rocks well than graphite. It is also more break-resistant than graphite.
The Moonshine Revival Fiberglass Fly Fish rod comes with slow action, meaning it is beginner-friendly and excellent for longer casts and larger catches. The seven feet rod comes with 3 WT while the eight feet one comes with 5 WT. This means the rods are not too heavy, despite being made from a heavier material, fiberglass.
Moonshine Revival Fly rod comes with a hard canvas carrying case, plus an extra tip, in case the one on the rod breaks. It has a gorgeous vintage design, and the reel seat is made of anodized copper. Most anglers have been impressed by its casting distance and precision. And with a lifetime warranty, you can be sure it is a long-lasting rod.
Major Features of the Moonshine Revival Fly Rod
The Moonshine Revival series rods come with some fantastic features, which include:
Copper Anodized Reel Seat and Fiberglass Blanks
Fiberglass is becoming a popular rod material once more, and it is because of good reasons. The material is tough, strong, and it is often more affordable than graphite. Furthermore, fiberglass is lightweight and sensitive enough to detect tiny bites. Moonshine CO. has “revived” the fiberglass material and added extra features to provide you with a long-lasting, comfortable, and modern fly rod.
On the other hand, the reel seat is made of anodized copper, which is a much better material than the standard aluminum. Anodized copper has proved itself as tougher and long-lasting, so you can be assured your rod will last for a long time.
High-Grade AAA Cork Handles
It is crucial to ensure your rod handles are as comfortable as possible. It is also vital to ensure they provide a strong grip. There are various types of rod handles, but EVA and Cork’s handles are considered the best.
Moonshine Revival Fly Rod comes with high-quality premium cork handles, so you can be sure it is comfortable and will provide you with a strong grip.
Like other Moonshine fly rods, the Revival Fly Rod comes with a no-fault lifetime warranty. Moonshine Co. understands that accidents can happen when loading the rod on your car or elsewhere, and that’s where the lifetime warranty comes in.
If the rod breaks due to the company’s fault, Moonshine will repair or replace the rod free of charge. If it breaks due to an accident, for example, when traveling with it, Moonshine will repair the rod at discounted prices, ranging from only $40 to $65 for the Revival rod.
I think that’s fair and a huge advantage of buying from Moonshine. You can fish with confidence knowing the rod is strong enough, and if it breaks, you can get a repair for much lower costs.
Ships with an Extra Rod Tip
Typically, rod tips are the most susceptible to breaks. Luckily, they can be replaced, meaning you don’t have to buy a new rod if a tip breaks. Most standard rod manufacturers sell rod tips, but Moonshine adds an extra tip for free on the hard canvas case that comes with it. Therefore, if your rod tip breaks, you will just replace it with the extra one.
Pros: What You Will Like
- A beautiful rod that can make a beautiful gift for all anglers
- A versatile rod that you can use in most fishing locations.
- A powerful rod for larger catches
- A slow-action rod that is beginner-friendly and still sensitive enough
- Comes with an extra tip in case the one on the rod breaks
- Comfortable handles that provide strong grips to help during struggles with hard-fighting fish.
- Excellent customer service from Moonshine.
- The rod feels a little too stiff for some users.
- Feels a bit heavy compared to graphite rods
If you are looking for a slow-action fly rod, you will love the Moonshine Revival Rod. It is beginner-friendly, strong, and beautiful. However, it feels a little heavy, although the handles are comfortable and provide a strong grip. For that reason, I recommend it to adults. It might not be ideal for children.
Moonshine Rambler (Spin) Rod Reviews
Among the three (Drifter, Revival, Rambler), the Rambler spin rod is the most affordable. The rod comes with a graphite construction, and it brings the traditional feel of spinning rods yet maintaining a modern touch.
It is available in three popular sizes, 6′ ULF, 6’6″ MLF, and 7′ MHF. Rambler Series Spin Rods are meant for freshwater fishing, so kindly don’t use any in saltwater.
Its color scheme is fantastic, making a beautiful rod that will make an excellent gift for anglers of all ages. It is lightweight and easy-to-use, meaning it is excellent for anglers of all skill levels.
The Moonshine Rambler fly rod has excellent construction, and you are going to love these fine features that come with it.
The Moonshine Rambler rod has a graphite construction, making it lightweight, strong, and durable. The rod is easy to use, and the graphite material gives it a classy and expensive look. However, it is worth noting that the reel seat is made of anodized copper, just like the other Moonshine fly rods.
The Rambler series rod comes in two pieces, so you can disassemble it into two pieces while traveling. Two pieces may not seem much, but for a six feet rod divided into two, it can practically feet in most of your bags. The two-piece design makes it quite easy to travel with it.
Split AAA Handles
Split handles are known for providing the strongest grips when it comes to battling hard-fighting fish. They are also comfortable and lightweight. You can hold the fish all day and get home in the evening without feeling too tired.
The Rambler fly rod is ultralight, and it is meant for smaller fish like panfish and trout. With it, you will feel even the slightest bites.
Pros: What You Will Love about the Rambler Fly Rod
- A fantastic rod for all, including children
- A sensitive rod for smaller fish like trout and panfish
- Excellent customer service from Moonshine Co
- Durable and friction-free Fuji guides that will not wear down your fishing line.
- A packable and travel-friendly 2-piece fly rod
Cons: Things You May Not Like
- Only suitable for freshwater fishing.
- May not be strong enough for larger catches.
The Moonshine Rambler Fly rod is a relatively new fly rod that hit the market earlier this year. The rod has received a lot of love from most anglers, and I’m confident you will love it too. It is relatively affordable, lightweight, and beginner-friendly. It is also a beautiful rod that can make a beautiful gift for all people, including children. I recommend it to all anglers looking for an ultralight fly fishing rod for panfish or trout fishing.
Moonshine Fly Rods Maintenance 10 Hidden Tips
Once you have purchased a Moonshine fly fishing rod of your choice, it is up to you to take proper care of it to ensure it lasts as long as possible. Kindly note that taking care of your rod has nothing with it getting broken.
Somehow, anglers always find a way to break their rods. The most common cause of breakage is when traveling with it in a car. Some break theirs heroically while battling a fish, while some are just plain careless and break their rods standing on them. That said, there are a few things you can do to extend the lifetime of your rod and keep it feeling as good as new. These things include:
- Avoid knocking your Moonshine fly fishing rod against hard surfaces because even the smallest scratches can encourage breakage.
- Rinse your rod with fresh water and dry it with a clean piece of cloth after every fishing trip.
- Avoid storing your rod in its tube, although it may seem like a good idea. The humidity in the case may encourage corrosion of the rod guides, leading to more friction and wearing down of the fishing line.
- Occasionally inspect the rod rings with a magnifying glass, looking for scratches that may wear down the fishing line. Alternatively, pass a cotton material through the rings. If there are some “invisible” scratches, they will catch the cotton. If there are any scratches, replace the rings ASAP.
- Always replace rusting rod guides as soon as possible.
- Occasionally wash your Moonshine fly rod with lukewarm water, soap, and a soft sponge. Also, use a toothbrush to remove any dirt and debris from the reel seat and rod inserts.
- Occasionally rub the joints of the rod with paraffin or wax to prevent any friction between them.
- If your Moonshine rod has cork handles, always wear gloves while fishing. Typically, cork handles are durable, but the oil from your hands may cause the handles to wear out much faster.
- Store your rod away from extreme cold or heat. Exposing your rod to extreme temperatures for a long time may weaken the rod material, especially the rod guides and cork handle material.
- Always transport your Moonshine Rod in its case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moonshine Fly Rods
If you still have more questions about Moonshine and its fly rods, here are the answers to some of the most frequent ones:
Does Moonshine Rods Have Warranty?
Yes, all Moonshine rods come with a lifetime no-fault warranty. This means you can return a Moonshine rod at any time after purchase, and it will be repaired for free if the fault is the manufacturers’. Your rod can still be repaired even if it is your fault but at a small cost.
Is Moonshine Co. a US Company?
Yes, Moonshine is a US-based rod company. All the designs and testing are done in the US. However, the company sometimes outsource from third parties, including China, South Korea, and Japan.
Are Moonshine Fly Rods Any Good?
Yes, Moonshine fly rods are excellent and worth every dollar. If you want a versatile fly rod, I recommend the Moonshine Drifter Fly Rod. It is a medium-action rod that is versatile, lightweight, durable, and beginner-friendly.
Moonshine Co. is a relatively new rod manufacturer company that I feel deserves more attention than it is getting. Their fishing rods are of the highest quality, and they are relatively affordable compared to rods of similar quality. Moonshine’s rods are available in a variety of sizes, designs, materials, and weights.
That said, if I have to pick three fly rods from Moonshine, I will go for Drifter, Revival, and Rambler. These three rods excellently balance quality and affordability. Hopefully, you will find a perfect fly rod that will serve you for a long time.