7 Best Fly Rods for Bass + Buying Guide

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When people think of fly fishing, they think of trout fishing. Yet more anglers are attempting to catch bass with a fly rod as the fight the bass gives is extremely entertaining and thrilling.

Bass fight hard for their lives, so the rod you need is going to be a bit different than your normal fly rod for trout. There are bass everywhere in the United States, so it won’t be difficult to catch bass with your new fly rod. Below I have collected together the 7 best fly rods for bass fishing that you can find on the market right now. 

7 Best Fly Rods for Bass

1. Moonshine Outcast Fly Rod

Moonshine Rod Co. The Outcast Series Saltwater Hybrid Fly Fishing Rod with Carrying Case and Extra...

The Moonshine Outcast Fly Rod has been designed to take on the toughest saltwater conditions. Yet it is also ideal for casting large flies for bass. This rod is made from concrete hinges, high-modulus graphite and titanium frame stripping guides.

Making this a very tough and durable rod to use. The engraved aluminium reel seat and chrome snake guides give you that extra durability you are looking for.

A spare tip section is also provided with this rod, which is quite rare. So if the tip does break, you will have a spare ready to hand. This rod also comes with a 5 compartment rod tube that will protect your rod from everything including water, dirt and any bumps it feels along the way. The case is sleek and compact, and allows you to bring this rod wherever you go .

Pros:

  • Spare Tip Included – This rod comes with a spare tip, in case your tip breaks while you are fishing. 
  • Light – This is a lightweight rod that is easy to use and carry around.
  • Durable – Made from graphite, concrete and titanium. This rod has been designed to take on the toughest conditions and fish species. 

Cons:

  • Dots don’t all line up – Some customers have noted that all the dots don’t line up on all the pieces, which they found a little annoying.
Moonshine Rod Co. The Outcast Series Saltwater Hybrid Fly Fishing Rod with Carrying Case and Extra...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT CONSTRUCTION – Redesigned to take on the toughest saltwater conditions and species,...
  • DYNAMIC 4-PIECE ROD –  The salt-ready, matte engraved aluminum reel seat and stainless hard...
  • PORTABLE CORDURA TUBE – This rod comes with a durable, 5-compartment rod tube and an extra rod...

2. Echo EPR Fly Rod

Echo - E.P.R. Fly Rod

The Echo EPR Fly Rod is Echo’s fastest and most powerful rod they have made so far. It is ideal to cope with heavy winds and throwing big loops and flies. Made from lightweight carbon fibre and stainless steel line guides with an aluminium reel seat. 

The EPR does have a bit of weight to it, so it’s not as light as maybe you’d expect, yet this weight is unnoticeable once you start fishing and catching those bass. This rod is powerful and can cope with a good fight with any strong bass. This rod will arrive with a black rod sock and a fabric tube that can hold two rods.

Pros:

  • Powerful – Anglers can confidently cast into any saltwater and can put up a good fight when you have hooked a bass.
  • Anti-corrosive – The EPR has corrosion resistant stainless steel stripping and snake guides, that won’t become affected or damaged due to water or the weather.
  • Warranty – This rod is a life warranty for the original owner, in case something goes wrong or you aren’t happy with the rod.

Cons:

  • Weight – For new anglers the weight of this rod has been said to put off beginners as the action of casting out was made a bit more difficult. Yet for seasoned anglers this extra weight wasn’t too much of an issue.
Echo - E.P.R. Fly Rod
  • ECHO E.P.R. Fly Rod 9ft 0in 8WT

3. Orvis Helios 3D Fly Rod

Orvis Helios 3D Fly Rod

The Orvis Helios 3D Fly Rod is a saltwater rod that has been designed to be cast in windy conditions. The 7 and 8 weights are ideal for bass fishing. This rod can confidently and easily cast bigger flies in any weather conditions. This is a powerful rod that you can rely upon. 

Orvis have built a reinforced rod blank, which increases the strength and durability of this rod, but does not add any weight to the rod itself. The blank tracks perfectly and your fly will land accurately. The stripping guides are made from titanium, which can stand up against harsh weather conditions.

While the recoil snake guides, help keep this rod lightweight and functional when it is being bent. Overall, this is a really durable rod that can withstand anything you throw at it and any weather conditions it is put in. The Orvis Helios 3D rod will help you easily catch bass in all weather conditions. 

Pros:

  • Durable – Made from durable materials such as titanium, this rod can survive whatever you throw at it. 
  • 25 year warranty – This product comes with a 25 year warranty, in case something goes wrong with your rod or you aren’t happy with the rod in general. 
  • Versatile – This rod is ideal to use in all water conditions, but is perfect for saltwater and can be used in extremely windy weather conditions. 

Cons:

  • Price – This is quite a pricy rod and is on the higher end of the market for fly rods. 
Orvis Helios 3D Fly Rod
  • Matte Midnight blank
  • Reel seat is type III anodized aluminum
  • Midnight black w/Matte Midnight carbon insert

4. G. Loomis IMX-PRO Fly Rod

G. Loomis IMX-PRO Fly Rod

The G Loomis IMX Pro Fly Rod is a durable rod with a 7 and 8 weight model perfect for tough bass. This is a freshwater rod that has a stiff mid and tip section which maximizes fish lighting power. The IMX Pro is known as a trustworthy model that doesn’t disappoint. 

This product has a sturdy handle and aluminum reel seats. The IMX Pro has classic yet durable chrome stripping guide and a single foot chrome snake guide. This helps your fishing line to shoot further effortlessly and with ease. This rod is lightweight, powerful and fast when casting and reeling in. This rod is all about the performance, so it may not always look stylish but its performance you cannot fault. 

Pros:

  • Durable – Made from strong materials, with a stiff mid and tip section which improves its durability.
  • Fast – You can cast your line quickly and with ease. 
  • Warranty – This rod comes with a lifetime warranty for the original owner. This rod does also come with an optional repair service if something does go wrong with your rod. 

Cons:

  • Weight – Some customers have noted that the tip and blank are a little heavy, which knocked their balance a little. 
G. Loomis IMX-PRO Fly Rod
  • 9' 4pc 5wt Fast Action Fly Rod Item: 12596-01

5. Sage X Fly Rod

Sage Fly Fishing X Rod

The Sage X Fly Rod is the latest creation from Jerry Siem. Sage are known for their fast rods, yet the Sage X has been built with the most advanced KonneticHD technology available. This means this rod has a lightweight but powerful blank. This rod is powerful and does exactly what you want it to do. 

You can comfortably cast with this rod. This rod is perfect for saltwater and ready for you to catch those bass. The Sage X has ceramic stripping guides and hard chromed snake guides. A cork is used as the grip, which makes this rod comfortable to handle.

Pros:

  • Lightweight – This rod is easy to handle and lightweight, which makes casting easy.
  • Powerful – The Sage X is a powerful rod that can cast long and short distances effortlessly.
  • Comfortable – Everything feels comfortable with this rod, it is easy to handle and does exactly as you want it to.

Cons:

  • Price – This is a pricy rod and not ideal for someone on a budget.
Sage Fly Fishing X Rod
  • Handcrafted on Bainbridge Island, USA
  • Graphite IIIe Technology, Fast action
  • Dark Green thread wraps with Metallic Grey trim wraps

6. Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters TFO BVK Series Fly Fishing Rods (6WT 10' 4PC, Fly)

The Temple Fork Outfitter BVK fly rod is the lightest rod on our list and it is extremely responsive. This is a four piece rod, with double uplocking aluminum rings and made from carbon fibre. This is a great rod that will give you a fast and strong performance but at a more reasonable price. 

The carbon fibre and stainless steel frame help with the durability of this rod in fresh and saltwater. Long casts are made effortless with this rod and perfect for beginners or more experienced anglers. This rod also comes with a lifetime warranty, in case anything goes wrong with the rod or you aren’t satisfied in some way.

Pros:

  • Fresh and Saltwater – This rod can be used in both freshwater and saltwater. 
  • Lightweight – Made from carbon fibre and stainless steel, this is one of the lightest rods on the list.
  • Affordable – A lot of rods can be very expensive, but if you are on a budget or aren’t sure whether you want a fly rod for bass then this is a much more affordable option to choose. 

Cons:

  • Close Casting – Casting at close range can feel a little stiff and your aim could be a little off, yet this comes with practice.

7. Douglas Sky G Fly Rod

Douglas Sky G Fly Rod Series - 9ft 0in 5WT

The Douglas Sky G Fly Rod was 2020’s best rod in the 2020 Yellowstone Angler Shootout. This rod is built using new materials which make this an incredibly strong and tough rod. This is a light rod that can easily cast longer distances and heavier flies with ease. This is a fast action rod that flexes through the top third section and a quick blank recovery. Flies land on the water with accuracy and grace so not to disturb the water too much. 

Graphene is used to make this rod, which is ten times the strength of steel but only 5% of the density. Therefore, this is a surprisingly light rod which hides its strong and accurate performance. No wonder this rod won best rod of the year.

Pros:

  • Accurate – This rod will accurately and easily cast your line far distances no matter the size of your flies to where you want. 
  • Strong – Made with graphene which is ten times stronger than steel.
  • Smooth – This rod feels smooth to use, whether you are trying to catch large or small fish.

Cons:

  • Cork Grip – This is a pricy rod and yet the cork grip feels a little cheap compared to the rest of the rod.
Douglas Sky G Fly Rod Series - 9ft 0in 5WT
  • Douglas Sky G Fly Rod Series - 9ft 0in 5WT

Buyers Guide

Buying a fly rod for bass isn’t easy. There are some important things you need to consider. As it is likely you will be spending quite a bit of money on this rod, you want to make sure that you get it right.

There are hundreds of options available, However below I have brought together some things to think about which will help narrow down your choices.

Price

This is probably something that is at the top of your list, when it comes to finding the right fly rod for bass. As you can see with the rods I have chosen above, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on a fly rod. You can get more affordable options, and they still can give you a great performance.

Sometimes the higher price is due to the materials used to create the rod, this can help with durability. A cheaper rod can still work great for you, but there is normally a compromise somewhere. If you want a rod that can give you everything you want, including durability and performance you will need to spend a bit more money.

You can get a good quality fly rod for bass within a cheaper price range, but sometimes if you spend a little bit more money you can have a rod that will potentially last a little longer.

Performance 

When it comes to fly rod and bass fishing, you need to know if the rod can cast large flies easily. You want a fast action fly rod, as you want a fast line speed that has successfully cast your larger flies, while also it can easily reel laeger fish in.

A fast action fly rod might be difficult for beginner anglers to cast. If you are a beginner then a medium to fast action rod will be better for you. The rod will be able to get the fly in the right place but it also gives the angler time if they aren’t used to fly fishing.

Performance is important, because you want a rod that you can rely upon and will do exactly as you want.

Weight

For bass fishing you want a 7 or 8 weighted rod, as this will be able to handle larger flies and the larger fish. Otherwise, your rod won’t be able to handle the weight and strength of the bass. Yet you also want a rod that is comfortable to handle.

You don’t want a rod that feels heavy, otherwise casting will be made more difficult. Especially for beginner anglers you don’t want a heavy rod that makes casting difficult as you will still be honing your new casting abilities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it better to fly fish downstream or upstream?

It is safer to fish upstream than fishing downstream. Alongside this by fishing upstream you can use the waters current to your advantage. Also you can remain undetectable by the fish, which means you have more of a chance of hooking your fish. 

What is the key for catching bass on fly fishing?

You must point the tip of your rod directly at the fly that you are using and hold it at water level. You don’t want any slack on the line. You want to keep your fly near the strike zone as long as possible. Using slow retrieve by using short jerks and twitches followed by long pauses are much more effective than loud and fast retrieves. 

What size fly rod is best for bass fishing?

Bass flies are normally larger thus heavier, but also wind resistant. Therefore, a heavier weighted rod is more ideal. A heavy 6 to 8 weight rod is best for bass with a medium to fast action.

A heavy weight means that the wind won’t affect your flies, yet you can still absorb the strong nature of the bass, once you hook one. Bass will hit your flies hard, so your rod needs to be ready and prepared for it.

What kind of flies do bass like?

There are a vast number of flies that bass enjoy and can guarantee to attract a bass to you. Some of the flies that you can use include: seaducer double barrel popper; pepper popper; clouser deep minnow; woolly bugger; sneaky pete and murdich slider.

There are lots of flies that you can choose from and all are very effective. Flies that you have for catching other fish, can work well for catching bass. 

Conclusion

In this article I have collected the 7 best fly rods that you can choose from when it comes to bass fishing. Using fly rods for bass fishing is becoming more popular and is a lot of fun to do.

This is due to bass being aggressive and tough fish, who enjoy putting up a fight. Having a rod that is durable and that you can rely on is important. You want a rod that is comfortable to handle, but has a heavy line weight so it can withstand a battle against a bass. Depending on  your budget, you will be able to find a rod to suit you.

Once you buy this rod, you may find that you never want another fly rod again, as they can be used to catch other fish as well as bass. A fly rod is definitely a worthy investment in your fishing equipment. All the rods that I have mentioned above will help you become a pro at bass fly fishing in no time. 

Last update on 2021-11-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Ric Burnley

Author of The Complete Kayak Fisherman, Ric Burnley is a reknowned angling writer having been published in Kayak Angler Mag, Sport Fishing Mag, Paddling Mag, and Outdoor Life. Ric has entertained and informed thousands of anglers through his writing and seminars.