Review & Guide To The Best Fly Rod Under 200: Top 5 Picks

by Thavius | Last Updated:   November 4th, 2021
Review & Guide To The Best Fly Rod Under 200: Top 5 Picks


The price difference between fly rods can be quite significant. While there are products priced as high as $900, there are several great products that you can get at a much cheaper price.

Most people that go fly fishing have a budget for their fly rod. If you have a big budget, you may not flinch at spending close to $1000 on your equipment. However, what you need to know is that you don’t need to spend so much.

In this article, I will be taking you through a list of the best fly rods under 200. I will also be providing a buying guide and other relevant information on fly fishing rods later in the article.

So, let’s get started right away!

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Reviewing The 5 Best Fly Rods Under 200

Temple Fork Outfitters Series II

The Lefty Kreh Pro Series II is an excellent fly fishing rod that carries the name of an industry legend. Temple Fork Outfitters, also known as TFO, is hugely popular for making flying rods that offer great value for money. These rods match the performance of more expensive options.

By investing in the TFO Series II, you will get a wide variety of flying rods that will enable you to hunt various species of fish and weights. For example, the 8 weight rod comes with a fighting butt that is suitable for catching steelhead or striped bass. Also, there is the lighter 3 weight fly rod that will allow you to cast small dry flies at rainbow trout.

Additionally, the fly rod eases casting significantly. The line runs through the guide seamlessly, allowing users to shoot lines over long distances. It also offers impressive flex and is incredibly forgiving. Unlike several fast actions that make it difficult to know when to start your forward cast, this fly rod will help you develop muscle memory.

Furthermore, the fly rod is manufactured using IM6 Graphite. This material has been a favorite of fly rod makers for some time now. Also, the super-smooth cork handle features a braided graphite insert. You will the smoothness of the cork handle to be beneficial when fishing for long hours. Finally, the rods feature alignment dots that eases the process of setting them up.

Pros
  • It is easy to set up
  • It offers an excellent cast
  • It is a fast action rod
  • It is made with high-quality materials
  • It comes with a lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The reel seats come with loose nuts

Fenwick Aetos Fly Rod

There is no way that I can make a list of the best fly rods under 200 without mentioning a fly rod from Fenwick. Fenwick fly rods are known globally to be affordable and match the quality and performance of higher-end rods.

While testing this rod, I was able to cast seamlessly across both short and long distances. The flex in the rod was also decent and allowed me to use both floating and sinking lines without fuss. You should be able to cast up to 50 feet with ease using this fly rod; a distance good enough to catch any nearby trout.

Additionally, this product will be a great choice for a travel rod. It comes in 4 pieces so that you will be able to pack it down easily. What’s more, the package includes a cloth rod cover and tube that will keep the rod in good condition during transportation and storage.

The fast action blank that the fly rod is built on is highly durable and long-lasting. It also features an anodized aluminum reel seat that has a double above and below the Spey fly rod models. A high-quality fly fishing rod needs to be comfortable and easy to hold. The Fenwick Aetos doesn’t disappoint in this aspect as it comes with a premium cork handle.

Pros
  • It is user friendly
  • It features a double-action function
  • It is a high performing fly rod
  • It offers fast and smooth action
Cons
  • You may snap the tip if you use excess force

Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod

Like the other rod makers that have featured on this list so far, Orvis has one of the most reputable brands in the fishing world. Orvis has taken a good chunk of the technology and build of the Orvis Helios to create the Clearwater. However, the latter is much cheaper.

The Orvis Clearwater is lightweight and you will find it simple to cast with, whether you are making front or back casts. As for the rod action, it is classified as moderate. This will enable you to cast over long distances to catch fish feeding out of normal range.

Additionally, the rod blank has a strong appearance and feel thanks to the black chrome and white accents that it is placed on. It also features a rod identifier that eases the process of setting up the rod.

You should find the reel easy to secure due to the presence of the highly durable black nickel aluminum seat. The rod is also well equipped to help you battle larger fish as it is made of durable fighting butts and composite tips. Finally, you will get a rod storing your fly fishing rod safely.

Pros
  • It has a great casting distance
  • It comes with a protective case
  • It offers incredible value for money
  • It is durable
Cons
  • The rods are stiff

Moonshine Rod -The Drifter Series

Moonshine has not been present in the fishing industry as long as the other brands listed in this review. However, you shouldn’t be discouraged by this at all. If you do a little research online, you will see a good number of positive customer reviews.

It is a powerful fly fishing rod that is classified as a medium-action flex so, it breaks down like the others. You will get a strong canvas case that consists of five compartments for storing your fishing equipment.

Additionally, the moonshine rod performs excellently when used for casting over both short and long distances. You should find this rod to be smooth and comfortable regardless of your level of experience as an angler. The quality of the rod is much higher than what you will expect from a newcomer.

Furthermore, the rod blanks are built with high-quality graphite and equipped with hard-turned spalted burl. The rod is completely built with copper anodized materials. This is something unusual in a fly rod but it makes the rod strong and long-lasting. Lastly, you will be able to fish all day thanks to the comfortable AAA cork grip handle.

Pros
  • It offers an excellent grip
  • It casts over long distances without fuss
  • It has a unique design
  • The package includes a hard canvas case
Cons
  • It is quite heavy

Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod – Sword Graphite

This fly fishing rod from Piscifun is classified to be more suitable for professionals. However, it can also be used by amateurs. It is built with IM7 Graphite to provide high performance along with durability and accuracy.

Additionally, the Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod comes with a machined aluminum reel seat that features double lock rings. This feature provides more heft and improved reel performance. Also, ceramic stripping guides inserts and chrome guides are utilized to ensure that gliding is extra smooth.

The rod’s unique design includes white dots that will enable you to assemble the guides in a breeze. It also features a lightweight and sensible cork handle that will keep your hands warm in cold conditions. The handle is categorized as 3A and very comfortable.

Furthermore, the full well cork eases long casts with rods that weigh 7 and above. It also strikes a balance between comfort and grip while the fly placement is highly accurate to provide superfast pulling power. This portable fly rod has a 4 piece design and is equipped with a durable PVC rod for superior protection.

Pros
  • It is portable
  • It is accurate
  • It has a comfortable cork handle
  • It offers great value for money
Cons
  • It is not suitable for short casts
  • It has breakable tips

Our Top Choice


We have now gone through the 5 best fly rods under 200. So, you should choose one of these fly rods if you want to get your fishing equipment on a budget. But if you want the overall best fly rod, you should opt for the Temple Fork Outfitters Series II.

I have chosen this product as my overall best fly rod under 200 because it is easy to set up and provides a high level of performance. This fly fishing rod is also a great fast action rod despite coming at a budget-friendly price. It will even enable you to cast conveniently in windy conditions without fuss.

Asides from the favorable price of this fly rod, the ease of setting it up also makes it suitable for beginners. It is just as good as the more expensive fly rods.

After getting your first fly rod, you should watch this video for a step-by-step guide on how to assemble your fly rod.

How To Choose The Best Fly Rod Under 200: Buying Guide

Whether you are an experienced angler or you are buying your first fly rod, there are some factors that you need to consider. By considering these factors, you will have a better chance of getting a product that meets your unique needs.

So, let’s have a look at these features:

Price

When investing in a new fly rod, the first factor that you need to consider is price. Though it is normal to expect the more expensive fly rods to perform better, there are several decent fly rods and fly reels that are budget-friendly. So, you don’t have to worry if your budget is limited. You will have a great time fly fishing with any of the fly rods listed above.

Material

The material a fly rod is built with is something that you can’t afford to overlook. The common materials used in the production of fly rods include graphite, fiberglass, and bamboo.

Graphite rods are usually low-cost, flexible, and made in several action ranges. As for fiberglass rods, they are known to be soft and feature a low flex rate.

Bamboo rods are the most expensive option and they tend to have a tender touch.

Regardless of what option you choose, you will need to clean your fishing equipment to keep it in good condition.

Watch this short video to learn how to clean your fly fishing rod:

Usage

You need to choose a fly rod that suits the environment that you will be fishing in. Your decision should be based on rod action and this is split into three categories; slow, medium, and fast.

Slow Action Fly Rod

This type of fly fishing rod is suitable for anglers that prefer fishing in small streams. Slow action fly rods offer decent flex and a slow speed line.

Medium Action Fly Rod

This is a type of fly fishing rod that is built to perform excellently in both small and large streams. It offers precise fishing line control and features a flexible tip.

Fast Action Fly Rod

This type of fly rod is the most suitable option for fishing in the sea or large rivers. Fast action fly rods come with bent tips and extra stiff bodies.

Length

When it comes to the length of your fly rod, you will have two options to choose from. These options include short and long:

Short Fly Rods

This is the type of rod that you should take with you on a fishing trip to a small stream. It will help you catch small fishes like sunfish, small trout, and more. Also, short fly rods are lightweight and as a result, easy to carry while walking. Check out this guide to learn how to cook trout.

Long Fly Rods

This is the type of that you will need when fishing on a large body of water. Long fly rods give anglers more control over lines and are highly suitable for casting over long distances. They also withstand unfavorable weather conditions excellently.

Weight

Fly fishing rods come in different weights. Each weight offers a unique fishing experience.

  • 1 to 3 Weight
    This rod weight is best suited for hunting small fish.
  • 4 Weight
    Your fly rod should be of this weight if you will be targeting small to medium-sized fish
  • 5 Weight
    This type of fly fishing gear is suitable for both new and expert anglers. It is also suitable for hunting all kinds of fish.
  • 6 Weight
    This category of fly fishing rods will be a great choice for anyone targeting fish like salmon, small trout, and more.
  • 7 Weight
    You should get this type of fly fishing rod if you will be targeting monster trout or bass.
  • 8 Weight and More
    This category of fly rods is the perfect choice for hunting powerful fish in saltwater.

If you are an amateur angler, you may want to learn about the different types of fishing reels available today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I invest in a fly rod?

A fly rod is fishing equipment that is designed to simplify your fishing experience. It will make it much easier for you to cast, control the line, strike, and land fish.

How much is a decent fly rod?

High-end fly rods can cost as high as $1000. However, you can get decent fly rods between $150 to $200. Fly rods within this price range are visually appealing and great for casting. There is no reason why you shouldn’t opt for a fly rod under 200.

What is a 5 weight fly rod suitable for?

This category of fly fishing rods is the most widely used fly rod in freshwater fishing. 5 weight fly rods are used for catching all types of fish including trout, bass, perch, catfish, bluegills, and many more.

What is the ideal fly rod for a beginner?

If you are an amateur angler, you should opt for a fly rod with a weight between 4 to 6. These rods are lightweight and great for targeting different species of fish. 4 weights are suitable for small rivers while 6 weights are great for bigger rivers. 5 weights are highly versatile.

Is fly fishing difficult to learn?

Fly fishing can be difficult to learn in the early stages. But if you practice regularly, you will see your skills improving in no time. Skills such as casting a rod and setting up a rig can be learned if you are dedicated enough.

I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.