Saltwater Fly RodsShop Now
Fly rods For Tarpon, Permit, Bonefish, Snook, Redfish and most saltwater applications.
Freshwater Fly RodsShop Now
Fly rods for Largemouth Bass, Panfish, Peacock Bass, and warm freshwater applications.
Fly OutfitsShop Now
Ready to fish fly rod and reel combos for both saltwater and freshwater fly fishing applications.
How do I choose a fly rod for inshore saltwater fly fishing?
The most critical steps in determining what saltwater fly rod to buy is to understand what fish will be targeted, the flies that will be used, and the conditions that will be encountered.
Species such as redfish, bonefish, snook, sea trout, tripletail, black drum, and striped bass are primarily caught using 7-10 weight fly rods that are 9 feet in length. When conditions are calm, anglers can deliver most flies on 7 and 8 wt. fly rods. As the wind picks up, 9 and 10 wt. fly rods are the tools of choice to fly fish for most inshore saltwater species.
For larger species such as tarpon, permit, cobia, Jack Crevalle, and sharks most anglers use 9-12 wt. fly rods. 9 wt. rods can throw big flies fairly well and have enough backbone to ethically fight fish up to 50 lbs. 10 wt. rods are the go to choice for most permit anglers, as well as those targeting wary tarpon. 11 and 12 wt. fly rods are the workhorses of the tarpon world, and have enough backbone to beat some of the biggest gamefish targeted by Florida fly anglers.
Still can’t decide on which fly rod to buy? Rest assured as most saltwater anglers in the know have multiple rods (8 or 9 wt., 10 wt., and 11-12 wt.) as well as backup rods because accidents happen and ending a once in a lifetime trip due to hardware failure is a tough pill to swallow.
How do I choose a fly rod for southern freshwater fly fishing?
Although freshwater fly fishing in the south is often overshadowed by the salt, Florida and the surrounding areas have many freshwater opportunities. Besides panfish, largemouth bass, and other native species, many exotic species such as peacock bass, snakeheads, clown knife fish, grass carp, and cichlids can be caught year-round on fly. Anglers will use rods as light as 5 wt. to target smaller fish on dry flies to 9 weights for throwing bigger flies and wrestling fish out of vegetation.
A 6 wt. fly rod is a good all-around choice for a dedicated Florida freshwater setup. It will throw a weighted fly well and present a dry fly if need be. On perfect weather days, that same 6 wt. can be a useful novelty while fishing for reds, snook, and bonefish as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
What length fly rod should I buy?
For the types of fly fishing that Harry Goode’s services a 9 foot long fly rod is ideal. Some applications, such as tight quarters and short casts with big flies may benefit from 8-8.5’ fly rods, but the advantages are small.
What are fly rod actions?
Fly rods are designed for a multitude of reasons, one of those being castability. Everyones’ casts are unique and matching a fly rod to one’s casting style is important. Most experienced saltwater anglers prefer a tip-flex rod, aka a fast rod. These rods flex nearer the tip, load quickly, and are capable of delivering tight loops in all conditions. New anglers that haven’t mastered all of the casting fundamentals have a tendency to benefit from a mid flex, or slower action rod that flexes closer to the middle of the blank rather than the tip. The slower action gives newer casters more opportunity to dial in their timing and is more forgiving for casting errors.
If I was going to buy one fly rod to fish Florida and the surrounding areas, what should I choose?
Some will argue, but a 9 weight fly rod is the best all-around tool for fly fishing Florida and beyond. In the salt, a 9 wt. can cast a weighted fly into the wind, can delicately place fly when it is calm, and has enough backbone to fight fish up to 50 lbs. In freshwater, a 9 wt. is overkill, but will do just about anything it needs to.
I’m new to fly fishing and the process is a bit overwhelming. Can you help me choose the perfect fly rod?
Harry Goode’s is a brick and mortar store that is staffed by folks who probably like fishing more that you do. Feel free to contact us via phone during normal business hours at 321-723-4751 and we will be happy to help. After hours, contact us here and we will respond the next business day.