Best fly rod under 500 dollars: (Top 9 rods including dry ones)

If you’re looking for the best fly rod under $500 then this post is for you.

Whether you’re just looking to get into fly fishing, or you’re already an experienced angler, this list will help you find a rod that meets your needs and budget.

There are many different brands out there but here I’ve picked out some of the top nine best fly rods under 500 dollars in the market today.

This ensures that no matter which one you choose,  it will be able to handle all the situations you may encounter on the water. 

You’ll find rods that are perfect for beginners, intermediate anglers, and even advanced anglers.

I’ve taken a look at each of the rods listed below and tried to pick out the best ones available.

You will also encounter the best dry fly rod under $500.

Now without further ado, let’s get started! 

Best fly rod under $500 List

Echo streamer x fly rod (Best Lake Flyfishing Rod)


Rod Action: Fast

Best for: All Water, Streamer fishing

Grip: Kelly Galloup custom grip

Ability Level: Intermediate

Blank: Graphite Blank 

Guides: Nickel Titanium Snake Guides

Reel Seat: Anodized aluminum reel seat

Rod Tube: Fabric-covered rod tube and sock

Handle: Full-Wells

Length: 9 ft

Line Weight: 6,7

From the name itself, Echo’s Streamer X series is targeted at streamer fishing, but what does that actually mean?

It means that the rods are designed to give you that extra edge, and increase accuracy and power when throwing large flies.

This collection is all about making it easier and quicker to throw those big flies, and make them sink like they were meant to.

These rods aren’t meant to be for every type of fishing though, and you’ll have to adjust the reel seat depending on what style of fishing you want to use the rods for.

Each rod in this series has a similar weight range, so regardless of what style of fishing you’re doing, you’ll be able to get an accurate feel for the rod.

The rods feature the same specs as all of Echo’s other rods, so you know you’re getting the best quality for the price.

The rods in this series are made of graphite and fiberglass, but the graphite is wrapped around the core to create a lightweight feel that won’t cause fatigue.

The rods have a carbon reinforced shaft, which helps increase strength and durability.

In addition to being graphite and fiberglass, the rods are also made of aluminum alloy for lighter weight and better balance.

The grip is adjustable, which helps you achieve the right angle between the rod and your arm for greater control and accuracy.

Echo’s Streamer X series comes in two sizes, one for casting with your thumb to a guide on the end of the rod, and the other for casting with your middle finger.

Both models offer different styles of grips to ensure your casting hand is comfortable.

These rods are super light, and they have a fast action for faster casting.

They have a quick release, which makes it easy to change from a float to a sinking tip and vice versa.

In addition to the quick release, the rods also have a sliding window reel seat that lets you change the reel position without removing the line.

The reel seats feature a dual lock pin, so you can make adjustments without removing the rod.

While they are made for streamer fishing, the rods are also great for fly fishing, and you can even use them for catching bass and walleye, and even for fishing for trout in certain conditions.

Each rod in this series is priced differently, depending on the size and weight.

From 4.1 oz through 4.3 oz. weights, to the heaviest weight of the series, the rods start at $479.99.

So if you’re looking for a fast-action fly rod that will help you make big flies sink, the Echo’s Streamer X series is for you.

St. Croix Imperial Saltwater USA fly rod (Best Sea / Saltwater fly rod)


Action: Medium-Fast

Best for: Saltwater

Length: 9 ft

Line Weight: 8, 11 ,12

Handle: Full Wells w/Fighting Butt

Blank: SCII PC Mandrel Technology

Guide: Sea Guide PVD coated stripping guides with Zirconia Rings & Sea Guide PVD coated snake guides

Reel Seat: Uplocking, machined-aluminum reel seat 

It seems like every time I want to try something new and exciting, I end up picking up one of their rods.

And it always ends up being one of my favorite. That’s why it’s no surprise to me that the Imperial Salt is one of their best selling saltwater fly rods.

The combination of great action and value really makes the Imperial Salt one of the best saltwater fly rods.

When I’m trying to pick out a new rod, I’m typically looking for something that feels smooth and has a good action. The Imperial Salt does all of that and more.

At just 9 feet long, the Imperial Salt feels extremely solid. And it handles the rigors of a saltwater session easily.

I’ve used this rod to catch a ton of fish ranging from the 4 inch up to 14 inch fish.

I use this rod for a number of different saltwater species including Redfish, Bluefish, Grouper, Spanish Mackerel, Tarpon, Snook, Flounder, etc.

I’ve even used this rod for surf fishing where it works like a charm.

I really like how the rod comes pre-drilled and the grip is wrapped with rope wax for ease of use.

The Imperial Salt is a super versatile saltwater fly rod that will work for any angler.

Redington crux fly rod (Best Big River Fly Fishing Rod)


Rod Action: Fast

Best for: All Water, Flats

Grip (3wt – 6wt): Reversed Half Wells

Grip (6wt – 10wt): Full Wells W/Fighting Butt

Ability Level: Beginner- Expert 

Handle: Full Wells w/Fighting Butt & Reversed Half-Wells

Length: 9ft

Line Weight: 4,5,6,7,8,9

Blank: Line Speed Taper

Guides: Lightweight Stripping & Hard Chromed Snake Guides

Reel Seat: Uplocking w/Black Anodized Aluminum

Rod Tube: Cordura Rod Tube

The best trout rod I’ve used is the Redington Crux.

When I bought the first rod from Redington in 2012, I was fishing mainly for bonefish and redfish on the Gulf Coast and wanted something that would handle the larger fish like Bonefish and Redfish.

I’ve never owned a rod like the Crux since because it is so versatile and strong that I use it all the time for different species.

With the Crux, you don’t have to worry about how heavy or heavy-duty it is, because you won’t break it!

It casts beautifully and is extremely durable, but it’s not as heavy as I expected and I didn’t really feel it.

If you’re new to fishing, you’ll be able to pick it up and cast with ease, and that’s the key for me when fishing for anything big.

The Crux also handles smaller fish very well, and that’s my go-to baitcaster when I’m fishing for Trout.

I’ve caught Bonefish and Redfish with this rod, and they’re both delicious!

It’s a true all-purpose rod, and for that reason I think it’s the best rod I’ve ever used.

Douglas dxf fly rod (Best Small River Fly Rod)


Rod Action: Fast

Best for: All Water

Grip (2wt – 6wt): Reversed Half Wells

Grip (7wt – 12wt): Full Wells w/Fighting Butt

Ability Level: Beginner- Expert 

Handle: Reversed Half-Wells w/Fighting Butt, Reversed Half-Wells, Full Wells w/Fighting Butt, Two Handed Switch

Length: 8ft – 11ft

Line Weight: (2-12)

Blank: Multi-Modulus Blanks w/Matte Green Finish

Guides: SIC Hard Chrome Stripping & Hard Chrome Snake Guides 

Reel Seat: Burled Wood w/Anodized Aluminum Uplocking Component & Anodized Aluminum w/Double Uplocking Component 

Rod Tube: Cordura Rod Tube 

If you are looking for a rod to take you to your next trip to the stream, look no further than the DXF Fly Rod.

I was skeptical about the durability of the blanks at first, but after breaking in several of them, I’ve been impressed with how well they hold up over time.

There are several blanks in the DXF series that are designed for fast-action fishing. The blanks are thin and tapered to provide a fast casting distance and accuracy.

This allows you to cast with finesse and precision when nymphing, and get that perfect presentation for landing fish.

The blanks are strong and resistant to bends and kinks, making them perfect for travel.

The rod blank itself is constructed with a carbon fiber core to enhance its strength and lightweight properties.

To compliment the great blank material, the DXF rod is constructed with a graphite handle to provide you with a comfortable grip and superior durability.

The handle is also reinforced at the joint, which makes for a stronger, more durable rod.

The handle material is soft and durable, providing you with a comfortable grip that will last for years.

There is also a durable rubber butt cap that provides you with a durable grip, as well as providing you with a safe and comfortable hold.

The reel seat is designed with the best materials to ensure durability.

It also incorporates an aluminum spacer that prevents binding and prevents damage to the reels.

The reel seat is fully adjustable to fit all standard reels.

Overall, the DXF rod is an excellent rod that will take you to places you’ve never been before.

Sage foundation fly rod (Best Reservoir Fly Fishing Rod)


Rod Action: Fast

Best for: All Water, Nymphs

Grip: Snub-Nose Half Wells (4-8 weights)

Grip: Full Wells W/Fighting Butt (6 weight)

Ability Level: Beginner- Expert 

Blank: Graphite IIIe Technology 

Guides: Ceramic Stripping & Hard Chromed Snake Guides

Reel Seat: Uplocking w/Black Anodized Aluminum

Rod Tube: Black Nylon Rod Tube 

The Sage Foundation is a great entry-level rod for beginning fly fishermen who want a well-built rod that feels comfortable and solid in the hand.

This rod features a medium-fast, stable action that provides a solid feel for casting.

Its reel seat is made from durable aluminum, and the tip and butt section are made from lightweight graphite to prevent breakage in case of a mishap.

Its lightweight head allows you to cast farther, and the taper-designed butt helps provide stability when casting over rough terrain.

The rod’s reel seat is also adjustable for a wide range of rod lengths. The reel seat has a non-marring rubber skirt, which makes it easy to grip and clean.

The Sage Foundation comes with an included reel seat cover to help protect your reel from scratches.

This rod is available in 9-foot, and 10-foot models, with either straight or graphite guides.

Sage Foundation rods come with a lifetime warranty that covers the rod, line, reel, and accessories.

This is a solid, well-crafted rod that won’t let you down if you choose to invest in it.

If you want a great affordable rod that will last for years and years, buy the Sage Foundation.

Douglas upstream fly rod (best dry fly rod under $500)


Rod Action: Medium – Slow

Best for: Small Water, Dry Flies

Grip: Half Wells

Ability Level: Beginner- Expert

Handle: Reverse Wells

Length: 6ft – 8ft

Line Weight: 2,3,4

Blank: Graphite Blank w/Cane Feel 

Guides: Traditional Stripping & Traditional Snake Guides 

Reel Seat: All-Cork Handle w/Slide Rings 

If you’re looking for a traditional-looking fly rod that gives off an impression of quality and craftsmanship, the Douglas Upstream is exactly what you need.

The rod’s outer shell is constructed out of cork, which is a wood-based material that retains moisture well.

When you combine cork with graphite, you get an unbeatable combination.

The cork helps keep the weight down while the graphite adds strength to the rod.

On the reel seat of the Upstream is a large, comfortable rubber grip that will provide excellent feedback when casting.

It has a nice smooth action and feels great to hold.

There are three different sizes of the Upstream, with the standard length being 33 inches, which is perfect for most anglers.

The Upstream is available in a variety of different colors, including brown and green.

With a slight bend to the rod, the Upstream is easy to cast and will work well for small streams or small fish.

It will do well in most conditions, especially if you have a good tippet, like a size 4. It is recommended that you use a small-medium split shot for the Upstream.

If you’re looking for a quality, traditional-looking fly rod that will perform well in a variety of situations, then the Douglas Upstream is a great option.

Atlas signature 9ft 8wt fly rod


Rod Action: Fast
Grip: Full-Wells w/ Fighting Butt
Blank: Graphene Nano-Resin 
Guides: Fuji Cerecoil Stripping & Fuji Recoil Snake guides 
Reel Seat: Custom asymmetrical anodized aluminum double up-locking reel seat
Rod Tube: Powder-coated aluminum rod tube 
Blank: Graphene Nano-Resin

One of the best rods for beginners is the signature 9ft 8wt fly rod from Atlas.

With a low price tag and excellent craftsmanship, this is the go-to rod for many beginners.

Atlas has made sure that it won’t disappoint when it comes to craftsmanship – they’ve used some of the strongest materials in the fly fishing industry and crafted them into the signature 9ft 8wt fly rod.

The blank is made from super lightweight graphene, making this the best carbon blank in the market.

For the guide material, they’ve chosen Cerecoil which is made from titanium, and comes with stainless steel guides to help prevent oxidation.

Fuji Recoil Snake guides are also used, which is another step up from other carbon blank rods.

The rod is made from aluminum, and features a powder-coat finish, making it scratch resistant.

While the blanks and guides are great, the reel seat and tube aren’t the best. They’re made of aluminum, and don’t provide the same protection that powder coating does.

So if you want to protect your rod, go for the custom-made, double-locking reel seat that’s made of titanium.

With its lightweight materials, the signature 9ft 8wt fly rod is great for use with light line, and you’ll be able to cast farther distances and with more confidence.

Echo EPR fly rod


Rod Action: Extra Fast

Best for: Saltwater, Flats

Grip: Full Wells w/Fighting Butt

Ability Level: Intermediate – Expert

Handle: Full Wells w/Fighting Butt

Length: 9 ft

Line Weight: 6,7,8,11,12

Blank: High Modulus Graphite Design

Guides: SiC Stripping & Stainless Snake Guides  

Reel Seat: Maintenance-Free Aluminum w/Uplocking Component

Rod Tube: Square Rod Case

The Echo EPR is a 7 weight fly rod that’s designed for casting large saltwater flies. The reason why it gets this high of a rating is because of its ability to cast a huge range of flies with ease.

The deep power allows you to cast almost any size or shape of fly. The fast action gives the angler the confidence to confidently cast to all kinds of fish.

The extra fast action also makes this a great choice for those who like to go after big fish in saltwater.

This fly rod comes with a black, stained grip, so it’s ready to handle whatever you throw at it.

It’s easy to grip, so you can cast it easily for extended periods of time without it becoming fatiguing.

When you’re using this fly rod in a saltwater setting, you’ll need to use a sinking tip, otherwise, the line will get tangled.

The Echo EPR fly rod has some really good features. It’s very sturdy and reliable, and it won’t get tangled like a lot of other fly rods.

Its lightweight also makes it a great choice for saltwater fishing.

It’s also very affordable, which is another reason why it makes a good top pick. You can buy this for less than $20, and it won’t leave you disappointed.

If you’re serious about casting large flies in saltwater, then buy the Echo EPR Fly Rod from Rajeff Sports. You won’t be disappointed.

Redington claymore Spey and switch rod


Action: Fast

Handle: Two-Handed Spey

Length: 11ft – 13ft

Line Weight: 2,3,4,5,6,7,8

The Claymore is a great option for those who want a traditional Spey rod but want the versatility of a fast-action rod.

There are lots of advantages to the Claymore. First off, it comes with a nice amount of gear options, with options including a 2 weight, 6 weight, and 8 weight. I chose the 6 weight and it’s great.

This rod has a nice amount of flex, is very easy to cast, and feels great in the hand.

This rod can handle a large amount of line speed as well, and it does well in cold temperatures.

There are several features included in this rod, such as the Pinch grip, which is made from polymer, meaning it won’t wear off as easily.

There is also a tip-lock reel seat, meaning there is no chance of the line coming out of the rod when you set it.

This rod is made out of high-grade material, which means it will be very durable, and you should be able to get a lot of use out of it.

This is a great Spey rod that is affordable.

Overall, this is a great rod that will give you plenty of versatility.

I recommend this rod if you are looking for a versatile rod, but don’t want to spend a ton of money.

Best fly rod outfit under $500

Best fly rod outfits under $500 are great for beginners who want to learn fly fishing but do not have a large budget.

They are ideal for any beginner since they are affordable and offer good quality in terms of quality materials. 

Following is the list of best fly rod combos under $500:

Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit – 5,6,8 Weight Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Starter Kit with Large Arbor Reel and Case


Fishing TechniqueFly

This Orvis outfit is designed to be a no-brainer for anyone who’s been eyeing a new fly rod.

There are two rods included in the box – one for trout and the other for big game.

These rods come with a lifetime warranty, and the package includes a spare rod and reel in case of a defect.

Both rods are made with carbon fiber, and they’re available in the popular sizes 7/8” and 9/10”.

This is the same rod that Orvis has been using for years, and it’s been proven to be a reliable rod that works well for a variety of species.

The rods are designed to be lightweight and easy to handle, and they’re made with premium materials.

The package includes the rod, reel, line, backing, and backing weight.

The weight is placed at the butt end of the rod to reduce the overall weight of the rod and maximize casting distance.

You can choose between three different line weights – #3, #4, and #5 – for both the 7/8” and 9/10” models. There’s also a range of colors to choose from.

The rod is designed to help you cast farther and longer.

When you get a chance to try out the rod, you’ll see why it’s become one of the best-selling rods in the market today.

Redington Fly Fishing Rod 890-4 Predator Rod W/Tube 8WT 9-Foot 4pc


Fishing TechniqueFly
Item Dimensions LxWxH31.5 x 2 x 2 inches

The Redington Fly Fishing Rod 890-4 Predator Rod W/Tube 8WT 9-Foot 4pc is an excellent rod for all levels of anglers.

It comes with all the features that you would expect from a top-quality rod, including an anodized machined aluminum reel seat, an aluminum oxide stripping guide, laser-etched 5-5022T-890-4 reference, and a tube.

It has a very lightweight feel which makes it a great option for the beginner, but you can still cast it accurately with ease.

Its action is also incredibly smooth, which makes it ideal for both saltwater and freshwater fishing.

The rod is designed to be able to handle all types of water, so it is very durable.

It will provide you with a lifetime warranty which is unheard of in the industry.

The lifetime warranty means that the rod will be completely free of any manufacturing defects.

It is available in several different lengths, so you should be able to find the right one for you. It is compatible with Redington Reel Systems, so you can easily switch them out when you want to.

Overall, this is an excellent rod that will last for many years.

It is built to perform and is backed by a lifetime warranty.

If you are looking for a quality rod that is also affordable, then this is the one for you.

Redington Crux Fly Fishing Rod with Tube, Line Speed Taper, Angled Key Grip, 4-Pieces


Fishing TechniqueFly
Item Dimensions LxWxH31.5 x 2 x 2 inches

I got my first fly fishing rod in the 8th grade, and since then I’ve been hooked. This is the second one I’ve purchased and it’s by far my favorite.

The first one I bought was a 9ft 6wt, and I didn’t use it much because it was too heavy for me, but now that I’ve switched to this Redington rod, I’m sure it’ll help me catch more fish.

I’ve used it on a few different rivers, and it performs really well on all of them.

The line speed taper makes it feel really smooth on the water, and the grip feels great when it’s being used on a moving river.

There are some nice features on this rod, like the key grip, which is made from pre-compressed cork.

This material is denser than regular cork, so it’s stronger and will last longer.

Also, the guides are very lightweight, and there aren’t as many as other rods. This makes the rod easier to cast, and it will also help reduce fatigue.

As for the length, I think it’s the perfect length for me. It’s a bit shorter than the average length, but it’s not too short either.

Overall, this is an excellent rod for beginners and intermediate-level anglers, and I would recommend it.

Things to consider before buying the fly rod under 500 dollars

While there are many things that go into determining a good fly rod, there are three main categories that have a large impact on the performance of the rod.

These three components are the rod’s taper, action, and line weight.

  1. The rod’s taper refers to the distance between the grip and the tip of the rod.
    Most rod companies tend to create rods that are tapered to some degree, although there is no absolute standard for the length of the taper.
    However, the longer the rod the further the rod is away from the grip.
  2. The action refers to the force needed to move the rod.
    The better the action the less force is required to move the rod.
    In addition, the rod should not feel hard or stiff in your hand.
  3. The line weight refers to the amount of weight on the line.
    The heavier the line the less pressure on the reel, which means the angler will be able to cast farther and faster.
  4. There are a variety of fly fishing rods available today at varying price points.
    When shopping for your first fly fishing rod it is best to shop around and find the rod that suits your needs.
    It is important to spend a little extra money upfront and get the fly rod that is right for you.
  5. The rod should feel comfortable in your hands and not be stiff or hard. The action should be smooth and the line weight should be appropriate to the line that you plan on using.
    Once you get this rod you should be able to fish for hours without tiring.

Best fly rod under 500 Summary

I bought and tested the best fly rod under $500 out on the water to see if it lived up to its performance claims.

After 5 days on the water and some solid fish fighting, I’ve come to the conclusion that this rod is the best under 500 dollars rod on the market today.

I hope you enjoyed this guide on finding the best dry fly rod under $500.

Happy Fishing!

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