Best value fly rod for the money: (Top 7 Budget-Friendly & Cheap Fly Rods)

So, you want to buy a fly fishing rod?

But, you don’t want to spend a lot of money and wonder what is the best fly rod for the money?

I understand.

Not everyone has the budget to spend hundreds of dollars on a fly rod. And not all of us need a long burly rod that can handle a big fish.

So, what if I told you that there is a fly rod for every budget and every angler out there? You might be surprised at the quality and versatility of the rods that are available today.

That’s because they have been designed by top manufacturers who have spent countless hours designing them. And they are manufactured by companies that are known for their attention to detail and quality.

You see, the key is finding the right balance between price and performance.

If you’re looking for the best cheap fly rod for fishing in general, then you’ve come to the right place.

On this page, you’ll find the best budget fly rod across different types and models.

There’s something for everybody. And most importantly, they’re not expensive. You will see the best inexpensive fly rod range reviews to the best mid-priced fly rod under budget here.

But that’s not all you’ll find here.

In addition to a list of the best value fly rods, I’ve included some things for you to think about before making a purchase so you can ensure you get the top product for your needs.

You’ll also find answers to the common questions people have about cheap rods such as how much they cost, what can you expect out of them, and which type should you get.

So, let’s get started.

Top 7 Budget-friendly Fly Rods List

Here’s a quick comparison chart showing the top budget fly rods.

For the beginner fly fisher, the most important thing you should be looking at is the overall cost of ownership. Fly rod prices can vary quite a bit depending on the materials used and the quality of the craftsmanship.

Douglas era fly rod

Specs:

Action: Fast

Length: 9 ft

Line Weight: 5, 8

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

The ERA fly rod has been around for a while, but it was only recently that we were able to get our hands on one.

We were intrigued by the idea of a lightweight, affordable rod that’s designed for both beginners and experts.

We were excited when we found out that the ERA is a brand new product and we’re glad that we got to test drive one.

We were impressed by how well constructed this fly rod is. It’s made from premium materials that are durable enough to withstand daily use, and is even backed by a lifetime warranty.

The 9’-5wt rod weighs just 2.6 pounds, and it’s made from 7075 aluminum alloy. This makes the rod lightweight and durable.

The rod features an ergonomic grip that’s comfortable to hold and provides excellent leverage for casting.

The ERA also comes with a nylon line guide that helps to prevent snags and is designed to work with all reel types.

The rod is also equipped with an adjustable drag system that allows you to set the tension depending on your preference.

The rod is built with three sections, including a grip section, a main body, and a tip section.

The tip is removable so that you can replace it with any type of fishing lure.

All of the parts that make up the ERA are designed to be highly durable and they’re backed by a lifetime warranty.

We’ve tested the ERA rod for several weeks and we haven’t had any issues.

It’s been a great rod to use for both casting and fishing.

If you’re a beginner, we recommend this rod for a first-time fly fishing experience.

If you’re an expert angler, the ERA is also suitable for your needs.

Redington Crosswater fly rod

Specs:

Rod Action: Medium-Fast action

Best for: Nymphing, Dry Flies, and Streamers

Grip: Full Wells Cork Grip

Ability Level: Beginner

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

Length: 9ft

Line Weight: 4, 5, 8

Blank: Crosswater family Blank

Reel Seat: Anodized Machined Aluminum

As an avid fisherman, I can’t help but be excited when I see a new, affordable fishing rod for sale. And this Redington Crosswater is no exception!

This rod offers a great balance of length, weight, and stiffness. It has a nice tip that tapers and is fairly wide at the butt, making it a versatile rod for all sorts of fishing situations.

The blank is made from a carbon fiber material, and the graphite insert is soft and malleable. This material combination makes it ideal for a fast-action rod that provides a smooth, accurate, and sensitive action.

I was surprised at how comfortable this rod felt to hold. There’s no need to change grips when transitioning between different rods or situations, which is something that I’ve always appreciated about lighter rods.

Because of its small size, it doesn’t offer the same rigidity as larger diameter rods, but this isn’t something that should be used as an excuse to buy a less capable rod. This is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to cast a variety of dry flies and nymphs, or for someone who wants a quick, accurate, and comfortable rod for practice or tournament casting.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Crosswater’s performance didn’t fade even after 10 hours of continuous casting. Even though it’s a smaller rod, it feels sturdy and stable, and I don’t expect it to break anytime soon.

I like that the Crosswater is a fast-action rod and comes with a nice selection of tips, reels, and accessories to accommodate most fishing situations. It comes with a 1/8-inch (3.18mm) split shot, a 1/4-ounce (7.87g) split shot, a 3/0 Adams, and a #6 Daiwa.

This is a great value for the money and is a great addition to anyone’s collection of rods.

Redington path ii fly rod

Specs:

Rod Action: Medium-Fast action

Best for Nymphing, Dry Flies, and Streamers

Grip: Half Wells Cork Grip (line weights 6 and below) & Full Wells Cork Grip (line weights 7 and up)

Ability Level: Intermediate

Blank: Graphite

Reel Seat: Laser-etched Wooden (6 weight rods and below) &Anodized Machined Aluminum 

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

Length: 7ft – 9ft

I love the fact that this is a fly fishing rod that’s small enough to carry around, but it’s still a solid rod that I could cast it over and over again.

The Redington Path II series comes in 4 models: 2 for freshwater fishing (the original and a larger version) and 2 for saltwater fishing (a 4weight and 6weight).

I chose the 6weight over the 4 because it’s a little heavier and gives me a little more forgiveness when I’m throwing big flies.

There are some nice details here too, like the soft rubber grip that provides extra comfort and is non-slip.

While it’s not as expensive as some other fly fishing rods out there, this is a great value, and it’s a good entry-level rod for the average fly fisherman who wants to get into fly fishing, but doesn’t want to spend too much money.

Echo lift fly rod

Specs:

Action:  Medium Fast

Tube:  Fabric-covered rod case & sock

Guides: Chrome guides

Grips:  Features two grip styles

Reel Seat:  Black anodized seat

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

Line Weight: 4,5,6,7

There are two different models for the Echo lift rod. One is the basic version, and the other is the premium version, which includes the upgraded aluminum alloy guides and tip. I got the latter, and it’s worth every penny.

I have a pretty versatile style of fishing, so I needed a rod that would suit all of my needs. The Echo LIFT offers me great versatility – I can cast longer distances than my normal rod, and the heavy taper lets me go lighter on the reel to match the speed of the cast. It’s got a good overall action, and it’s smooth on the tip, which makes it very comfortable to handle.

It’s also extremely durable – there is nothing else out there that can last as long as the Echo LIFT. It’s made of sturdy aluminum alloy construction, and I’ve had it for almost 2 years now, and it still feels brand new.

For a beginner, it’s a great option because it won’t be as expensive as a heavier-duty model. For advanced fly fishers, it can also be a better choice because it’s lighter than most rods, and you can easily carry it around.

Redington minnow fly rod

Specs:

Rod Action: Medium-action

Best for Nymphing, Dry Flies, Streamers, and Poppers

Grip: Premium Flor grade snub-nose half-wells cork handle (line weights 5 through 9)

Ability Level: Beginner 

Reel Seat: Machined-aluminum reel seat

Handle: Reversed Half-Wells

Length: 8 ft

Redington’s Minnow Fly Rod is an affordable rod for young anglers, and it’s suitable for almost any sport from fishing to playing golf.

While it’s recommended for kids aged 4 and up, it’s ideal for beginners of all ages.

The Minnow Rod’s handle is wrapped in soft rubber for a comfortable grip, and the rod is lightweight enough to hold onto easily with just one hand.

The reel seat is adjustable, and the drag knob is easy to adjust for a range of different skill levels.

To prevent the rod from swinging too much when casting, there’s a hook keeper on the butt section of the rod.

It also features a removable and replaceable tip, which lets you switch between sink tips for casting upstream and sink tips for fishing on structure.

The Minnow Fly Rod works well for almost any freshwater sport including:

– Casting flies to land bass, walleye, and panfish

– Fishing on structure like dams, rocks, or other points

– Nymphing

– Skimming flies across the surface of a lake or river

The Minnow Rod is ideal for any beginning angler, and it should fit in the hands of anyone who wants to cast but doesn’t want to invest in a pricier rod.

Echo gecko fly rod

Specs:

Blank:  Bright yellow gloss

Action:  Med Fast

Tube:  Rod case & sock

Guides: Hard chrome snake guides

Grips:  EVA handle and fighting butt

Reel Seat:  Fast-tighten reel seat

Handle: Full Wells w/Fighting Butt

Length: 7ft 9in

Line Weight: 4/5

Warranty:  Echo Lifetime Warranty

When my son was born we got him a fishin’ gift set. We ended up getting him a trout fly rod that he still uses. He’s 8 now and it’s served him well.

The first couple of years were rough on the rod. He broke the tip off it while fishing and I had to replace that myself.

After that, though, the rod was a champ and held up great. The guides wore out around the handle, but that was easy to fix. The reel seat, however, broke and I couldn’t find replacement parts locally. I went online and ordered a new one.

When I got the new reel seat it was too short for the rod and had to be re-cut. It also needed to be sanded down. Then I had to replace the reel seat cap and screw it back into place.

I did have to add a few drops of super glue to help keep it together, but overall, the new reel seat is holding up really well. It’s not perfect, but it’s still doing its job.

It’s also lightweight, which is a big plus.

I have no idea how much my son uses his rod. He doesn’t take any fishing lessons or anything like that. I just know he has a great time when he does fish.

He also likes to use it to practice his skills at driving the car (which is fun).

It’s not the most expensive rod in the world, but I think it’s a quality product.

It’s worth the money, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone.

TFO signature 2 fly rod

Specs:

Action: Medium-Fast

Handle: Reversed Half-Wells

Length: 8 ft

Line Weight: 4

The TFO Signature 2 fly rod is designed to make your casting experience more fun and productive. It’s made of high-grade aluminum alloy to provide exceptional durability and corrosion resistance.

These fishing rods feature a progressive taper design for fast loading of the rod, along with a smooth finish to maintain the original beauty of the rod and a tapered grip for a better hand feel when casting.

The rod also comes with oversized stripping guides that ensure quick and easy line flow, and reel seats are up-locked to the butt section for easier handling and less wear and tear on the reel.

The fishing rod is lightweight and the anodized handle is comfortable to hold. There are three lengths available, and all rods feature a hook keeper so you can take them anywhere.

The Best Fly Fishing Rods Under $200

There are some of the best value fly rods available just over the mark of $100 and below $200 range that are also the best budget inexpensive fly rods, you will ever find.

This list of the best fly rod under $200 review includes many of the top manufacturers in fly fishing and I have selected the top most popular best cheap rods that will give you excellent performance and quality in a low-cost package.

Best mid-priced fly rod

The best mid-priced fly rods are mainly under the budget of $300 – $500 inexpensive range which are often used for small streams and ponds, where you would normally use a short-nose or a long-nosed reel.

The mid-priced rods are usually made out of 6/0 graphite or graphite cored composite and can be between 4 to 8 feet in length on average. They are usually quite flexible but not as strong as their higher-priced counterparts. 

Buyer’s Guide to The Best Fly Rods For The Money

Most of the budget fly rods reviewed here to fall in the range of 3/4oz to 1/2oz, with some being smaller or bigger. The best-known brands for these weights include Sage and Sage, ESE, JIC, Rio, TFO, and many others. These rods are versatile and forgiving and come in a wide variety of finishes, including vibrant colors and flashy artwork.

Length – Most of these rods are between 5’6″ to 6’3″. A few are shorter or longer. These rods are versatile and forgiving and come in a wide variety of finishes, including vibrant colors and flashy artwork.

Reel seat – Most of these rods are single-spool, with a couple of double-spool models. The reel seats are usually covered with leather or similar materials. These rods are versatile and forgiving and come in a wide variety of finishes, including vibrant colors and flashy artwork.

Handling – These rods are a good balance between performance and comfort, and come in a wide variety of finishes, including vibrant colors and flashy artwork.

Angle – Most of these rods are between 55° to 60°. These rods are versatile and forgiving and come in a wide variety of finishes, including vibrant colors and flashy artwork.

Price – These rods are available through Amazon, other online retailers, or through the manufacturer’s direct store locations. They cost less than $200 and will fit into any average fishing backpack. 

How much should you pay for a fly rod?

So, you want to spend $150 to $200 minimum to get a decent fly rod. $200 fly rods these days are just superb. They are great casting tools, they look nice, and some people never want to go any further than a $200 rod and you don’t have to. Now you can spend a lot more than $200 on a fly rod.

Does an expensive fly rod make a difference?

Some fly rods are expensive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they make a difference when it comes to fishing. In some cases, the extra cost is just marketing hype.

For example, you may see a fly rod with a fancy name or pattern, but it doesn’t necessarily have better features or properties than a standard fly rod.

On the other hand, if you’re buying a fly rod based on its design, finish, and quality, then yes, you will get what you pay for. But you should also note that there are no rules for fly fishing, so there are plenty of fly rods available that don’t cost as much.

Best cheap fly rod Summary

As you discovered, you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get a high-quality rod.

There are many options available for less than $200 and several you can get for under $100.

These are the best value fly rod reviews list that I found and tested myself.

You should be able to find what you need from these rods.

For the price, they can be great choices as the best inexpensive & mid-priced fly rods.

What’s also nice is that you’re not just stuck having to choose between a certain type of fly rod for a cheap price. There are choices available for every kind of weighted rod. (4wt, 6wt, 9wt, etc.)

I hope that you found the best budget fly rod for your needs on my list and that it’ll serve you well for years to come.

This concludes my guide on finding the best cheap fly rod.

Happy Fishing!

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