Most Recommended Fly Rods under $500

Updated

There are lots of great fly rods out there, but how do you know which one is the best one for you? Here at Curated, our independent experts recommend rods to customers just like you every day. Check out this list of our experts' top-recommended fly rods under $500, then chat with a Fly Fishing expert to make sure you find the perfect rod for you.

Chris Pinckney, Fly Fishing Expert
Wilson Jones, Fly Fishing Expert
Andrew N., Fly Fishing Expert
By Fishing ExpertsChris, Wilson, Andrew and others
The Redington Vice Collection Combo is a top-notch choice for both novice and seasoned fly anglers. It's a versatile, high-quality rod and reel combo that's ready to go right out of the box. The medium-fast action and 5wt 9 foot rod make it perfect for fishing with dry flies, small nymphs, and streamers. It's also a four-piece travel rod, making it easy to take on any adventure. The combo includes a durable rod case and comes loaded with a fly line matched to the rod for easier casting. It's a great investment that will last for years as your fly fishing skills advance.
Ideal for
  • Novice fly anglers
  • Seasoned fly anglers
  • Trout fishing
  • Fishing with dry flies, small nymphs, and streamers
  • Traveling anglers
Not ideal for
  • Fishing for small fish
  • Atlantic Salmon fishing
  • Saltwater fishing
Jeff Henderson, Fly Fishing Expert
Nick Radkewich, Fly Fishing Expert
Lawson T., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Jeff Henderson, Nick Radkewich, Lawson T.

Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod

$249.00
4.63(562)
The Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod is a versatile rod that offers excellent performance for its price. It's designed with a moderate fast action that makes casting smooth and user-friendly, making it ideal for beginners to intermediate fly fishermen. It's particularly effective for throwing streamers or bass bugs and excels in medium casting ranges. This rod is also optimized for small streams and tight situations, and comes with a 25-year warranty from Orvis, ensuring its durability. However, it may not be the best choice for throwing nymphs or dries, or for short casts.
Ideal for
  • Beginner to intermediate fly fishermen
  • Throwing streamers or bass bugs
  • Medium casting ranges
  • Small streams and tight situations
  • Those who value a long-term warranty
Not ideal for
  • Throwing nymphs or dries
  • Short casts
  • Heavy line and big streamers
  • Long days on the water due to its weight
Joseph Smith, Fly Fishing Expert
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
John T., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Joseph Smith, Matt Beam, John T.
The Temple Fork Outfitters Pro 2 Fly Rod is a top-notch choice for both beginners and experts looking to upgrade their gear without breaking the bank. Its medium-fast action and smooth casting make it a powerhouse in medium to large waters, handling long-distance casting with ease. The rod's lifetime warranty is a testament to its quality and durability, offering peace of mind for your investment. However, its length may not be suitable for small stream fishing in dense vegetation.
Ideal for
  • Fly fishers looking to upgrade their beginner fly rod
  • Fishing in medium to large bodies of water
  • Long-distance casting
  • Budget-conscious buyers
  • Those who value a good warranty
Not ideal for
  • Small stream fishing in dense vegetation
  • Extremely windy conditions
  • Small, easily spooked fish
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
Trey G, Fly Fishing Expert
Wade D., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Matt Beam, Trey G, Wade D.

What is your level of fly fishing experience?

The Temple Fork Outfitters Blue Ribbon Fly Rod is a top choice for fly fishers who value quality and performance. It's particularly suited for those who enjoy laying down shorter casts with small dry flies or nymphs, thanks to its sensitive tip and soft presentation. This rod is also praised for its superb casting feel and above price range quality. It's an easy-to-cast rod, making it ideal for both beginners and experienced anglers. However, it's not the best choice for fishing streamers or for those who need to make long distance casts.
Ideal for
  • Fly fishers who value quality and performance
  • Anglers who enjoy laying down shorter casts with small dry flies or nymphs
  • Those who need a rod with a sensitive tip and soft presentation
  • Beginners and experienced anglers
  • Anglers who prefer a superb casting feel
Not ideal for
  • Fishing streamers
  • Long distance casting
Matt Beam, Fly Fishing Expert
Danny Salinas, Fly Fishing Expert
Joseph Smith, Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Matt Beam, Danny Salinas, Joseph Smith
The Redington Predator Fly Rod w/ Tube is a top choice for anglers seeking power and durability without breaking the bank. This fast-action rod is designed to cast heavy lines and large flies with ease, making it perfect for big game and saltwater species. It's also equipped with saltwater components to resist corrosion. Whether you're fishing for carp, bass, or inshore species, this rod delivers. It's not just about power, though. The Predator also offers options for one or two-handed versions and a fighting butt to reduce arm fatigue during those epic battles with big fish.
Ideal for
  • Casting heavy lines and large flies
  • Fishing for big game and saltwater species
  • Fishing in saltwater environments
  • Anglers seeking a rod with a lot of power
  • Fishing for carp, bass, and inshore species
Not ideal for
  • Lighter trout fishing
  • Fishing for heavier saltwater/big game species
  • Short, precise casts
  • Gently presenting a small fly on a stream
Cory G, Fly Fishing Expert
Nathan Campanelli, Fly Fishing Expert
Kendrick Wilson, Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Cory G, Nathan Campanelli, Kendrick Wilson
The Temple Fork Outfitters LK Legacy Fly Rod is a versatile, high-quality rod designed for the serious angler. Ideal for catching larger fish like bass, salmon, and northern pike, this fast-action rod allows for long, powerful casts. It's also versatile enough to handle a variety of fishing applications, from nymphing to dry flies. The rod's durability and lifetime warranty make it a reliable choice for those looking to upgrade their gear. However, it's not suitable for smaller trout or panfish.
Ideal for
  • Catching larger fish like bass, salmon, and northern pike
  • Long, powerful casts
  • A variety of fishing applications, including nymphing and dry flies
  • Anglers looking to upgrade their gear
  • Those who value durability and a lifetime warranty
Not ideal for
  • Catching smaller trout or panfish
Danny Salinas, Fly Fishing Expert
PC
Jeff C., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Danny Salinas, Peggy Carl, Jeff C.
The Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II-X Fly Rod is a versatile, fast-action rod that's perfect for both saltwater and freshwater fishing. It's particularly effective for casting large flies and battling big fish like Steelhead, Salmon, Pike, and Musky. It's also a good choice for fishing for red drum and mackerel. However, it's not the best choice for nymphing for trout or fishing light tippets.
Ideal for
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Casting large flies
  • Fishing for large freshwater/anadromous fish like Steelhead, Salmon, Pike and Musky
  • Fishing for red drum and mackerel
Not ideal for
  • Nymphing for Trout
  • Fishing light tippets
  • Technical small streams
Chris B, Fly Fishing Expert
Tanner Druffel, Fly Fishing Expert
Nathan Peller, Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Chris B, Tanner Druffel, Nathan Peller
The Douglas LRS Fly Rod is a top pick for those seeking a versatile, high-quality fly rod without breaking the bank. Its lightweight and highly sensitive design makes it an all-around trout stick, suitable for lake, river, or sea fishing. The rod's carbon fiber reel seat insert adds style and helps reduce weight, while the cork grip with rubber/cork edges ensures durability over time. Plus, it comes with a lifetime warranty, making it a reliable choice for any fishing enthusiast.
Ideal for
  • Trout fishing
  • Fishing in various environments (lake, river, sea)
  • Those seeking a lightweight, sensitive rod
  • Those who value durability and style in their fishing gear
  • Those who appreciate a good warranty
Stefan E., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated expert Stefan E.
The Orvis Clearwater® 6-Piece Fly Rod is a versatile and powerful rod that is perfect for both beginners and veterans. It's ideal for controlling drifts, reaching far banks, and handling big bass. It's also great for shorter range casting and can handle a variety of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. It's a rod that can grow with you as you further yourself as a fly fisher and discover your own unique style.
Ideal for
  • Controlling drifts
  • Reaching far banks
  • Handling big bass
  • Shorter range casting
  • Handling a variety of dry flies, nymphs, and streamers
Not ideal for
  • Saltwater fishing
  • Fast action fishing
  • Catching larger fish in saltwater
Rob F., Fly Fishing Expert
Andrew Pfaffinger, Fly Fishing Expert
Tellan Lloyd, Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated experts Rob F., Andrew Pfaffinger, Tellan Lloyd
The Temple Fork Outfitters Pro III Fly Rod is a top-notch choice for fly fishing enthusiasts looking for a versatile, durable, and quality rod without breaking the bank. As the successor to the highly rated Pro II series, this fast action rod is a jack of all trades, featuring a composite checkerboard reel seat insert and quality grade cork with EVA foam ends for ultimate durability. With line weights ranging from 3wt-10wt, it caters to a wide range of fishing needs.
Ideal for
  • Fly fishing enthusiasts
  • Those seeking a versatile rod
  • Anglers looking for a durable rod
  • Those who value quality construction
  • Anglers with varying fishing needs
Stefan E., Fly Fishing Expert
by Curated expert Stefan E.

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Result Summary
  1. Redington Vice Collection Combo
  2. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod
  3. Temple Fork Outfitters Pro 2 Fly Rod
  4. Temple Fork Outfitters Blue Ribbon Fly Rod
  5. Redington Predator Fly Rod w/ Tube
  6. Temple Fork Outfitters LK Legacy Fly Rod
  7. Temple Fork Outfitters Axiom II-X Fly Rod
  8. Douglas LRS Fly Rod
  9. Orvis Clearwater® 6-Piece Fly Rod
  10. Temple Fork Outfitters Pro III Fly Rod
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