Most fly fishermen after a year or 2 of starting out usually like to upgrade their fly fishing gear to more established brands and manufacturers.
In this review, we will go over some of the best fly rods under 200 dollars I hope it will give you some helpful advice on what we recommend you look for in a fly rod of this price range.
Starting out, most fly fishing anglers are not sure about the different types of fly rods out there or what to look for, what’s important, what’s not etc. I remember my first fly rod when I started fly fishing was a greys 7wt fly rod with matching fly reel.
It was a great starter fly rod but after a year or so and having tried friends more higher priced rods I could feel the difference from when I held the rod to casting and landing a fish.
You can spend plenty of time over analyzing what are the best fly rods under 200 dollars but we don’t want that, so here we go with our top 4 fly rod and reel recommendations
- Rod Action
- Material its made from
- Suitable for Salt or Freshwater use
- Reviews from other users
Here are some of our favorite and best fly rods under 200 dollars
Fenwick AETOS Fly Fishing Rod Grey, 8'6" - 5wt - 4pc
Temple Fork: Professional Series Fly Rod, TF 05 90-4P 2
Orvis Clearwater 5-Weight 9' Fly Rod
Moonshine Rod Co
Do you need a Fly Reel?
Check out our Best Fly Reels for Under $200 here
1. Temple Fork Outfitters Series II – Most Popular!
The Lefty Kreh Pro Series II is a fine fly rod and backed with a legend in the fly fishing industry’s name, you can’t go wrong with this fly rod!
TFO or Temple Fork Outfitters as they are known have developed a reputation for producing superior fly rods at affordable prices that match the feel and certainly the performance of the very higher-priced and high-end fly rods.
I have plenty of friends that fish with a TFO rod and they only ever have great things to say about them as well as they last a long time!
TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II is a superb choice to upgrade your current fly rod and you will be able to target a variety of species of fish and weights. The TFO 8 weight rod has a fighting butt fit for fighting steelhead or striped bass.
As well as the heavier weighted rods, TFO also has a wonderful 3 weight fly rod suitable for casting small dry flies to rainbow trout and as you can tell they cater for a wide range of fly rods and all within an extremely reasonable price at the top end level of fly rods!
TFO’s Lefty Kreh Pro Series II offers any fly angler wanting to take their game to the next level a wide variety of fly rods from entry level beginner all the way to advance. As mentioned above, their pricing for the quality and performance of their rods is really hard to beat!
When fishing with the Lefty Kreh Pro Series II anglers will notice the ease of cast and performance, the line flows through the guides extremely smoothly and helps shoot line a good distance.
The fly rod provides great flex and is extremely forgiving. Some fast action rods can leave be hard to judge when you should begin your forward cast.
Not with the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series II , this rod over time allows you to develop what we is known as muscle memory and you will find that you are able to cast over and over again smoothly and effectively.
Having used the TFO Lefty Pro Series II on a number of fly fishing trips we have tested the rod with floating and sinking lines. On both sets of lines we found that the action and fast loading of the rod with line to cast was superb.
The fly rod even with a wet sinking line picked up line when we went to cast fresh and presented the fly onto the water with great accuracy.
This is perfect for when you are fishing to a rising trout and wanting to re-present the fly over and over until they are lured into strike.
The TFO Lefty Pro Series II is built up from IM6 Graphite on a blank in matte black. Im6 graphite has been around for some time, its tried and tested is a very reliable material for fly rod manufacturers. TFO uses very good quality cork handle with a braided graphite insert.
The cork handle is super smooth and durable which is extremely important when you are fishing long days and your hands can tend to get beat up.
The fly rod guides are quality and allow for quick striping of line as well as good flow through of the fly line when casting.
Moving onto the reel seat which is made up from a streamlined braided graphite insert with anodized aluminum. This is a good sign of a quality made fly rod.
TFO on most of their fly rods insert dots at the end of their rod sections so this allows the angler to quickly and correctly connect their fly rods with ease during set up.
The dots allow the angler peace of mind that they have correctly set up and assembled their fly rod.
The TFO Lefty Pro Series II is our recommended choice and a fly rod you should consider when upgrading your fly rod!
2. Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod – Life Time Warranty!
As with TFO, Fenwick fly rods are considered also best in class. As we are reviewing the best fly rods under 200 dollars it would be wrong not to include a Fenwick fly rod.
Fenwick have been around like some of the other quality fly rod makes for many years and are well known in the industry for producing high end quality fly fishing tackle.
This is another excellent choice when upgrading your fly rod and with Fenwick you cannot go wrong.
As we tested this rod, we were able to cast extremely fluidly and with ease across a range of distances both short and long.
The flex in the rod was good and using a floating or sinking line was no problem at all. In fact we were able to cast rather easily even up to 40 to 50 ft casts which in most cases on a river or stream is sufficient to reach any passing trout.
The rod easily and neatly packs down as it comes in 4 pieces and can be used as a travel rod no issues. It also comes with a cloth rod cover and tube to help protect the rod when traveling or when storing at home.
The Fenwick Aetos is built on a high performance fast action blank which is built to last and made of very high quality.
Featuring large diameter gunsmoke stripper guides and double foot gunsmoke snake guides that allow the fly line to pass easily when casting resulting in a greater distance for longer casts.
The rod breaks down into 4 pieces with beautiful carbon flake accents, giving the rod a luxury and design led look and feel.
With an Aluminum anodized reel seat that features a double lock on the up and down on the spey fly rod models this again is a sign of a quality built fly rod.
As with any fly rod it’s imperative that the handle is easy to hold and smooth on the hands. The Fenwick Aetos carries a premium cork handle that serves its purpose well.
All Fenwick Aetos series rods carry a limited lifetime warranty. So if your rod breaks due to a manufacturing defect, Fenwick covers the replacement free of charge. They will replace or fix your rod and you will be liable to pay the shipping of the broken rod to them.
They in turn will cover the shipping to return the fixed or replaced rod free of charge. This in itself sets them apart from other manufacturers whom usually charge for such returns saving you further expense should anything go wrong.
I also recommend Fenwick as a great choice of fly rod when considering your upgrade. Great for intermediate to advance fly fishers
3. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod – Combo Deal!
Orvis like the other fly rod manufacturers have been in the rod building game for years! A truly outstanding rod builder with a reputation to match! Mention orvis to any fly fishing enthusiast and you will always get a great response.
As with the higher end Orvis Helios range, many of that technology and build has been out into the Clearwater range but at a fraction of the cost.
This means you are getting a truly premium rod for a much lower price point. Casting with the Orivs Clearwater you will find its extremely easy to cast, feels lightweight and both front and back casts are a breeze!
And short range casting with the Clearwater is unusually pleasant. Labeled as a mid-flex rod, you would class this rod in the moderate action of fly rods which in turn allows for much longer casts which is great if you are aiming for fish that maybe be feeding out of normal reach and range.
The rod has great sensitivity yet still packs a great ouch when fighting any aggressive trout, salmon or steelheads and you wont be disappointed with this rods action overall.
The rod blank itself is set on black chrome with white accents, giving it a solid look and feel. It comes with a quick rod identifier allowing you to assemble the rod easily and freely.
Built with chrome snake stripping guides and ceramic inserts, the fly line flows smoothly when making casts.
Securing your reel is a breeze with the black nickel aluminum reel seat built from quality and long lasting materials.
The rods are built with solid fighting butts to give you the confidence when fighting any larger predators and have composite tips for extra durability.
The Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod also comes with a grey rod tube which is useful for storing your rod safely and securely.
Orvis offers a no questions asked 25 years warranty which in itself should give you tremendous peace of mind when considering upgrading your fly rod.
A very high-quality fly rod with a great price to match!
4. Moonshine Rod – The Drifter Series – Best Quality!
Moonshine Rod hasn’t been around as long as some of the other rod manufacturers we have reviewed here today.
This doesn’t mean they are of a lesser quality and in fact if you take some time to read up on them, the reviews across the internet speak for themselves.
As a high performance rod, the moonshine falls into the category of medium action flex and like the other rods breaks down easily. It comes with a solid hard canvas carry case with 5 compartments for safe keeping of the fly rod.
A solid and short or long distance cast is no issue when we tried out the rod on our local river.
It picked up line from the water’s surface with ease and we were able to present the line on the forward cast also with ease. A very nice smooth feel and comfortable I’d say for all levels of angler.
This was quite surprising when you consider they are a newcomer to the fly fishing rod manufacturing era yet a pleasant surprise when testing out the rod.
The rod blanks are made from high performance graphite and feature hand turned spalted burl that allows the graining of the fly rod to shine through and offer a feature of a wood effect.
Not something you see often in a fly rod and quite unique really! The whole rod throughout is built with copper anodized materials which present a solid and long lasting build that will stand the test of time.
AAA cork grip handle gives that soft touch and allows you to fish all day without getting your hands blistered from rubbing during casting.
Moonshine offers a no questions asked lifetime warranty which again in itself is a good reason to consider this fly rod when looking to upgrade. We really didn’t find any faults when using this rod and highly recommend you check it out!
An extremely great value packed rod, up their with some big name brands, great rod, great price!
As you can see from above these are the best fly rods under 200 dollars in our tried and tested opinion and we hope you found this review useful and somewhat helpful in reaching a decision on what fly rod to upgrade to next.
Upgrading to your next fly reel that is affordable and you will no doubt see the benefits from going with a quality brand and manufacturer. The above fly rods really are a great selection of fly rods to choose from and all in all extremely good value for money for buying reels and in most cases backed with really good warranties.
We wish you as always lots of great adventures on your fly fishing journey and plenty of tight lines and screaming reels!