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For new anglers, nothing is quite as exciting as purchasing your very first fly rod. However, beginner fly fishers may feel overwhelmed when choosing a first fly rod and reel. The good news is that this process can be smooth and uncomplicated with a little help.
Like conventional rods, fly rods vary in price. The most important differences are in the material the blank is made with.
The cheapest fly rods use inexpensive fiberglass, and tend to have a very soft action.
The price increases with the use of better fiberglass, glass/graphite composites, and then graphites ranging from less expensive lower-modulus material to expensive high-modulus aerospace materials. (Modulus is a measure of a fiber’s strength in relation to its weight and mass.)
Choose a rod with a warranty. Most major fly rod manufacturers have some type of warranty but it’s a good idea to ask about the details. Does it cover accidental breakage? How long is the warranty? Whether you are accident prone, or very careful with your equipment, the fact is that fly rods can break. A solid warranty turns this tragedy into peace of mind.
Read Reviews. Fly fishing websites and magazines love reviewing rods and even comparing them side-by-side, doing much of the legwork for you. While reading about a rod won’t give you that “in hand” feel, it can certainly give you lots of information to help you weed through the options.
An angler's first fly rod is a special piece of equipment, and one that can be cherished and enjoyed for generations. Hopefully these tips get you started on the path to many great memories on the water.