If you are reading this it is because you are looking for pointers on how to select a new 2wt rod.
Does that apply to you?
Read on to discover what features you need to look at when you buy one from your local fly shop.
If that was not enough, I take a look at 5 of my favorite 2wt rods; examining the market, price range, the materials used to build them, and how to fish them.
Kick back, relax and find out how to get the very best fly out of your adventure on the open water with your 2wt rod.
The Best 2 Weight Rods
Each one of these rods has a unique character and will serve you well for many years to come.
Here are some of the best 2wt rods on the market today.
Below I have included rods that will suit the angler who enjoys traditional medium action rods, fast action high line speed rods, and specialized nymphing rods.
In 2013, Orvis released the Superfine Glass line of rods, after steering clear of the material for decades.
The high quality, and American made, 2wt rod uses fiberglass rolled onto modern tapers.
The result is a versatile and surprisingly fast action fiberglass rods.
Action, Power, and Length
The 2 weight Superfine is ideal for the dry fly enthusiast who prefers a medium action rod.
The power and deep flex also makes the rod excellent to fish small streamers.
At only 6 foot 6inches long, the orvis superfine glass is perfect if you fish in dense forests with serious overgrown vegetation.
What you gain in tight situations, you unfortunately, lose in tight line nymphing situations. The short length does not make for the ideal nymphing rod, where managing drag and staying in direct contact with flies are a must.
- Length: 6ft 6in
- Pieces: 3
- Action: Medium action
- Warranty: The Superfine comes with Orvis’ legendary 25-year guarantee.
Thomas and Thomas developed the new Contact series of fly rods over the past three years.
The new Contact II is a dedicated range of long rods (10ft and longer) aimed at the nymphing angler.
The blank construction uses five different carbon and glass fibre materials making it both lightweight and durable.
The Contact has a clear finish with brown thread wraps which secures the guides hook-keep, and winding check, very similar to the Scott G Series.
The single foot recoil guides reduce weight and help speed up the recovery rate of the blank.
One of my favorite features on the rod is the position of the first line guide. T&T placed it closer to the grip, which reduces the line slack between your hand and the first guide.
The Contact II 2wt makes it easy to control drag and retain direct contact with your nymph rig.
The tip is very sensitive, which allows the angler to detect subtle takes.
The butt section’s power is surprising for a 2wt making it possible to target relatively large fish – In this sense, the Contact II is very versatile.
- Length: 10ft
- Weight: 2.99oz
- Pieces: 4
- Action: Medium fast
Best for Dry Fly
The 2wt Pure is the lightest, most delicate rod made by Winston. It’s a durable rod able to deliver tight loops.
The 2wt Pure is the lightest, most delicate rod made by Winston.
The rod is purposely tuned to target trout on dries and light tippet material.
Winston has incorporated Boron III technology in the Pure to create a durable rod able to deliver tight loops.
The slightly faster action makes it possible to present heavier nymphs with ease.
Featuring a traditional green blank Winston finish, with chrome-plated light snake guides, this 2wt Winston rod has a high-quality maple wood insert reel seat
The Winston Pure 2wt is relatively short at 7ft, making it a perfect choice for little streams with overgrown vegetation.
The 2 weight Pure is not ideal for specialized nymphing techniques as the length makes it harder to manage fly drag and stay in contact beyond 20ft.
- Length: 7ft
- Pieces: 4
- Action: Medium fast action
- Warranty: Winston offers a full lifetime unconditional guarantee to the original owner.
The Dart is a fast action small stream range from Sage built on their latest KonneticHD technology, allowing rod designers to reduce weight and significantly ramp up the blank speed.
The rod has a green gloss finish with bronze/brown thread wraps and gold accents.
It features a ceramic Fuji stripper guide and lightweight chrome snake guides and top-tip.
The reel seat uses wood insert with an uplocking bronze anodized skeleton
Action and Power
Due to the rod’s fast action and power, I would easily recommend this for anglers looking for a light three weight fly rod.
The rod can form tight loops and generate high line speed with ease.
I do not recommend this 2 weight rod if you prefer slower action rods and traditional styled dry fly-fishing. This is a modern weapon designed to make pinpoint accurate casts quickly.
- Length: 7ft 6in
- Weight: 1 15/16oz
- Pieces: 4
- Action: Fast
Best For Nymphing
A durable balanced rod ideal for nymphing.
The Hardy Ultralight LL series of long rods ranges between 9ft 2in and 11ft 2in.
There are two 2wt Ultralight LL models in the series, namely a 10ft 2in and an 11ft 2in. The choice between the two depends on the reach required, size of the river, and clearance for casts.
Hardy uses their Sintrix NSX technology in the blank which has a copper/bronze finish with the underlying texture of the carbon wraps present.
A durable ceramic lined stripper guide and single foot line guides are used, and single foot guides minimize the weight of thread wraps and resin used on the blank, improving recovery rates.
The weight of the reel is positioned as far back as possible by the down locking reel seat, which assists with the overall balance of the rig ultimately making it more comfortable to use for extended periods.
The Ultralight 2wt 10ft 2in does not fare well in tight situations where there is restricted casting space.
- Length: 10ft 2in and 11ft 2in
- Pieces: 4
- Action: Medium fast
- Warranty: Lifetime warranty
What is a 2 wt Fly Rod?
In technical terms, a fly rod 2 wt casts a 2 weight fly line. That might sound obvious, but a 2wt line has a very specific weight range.
The first 30-feet of an AFFTA compliant 2 weight fly line weighs between 74 and 86 grains.
Many manufacturers use this constraint to design their rods- including 3 weight fly rod.
The ultimate blank design and action are determined by the fly rod designer, which has a great impact on the rod’s action and feeling.
What separates a two-weight from other weights?
A fly rod 2wt is the ideal quiver for the small stream fishing enthusiast who does a great deal of angling with dry flies to small fish-If you are looking for a lightweight rod, this is it.
Many, more modern, rods give the angler the opportunity to diversify in terms of angling techniques.
These versatile fly rods utilize advanced and lightweight materials. They allow the angler to throw tiny dry flies to multiple nymph rigs.
Advantages of a 2wt
Fly rod manufacturers design a 2wt to cast a lightweight line.
It is a specialized rod weight with very distinct advantages, which are:
- A skilled angler can deliver very soft and delicate presentations with a 2wt
(often required in small stream scenarios)
- Great at protecting light tippet (5X – 8X)
- Comfortable to fish with as it is very light weight
- Fishing with a 2wt makes targeting and fighting smaller fish on the fly more fun – compared to a 3 wt fly rod.
What to Consider when Buying a 2wt Rod?
Before you buy any piece of fly-fishing gear, there are a couple of essential questions you need to answer.
You’ll be the one spending most time with the rod, so it is of paramount importance to find out exactly what your needs are.
Target fish species, river size, fishing distance, and preferred action all play a vital role to ensure you are selecting the best rod for the job.
Target Fish Species
A 2wt rod is used to catch many different species of fish.
However, it cannot cast large and heavy flies and has little pulling power.
Therefore, the 2wt is ideal for catching small fish.
I mainly use my 2-weight on trout between 6 and 12-inches.
The dry flies that I cast range from size 20 flies to size 14 nymphs—A 2-weight performs great in this range of fish and flies.
Ensure that the 2wt you choose suits your cast style.
If you prefer to cast medium-fast action setups, a slower option like the Orvis Superfine Glass or the Winston Pure 2wt, mentioned below, will be a great option.
Some anglers prefer to cast fast action rods, as these allow you to generate high line speed and to make long-distance casts—The Sage Dart is a perfect example and is great for this application.
Intended Fishing Location
Choose the 2wt that is best suited to the location where you plan on fishing the most.
For example, I prefer a 2wt 10ft rod for much of the angling I do near Cape Town.
I catch most of the fish at a distance between 10 and 20 feet, and the additional length gives me great control in the tricky currents.
However, a 10ft rod is not ideal on a small river with extreme overgrowth.
The length makes casting incredibly hard, and I spend more time unhooking flies from trees than fishing—A 7ft 2wt rod will be much better suited to this scenario.
There is a trade-off between portability and smoothness when it comes to rod sections.
More segments mean that the rod travels very well and may be stored in a backpack or behind your car seat.
A 2-piece rod is more of a hassle to carry around; however, the rod feels smoother.
Most 2 wt fly rods come in a three or 4-piece design which I recommend as the portability far outweighs the additional smoothness gained.
Always test a rod personally before you buy it and when you do, be realistic about the distance you will fish it.
In my opinion, most fishing with a 2wt will occur at a distance under 40ft.
Although an ultra-fast rod can bomb out 80ft of fly line, a slightly slower rod that fishes well below 40ft might be more suitable.
Always test a 2wt rod against the intended application.
It is pointless to test a 2wt 10ft rod by casting it as far as you can. There is nothing gained by testing it in this way.
Instead, see how well it makes a tuck or roll cast.
2wt rods are available in many lengths ranging from 6 to above 10-feet.
The rod length has a drastic effect on its fishability as it influences; the action, the weight, and the ability to cast in tight spots.
The overall length impacts the rig’s balance.
A small diameter click-and-pawl reel balances short rods well.
Anglers who fish with longer rods will find that a large arbour reel rated for 5 or 6 weight outfits, will balance the rig perfectly.
Fly Rod Length Pros and Cons
Short (Under 8-feet)
- Easy to form tight loops
- The perfect choice for fly-fishing in rivers with dense overgrowth
- Ideal dry fly rod
- A great choice if fishing from a boat or any floating craft
- Challenging to control drag at 20ft and further
Long (10-feet and Over)
- The additional length allows the angler to control drag at greater distances
- Perfect nymphing or dry-dropper rod
- Hard to fish in with dense overgrowth
- Not ideal for fishing from a boat
After Sales Service
Make sure that the rod you buy has a reputable after-sales service.
In my opinion, this is one of the most important aspects to keep in mind when you buy a 2wt or any piece of fishing gear.
Fly rods break, and not because they are of low quality or fragile.
No, it is due to the nature of the locations and the fish we target with them.
When you spend a considerable amount of money on a rod, you need to have the peace of mind that should anything go wrong, you can have the rod repaired without any hassles.
The manufacturers of the rods in our Best 2 Weight Fly Rods section all have superb after-sales service.
If you have a specific rod in mind but are unsure of their warranty or level of service in your area, head down to your local fly shop.
Ask what brand the shop’s staff has in their private collection and find out how good the after sales service is.
When you are in the market for a 2wt rod, it is crucial to make sure you buy the best one to suit your needs.
In fact, this holds true for any piece of fly-fishing gear you buy.
For my overall top pick, I choose the Thomas & Thomas Contact II.
A quality rod that won’t let you down.
It’s a versatile fly rod, with enough power to make it possible to target larger fish.
If you are a dry fly purist, I recommend the Winston Pure.
I’ve always loved the lighter Winston rods, and the Pure is no exception.
It is durable and has the ideal action for dry fly fishing, and has a trustworthy after-sales service with an unconditional warranty.
For the nymphing enthusiast, the Hardy Ultralight LL is hard to beat.
It is slightly cheaper than the Thomas & Thomas Contact II, is very durable, and is available in two lengths.
Keep in mind that, if you are building up your nymphing gear, a larger reel works the best with long rods.
Both these rods will serve an angler well for many years to come.
Test Them All!
The last piece of advice that I want to share with you is to test as many rods as you can, especially when buying rods with a premium price – Do not just shake them from side to side in the shop.
Borrow a line from a friend or the tackle shop and cast the rod – ideally with the line that you are going to buy—In the end, you will spend much more time on the water if you are happy with your gear.
Isn’t that what it is all about?
I hope that you found this article helpful. If so, please share it with your fishing friends.
Until next time.