Best 8 Weight Fly Rod Reviewed and Compared (2022 Buyer’s Guide)

Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.

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An 8 weight fly rod is one of the most versatile fly rods.

They are perfect for targeting predatory fresh-water species like pike or bass, and smaller salt-water species like snook, redfish, and bonefish.

Only certain 8 weight fly rods will give you this kind of versatility, that’s why it’s important to pick the right rod.

There’s no need to own one for fresh-water and one for salt-water.

The Best From The Review

Top Pick

Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod

The rod comes with low friction guides, an aluminum reel seat, and a lifetime warranty. It’s made for every environment.

Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod

The Top all-around 8 weight rod is the Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod.

The Glass Rod is a great fly rod that is super tough and is suitable for all environments.

It’s fun to fish with, plus, it’s an absolute steal for the price.

Best Value

Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Rod

Made for predatory and saltwater flats fishing. It’s made up of a hardcore graphite blank that is durable but light.

Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Rod

If you’re looking to spend a little less but still want solid performance, the TFO Legacy is the rod for you.

It’s affordable, durable, light, and casts like a dream.

There isn’t much more you can ask for at that price.

Editor’s Choice

G. Loomis Asquith Rod

A rod that has the power to put pressure on fish while being light for tireless days of constant casting.

G. Loomis Asquith Rod

The Asquith takes the prize for me.

I’ve seen this rod do incredible things like throw 80ft in 30 knots of wind, and it’s helped me do incredible things too.

Some of the best fish I’ve guided and caught might have been missed was it not for the performance of the Asquith.

It’s made to help you win when the fish and conditions aren’t in your favor, and take those opportunities of a lifetime that fishing throws you now and then.

Our Best 8-Weight Fly Rods

Editor’s Choice

G. Loomis Asquith Rod

A rod that has the power to put pressure on fish while being light for tireless days of constant casting.

G. Loomis Asquith Rod

Loomis makes a great rod. In fact, they make some of the best and high-end fly rods to hit the market place.

Their NRX made waves in the fly fishing industry by being one of the best performing rods to hit the market.

Then they made the Asquith, which takes performance to a new level.

The Asquith fly rod is exceptionally light while being really tough.

Build

This comes down to how Loomis built their rods using minimal materials overall but strengthening weak points.

The end result is a rod that has the power to put pressure on big fish while being light for tireless days of constant casting.

When you first pick up the rod, you struggle to believe it’s actually in its weight class.

Its light but powerful build combined with the sensitive fast action and softer tip allows you to turn large flies over at 90 ft with ease.

Materials

The 8wt is made from a high-quality graphite blank, titanium guides, and an anodized aluminum reel seat.

All the components combined make it ready to outlast any environment.

You can go fishing for bones on the flats one day and then pike and bass fishing the next, and all you need to do is give it a fresh water rinse.

Price Range

The only drawback to this rod is how expensive it is.

The Asquith 8wt fly rod is one of the most expensive rods out there, it’s also one of the best fly rods too.

You do get what you pay for, and it comes with a lifetime warranty, so this fly fishing rod is more of an investment.

Specs

  • Model: Asquith 890-4
  • Weight: 8 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Highest quality build and performance
  • Lightweight for fatigue-less casting
  • Efficient power transfer for great casting distance
  • Made for every environment
  • Durable titanium snake guides
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Exceptionally tough rod

Cons

  • Expensive

G. Loomis ShoreStalker Rod

Designed to give the ability to throw big flies with pinpoint accuracy while surrounded by cover behind you.

G. Loomis ShoreStalker Rod

The G. Loomis ShoreStalker fly fishing rod was built for one thing, shore stalking.

Design

The rod’s design was refined to give you the advantage when fishing from and around shorelines, abrupt weed lines, rocky points, submerged trees, and the mangroves.

The idea behind this fly fishing rod is to give the ability to throw big flies with pinpoint accuracy while surrounded by cover behind you.

You can load this rod with 20ft of line and with two false casts, punch it to 60ft, landing your fly right where you were aiming for.

Features

It’s a fast action rod with a shorter length that helps keep loops tight and low to avoid any snags behind or in front.

By doing this, the rod helps you navigate already tricky fishing grounds with a lot more success.

Loomis added a power butt section to this fly fishing rod just for fishing for predators like bass and snook, where you need the rod to be strong enough to hold the back from snagging you in the weeds.

Quality

Like all G. Loomis rods, the ShoreStalker fly fishing rod is made with G. Loomis’ amazing quality, durability, and performance.

It’s a fly rod for life, especially with the lifetime warranty.

It’s also one of the most reasonably priced G. Loomis rods out there, and over half the price of most of their models.

Casting

The only downside to this fly rod is that it’s not made for long distance casting, it’s about accuracy. So you might struggle to push anything over 70 ft with this rod.

Specs

  • Model: FR1048-4
  • Weight: 8wt
  • Length: 8’8”
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Designed for pinpoint accuracy
  • Made to avoid snags in your back-cast
  • Power butt section to cast big flies
  • Great lifting power for stopping fishes from going into snags
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Loads quickly and easily
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not made for long casts

G. Loomis GLX Crosscurrent Rod

Specifically made for saltwater fly fishing where strong breezes, big flies, quick long casts, and huge fish Like GT’s and tarpon are everyday life.

G. Loomis GLX Crosscurrent Rod

The G. Loomis GLX Crosscurrent fly rod is one of the most famous, most loved, and best saltwater fly rods ever made.

Efficiency

It simply gets the job done no matter the conditions, and once guides got a hold of it, the news spread quickly.

Ask any saltwater fishing guide, myself included, what their favorite rods are to fish with and I guarantee one of the top two fly rods they mention will be the GLX Crosscurrent.

So, what makes this fly rod so special? – I hear you ask.

Design

The GLX Crosscurrent has been specifically made for saltwater fly fishing where strong breezes, big flies, quick long casts, and huge fish Like GT’s and tarpon are everyday life.

That is no picnic and it is one of the toughest environments a fly rod can live in.

This rod is made from high-quality graphite that has been engineered to give you incredible lifting power while being light and durable.

Features

It’s a fast action rod that loads with incredible sensitivity and power to give you long 90ft accurate casts with minimal time and effort.

It comes with titanium guides, an anodized aluminum reel seat, and a lovely cork handle that are all fit for every environment.

Price Range

The GLX Crosscurrent is expensive but it’s a lot less expensive than the Asquith for a similar level of performance, and comes with a lifetime warranty too.

Specs

  • Model: FR1088-4
  • Weight: 8wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Light but incredibly powerful
  • Improve casting distance
  • Friction-free nickel-titanium guides
  • Great strength for lifting stubborn fish
  • Sensitive with great balance
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

Best Value

Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Rod

Made for predatory and saltwater flats fishing. It’s made up of a hardcore graphite blank that is durable but light.

Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy Rod

Temple Fork Outfitters don’t quite live in the same world as G. Loomis in terms of performance.

Temple Fork is in the affordable performance world that brings quality fishing rods to everyone, not just those that can afford them – thank god.

Design

The Temple Fork Outfitters Legacy 8wt rod is made for predatory and saltwater flats fishing. It’s made up of a hardcore graphite blank that is durable but light.

You can happily cast big flies at cover all day long with this rod and barely need a rest.

Casting

The rods cast beautifully thanks to the lightweight build and fast action.

It’s also forgiving for beginners to cast with too.

If you’re a beginner/intermediate, you’ll find your distance and accuracy improving after a while with this fly rod.

Features

It also comes with exclusive TFO Tactical Series Stripping Guides and a carbon fiber insert and reel seat to boost durability and handle any corrosion the salt throws its way.

It also features alignment dots color-coded by line weight to make it easier for beginners.

Price Range

You get all this for a very reasonable price and it should be more expensive in my eyes.

It comes with a no-fault lifetime warranty and the only downside is that a rod tube is not included.

Specs

  • Model: TF-08-90-4-LK
  • Weight: 8wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Action: Fast
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: No

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • For use in any environment
  • Good for turning over big flies and holding on to strong fish like bonefish
  • Boost your distance and accuracy
  • Durable graphite blank and carbon fiber reel seat
  • Exclusive tough guides
  • No-fault lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Rod tube not included

Top Pick

Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod

The rod comes with low friction guides, an aluminum reel seat, and a lifetime warranty. It’s made for every environment.

Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod

It’s hard to think of a better name for a fishing rod than Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod, it makes me want to buy it just because of that.

This is the first and only fiberglass fishing rod in the review and I had to include it because they are a load of fun to fish with.

Quality

First off, Echo makes great rods, and the Bad Ass Glass Rods, take the fiberglass into the realm of bigger fish and saltwater.

This fly rod will literally bend in half and you can imagine the advantages of that when you’re trying to hold on to a stubborn snook or bass.

As long as your leader is strong enough, you can hold a fish and let the fly rod do all the work by bending until the fish gives up.

Price Range

Another great thing about the Bad Ass Glass 8wt is how affordable it is and how much you can feel everything.

Every pull of a fish creates a significant bend in the rod that really gets your heart pumping and it’s what makes fishing with fiberglass so fun.

The rod is lovely to cast with and you can push some line with it too.

Features

It might be a little too heavy for some, or too bendy for others, depending on your preferences but once you get the swing of it, it operates well.

The rod comes with low friction guides, an aluminum reel seat, and a lifetime warranty. It’s made for every environment.

Specs

  • Model: BAG-890
  • Weight: 8 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Glass fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Super tough, almost unbreakable
  • Low-friction guides to aid your casting distance
  • Ideal for all environments
  • Lifetime warranty
  • A maintenance-free aluminum reel seat
  • You can feel a lot with this rod
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Little heavy
  • Can be too bendy

Sage SALT HD Rod

Made from a high-modulus graphite blank with oversized Fuji ceramic stripper guides and a black anodized aluminum reel seat.

Sage SALT HD Rod

The Sage Salt HD is a top-performing saltwater fly rod on the market.

The fly rod is made from a high-modulus graphite blank with oversized Fuji ceramic stripper guides, a decent fighting butt, and a black anodized aluminum reel seat.

Build

It’s built to live in saltwater and is about as durable as a rod gets.

The rod is designed to give you the ability to make long quick casts at moving saltwater fish species even when cutting into the breeze.

To do this, it has to be stiff and powerful which unfortunately makes it a little tough for beginners.

Quality

It’s a high performing rod that can feel like a broomstick to some and a dream to others.

It’s built with large saltwater species like bull redfish in mind and therefore has to have some serious lifting power behind it to stop stubborn fish from cutting you off on reefs or mangroves.

Design

The Salt HD is a great rod for an experienced fly fisher who wants some extra punch but it’s over-kill for inexperienced fly fishermen.

The Salt HD is also pretty expensive but, that’s what performance rods cost. It does come with an excellent lifetime warranty though.

Specs

  • Model: Salt 890-4
  • Weight: 8 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great casting performance
  • Tough for holding on to strong species
  • Made for saltwater but can be used anywhere
  • Durable graphite build
  • Designed to make long, quick casts

Cons

  • Stiff for some
  • Not for beginners
  • Expensive

Orvis Helios 3F Rod

Exceptionally light, tough, and a dream to cast with.

Orvis Helios 3F Rod

Orvis lost their edge for a while in the world of high-performance fly rods but came back with a bang when they released the Helios 3F.

Build

This fly rod is exceptionally light, tough, and a dream to cast with.

When you pick up the 8 wt, it feels as light as a 6 and punches like a 9. It has a very light swing weight and is well balanced.

The blank has been engineered to reduce casting variables for more consistency, helping you get it right all the time instead of just some of it.

The models come in a range of lengths – the model I included is a longer 10ft rod.

Length

The extra length helps you load your rod more efficiently to get a longer cast with a shorter backcast.

This allows you to dodge any shoreline snags behind you and put your fly where it needs to be quickly, which is often the case in saltwater.

The extra length is also valuable in freshwater and helps you mend your line to get the right drift when river fishing.

Power

In terms of power, the Helios 3F has your back too. It has a strong butt section that is made for stopping and controlling stubborn fishes with ease.

Overall, it’s an awesome rod but comes with a scary price tag.

Specs

  • Model: 3F810-4
  • Weight: 8 wt
  • Length: 10 ft
  • Line: 8/9 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Length is ideal for mending and fishing from the shore
  • Designed to limit casting variables for increased consistency
  • Exceptional high-quality build
  • Great feel and action for a better casting distance
  • Light for tireless casting
  • Tough and strong for handling species that want to break you
  • 25-year warranty

Cons

  • Expensive

What Does The Weight Of A Fly Rod Mean?

Weight describes how thick, strong, and powerful fly fish rods are…

The weight of a fly fish rod has nothing to do with grams and ounces.

It is a bit like the power rating of a spinning rod.

Weight describes how thick, strong, and powerful fly fish rods are.

The higher the weight the stronger, more powerful the fishing fly rods.

Fly fishing rods range in weight from 1-16.

Features

One weight flying fishing rods are incredibly light, delicate and used for catching small species like roach and rudd.

Sixteen weight fly fishing rods are used to catch big offshore species like striped marlin or tuna.

The weight rating also dictates the weight of fly lines that can be used with the fly fishing rods.

TIP

The line weight should match the fly rod weight, or be a weight above it.

You can pair an 8wt fly rod with an 8wt line, or use a 9wt line for some extra weight and power.

What Is An 8 Weight Fly Rod Good For?

Pike Caught on a Lure
Pike Caught on a Lure

Species

8 weight fly rods in freshwater, are ideal for large predators like pike, musky, and bass.

For saltwater, an 8 weight fly rod is perfect for smaller flats species like bonefish, snook and redfish.

TIP

With the right 8 weight fly rod, you can catch bass one day and bonefish the next, without changing a thing.

Performance

8 weight fly rods are made for casting large and heavy flies, like a small clouser or a small brush fly, far and accurately.

They are designed to handle the attack and fighting strength of strong predatory species like snook or pike.

An 8 weight fly rod can punch a crab or baitfish fly 100ft accurately, tempting a lurking bass or bonefish into eating.

Once you’re hooked up, the rod has the power to handle them.

Environment

8 wt fly rods are great for big waters like the flats or a lake.

All 8 weight fly rods give you the ability to cast a long line quickly.

If you know what you’re doing, you can cast the full fly line (90-100ft) with just 3 false casts – you can put your fly in front of fish at a distance, quickly.

Who Should Own An 8 Weight?

Anyone who has a want or desire to fish in saltwater or for bigger freshwater species has to own an 8 wt fly rod.

There is no better weight fly rod for catching these species, if you haven’t fished for them yet, you should.

They’ll open up a whole new dimension of fly fishing for you, exposing you to new environments and techniques.

What Makes A Great 8 Weight?

Man-Casting-a-Fly-Rod
Man Casting a Fly Rod

The best 8 weight fly rod will be powerful for turning over larger flies.

It will give you great casting distance, have some backbone for hooking and holding on to large fish, and be able to survive in both fresh and saltwater.

What To Look For In An 8 Weight

Budget

While looking for the best 8 weight fly rod loosen those purse strings a bit.

This isn’t a rod for small fish, and you’re going to want the quality that comes with extra dollars when you hook up on a 12lb bonefish.

You’re going to be fishing hard for these species.

Check out the features of the G Loomis Cross Current fly rods.

G Loomis Cross Current Fly Fishing Rods Product Overview

Tough Battles

When I say hard, you’ll most have some blisters on your casting hand after the first full day.

When you fish this hard, you want a fly rod that will help you along the way, not hold you back. 

This comes by spending a bit more.

Portability

You’re going to have to travel with this fly rod to fish for the species it’s made for – The last thing you want is to be carrying around a 9ft long protective tube everywhere.

Every fly rod in this review is a 4-piece rod that when stored is only around 2-3 feet long.

You can put it in your luggage, backpack, and even on a plane.

Material

Fly Rod on Mossy Surface
Fly Rod on Mossy Surface

There are 3 main materials used for 8 weight fly rods: carbon fiber, graphite, and fiberglass

All of these materials are great but each has its differences, and one will suit you better than another.

Carbon Fiber & Graphite

Carbon fiber and graphite are both light, durable, strong, high-performing materials that most fly rods are made from.

The difference is that graphite rods are cheaper, weaker, and heavier, but it is not that noticeable unless you’re a pro.

Performance

If you’re looking for the best performing fly rod, then a carbon fiber fly rod is what you want. However, it depends on the manufacturing process.

Both materials load a fly rod beautifully to give great castability and accuracy while being light and strong.

Fiberglass

Fiberglass fly rods are a lot of fun to use.

They are almost unbreakable, easily bend in two, and are awesome for holding on to fish to stop them from going into snags.

They are a bit heavier than graphite or carbon fiber rods, usually less than 1 oz, and they are soft to cast with (hence the bendiness).

TIP

A beginner may struggle to cast with a fiberglass rod, and a pro will get an arm ache due to the amount of power they require – I get an arm ache after 3-4 hours.

Weight

When fishing with an 8 wt fly rod, you’re going to be casting heavy flies and long fly lines all day.

That is tiring and the last thing you need is for your fly rod to add any extra strain to your day.

Heavy fly rods tire you out quickly and while performance, length, and materials are more important factors.

TIP

My advice is to find a few fly rods that match your other needs and then look at weight to help make your final decision.

Length

Man Holding a Fly Rod
Man Holding a Fly Rod

An 8 weight rod is around 9ft long as standard but does differ from 8’8” to 10 feet long.

A shorter 8 weight rod at around the 8’8” is made for quick, accurate casts, not for distance, which is ideal for sight fishing.

A longer 8 weight rod is good for long casts and fishing from the shore where you want to cast but don’t have enough room on your backcast.

A 9ft 8 weight rod is an all-rounder for distance and accuracy.

Most 8 weight rods are this length.

TIP

Unless you’re looking for a specific performance 8 weight rod stick with a 9ft rod.

Action

The action of a fly rod describes where along the length of the rod it will bend.

Action is rated as slow, medium, medium-fast action, fast action, and extra-fast action.

  • Slow action rods will bend near the butt section.
  • Medium-fast action rod bends a little higher than the middle.
  • Fast action rod bends closer to the tip.

The best 8 weight fly rods are medium-fast action rods or fast action rods.

They give you great sensitivity and increased casting distance.

By bending further up the rod, the power is transferred more efficiently through the rod and into the line so you can shoot it further.

NOTE

Extra sensitivity means you’ll feel the cast more in the rod for greater accuracy and feel any subtle bite when fishing.

Handle, Reel Seat & Guides

Fisherman Holding a Rod with a Lure
Fisherman Holding a Rod with a Lure

Fly rod features are important for its durability.

Rods like an 8wt will be used in a salty environment, and your equipment will need to be up for the task.

Reel Seat

Your reel seat is one of the most important parts of your fly rod.

A reel seat holds your reel in place.

If your reel seat was to fail while fishing, you could end up submerging your reel in saltwater, banging it on rocks, or losing a fish because of it.

NOTE

The best reel seats are made from anodized aluminum which is exceptionally corrosion-resistant and locks your reel tightly in place.

Guides

The type of guides on your rod and the material is important.

Most fly rods come with snake guides.

Snake guides are designed to reduce friction by being open and minimal, which allows lines to run unhindered out of the guides.

NOTE

The best snake guides are made from either titanium, chrome impregnated steel, or stainless steel.

Handles

Most, if not all of the grips on an 8wt rod are made from a quality cork handle.

A cork handle is soft to hold, provides a good grip, and can handle salt or freshwater.

Winding Up

You have just read a line-up of some of the best fly fishing rods that have ever been made so if you’re a little confused about which rod to buy, I don’t blame you.

But know this, whichever rod you choose it certainly will not disappoint.

Top Pick

For anyone who wants some high-grade performance from their 8wt but doesn’t want to spend a bucket load, I’d suggest the Echo Fiber Bad Ass Glass Rod.

The rod is lovely to cast with, comes with low friction guides, an aluminum reel seat, a lifetime warranty, and is suitable for every environment.

Best Value

If you’re looking for an 8wt but don’t want to spend much for whatever reason, the TFO Legacy Rod is perfect.

It’s high-quality, well-performing, light, durable, and provides as much power to stop those bass, snook, bonefish, and more.

Editor’s Choice

For those of you who want performance and are willing to pay for it, you have got to go for the Asquith.

It’s made to be the best and it really is.

Your casting techniques will improve with it, so will your accuracy, you’ll boss every fish you hook and it’s going to be with you for life – it’s that durable.

Feel Free To Share!

I hope this article helps you buy the 8wt of your dreams – or at least kick-started you into saving.

If you found the reviews helpful please share them with your buddies and good luck out there.

Remember, life’s just one big fishing trip. Tight lines!

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Lance Wilkins
Lance Wilkins
Editor @ CallOutdoors. Outdoor gear-head and adventure addict. I fish, camp and enjoy to writing about my adventures.
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