Best Fly Rod Under $200: A Quality Fly Rod At An Affordable Price

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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My fishing career has spanned 30 years, and one of the hardest things I have found throughout that is the funding of high-end equipment such as rods.

Back in the 90’s, you didn’t have manufacturers homing on the affordable performance market like you do today.

Luckily for all, they now make some fly fishing rods for a lot less than they used to.

This means you don’t have to settle for an underperforming rod that doesn’t match your abilities.

You can find a great rod to match your budget pretty much every time, and that’s what we are here to find, the best fly rod under 200 dollars.

The Best From The Review

Top Pick

Echo Carbon XL

Made from a carbon fiber blank and are durable as hell. It’s suitable for all skill levels making them a great entry-level rod.

Echo Carbon XL

The best fly rod for an all-around freshwater rod that suits all abilities is the Echo Carbon XL.

It’s durable, casts solid distance with accuracy, and has all the feel you need to improve your casting.

Best Value

Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Pro Series II

Designed for all abilities and it performs excellently in all situations.

Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Pro Series II

The best fly rod for value is the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series II.

It’s one of the least expensive in the budget category, and delivers performance worthy of a much more expensive rod.

It’s durable, well-made, and suits all casting abilities.

Editor’s Choice

Fenwick AETOS

Durable, well-made, and performs well. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Fenwick AETOS

If it was me, I’d choose the Fenwick Aetos. It’s the best fly rod in the review by far in terms of performance.

It casts beautifully and pushes distances of 60ft effortlessly with accuracy.

If you want to take your fishing to the next level on a budget, this is the rod to do it with.

Our Top Fly Rods Under 200

Redington VICE

A progressive fly rod designed for beginners who have the knack of fly fishing down and are ready to hone their skills.

Redington VICE

Redington is a part of the Farbank Group who also owns Sage and Rio Fly Lines and is a sure bet when you’re looking for the best fly rods on a budget.

They make quality products at an affordable price range and almost every rod comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Build

The Vice fly rods are made from a durable graphite blank that performs well and comes with chrome stripping guides and an anodized aluminum reel holder that will handle both fresh and saltwater.

The Vice is a progressive fly rod designed for beginners who have the knack of fly fishing down and are ready to hone their skills.

It’s a great performing rod and is an excellent choice for trout or bass fishing thanks to its casting sweet spot of 45-60 feet.

Casting

This fly rod will put your fly down exactly where it needs to be anywhere between 45-60 ft.

It’s quite a forgiving rod to cast with and the medium-fast action gives you enough feel to understand your casts and enough power to hit those 60ft casts.

It’s a bit heavy and sluggish at 30ft though.

Specs

  • Model: 590-4
  • Weight: 5 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Medium-fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Durable high-modulus graphite blank
  • Great performance
  • Ideal for skill progression
  • Accurate at and great for casting 45ft
  • Good for pushing a 60 ft line
  • Solid guides and reel seat
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Heavy casting at 30ft

Top Pick

Echo Carbon XL

It’s suitable for all skill levels making them a great entry-level rod.

Echo Carbon XL

Echo is one of the best fly rod manufacturers to look at when shopping on a budget.

Their less expensive fly rods don’t cut corners and over-perform for their price, plus they come with a lifetime guarantee.

Build

The Carbon XL fly rods are suitable for all skill levels making them a great entry-level rod.

They’re beautifully made from a carbon fiber blank and are durable as hell.

They come with a comfy cork handle, lightweight ceramic stripping guides, and a corrosion-resistant reel holder.

Design

These fly rods were designed to be light for those tireless fishing days where an arm ache is not an option and to be an all-round freshwater rod.

Whether it’s bluegill, bass, or trout you’re after, the XL has you covered.

Casting

The Carbon XL fly rods are lovely to cast with.

They are light in the hand and the medium-fast action gives you a nice feel and the power to drop a fly at 60ft plus feet with some pretty good accuracy.

They aren’t as high performing compared to more expensive rods, but that’s just what you get when shopping on a budget.

Specs

  • Model: 590-4
  • Weight: 5 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • A great all-rounder for multiple species
  • Light for tireless casting days
  • Quality carbon-fiber blank
  • Excellent casting distance and accuracy
  • Durable and well made
  • Quality guides and reel seat
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Good performance

Cons

  • Not as high performing as more expensive rods

Orvis Encounter

An entry-level fly rod that is designed for beginners while having enough performance for pro anglers out there who might want a backup fishing rod.

Orvis Encounter

Orvis has been in the affordable fly rods market for 5-10 years and now make some of the best fly rods on a budget you can find – they all come with Orvis’ 25-year guarantee.

Design

The Encounter series of fly rods is an entry-level fly rod that is designed for beginners while having enough performance for pro anglers out there who might want a backup fishing rod.

These fly rods are made from a high-modulus graphite blank and feature a corrosion-resistant reel holder and guides that come to gather to make some durable fly rods.

Action

The medium-fast action gives the rod a nice feel and enough for beginners to get their timing right on their casts.

It’s quite a forgiving rod and it does a pretty good job at hitting the sweet spot of 45-60 ft casts with some accuracy.

Any pro’s may find that the rod is a little sluggish for them, and it might be better to stick with a fast action rod.

Weight

The downside to The Encounter fly rods is their weight.

They are a little heavier than others and could induce an arm ache on long days.

Specs

  • Model: 586-4
  • Weight: 5 weight
  • Length: 8’6”
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Excellent for beginners
  • Forgiving to cast with
  • Nice feel and casts accurately to 45-60 feet
  • Made from a durable graphite blank
  • Great all-round freshwater rod
  • Comes with a 25-year guarantee

Cons

  • Pro’s may find it sluggish ‘
  • Heavier than others

Redington Path II

A solid choice for fishing for freshwater species and if you’re just getting into fly fishing.

Redington Path II

The Redington Path II is another solid fly rod for beginners and it’s the least expensive in the review…

It’s a lovely rod for getting the hang of fly fishing thanks to its forgiving nature.

Action

The fast-medium action does a good job of casting easily and accuracy up to 50ft. Casts over this distance are quite tricky to manage as the rod seems to drop power and lose a lot of accuracy.

Durability

It’s well made from a durable graphite blank and comes with a wooden reel holder that adds a nice element of style to the fly rod. It’s a solid choice for fishing for freshwater species and if you’re just getting into fly fishing.

If you’re seasoned in the fly fishing game, you may find this rod holds you back.

Specs

  • Model: 490-4
  • Weight: 4 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 4/5 wt
  • Action: Medium-fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Solid build and durability
  • High-quality graphite blank
  • Wood reel holder for style
  • Good for beginners
  • Forgiving to cast with
  • Cast’s well and with accuracy for distances up to 50ft
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Casts past 50/60ft lose accuracy
  • Lower performing than others

Editor’s Choice

Fenwick AETOS

Durable, well-made, and performs well. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Fenwick AETOS

Fenwick came out with the Aetos and pretty much dropped one of the best fly rods on a budget into the marketplace.

The Aetos is an awesome fly fishing rod and it even outperforms some expensive fly rods

Build

This fly rod is durable and well-made, it’ll last, and if it doesn’t for some reason, you’re covered with a lifetime guarantee.

The blank is beautiful and makes it look like a $1000 fly rod and it almost casts like one too.

Action

The action on this fly rod is superb and it delivers pinpoint accuracy at every distance up to around 60 ft with ease. It does seem to slow down a bit when casting over 60 ft but not by much.

Quality

Fishing with the Aetos really does feel like you’re fishing with a much more expensive rod. The performance you’re getting for under 200 is some of the best you’ll find.

Specs

  • Model: 586-4
  • Weight: 5 wt
  • Length: 8’6”
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Rod Tube: Yes

Pros

  • High-end looking blank
  • Great to cast with at all distances up to 60 ft
  • Awesome for accuracy
  • Effortless power for casting ‘
  • Great performance
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • Could be better for 60ft casts and over

Best Value

Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Pro Series II

Designed for all abilities and it performs excellently in all situations.

Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Pro Series II

The Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Pro Series II fly rod is another one of the best budget fly rods on today’s market.

Designed by the legendary Lefty Kreh who’s been in fly fishing longer than anyone, it’s a fly rod that’s designed for abilities and it performs excellently in all situations.

Build

This fly rod is made with a solid graphite blank and features an A’ grade Portuguese cork handle, and a saltwater ready reel holder and guides.

These components come together to make a fly rod that is super durable and long-lasting.

Casting

These fly rods are lovely to cast with and are great for all abilities.

They’ll hit every target you’re going for up to 60ft and little beyond it, making them ideal for all freshwater species.

Weight

The rod is also light for those long fishing days where you just don’t stop casting and overall excellent performance for a rod of this price.

The only downsides are that the rod comes in two pieces and without a rod rube, so traveling with it may be a little harder than usual due to the extra length and you’ll need to find a rod tube for it.

Specs

  • Model: 590-2
  • Weight: 5 wt
  • Length: 9 ft
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Pieces: 2
  • Rod Tube: No

Pros

  • Designed for all casting abilities
  • Casts accurately and with ease to 60 ft
  • Made from a durable graphite blank
  • Comes with saltwater ready guides and reel holder
  • Great all-round rod for multiple species
  • Awesome performance
  • Light for fatigue-less casting days
  • Lifetime guarantee

Cons

  • 2 pieces makes traveling with the rod a bit harder
  • Doesn’t come with a rod tube

Is It Possible To Get a Good Fly Rod At A Below 200$ Budget?

Yes absolutely! I’ve used rods that cost under $200 that outperform rods in a much higher price range.

If you’re looking to get a rod that has bundles performance in it – it’s definitely possible at under $200.

What Makes A Great Fly Rod?

Close up of a Fly Rod Held in Hand
Close up of a Fly Rod Held in Hand

Great fly fishing rods are ones that you have a connection with – you feel what’s going when casting.

This allows you to get the best out of every cast and really enjoy fly fishing with your rod.

Function

You should be able to drop flies where you want them at the distance you need.

Fly fish rods should; be durable, light, survive in saltwater, and be able to handle the species you intend to catch with it.

I like 4 piece rods because they fit into your suitcase and they travel easily.

What To Consider When Looking For A Fly Rod Under 200?

Brand & Warranty

Picking the right brand of fishing fly rods is a stepping stone to ensuring you find a high-quality fly rod on a budget.

It’s best to stick with well-known manufacturers like Temple Fork Outfitters, Redington, or Fenwick rather than going off-piste.

Big brands have the capacity to create quality rods at a lower cost.

Plus they also provide the best warranties, most of which last for the lifetime of the flying fishing rods or for 25-years, rather than just a year or two.

Species

Fisherman Pulling Caught Fish by the Line
Fisherman Pulling Caught Fish by the Line

When looking for budget fly rods, you should think about the species you intend on catching with them.

The larger the fish, the more power you’re going to need in your fly rods. If you want to target larger fish like tarpons, check out these tarpon fly rods.

NOTE

If you’re targeting 100lb tarpon you will need an expensive rod. If you’re looking to catch trout, bluegill, bass, and other small species, a budget fly rod will be able to handle them without worry.

Weight & Length

The weight of the fly fish rod you’ll need comes down to the species you plan on targeting and where and how you plan to catch them.

The larger the fish, the heavier your fly rods need to be.

If you’re a trout fisherman who wants to nymph on spring creeks, you’ll want a light 3 weight fly rod with a longer length of around 10ft so you can work your fly better.

Dry Fly Fishing

Going dry fly fishing on rivers? – a 3 or 4 weight with a shorter length of 8 feet is ideal for presenting your dry fly with delicacy and accuracy.

Lake Fishing

When it comes to lake fishing for trout, or you want an all-round fly rod that does it all for smaller freshwater species, a 9ft 5 weight is all you need.

It has enough power and length to push a long line while being light enough to fish tactically on rivers.

TIP

If bass or other larger freshwater species are your targets, then you’ll need a 9ft 7 weight to handle their power and win the fight.

Action & Feel

The action of fly rods describes where along their length they’ll bend and also affects how much feel you get from the rod when casting your fly line.

  • A slow action rod will bend near the butt section
  • A medium action in the middle
  • A fast action rod will bend towards the tip.

Here’s a quick but informative video discussing fly rod actions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3Ub93cwZfo

Slow

Slow action fly rods provide the most feel and they are great when you want to cast delicately.

However, they are sluggish when you want to push a long 60ft line or more, and take a lot of effort to cast with.

Medium

Medium action fly rods are a good middle ground.

You get a good amount of feel but also have enough stiffness to push a longer fly line with ease.

Fast

In my opinion, fast action fly rods are the best.

They are quick to load, effortless to cast, and provide the best distance and accuracy.

You may struggle to land a fly delicately if you aren’t used to using them.

Winding Up

I hope you have enjoyed this review and feel confident that you can find a quality fly rod on a budget.

They certainly are out there.

Just remember to stick with big brands that give good warranties and you’ll be fine.

If you haven’t quite decided which is the best fly rod under 200 dollars, here’s a little more advice.

Top Pick

If you’re looking for all-round rods that are great for every level of fishermen and all situations, you can’t go wrong with the Echo Carbon XL.

It delivers great castability and feel while being light and ready for any freshwater situation.

Best Value

It’s durable, well-made, and delivers awesome performance for any fly fishing situation.

Where value is of most concern, the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series II is one of the least expensive quality budget rods around.

It’s designed for abilities, can be used in all freshwater situations and it’s well made to last a long time.

Editor’s Choice

If you’re after the best fly rod on a budget, go for the Fenwick Aetos.

Feel Free To Share

Thanks for reading my article about the best fly rod under 200 dollars and that you found it useful.

Please share it around with your fishing buddies as having a quality budget fly rod is something every fisherman wants.

Enjoy your time on the water and please check out my ‘Best Steelhead Fly Rod’ article as winter is just around the corner.

Don’t forget to share the snaps of your catches with me on social media.

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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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