Top 7 Best Kids Fly Rod (2021 Buyer’s Guide)

Kids need consistent action when they are fly fishing.

Unlike older fishermen who are happy to wait all day to catch a single fish, kids fly fishing need regular bites and catches to keep them entertained and interested.

When thinking about children and fly fishing the first thing you need to do is find the right kids fly fishing rod.

Having the right setup for young anglers will make a huge difference to their overall experience.

Instead of getting tired or frustrated, they’ll love their time fly fishing.

Here is a quick look at our top three kid’s fly rods from the lineup…

The Best From The Review

Top Pick

Echo Base Fly Rod

Designed to give beginners great performance with minimal investment, so they could try and love fly fishing without breaking the bank.

Echo Base Fly Rod

The top choice from the review is the Echo Base.

The Base is light, short, durable, and is an ideal rod for young learners to start off with due to its forgiving nature.

Plus it’s the most affordable rod in the review, includes a lifetime warranty and when paired with the right reel and line, performs excellently.

Best Value

Redington Minnow Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Tailored towards children with its bright color scheme, shorter length, and reduced weight, so it’s an ideal choice for the young ones.

Redington Minnow Fly Rod And Reel Combo

The best value has to be the Redington fly rod and reel combo.

For a small price, you get a quality rod, reel, line, and leader line all wrapped in a protective case and that’s hard to beat.

Each component of the combo is pretty solid and the rod is particularly great for children. It’s been made lighter and shorter for them to handle plus it’s easy to cast.

Editor’s Choice

TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II

Made for fishermen of all levels and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a rod that your child will grow into.

TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II

If it was me, I’d choose the TFO Lefty Krek Pro Series II.

It’s the one rod a child can pick up and use for the rest of their lives, and maybe they can pass it on to their children to learn with later in life.

Our Top Kids Fly Rods 

Redington Butter Stick

A great fly fishing rod in terms of durability and casting correction. Helpful for beginners to learn what a right cast feels like.

Redington Butter Stick

The Redington Butter Stick is a great fly fishing rod in terms of durability and casting correction.

It’s the only fishing rod in the review that is made from fiberglass instead of graphite.

Durability

The fiberglass blank makes this fishing rod close to unbreakable.

It’ll almost bend in two before any cracking happens, which means no matter what a learner does with it, it should survive.

Since the fiberglass is so bendy, it gives the fishing rod a slow action.

This means a beginner will be able to feel absolutely everything while they’re casting so they can learn exactly what the right cast should feel like.

Model

The model below is a 7ft 3 weight. Again, it’s short and light for youngsters to handle with ease.

Fighting a fish with this fishing rod will be a lot of fun for children as they’re so bendy and you’ll feel every head shake the fish makes.

The only downsides are that the rod is a little expensive and as it comes in 3 pieces, the rod sock and tube are a little long to throw in a backpack.

Specs

  • Model: 370-3
  • Weight: 3 wt
  • Length: 7ft
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Slow
  • Pieces: 3
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Almost unbreakable
  • Light and easy to set up
  • Slow action for a lot of feeling on the cast
  • Great for learning fly casting with
  • Good castability and accuracy
  • Fun to fight small fish with
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Rod case is a little long for portability
  • Expensive

Orvis Clearwater

A high performing quality rod that doesn’t break the bank and they make it small and light enough for children too.

Orvis Clearwater

The Orvis Clearwater rod was made to provide an answer to affordable fly fishing.

It’s a high performing quality rod that doesn’t break the bank and they make it small and light enough for children too.

Price

It is a little expensive for a children’s rod but only if they’re still unsure if they like fly fishing or not.

If they like it, it’s a great rod for them to start off with and grow into. It’s light, short, durable, and easy to cast with. It comes with a 25-year guarantee if anything happens to it too.

Build

Made from a quality graphite blank that gives a nice feeling for a learner to cast with, the blank is fitted with durable guides and a good reel seat that ensure your reel stays in place. 

The model below is a 7’6” 3 weight, which is the ideal weight and length for any kid to get started with and grow into.

Specs

  • Model: Clearwater 763-4
  • Weight: 3 wt
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Medium
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Light
  • Durable enough to handle some mistreatment
  • Nice feeling for learning
  • Made from a high-quality graphite blank
  • The shorter length makes it easy to handle
  • Easy to put together
  • 25-year guarantee
  • Good for skills progression

Cons

  • Pricey for an unsure youngster

Editor’s Choice

TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II

Made for fishermen of all levels and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a rod that your child will grow into.

TFO Lefty Kreh Professional Series II

While the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro Series II may sound like a fly fishing rod experts would use, it’s actually made for fishermen of all levels and is an ideal choice if you’re looking for a rod that your child will grow into – saving you an upgrade later on. 

Casting

It’s a lovely rod to fly fish with.

The rod is forgiving to cast with and you get some great feel throughout the rod while casting that helps learners get the gist of it quite quickly.

Build

It’s made from a quality graphite blank that is tough, durable, and will stand up to some wear and tear.

The rod is fitted out with chrome guides and an anodized reel seat, both of which are corrosion resistant and will last a while, even in saltwater.

The reel seat can come loose, but not many anglers experience this.

Just check it now and then while you’re fly fishing so your reel stays put and you should be fine.

Model

The model chosen below is a 7’6” 3 weight.

It’s light and shorter in length making it much easier for young fishermen to cast with than if they were using a 9 ft 5 weight for example.

It’s easy to set up thanks to the alignment dots, so no hassles there. 

Price

In terms of price, this rod is affordable for what you’re getting.

You may want to ensure your child is into fly fishing before buying it, as it’s not the cheapest rod out there.

The great thing is that if your child doesn’t enjoy it, this is an ideal rod for you to use on small creeks and lakes.

Specs

  • Model: TFO 03 76 4 P2
  • Weight: 3
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Medium
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Lightweight for kids to cast with
  • Forgiving action for learning how to cast
  • Tough and durable
  • The shorter length is ideal for kids
  • Made from a quality graphite blank
  • Includes a lifetime warranty
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set-up
  • Excellent for skills progression

Cons

  • The reel seat can loosen

Best Value

Redington Minnow Fly Rod And Reel Combo

Tailored towards children with its bright color scheme, shorter length, and reduced weight, so it’s an ideal choice for the young ones.

Redington Minnow Fly Rod And Reel Combo

This is the one and only rod reel package in the review and it’s quite a good one to fly fish with.

It’s been tailored towards children with its bright color scheme, shorter length, and reduced weight, so it’s an ideal choice for the young ones.

Inclusions

The combo includes a fly rod, a fly line, backing, and a fly reel that all comes in a proactive rod sock and tube.

You can literally start fly fishing as soon as this gets delivered, all you have to do is set-up and tie a fly on a line from the fly shop.

Build

You get an 8 foot 5 weight Minnow rod that’s made from a quality graphite blank. The rod is lighter than your normal 5 weight and shorter at 8 feet (they’re usually 9 feet) making it much easier for young fishermen to handle.

It’s also forgiving and easy to cast, making the learning process more fun.

Reel

The reel is a Redington Crosswater reel. It’s not the best reel in the world but it’s not a bad reel either.

The good things include ;it’s a light reel so it doesn’t weigh the rod down for the little ones, and it comes as a large arbor reel for a quicker retrieve rate and less line memory.

Line

The line included is a Rio Fly Line, which is a great line considering that it just comes with the combo.

Rio makes a great fly line and you shouldn’t have to replace this for a year or two.

It’s a weight forward line too that’ll help push the momentum of the cast.

Overall this is a great fly fishing starter kit for any young fishermen, its great value considering and it comes with a 1-year warranty.

Specs

  • Model: 580-4
  • Weight: 5 wt
  • Length: 8ft
  • Line: 5/6 wt
  • Action: Medium fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Fun looking
  • Shorter and lighters for kids
  • Includes a Redington Crosswater fly reel
  • Comes with backing, fly line, and leader
  • Start fishing as soon as it arrives
  • Easy to cast with
  • Includes a 1-year warranty
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Not as well-performing as non-kids rods
  • Alignment dots aren’t always straight

Top Pick

Echo Base Fly Rod

Designed to give beginners great performance with minimal investment, so they could try and love fly fishing without breaking the bank.

Echo Base Fly Rod

The Echo Base fly rod is one of the most affordable, high performing rods on the fly fishing market.

It was first designed to give beginners great performance with minimal investment, so they could try and love fly fishing without breaking the bank. 

Build

It’s made from a quality graphite blank and comes with your standard chrome snake guides and anodized reel seat.

It’s durable and will handle most of anything a learner can throw at it, like pulling flies out of trees or getting tangled in a snag. 

Beginner Friendly

Designed for beginners, it has a medium-fast action that makes casting easy and effective but forgiving – This allows young anglers to learn and feel like they are making progress quickly.

Model

The model chosen below is a 7’6” 3 weight, an ideal size (like the others) for a child to start their fly fishing career with.

It’s light and short for tireless and easy casting so that they enjoy their time fly fishing instead of getting frustrated with it.

Specs

  • Model: Base 376-4
  • Weight: 3 wt
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Medium-fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • High performance for beginners
  • Durable handle, reel seat, and guides
  • Forgiving and fun to cast with
  • Light and short for kids to handle
  • Made from a quality graphite blank
  • Very affordable
  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • None I can find

Redington VICE

Made for casting progression and is one of the top rods Redington makes. An ideal rod for kids to hone their skills with.

Redington VICE

The Redington Vice was made for casting progression and is one of the top rods Redington makes. 

Build

It’s made with a quality graphite blank that is both durable and nicely put together, and includes a corrosion-resistant reel seat and guides that will last. 

It’s forgiving and easy to cast with but as you get better and better, the Vice takes you further instead of slowing you down making it an ideal rod for children to progress with. 

No need for a quick upgrade, it’s very affordable and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

Model

The model below is a 7’6” 3 weight that is the ideal length and weight for youngsters to learn with. And as their skills get honed in, the Vice will only push them further. 

The only downside to this rod is that it’s a little heavier than others, but not by much.

Specs

  • Model: Vice 376-4
  • Weight: 3 wt
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Fast
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Made from a quality graphite blank
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Forgiving beginners to cast with
  • Easy to put together
  • Durable and well made
  • Short and light for kids to fish with
  • Great price
  • Ideal for skills progression

Cons

  • Heavier than other rods

Redington Classic Trout

A light and short rod that is ideal for beginners. Made from a high-modulus graphite blank that allows beginners to feel the line as it moves.

Redington Classic Trout

The Redington Trout Classic is made for fly fishing on small spring creeks where delicacy and accuracy are important like on the crystal clear technical streams of Yellow Stone. 

This makes the rod light and short and therefore ideal for children to start fishing with too. 

Build

The rod is made from a high-modulus graphite blank with a medium action that gives a great feel and casts forgivingly.

This allows beginners to feel the line as it moves and lets them make a few mistakes while sending out 30 ft of the line so they can still fish.

It also has alignment dots which help children line up these rods easier.

Casting

It’s also full of performance, so as a child gets better they’ll see their casts shooting out with great accuracy. 

The model below is light and short enough for a child to get started with, but it might be a little heavy for children under seven years old to cast with over longer periods than an hour or so.

Specs

  • Model: CT376-4
  • Weight: 3 wt
  • Length: 7’6”
  • Line: 3/4 wt
  • Action: Medium
  • Pieces: 4
  • Tube: Yes

Pros

  • Alignment dots for easy rod setup
  • Light and short for kids to cast with
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Great for beginners to cast with
  • Good for progression
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Heavy for a younger child

What’s a Kids Fly Rod?

Fly Rod Placed on a Dock
Fly Rod Placed on a Dock

A kid fly fishing rod is a normal fly rod that a child can easily use without much frustration.

Young anglers under 12 years old are still developing their motor skills and muscular strength and therefore need a fly rod that is in sync with their development.

This all comes down to the rod’s length, weight, and castability.

Is There Such A Thing As A Fly Rod For Kids? 

Ye – some manufacturers make rods that are specifically for fly fishing for kids. 

These rods tend to be a little lighter, shorter, and come in cool colors. 

A kids fly fishing rod is not that different from a normal shorter, lighter fly rods used by adults.

Is Fly Fishing Safe For Kids? 

Some parents may find the idea of their child whipping around a rod and reel with a razor-sharp hook attached to the end, a little unsafe, and if you’re thinking that, you’re not wrong.

I have hooked myself countless times when I was young and learning how to use fly rods. 

But I didn’t mind, the pleasure fishing brought me far outweighed the painful hook removal. 

There are some safety measures you should take to ensure that your kids are safe when fly fishing. 

Safety Measures

The first is to make sure they wear sunglasses.

This will protect kids from harmful UV rays, help them spot fish easier, and prevent flyaway hooks from going near their eyes. 

Another thing to do is to de-barb the hooks so if they do end up hooking themselves, there is no barb to manage, and you can pull the hook out with ease.

Always Keep an Eye on Them

Safety around the water is also a concern and kids should always be supervised when fishing on any body of water whether it’s a shallow river or a calm lake.

If you can follow these two simple safety measures, your kids will be safe while they learn to cast with a fly fishing rod and reel.

What Makes A Good Kids Fly Fishing Rod?

Child Fishing on a River
Child Fishing on a River

The most important thing for young anglers, whether it’s their first time or their hundredth time fly fishing, is that they enjoy their time on the water – The rod plays a big part in this. 

Size

It’s important to get the right length and weight fly rod.

It should match the size of your child, and this naturally depends on how old they are and how tall they are. 

The fly rod shouldn’t be too long or heavy for your kid as it’ll be hard for them to use and could leave them tired or frustrated.

Casting

The next thing to get right is picking a fly rod that is easy for beginners to cast with.

The fly rod should have a good feeling throughout it so kids can feel what’s going on while they cast.

It should also be forgiving so kids can feel the satisfaction of casting even if they get a few things wrong.

What To Consider When Looking For a Fly Rod for Kids?

Child Playing with a Fishing Rod
Child Playing with a Fishing Rod

Age

The recommended age for kids to learn fly fishing is around 7 years old.

This is when their motor skills and strength are more developed.

That being said, it all comes down to the individual child.

Early Start

Some fly anglers – myself included – were casting at the age of 3 and could fish independently by the time they were 5 or 6, while still being supervised, of course. 

When picking the right fly rod for the right age it comes down to the height and strength of your kid.

A smaller child should use a shorter and lighter fly fishing rod, and a taller stronger child can use a slightly longer, heavier rod.

TIP

If you really want your kids to start early at 3 years or so, you can get them casting with the top two sections of a fly rod, or by putting them on your shoulders and letting them cast with you – that’s what my dad did.

Skill Level

When it comes to finding fly fishing rods for kids, their skill level isn’t all that important, as it’s more important to match their size and strength with the rod’s length and weight.

Whether it’s a child’s first-time fly fishing or their second year in, they should use the same rod as their skills won’t quite warrant a performance grade rod for a while.

Here’s a cool video of a 3 yr old catching fish at a beach.

3 year old catching 6kg salmon from the beach

Reeling Up

I hope you have found everything you need in this article to get your kiddies fishing.

The most important thing is to keep it as fun as possible.

If you’re still struggling to decide which one is the right rod for your little one, then here are some more pointers.

Top Pick

If you’re looking for an all-round rod with enough performance for progression that’s light and short enough for a youngster to manage, then the Echo Base is the one to go for.

Best Value

If value and convenience are more what you’re after, the Redington combo is great.

You get everything your child will need to start fishing with; a rod, reel, and a line. All you have to do is tie a fly on a line.

Editor’s Choice

If it was me, I’d choose the TFO Lefty Kreh Pro II, as it will be a rod a child can use way into their adult life without any need for an upgrade.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed the article.

Please share it with your friends or anyone else who might find it useful.

Also, check out some of my other articles around the best 3 weight and the best kids fishing pole for some more info and advice – Share your adventures with me on social media too!

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