Best 8 Weight Fly Rod: Our Top 7 Picks and Buying Guide

September 7, 2021

Our editors at Finn’s Fishing Tips independently research, test, and recommend the best products to help you make purchase decisions. You can learn more about our review process here. We sometimes get a commission through purchases made via our links.

As an angler, you have several options when it comes to picking the correct fishing technique and equipment. Fly fishing is a popular fishing technique because it allows you to cast a lightweight or microscopic fly for a longer distance. At the same time, presenting the fly won’t startle the fish, unlike a spinning reel. 

But to many beginner fly anglers, understanding the numbers and letters on the fly rod can be confusing. So, if you’re looking for the best 8 weight fly rod, you’ve come to the right place. 

In this guide, we’ll suggest the top 8 weight fly rods, explain what they’re for, and help you pick the right one for your next fishing trip. So, keep on reading. 

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks…

The Best 8 Weight Fly Rods

Choosing the right fly rod is a deal-breaker when you’re fishing, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned angler. An 8 weight rod is the most versatile one and can work in several fishing conditions, so choosing the best one should be a top priority when you’re going fishing. Here are our top picks.

Orvis Encounter 8-Weight 9′ Fly Rod Outfit

If you’re a beginner angler, this fly rod will be a great choice for you because it’s designed to perform well in different fishing situations. In addition, it’s easy to use because it’s balanced and sensitive to improve your accuracy. 

Despite having a plastic reel, this fly rod is well-made and strong enough for typical use. It will work for you if you’re fishing in shallow and quick water, allowing you to reach longer distances, even if you’re still a beginner. 

As a matter of fact, you’ll see that you’re saving your power for longer fishing sessions without having to worry about the casting distance getting compromised because it’s lightweight. As a 9-foot rod, this will be an excellent choice for bass fishing. 

Its versatile setup is perfect for several species like big browns, largemouth bass, bonefish, and general saltwater fishing. In addition, it’s an excellent choice for windy conditions. 

All you have to do is tie a fly, and the rod will help you achieve the desired results. It comes with an elegant rod tube to protect it, but the plastic reel isn’t the most durable option, so you need to be careful while handling it. 

What We Like

  • Suitable for beginner anglers. 
  • Long casting distance.
  • Lightweight design. 
  • Works for catching large fish. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Not that durable. 

G. Loomis IMX PRO 890-4 Fly Rod: 8wt 9’0″

This fly rod is professionally loaded and ready to fish once you tie a fly. It’s a good choice for a hardcore and professional angler and is finely tuned for maximum accuracy. 

Featuring the Conduit Core technology, the rod is more sensitive with fewer wraps of graphite. It’s also more balanced for a light, crisp, and effortless casting. The construction also guarantees smooth casting and more power and durability in all fishing situations. 

This 9-foot rod is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing and can easily cut the wind with saltwater flies and bass bugs. So if you’re fishing in windy conditions or chasing big fish, this rod won’t disappoint you. 

It looks impressive on the outside as well, with an eye-catchingl black nickel reel seat and a dark wood insert. The fast-action taper delivers smooth power with an excellent line feel, and the recoil stripping guides allow for more accuracy. 

It even comes with an elegant rod tube to keep it in great condition. However, this fly rod is expensive, so it won’t work for you if you’re on a tight budget. 

What We Like

  • Durable and powerful fly rod. 
  • Conduit Core technology to keep it lightweight and sensitive. 
  • Suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing. 
  • Can be used in windy conditions. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Expensive fly rod. 

Sage Fly Fishing – Salt HD Fly Rod

This handcrafted fly rod features a lightweight graphite core and fast action performance with black thread wraps that add elegance. This 9-foot rod is made of ceramic, and this guarantees that your investment will last for a long time.  

The black anodized aluminum reel seat is durable and is easily etched for rod identification purposes, and the rod comes with a high-end cork and hard-chromed stripping and snake guides for more elegance. Nevertheless, you still need to examine this rod after the 3-year mark to make sure that it’s balanced and functioning. 

The blue trims give this rod a true saltwater appearance, and it’s a good choice for anglers fishing on calm flats and supports sinking lines for deep water fishing. However, this rod is a bit heavier compared to other fly rods of the same weight. This also affects the casting distance. 

What We Like

  • Lightweight rod with durable graphite and ceramic construction. 
  • Elegant design with blue trims for a true saltwater appearance. 
  • Anodized aluminum reel seat for more durability. 

What We Don’t Like

  • Heavier than other fly rods. 
  • The casting distance can be shorter. 

Temple Fork: Professional Series Fly Rod

Although fly rods tend to be more expensive than other fishing equipment, this one comes at a reasonable price, allowing you to stay on a budget while achieving the desired results. Despite its budget-friendly price, this 9-foot rod has an attractive matte black construction with decent guides and a nice cork for the handle. Moreover, it features an industrial-looking graphite aluminum reel seat for durability. 

Because it’s designed for a beginner angler, this rod has little aligning dots to help you while you’re lining up your sections. It also comes with a sock for protection, so it’s a good choice if you travel around with your rod. 

It’s a medium-fast rod as it’s a little heavier than the more expensive brands. Nevertheless, it won’t disappoint you regarding the casting distance in various fishing conditions. You can use this fly rod in lakes, rivers, and it excels with a sinking line

It might not be as flashy as the other rods, but it’s a good choice for a beginner angler. However, the butt feels a bit flimsy, so you need to be careful while handling this rod. 

What We Like

  • Affordable fly rod. 
  • Durable construction with decent guides. 
  • Aluminum reel seat for durability. 
  • Decent casting distance in different weather conditions. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The butt feels flimsy. 

Sage Fly Fishing – PULSE Fly Rod

This fly rod isn’t cheap, but its performance is outstanding whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler. As a handcrafted fly rod, you should expect high-quality performance thanks to the black anodized aluminum reel seat and rosewood inserts. The cork handle is smooth and guarantees a comfortable experience. 

It looks outstanding with its graphite construction and ceramic stripping guides. Moreover, the rod features thread wraps with black trims and hard-chromed snake guides. Although these finishing touches might not appeal to every angler, they’re rare to find in other fly rods and guarantee that this one will last for long. 

Casting at a great distance won’t be an issue because the fly rod offers the needed balance between weight and strength, measuring 9 feet 6 inches. But if you’re on a tight budget, this option won’t work for you. Moreover, the well grip might not be suitable for you if you have smaller hands. 

What We Like

  • Sturdy graphite construction. 
  • Anodized aluminum reel seat. 
  • Balanced construction to deliver strength and power. 
  • Great casting distance. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The well’s grip might not suit you if you have smaller hands. 
  • More expensive than other fly rods. 

Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Signature Series II

This is another budget-friendly 9-foot fly rod that works for a beginner angler because it’s durable and easy to use. If you’re interested in medium action, this rod will work for casting at long distances with no issues. It’s compatible with a heavier line to handle bigger fish. 

The green finish blends well with the background, so it won’t startle a trout, and this fly rod has an A-grade cork handle and a sturdy aluminum reel seat with chrome snake guides for more comfort and durability. 

Both of the rod and the guides are designed to be corrosion-resistant, even when you’re using them in saltwater. Due to its nice casting and weight balance, this rod is an essential addition to your kit if you’re still trying to improve your angling skills. 

It can be divided into 2 pieces, so it’s suitable if you like to travel with your fly rod. However, the 2-piece construction can be less convenient for avid anglers because it’s not as durable as a one-piece rod. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a fly rod to fit into your backpack, this one will work for you. 

What We Like

  • Affordable fly rod.
  • Works for beginners. 
  • Durable construction and long casting distance. 
  • 2-piece construction for travelers. 

What We Don’t Like

  • The 2-piece construction doesn’t work for everyone. 

Moonshine Rod Co. The Vesper Series Fly Fishing Rod

This fly rod delivers what every angler looks for when they’re shopping for new fishing equipment; the suitable weight and performance. The rod is made of high-modulus nano-matrix carbon fiber for maximum durability and features titanium frame stripping guides. The non-stick rod rings are lined for more sturdiness and functionality. 

It comes with a high-quality handle and an anti-glare coating, so it won’t startle the fish. The 9-foot rod breaks into 4 pieces, so it’s a good choice for fishing trips away from home. It’s also more convenient to store than bigger rods. 

Despite its length, this rod is lightweight and delivers the performance of shorter rods. It’s highly sensitive, allowing you to cast at longer distances, and will work for you if you want to recover the line quickly. 

The rod offers the needed balance with dampening and swing weight for maximum accuracy. However, it’s more expensive than other models on the market. Moreover, putting the pieces together can be a little challenging.

What We Like

  • High-quality construction and finish. 
  • Non-stick rings and anti-glare coating. 
  • 4-piece construction for easy storage and portability. 

What We Don’t Like

  • More expensive than other fly rods. 
  • Putting the pieces together can be a little difficult. 

Why Should You Buy an 8 Weight Fly Rod?

Smiling fisherman holding rod

With all the fishing equipment available, why should you consider buying a new 8 weight fly rod? The main reason is that these rods are designed to cast flies to big fish over longer distances. 

Fly rods work better when you’re fishing in deep waters with strong currents because they provide the needed accuracy. Whether you’re fishing in freshwater or saltwater, fly rods will work for you. 

As a matter of fact, 8 weight fly rods are among the most versatile fly rods because they can handle different species of big fish, like larger trout, trophy bass, steelheads, tarpons, grouper, stripers, and bonefish. 

How to Choose the Best 8 Weight Fly Rod

Choosing a fly rod is a serious investment, whether you’re an avid or less experienced angler. This is why there are a few things that you need to consider before buying one. 

Length

8 weight fly rods come in different lengths, but an ideal one is around 9 feet. This length provides the needed balance between power and maneuverability, so you can still have control over your casting distance and direction. 

Author Note: Longer rods might be powerful, but they’re more challenging to control, especially if you’re a beginner. So, although you might be able to cast at a longer distance, a longer rod will greatly affect your accuracy. 

Some fly rods come in multiple sections. A single-piece fly fishing rod is definitely the most reliable and most durable option because your rod will be sturdy enough to withstand the wing and any impact. However, longer rods are difficult to transport and move around, especially if you’re going on a multi-day fishing trip

In this case, you might want to consider buying a 2-piece fly rod. This will be more convenient to store and is also more portable. For those who spend a lot of time away from home, you can consider a 4-piece fly rod. It’s a little less durable, but it can easily fit into your backpack. 

Construction

The quality of the material has a great impact on how long your fly rod will last. Most fly rods are made of graphite or carbon because it’s durable, corrosion-resistant, and lightweight. These three features make fly rods excel in situations where other fishing equipment falls short. 

A powerful yet lightweight fly rod is easy to maneuver and guarantees more accuracy. At the same time, it won’t strain your muscles at the end of a long fishing session, so you can enjoy your time more. 

You should also pay attention to the quality of the handle. A high-quality cork handle allows for a good grip and keeps your hands comfortable. An A-rated cork handle is better, so you should try to look for one. 

There’s a lot of wear and tear that affects the handle, and this is why it shouldn’t be ignored. As a matter of fact, the handle is probably one of the first parts of the fly rod that shows failure and cracks. 

The reel seat is another part that you need to pay attention to. In most cases, reel seats are subject to corrosion, especially when you’re fishing in saltwater. This is why it’s recommended to look for anodized aluminum reel seats. These are lightweight, durable, and rust-resistant. 

Steel reel seats are cheaper, but they’re more prone to rusting and corrosion, affecting your overall fishing experience. You can also consider other materials like zinc, copper, or chrome because they don’t corrode. Having rosewood inserts on the reel seat is a big plus. 

Action

Fly fisherman using fly fishing rod on mountain lake.

Medium fast and fast fly rods work best. These are designed for accelerating big flies and pushing heavy lines through current. Using these fly rods, you’ll be able to cast your flies at a longer distance. 

If you’re considering really big fish, medium-action or medium-fast rods will work better. These rods are strong to help pull a big fighter fish. 

Storage

You definitely want to protect your investment when you’re shopping for a fly rod. This is why you need to choose one that comes with a protective tube or case, as it will help protect the fly rod from impact while you’re transporting it and while you’re storing it. 

FAQs

  1. What is the most versatile fly rod weight?

If you’re looking for a fly rod that works in various fishing conditions, you can either stick to a 5 or 8 weight fly rod. These rods will work for freshwater and saltwater fishing. 

  1. What species can you catch using an 8 weight fly rod?

Target species include bass, young tarpon, smaller salmon, trout, steelhead, carp, striper, redfish, and snook. In general, it’s a do-all size for freshwater and saltwater fishing. 

Wrap Up

Fly rods allow you to cast at longer distances, which might be exactly what you need to catch your desired fish. If you’re looking for a high-quality 8 weight fly rod, we recommend that you take a look at the Orvis Encounter 8-Weight 9′ Fly Rod Outfit. Compared to other fly rods, this one is quite affordable and will do the job. 

On the other hand, if you’re a professional angler, you might want to consider the G. Loomis IMX PRO 890-4 Fly Rod: 8wt 9’0″. It’s exceptional in almost every fishing condition and is definitely worth the price. 

Happy Hunting!

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