3 Best Fly Rods for Smallmouth Bass

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Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts and welcome to my post discuss my 3 best fly rods for Smallmouth Bass. These are a favorite game fish among anglers worldwide due to their fight meaning the right gear is always highly recommended.

However for those new to the world of fly fishing, knowing which rod suits you best can be a daunting task. So to help you out I have had a bit of a look around and come up with three decent options below. Let’s check them out below…

My three recommended fly rods for Smallmouth Bass

I will review these in more detail below however if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Fly Rod For Smallmouth BassPriceGet it
Best Smallmouth Fly Rods - Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing RodPiscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod$CURRENT PRICE
Best Smallmouth Fly Rods - ST.Croix Mojo Bass FlyST.Croix Mojo Bass Fly Rod$$CURRENT PRICE
Best Smallmouth Fly Rods - Redington VICE Fly Fishing RodRedington VICE Fly Fishing Rod$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are fly rods for smallmouth bass?

This is probably stating the obvious, but fly fishing rods are specifically designed to accommodate fly fishing. This fishing equipment is classified similarly to spinning rods based on length and weight, but unlike spinning rods, the weight is that of the line rather than the lure.

Your fly rods should also possess specific length, weight, and action to account for the hard fighting qualities of Smallmouth bass as well.

Best Smallmouth Fly Rods - fly rods

What should you be looking for?

In light of the above, the following considerations can assist when looking for a fly fishing rod suitable for Smallmouth Bass:

  1. Length
  2. Weight
  3. Action
  4. Recovery rate
  5. Construction material
  6. Additions


When it comes to Smallmouth, most tend to go for 9-foot options as they are accepted as a “middle of the road” length.

  1. Short fly rods: Rods under this category (under 8ft) are space savers and can be traveled with ease. Accuracy is a strong suit for short fly rods as there is less length to move around and the blank recovers faster than a comparable longer one.
  2. Long fly rods: For this type, the rod length ranges 8 feet above with the advantage of elevating the front and back cast. This keeps the fly further away from you while it whizzes back and forth. Choose a longer rod for the best line control and to quickly get around obstacles.

Since you are targeting Smallmouth Bass, the recommended rod length range would be 7’11” to 9’.


When you shop for fly rods, the weight rating indicates the suitable fly line for a specific rod. Fly rods range in weight from size 0 or 1 weight (lightest rod) to about a 15 weight (the heaviest). The weight of the rod is typically determined by the line weight that is paired with the rod. Ideally speaking, the weight of your line should be the same as the weight of your rod.

The best fly rod weight for Smallmouth ranges from 7 to 8 as this setup allows you to easily throw larger bass flies while also providing you with the power you need to land these large fish.


The action of a fly rod refers to where the rod bends when pressure is applied. There are varying categories for fly rod action.

  1. Fast action: Fast action rods have a lot of power. They load and unload the line quickly, resulting in high line speeds. This type of rod may be complex for beginners to use.
  2. Moderate action: A rod with a moderate or medium action is exceptionally versatile. This type is more forgiving than a fast-action rod, and it is somewhat flexible while also providing a reasonable degree of stiffness. A moderate-action rod will bend moderately for half of its length while remaining stiff in the other half during casting.
  3. Slow action: The last type of rod bends from the tip to up to three-quarters of its length. Slow action rods are commonly constructed of fiberglass and bamboo. Many anglers who fish in small streams prefer this type of rod.

Smallmouth Bass is commonly caught using fast action fly rods. The rod can generate high line speeds to cast large flies and generate tight loops.

Best Smallmouth Fly Rods - fly rods and reels

Recovery rate

This fly rod quality simply refers to how quickly the bent rod returns to its natural, straight position. A slow-recovery rod will wobble around after you’ve delivered the cast, whereas a fast-recovery rod will return to its normal state much faster.

Another advantage of fly rods with a higher recovery rate is they ensure that most of the energy generated during the casting stroke is transferred to the fly line. Consequently, this allows the cast to travel further and land more accurately.

Construction material

There are three common materials used to make fly rods. They are enumerated below:

  1. Bamboo: This construction material is the heaviest. However, while there is an issue with the bamboo’s weight, this extra weight makes it easier to cast short line lengths with this type of rod. Bamboo is also naturally flexible due to the density variation of the fibers.
  2. Graphite: These rods are generally incredibly light. Compared with fiberglass and bamboo, graphite material is lighter and more robust which ensures that they hold more resistance with less material resulting in thinner, longer, lighter rods.
  3. Fiberglass: Glass rods are difficult to break. Because the fibers stretch much more than graphite fibers, the rod can bend much deeper. Glass rods are generally much less expensive than graphite, owing to the lower cost of the material itself.

Although all three materials would be excellent, fiberglass and graphite are the most selected fly rods for Smallmouth Bass fishing.


Other potential additions include:

  1. Guides: These have two primary functions. Guides organize the fly lines and help distribute the force applied along the line during casting and fish fighting. Select fly rods with corrosion-resistant guides for durability.
  2. Handles: The grips and handles of a custom fly rod are also very essential. Choosing the correct handles is critical to having the right feel and fit for your hand. In light of this, look for fly rods with comfortable, non-slip handles.
  3. Rod butt: This is a part of the fly rod that the angler uses to act as a fulcrum, giving him more leverage over the fighting fish.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. Piscifun Sword Fly Fishing Rod

This first fly rod option has impressive versatility coupled with stability. It is made from a composite of graphite and carbon fibre ensuring it is lightweight but strong as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Piscifun
  • Material: Graphite- IM7 Carbon Fiber
  • Length: From 8’6” to 9’
  • Action: 4wt-8’6” Slow Action; 5wt/6wt-9′ Medium Action; 7wt-9′ Medium Fast Action; 9wt-9′ Fast Action
  • Weight: 0.88 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • PVC rod tube
  • Machined aluminum reel seat
  • Premium chromed guides

Why have I chosen it?

For smoother line gliding, the reel seat of this fly rod is machined aluminum, while the guides and guide inserts are ceramic and chrome. The handle is half-cork, addressing hand fatigue issues among anglers. Using the white dots on the fly rod, the user can easily align the guides. It also comes in 4 pieces making it great for those who like to travel as well.

2. ST.Croix Mojo Bass Fly Rod

This next rod allows anglers to target bass with fly gear while also providing the necessary backbone for larger baits and fish as well. It is made of high-performance graphite and is lightweight and sensitive with hard chrome snake guides which are dependable for keeping your line organized while you fish. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: St. Croix
  • Material: Graphite
  • Length: 7’11”’
  • Action: Moderate fast
  • Weight: 0.24 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Oxidized aluminum rings
  • 5-year warranty
  • Premium-grade cork handles

Why have I chosen it?

This is a rod with exceptional sensitivity that allows anglers to detect fish bites faster than conventional rods. The graphite construction not only increases the rod’s life expectancy, but it also ensures that the rod will not break during critical moments. This item also has an ergonomic handle design for a comfortable fight with large Smallmouth Bass.

3. Redington VICE Fly Fishing Rod

This final fly rod is a fast action rod that has been designed to withstand high winds with an incredible line recovery rate in a good size. One of the features of the rod is that it comes with an original owner lifetime warranty as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Redington
  • Material: Multi-modulus carbon fiber
  • Length: 9’0”’
  • Action: Fast action
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Four-piece set fly rod
  • Cordura rod tube for storage
  • Anodized machined aluminum reel seat
  • Suitable for salt water as well

Why have I chosen it?

This fly rod is a great all-around option for both experienced and inexperienced anglers alike. Its reel seat is made of black anodized aluminum with impressive versatility is due to its multi-modulus blank design. This is a great option for those like to fly fish against large catches of all types.


And there they are, my three reliable and competitive fly rods for Smallmouth Bass. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


3 Best Fly Rods for Smallmouth Bass - Pinterest

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.