Can You Fly Fish With A Regular Rod?

For the uninitiated, starting out your fly-fishing journey can be a bit daunting. There are different types of rods to choose from, some of which demands a lot of expertise to operate. Meaning, even with the basic equipment—hook, reel, line and lures in place—you may still end up going back home with absolutely nothing to smile about. 

One thing that is sure about every angler is the fact that we all want something that meets all the prevailing needs. On one face of the coin, you will want a rod that does not break easily from the slightest of pressures.

Yes, no one wants to spend his time and resources only to lose the hard-target because of a mere breakage. On another side of the coin, you want something that is not only durable but also that which offers cutting-edge performance.

So, can you fly-fish with a regular rod? To be precise, yes you can use it. You only need to have a fly line to do it. However, even with that, the rod will limit your casting distances. Nevertheless, when in rich waters you cannot lack something to carry home when fly-fishing with a regular rod. 

Which fly line weight is better for a regular rod?

Whether your regular rod will work or not during the fly-fishing session primarily depends on the size and type of weight you add to it. The line can be bought separate or with the rod, is the engine of any fly-fishing system.

In fly fishing, the main purpose of the rod is to cast the fly to the desired target. Even with the limited distance that a regular rod provides, you will need to tie a weight at the end of the line so that you can closely reach your fishing distance. This is very different from spin fishing where the lure serves an additional purpose of weight at the same time. 

New fly-fishing rods come handy with a denotation of the casting weights. The denotation gives insights on the maximum and minimum weights that you can attach to the rod.

Weigh 2, 3 and 4 are specifically for rods that are used to catch small species of fish in the lake and rivers. Weight 5 and 6, also called general-purpose rods, are attached to rods used in almost all waters except the deeper ends of the oceans. Lastly, weight 7 is for rods used to catch larger species of fish such as salmon and steelhead. 

Just like the modified fly-fishing rods, regular rods also come with the denotation about which weight to use. However, ardent anglers will tell you that sometimes the denotation does not apply.

But this does not mean that you cannot use what is stated when going for the final weight. Remember, the weights are from the rod’s manufacturers. So when starting with a regular rod, you have no other options other than remaining in the range of what is provided.

Knowing what fits your palm will help you a bunch. Fly-fishing is a talent like any other. You need to learn the basics as you advance through the journey. You also need a weight that you are comfortable with. Not unless you choose the weight keenly, you can end up hating why you use a regular rod for fly-fishing.

Which line density is good for regular rod fly-fishing?

Most regular rods accepts floating fly line. This type of rod does not demand a lot of expertise to operate. Alongside the floating line is the intermediate fly line, mostly used with spinning rods. They are ideal for fishing a little deep. Additionally, they fit occasions where you need to pull your floater more quickly and robust. 

Intermediate fly line works pretty well with a regular rod. However, when you are starting with using these types of rods for fly fishing, they are not recommended. Bottom line, not unless you are an expert in operating both regular rod and intermediate fly lines, stick to the floating lines. 

Which rod length is ideal for regular rod fly-fishing?

Regular rods come in different lengths. The minimum length is usually about 7 feet. Some rods can go up to over ten feet. However, most companies and anglers choose to do with 9 feet. 

Shorter rods are ideal for casting in close distances. Or, tight areas with obstructions such as bushes, stones and grasses. They work mostly with lighter rod weights. Conversely, longer rods are used to cast long distances. They are ideal for open waters that are free from any kind of obstructions. 

When starting with regular rods, a 9-foot rod is an ideal option. You can use this general-purpose rod without any advanced prowess in the art. Otherwise, unless you understand your need and the prevailing fishing conditions, you can be free to choose either the shorter or longer rod. 

Regular rod action

When you apply a load on any type of rod, it will flex and straighten out. The flexing is usually associated with specific parts. All rods come in three forms of rod action namely; slow, medium and fast. The categorization is based on the part of the rod that flexes. 

Slow action rods flex near the reel—in areas around bottom third of your rod. Medium action rods bend in the areas around the middle parts. Lastly, fast action rods bend in areas around the last third parts.

Slow action rods are whippy. They are the best to use for your regular rod fly-fishing. On the end, fast action rods are very stiff. They are ideal for casting in a large area. 


Just like the fly-fishing rod, regular rods are designed to achieve two things. One, they absorb shock, bend and flex to prevent the catch from darting away.

This feature also prevents the hooks from pulling out or the line breakage. Secondly, the rod straightens up when pulled out of the water to provide a lift. This is what will help you recover your line from the water. 

Whether you will achieve these two primary functionalities, depends on the weight you attach to your rod. Normally, the rod should achieve a natural lock-up point. Even with the limited casting area, with a good line and weight, you are good to go fly-fishing with your regular rod.