Advertisement

Best 8-Weight Fly Rods

Consider one of these fly rods before your next purchase.

Updated:

June 22, 2021
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Angler with an 8-weight fly rod
The 8-weight rod’s versatility makes packing easier for traveling fly anglers. Alex Suescun

If you own a money tree and enough real estate to warehouse dozens of situation-specific fly rods, stop reading now. Everyone else should buy an 8-weight, simply the most versatile number in the lineup. It packs enough punch to fling weighted crustacean imitations for bonefish or redfish, deliver 3- to 4-inch streamers for snook, schoolie stripers or juvenile tarpon, and command the sinking line you might choose when chasing albies. The rod also has the power to slug it out with sizeable game, and the fighting butt to tuck in your gut and settle in for the fight. Consider these mid-priced 8-weights, which get ‘er done in virtually all shallow-water situations.

G. Loomis IMX-PRO Streamer

G. Loomis IMX-PRO Streamer fly rod
G. Loomis IMX-PRO Streamer Courtesy Loomis
G. Loomis IMX-PRO Streamer ready for packing
G. Loomis IMX-PRO Streamer Courtesy Loomis

Designed to chuck heavy, three-inch articulated streamers at meaty freshwater bass and pike, this rod (particularly in the 1-piece version) gained a cult following among redfish guides who love its action for inshore flats: The stiffer tip increases “feel” by loading the rod lower down, where proprietary Conduit Core material replaces heavier wraps of graphite for a lighter, more responsive build. 8′10″, 1-piece or 4-piece, $525

Orvis Recon

Orvis Recon 8-weight rod
Orvis Recon Courtesy Orvis
Orvis Recon with rod tube
Orvis Recon Courtesy Orvis

All the R&D that gave Orvis’s flagship H3 its dazzlingly light swing weight and sharpshooter accuracy gets replicated in the Recon, using a more approachably-priced package of resin fibers. The result feels impressively crisp and light, so it lets experts hit new benchmarks and welcomes newbies with a forgiving sweet spot. 9′ and 10′, 4-piece, $549

Advertisement

Sage Maverick

Sage Maverick fly rod
Sage Maverick Courtesy Sage
Sage Maverick with travel case
Sage Maverick Courtesy Sage

Designed to trim seconds off your shot time, this rod features a particularly powerful tip that increases line speed and dampens the vibrations that reduce accuracy. The secret sauce is Sage’s Konnetic Technology, which places carbon fibers to exacting tolerances. 9′, 4-piece, $575

Echo Prime

Echo Prime mid-priced rod
Echo Prime Courtesy Echo
Echo Prime with case
Echo Prime Courtesy Echo

With a shorter length and light tip, the Prime lets anglers cast quicker and with tighter loops. Its moderate-fast action is optimized for the 40- to 60-foot shots that most anglers make in most situations, and its unique handle gives anglers different gripping choices. 8′10″, 2-piece or 4-piece, $470

Thomas & Thomas Zone

Thomas & Thomas Zone fly fishing rod
Thomas & Thomas Zone Courtesy Thomas & Thomas
Thomas & Thomas Zone fly fishing rod
Thomas & Thomas Zone Courtesy Thomas & Thomas

Made from the same materials as T&T’s flagship Sexton—but with a slightly less-fast action that accommodates a wider variety of casting styles and line types—the Zone offers T&T’s coveted feel, at a price made more approachable thanks to fewer aesthetic finishes: The resin is left unsanded and uncoated, and the fiberglass reel seat is less expensive and lighter than burled wood. 9′, 4-piece, $549

Advertisement

Scott Tidal

Scott Tidal rod ready for assembly
Scott Tidal Courtesy Scott
Scott Tidal ready for travel
Scott Tidal Courtesy Scott

Some ultra-performance flats rods are so stiff and light that mere-mortal anglers lose touch with the tip (and their cast). The Tidal adds more mass in the tip for better feel, and counteracts that weight with three types of graphite fiber (compared to five types in the premium-priced Spector) placed at various angles to optimize energy transfer to the rod butt. 9′, 4-piece, $495

Advertisement

More Gear

Advertisement