Best Fly Rods Under $500 (Buying Guide & Top 7 Picks)

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Fishing is an excellent way to enjoy nature, escape everyday stresses, and spend quality time with loved ones.

According to a Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation report, 54.5 million Americans went fishing in 2022. 

To partake in this classic American pastime, you’ll need a strong fly rod that’s not fatiguing to cast.

Top-of-the-line options can easily surpass the $ 1,000 mark, and not many people can comfortably fork out a grand for a fly rod. 

Luckily, some decent options are on the other side of the spectrum. This guide focuses on the best fly rods under $500. Read on. 

Best Fly Rods Under $500

Best Value

Redington Crosswater

Best Overall


Best for Beginners


A good fly rod doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

If you’re looking for the best fly rod for under $500, you’re in for a treat. Many decent alternatives are in the lower and mid-hundreds price range. 

Below, we review our picks for the fly rods below $500 to help you find the best one for your needs.

But before we go to the reviews, if the angler in you takes you to far and exotic places in pursuit of a good catch, get reliable travel insurance to shield you from unexpected financial loss due to a medical emergency, accidents, and flight cancellation. 

1. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod: Best Overall

Another great pick for the below $500 fishing rods is the M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod.

This fly rod offers a selection of great features for its price, including fast action, an IM8 carbon blank, a Cordura tube, and a Super A-grade cork handle. 

The Maxcatch Premier fly rod has ceramic stripping guides, hard chrome snake guides, and an aluminum reel seat.

It’s available in six different sizes, from 3-weight to 10-weight. If you’re looking to buy a fast and powerful rod at an affordable price, the M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Premier Fly Fishing Rod is worth considering. 


  • Very responsive and powerful
  • Comes with a quality Cordura tube
  • Sleek design
  • Durable IM8 carbon blank 


  • Heavier than some similarly priced rods
  • Some users have experienced issues with quality control, like defective reels, broken tips

2. Redington Crosswater Fly Fishing Rod: Best Value

The Redington Crosswater Fly Fishing Rod is one of the best fly rods for under $500. It comes with a medium-fast action and a sturdy graphite blank.

Other key features include a pre-spooled reel, rod tube, carrying case, and an anodized aluminum reel seat.

The Redington Crosswater is available in seven sizes, ranging from 4-weight to 9-weight. Overall, the Redington Crosswater Fly Fishing Rod is a solid choice for budget-conscious anglers looking for a reliable and versatile fly rod that performs well in most conditions.


  • Sturdy graphite construction
  • Easy to cast
  • Quality reel and line combo package
  • Lifetime warranty


  • Not very stylish or unique
  • Not very lightweight or ergonomic
  • May struggle in windy conditions or with heavier flies

3. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Fly Fishing Combo Kit: Best for Beginners

The M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Extreme Fly/Fishing Combo Kit is the best option for beginners.

Out of the box, this combo kit has everything you need to start fishing right away, including a fly rod, a reel, a line, a leader, a backing, a box of flies, and a case. The kit is well-made, with good-quality components. 

You don’t have to worry about matching the rod, reel, and line or buying separate accessories. In terms of performance, the Maxcatch Extreme Fly/Fishing Combo Kit has a medium-fast action and an IM6 carbon blank.

This kit is a great option for anyone looking to take up fishing for the first time. 


  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Lifetime repairing warranty
  • Versatile and affordable


  • It may not be suitable for advanced or professional anglers
  • The rod is a bit brittle and may break easily

4. Sage Fly Fishing – FOUNDATION Fly Rod: Best Premium Buy

If you want that rich feel for under 500 bucks, the Sage Foundation Fly Rod is a decent option.

The fast-action rod is made of Graphite IIIe technology, known for being lightweight, dependable, and smooth-feeling.

It comes with a black nylon protective rod tube to store the rod, hard chrome snake guides for easier line management, and a generous lifetime warranty.

The Sage Foundation Fly Rod is a versatile and powerful option for trout fishing in various conditions and scenarios. It’s a solid choice if you want a premium feel on a budget. 


  • Lightweight and easy to use 
  • Durable and well-constructed 
  • Smooth and buttery casting stroke
  • Comfortable snub-nose half-wells grip


  • It is way more expensive than other rods on this list 
  • Lacks the pinpoint precision of some similarly priced rods

5. Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter II Series: Best for Trout Fishing

Next on our list is the Moonshine Rod Co. The Drifter II Series. This medium-action fly rod is designed for trout fishing but will still work for any other type of fish. It’s made of graphite with a comfortable cork grip and comes in various sizes and lengths. 

Other features of this fly rod include a hardcover, burlap rod holder, and an extra tip section. It’s well-made, with a sleek design and a matte finish. The Drifter II might suit you if you’re looking for a reasonably priced fly rod for trout fishing. 


  • Smooth and forgiving medium-action for easy casting
  • Affordable and durable
  • Sturdy reel seat 
  • Comfortable cork grip 


  • The warranty may not cover all the damages or defects

6. Redington Path Fly Fishing Rod: Best for Professional Anglers

The Redington Path Fly Fishing Rod is a medium-fast action rod for professional and intermediate anglers.

This lightweight fly rod has durable graphite construction and a stylish wooden reel seat. It also comes with a Cordura rod tube for easy packing and transport.

The Reddington Path is suitable for casting fish and flies at various distances, including dry flies, nymphs, and small streamers. The manufacturer also provides a generous lifetime warranty for the original owner.

The Reddington is the #1 in fly fishing rods on Amazon and one of the best options you can buy for the price. 


  • Affordable and beginner-friendly 
  • Lightweight and versatile
  • Constructed from high-quality materials
  • Generous lifetime warranty


  • It may feel a bit sluggish to experienced anglers
  • Rod tip can easily snap if not handled carefully 

7. M MAXIMUMCATCH Maxcatch Ultra-Lite Fly Rod: Best for Stream/Creek Fishing 

Another great product from M MAXIMUMCATCH, the Maxcatch Ultra-Lite, is a lightweight fly rod designed for panfish/trout fishing in small streams and creeks.

The medium-fast action IM8 carbon blank rod is responsive and casts pretty well. It also comes with a cordura rod tube and an aluminum reel seat. 

Maxcatch Ultra-Lite Fly Rod is durable and well-made, with ceramic stripping and chrome snake guides.

If you are in the market for an affordable, lightweight fly rod for small-stream fishing, the Maxcatch Ultra-Lite is an excellent choice. 


  • Easy to cast and control
  • Comfortable cork handle and a classic reel seat
  • High-quality construction 
  • Reasonable pricing and lifetime warranty


  • Rod tube is not very sturdy
  • It may feel too stiff or fast for some anglers
  • May struggle with windy conditions of larger fish

Best Fly Rods Under $500: Buyers Guide 

There are a few factors to consider when choosing the best fly rod for under $500.

For instance, you have to think about the size and type of fish you want to catch, water conditions, and the quality and performance of the rod.

Here are some tips to help you out.

Know Your Target Fish and Water

Fly Rods Under $500

The perfect rod length and weight will vary depending on the target fish and where you’re fishing.

For instance, a light and short rod is ideal for fishing for small trout in a narrow creek. Choose a heavier and longer fly rod if you’re fishing larger species in saltwater flats. 

Choose A Rod Action That Suits Your Skill Level

Rod action measures how fast the rod bends and recovers during casting. Fast-action rods are ideal for long casts, windy conditions, and big fish but are harder to control.

Slow-action rods are best for short casts, delicate presentations, and small fish but are less responsive to quick changes. 

Look for Quality Materials and Craftsmanship

Construction materials affect fly rod durability, performance, and aesthetics. Use high-quality materials such as graphite or carbon fiber for a strong, light, and sensitive rod.

Additionally, you want your fly rod to have smooth guides, a sturdy reel seat, a comfortable grip, and an attractive finish.

Compare Different Brands and Models

Using fly rods under 500

Many reputable fly rod manufacturers offer quality rods within your budget, including Redington Path, Sage Foundation, and M MAXIMUMCATCH. Compare different brands to find the best fly rod under $500. 


Find the perfect under $500 fly rod for your needs. Choosing the perfect fly rod can be difficult, especially with a limited budget. Fortunately, so many good options are on the market for that budget. Feel free to use this guide to find the an all-around fly rod that works for you. 

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