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Best 5 Weight Fly Rods – At-a-Glance
The 5wt is one of the most common fly rods out there and so you have all the options on the table when picking out a new rod. As you get more experienced, durability, casting capability and versatility are all big concerns.
For a beginner, I would recommend looking for a rod that is affordable and easy to use. Once you have a good understanding of the basics, then you can start looking at rods that offer more advanced features.
Even for experienced anglers, the 5wt is a great option because it is so versatile and durable. It can be used for a variety of fish species and in different types of water conditions. So, whether you are just starting out or are an experienced angler, the 5wt is a great choice for a fly rod.
There are three in particular that are likely to catch your eye.
The Douglas Sky G 5wt Fly Rod is probably the best all around rod on the market. This fly rod is versatile and can be used in a variety of fishing scenarios.
It is a fast-action rod, which means it is designed for accuracy and distance when casting. Additionally, the rod is built to handle different types of fish, from large bass to smaller trout. This makes it an ideal choice for both novice and experienced fly fishermen alike.
If you are willing to spend and don’t mind the price tag, the Douglas Sky G 5wt Fly Rod is a great option to consider.
The Thomas and Thomas 5wt fly rod is a great option for fishermen of all levels. Built from high-quality materials, it is fast action and great to cast with. The rod is also very durable, making it a good choice for those who fish in difficult conditions.
Overall, the Thomas and Thomas 5wt is a great option for both beginners and experienced fishermen alike.
For fishermen who want a slightly more affordable option without sacrificing too much quality, I highly recommend the G Loomis IMX 5wt Pro Fly Rod.
While it may not be as high quality as the other two options, this option still offers exceptional casting capabilities and will stand up over time. This makes it a great choice for those who are looking for a durable option that won’t break the bank. The only downside is that it may not be as accurate as the other two options.
While I am partial to these three options. There are plenty of other quality 5wt rods on the market.
So make sure to read through to understand exactly what you are looking for and figure out which fly rod is the perfect fit for you.
The Douglas Sky G 5wt is one of the most hyped rods on the market, and for good reason.
It’s a fast-action rod that’s designed for precision casting, and it’s capable of handling a wide range of fishing situations.
The rod is also built with high-quality materials, including titanium reel seats and saltwater-grade hardware.
The only downside to this rod is its price tag, which is significantly higher than other options on the market. However, its quality and performance are unmatched, making it worth the investment for serious anglers..
Incredibly lightweight rod.
Durable because of the materials.
Great for casting both short and long distances.
Fantastic recoil guides.
The Douglas Sky G 5wt rod is made with high quality materials and construction that make it a top-of-the-line product. It’s smoothness, power and feel make it a great choice for anglers of all levels.
It’s also versatile enough to be used in a variety of fishing conditions.
It should come as no surprise to you that Redington appears high up on my list.
Their gear works and is reasonably priced. It really is that simple!
Considering this is half the price of some of the more ‘high-end’ brands, you actually get quite a lot for the money.
Open the included Cordoba rod tube, and you’ll be presented with a 4-piece rid finished in a mahogany black finish… For that, read dark brown. The quality half wells cork handle and dark wood reel seat are pleasing to the eye.
Never mind the looks, how does it perform?
The answer? Very well indeed. The medium-fast action is perfect for a 5 wt rod. You’ll be able to throw a line a fair distance but still retain a decent measure of control to get an accurate cast when you need to.
It’s really lightweight too! Redington has even focused on reducing the mass of the line guides to cut down on unnecessary bulk.
Good casting and performance.
Really nice looking.
For similar money (as you will soon see), you can get premium branded fly rods.
Listen, I’m not going to bash Redington. The truth is I’m a bit of a fanboy. This rod looks good, feels pretty great, and is bang on dead center when it comes to pricing and performance. One of the best 5wt fly rods for the money!
What I’m not going to do is suggest something ridiculously cheap… That’s just not going to work.
What drew me to this rod was the really classical finish. Based on looks alone, this one really shines. The matte brown blank looks really classical and is further complemented by caramel guide wraps and a wood burl seat.
But does it perform?
Well enough. It isn’t going to be exemplary for this price, but the blank feels reasonably fast and pretty responsive. It feels pretty balanced and casts well.
It has some features that could make it great.
I like the CNC cut aluminum reel seat. It gives the rod a really sturdy feel. Paired up with an AAA cork handle, it feels of good quality.
I also like the alignment dots. These are a neat feature that ensures consistency in your setup.
A low priced rod with some high-end features.
The blank casts well and is pretty sensitive.
It is a really classic looking rod.
The biggie for me was the steel guides. Steel and water don’t really mix, so I’m not sure how durable this would be in the long term.
You pay your money. You take your chance… This isn’t the highest-end product on my list. But for a beginner, or someone looking for a rod for a buddy, this could be pretty great. If you are a serious angler, I’d consider spending a few bucks more and moving into the mid-range rods.
If you liked the above but wanted something just a little more ‘well known, then you can stop right here.
This isn’t really a budget rod… At least not in terms of performance. If you’ve read my article on the best 4 wt rods, you’ll have seen that the Redington Classic Trout features there also.
I’d use one word to describe it…
A nice soft action will allow you to perform buttery smooth casts. This is a great rod if you care about presenting your fly most naturally. The blank is just fast enough to cast smaller flies, but it really shines in the 5 wt when fishing at a distance.
The rod looks pretty sweet too. The dark brown finish and wood burl reel seat give you all of the classic looks of the K&E model above, for similar money, but with better quality parts and features.
A trusted brand.
Excellent casting action and fly presentation.
There isn’t too much to dislike.
Easily a contender for one of the best 5 wt fly rods for the money. Pair this up with a great reel and some nice line, and you might find you’ve got one of the best fly rod and reel combos on the market… At a really good price!
This rod is one of my top performers in this category. If you are looking for something that feels expensive, then you are in the right place.
This 5 wt rod has a fast action and would be great for beginners and experienced anglers alike. Built on a stealth graphite III blank, you’ll get heaps of distance, accuracy, and plenty of control.
The little extras take this rod to the next level.
You’ll find a plethora of cool little bits like ceramic-lined stripping guides, a snub-nosed, high-quality cork handle, and a heavy-duty (but not heavyweight) black anodized locking reel seat.
Oh, and before I forget to mention… It’s made in the USA.
Included rod tube.
Gret control, accuracy, and distance in the cast.
One downside… Sage! Why, oh, why did you not include a hook keeper?
Overall this rod is rock solid. It would have gained perfect marks across the board from me… Had sage remembered to fit a hook keeper. If you can overlook this minor flaw, you’ll find one of the best 5 wt fly rods out there.
As rods go, this is one of the best 5wt fly rods out there.
If you are looking for a super lightweight rod with great casting accuracy and distance, you can stop right here. I really like this rod, so much so that I’ve used the GR series for years.
The Toreon Nano blank technology gives a fast action but reduces the bulk and weight of the rod overall. Throw in a premium AAA cork handle and two-tone aluminum reel seat, and you’ve got a super solid setup.
The rod also comes in a cloth bag with an included protective rod tube.
A really nice feature in 5 wt rods is the ability to fish anywhere. If sight stalking is your thing, you’ll love the finish. The dark grey matte will prevent flashes of sunlight, which can scare away the fish.
This is a lightweight rod with plenty of power. I think you’ll love it.
Really affordable, not much more than some budget rods.
A great all-rounder.
A minor gripe, but the rear butt can be a little sharp on your wrists.
This is a rock-solid performer. It is easy to cast, and the blank feels really balanced, neither too fast nor slow. Made with quality components, you’ll be able to catch small brook trout, all the way up to double figures.
Let’s not mess around. I said I was going to show you the best 5wt fly rods, and I meant it.
But we need to get one thing straight.
If you truly want the best, then, as with most things in life, this will cost you…
The Orvis Helios is pretty much the best fly rod out there. Period. You’ll see all of those great individual points in the rods above… Here, they are in one handheld package.
The matte storm blank is about as light as they come. That doesn’t mean to say that it isn’t really powerful. The action is medium-fast, giving you the ideal for both long-range and accurate casts.
Visually it is stunning. I haven’t seen a thinner blank to date. And when it comes to weight, it is like holding a drinking straw…
Literally, it weighs next to nothing.
Remember I talked about the extras. Well, get this…
You aren’t going to find a wood burl reel seat here. Orvis has focussed on the finer points. In this case, you’ll find the reel seat is carbon. Reducing the weight while also managing to look super futuristic.
No plastic rod tube here. But what you will get is an all-aluminum rod holder, Orvis branded, no less! As a final cherry on the pie, Orvis even offers an engraving service to make the rod uniquely yours!
The highest quality fly fishing rod on my list.
Amazing casting accuracy.
I’m not sure the increase in performance matches the increase in cost.
You’ll cry if you break it.
Personally, I don’t mind paying for quality, especially when it is this good. A rod is the sum of its parts, and in the case of the Orvis Helios, its parts are all industry-leading.
This one probably isn’t for a beginner, but if you are looking to upgrade to something really top-notch, then this is about as good as it gets.
If you’re in the market for a new fly fishing rod, you can’t go wrong with one of the best 5wt rods from one of the best fly fishing brands.
As expected, this is a great rod for fishermen of all skill levels. It’s made from high-quality materials and construction, and it’s designed to provide a smooth, responsive experience on the water.
The build quality of this rod is second to none, with each component carefully chosen to deliver peak performance. From the high-quality cork handle to the titanium reel seat, every detail has been designed with the serious fisherman in mind. Thanks to its modular design, this rod can be easily customized to suit any fishing conditions.
Whether you’re targeting big game fish in open water or going after smaller prey in tight quarters, this rod has the power and precision you need to come out on top. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line fishing rod that won’t let you down, look no further than the Thomas and Thomas brand.
Priced affordably for its high quality.
Fast action but still relatively forgiving.
Extremely powerful, can handle all types of fish.
Expensive if you are looking for a more budget rod.
Aesthetic is not for everybody.
The Thomas and Thomas brand is known for its quality and this rod is no exception. It contains the power, casting capabilities, and versatility most experienced fishermen crave.
With this rod, you’ll be able to cast accurately and efficiently, and you’ll have plenty of power to handle big fish. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, this is a great choice for your next fly fishing rod.
The G Loomis IMX is a great choice for fishermen who are looking for an affordable option. It is fast action and lightweight, making it very easy to use for most fishermen.
The IMX is also very durable, which is perfect for those who want to use it on a regular basis. Overall, the G Loomis IMX is an excellent choice for good fishermen who are looking for an affordable, durable, and easy-to-use rod.
Whether you’re targeting largemouth bass or smallmouth bass, the IMX will give you the performance you need to make quick work of whatever’s biting. If you’re looking for a high-quality bass fishing rod without breaking the bank, the G Loomis IMX should be at the top of your list.
Balanced, easy to use.
Well Priced, in the more affordable price range.
Comfortable to handle and carry.
Solid casting capabilities.
More of a starter rod, not as great for experienced.
The G Loomis IMX is a great choice for anglers who are relatively experienced but not quite ready for a top-of-the-line rod. It offers superior material, fast action, and incredible lightness, all at a more affordable price point.
Buying Guide to 5 Weight Fly Rods
So what’s it to be, rough and ready on a budget or a refined and professional setup? Choosing a new rod is actually pretty hard to do, so to help, I’ve come up with this handy buying guide.
Here are a few things to think about…
Let’s cut to the chase. We’d all like to run out and blow $1000 on the best fly rod that money can buy.
But here’s the thing…
I’d like to wake up and be better looking and 50 pounds lighter.
Neither is realistic.
The main thing that will dictate your choice of fly rod is probably the price. So here’s my advice.
Go for the best rod you can afford and don’t cheap out. I promise if you do, you will regret it.
Your rod is an essential tool that you will often be using (amongst other things). So, allocate a budget by all means, but try and hit the upper end.
There isn’t a direct linear cost with performance… I’ve fished with $150 fly rods that are every bit as good as the ‘professional’ setups, but they are few and far between. If you are looking for a less expensive fly rod, try and pick one made by a well-known brand.
The action of the blank is very much a personal preference and will depend on your casting style.
A great middle-ground is medium to fast. This will allow you to cast a fair distance but won’t degrade the rod’s responsiveness and accuracy.
If you aren’t familiar with what ‘action’ is, here’s a quick video explaining it in greater detail.
Where to Use a 5 Weight Fly Rod
The beauty of a 5-weight fly rod is that it is a great all-around choice. It is fast and light enough to be used on small streams and brooks. It also has the necessary casting power to be used on bigger waters too.
I said ‘bigger’; I didn’t say ‘biggest‘ for seriously large waters, or when saltwater fly fishing, you are going to want to think a little bigger in terms of rod weight.
Suppose you are going to be fishing tiny streams or are looking for ultra-delicate presentation. In that case, you might want to throttle down slightly and go for a 3 weight rod instead.
Here’s another area that 5 weight fly rods come into their own. They are excellent for fighting a range of different-sized fish.
They will work pretty well for 1 pound trout, but they also perform well when fighting double-figure monsters.
Go anything over 20 pounds, and you might struggle. Still, then again, the kind of waters these fish reside in normally require heavier rods anyway.
Your optimum rod length should rest somewhere between 8 and 10 feet. Any less than this, and you are going to struggle with distance and accuracy. Any more, and you’ll find your rod probably a little too cumbersome.
As a general rule of thumb, I tell people this.
The larger the water, the bigger the rod. So think about where you will fish most often and plan from there with regards to rod size.
Here’s something that you will find.
Generally, the cheaper the rod, the heavier it will be.
Fly fishing involves almost constant arm movement.
You might think that an ounce here or there won’t make the difference. Believe me, when I say it absolutely does! Go for the lightest rod you can find and afford. Your arm will thank you for it!
The weight of a rod is something that generates a lot of questions amongst fishermen of all skill levels. Specifically, with 5wt rods we have answered a few of the most common questions.
What size fish can a 5wt rod handle?
As a general rule of thumb, a 5wt rod is ideal for fish that are between 10 and 20 inches long. These include trout, bass, and panfish.
If you’re targeting larger fish, such as salmon or bass, then you’ll need a heavier rod in the 8- to 10-weight range.
What is a 5wt rod good for?
The 5wt fly rod has become the most popular choice among freshwater anglers for good reason. It is an incredibly versatile rod that can be used for a variety of fish species, including trout, bass, bluegills, perch, whitefish, carp and even catfish!
The 5wt rod is also relatively lightweight and easy to handle, making it a great choice for both beginners and experienced anglers alike.
Whether you’re just getting started in the sport or are looking for a versatile option to add to your collection, a 5wt fly rod is a great choice!
How far can you cast 5wt rod?
The average skilled fly angler using a 5wt rod should be able to hit the 60-70 foot range. With perfect casting skills, 100 feet is potentially within reach. These are estimations based on averages, so your mileage may vary.
Is a 5wt the best all-around weight?
Virtually all fly fishing guides agree that a 5wt rod is the most versatile rod in the world. If you’re likely to fish a mix of lakes, creeks and rivers, a 5wt is a no brainer first rod.
A 5wt will give you the ability to fish just about any water type. If you have no idea where you are going to fish, buy a 5wt.
Can you catch bass with a 5wt rod?
While you can use a 5wt trout rod for bass fishing, it’s not the best tool for the job. Bass flies tend to be large and wind-resistant, so heavier rods with a medium action are better suited for bass fishing.
The best 5 weight fly rods will allow you to fish pretty much anywhere and for several different species.
The key to choosing the best is finding a happy balance between power, accuracy, and, of course, cost.
Provided you tick those three boxes with your choice, you should be able to enjoy years of fly fishing.