Best Fly Rod for Reservoir Fishing

Choosing the best fly rod for reservoir fishing is a difficult decision and can be quite subjective. Obviously, one major constraint is budget. The other factors when choosing which fly rod is best include: What type of water you are fishing? Predominant fishing style (striping lures, wet fly, dry fly, nymphs?) casting ability, boat or bank fishing?

best all round fly rod

The Fantastic Orvis Helios

Given that there is such a range of issues at play, and that the ‘best’ for you may not be the best rod for someone else, I will split the article into the following sections:

1). Best fly rod for beginners
2). Best fly rod for Reservoir Fishing in England
3). Best fly rod for hill lakes
4). Best fly rod for boat fishing

For each of the above sections, I will provide the best on the market and also a low cost alternative. There are some amazing rods on the market for under £100 these days. A fly rod under £100 in 2017 is better than a £600 rod 15 years ago.

Best Fly Rod for Beginners

The choices I am putting forward here are the best fly rod for reservoir fishing for beginners and would be suitable for most UK based reservoir and lake fishing trips. My first choice is:

Best fly rod for beginners

Greys Fly Rod

Greys NEW GR70 Single handed Fly Fishing Rods (£264.94)

Whilst this road has a relatively fast blank, it I not too fast for a beginner and it has the back bone to allow a new caster to push a line into the wind, even when their timing is not great. The road is not cheap, but does represent good value for money.
My budget choice would be:

Budget fly rod

Airlfo Classic Fly rod

Airflo Delta Classic Trout Fishing Rod Ex Demo 10′ 6/7 (£69.99).

The Airflo classic has been used by hundreds of anglers, from beginners to advanced competition fishermen all over the UK. It has a fairly soft forgiving action, but I still very capable. For an absolute beginner, I would actually recommend buying the Airflo classic fly rod as it will be perfect for the first couple of seasons and if you enjoy it, you can move directly onto a more advanced rod.

For beginners, I would recommend a 10 ft 6/7 weight rod ( a 7 weight is ideal as you can cast heavy sinking lines or floaters).

Best fly rod for Reservoir Fishing in England

I am making some generalisations here, but from experience I have found that large English reservoirs are fantastic places for fishing nymphs and buzzers. This type of fishing requires a light but still fairly fast rod. I would recommend a 10 ft 6 weight rod. These are my favourites for nymph and buzzer fishing and by default, in my mind the best fly rods for reservoir fishing in England:

Which fly rod to buy

Orvis Fly Rod


Now this is a fantastic top of the range fly rod, but it is not cheap. if your budget is lower, I would recommend that you consider the following rod:

Best fly rod for reservoir fishing

budget fly rod

Malcolm Grey Of Alnwick 10FT 6 Weight (£91).

Best Fly Rod for Lakes in the Hills (e.g Wales, Yorkshire, Scotland)

The rods suggested above would be appropriate for hill lakes and lochs, but I would suggest that a 10 ft 6″ or 11ft or 11 ft 6 “. The reason is that you should be dabbling your wet flies with at least two droppers on these lakes, which is easier with a longer rod. One of the best rods I have ever tried for this type of fishing is the following sage model:

fly rod for lochs

Sage Fly Rod

Sage Accel Rod 11’4 #7 (£626.99)

I would recommend a 10ft 6 for bank fishing and the slighly longer version of wet fly fishing on the boat. As with the English reservoir rod suggestion, this choice is based upon an assumption as to the type of fishing that you will be doing. Hill lochs and lakes are traditionally fished with teams of wet flies, this is what I have in mind when recommending the sage model. Again, this is a very expensive rod. If your budget is lower, you would not go wrong with this model:

fly rod for hill lakes

Flextec – Bargain!

Flextec CRX88 Fly Rod 11ft 6/7 (£49.99)

At £49.99, these rods are an absolute bargain. I have a few models and take them as spares in case I break my main rods. They are remarkably good for the money.

Best Fly Rod for Boat Fishing

For general reservoir boat fishing you would not go far wrong with a 10ft fly rod. This is a great all rounder. The only time I deviate away from the 10 ft rod is when I am dabbling wet flies on hill lochs in Scotland, wild brownie loughs in Ireland and the beautiful hill lakes of wales and northern England. I find that the best fly rod for wet fly fishing is longer, at between 10 ft 6 ” and 11 ft 6 “, as described above.

For the sake of choosing a single rod that can cover all situations, that on balance is the best fly rod for boat fishing, I would choose the following:

Best fly rod for boat fishing

Orvis, great all rounder!


Its a brilliant rod!

if your budget is more restricted (lets face it, its not very often that we can get away with spending six hundred quid on our gear), then I would probably go for a Greys rod, the following model us excellent:

which fly rod for boat fishing

Greys Fly Rod

10ft #7 Greys GR50 Fly Fishing Rod – 4 piece with tube (£117.40)

If you are really restricted, budget wise, go for the flextec mentioned above, its a great piece of kit for the money.

I hope you find this article useful and can now choose the best fly rod for reservoir fishing. Tight lines!

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