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Fiberglass Fly Rods

Fiberglass Fly Rods vs. Graphite


Just like every material, fiberglass possesses both positive and negative characteristics. Fiberglass is an incredibly durable material and makes for some of the softest presentations with dry flies, but fiberglass rods come with the caveat that they are heavy and the ceiling for line speed is low. 


The optimum performance of the graphite fly rod is taking advantage of the positive characteristics which are stiffness and its light weight.  Because of the stiffness that graphite rods possess you can push their line speed to the limits, and this translates to the ability to gain distance. On the negative side, there is a point that graphite rods become too stiff which limits the responsiveness that you get with glass rods. 


After its invention, fiberglass was considered, rightly so, a miracle material and for decades nearly everything was being built with fiberglass. I remember sitting on itchy fiberglass chairs at my grandparents' house which were undoubtably half a century old. One of the industries that quickly adopted fiberglass was fly fishing. The application was near perfect, the need for a durable material that was readily available and also relatively cheap. Soon every hardware store in the country was stocking fiberglass fly rods, and for this reason many of the anglers today had learned how to fish on a fiberglass fly rod. 

With the advent of modern graphite fly rods, the fiberglass rod saw a quick downturn in popularity in favor of sticks which were lighter. The new kid on the block, graphite, is still being developed and we are almost continually seeing decreases in weight and increases in strength.

While fiberglass saw a brief decline in use, glass is currently seeing a booming Rennaissance in both consumer popularity and manufacturer production. Popular blog, The Fiberglass Manifesto has documented this rise, fall, and rise again over the last 20 years. 

Why Fiberglass Rods?

Fun: In short, fiberglass fly rods are just plain fun. When you're fishing with a fiberglass fly rod you can feel every tug on you line and a glass rod can make even the smallest fish feel like there's a monster on the other end. 

Price: Just like graphite fly rods, glass rods can run the gamut from <$100 to >$500, but the great thing about glass rods is that the performance and the reliability does not make the leaps upward like graphite rods do. 

Reliability: Like in other applications, fiberglass is a miracle material. The stress that you can put on a fiberglass fly rod is immense and no one on our Pro Staff ever remembers helping a customer file a warranty claim against a glass rod in our 16+ year history as a company. 

Forgivability: Because of the natural softness that you get from fiberglass, this makes them the perfect medium for protecting 6x and 7x tippet. The bend of glass prevents your tippet from snapping off if you're targeting fish that are very leader shy. 

Best Fiberglass Fly Rods

The market for fiberglass fly rods had shrunk over the decades since the introduction of graphite technology, but there is good news! Fiberglass rods has seen a marked increase over the last decade as they have experienced a Rennaissance in the fly fishing industry. The dedicated anglers that swore by the fun and performance of fiberglass rods stuck around when many manufacturers switched over to graphite but those anglers' love of glassrods remained and the resurgence of fiberglass is 

What are ReelFlyRod's Favorite Fiberglass Fly Rods?

Echo River Glass - A great entry point for those looking to explore what glass rods have to offer the angler. Perfect weights and lengths for tarting trout and panfish in your local streams or the backyard pond. 

Echo Bad Ass Glass - Makes fly fishing for bass all that more exciting! Extremely satisfying using higher weight fiberglass rods with big flies and targeting bigger fish. This rod has even gained a cult following with anglers in Michigan targeting Kings when they come in from the lakes. 

Redington ButterStick- The current ButterStick is the third iteration of the popular rods series and seems to be the best one yet. Offered in 3-5wt, the ButterStick makes trout fishing even more exciting than it already is. 

Orvis Superfine Glass - The newest of high-end fiberglass rods, the Superfine is all about performance. Available in 2-8wt models, the Superfine packs some serious punch and this rod is our current favorite for bass on glass. 

Scott F Series   -  This rod was made for small trophy trout waters. Lightweight, delicate presentation, and the top-notch handcraftedness that one has come to expect from Scott Rods. 

Our Pro Staff always grabs at least one glass rod when we're heading out on a trip so we are very familiar with all the rods that ReelFlyRod keeps in stock. We're huge fans of the Butterstick and River Glass for smaller waters but the Bad Ass Glass is a staple in our quiver for targeting bass.

Feel free to reach out to us at the shop if you have any questions about any rods or are wondering if fiberglass if the right rod for your application. Call the shop at 937-434-8472 or email us at [email protected]. We also now offer virtual outfitting options where we can schedule a video chat to talk about all the gear you will need. You will be paired with a member of our knowledgeable Pro Staff who will get you situated with everything and talk you through all of our available options. 

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