Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Fast Action Fly Rods

  • Angler's Delight
    Best Fly Fishing Packs of 2015
    Best Fly Fishing Packs of 2015
  • Tight Lines
    Best 4-wt Fly Rods of 2015
    Best 4-wt Fly Fishing Rods of 2015
  • Staying Dry
    Picking the Best Waders for Anglers
    Staying Dry: Fly Fishing Wader Review
Thomas & Thomas Avantt 590-4 Review

96

2017

Thomas & Thomas Avantt 590-4 Review

The Thomas & Thomas Avantt 590-4 is a well-balanced featherweight rod offering a remarkable blend of finesse and power.

St. Croix Sole Review

82

2017

St. Croix Sole Review

The St. Croix Sole is essentially a one-piece fast-action rod with a replaceable tip.

Sage X 590-4 Review

88

2017

Sage X 590-4 Review

The Sage X utilizes Sage’s latest generation of composite materials in a stiff, ultra-fast action design. The X is a made to cast far and fast.

Redington VICE Review

86

2017

Redington VICE Review

The Redington VICE is an affordable fast-action rod with a good blend of power, accuracy and versatility.

Orvis H2 Covert 905-4 Review

93

2017

Orvis H2 Covert 905-4 Review

The Orvis H2 Covert is a new variation of the award-winning Helios 2 series — a Gear Institute Best in Class winner from a couple years back. The Covert employs new hardware and a matte-black finish to help mask any chance of flash or glare when stalking wary fish.

Scott S4 904-4

83

2012

Scott S4 904-4

Think big flies on big water. We found the Scott S4 felt most at home fishing wide rivers from a drift boat or while wading, tossing big dry flies to rising trout, or dragging big, weighted nymphs through the depths for bottom-feeding fish. It’s less ideal when going delicate with small dries or tiny nymphs.

Sage One 590-4

90

2012

Sage One 590-4

One of the most accurate lightweight rods we’ve used. The Sage One 590-4 is especially well-suited to casting dry flies in challenging conditions, since the accuracy and power allow you to place small flies delicately on target.

Redington Link 590-4

83

2012

Redington Link 590-4

Though its performance is just a half-step behind some of the other rods in this class, the Redington Link is a fine fast-action rod at an incredible price.

Orvis Helios 2

91

2012

Orvis Helios 2

The Helios 2 is the lightest fast action rod we’ve found, but it gives up nothing in performance, coming in first or second in our tests on distance, accuracy and versatility (though it’s also the most expensive rod we tested)