In this post, I’ll cover the best 5 weight fly rods on the market in 2021.

Whether you are a beginner or expert fly fisherman, having the best 5 weight suited to your needs is crucial.

I must confess that, when it comes to fly fishing, I am a bit of a gear junkie. In my cupboard, probably more aptly called a rod storage facility, you’ll find rods ranging from 2 weight to 12 weight.

Our Top 3 in 5-Weight Fly Rods

Best Overall: Orvis Clearwater
Best Budget: Echo Base
Best Top-End: G. Loomis Asquith

Mostly I’ll even have 2 or 3 rods of each weight. And what did it all cost? Jeez, let’s rather leave it there (and please don’t let my wife read this).

Compare 5wt Fly Rods 2021

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In that collection of rods, I have two 5 weights. One is a cheap backup rod, but the other is mid to premium range rod. I only have this one because it’s all I need, really.

And to be blatantly honest with you, I could sell all my 6 and 4 weights and still be able to fish the water that I would’ve with that 5 weight. It’s that versatile.

Jump To The Best 5wt Fly Rod

#1 Best 5wt Fly Rod Overall: Orvis Clearwater


The following statement may be regarded as very bold, but in my opinion, the 5 weight is the best freshwater fly rod you could have. All trout species, bass, and grayling – it has you covered. From presenting to small dry flies to trout and bass streamers.

Complete Your 5wt Fly Rod Setup:
Best 5wt Fly Line
Best 5wt Fly Reel
Best Streamers For 5wts

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Top 5 Weight Fly Fishing Rods in 2021

In no other fly rod weight category do you have more competition than in the 5. Many rod ranges are designed around the 5 weight and then scaled up or down from there. So, with so many to choose from, how do you make up your mind? Here are some of our favorites.

Fly Rods By Weight

Looking for fly rods by weight? Check these out:

1. Echo Base

  • Action: Medium-fast
  • Weight: 3.7ounce
  • Pros: Lifetime warranty
  • Cons: Heavy for a graphite rod

The Echo Base fly rod is a perfect fly rod for the beginner to the intermediate angler. The medium-fast action will assist the beginner cast to get used to timing the back and forward cast correctly.

It’s a 4 piece rod that is shipped in a cloth-covered rod tube case and a sock. To keep costs down, and make it more durable, Echo has chosen to fit the rod with a black anodized reel seat.

This also makes for a very good value backup rod.

As with all Echo rods, the rod has a lifetime warranty for the natural life of the original owner.

With all these features, can you believe that the starting price of this range is only $99?


2. Orvis Clearwater

  • Action: Medium-Fast
  • Weight: not disclosed
  • Pros:25 year warranty
  • Cons: Not much you can fault with this rod

The Orvis Clearwater is undoubtedly one of the best value fly rods available today. It’s a great 5 weight rod and built with trout and bass in mind. It’s able to deliver dries very delicately and can chuck big streamers accurately to likely lies.

Thinking about picking up a Clearwater? You really can’t go wrong. It’s a great rod. Before you buy, make sure you check out our In-Depth Review Of The Orvis Clearwater Setup.

It comes in a rod tube and offers Orvis’ famous 25-year warranty.

Another option is to buy this rod as a complete outfit. At only $311, it comes with a Clearwater reel, backing and fly line. This also offers amazing value for the beginner to the intermediate angler.



3. Sage Pulse

  • Action: Fast
  • Weight: 3.25 ounce
  • Pros: Lifetime warranty, built in the USA
  • Cons: Not New Konnetic HD Technology

Aside from maybe the Sage Foundation, the Sage Pulse is Sage’s best value for money fly rod. But don’t let that fool you. Its still an amazing fishing tool capable of delivering the goods.

Just like it more expensive brothers, it’s handcrafted at their Bainbridge Island facility. It comes with a black nylon covered rod tube to protect the rod during transport.

The rod has a very unique lichen green blank color, which stands out well.

For people looking for the most advanced, newest rod building technology, this might not be for you. Sage utilized their tried and tested Graphite IIIe technology to construct the blanks.



Epic 580 FastGlass

  • Action: Medium
  • Weight: 3.95 ounce
  • Pros: Lifetime warranty, very durable, color, reel seat and grip variations to choose from
  • Cons: Price

If you are a more of a traditionalist, then the Epic 580 FastGlass should be on your wishlist. Its a modern fiberglass rod, but don’t let that fool you. Its light and doesn’t feel like a wet noodle in hand.

This is a perfect rod if you are more inclined to dry fly fishing, but it can deliver nymphs and streamers comfortably as well.

At $895 it’s not cheap, but it will last forever. If looked after properly, your grandchildren will still catch trout on it.

Swift offers this rod in a ready-to-wrap kit as well. That means you can build the entire rod yourself for only $399. It comes with all the components, tools and material that you need. They also include instructional videos and a booklet to take you through the building process.

The built rod or ready-to-wrap kit comes with various options you can choose from. These include blank color (amber or olive), grip (western or slim wells) and reel seat (anodized black or silver).



G. Loomis Asquith

  • Action: Fast
  • Weight: not disclosed
  • Pros: Lifetime warranty
  • Cons: Price

Here we have a high-performance rod from G. Loomis. The Asquith is known to be superb saltwater rods in the 8 – 12 weight range. But the 5 weight is an excellent dry fly rod when tight loops and pin-point accuracy are important.

I would, however, not recommend this rod for the novice to the intermediate angler. It’s very fast action would make it hard to time your casting stroke, and so-doing, make it really hard to cast.

This is a rod designed for the advanced caster who is willing to invest in a very high-end fishing tool. That being said, if a 5 weight is the most important rod in your arsenal, this would be an ideal rod if you’re looking for nothing but the best.



The Best 5 Weight Fly Fishing Combo

Oftentimes, if you’re a beginner, it’s best to pick yourself a fly rod combo to ensure that your rod, reel, and line are all matched up and balanced at the same weight. The same goes for a good 5 weight fly rod setup.

Sage Foundation

  • Included in the outfit: Comes with a rod, reel, rod and reel case and fly line
  • Pros: Lifetime warranty, made in the USA
  • Cons: Older graphite technology

Sage released their Foundation fly rod combo in 2018. It’s a high-performance rod, as expected from Sage, dedicated to the beginner and intermediate fly fisherman.

Included in the combo is the Spectrum C Series of reels. Its a large arbor die-cast reel that features a sealed carbon drag.

The reel comes pre-spooled with backing and an amazing fly line from Rio, the Rio Gold. To complete the outfit, it comes in a very sturdy rod case that can accommodate the reel and rod fit together.

Although this outfit would stretch the budget of many beginners, its amazing value for money as you are investing in one of the greatest fly rod manufacturers ever. You may not get as much fly fishing gear in this combo kit as some others on this list, but it’s still worth the money.



What Makes a Great 5 Weight Fly Rod?

Without getting too technical or splitting hairs between different rods, the best 5 weight fly fishing rod that you can choose is the one you see yourself fishing for many years to come.

This speaks to how the rod makes you feel. How content are you with it, and how well does it suite you.

Man with fly fishing vest and 5 wt fly fishing rod on river

A 5 weight fly rod or at least this is how I see it, isn’t something I chop and change every season. It’s something that I have a relationship with. We share countless hours on the water and, both of us, have the scars to prove it.

There are however fundamental concepts that I want you to take into consideration when looking to buy a 5 weight rod for fly fishing.

What is your casting ability and what do you actually prefer?

I want you to be honest with yourself about this one. If you fall into a beginner to the intermediate fly caster, it could actually hurt you to buy an ultra-fast high-performance rod.

Also, even if you are an experienced angler, you might prefer the feel of slower rods. That’s really awesome and I want to encourage you to stick to that sentiment. Contrary to what is advertised, it’s fine if you like slow action rods.

What is your budget?

During tough economic times, we all have to turn over our dimes. Don’t create debt to buy a fly rod. It’s a tool to assist in relaxation – not be the cause of stress.

There are wonderfully capable fly rods (see listed above) that start from as little as $99. I remember when I just started out I felt so ashamed fishing when fishing with guys who had gear ten times as expensive as mine. 

Female Fishing River with Fly Fishing Combo

I would much rather be on the stream fishing with a cheaper rod than having an expensive rod in the cupboard but don’t have money for fuel.

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Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced angler, a good 5 weight will always play a big role in your fishing stories.

For the beginner, I would suggest getting one of the cheaper rods, such as the Echo Base or Orvis Clearwater. Both offer exceptional value for money.

For most of us, mid-level rods will be all we’ll ever need. The rods offer so much performance that you rarely would need to upgrade from this level. I would be happy fishing a Sage Foundation or Pulse for all my years to come.

For the professional anglers and guys wishing to fish with nothing but the best, I don’t think there are many rods out there that will beat the Asquith in performance.

Thanks for taking the time to read our post. If you found it interesting, please share it with your friends.

Until next time.

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