Best 8 Weight Fly Rod 2019


Fly-fishing has evolved over the last 20 years and today fly anglers find themselves in some of the most amazing locations around the world, stalking saltwater fish on tropical atolls and bashing through the Bolivian jungle to reach pristine rivers to catch elusive predatory fish.

How Do Fly Rod Weight Ratings Work?

Fly rods are graded according to their abilities and their specific purpose. Fly rods start at 1 weight and go up to 16 weight. A 1 weight rod is designed for ultralight fishing for trout in small streams and the heavy 16 weight is the rod you would use to tackle a small marlin or tunny.

Because fly-fishing makes use of the line as the “weight” to cast with and not the fly, the line has to be matched accordingly to the rod so that you can make a successful cast that presents the fly to the fish. Each rod rating corresponds with a line of the same rating.

So What About an 8 Weight Fly Rod?

An 8 weight is ideal for fish like largemouth bass, Salmon, smaller saltwater fish like bonefish and triggerfish and pretty much any fish in between.

The beauty is that it’s a heavyweight rod at heart, but is light and comfortable enough to fish with all day, and as a bonus it is versatile enough to use in most fishing environs for multiple species. Now you can cast those big bass bugs or baitfish patterns with ease, but still feel like you are fishing a lighter rod.

We went out and selected the 5 best quality 8 weight fly rods that will give you the ultimate fly fishing experience.

Top Rated 8 Weight Fly Rods

Orvis Helios 3F 10-Foot


Orvis is steeped in outdoor sporting tradition and their fly rods are probably some of the best that money can buy. They have been trusted for decades as leaders in fly rod design and manufacture.

The Orvis Helios range is right there at the top and you can’t go wrong with this rod. Orvis has used the latest in blank building technology to bring this incredibly accurate and forgiving fly rod.

  • 8wt matte blank
  • 10 foot length
  • 4 piece
  • REC snake guides
  • Titanium striper guides
  • Anodised reel seat
  • Fighting butt

The Helios is 10 foot long which is great for reaching over currents on big rivers to get an optimal drift, the length is also great for those times where you have brush and other obstructions that could interfere with your back cast.

The fast action of the Helios means that you have ultimate control while casting bigger flies and the necessary backbone to fight big fish in busy water. Orvis also backs their quality products with a 25 year guarantee. This rod is highly recommended!

TFO Deer Creek 11 Foot Switch Rod


Temple Fork Outfitters was created by the late fly-fishing legend and guru, Lefty Kreh.

Lefty’s knowledge and experience in fly-fishing is passed on through these brilliant fly rods. The TFO Deer Creek series switch rod is an 8 weight with a difference. Being a switch rods means that the rear part of this rod can be removed for single handed casting or left as is for comfortable double handed casting techniques such as spey and skagit styles.


  • 8wt blank
  • 11 foot length
  • Switch capabilities.
  • 4 piece

This rod is perfect for steelhead and salmon fishing, the design leans towards spey and skagit casting with its double handed grip and also its 11 foot length is suited to this style of fishing. 11 foot length will make conventional fly casting more problematic from a fly casting dynamics view but is definitely the way to go if you are planning to swing flies for steelhead on a big river in the late fall. A brilliantly executed rod that won’t fail to impress on the river.

Moonshine Rod Co. 9 Foot Drifter Series


We just love this rod! It just screams Everglades backwoods and is perfect for handling those bruiser bucketmouths from the swamp.

The rod has been nicely finished and looks exquisite with its copper anodized hardware.

  • 8wt blank
  • 9 foot length
  • 4 piece
  • Extra rod tip.
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Hard canvas rod tube

The Moonshine Drifter has a medium to fast action and its shorter length of 9 foot makes it a great casting tool. It’s the perfect rod for casting big deer hair bass bugs out between the branches and lily pads.

Moonshine is taking the world by storm with stunning rods that suit the pockets of budget conscious anglers who want a rod of epic quality, something moonshine can guarantee.

Orvis Encounter 4 Piece 9 Foot Fly Kit


Orvis has brought out these budget friendly, entry level kits and top quality is what you can expect from the Orvis Encounter series.

This kit comes with a matching Orvis Encounter reel and the correct line and leader to match the outfit. You literally just need to add a stocked fly box and head off on a fishing trip!


  • 8wt blank
  • 9 foot length
  • Composite reel featuring a stainless steel disc drag.
  • A rod tube and a reel sock

This budget friendly outfit is ideal for the angler who wants to get into the sport or maybe wants a back-up rod to keep stored in the car for those days when you suddenly happen upon a water but don’t have your usual kit with you.

Beginner Tailwater Outfitters Rod


The Toccoa 8 weight fly rod from Tailwater outfitters is definitely an entry level rod that won’t hurt the pocket too much. The blank is constructed from IM8 graphite and is well built with a fast action which is ideal for first time casters.


  • 8 weight IM8 blank
  • 9 foot length
  • 4 piece
  • Rod tube with compartments

The nice thing about the Toccoa 8wt is that it can really take a beating and is tough as nails. Although it’s not the nicest looking rod in our opinion, it is still a great rod for first timers or for kids that may not be as careful about their equipment as more experienced anglers are.

Buyers Guide


Overall Winner

The Orvis Helios takes the win for us; it’s the nicest all round 8 weight fly rod that is built on years of experience. The Orvis Helios will never disappoint and Orvis’s backup and customer service is impeccable.

Runner Up

To second the Orvis in quality, the TFO Deer Creek 8 weight is a bit more specific in purpose. This rod will stand any steelhead or salmon fly fisher in good stead. The rod is made by world class rod designers and its form and function is well balanced.

Great Value for Money

The Moonshine Drifter is just awesome, it’s such a nice looking rod and really invites one to want to cast it. It is comparable in quality to high end rods but not as pricey.

Full Kit

The Orvis Encounter is the only kit that we have on our list, the perfect way to get into fly-fishing before breaking your bank balance. To second the Orvis Encounter is the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa. Both these rods are simply great to break into the world of fly-fishing.

Extra Info

Choosing the Correct Weight

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