Table of Contents
There was a time when 9 foot 6wt fly rods were the go-to piece of equipment when an angler was looking to toss heavy streamers with accuracy. If you were fishing a large western river, you do not dare hit the water without one. Over time, advances in technology have resulted in many lighter 5wt fly rods being capable of nearly the same action. However, there are still times when more is better. If you still believe that big rods catch big fish on big waters, then check out these selections and find out the best 6 weight fly rod you will not want to be without on your next trip.
Sage ONE, Sage Fly Fishing
The ONE rod is Sage’s flagship series and is available in a wide range of sizes, including a 6wt. version. Sage ONE is handcrafted using Sage’s very own Konnetic Technology© and includes such eye-catching features. Examples are the black ice colored shaft, black primary thread with bronze wraps, walnut wood insert, bronze aluminum reel seat, and a black powder coated aluminum rod tube with the Sage Medallion.
But a nice-looking rod does not catch fish. For this, the ONE includes a fast, easy casting action with a built-in “sweat spot” – something experts and beginners will both appreciate. Fuji ceramic stripper guides and hard chrome snake guides guarantee hassle free line manipulation.
Meanwhile, the custom tapered cork handle and optional fighting butt provide the steady hold needed to cast flies with accuracy and land trophies with ease. The ONE may weigh in at only 2.7 ounces, making it one of the lightest 6wt fly rods on the market, but it is no lightweight when it comes to catching fish.
SKY, Douglas Outdoors
Designed by famed angler and rod designer Fred Cantaoi, the Sky series is Douglas Outdoor’s premium offering and the 6 weight fly rod is an excellent option for a broad range of applications. Douglas teamed with Cantaoi to develop the finest fly rods on the mainstream market, and the SKY series is that rod.
It uses the most advanced components available, such as Fuji Torzite stripping guides mounted on an angles titanium frame or extremely flexible inline REC recoil guides coupled with individually engineered blanks. You are getting a fly rod unlike any you have ever tried before. Because of these advancements, a 6 wt. fly rod in the SKY series is not just rated for 6 wt. line, but also specifically designed for that line and the demands 6 wt. fly fishing will place on it.
Onyx Spey, Beulah
Spey casting generally involves big fish caught on big waters using big rods, and that is exactly what you get with Onyx Series by Beulah. Measuring 13’1” and weighing an astonishing 6.5 ounces, the Onyx 6wt fly rod may seem like a giant compared to other fly rods, but then it is designed to catch giants. Despite being a four section rod, the Onyx utilizes state of the art IM8 Silica Nano Matrix resin and IM8 graphite to develop groundbreaking blanks. These slate blue blanks are then finished with only the finest maple burl reel seats, Portuguese cork, and multi-color thread wraps. This delivers a strong, durable rod capable of the smooth casting and accurate tracking needed when fishing the wilds of the Northwest.
Helios 2, Orvis
Each Orvis rod is handmade in their Vermont shop for one purpose - catching fish - and the Helios 2 series 6wt. fly rod is not different. Engineered on the already successful Helios design, the Helios 2 offers superior strength with a 20% decrease in weight, 100% increase in tip-impact strength and finely tuned tapers for unparalleled tracking, accuracy and lifting strength. Big SIC stripping guides, nickel/titanium snake guides, and an excellent skeleton uplock seat provide the function you need. Meanwhile, the dark blue finish and beautiful burled wood Western style grip give you a look you are proud to own.
The 6wt fly rods are offered in either a 9’ or 9’6” version, both weighing 2.6 ounces and can be broken down into 4 sections – making them excellent for the traveling angler. However, the Helios 2 does tend to suffer from a loss of accuracy at greater distances, something many using a 6wt fly rod may find disappointing.
GLX Classics, G.Loomis
Twenty years ago, a 9 ft. 6wt. fly rod was standard equipment for western trout anglers, capable of throwing heavy streamers or during stronger breezes than a smaller 5wt. could ever think of doing. When the GLX was first introduced, it was on the cutting edge of fly rod design and quickly found a cult-like following.
Well, even though there have been many advancements in design, components, and technology, the GLX remains a favorite – which is why G. Loomis still offers this time-tested leader under the GLX Classic label. The 6wt fly rod is one of only four models still produced and comes in only one length – a 2-piece 9 footer - because that is how it has always been. With a medium stiff power and fast taper, the GLX Classic is equally capable of loading line from 15 or 50 feet and possesses an extreme power to weight ratio.
Radian, Scott Fly Rods
According to Scott Fly Rods, the biggest decision when selecting a new fly rod is choosing between power and line speed OR a rod with touch & feel. The answer, again, according to Scott, is the Radian which they describe as “fast meets feel.” By combining ReAct technology and the X-core design, Scott has developed a fast action rod but controlled the normal energy sapping vibration.
Additional advancements in multi-modulus, ARC carbon, and fiber fuse resin, the Radian also offers better control, precise stiffness and dedicated flex points where needed. Round it all out with nearly indestructible titanium guides, top grade Portuguese cork, and burled box elder seats, and you get one of the most attractive and accurate 6wt fly rods on the market. Whether you are roll casting, tossing heavy streamers, or fighting a trophy rainbow, the Radian will provide everything you are looking for in a fly rod and more.
Sources and Official Brand Websites
- Douglas Outdoors, Official Brand Website.
- Beulah, Official Brand Website.
- Orvis, Official Brand Website.
- G.Loomis, Official Brand Website.
- Scott Fly Rods, Official Brand Website.
- General Fly Fishing Tips & Tricks, Fly Fishing for Beginners.
- The North American Fly Fishing Forum, The Fly Fishing Forum.
- How to Select & Buy a Fly Rod, Big Sky Fishing.