I can remember back when I first started fly fishing. I wasn’t concerned with rod action, fly presentation, casting distance or the lightness of the rod. It didn’t make any difference how the popper touched down on the water or the speed at which the rod propelled the popper to its target. Notice I said popper not fly here, because back then I only fish poppers in warm water areas. All I wanted to do was get the bug to a point on the water and hopefully land a fish, in other words I was not interested in the mechanics of the sport. Well after getting into trout fishing four years ago I have learned that all the above factors play a big part in being successful on the water, especially trout fishing. I think for me the most important factor when it comes to fly fishing is the rod action. The most common rod action and the most used is the medium action rod. This type fly rod can be purchase at your local Wal-Mart or any other discount outlet. If you are looking for diversity such as fast action, medium fast action or a slower action rod you will have to go to your local fly shop or purchase on line at your bigger fly rod outlets across the
All these action rods have their places on the water. I know for me I use my fast action rod for heavier nymphs or bigger poppers. I use my medium action rod for med size flies or nymphs. I don’t own a slower action rod, because I really haven’t found a need for it as of yet. I guess in time I may need to look at this type rod if I keep landing those stocker trout below the dam. U.S. has a great definition for the action of the fly rod on their website. Temple Fork
The action of a rod is determined by where it bends with a given amount of weight. Fast action rods bend nearer the tip area and medium action rods bend down nearer the middle of the rod. Slower action rods bend all the way down into the butt section and look parabolic when bent with that same given amount of weight. All you really need to know is that faster action rods are stiff in the butt and flexible in the tip, because you will use a great range of weight when you cast varying distances or when using larger/heavier flies.
I am curious as to how you let the action of the fly rod determine the way you fly fish?