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Can you guys share with me some knowledge on fiberglass fly rods please? Pros, cons, etc? 

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I don't have one, but......

I've done a lot of reading on fly fishing.  One thing that comes up, is that the older fiberglass rods had a slowly action, and were easier to load the rod with.  Many of the old-school fly fishermen swear by glass, or even more by bamboo rods.

My experience with glass rods comes from forty years ago technology.  The glass rods I remember were heavy, slow action and much easier to cast.  Graphite fly rods with their faster action makes the casters timing of the back and forward cast much more critical, if you're not right on it can be difficult if not impossible to make a decent presentation of your fly.  I have not had a glass fly rod in my hand since the late 1970s that was a long time ago.......

I don't know about fly rods, but I've heard fiberglass is slower, more limber. A bit heavier, yes, but people managed for decades with them. For panfish, most experts say it makes little difference which you use.

Chris, fiberglass' guru is David Eitutis, or just plain Tooty. Any question you have on fiberglass, he's the man to go to. However, here's my take on the fiberglass from the years of using both spinner, and fly fiberglass.


Practically indestructible from abuses. My normal graphite have reach critical their critical breaking point just 1/2 way from the fiberglass' abuses. The only one that I've seen on par with the fiberglass is the magnaglass, in which the company that sold the blanks have gone out of business. High grade bamboo follows the magnaglass. Of course, the only one that will blow them all out of the water is the new carbon fiber integrated with memory resetting metal liner. That thing can twist completely into a coil and come back. However, that has the slowest action among all the rods. Designed for shark hunting probably. But, one company remained from the various companies that made such specialty magna-glass, following the manufacturing specs of the original Japanese specialized company. There are Chinese companies trying to make magna-glass for cheap, but not high end quality. Definitely beginners' material, which I do own two. Fiberglass and magnaglass are two rods that can cast the lines like their hot depleted uranium bullets, even in the windy conditions. I've stood side by side with the graphite and carbon rod holders, same length, yet, have no problem casting my 4wt WF line. The one next to me are having a hard time timing that critical moment to cast. Me..Load, backcast, and fire. The moderate action also allow the rod act like  whip. Scared the crap out of us when my fly line cracked the sound barrier a few times for testing fun..with Tooty's olive micro bead bug attached to the line..we thought it would have been one of us at the end of the line a few times.


As Allen pointed out, it's slightly slower than graphite, but hardly noticeable up to intermediate. When you become master of fly casting, like Tooty, Greg, Jen, Steve, and so many other, fly masters here. Unlike graphite, where it can be formed from fast to slow actions, fiberglass get stuck in the middle of fast and slow 90% of the time. Aside from the casting action, you got weight. People like light rods for long hours on and in the water, I have no problem with a heavy rod. I never like light rods in the first place. I always have used sledgehammers to fish with, and I'll probably go back to graphite and into carbon rods when I get weaker. Other than that, I love the magnaglass and fiberglass heavy rods that I have now.

WELL CHRIS YOU CAN CALL ME ANY TIME AND I THINK YOU still have my number somewere. Leo was right in all areas he spoke to and yup glass are generally slower, slightly heavier , less sensitive to the subltle bites,,,,,,,,,,but ,,,,, having listed all of the glass short comings is still the only fly rod I'll use .
I have lots of reasons to list but I'll just say they are aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalot more durable than graphite , ESPECIALLY IN COLD CLIMATES. THAT IS THE SINGLE most important part to my fishing is durability in bugs and rods.
Leo , unless I missed something , failed to mention VINTAGE AMERICAN GLASS RODS. "ONLY IN MY OWN PERSONAL OPINION NOW " SHAKESPEARE INTRODUCED GLASS RODS TO THE WORLD and as far as I'm concerned are still very collectable.
THERE WERE LOTS OF QUALITY AMERICAN GLASS FLY RODS : Fenwick Fenglass ,Garcia's , South Bend, Orvis, Browning , Wright & Mc gill ( MY YOUNGEST SON'S FAVORITE) , AND OTHERS I'm sure I've forgotten to mention.
NOW LEO IS A GEEK TECHNO WIZARD OF THE FIRST ORDER , AND I SAY THAT AFFECTIONATLEY , SSSSSSSSSSSUPER GUY AND KNOWS ALL ABOUT THE NEW STUFF AVAILABLE , and I don't have the patience to delve into new stuff. I Know a little bit about the old stuff cause that's what I grew up with and used.
THERE IS ONE HIGH END MAKER FROM JAPAN and think they are called KYBUTO or something like that and are absolutely beautiful things to see. Pricey to be sure . If you could get a bland , and unmade rod, I believe last time I looked they were about $350 for just the blank and from what I've seen of em are the cream of the crop. There are a few US makers of glass blands like Mcfarland Bros, and a few others.
Other than that don't know were ya go but I'm sticking with vintage stuff my self till I do the dirt dance buddy . There is a mystique about the vintage stuff and to be sure they can get vvvvvvery pricey to be sure.
One rod I would give ridiculous amounts of money for is the rarest of all Shakespeare rods and was only made a few short years. " THE DR. HOWALD PURIST" not to be confused with a regular purist model. They were $200+ back in the late 60's and early 70's from Shakespeare and were the first fishing rods of anykind to incorporate Titanium in one of the ferrules. There are pics of em around if you just want to dream. Also there are a number of Glass fly rod forums to choose from most noteable is THE FIBERGLASS FLY ROD FORUM, and others,FLy rod Manifesto and you can see pics of the HOwald Special there also.
Hope I haven't confused ya cause I'm tired of typing so call sometime if you like buddy........PS LEO IS THE MAN WHEN IT COMES TO MODERN STUFF AND HIS KNOWLEDGE IS LEGENDARY AND ONE OF THE NICEST FELLAS THAT WALKS THE PLANET , THANKS FOR YOUR KIND WORD LEO.......

Well I'm no expert but I have a bamboo fly rod  imported from Japan back in the 50s-60s, a custom graphite and a Gracia fiberglass from the 1970's. All have their place. The bamboo is great for dry flies on a calm day. The graphite's fast action does make it a little more difficult to cast, but is the go to rod on windy days. The fiberglass like the bamboo is slower action, but more robust that the bamboo.

The bottom line is my bamboo is my first choice, followed closely by the fiberglass. The graphite is a great rod and cost several hundred dollars more, but there is just something missing.

Well Chris,  I'd have to agree to many of the comments on properties of fiberglass vs. graphite, but not all.  Keep in mind that rods may be only a percentage graphite - not pure graphite.  That percentage will also make a difference in whether you have the 'slower' or 'faster' casting response, and just how much.  Graphite is a little bit more fragile, but not so much that I've ever been discouraged using them, not even in the coldest of Adirondack Winters where a small stretch of the Ausable River remained open year round for trout and the temps went sub zero.  It didn't bother the rainbows, so we'd give it a shot  a few times each Winter where the moving water kept it from freezing over. We never encountered rod failure, although they are supposedly more susceptible to breakage in the cold.

If your intent is to beat the daylights out of the rod, then perhaps you should stick with fiberglass.  For one thing, it'll be cheaper to replace, but other than that, I would not be discouraged from graphite rods.  While the action can be faster, the power of the graphite will also help push bass bugs, bushy streamers and small poppers, and any wind resistant fly better than the fiberglass.  And while there is a difference in the timing of the cast with the two, I'd be very surprised if it gave you any difficulty adjusting.  For many years, I had both in my arsenal, and switched back and forth between the two without any particular problems. I have to adjust between casting my slow action 7.5' spinning rod and my 5.5' fast action spincasting rod too, but it's not a big deal...It's just another adjustment. Same with my 5wt vs 8wt rod, but it's just what you do. Now, I've got only the graphite in a variety of weights, lengths and actions (I have a personal preference for building out on St Croix blanks) and I don't feel any remorse over having no fiberglass to fall back on.  And personally, they both beat the living heck out of bamboo for durability, responsiveness, and power.  The only edge I'd give to bamboo is for laying very delicate casts on very still water over short distances, or if you're feeling nostalgic - they are beautiful.  Beyond that, it is a material that was bettered in almost every category and replaced by the newer rod materials.

Dave is right about beating the daylight out of the graphite. My Berkeley graphite trout rod (fast action) broke from the constant aggressive battles that the tilapia was hammering the line. Of course, I wasn't the one using it, in which I would be placing a bit more delicate fights using the rod. From here on in, who's ever using my rod, I'm handing them the light and ultralight carbon fiber/magnaglass rods, while I'm using my fiberglass and graphite. Aside from that, I'll let them use my salmon and saltwater rods. Too many of my good rods seen the recycling bin.

     First let me say that fishing is for Fun, I got my first  glass rod 45 years ago, and I had fun with it, and I kept upgrading it till 25 years ago I got my first graphite rod and it is still what I use today and I can tell you it has caught tons of fish since I have had it . It's a 8 and a half ft 5 weight that not whimpy at at tip and it is so sensitive you can feel every twich of the fishes muscles fighting the steel of my hook, It's beefy enought to pull bluegill out of the deepest cover and let them know who's boss, and  stout enought to land several over 10 lb cats although at the time I was praying they didn't break my rod, bamboo wouldn't stand up to that abuse. My rod has also been known to make 75-80 ft casts with ease or pitch the quill and hook in tight cover, so what I'm trying to say is find a rod you like weither it be glass or graphite, I know you will be fishing with confidence in your equipment which will make fishing more fun     LOFR


Now, that's an interesting approach to fly fishing all together! A glorious mix of both world. I do similar thing with my fly rod, but using a micro spinner reel, float/bobber, and live bait. I got to try the fly reel with this method.

   Leo, this is way old school, make sure you use a porcupine quill for full effect, get in close and gently cast the crickets so you dont throw them of he hook and hold on .   LOFR

i got my first fly rod at the age of 9,now i am 65 and i have 16 fly rods and have a blank waiting to be dressed right now. you are right about the new composite and graphite rods their edge is sensitivity i guess it is more like a cliff then an edge not to mention weight which can be an issue with some glass blanks.

  as for sensitivity using a fly rod i watch the line or (play the line) for the take ,to me weight is the biggest advantage of the graphite/composites rod is weight ,

  although most of my rods are glass i do fish a couple of composite rods on a regular basis,there are six fly rods in my boat now  and two are composites.

   in a short fly rod 6.5 to 7 ft. the glass rods are as good as the rest,the biggest problem with glass is weight ,but with the right blank and reel you will not notice much difference ,although  the  edge goes to the new material,but i think i will keep fishing my old glass rods.

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