Pro Tip: Understanding Rod Action and Choosing the Right Rod for You

The Orvis Flex Index is just one way to describe the way a fly rod performs.
Photo via

Ask almost any fly fisherman to cite the differences between fast- and slow-action fly rods, and you’ll probably get some version of: “A fast-action rod is stiffer than a slow-action rod.” While, at a very basic level, this is usually the case, it’s kind of like describing the difference between a. . .

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Ask a Pro: How Long Does Tippet Material Last?

If you take care of your tippet material, it should last a good two years.
Photo via

Here’s a question I’ve been asked several times, and I haven’t had a good answer until Now. Orvis Product Developer Tim Daughton explains the variables involved: . . .

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Pro Tip: Fly Selection Made Easy

Written by: Steve May

This trout was fooled by a pheasant tail nymph, yet it does not know the latin name of the bug it represented.
Photo by Steve May

Many anglers are turned off by fly-fishing because they think it is too technical. Oftentimes, experienced anglers try to impress new fly fishers by spouting off about the “Baetis hatch” or talking about the “Ephemerellas” they saw yesterday. It can seem a. . .

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Pro Tip: How to Book the Fly-Fishing Adventure YOU Want

Tikchik Narrows Lodge in the Bristol Bay region of southwestern Alaska is one of many operations that offer a comfortable lodge, fine dining, and fly-out fishing.
Photo by photo courtesy Bud Hodson

Booking a trip to a place you’ve never been is a leap of faith—especially when there is a lot of money involved—but there are ways that you can protect yourself from making a bad decision. When I was a guide, I was constantly amazed by how few people had bothered to research their destination before getting on the plane. At one Alaskan fly-fishing-only lodge, . . .

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Classic Tip: Which Knot Should You Use to Tie on a Fly?

The Orvis Animated Knot Series can help you find the knot that works best for you.

The $64,000 question for many anglers is, “Which knot should I use to connect the fly to the tippet?” We all want the strongest possible connection we can get because the sickening feeling of breaking off a big fish can ruin a day on the water. Ingenious tinkerers have come up with many different knot options over the last. . .

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Pro Tip: 5 Keys to Rod Safety

Leaning your rods against the car while you wader-up can lead to disaster. (Dramatization.)
Photo by Phil Monahan

[Editor’s Note: This is a post from back in the day, but the information is important enough that I’ll probably repost it every year. Plus I love the above photo of Orvis’s Head of Rod & Tackle, Steve Hemkens.]

Sure, most fly rods come with a lifetime guarantee these days, but breaking your rod can be a real drag. It often means a ruined trip and some down time, while you wait for repairs. Here are 5 ways you can protect your favorite rod: . . .

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