Fly Rod Length

I’m looking to get a new 3wt for bluegill and trout. I’ll be fishing from a canoe and I’m leaning towards a longer rod (~8’6"). Does anyone prefer a short fly rod for fishing from a canoe?


I used to have a 7 foot rod when I lived back home in California. Short rods are perfect for smaller streams and creeks with limited room for casts. Really small streams and such. You really lose casting ability when you shorten the rod. Shortening the rod could be viewed as using a lesser “spring” to launch your line with. You cannot get as much line out there as the shorter rod won’t have the flex to load up, and you would have to paddle closer to your hole to make up for it. The ideal canoe fishing is to get in the area and watch for rises. Having a 8 or 8 1/2 or even a 9 footer (freshwater) will mean you have a larger area of rises to cast to and/or you can float a littler farther way, thus not scaring off that wary fish! Another good reason is if you stay seated. You may find yourself wishing for a lot more rod tip elevation from your low “platform” and a short rod won’t give you that.

See you!

rod length
I use either a 7 1/2’ or 8 1/2’ rod when fishing from kayak. I decide which length I want to use based more on where I’m fishing,than the vessel I’m using. Small narrow creeks I use the shorter rod & longer rod on more open waters.

I do feel the longer length is beneficial if casting from a seated position to help keep my backcast up off the water.

Flyrod Length
I started in a floattube so length did matter. I use a 9.5 foot Powell for trolling and a 10 feet Lamiglas for casting. Both rods are 7 weights. When in saltwater flats or lagoons, I move up to a 9 and 10 weight combination.

I have recently bought a S/A 9 foot six weight at Walmart fully set up for under $100 and its great for trout and panfish.

For bluegills…
You don’t need to cast very far, especially if you’re in a canoe.For a three weight I’d go with a seven foot or seven and a half foot rod.This way you can also use the three weight for small stream or creek trout fishing.

7’9" 3wt
Thanks for the input! I decided to build a 7’9" 3wt. Looking forward to trying it out!

7’9’’ 3wt St. croix
I use a 793 St. Croix Legends Ultra. Almost exclusively here in Missouri for bluegill and trout. For a while most of the Legends Ultra rods where on sale at 50% off because St. Croix is introducing a new line. If you look around you might be able to find one. I’ve ended up putting a 4wt. line on it so it casts better in tight conditions and cuts through the wind a little better.