Calender Icon Last updated: July 11, 2020
Fly fishing smaller streams with 3 wt fly rods is a joy. They are light weight and nimble for accurate casting at shorter distances. There has never been a better time to be in the market for a 3 weight. Rod makers are constantly improving designs and utilizing stronger and lighter materials in their rods. That’s why Kempoo brings you our review of the best 3 weight fly rods.

Here's the Best 3 Weight Fly Rods, Backed by 22+ Hours of Research

sticker 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8)
Sage Fly Fishing – PULSE Fly Rod
Sage PULSE Fly Rod
Why is it better?
  • New Graphite IIIe Technology blank
  • Crisp, smooth, powerful, fast-action
  • Olive thread wraps with black trim wraps
19
RESEARCHED SOURCES
800
REVIEWS CONSIDERED
22
HOURS RESEARCHING
14
PRODUCTS EVALUATED

Our Top Picks

Rank
Picture
Name
Score
Buy
#1
Sage Fly Fishing – PULSE Fly Rod

BEST OVERALL

Sage PULSE Fly Rod read review
Editor's Pick 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8)
#2
Temple Fork Outfitters TFO BVK Series Fly Fishing Rod

Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rod read review
4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5)
#3
Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod

Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod read review
4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1)
In Depth Reviews
  • Sage Fly Fishing – PULSE Fly Rod Sage PULSE Fly Rod
  • Temple Fork Outfitters TFO BVK Series Fly Fishing Rod Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rod
  • Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod
Table of contents
  • 3 Weight Fly Rods FAQ

Best Overall: Sage PULSE Fly Rod

Pros:
  • New Graphite IIIe Technology blank
  • Crisp, smooth, powerful, fast-action
  • Reasonable accuracy across the board
  • Olive thread wraps with black trim wraps
  • Forgiving enough for any angler
  • Covered by the Sage Lifetime Warranty
Cons:
  • A little heavier than the Recon

The Sage Fly Fishing 3 weight rod is a versatile low-cost rod. It is ideal for small water fishing while also allowing you to cast out to fish that are 70 feet away.

The rod is built on a Graphite III blank and provides you with an outstanding ergonomic feel. Every single rod is hand-crafted by Sage’s expert craftsmen.

The Sage Pulse provides you with a smooth, crisp, powerful and fast action. The rosewood insert provides you with a very comfortable gripping surface.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Weight: 3.25 oz
  • Line Weight: 3-8 WT
  • Material: Graphite/Glass Scrim
  • Reel Seat: Anodized Aluminum

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Hard chromed snake guides and tip-top
  • Snub-nose, half-wells cork handle
  • Black nylon rod tube with divided liner

Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rod

Pros:
  • Better-than-excellent presentation in a lightweight rod
  • Lighter weight for aggressive power and strength
  • Guides is made with TFO’s exclusive Tactical Series stripping guides and able to withstand vigorous fishing conditions
  • Can be used for both fresh and saltwater
  • Great value for money
Cons:
  • Flimsy butt

The TFO BVK Series Fly Fishing Rod is a lightweight rod that delivers an impressive level of power.

The rod is constructed from carbon fiber and features FLOR grade handle grips.

It is also very well priced, providing features and performance to match brands that cost more than double the amount.

Designed for both fresh and seawater, the TFO BVK rod is durable and rugged. Your purchase of this rod comes with a rod sock.

The rod is great for long casting but is also ideal for surfcasting. This rod is available from 3 to 12 weight.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Weight: 3 oz
  • Line Weight: 3-8 WT
  • Material: Rich Translucent Olive Blanks
  • Reel Seat: Carbon Fiber

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Carbon fiber
  • Translucent blank with carbon fiber reel seat
  • Contoured FLOR grade handle grips

Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod

Pros:
  • Beautiful design and coloring
  • Quality graphite blanks
  • Reliable reel locking system
  • AAA cork grips
  • Hard rod case included
Cons:
  • Missing high-end componentry

The Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod is a lightweight ultralight rod that provides you with a fast action.

This means that the rod flexes at the tip. The soft tip helps with short casts. You get excellent rod loading with a Fenwick AETOS.

You get a surprising amount of power with the rod. The wide guides that come with the rod reduce friction.

The reel seat of the Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod has an aluminum adonized double lock. Your purchase comes with a rod tube with a built-in divider.

FEATURED SPECS

  • Weight: 3.44 oz
  • Line Weight: 3-8 WT
  • Material: Carbon flake
  • Reel Seat: Anodized Aluminum

EXTRA FEATURES

  • Excellent rod loading
  • Precision casting at wide range of distances
  • Wide guides to reduce friction

3 Weight Fly Rods FAQ

Fishing Rod

WHAT DOES THE WEIGHT OF A FLY ROD MEAN?

The weight of a fly rod refers, not to the actual physical weight of the rod but to the weight class that the rod falls into.

There is a universally standard classification system for fly fishing rods.

Rods are built to conform with different weights of fishing line. The weight that is allocated to the rod is actually the weight of the line that it aligns with.

The line weight is worked out by the weight in ‘grains’ that the first 30 feet of line weighs.

The rod weightings run from one through to fifteen. One is the smallest and lightest weight rod, with fifteen being the longest and heaviest.

It is important that you match the weights of the rod and line. So, if your rod is  3 weight, then it should only be used with a 3 weight line.

WHAT WEIGHT FLY ROD IS BEST FOR TROUT?

The best weight fly rod for trout fishing is a 5 weight or a 6 weight.

These weights are heavy enough for beginners to learn to cast without being too heavy that they will scare the fish away.

A 5 weight rod is your best choice for small river trout fishing. Larger rivers or streams are better suited for a 6 weight rod. Either one will work well for ponds and lakes.

WHAT IS THE BEST WEIGHT FLY ROD FOR SALMON?

Fishing Rod For Salmon

If you live on the North American continent then, depending on your location, you may have the opportunity to hook five different varieties of salmon. These are:

  • King salmon
  • Silver salmon
  • Chum salmon
  • Pink & Sockeye Salmon

Each of these salmon varieties requires its own unique rod specifications. King Salmon are the largest and most popular salmon variety.

They can get up to 80 pounds, which means that you need a serious rod to handle the challenge.

These are among the biggest fish that you can catch on a fly rod. You should go for a nine or ten-foot rod with a 10 weight.

Silver salmon are not as large as kings so you can use a smaller rod on them. The max weight of a silver salmon is about 20 pounds.

You should look for a nine-foot rod that is an 8 weight. You should also look for a rod that has a sturdy fighting butt.

Chum salmon weighs somewhere between the king and the silver salmon. As a result, you should go for a rod that is a 9 weight when fishing for chum.

Pink and sockeye salmon are the two smallest types of salmon. Sockeyes are slightly larger than pinks.

You should go for an 8 weight rod. For pink salmon, you can get by with a 6 weight rod.

However, if you split it down the middle and go for a 7 weight rod, you will be able to fish for both pinks and sockeyes.

WHAT IS A 3 WEIGHT FLY ROD USED FOR?

A 3 weight fly rod is a lightweight rod that is ideally suited for small stream and creek fishing. In these settings, small flies and more delicate actions are the norm.

Three weight rods are typically used for casting of fewer than 35 feet. Three weight rods also have a slow action.

Fly fishing rods are weighted between 1 and 15. They are further grouped as follows:

  • 1-3 weight
  • 4-6 weight
  • 7-8 weight
  • 9-12 weight
  • 13-15 weight

As you can see from these divisions, a three-weight rod sits at the top of the first division.

This makes it just under the functionality required for fishing in medium to large streams.

A three weight is a good choice for beginners and those who re going to be sticking to small waterways.

However, newbies will also be able to handle a 4 or 5 weight. This slightly larger weight will give them more flexibility to also fish in larger waterways.