You’re reading a Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review, so we wonder, are you a seasoned angler or a beginner? Or are you looking to buy the right fly rod as a gift?
It doesn’t matter because whatever your answers, you’ve come to the right place. There’s more to fly fishing than most people know and picking the right rod is almost the first thing to do.
But there’s something you must do before you pick the rod. And you can only find that out by reading a Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review.
Who Is Fenwick?
As the story goes, when men were returning from the “big war” in the late 40s, they only had one thing on their minds — “to get back to the sport of fishing.” Hey, I didn’t write the story, I’m just telling you how it goes.
Then in 1952 in Kent, Washington, 5 Seattle businessmen who happened to be avid fly fishermen, formed a fishing rod company employing new fiberglass technology to make blanks for fly rods.
They started in a friend’s unused double garage located near Lake Fenwick, thus the name. Then in 1960, the Clock family purchased the company, just as competitive bass fishing was becoming a specialized tournament sport.
In 1967 Phil Clock moved the Fenwick operations to Westminister and in 1968 Fenwick absorbed the Grissly blank operation, and Don Green rejoined the company. Then in 1973, Fenwick was the first to introduce an all-graphite fishing rod, now the world-famous HMG (High Modulus Graphite) which revolutionized rods and how anglers fished.
Today Fenwick has a complete line of fishing rods and reels for various types of fishing, from ice fishing to fly fishing and from freshwater to saltwater. If you want to hook a fish, Fenwick has the rod and reel.
How to Choose the Best Fly Rod
Before purchasing a fly rod, you need to know what types of fish you want to catch. In fly fishing, the kind of rod is dependant on the fish. For example, a fly rod for catching trout in a freshwater stream will be different than a rod for lake bass or saltwater tarpon fishing.
Spinning and casting fishing rods use a heavy lure or weight to pull a line to the target. Whereas, a fly rod does the opposite. It’s a heavy line that pulls a lightweight lure to the target.
So unless you’re prepared to spend a fortune buying a warehouse full of rods and reels, think about the fish you want to catch. But you’re not ready to purchase a rod yet — there’s still more to consider.
Casting, control, and striking
There are three purposes of a fly rod, casting, line control, and striking and landing the fish.
Like a spin rod, a fly rod allows the cast of the fly line with power and accuracy. Combine an excellent rod with good casting skills, and the fly and fly line will present properly, and not spook the fish.
Once the fly is floating on the water, you have to control the line. When you’ve mastered the control over the line in the water, that not-spooked fish will be enticed to bite on the hook.
Now you’ll use that rod to set and hook, fight, and land that fish. That’s why fly rods need to be flexible enough to bend and strong enough not to break or snap.
Fast, medium, or slow
To many, the most confusing thing about fly fishing is the fly rod action. The action refers to how flexible the rod is on the backcast.
Fly Fishers International defines backcast as, “The casting of a line in a direction opposite to the direction the fly is intended to go.” So, the most important part of the cast in fly fishing is backward because that sets up the momentum forward, showing the fly to your potential catch.
There are essentially three types of fly rods: fast, medium, and slow.
A fast-action rod does what the name implies. The end of the backcast has the tip of the rod bent while the rest of the rod remains straight. The slight bend allows for power in the cast and a longer cast.
It’s the best choice when for fly fishing on windy days. Because of its power, there is less work to cast the same distance compared to a more flexible rod. But these rods are difficult for beginners, and they aren’t suitable for short casts done in spring creeks.
A medium action rod is the most versatile of the rods available, and they are easier for beginners. On the backcast, the medium-action rod will bend about halfway down the rod. If an angler only owns one fly rod, this is the rod to have.
A slow-action rod is very flexible and the easiest for beginners to learn fly fishing. On the backcast, the slow-action rod will arch into a shallow 90-degree angle.
The ideal use for a slow-action rod is to fish small streams and catch small fish. Fishing for small fish with a slow-action rod is more fun for the angler.
Blank, grip, and seat
The blank (the actual pole), grip, and reel seat make up the fly rod.
They add components to the shaft of the blank, and they can vary in length and weight depending on the use.
The grip is where you hold the rod, or as some say where the fisherman and rod connect. And yes, there are different grips for different fishing situations.
The reel seat is a threaded metal cylinder where you connect the reel to the rod.
Line weight and rod length
Unlike those who think fly rod action is the most confusing, I’m in the camp of line weight being the most mind-boggling. Partly because it’s the weight of the fly line that casts the fly.
In an attempt to adopt a scale to help anglers quickly determine fly line weight, manufacturers developed a scale that runs from 1 to 14. The smaller the number, the lighter the fly line.
And to muddy the waters even more (no pun intended), Fly Fishers International says that the first 30 feet of the line is one weight and that the weight changes as you go down the line.
But ok, if you don’t care how it all works and you just want to fish, here’s what you need to know. It’s crucial to match the fly rod to the fly line and the size of the flies you use. And here’s an article with a chart to help you choose.
For this Fenwick AETOS fly rod review, we’re reviewing a nine-foot rod with a 5-weight fly line, an all-around good combination.
Speaking of rod lengths, figuring this one out is easy. Unless you’re going fishing for salmon in Alaska, you’re going to want a rod somewhere between 7 feet and 10 feet.
And nine-foot rod is an excellent place to start. It will work for fishing in streams, rivers, Euro-nymphing, adult tarpon from a boat, bass in a lake, and even more.
- Fast-action blank for ideal performance and recovery
- Artfully crafted with a lightweight feel
- 4-section deep blue fly fishing rod with carbon flake accents
- AAA-grade cork handle for a firm yet comfortable grip
- Fenwick cloth covered rod tube and bag included
Fenwick says their nine-foot AETOS Fly Rod (model A905-4) features fast-recovering, high-performance modern tapers, artfully crafted with a lightweight feel. And this rod uses a 5-weight fly line.
This nine-foot, fast action rod comes in four pieces and has an AAA-grade cork handle for a firm, comfortable grip. Plus, this rod is available in freshwater, saltwater, switch, and Spey models.
This 4 section, 5-weight, graphite rod comes in deep blue and weighs 3.6 ounces. And it has an aluminum anodized double uplock reel seat insert, large-diameter gunsmoke stripper guides, and double foot gunsmoke snake guides. It also has a hook keeper.
Plus it comes with a Fenwick cloth covered rod tube and bag and has a limited lifetime warranty.
Fenwick’s AETOS series rods come in several sizes ranging from 6 feet up to 15 feet. And in line weights from 3 to 10 or 11.
What anglers liked:
And what they didn’t:
Our Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod Review Process
Our Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review is an independent analysis of the different fly rods available for today’s anglers.
To narrow our choices for this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review, we researched and reviewed the most popular fly rods. Then we compared the features along with consumer comments and reports.
The goal of this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review is to give you sufficient factual, unbiased information. With this, you can make a confident, informed, and easier decision when you purchase your next fly rod.
The 3 Competitors of Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod
Our Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review looks at the following three competitors.
- Fresh water, moderate action rod
- Dark clay brown blank with matching Rosewood reel seat insert
- Custom Machined reel seat components, Titanium oxide stripping guides
- Alignment dots for easy rod setup, divided brown Ballistic nylon rod tube
- Lifetime Warranty
The first competitor in this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review is the 590 Classic Trout by Redington.
Redington says their 590 Classic Trout (model 590-4) is the bread and butter of trout rods and the most versatile rod you can own. And this rod uses a 5-weight fly line.
This nine-foot freshwater, moderate action rod comes in four pieces but is also available in Redington’s backpacking optimized six-piece configuration.
The dark clay-brown, lightweight, high-modular graphite rod weighs 2.9 ounces, has a rosewood reel seat insert with custom machined seat components, and it has titanium oxide stripping guides.
This rod also has alignment dots for easy rod setup, comes with a divided brown ballistic nylon rod tube, and has a lifetime warranty.
Also, Remington says the medium-fast action of this rod presents dry flies accurately and delicately but has enough guts to handle nymphs, buggers, and indicators when conditions call for them. And this rod works equally well in creeks, big river, and boat fishing.
This rod also comes in several sizes ranging from 7-feet 6-inches up to 9-feet. And in line weights from two to five.
What anglers liked:
And what they didn’t:
- A quality fly rod at an affordable price
- 3¼ oz. 4-piece
- Helios technology profiles and tapers
- Lightweight power with exceptional line control
- Backed by our 25-year guarantee
The next competitor we look at in this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review is the Orvis Clearwater 5-Weight Fly Rod.
Orvis says their 9-foot Clearwater 5-Weight Fly Rod (model 905-4) is a standard for western rivers and bigger eastern water. This rod uses a 5-weight fly line and is the perfect rod for sunny or windy days.
The 905-4 is very versatile, an ideal choice for those who want a single rod to fish in different ways. It goes from chucking streamers and heavy double nymph rigs, to casting small dry flies on light tippets.
This affordable nine-foot freshwater, moderate action rod comes in four pieces and with a gray rod tube. It also comes with a 25-year warranty.
The newly redesigned black-chrome, lightweight, premium graphite rod weighs 3.25 ounces, has a full black nickel aluminum reel seat, and has chrome double foot snake and large diameter stripping guides with a ceramic insert.
This rod also comes in lengths of 9 and 10 feet, with line weights from 3 to 9.
What anglers liked:
And what they didn’t:
- Smooth and powerful, medium fast rods
- Black matte finished blanks, gold logos for style
- Anodized reel seats with aluminum inserts
- Premium grade cork with burled accents
- Comes with a TFO-logo red rod sock for optional customization
And the last competitor in this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review is TFO’s Pro II.
Temple Fork Outfitters (TFO) says their Pro II (model TF 05 90 4 P2) with its new components and cosmetic upgrades is smooth casting and powerful, yet forgiving.
This nine-foot, medium-fast rod comes in four pieces with color-coded alignment dots, a premium grade cork with burled accent handle, and a TFO-logo red rod sock.
The black matte, lightweight, IM8 graphite rod weighs 3.8 ounces, has a machined anodized aluminum reel seat insert with double lock rings, and it has ceramic stripping and chrome snake guides.
This rod also comes in several sizes ranging from 7-feet 6-inches up to 10-feet. And in line weights from two to six. Plus it has a lifetime warranty.
What anglers liked:
And what they didn’t:
Now You’re Ready to Cast
In this Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review, we let you know that Fenwick has been making fly rods for over 67 years. And that they are known worldwide as innovators in the fly fishing world. Their quality rods are affordable and recommended for beginners and experienced anglers.
Plus we gave you a lot of fly-fishing information and even told you what you need to do before you purchase the rod. We’ve given you almost everything you need to know so you can put on those waders and tempt the trout.
Let us know in the comments below what new information you learned from our Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod review, and where you like to cast your line.