Most Expensive Fishing Rods: Bamboo, Graphite, Carbon [2023]

Geoff Stadnyk in Fishing Rods on

We all know that fishing gear can be expensive, from a complete tackle box to owning your own boat. Hell, I’ve seen kids with enough equipment that I would hardly call what they do fishing. But when it comes down to it, you can really tell how much someone’s invested into fishing by their fishing rod and/or knowledge of such things. So what is the most expensive fishing rod? Let me break it down for you.

Best Premium Bamboo Rod

This baby is a beautiful split bamboo rod which is meant for fly fishing.

The Penn’s Creek rod is made for catching trout and is a beautiful piece for anyone looking for their first fly fishing rod or adding to the collection.

This rod features fast action and it performs very well for small stream trout fishing.

Best Premium Carbon Fiber Pole

This beast of an outrigger pole comes in two sizes, 16-foot and 20-foot (the 16 footer weighs in at 6.9 pounds and the 20 footer at around 7.4 pounds). It’s designed with hauling in enormous fish in mind miles off the shore but still will telescope down to around 8 feet (for easier storage and to ensure it can fit under bridges and the like).

It also features a “twist & lock” device which removes the need for bolts or pins to attach it to the base.

Sold in pairs, if you’re looking for a durable and high-quality deep sea fishing pole, look no further than this pole by Taco Marine.

Best Premium Graphite Rod

While graphite fly fishing rods aren’t quite as expensive or luxurious as bamboo fly fishing rods, the top ones still have their place among the best.

The Foundation Fly Rod by Sage is an excellent mix of price and quality. Handmade in the USA, these rods feature very fast action, two cork grips and a very sleek look.

Currently Unavailable

Another absolute beauty! This one will run right out the door at $2795. It’s a 3 piece Fly rod, that spans 8 feet assembled, and is made for 5 weight line. Watch the tip of this treasure as you’re walking down the trail. Careful too during transportation, especially if you make quick moves up the river and don’t break the rod down every time.

This fly fishing rod is made of bamboo and every year incorporates the newest technology in fishing. Between the hollow banks with swells in the carve for ergonomic support and the silver ferrules, this rod is incredible in every aspect.

The handmade Snake Brand guides are covered in transparent silk and dipped in varnish to top it off. This’ll cost you around $3,200, but who said that living easy is cheap?

Order Custom Made Bamboo Rods

Aficionados of the bamboo fly rod appreciate the craftsmen that make a living building these pricey masterpieces. Some of these precision crafters will never be found outside of personal connections. Quite a few make a business of it however, and can be found online. They run shops around the world. One good example of such a company is Sweetgrass Rods. Located in Twin Bridges, Montana, Sweetgrass boasts a couple different lines of custom made rods.

To know how to ship a fishing rod, read this article.

Oyster Bamboo

Credit: Oyster Bamboo Rods

In general, the most expensive fishing rods are made by Oyster Bamboo which are special hand-cut fishing rods made out of bamboo. You can order these online and have it made from scratch or order one that’s already been made.

Their most expensive fishing rod is a bamboo oyster rod which has 24 karat gold engraving on it. It starts at $5,760 and goes up in price for every engraving/customization that you get. However, if you’re looking to get something sooner (or cheaper, heaven forbid), then here’s some of the pricier fishing rods on the market right now.

Sweetgrass Rods

Credit: Sweetgrass Rods

Sweetgrass Rods makes some of the most luxurious bamboo rods in the world.

The Sweetgrass Series

Priced around $2000 for a 2 piece, or $2500 for 3 and 4 piece, Sweetgrass Rods boast performance that’s equal to or better than their appearance.

Each customer is free to choose the exact bamboo to be used for the creation of their rod. The bamboo is then hand sanded by one of 3 experts, before it goes into the coating process. Sweetgrass rods are finished with a sterling silver hook keeper crafted by a local jeweler. Your personal inscription at the base of the rod is included in the price, and get this….every rod comes with an extra matching tip.

Wow! This would be a great place to take a tour of on a rainy non fishing day, or while on vacation.

The Mantra Series

Priced around $1000 for a 2 piece, or $1200 for a 3 or 4 piece, The Mantra Series offers a much more affordable bamboo rod than their Sweetgrass Series. The bonus here is that the process up to guide placement is exactly the same. You will sacrifice the extra tip, and the choice of wood by going with the Mantra, but chances are that saving a grand might be worth the loss.

Why do Anglers Buy Expensive Bamboo Rods?

bamboo rodThe creation of bamboo Fly rods takes special craftsmanship. Every action and detail is highly scrutinized throughout the process. This being the case, bamboo rods are always expensive. Whether your choice and allowance leads you to a $900 bamboo rod or a $9000 rod, one thing is generally agreed upon among fly fishermen. That point is that BAMBOO FLY RODS ARE BETTER!

The performance of bamboo rods, though taking some getting used to, is second to none. If you’re starting with a bamboo rod there won’t be any need to acclimate. You’ll be starting with the best. If you’re moving from graphite to bamboo, it’ll be a bit different. The slow action of a bamboo rod can be witnessed as the fisherman loads to cast. The flexibility and recoil memory of bamboo is amazing! Fisherman who use bamboo claim that they no longer feel the need to push the rod as they cast. Bamboo is said to also reduce the need to false cast. Bamboo rods explode with energy when they unload (are cast), which allows greater casting distance.

Of course there are other reasons people buy bamboo rods, and they tend to be those on the higher end of the market. “Fine Bamboo Oyster Rods” are a prime example of top shelf sought after bamboo rods.

Displayed in Lodges, personal dwellings, fly shops, and guide headquarters, these rods can really run up the credit card. They are never used in the field (under any but the most impractical of circumstances), and hold intrinsic value on top of their large dollar sign.

Bamboo rods are seen by many fly fishermen as sign of deep respect for the art of fly angling. My own personal experience with fly fishing would tell you, “a deep respect for the art of tricking trout (or any fish) by fly rod and reel is worth developing”.

The Most Expensive Fishing Rods Are Worth It

bamboo-fly-rods-2We’ve seen the reasons why these rods sell, but is buying one of the most expensive fishing rods really worth it? When it comes to bamboo Fly rods the answer is almost always yes.

Now don’t get me wrong. Graphite Fly rods can be quite effective, and much more affordably priced. There’s no reason to not fish the other types of Fly rods. Eventually though, you’ll want to see the difference.

If you are as impressed as most anglers have been that made the switch to bamboo – If you’re a serious Fly fisherman that plans on spending a lot of your future casting into a river – That bamboo rod is going to be worth it….and spending a couple thousand on a lifetime of activity isn’t that much.

We also have an article here about collapsible fishing rods that you might be interested in.

Geoff Stadnyk

Geoff started fishing as a child in the gorgeous lakes of Mammoth, while on family vacations. His fishing experience includes the use of fly rod and reel. Guided trips along the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana, the Frying Pan and Animus in Colorado, and the Deschutes river in Oregon have all paid off and helped make Geoff the angler and writer that he is today.

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