Best Small Stream Fly Rod

Best small stream trout fly fishing rod

Epic 476 takes out Best Small Stream Fly Rod Award

This week we were delighted to hear that an Epic Fiberglass fly rod won “Best Small Stream Fly Rod” - against all comers - Best Fly Rods of 2022, Field and Stream Magazine, USA 
The Epic 590G also received honourable mention in “Best of the Rest”
The only ‘con’ cited was the reel seat - Probably the most expensive reel seat on any rod submitted! - And the same reel seat used on the 476

Why it Made the Cut

An absolute pocket rocket, the Epic Reference 476 Fastglass fly rod is a dream to fish on small, technical trout streams. The rod lands flies accurately and delicately—and it has an impressive backbone for a stick this light.

Key Features and Specs

  • Length: 7 ½ feet
  • Line Weight: 4
  • Action: Medium
  • Pieces: 4
  • Warranty: Lifetime


  • Light, but strong
  • Laser-like accuracy
  • Easy on the eyes


  • Not cheap for a specialty rod

Test Panel Notes

  • “What a perfect special-purpose, small-stream rod. Casts like dream, and it looks so cool. I want one.” —D.H.
  • “I’m jealous that I don’t own this rod. It is perfect for small streams and creeks. Plus, it’s the nicest looking rod in the test” —R.C.

You’re looking at my new favorite fly-fishing rod. After years of using a 9-foot, fast-action rod on my home waters—a tight spring creek in New York—I finally invested in a stick better suited to the river. this spring After a lengthy search, I chose the Epic Reference 476 Fastglass. 

If you’re used to fast-action rods (like I was), this rod takes some getting used to—but from there, it’s a pleasure to cast. I never need to make casts farther than 30 feet on my river, but during our distance drills at the test, I fired a couple that measured 60 feet.

For small-stream trout, the 476 Fastglass is as versatile as you need it to be. It’s capable of making accurate and subtle presentations with small dries, double-nymph rigs beneath an indicator, and small streamers. And this rod really comes to life when you set the hook into a fish. Fighting trout with this stick is So. Much. Fun. I’ve landed dozens of smaller 8- to 10-inch rainbows and browns with it—as well as a couple that pushed 16 inches. The power this light rod displays in tussles with bigger fish is truly impressive. 

As for aesthetics, this rod was one of the overall stunners of the test. The translucent amber blank really pops, and the FLOR-grade cork feels as great as it looks. But eye candy doesn’t end there: When this rod first arrived at my house, I sent a photo of it to my friend, and he responded, “The rod tube even looks sick.”

The Reference 476 Fastglass we used at the test was my personal rod, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy some smug delight when all of the other testers gushed over it. When it came down to awarding the Best Small Stream Fly Rod, there was no doubt this was the winner. —C.K.

Best trout fly rod for fly fishing

Best trout fly rod

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