Mystic Fly Rod Guide: How to Choose Your Next Rod
It has been a while since we offered a comprehensive look at our lineup of Mystic fly rods. When selecting a new rod, where should you begin? Whether you’re looking for a great all-purpose fly rod or a specific specialty rod, hopefully this overview will help you decide.
From the light line Au Sable series to the big game power of our Tremor Saltwater rods, our U.S. design team has developed each Mystic fly rod with a performance goal and a purpose.
In this guide to Mystic fly rods, we will take a look at the single-hand options. We will save the two-handed options for a separate article.
Here’s a quick look at our Mystic line of rods and our recommendations for each one:
We’d be remiss if we didn’t begin with our flagship fly rods, the Mystic M-Series. These are the rods that in large part built Mystic’s reputation for designing and building high-performing fly rods that compete with the best in the industry – only at a much better price.
The first thing most anglers notice about the M-Series is it’s unique 10’ 3” length. The extra length is balanced with a graphite blank that loads well into the mid section of the rod, providing anglers with a balance of discernible finesse and definitive power.
When casting the M-Series, you’ll be able to feel the rod load, providing excellent touch and the ability to cast even with little line out. That combination of touch and long length make this a great rod for roll casting. These benefits also make the M-Series popular among stillwater anglers and nymphing fanatics. The extra reach is ideal for mending, fishing with indicators and battling windy lakes.
At a price of $499 and available from 10’ 3” 3-weight up to 8-weight, the M-Series easily competes with fly rods at those premium $800-$900 price points.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE M-SERIES:
Big rivers, bushy dry flies and dry-dropper combos, lakes, nymphing, Czech or Euro nymphing, and swinging flies are all situations where we love to recommend the Mystic M-Series.
The Mystic JXP is a fast-action fly rod with a supple tip. Our design team developed this rod to give anglers plenty of power through the length of the rod and the ability to sustain high line speeds, while the softer tip will protect light tippets, even under the strain of big, hard-fighting fish.
Like the M-Series, the JXP is built from top to bottom with premium components, including titanium hardware, super grade cork and aircraft aluminum reel seats. The JXP rods are true to line size and built to handle fresh or saltwater.
Priced at $449, we’d put the JXP up against any other fast-action, top-tier fly rods on the market that sell for much higher costs. Try one, and you’ll be a believer. The JXP is available in a 9-foot 4-weight through 6-weight.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE JXP
From trout to bass, the JXP excels in windy conditions, long casts, tricky tailwaters and other exacting conditions that require a high-performing, fast-action fly rod. Dries, nymphs, streamers or poppers, this a versatile fly rod that can handle whatever the day dishes out.
Mystic Reaper X
Next, we move on to the Mystic Reaper X, simply because it’s one of our most popular rods.
We’ll start right off by saying that the Reaper X starts at $249 and we’d compare it to fly rods way more than double it’s price, all day long. The combination of performance and value packed into this fly rod is unmatched.
If you like the sound of the JXP but you’re hesitant to drop $449 on a fly rod, the Reaper X might just be your ticket to ride. The Reaper X is not as fast as the JXP. In fact, we’d call this a medium-fast action rod.
The Mystic Reaper X gives anglers a deft touch in delicate fishing situations yet it holds enough power through the butt section to make zippy casts, even in windy conditions. “Zippy” is actually a great word to describe this rod. Far from being stiff, it’s quick, versatile and a ton of fun to cast.
The Reaper X is available in a wide range of sizes, from the nimble little 7-foot 3-weight all the way up through a 9-foot 10-weight. We also offer extra length in the 10-foot 7-weight and 8-weight.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE REAPER X
From high country cutthroat to tarpon, you could build an entire quiver under the flag of the Reaper X.
Mystic Au Sable
Our design team developed the Mystic Au Sable series for delicate casts, light line situations and anglers who dream of big trout sipping dry flies on spring creeks.
The Au Sable rods were refined and tested on Michigan’s Au Sable and Manistee Rivers, where technical dry fly fishing is the name of the game. Whether you’re casting size 20 blue-winged olives or oversized salmonfly patterns, these rods deliver with incredible accuracy and finesse.
The laser-like accuracy of these rods is built on our custom tapered graphite blanks and proprietary resin system with all-premium components. The 8’ 3” length of these rods further adds to that accuracy. The Au Sable rods give anglers outstanding handling in tight quarters along brushy streams and wooded banks.
The Au Sable rods are priced at $499 and available from an 8’ 3” 4-weight through 6-weight. Like all Mystic rods, we dare you to compare this rod to comparable finesse rods far above this price point.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE AU SABLE
If you’re a dry fly addict, pick up an Au Sable, period, end of story. Whether you’re delivering a Parachute Adams to rising brook trout or hoppers to big browns hugging the cutbank, the Au Sable is the go-to fly rod.
Mystic Tremor Saltwater
The Mystic Tremor Saltwater series is…well, our saltwater series. Surprise. While many of our rods are great in the salt (M-Series, JXP, Reaper X…) the Tremor Series is specifically designed for taking on trade winds and throwing big flies to big fish across the flats, mangroves and tidal marshes.
Starting with the graphite blanks and each individual component, the Tremor series was painstakingly designed from the ground up and taken through rigorous rounds of testing to produce one of the industry’s best saltwater fly rods.
And by now you probably know what’s coming – we dare you to compare it to the premium saltwater rods selling at those $800-900 price points. Priced at $529, we’ll put the Tremor up against any of those top-tier fly rods.
The Tremor brings power to challenging saltwater situations, but the mid-flex action offers enough touch to make this rod comfortable to cast all day long. What’s more, the compound taper throughout the graphite blank adds material to the high stress points, making this rod incredibly tough.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE TREMOR SALTWATER
This rod is built to tackle long days on the water for species like bonefish, tarpon, permit and redfish. Yet beyond that pigeonhole, we know plenty of anglers who swear by the Tremor for pike, musky, bass and other freshwater game fish.
Last but certainly not least, we are incredibly proud of the Mystic Inception. We tout the Inception as our beginner to intermediate level fly rod, but it doesn’t end there.
When we set out to design the Inception, we wanted to create a high-performing, versatile fly rod with quality components that was built to last – and do it at an attractive price for new anglers.
In line with the rest of our philosophy here at Mystic, we believe the Inception easily stands up with fly rods that cost more than twice as much. Whether it’s your first fly rod, or you’re adding a backup rod to your arsenal, the Inception will be a rod you enjoy fishing for a very long time.
The Inception is priced starting at $109. It's available in an 8’ 6” 4-weight, 9-foot 5-weight and a 9-foot 8-weight. In addition to the rod alone, we offer the Inception Combo. This includes the fly rod, reel, fly line and backing with a durable Cordura rod case. The combo starts at just $179, an ideal way to get a new angler up and running.
WHEN TO CHOOSE THE INCEPTION
If you’re a new or intermediate angler looking for a quality fly rod at an affordable price, we designed the Inception specifically for you. If you’re a guide or if you want a rod that you can lend to a friend, the Inception makes a great backup stick.