The best way to choose a fishing rod is to consider it as important as buying a new pair of shoes. This may sound challenging for some of you, but you need to consider a few factors for selecting the right fishing rod.
The first thing experts will tell you about fishing well is finding the right fishing equipment. Just as how you would lose your balance and direction with a tight pair of shoes on the field, you’d lose your power and focus on fishing with an inaccurate fishing rod.
The right fishing rod, bought after careful consideration, helps you land a fish without any compromises. It even gives you a better edge and chance at a hooked bass, which is the true mark of a talented fisherperson. Most people don’t know much about the science behind a fishing rod. This includes the type, power, lure choice, rod action, etc.
However, it is possible to find the best fishing rod which allows greater performance with the help of this handy guide. The only way to do this is with the help of science, right? So, let’s begin.
- 1. Types Of Fishing Rods
- 2. Choosing The Ideal Length
- 3. What Is It Made Of?
- Decide the Bait You Will Use
- Consider Where You Will Fish
- What Fish Do You Want to Catch?
- Other Materials to Consider
- 4. Understanding Fishing Rod Action
- 5. Selecting The Right Fishing Rod Handle
- 6. Considering Fishing Rod Power
- 7. Don’t Forget The Reel Seats
- 8. Finding The Perfect Fishing Rod Guide
- 9. Is It Responsive Enough?
- 10. Looking For Taper
- Taking Care Of Your Fishing Rod
1. Types Of Fishing Rods
You have plenty of options to choose from, but not without proper knowledge of the basics of each type. Even though you have many choices of fishing rods and reels, there are 4 common types to be familiar with. These include spinning, spin-casting, bait-casting, and fly-casting. (1)
The best thing about spinning rods is that they’re simple and easy to handle. They are lightweight, more portable, and durable to use. Another impressive benefit is that they allow longer casts, which is the affordable option right now.
Operating a spinning fishing rod is quite clear. To cast it, all you have to do open the wire, which is the bail, holding. The bail is the one that wraps around the line, around the spool. Keep it in place with your index finger and release as you move the rod. Do this a couple of times and you’re a pro!
Casting a spinning reel, in the best way, takes at least 6-7 tries. You can even experiment with 12-pound tests to master a spinning fishing rod.
The spin-casting is very similar to a spinning rod. It has a stationary spool. The difference in spin-casting is that the spool is enclosed, so you can’t view the spin-casting reel. You can use your thumb to cast the reel, all thanks to its thumb-button that’s located at the back of the rod.
This is the next easiest fishing rod after the spinning reel.
In bait-casting, the spool is located cross-ways to the fishing rod. Unlike the spinning or spin-casting fishing rod, this one isn’t parallel to the fishing rod. Another common name for this kind of ergonomics is “revolving-spool reels.”
Understanding bait-casting is more complex than the former picks. It requires lots of effort, time, and skill. More importantly, a bait-casting fishing rod is made up of accurate line control. So it requires skill of the similar kind.
If you want to cast smaller flies, using a fly-casting fishing rod is ideal. You won’t be able to cast lighter flies with artificial rods because it just doesn’t suit that kind of action. Fly casters, on the other hand, allow a great amount of flexibility to cast longer distances.
You will notice that the rod’s line provides the ideal weight and direction to match with even the smallest flies.
Fly-casting rods are thick and more visually noticeable than other types. This is because they’re made up of either monofilament or other durable material to make up for its stellar casting performance.
2. Choosing The Ideal Length
Anglers understand why the fishing rod length is an important factor to consider. The proper rod length determines another important factor, which is the fishing rod action. In fact, these two factors go hand-in-hand. (2)
The first thing a salesperson will ask you when you’re buying a fishing rod is your ideal rod length. What are you most comfortable using? And which is the best fishing rod length based on your skill level?
You will find fishing rods between the range of 4 feet to 14 feet. But for most anglers, the best fishing rod length is somewhere between 6 and 12 feet. For a beginner, using a fishing rod that’s 8 or 9 feet long is suitable. That’s enough to cover a long casting distance with proper line control.
This also depends on the beginner’s height and catch. For heavier and larger catches, you will need a shorter fishing rod made up of stronger materials. A long and thin fishing rod will ruin your catch and slow you down.
The next important thing about the fishing rod length is considering the surround area. The fishing rod length differs from wider spaces to bushier regions and open waters. If you’re planning on kayaking along greater distances, you need something the stretches and bends less often. This means a shorter rod would work for most anglers.
All you need to know about choosing between short and long fishing rods is this: a shorter fishing rod will be able to cover shorter distances with heavier catches and a longer fishing road will be able to cover longer distances with lighter and smaller catches.
Most rod types in all materials will offer varying lengths of a certain model. Different length rods offer advantages and disadvantages depending on your experience, bait, and where and what you are fishing. To determine your rod length, ask yourself one last time about the angler you want to become.
- Determine Your Skill Level
In general, rod lengths range from 6 to 12 feet. Shorter rods are stronger and more accurate, while longer rods provide the best casting distances. While pro recommend having a variety of lengths for different fishing situations, when choosing one, your current skill level may help you decide.A shorter rod is easier to control, and so better for a beginner to develop new techniques. Their size makes them less cumbersome to hold and manipulate, resulting in less physical stress after a long day of fishing. Spinning rods, already recommended for beginners, tend to run 5 to 8.5 feet long.
- Decide the Bait You Will Use
Fishing rod parts vary in size depending on the line and lures you intend to use. Longer rods are intended to use with larger lures for bigger fish. Shorter rods, on the other hand handle better with a lighter action for using lighter lures and baits. The reel also varies in size to accommodate the corresponding line strength needed to hold both lure and fish. Research your intended lures to find out which size rod is best for you. Shorter rods less than 6 feet are specialized for easier jigging with a softer action and stronger pulling power to redirect darting fish. Use longer rods with dropshot rigs, or to better execute the float and fly technique and cover more water with topbait lures. When using surface poppers, glide baits and soft plastics for bluefin tuna, Okuma makes spinning rods specifically designed for this technique in the range of 7 feet with 4 or 6 inches.
- Consider Where You Will Fish
Depending on the fishing environment, different lengths may be more appropriate. In wooded areas, a shorter rod will give you more control against snags and tangles. When fishing off boating docks, around shoreline brush or in any other tight spaces, a shorter rod is a wise decision. With wide open spaces, a longer rod will give you the best casting distance. When looking for a good length for casting, Dick’s pro advice is an 8 to 9 foot rod.
The most popular range for saltwater fishing rods is about 6 to 7 feet. This length, regardless of weight or style, offers the best balance of strength, control and castability, making it a good option for the large range in ocean fish sizes. Some specialized saltwater rods, however, can extend much longer.The specialized technique “surfcasting,” or fishing from the shore, has specific equipment best suited for this type of angling. These rods must be powerful enough to send very heavy lures out beyond the ocean break. Generally used with spinning or bait-casting rods, these oversized rods with extended handles can run up to fourteen feet in order to achieve such distance with so much weight.
- Choose the Fish You Want to Catch
Rods longer than 7 or 8 feet are usually suited for deepwater fish and open fishing zones. Target fish like calico bass, yellowtail, white seabass, big bull redfish and snook with a quality 8 foot rod. If you are smallmouth fishing in the Great Lakes, a longer rod may also be a better option.In general, longer rods offer more distance while shorter rods offer more fight. When angling for strong, aggressive fish, a shorter rod will hold up in a battle. Use a shorter rod for fish like bass, which can be caught on shorter casts. Still, with the power of modern two-speed reels that enhance leverage and control, pro Steve Carson uses rods up to 10 feet when out for fish like big tuna, yellowtail, wahoo or 50-pound dorado.
While it is important to understand rod length before you go, you can make this final decision in the store itself. Take these considerations based on your skill level, intended bait, fishing sites and targets, and go forward with the knowledge to have a researched discussion about your appropriate rod length. With the guidance of an expert employee and a rod in your hand, you will be able to determine the best length rod for your outing.
3. What Is It Made Of?
There are 3 main fishing rod materials to look forward to: fiberglass, graphite, and bamboo. The responsiveness, taper, and power of a fishing rod can be determined by its build.
Fiberglass has been used for ages to produce fishing rods. It is popular for its toughness, adaptability, and flexibility. Beginners can make the best use of a fiberglass fishing rod. Even better than graphite or bamboo or the combination of both materials.
It requires little upkeep, is lightweight, and comfortable to cast. In spite of its lightness and soft action, fiberglass has a solid form and strength to it. Which makes fishing for larger catches relatively easy and sturdy. Fiberglass has a more durable and solid application in the fishing industry. It produces excellent casting actions, strength, and taper.
Graphite, on the other hand, was introduced years after fiberglass. But it still stands as one of the toughest and most aggressive materials for fishing rods. Graphite’s best quality is how temperature-adaptable it is. This means it can withstand higher temperatures without compromising on stiffness and strength.
The fibers that make up graphite are more sensitive, but not without tensile strength. That’s precisely why buying a graphite fishing rod is more expensive than fiberglass.
Bamboo fishing rods are usually flying rods. They come with their own flexibility and strength. Perfect for catching smaller and lighter flies. Compared to fiberglass and graphite, bamboo rods are best handled by professional anglers. They feature a fluid back-cast with its own personalized dampening effect.
Pros tend to opt for a graphite rod in general because of the range in techniques to which this rigid, lightweight material lends itself. Graphite rods can be 40 percent lighter than fiberglass rods. New anglers, however, may not be able to handle a graphite rod’s fast action and extra sensitivity.
More durable and less likely to suffer damages, a fiberglass rod may be better for a novice. A fiberglass rod’s slow action, or speed with which it returns from flexed to straight, means a more flexible rod. Even without the control and handling of pro, a fiberglass rod can better withstand most situations in the hands of a beginner.
A beginner should also consider cost when choosing a new rod. If you only intend to fish occasionally and always in similar locations, an expensive rod may not be wise. In addition to being durable, fiberglass is the least expensive rod material. While graphite is more expensive, it is not generally the costliest rod material.
A modern bamboo rod can run you a few thousand dollars. The craft of bamboo rods has become an art, taking up to a year to construct. Their weight gives them a naturally slow action, and only seasoned anglers have the skill level to appreciate the bamboo rod’s advantages.
As an intermediary option, a composite rod combines fiberglass and graphite or other materials like boron. A composite rod with boron will provide increased strength and durability in a lighter rod. While costing more than fiberglass rods, a composite is less expensive than graphite. With rod, reel and line, you may pay around $100 for a quality composite fishing rod.
In addition, composite rods offer more techniques than fiberglass. Composite rods provide the lightweight sensitivity of graphite with the durability of fiberglass. For an angler looking to develop new skills, a composite rod can help you master more diverse situations.
Decide the Bait You Will Use
In selecting a new rod, the type of bait you use plays a part in determining the best material. The main decision you will have to make is between live bait and lures. Still, some lures work better with one material over another. Make sure you know which rod material and rod holder best serves the bait you want to use.
Live bait is generally the most reliable method of fishing. No matter how much a lure attempts to imitate live bait, it will never be as successful as the actual prey of the fish you intend to catch. Earthworms, minnows, crickets or other insects used as natural baits more easily fool a fish into biting.
Most rod materials are suitable for live bait, but a graphite rod’s faster action reacts more quickly than fiberglass. Quality graphite rods return from flexed to stiff almost instantly. This sensitivity will allow you to distinguish subtle surface changes or snags from a fish bite, and react to a nibbling fish before he eats the bait.
A graphite rod will give you some advantages with lures, as well. The stiffness of graphite gives you enough rod control to mimic the movements of live bait with a lure. According to pro angler Edwin Evers, the graphite rod’s sensitivity works best with jigs, carolina rigs, spinner baits, and single hook lines.
The flexibility of fiberglass also has its advantages with certain lures. Evers suggeststreble hooks for fiberglass, which increase the chance of grabbing onto a fish. With graphite, a strong tug with these three-pronged hooks may cut through the fish, yet fiberglass’ flexibility eases the hooks pull on the skin. Bass West Magazine’s Mark Lassagne recommends fiberglass rods with top water lures such as buzzbaits, spinnerbaits or crankbaits.
Most modern bamboo fishing rods are for fly fishing. Their long, smooth casting and accuracy makes them perfect for this fishing technique at the hands of a pro. Consider the higher cost, a weight that is harder to control, and the specialized technique that bamboo rods best serve to decide if this rod material is right for you.
Consider Where You Will Fish
Certain physical conditions and locations are better suited for a certain type of rod, so determine where you will most likely fish to see how this affects the rod material best for you.
In areas of deep water with heavy cover, a graphite rod will be more successful. According to fishing pro Lassagne, in these fishing conditions, a graphite rod provides the best sensitivity and weight. Graphite’s heavy power, which allows for thicker line and heavier lures, can hold up against snags and breaks on long casts or thick undergrowth.
Fiberglass rods, however, are also suited for fishing sites with rough surfaces. Fiberglass is durable enough to handle obstructions on which the hook might snag. Especially for a beginner who lacks a pro’s control, the graphite’s rigidity may cause the rod to snap in a bad hook-up. A fiberglass rod, on the other hand, will undoubtedly withstand such a beating.
Surfcasting, an angling technique done from the shore, requires a strong, powerful, fast-action graphite rod. You can check the action of the rod on the butt end of it. Action ranges from slow to fast and faster rods produce the long casts needed to pass the breaking waves in surfcasting. With fiberglass rods generally ranging from slow to medium, graphite is the best option for this fishing technique.
While all fishing rod materials resist corrosion from saltwater, fiberglass has some additional advantages in ocean fishing. Fiberglass rods are thicker, heavier and tougher, which can fight the range of fish sizes found in the ocean. If you are looking for a primarily saltwater rod, fiberglass may be a more resistant option.
What Fish Do You Want to Catch?
While considering location, look at what kind of fish you should expect to find in those waters. Knowing the fish you are trying to lure will increase your chances of a successful outing. Choose the type of fish you want your rod to catch before you shop, and this will help you decide the rod material.
Graphite is the most powerful rod material, best for winning a fight against larger fish. Its rigid structure supports the weight of a heavier lure intended for a stronger fish. When bucktailing fluke or diamond jigging bass, Costal Angler Magazine recommends graphite.
These weighted, single-hook lures require graphite’s strength and sensitivity to successfully manipulate and snare a fish.
At the same time, fiberglass rods are durable enough to withstand the fight of aggressive fish. Particularly for new anglers, fish such as muskie, walleye or pike, tuna or yellowtail would have a harder time escaping from a heavy, durable fiberglass rod. Graphite’s stiffness can be brittle in experienced hands, and will more easily break in a fight against these fish. Choose a fiberglass rod for soft-mouthed fish, like weakfish, as well, whose flesh might tear with a more rigid rod.
Other Materials to Consider
Of course, the rod is not the only component of a complete fishing rod. The various components of your complete rod will include many other materials. The most significant material details you will need to consider are the grip and guide material.
Deciding between cork, foam or wood for the grip, or handle, material of a fishing rod is mostly based on comfort. Cork is a comfortable, non-absorbent grip option. Foam provides light-weight comfort with durability. Some anglers prefer the comfort of a wooden grip as well as its more natural aesthetic. Feeling the rod in your own hands will be the best way to know your grip material preference.
There are a few more aspects to consider when choosing the best guides for your rod. Lighter weight guide materials will improve the overall rod sensitivity. The best quality guides will also better dissipate heat through the line, preventing friction and extending your rod’s casting distance.
While there is usually a minimum of five or six guides on a rod, more guides generally indicates a higher quality. With more guides, it is easier to send out a smoother, more accurate cast. More guides also make for a more efficient use of power, evenly distributing the weight of a fighting fish or a long cast throughout the length of the rod.
The metal outer frame of a guide is lined with an inner ring, usually metal, ceramic or plastic, through which the line must run smoothly without touching the rod. Ceramic is a lightweight guide material that provides a more sensitive touch and a farther cast. The best quality guide ceramic is silicon carbide, a highly smooth material that efficiently reduces friction. Softer and more subject to damage, which means damage to your line, plastic inner rings provide the worst quality.
The most common guide material on a fishing rod is a stainless steel guide frame with an aluminum oxide ceramic inner ring. Saltwater anglers may want to consider spending more on titanium frames, which will resist corrosion. Stainless-steel, however, is more flexible and therefore durable to withstand a beating at the hands of a novice.
Determining the rod material will have the biggest affect on the cost of your new rod and so you should be sure about the investment you make. By now, you should have a clear idea of the materials you will choose. The next element you will need to consider is the reel type. The following section will guide you to determining the reel type that is best for you.
According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are four basic types of reel from which to choose for your new rod: the spinning reel, spin-casting reel, bait-casting reel and fly casting reel. The different reels vary in their position, alignment, and enclosure on the rod. The kind of fisherman you hope to become will determine which type of reel you should choose.
Knowing your reel type will also define your rod type. Most parts of a fishing rod are type-specific and reel and rod equipment types are intended to work together. Consider your current skill level, the bait you intend to use and where and what you hope to fish in order to decide on your reel type.
- Determine Your Skill Level:
All reels have their benefits and challenges. Some reels require more control and experience to fully appreciate their advantages. Others are more basic, making them easier for beginners. Consider your current level when selecting the right reel for your rod.
Reels and line sit on the top with spin-casting and bait-casting rods. Although they used to be more type-specific, today you can use most spin- and bait-casting tackle together on one rod. Together they are generally called “casting” rods and both offer nearly similar advantages of accuracy and distance.
Bait casting equipment, has a spinning spool that requires more experience. You really need to know how to handle your rod and manipulate the line to prevent backlash and benefit from its accuracy. According to pro angler Ken VanDam, “with a proper setup and a little patience, […] baitcast gear gives you a mechanical advantage over other types of reels and the utmost control in making precision presentations.” A novice, however, will find a bait-casting reel much more challenging.
A spin-cast reel is much simpler to operate and usually the least expensive reel-type. Spin-casting reels are enclosed cases, which provides certain advantages for beginners. These are popular for use on children’s rods, since there is little chance for them to get anything jammed in it. It also releases the line on a stationary spool, which prevents line backlash building up and tangling when the reel overruns the line, as can happen with other reel types.
A spinning rod is another good choice for beginners. Spinning rods also release line from a stationary spool, but unlike spin-cast, the reel and line run along the bottom. Casting is easy and the grip of the reel hangs the weight below your hand, making it more comfortable to handle for longer periods of time. The reversible handle of a spinning reel also allows the angler to hold the rod with his dominant hand, aiding in overall control of the rod itself.
Choose a fly rod if you are interested in the world of fly fishing. Since fly fishing utilizes nearly weightless bait and lures, most tackle for a fly rod is specific to this technique. Between the feather-light bait and specialized heavier line, a fly cast reel will provide the best casting distance when fly fishing.
- Decide the Bait You Will Use
If you know which bait you intend to use, this may help you decide your reel- and rod-type. While your reel choice will not depend on your bait use, there are certain elements to consider about your bait choice when purchasing a new rod. If you are still unsure about your reel-type, these recommendations for use with different baits may focus your decision.
Live bait can be a more effective and less expensive option. We recommend spinning reel for trolling and still fishing with live bait. If you are interested in exploring the world of lures, however, you may have more to consider.
Depending on the weight of the lure, different reel types may be more appropriate. Not paying attention to weight limits for lures and lines can cause damage to your rod and ruin your fishing trip. Casting rods are known for long, accurate casts with larger baits and heavier lines, but will not function as well with lighter baits and lines. Spinners, wobbling spoons, plugs and spinnerbaits are common lures with casting rods.
Spinning reels provide the best distance and accuracy when using lightweight lures. Similarly named, spinners work well with this type of fishing gear. This lure is meant to spin, wobble or revolve to imitate small fish. Other effective lures with spinning gear are feathers and daylights.
Bait-casting gear handles heavier lines and lures. The retrieval speed of bait-casting reels gives them an advantage with top-water lures, like buzz baits, that have little buoyancy. Bait-casting tackle is the strongest when using weedless lures like plastic frogs and Texas-rigged plastic worms in places of heavy cover.
- Consider Where You Will Fish
· By now, you should feel pretty sure about your reel and rod type. However, you still may not yet be sure based simply on your skill level and intended bait. A few recommendations about the location you will fish may help narrow down the decision. Traditionally, freshwater fisherman would choose baitcasting reels while saltwater anglers opted for spinning reels. Nowadays, anglers frequently use spinning reels for large saltwater fishing. Their large line capacity allows for longer casts, more favorable for many types of inshore fishing with strong saltwater fish.
Baitcasting rods are more versatile. An angler can vary from overhead casts for distance or underhand fishing in closer proximity. As a result, baitcasting lends itself to making accurate casts in diverse fishing conditions.
For techniques that require frequent casting and retrieval of line, spin-cast reels are the most efficient. Spin-cast reels are smaller and have a lower line capacity, so they are better suited for surface or shallow fishing. The line is also generally weaker and so spin-cast reels are less efficient with heavier fish. However, they easy to use over and over and the enclosed stationary spool allows for hundreds of foolproof casts in one trip.
- Choose the Fish You Want to Catch
You should be pretty certain of the reel type for your rod at this point in the guide. If not, knowing the fish you intend to catch may assist you. Closely linked to where you will fish, certain species have characteristics that make them more appropriate for certain reels. Consider the available options in your intended fishing sites, and determine what will be your target fish to narrow in on your reel-type decision.
Spinning reels are most efficient for long casts of small baits for fish like trout and panfish or for larger fish such as striped bass, steelhead, and salmon. Use a spinning reel for small to medium-sized fish like bass, redfish, and crappie. North American sport fishermen target bass, trout and pike with spinning rods. In addition, anglers in the UK and Europe fish for perch, eel, and zander on spinning gear.
Spin-cast reels, being smaller, work with shorter, more frequent casts. Zebco fishing equipment recommends spin-cast gear when freshwater fishing for bluegills and crappies, or catfish, bass, northern pike and muskellunge. They also suggest specialized saltwater spin-cast equipment for spotted sea trout, red drum and flounder.
When angling for catfish, bait-casting gear is the most popular. Bait-casting rods have the best line capacity and weight to work well with all species and sizes of catfish. For other large game fish such as bass, muskies, northern pike, some pros also prefer bait-casting reels.
- Other Reel Elements to Consider:
In addition to a reel, you will need line to send out your lure and pull in your catch. This decision depends on the power of your rod, or how much it can handle between lure weights, line size and fish. To know the best line to choose, look at the specifications printed on the butt end of each rod, which includes length, action, line range and in some cases lure size. Not that you know your rod and reel, decide on the best line weight for a successful outing.In addition, all reel spools typically indicate their line capacity printed on the spool itself. This capacity is important to understand so that the rod will function properly. Using a larger spool with a small diameter line can cause entanglements inside the reel, and heavier line on a smaller reel can lead to stiffer handling and reduced capacity. Stay within line capacity for your rod to prevent unnecessary damage to your new gear.Most spinning reels will work best with a 6- to 12-pound test nylon monofilament line. Pro angler Kevin VanDam, however recommends fluorocarbon, a nearly-invisible line with little stretch, in most fishing conditions. Only for topwater fishing would he recommends monofilament line, which will not sink like fluorocarbon.With the feather-light weight of fly lures, the heavier line is what sends the cast. For the best results, the rod’s size and elasticity should match the line’s weight. To reduce the visibility of fly-fishing line, anglers attach a monofilament “leader” between the fly and the line.
4. Understanding Fishing Rod Action
Most people overlook this factor when purchasing a brand-new fishing rod. Fishing rod action is best determined by the bending of the rod when there’s a certain amount of pressure on the tip. Seem simple enough? Here’s what you need to know about fishing rod action before purchasing a fishing rod.
Most fishing rods come with fast or medium-fast action. A fast action fishing rod will bend only slightly, that is in less of the blank. Meanwhile, a medium or moderate and slow action rod bend more towards the length.
If you want a fishing rod that bends lower and easily, you need a fast action fly rod. It’s has more tensile strength, but ranks the highest on flexibility and softer action.
Bass fishing rods feature a fast-action mechanism. This helps accelerate sensitivity towards hook-setting, which also means better and faster power handling. When the fishing rod shuts off faster than usual, or it bends higher, mobility isn’t a problem.
Fast-action fishing rods are perfect for short and long distance casting. It also works for single hooks, for worms and jig fishing.
The last thing you need to know about fishing rod action is the type of lure you’ll be working with. If you’re aiming for crankbaits, topwater lures, and other such spinnerbaits, you need a medium-fast action rod. It provides a longer distance and better hooksetting power. And that’s precisely what you need when opting for a fishing rod that’s best for your skill level. (3)
5. Selecting The Right Fishing Rod Handle
There are 3 main fishing rod handle types to look forward to. They are cork, EVA foam, and the combination of the two materials. The most common type of rod handle is cork. Anglers prefer the lightweight and flexibility of a cork. It comes with a proper handle, which makes it suitable for all types of casting.
Cork and EVA foam also offer longer handles than the combination of the two. Which means you can shoot longer casts without compromising on power and action. You can even use both hands for heavier baits as that allows longer distances without creaking.
For shorter casts, on the other hand, opt for a handle with split or pistol grip. This allows one-handed operation for rolling casting. A split or pistol grip handle allows better movability for forward direction, suitable for short and long distances.
Using a heavier handle, that is a full grip handle, means better maneuverability for close target casting. This is also true with you require both hands to handle heavier baits.
To put into simple words, the less material that makes up the handle, the more sensitive the response. In the case of a split grip or pistol grip, the lack of material strength makes it more sensitive to handle. This can be overwhelming, at first, to throw the perfect cast, regardless of it being for longer or shorter distances.
The last thing to consider when choosing fishing rod handle is targeting practice. So it’s better recommended to take a shot at one hand and both hands for target practice. This applies to shorter and longer distances, including lighter and heavier baits.
6. Considering Fishing Rod Power
The power of any fishing rod can be determined by the amount of pressure it needs to bend. Unlike the fishing rod action which takes into consideration the degree the rod bends based on its length.
If you have the correct fishing rod power and action, you can get your baits to work in the right manner. This is a critical area where most beginners fail. To put into simple words, the more fishing rod power, the less likely it is to bend. This means the fishing rod has a stiffer and unbreakable backbone for catching heavier bends.
This holds true for baiting jigs, frogs, etc. But for light fishing rod power, baiting species like trout, crankbaits, jerkbaits, panfish, and spinnerbaits seems fit. Moderate power rods meet you halfway between a bend. This is much simpler to handle when you have had a couple of tries at baiting and casting, regardless of the distance.
Another common term for fishing rod power is power value or rod weight. The amount of pressure it takes for an angler to achieve a heavy, medium, or light power differs. Heavyweight fishing rods need more pressure to bend the same as lightweight rods need less pressure.
For deep-sea fishing, the use of extra heavy fishing rods is most common. And for using small bait fish species, the use of ultra-lightweight rods is ideal.
To measure a suitable fishing rod power, some manufacturers offer standard ranges. Starting from 1 to 10, 1 is the lightest a fishing rod can be, while 10 being the heaviest. You must know about this standard line of measurement as it helps you break in a fishing rod line easily. (4)
7. Don’t Forget The Reel Seats
Reel seats aren’t as complicated as you think. Traditionally, most anglers prefer the same kind of reel seat for their fishing rod. And that is the kind that allows you to feel the blank with the finger while you’re holding the rod and reel in your hand. Sounds simple enough?
The reel seat of a fishing rod holds the reel in place. So there aren’t many options when choosing reel seats because it all depends on the type of fishing rod you buy. But it’s good to consider it as an option when you’re unaware of all the particular details of a fishing rod.
The most reliable reel seats are made up of graphite. They’re also one of the expensive ones to buy. The cheapest, in terms of price, are plastic reel seats, but they aren’t so reliable either. They are prone to rust, stain, and other kinds of damages. sPlastic reel seats lack the durability and flexibility of graphite reel seats. They bind up very easily and don’t provide cushioning support to the reel, which is extremely important.
If you’re buying a lightweight and low-quality fishing rod, it is possible that you find a cardboard-like reel structure. These cardboard spacers, as some call it, are prone to vibration and break easily. This happens the most during the monsoon season because the cardboard gets wet.
The best way to determine a good reel seat is when it doesn’t allow the seat and the reel to rotate, especially on the fishing rod. This is not a mark of a good fishing rod reel seat.
In terms of design, wide reel seats are good for trigger placement. In that sense, a reel seat will be able to hold on to different kinds of rods, combing power and action. If you’re buying a spinning rod, always check the reel seat so make sure how it feels. The fishing rod must be comfortable to hold on to, regardless of the casting distance and bait. (5)
Considering all this, it is safe to say that buying a fishing rod doesn’t come cheap. For comfort and performance, paying a higher price is most likely. So is the need of careful consideration when selecting each feature. If the fishing rod isn’t durable and comfortable to hold, that just means it won’t last any longer than a couple of fishing trips. So finding the right grip, feel, and action is very important for anglers.
8. Finding The Perfect Fishing Rod Guide
Fishing rod guides are mostly found on bass rods. The most basic fishing rod guide consists of a metal frame supported by a ceramic ring which is responsible for line movement. The ring is from where the line glides during casting.
You would also like to know that the ceramic ring of a fishing rod guide starts at a high price. This is especially true on a spinning fishing rod. The best fishing rod guide material, for the ring, is silicon carbide. Its main qualities are frictionless surface, smooth finish, and temperature-resistance.
Silicon carbide is good because it casts longer and accumulates less heat than others. Anglers know how disastrous excessive heat is for fishing lines. So opting for silicon carbide is essential.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, with the same durable features, you need alconite. Alconite is another super smooth and durable material for the ring. And it’s not that hard to find on the market. Other wire materials include titanium, stainless steel, and ceramic inserts.
The newest fishing rod guides are titanium wires. They are easy to maintain, serviceable, and less expensive than silicon carbide. Titanium comes with a very adaptable structure, which means they conform back into shape after bending.
Stainless steel guides, one the other hand, are prone to breaking after they are bent flat. Plus, they are costly to repair and replace. You will also find that many fishing rod manufacturers opt for stainless steel guides rather than ceramic. Such fishing rods feature lightweight and slightly smooth inserts, which affects the weight of the fishing rod. (6)
If you’re looking to buy a fishing rod with more than one guide, you will have to pay a higher amount. This also means you get better casting features and maneuverability. A fishing rod with fewer guides is not as capable and accurate as a rod with more guides.
That said, with more guides, the fishing rod will bend efficiently and responsibly. Allowing better power for long distances and also for fighting fish with heavier baits. There is much to learn from a fishing rod with more guides than a rod with less.
If you’re a beginner, understanding how fishing rods work for long casting can prove more helpful than other traditional methods. It also helps when you have a comfortable and lightweight fishing rod with plenty of grip, even if it’s raining. This reduces vibration, heat buildup, and restricts the rod from bending and breaking. (7)
9. Is It Responsive Enough?
A fishing rod is a lightweight and flexible piece of fishing equipment. And as its best, it a simple stick that bends to a line to entice all kinds of fish using small and big baits.
Finding a suitable contemporary fishing rod, made of fiberglass or graphite, is simple enough. But it’s important to check its responsiveness before using it on a regular basis. So what makes a fishing rod perfect for fresh or salt water conditions?
Fishing rods can be used for a variety of purposes. To cast baits, lures, and for ice fishing. The best way to define a fishing rod is by its weight and flexibility. One-piece rods come with the most natural and responsive feel. Plus, they are the most common fishing rods used by anglers in the fishing industry.
Two-piece fishing rods, glued together by a ferrule, are also common. They are made up of either fiberglass or carbon fiber. Compared to one-piece rods, these are easier to transport and are heavier.
The next feature to look for for responsiveness is whether the fishing rod is hand built. Hand-built rods are good for mass, action, and direction. What this means is that hand-built fishing rods offer the strongest fitting, but they’re also the most expensive choice. Hand-built fishing rods offer better user and casting experience. (8)
Other factors such as the bending curve, tapering, action, and power make up the responsiveness of a fishing rod. But what’s most important to know is that lighter the fishing rod, the most responsive it will be. This gives you more accuracy for clear, open water conditions.
10. Looking For Taper
The last factor to consider when choosing a fishing rod is tapering. A contemporary or modern fishing rod’s main function is to bend without breaking. This involves a certain kind of resistance and power.
When you cast the fishing rod forward, the tip of the fishing rod bends and launches its bait. The next step is when the bait or target is registered, that you know it’s hooked on to its bait. That’s when there’s a combination of resistance and power. The fishing rod shouldn’t dampen the strike so as to avoid line breakage.
When fighting the fish inside the water, the perfect bend of the fishing rod is what saves you from complete failure. And that’s determined by the fishing rod’s tapering. That consistent pressure is what keeps the fish from escaping. This depends on the curve of the fishing rod.
For example, research suggests that a stiff fishing rod offers more power and control over to the fisherman. Putting less power on the fighting fish. And a deep bending fishing rod reverses that effect.
The different materials and fibers that make up a fishing rod determine its tapering. This influences the power of the fisherman as well as the fish-fighting properties. If a fishing rod is sensitive enough to lure fish in, it should possess the ability to set a straight hook and line a curve for better bait control. This is especially important when operating a lightweight and softer action fishing rod.
This also includes other factors such as weight distribution and tip action. The latter is divided into different kinds such as progressive taper, loading, curving, and bending. All these properties influence the bending curve of a fishing rod.
Taking Care Of Your Fishing Rod
It’s not enough to just buy a fishing rod and use for recreational fishing trips. Maintaining a fishing rod so it doesn’t break or rust is a significant part for fishing. So here’s how to go about it.
Maintaining the guide
- Fishing rods come with guides aligned that reduce constant wear and tear. This includes a metal ring that holds the fishing rod line together. The best way to maintain it is by using sand nicks to prevent it from breaking. If that doesn’t work, use cotton pads to catch the nick with a magnifying glass.
- Ensure there isn’t any rust collection near the guide rings and the reel seat. In case of rust, replace the guide ring with a more durable material.
- Avoid mishandling the fishing rod on the boat. This includes banding the rod against rocks or other hard surfaces. Fishing rods are extremely thin and lightweight so they might scratch easily.
- For cleaning, use a lukewarm cloth dipped in water and vinegar or a mild detergent. It’s important to clean the fishing rod each time after fishing. You can even use a soft bristle brush to remove dust or fresh rust stains.
- Clean the angling rod thoroughly well after saltwater fishing. Such fishing rods are more prone to rust and corrosion.
- To reduce friction and stiffness, use candle wax or paraffin between the fishing rod’s joints. This removes dust particles from areas that are otherwise hard-to-reach.
- If your fishing rod comes with a cork handle, it’s good to use gloves while fishing. This is because the skin oils, sweat, and humidity may stain the cork handle faster.
Storing the fishing rod
Improper storage can lead to corrosion, breakage, and even curvature. Based on the design measurements of your brand-new fishing rod, have a fishing rod rack in place for proper storage. You can even store your fishing rod on a hanger or in the closet.
- The first thing you need to know about protecting your fishing rod is keeping it away from salt, dust particles, and other such substances.
- Don’t even think of using a fishing rod tube. It is famous for trapping in moisture and dust, which isn’t healthy for your fishing equipment. The first thing moisture targets is the guide rings, reel, and reel seat.
- Before you store your fishing rod, loosen the reel and reel seat a bit. So a bit of pulling and pressure on the fishing rod will not break or damage any parts.
- It’s critical to remove the fishing line before storing the rod. This is especially true after saltwater fishing.
Now you know the importance of a guide for choosing a fishing rod. Features such as the reel seats, rod material, handle, line guides, and power make all the difference. And while there is no perfect fishing rod on the market, there is a correct way to find what you’re most comfortable using.
To sum it up, there are 3 main methods of choosing a fishing rod: looking for fishing rod design measurements, understanding fishing rod specifications, and determining the right performance of your rod. These methods are simple to follow once you know what kind of fishing you’ll be doing. And it comes in handy when you want to go back to the basics of using a fishing rod.
Figuring out the best fishing rod for you can get difficult. But with the correct guide, you can choose from a variety of models and styles. Anglers have always found fishing rods more suitable for specific needs, such as for open water fishing or saltwater fishing. But this is only possible with careful consideration and knowledge based on your needs. Finally, you’ll be on your way to buying a high-quality, durable, and comfortable fishing rod.