Fishing Rod Guide: Don’t Get the Wrong Fishing Rod

If you're an outdoor sportsman or sportswoman, you know that the right sports and outdoors equipment enhances your performance. And if you're an angler, the right fishing and marine gear can help you catch more fish. Whether you're new to fishing or an experienced angler, the best fishing rod to buy is the one that helps you get more out of the sport. Fishing rod designs vary, but you can successfully determine how to buy fishing rods by matching your type of fishing to the right fishing rod features.

>> What type of fishing do you do?

Your preferred technique and the type of fish you catch can influence your decision about which fishing rod to buy. Fly-fishing requires constant casting, while techniques such as trolling call for a single cast. You don't need to cast your bait at all if you ice-fish, so your fishing rod can be short. You'll also want to think about whether your technique and the places in which you angle require long or short casts.

The species you fish for also determine the best fishing rod to buy. Bigger fish require heavier rods. You also use different lures and baits to catch different types of fish. Certain fishing rod designs make it easier to cast the lures and baits you need to use. Some fish species are more elusive than others. You might want a rod that makes it easier to set a hook into these fish to decrease the chances of them escaping. If you understand how to control your lure and bait for your fishing technique and targeted fish species, you can determine which fishing rod to buy.

>> Consider different types of fishing rods

If you want to know how to buy fishing rods, you should be familiar with the two main types of fishing rod. The table below describes the differences between casting rods and spinning rods.

Type Description Casting These hold a casting reel on the top side of the rod. They are generally heavier and stronger than spinning rods, and are the right choice if you need heavy line for casting a heavy lure and bait. Spinning These rods hold a spinning reel on the bottom side of rod. The eyes taper down in size from handle to tip, and the rods are smaller and lighter than casting rods. Spinning rods are ideal if your fishing technique requires finesse with lure and bait. Anglers sometimes refer to casting rods as baitcasting or spincasting rods, but these are basically the same type of fishing rod. Spinning rods are appropriate if you use finesse fishing techniques, and also if you require sensitivity from your rod. Fishing trolling rods, for example, are often spinning rods because the rod easily bends to indicate when a fish is on your line. Spinning rods are generally better suited to freshwater fishing. Saltwater spinning rods, however, are larger and more powerful than othe r spinning rods. You can use these to angle for many ocean fish, including striped bass.

>> Choose your fishing rod material
Wh en you conduct your fishing rods comparison, pay attention to material. Manufacturers make rods from fiberglass, graphite, a composite of these materials or bamboo.

• Fiberglass rods are heavier. The material is also less expensive than graphite, making fiberglass a practical choice if you're new to fishing.
• Graphite rods are strong and lightweight. They are also sensitive, so you have more control over your bait and lure and can more easily feel fish on your line. Graphite is a solid choice if you're a more advanced angler.
• Composite rods include both fiberglass and graphite. Mixing these materials provides a compromise between sensitivity and strength. If you fish for species that require sensitivity for setting the hook and strength for fighting, a composite rod is for you.
• Bamboo rods are often used in fly-fishing. This material is slightly heavier than graphite and helps you cast more smoothly using the right technique.

>> Consider action

You should also consider action when deciding how to buy fishing rods. Action refers to how flexible the rod is. The faster the action is, the less overall flexibility the rod exhibits. A rod with very fast action only bends at the tip. The action is fast because the small flex area quickly brings the tip of the rod back to the center. Slower-action rods flex further down toward the handle. If you're after small fish or use short casts, the best fishing rod to buy is one with faster action. Slower action helps you fight larger fish and make longer casts.

>> Consider length and weight

Length and weight ratings are your next considerations in deciding how to choose a fishing rod. Most rods are 8-9 feet, but they can be shorter or longer. The longer the rod is, the more it helps you make long casts. If you fish in the ocean, lakes or large rivers, you might want a longer rod to help you cast to points far from where you're positioned. A shorter rod is fine if you ice-fish, troll or angle in streams.

When you look at fishing rods, you'll see line and casting weight specifications. Fishing line has a weight rating that tells you how strong the line is. The higher the weight of the line is, the better suited the line is for catching larger fish. You can therefore decide which fishing rod to buy based on how it matches your fishing line weight. You can also match the rod's casting or lure weight rating to the weight of your lure and sinker.

>> Choose the right grip

Choosing the right grip is the final aspect of how to buy fishing rods. When you shop for fishing rods, you'll find that they either have a cork or a foam grip. Cork is a natural material that can improve your feel on the rod. If you fly-fish, you might enjoy the extra sensitivity that this material provides. Foam is a synthetic material that offers extra durability. It's ideal if you troll because your rod will constantly shift in its holder as your boat moves. Foam will resist the resulting abrasion.

When you look at a fishing rod's grip, take note of its position. Some grips are for one-handed casting while others are for casting with two hands. Think about how you cast and choose the grip position that matches your technique. Matching elements of fishing rod designs to your fishing technique and the types of fish you angle for is the key to determining how to buy fishing rods. You can also look for fishing rod and reel combos that might suit your tastes.

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