How to Choose a Fishing Rod: The Complete Guide

Video How to Choose a Fishing Rod: The Complete Guide
Studying Time: 10 minutes

A superb fishing rod is the inspiration of your complete angling setup. High quality is essential, however so is utilizing the suitable sort of rod. However similar to you wouldn’t take an SUV to NASCAR, you may’t solid an previous Bass rod and count on to land a Marlin. With numerous sorts of fishing poles on provide, the query is, how to decide on a fishing rod that’s best for you? Nicely, that’s precisely what you’re going to be taught in the present day.

a number of fishing rods racked on a stand

Selecting a fishing rod can really feel overwhelming, particularly when you’re doing it for the primary time. From size and supplies, to motion and energy, the record of issues to contemplate could make your head spin. With that in thoughts, we’ve summed up a very powerful issues it is best to know, in addition to the professionals and cons of assorted sorts of fishing poles on the market.

By the point you’ve learn this information, you’ll be able to discover a rod together with your identify on it. Let’s dive in!

What’s the suitable fishing rod size?

Size is likely one of the first belongings you’ll want to take a look at when selecting a brand new rod. From stout close-quarter fishing rods to lengthy casting poles, rods vary anyplace from 4-14 toes! These extremes include just a few trade-offs, so it’s necessary to match your rod with the kind of fishing you’re moving into. Right here’s why.

a fishing rod

Rod size has a huge impact on how far you may solid. Longer rods sometimes make for longer casts, however they’re quite a bit tougher to maneuver. Alternatively, shorter rods offer you much more management, however you’re fairly restricted with how far you may throw the road.

Let’s say you’re fishing underwater construction from a kayak. On this state of affairs, you don’t actually need to solid that far. What you do want is a rod that’s simple to deal with. That is the place a 5-7′ rod actually shines. Shorter rods are additionally extra highly effective, so when you’re gunning for big fish, that is the best way to go.

An angler fishing from a kayak

Alternatively, when you’re wading or throwing topwater strolling lures, an extended 8+ foot rod could be a life-saver. Swinging these rods can appear to be a chore, however you’ll have the ability to make some significantly lengthy casts.

For inexperienced persons, most anglers will agree {that a} 7′ fishing pole is an efficient all-round alternative.

Which rod materials ought to I select?

Fishing rods are made out of fiberglass, graphite or composite (a mix of the 2). Rod supplies have a big impact on efficiency, so figuring out which one to decide on may have an enormous impact in your fishing success. Let’s check out the professionals and cons of every sort.

Fiberglass Rods

The previous dependable of the angling world, fiberglass fishing rods have been round for ages. Sturdy and enduring, these rods can actually take a beating. They’re additionally simple to make, which makes them comparatively inexpensive, too.

a closeup of a fishing rod with a cork grip

The sturdiness and comparatively low worth of fiberglass rods makes them a good selection for beginner anglers. However utilizing them doesn’t come and not using a worth.

Due to their pliable nature, fiberglass rods present restricted suggestions, and that makes lighter bites quite a bit tougher to detect. They’re additionally comparatively heavy, making them lower than perfect when you’re preventing fish for a very long time.

Graphite Rods

In use for the reason that Nineteen Seventies, graphite rods provide a lighter different to their fiberglass counterparts. These are deservedly widespread fishing poles, however they appear to draw loads of misconceptions. Let’s clear a few of these up.

Trending: A Guide to Selecting the Right Rod – Tackle Warehouse

In the event you ever checked out a graphite rod, you most likely observed these IM6, IM7, and IM8 markers. These are identifiers for various levels of stiffness, a.ok.a. modulus. The upper the modulus, the stiffer the fabric. In different phrases, with a stiffer graphite, a producer can use much less materials to attain the identical stiffness. What which means for you is a lighter rod.

Trending :   The Best Spinning Rods of 2022
A closeup of a green fishing rod with a spinning reel and a green fishing line

The misperception right here is that an IM8 rod shall be stiffer than an IM6 rod. In actuality, each rods will exhibit the identical stiffness, however the IM8 would be the lighter of the 2.

The wonderful thing about graphite rods is that they’re very delicate to bites. This, together with the lighter weight, could make casting and total dealing with an actual pleasure. But it surely’s not all sunshine and rainbows with these rods. As a result of they’re stiffer, graphite rods could be a lot extra brittle, too. One other downside is the worth, which is usually steeper in comparison with a fiberglass rod of the identical class.

Composite Rods

In the event you’re the kind of angler that’s searching for efficiency above all else, likelihood is that fiberglass and graphite rods gained’t lower it. That is the place composite supplies are available.

an angler getting ready to cast a heavy fishing rod

A combination of graphite and fiberglass, composite fishing poles offer you all the flexibleness you want with out including a lot weight or sacrificing sensitivity. In plain English, that is the way you get to deal with a 100-test lb line on a 20-30 lb body rod.

As a result of they’re so versatile, composite rods are an incredible alternative when you’re used to fishing a wide range of completely different waters. As you’d count on, composite rods are the most costly selection on the market. There’s no denying that they get the fish aboard, it’s only a matter of if the additional price is value it for you.

Gradual, medium, or quick motion?

Motion is likely one of the key efficiency parts of a fishing pole. Outlined by the form of the rod and its materials, motion dictates how a lot and the place your rod will bend. Motion additionally controls the pace at which the rod goes from “loaded” again to its authentic place. That’s the place the quick, medium, and gradual designations come from.

an angler holding a bent fishing rod on a boat

Clearly, motion has a serious affect on the best way you deal with your rod in addition to what sort of fish you’ll have the ability to land with it. The three important rod actions you need to know are:

Quick (Heavy) Motion

Quick motion rods bend on the uppermost half, proper under the tip. They’re delicate to the lightest of nibbles, sending vibrations straight to your hand. Quick rods can snap again in a short time, which is right for highly effective hook setting.

Talking of hooks, quick motion rods work properly with single hooks, and worms in addition to massive jigs. Because of their fast-paced suggestions and powerful backbones, quick motion rods are nice for pulling fish out of heavy cowl.

The sturdy spine additionally means that you can pursue very massive fish. In freshwater, a quick motion rod can land you something from a Largemouth to a Muskie. In saltwater, you’re massive Tuna and Billfish of all kinds – just about the cream of the crop.

Medium Motion

Medium motion rods bend within the high half of the pole. They supply good hook-setting capabilities and suggestions and let you solid decently far. As a result of they transfer a bit slower than quick motion rods, medium motion rods work properly with multiple-hook setups. In addition they give the fish extra time to chew.

an angler holding a bent fishing rod on a boat

That doesn’t imply which you can’t use single hooks, thoughts you. It’s simply that medium motion rods provide the added versatility. Versatility additionally means which you can catch fish huge and small, in addition to check out a variety of completely different waters.

Gradual (Gentle) Motion

Trending: The Best Spinning Rods of 2022

On the opposite finish of the spectrum you could have the gradual motion rods. Bendable all the best way to the butt of the rod, gradual motion rods make battling even the smallest critter loads of enjoyable. In the event you like fishing for Panfish or Trout, you’re gonna love these.

Trending :   Best Trail Running Shoes of 2022
an angler holding a bent fishing rod on a fishing boat

Gradual motion rods enable for really spectacular casts. That mentioned, you actually should match your lure dimension to the rod when casting. A superb rule of thumb to observe is to make use of the smallest lure that permits you a very good solid.

Why small lures? As a result of in contrast to the fast-setting heavy motion rods, gradual motion rods want time to lodge the hook inside a fish’s mouth. Treble hooks work significantly properly in these conditions, as a result of their small suggestions require much less stress to penetrate the fish. Different fast-paced lures like spinners and rattle baits are good selections, too.

The draw back to gradual motion rods is that they don’t seem to be as simple to set the hook with. Not like quick motion rods, the rod’s bend requires you to drag again farther when the fish bites. However as soon as the hook is in, sustaining the correct quantity of rigidity on the fish is quite a bit simpler.

What’s the suitable rod energy?

Carefully associated to rod motion, energy is a rod’s functionality to resist stress. As you’re most likely guessing, heavier rods are good for bigger fish, whereas lighter ones work higher for smaller ones.

a heavy duty fishing rod

Utilizing the identical logic, you’ll need to use heavier traces with heavy rods and light-weight traces with gentle rods. There’s clearly some leeway right here, however you typically need to stick near the markings written on the rod clean. Use too heavy a rod and the road may snap. Too heavy a line, and the identical may occur to the rod.

Rod energy sometimes goes from Extremely Gentle, Gentle, to Medium, Medium Heavy, to Heavy and Extremely Heavy. Remember the fact that a heavy offshore rod and a heavy Bass rod are two fully various things. One may be rated for a 25 lb line and the opposite for a 80 lb line.

What about rod markings?

Alright, you now know what goes into selecting a fishing rod. However how do you truly know that the rod you simply picked up is the sort you’re searching for? Nicely for one, nearly all fishing poles have clear markings on them. These numbers and letters will inform you all that you must know in regards to the rod you’re .

The primary three or 4 numbers you’ll sometimes see are related to the size of the rod. The kind of motion comes second, adopted by the advisable line and lure weights. A typical rod marking will appear like this:

Spin MH 732 Line Wt 10-15 lb, Lure Wt ¼ – ¾ oz

What this implies is that you simply’re a medium heavy 7′ 3″ spinning rod, that may deal with traces of 10-15 kilos and lures from ¼ to ¾ ounces. The quantity “2” after “73” signifies that this can be a two-part rod.

Most producers present their rod specs on this order, however not all. In the event you’re shopping for your rod in a retailer, you may at all times ask the salesperson to elucidate what every image means.

Different Elements of a Fishing Rod

A lot of the rod parameters we talked about are a part of the rod clean, i.e. the precise stick. These apart, there are just a few different rod parts it is best to find out about earlier than selecting a fishing rod.

Rod Guides

a closeup of guides on a fishing rod

Trending: Best Spinning Rods Under 50 | Our Top 5 Picks

By now, you have to be considering “Do I actually need to find out about rod guides too?” We will’t blame you, however you’d be stunned by how a lot these little rings can have an effect on the standard of your angling. There’s not quite a bit to them, however there are a few issues it is best to find out about.

Trending :   Best Spinning Rods Under 100 Review & Buyers Guide

Most guides are made out of steel with a ceramic coating on the within. The coating reduces friction on the road, permitting it to maneuver easily. Virtually each trendy fishing rod has guides with ceramic coating lately. In the event you occur to see one with crude steel guides, we’d advise that you simply keep away from shopping for it.

a closeup of guides on a telescopic fishing ord with blue waters in the background

The second factor it is best to take note of is the variety of guides. For instance, a 7’ rod can have anyplace from 6-9 guides. As a rule of thumb, the extra guides a rod has, the higher. Extra guides will distribute stress on the road and rod extra evenly, and let you solid with extra precision. Having extra guides will price extra, so it’s in the end as much as you to resolve what number of you need to have.

Rod Deal with

The final merchandise on our record is the one you’ll keep in touch with probably the most, and that’s the rod deal with.


The rod deal with is available in two fundamental supplies, cork or EVA foam. Most anglers agree that cork is a extra comfy materials, providing extra cushion and heat on a chilly day. Extra importantly, cork is much more delicate than foam, transferring vibrations as much as 3 times as a lot.

a closeup of a fishing rod with a lake in the background

The downside is that cork gained’t final you just about so long as foam, plus you’ll must shell out extra money for it. Cork can also be tougher to wash, and will get dents much more, particularly when you’re used to conserving your rod in rod holders or leaving them on the rocks whereas wading.

For anglers who don’t need to stress about conserving their gear clear and tidy, foam might be the higher possibility.

These days, you may even discover carbon fiber handles which boast wonderful sensitivity, however with none reliability points. Just like the rod clean debate, carbon fiber is a superior different, however it’s going to stretch your funds a bit extra.

a closeup of a number of rod handles lined up


Rod handles are available many shapes, however two stand out as the commonest. These are the pistol grip and the set off stick. The pistol grip is a brief, contoured deal with with a hook to your index finger. The sort of deal with is nice for casting accuracy and exact jigging actions.

a closeup of a fishing rod with a pistol grip handle

The set off stick is an extended deal with that means that you can solid with each fingers. It means that you can solid a lot additional than the pistol grip, and is mostly higher when battling bigger species. There’s no worth distinction between the 2, so it’s only a matter of what sort of fishing you’re into.

a closeup of a fishing rod being held by an angler

A Complete World of Choices

Realizing how to decide on a fishing rod doesn’t come simply. There’s quite a bit to contemplate, particularly when you’re shopping for one for the primary time. The excellent news is which you can keep away from loads of guesswork simply by figuring out what you want your rod for. As for the remaining, we hope this text sorted that out.

In the event you’d like to return to this information or have it with you on the go, you may obtain it as an e-book right here.

two fishing rods on a fence with the blue sea in the background

And that about covers it. Is there the rest you’d wish to find out about selecting a fishing rod? What are another belongings you suppose first-time consumers ought to know? Share your ideas within the feedback under!

Best spinning rod under $40 for your needs? You are at the right place. We recognize that amidst so many choices in the market, it can be perplexing and confusing to make the right pick.


Related Posts