By Capt. Pete Rapps
Use the wrong kind of rod and you might find yourself unable to cast as far or accurately as you need to. However, the right fishing rod can allow you to land a cast on a dime and work the bait in the way it was intended.
Here are just a few things you need to look out for when purchasing a new fishing rod:
Length – Fishing rod length can range anywhere from a tiny 4 feet to a huge 14 feet, but the typical fishing rod will be around 6 to 8 feet from tip to butt. If you are looking to do “close combat,” then you will want a short rod. However, if you are hoping to cover more water during your fishing trips, you will want to look for a longer rod instead.
Material – Rods are typically made from fiberglass, graphite, or a combination of both. Graphite rods are generally lighter, stiffer, and more sensitive to bites, but this can also make them easier to break as well. Fiberglass rods are much heavier, but have increased flexibility and a few of them are virtually unbreakable. Or you can get a combination for the best of both.
Power – Power refers to how much it will take to actually bend your fishing rod. The more power a rod has, the less likely it will be to bend the rod. Typically, youwill want one with moderate to high power for fishing. However, light rods are great for smaller species, such as trout or panfish.
Action – The “action” is best described as the point on the rod where it bends. A fishing rod with “fast action” will bend closer to the tip and a “slow action” rod will bend closer to the butt. Slower action will allow you to enjoy more of the “fight,” but faster action rods are better for the bigger fish.
Handle – The majority of fishing rods come with a handle made from either foam or cork, or some combination of both. Most anglers choose the feel of their handle purely by personal preference. Additionally, you will need to choose a longer or shorter handle. With a longer handle, you will be able to use both hands on the rod and rip it out there a mile. However, a shorter handle is better for roll casting, casting with one hand, and for a more precise cast at a shorter distance.
If you have any questions or would like to book an instructional charter, please contact me at the below email. I also conduct free instructional seminars and workshops to various groups, clubs, tackle shops, and other venues throughout the year. If your group could benefit from a workshop, please do not hesitate to contact me. Also be sure to check out our website for dates of future workshops.