How to Choose Fishing Rod

How to Choose Fishing Rod

Choosing the right fishing rod is important. And it starts with what kind of fishing you’d be doing. You have to determine what species you’re going to be after, what kind of cover are the fish around, and what types of techniques you’re going to be using the most when you’re out there in the water.

The first thing you need to look at is the type of rod. Obviously, you need to match the type of rod to the fishing your will be doing, the type of fish you will be catching and the place you will be doing it.

II. Types of Fishing Rods

Types of Fishing Rods

1. Fly Fishing

Most fly rods these days are made of carbon fibre, which is light, extremely strong, and needs the minimum of maintenance, though there are still some game anglers who would rather use cane, preferring its feel and slower action despite its much greater weight.

The overall length of trout rods rarely exceeds 11 ft, so the vast majority tend to comprise two sections, butt and tip, with an overfit or spigot connection. Salmon fly rods, on the other hand, can measure up to 15 ft or 16 ft, and as a consequence are built in three sections for ease of transportation.

Rods designed specifically for salmon fishing tend to start at 12 ft, and all are double-handled because of the different casting techniques employed with them.

The smallest fly rods are aimed at the trout angler who fishes streams and small rivers with a floating line in conjunction with a dry fly or nymph. Such rods tend to be 6-7 ft long and are rated to take a number 3 or 4 line.

Fly Fishing

Between the small stream and lock models are many fly rods in the 8-10 ft range. Produced in a variety of actions, they are designed for many tasks on rivers, ponds, lakes and reservoirs, from fishing dry flies to throwing big lures long distances on sinking lines.

The more powerful 10 ft and 11 ft single-handed trout rods are quite suitable for much salmon and sea trout fishing, but for salmon fishing in the early spring and autumn of powerful rivers where big, heavy tube flies needed to be used, the longer, more powerful, custom designed salmon fly rods become the order of the day.

2. Fresh Water

Most of the freshwater rods are manufactured with carbon fibre material. Shorter, more affordable models made of solid glass still work well in as a youngster’s rod, and coming with budget-price and beginner-price end. Rods made from fibre glass are quite famous.

Aluminium oxide centres are excellent, and the best rings have silicone-carbide centres.

3. Float Rods

The best rods in this class are the 13-footers with waggler style yet snappy actions, unless you are constantly going beyond 12 ft or more, a 14 – 15 ft rod would be recommended.

Super-fast-action rods have a 24-30 in fine-diameter tip spliced into the top joint. These are often called stick-float fishing in running water for small species like roach and dace (Freshwater floatfishing techniques – Stick-float fishing).

Waggler-action rods (Freshwater floatfishing techniques – Waggler fishing) are more versatile and are capable of handling larger species, such as chub, barbell and tench, and even modest-sized carp, in addition to the smaller species.

4. Spinning Rods

Spinning Rods

Choosing rods in this area will depend on the type of reel that is utilized. Short, trigger-grip handle baitcasters, for example, are 5 ½ - 7 feet long, are only utilized with baby reels, so with longer 9 – 11 feet salmon spinning rods that integrate trigger grips instantly beneath the reel for the forefinger.

Beware of spinning rods with overlong handles. Apart from being uncomfortable to cast and to play fish with, any more than a few inches sticking out beyond the elbow is a waste of the rod’s effective black length.

5. Telescoping Fishing Rods

Telescoping Fishing Rods

In recent years, telescoping rods have become increasingly popular with the travelling angler. Consisting of up to eight sections for a 9 ½ ft model, they fit easily inside a suitcase. The telescopic fishing rod on market are also available.

Here’s a good video about telescopic fishing rods:

III. Other Factors to Consider

Other Factors to Consider

1. Length. The length determines how much leverage you have on that fishing line and ultimately the fish at the end of it. You have less leverage with a shorter rod and more leverage with a longer rod. A longer rod also gives you longer casting ability.

Choose a rod that’s at least more than 7 feet will give you more leverage and casting ability. If you’re trying to fish in deeper water, or you need to take up a line or a lot of hooks on a hook set, or you’re fishing around heavy cover where you need to pull the fish out effectively and have more leverage, then you need to have a longer rod.

A shorter rod, however, is better for casting accuracy.

2. Material. Is the material used on the rod fibreglass or graphite? Most glass rods that we look at today are graphite, but there are different kinds of graphite that help you get more sensitivity. So the graphite there is, the stiffer the rod will be and the more sensitivity you will get.

But that can also mean that the rod is more brittle. So it’s more prone to breakage. Fibreglass rods are very tough, but they’re also really heavy which means that it will be difficult for you to detect those bites. But it will also be difficult to break a fiberglass rod.

3. Power. If you’re fishing with a lot of heavy jigs and worms, you’re going to need a heavier and more powerful rod to set the hook and bring those fish away from cover and into the boat.

If you’re fishing in open water and with a lighter line, you will need a lighter power rod to effectively fish that lure and get those fish into the boat. To determine a rod’s power, look at the number at the end of your rod model.

Many rods start with a 2 which is medium power. A 3 is a medium heavy, a 4 is a heavy and a 5 is a mag heavy. Fives are good for pulling really heavy stuff like pulling fish from logs and thick cover. And 2 power types are more applicable when you’re fishing in open waters.

4. Action. The action of the rod often gets the most attention because it determines the characteristics of the bin and the rod. A lot of the rods available out there is fast action. Most of the action of the rod occurs in the last quarter of its tip, and the backbone of the rod is pretty stiff.

Then move into a moderately fast action which would be a heavier variety or a spinnerbait rod. That has the action in a little bit past half-way. A medium action is towards the middle of the rod. So it loads up a lot.

Then we have a slow action rod that moves to the lower part of the rod which is more of a parabolic bend. These lower actions help you load the rod up more and get more casting distance, but they’re not good for setting the hook quickly.

Slow to moderate fast actions are good for spinner baits, cranking baits, moving baits, things with travel hooks, top waters, and then your fast to extra-fast are great for jigs and worms and anything you want to drive the hook into a fish quickly.

Final thoughts

Fishing rods are available in many designs, lengths, and strengths to perform a wide range of tasks in a variety of conditions. Always choose a rod with care, basing your decision precisely on what is expected of it. And for optimum performance, it is vital to ensure that the line matches the rating indicated on the rod.

About the author


Hey there, I'm Lisa, founder and editor in chief here at Recreation Space. We found fitness through recreational activities. And we want to share it with you. We believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives.

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