Picking out the rod that is right for you isn’t an easy thing and can be quite intimidating, so to get you started here are some basic terms and what they mean. Hopefully this gives you some context as to what the terms mean and how they could impact your fishing trip. If you need further assistance, please feel free to use our survey to help guide you to your new Favorite rod that is perfect for you.
Rod power is the amount of pressure required to make a rod bend and typically can be put into 3 categories (with a few in between) Light – Medium - Heavy. This is a key component in determining what kind of lure you want to use and therefore the type of fish you are going to target. The lighter the lure the lighter your rod power. Using an ultra-light or light power rod is best when fishing those light biting fish such as bluegill, crappie, trout, etc. They provide more sensitivity but sacrifice power to muscle those big fish out of the water. Medium power poles are the most popular amongst bass fisherman (as well as others) because they provide the flexibility to toss a number of lures in a number of conditions (is the water thick with trees or lily pads), and in a number of ways (flipping or casting). They are a good balance between sensitivity and power. Heavy poles are for those big heavy lures that you use to fish those deep structures. The stiffer pole means faster hooksets.
Rod action is related to rod power in that it is the point on the blank where the rod bends when pressure is applied. This again comes in three groups with some variance in between them. Fast action rods bend on the tip and as the name suggest, provide for fast reactions and hook sets. These rods are typically more sensitive and are a great benefit for fishing those situations where your lure may come in contact with the bottom, and you need to feel the difference between a rock and a bite. Moderate action rods bend further down the rod (more in the middle) and are great for those fast-moving lures such as crank baits. They are also idea when casting distance is important. Slow action rods bend more toward the handle of the rod and as the name suggest are slow to load up on hookset.
These are great for casting those light lines with the light lures and also for targeting those smaller fish species such as panfish.
Rod length can be a personal preference thing, but it can also make all the difference in the type of casts you are able to make. A longer rod can help make those long casts, but a rod that is too long can become a burden that you don’t enjoy fishing with. Shorter rods on the other hand can make your casts shorter but more accurate. A keynote here is to know where you will be fishing, if you’re on a boat fishing the banks or boat docks, distance doesn’t matter as much as accuracy. There are other times though that distance is far more important than accuracy.
To close this up it is important to remember that fishing rods are a tool of the trade and just like the tools in a shop there is no such thing as a universal tool for every job. Be mindful of the type of fish you want to be targeting, the conditions you will be fishing in, and the lure or baits you will be using. These all should be factors in your choices.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to fishing is that it is supposed to be fun, so grab your rod and get out there and have some fun!