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How to Choose the Right Fishing Rod for Your Needs

Fishing is a gear-intensive hobby. You need to have the right poles, reels, lines, and hooks. It can seem a bit overwhelming at first. Things that you need to consider and think of if you are looking to choose the right fishing rod for your adventures.

That’s where we come in. This article will talk you through choosing the right fishing rod for your needs. We’re going to talk you through all the major decisions so that you can shop with confidence.

Choose the Right Fishing Rod

What Kind of Fishing Are You Doing?

This is the first question you want to ask yourself because different fishing styles require different rods.

Fly fishing

The aim of fly fishing is to mimic the movements of a fly on top of the water. Fly fishing rods tend to be quite whippy and thin. They hold a different kind of reel and hold it lower.


 Spinning rods are the most versatile rods. You’ll find them at riversides, on docks, boats, and around lakes. These rods are suitable for catching most kinds of fish.


These rods are like spinning rods, but the reel seat and guides are on the top of the rod. Again, it’s a versatile rod that can be used for most fish in most fishing places.

Surf rods 

If you’re going fishing on the beach, you’ll need a surf rod to get out past the surf. These rods are longer, thicker, and heavier. They’re only really used on the shore for sea fishing.

Overhead rods

These are primarily used for boat fishing. They have a reel seat on the top of the rod. They tend to be shorter than spinning or bait casting rods and are more adept at pulling in big species.

Rod Construction  

If you need it to become small to fit in a trunk, then consider a telescopic rod. These rods collapse to become a little over 6 inches in length.

Telescopic rods have come a long way. They are reliable, sturdy, and great for transport. Some people find that they are not as durable as single-piece or multi-piece constructions. This really depends on how much you’re willing to pay.

One-piece rods are made from one single blank with no joins. These rods are much more sensitive than collapsible or multi-piece rods. This is because the energy from the bite travels straight down the pole.

The downside to these rods is the fact that they are about 5-8 feet in length and difficult to transport.

Multi-piece rods can be taken apart for storage and transport. They have ferrules at the end of each part that fit snuggly together. These are more sensitive than telescopic rods though less than single-piece rods.

Rod Action

The rod action refers to how much the end of the rod bends. You can get rods from extra-slow action to extra-fast action.

The faster the action, the less the rod tip bends. This makes these rods more sensitive because vibrations aren’t lost in the bend of the rod.

Soft action rods are less sensitive but provide a smoother cast. This is ideal for use with soft baits like ragworm because they’re less likely to be torn from the hook during casting.

The bend of soft action rods makes a nice smooth curve during the casting, which avoids harsh snapping of the line.

Another thing that is affected by rod action is the casting distance. Most people find that they can cast further with a slow or medium action rod. This is because the graceful arch of the line helps your hook fly further.

Fast action rods can cause line snap which drives your hook and bait down towards the water. This can cut some distance off your cast.

Rod Length

Rods over 7 feet are considered long rods, while those under 7 feet are short rods.

Short rods are good for fishing in confined spaces like riverbanks with overhanging trees. They tend to have less power which means you cast shorter distances. They also give you less leverage which makes it more difficult to haul in larger fish.

Long rods can be used in places without overhead hazards. They have a bit more power which can help you cast further. They also have more leverage which helps you catch larger fish.

One thing to consider when choosing a rod length is your own height and ability. Large rods can be difficult and unwieldy for children, beginners, or shorter anglers.

Final Thoughts

Don’t assume that the most expensive rod in the shop is the best one. You need to think about the kind of fishing you want to do, where you’re going to do it, and what kind of fish you’re after.

These criteria will help you narrow down your options. Then you can start thinking about the cost. A lot of the time, a basic rod that costs about $50 will serve you well for years to come.

Specialized rods like ultralight spinning rods are your next step on the rod ladder once you’ve got your basic, everyday rod. 

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