How to Choose a Fishing Rod

Before you can choose a rod, you’ll want some idea of what you’re fishing for and what you’ll be fishing with.

Fishing Rods: Basics

When you’re thinking about how to choose a fishing rod, it’s best to understand the different parts and characteristics that make up this important piece of fishing gear.

  • Starting from the bottom or butt-end of the rod moving up, the first thing you will encounter is the handle or grip, usually made from cork or foam. This is the business end of the shaft, where you will hold it when casting and retrieving.
  • Each fishing rod is a balance of flexibility and strength. Stronger rods can cast heavier lures, but won’t be as sensitive to gentle strikes from a fish, or may not flex enough to work well with lightweight line. Lighter rods may be very sensitive, but not strong enough to fight bigger fish.
  • Rods also come in a variety of lengths. Shorter rods provide more power for fighting a fish and are commonly used for trolling and big game fishing. Longer rods can cast farther — surf casting rods and fly rods are often quite long up to 14 feet. These rods dissemble into up to four pieces for easier transport. Most rods up to around 6 feet are one-piece.

Selecting the Best Fishing Rod

Before you can choose a rod, you’ll want some idea of what you’re fishing for and what you’ll be fishing with. Spinning rods work well with lighter baits and lures and are good general purpose rods. Casting rods work well for tossing artificial baits, plugs, and jigs that are heavier.

A fishing rod can be made of fiberglass or graphite. Fiberglass is tougher and generally more flexible and can be less expensive. Graphite is lighter, stiffer, and more sensitive but easier to damage. Like many other pieces of fishing gear, it’s a trade off. The best fishing rods are the ones you are comfortable using.

Once you’ve picked a style and material, look for a rod that matches the weight of the lure or bait, and the size line you wish to use. Pick out a reel that fits the same description, and get ready to go fishing.

Watch Capt. Diego Toiran and learn how to choose the best rod and reel combo. Finding a rod and reel that match one another is important for the overall balance of your gear. Many stores have combination rigs that are spooled and ready to go. Rely on your local tackle store for the best advice, their staff is trained to get you the right equipment you need.