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How to Choose a Fishing Rod

Before you can choose this vital item of fishing gear, you’ll need to have some idea of what you’re fishing for and what you’ll be fishing with.

HOW TO CHOOSE A FISHING ROD: BASICS

Along with learning how to choose a fishing reel, one of the most challenging decisions for beginners learning how to fish is that of choosing a fishing rod. For many new anglers, selecting a beginner fishing rod from the massive variety of rods on the market can seem quite daunting. Short or long? Stiff or flexible? Graphite, fiberglass or both? The good news is that learning how to choose a fishing rod for beginners is much the same as learning how to choose a fishing rod for experienced anglers. Both sets of anglers must be able to answer the same pair of questions, namely:

  • Where will you be fishing?
  • What type of bait you will be using?

Once you are equipped with the answers to those two questions, you will find it easier to match up fishing rod types and uses. Whether selecting a beginner fishing rod or one more advanced, understanding the different characteristics that make up this important piece of fishing gear can help you choose the right rod for the catch. 

  • The first thing to remember when learning how to choose a fishing rod is that each fishing rod is a balance of flexibility and strength. Stronger rods can cast heavier lures and bait 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 – and are available 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 RIGHT ROD

Before you can choose the best fishing 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 and beginner fishing 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. There are also hybrid rods on the market, made with a combination of both materials. Like many other pieces of fishing gear, it’s a trade-off. The best fishing rods are the ones you are most comfortable using. Unsurprisingly, most beginners start out with fiberglass rods.

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. Then, all there is left to do is choose a reel that accommodates your chosen rod and get ready to go fishing.

Watch Capt. Diego Toiran from Pescando en los Cayos 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 offer combination rod/reel rigs that are spooled and ready to go. Consult your local tackle store for the best advice, their staff is trained to get you the right equipment you need.