Fishing Rod Buying Guide (2020 Update)
New to fishing? Do not fear, the fly fishing rod buying guide is here! With the various amounts of rods available on today’s market, it isn’t a surprise that choosing the correct rod for you has proven to be quite the challenge.
There are numerous elements to factor into account when deciding which rod is right for you. Below, you will find the six characteristics you should look for in a fishing rod as well as the rod types and brand reviews.
The rod you choose should really reflect the type of fishing you favor.
Be sure to check back for updates to our fly fishing rod buying guide.
Fishing Rod Characteristics:
The longer the rod you choose, the easier long casts will become available. However, a shorter rod will allow you to have more control when fighting a stronger, more powerful fish.
When surf fishing, it is ideal to utilize an extended fishing rod so that you are able to reach well beyond the wave break. Luckily, large rods can be broken down easily to store during the offseason. Some rods can reach up to twelve feet or longer.
The action of the rod signifies its bending point. It determines how high or how low down the shaft will bend.
While an ultra-fast action rod may only bow in the first couple of inches, a slower action rod may bow as low as the last third of the shaft. Quick action rods are built to catch smaller fish, such as bluegill and slow action rods come in handy when hooking large game like shark or tuna.
The Okuma SLV is the power and action of your pole go hand in hand. The power of your rod determines how much pressure your rod can handle before it bends.
More power in your rod equals more allowance for heavier rigs, while less power equals a quicker reaction time when hooking a catch – even in the case of smaller fish.
Presently, poles tend to be made out of fiberglass or graphite. However, graphite seems to be the prominent choice among anglers as it offers remarkable sensitivity, unyielding strength, and a lightweight body.
Fiberglass, on the other hand, tends to be slightly heavier. However, some anglers prefer the weight of the fiberglass rod as graphite has proven to be almost too sensitive of a rod, leading novice anglers to act too quickly on a catch.
Fiberglass rods also tend to be considerably less expensive, perfectly suiting the budgeted angler. As of late several new models of rods have emerged on the market that is comprised of multiple layers of alternating fiberglass and graphite – molding together the best of both worlds for an overall high-quality rod.
#5 Reel Seat
The reel seat refers to the type of reel you ultimately attach to the end of your rod. Typically, you will want to start by making sure there is some kind of plastic insert set under the metal of your reel seat so that it will not rust or bound with weathering.
You will be safe choosing a reel seat from any of the name brand fishing companies on the market but if you are bargain shopping then you will want to do your research. Fishing rods are generally designed for one of two purposes, either baitcasting or spinning – so you will need to ensure that your reel seat equipment serves the same purpose.
#6 Handle Material
Foam and/or cork are the two main materials utilized in the making of rod handles. It is up to you to decide which is more comfortable in the palm of your hand.
What truly comes into play is the length of your handle. A longer handle will aid you in working with heavier bait, and longer casts with more gripping room. A split or pistol grip is helpful when dealing with lighter lures and a closer range.
Fishing Rod Types:
#1 Surf Rods
If your enjoyment comes from casting into the ocean then you may want to consider purchasing a surf rod. Off-shore fishing rods are equipped to fight against the elements of the ocean offering you length – casting well over ten feet, and strength – allowing control when hooking big game fish. Surf rods are perfect for casting past the wave break and utilizing heavier bait.
#2 Fly Fishing Rods
Fly fishing rods are long and thin, exclusively made for the type and size of fish they will be hooking. These rods range in size from #000 up to #16.
The smaller the number the smaller the fish the rod is meant to catch. Most fly fishing rods are made from split bamboo, a specialty rod material.
However, split bamboo requires considerable maintenance and can be quite temperamental.
#3 Ice Fishing Rods
As you drop your line beneath the icy cold waters you will find that no casting is required. Thus, ice fishing rods are generally on the shorter side reaching up to only two feet. Ice fishing rods are perfectly adapted for their specific purpose.
#4 Telescoping Rods
Telescoping rods are commonly utilized during hiking or camping. These rods rarely exceed eighteen inches when collapsed making them perfect for traveling.
Some anglers even keep one of these rods in the trunk of their car for spur of the moment fishing trips. If the weight and/or space is a concern for you than a telescope rod is your best bet.
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Whether you are just a beginner in fishing or a professional in this sport at Groupon you are sure to find the gear that would suit your fishing needs best.
Fishing Rod Brand Reviews:
Penn is a well-known brand name amongst experienced anglers. The brand has a reputation for specializing in unique rods.
Keep in mind you can’t have high quality without a high-end price tag, and Penn rods are no exception.
Shimano offers a wide array of fishing rods – even featuring some of the top rods on the market. Countless anglers regard Shimano to be one of the best fishing rod lines available.
#3 Abu Garcia
Abu Garcia offers quality rods at affordable prices. Novice anglers should definitely check out Abu Garcia.
Okuma is highly regarded for its utilization of innovative technology. Additionally, their line hosts rods suitable for novice anglers and veteran anglers alike.
As the manufacturer of the Ugly Stik, an iconic fishing rod – Shakespeare has truly made a name for itself. Shakespeare rods are ideal for freshwater fishing in particular.
#6 St. Croix
St.Croix provides anglers with remarkable technology and noteworthy manufacturing techniques. The brand has so many rods to choose from that any prospective angler will find the right rod to suit their needs.
Daiwa manufactures several of the world’s top saltwater fishing rods. If you are into ocean casting than this is the brand for you.
#8 Eagle Claw
Eagle Claw received its notable reputation for offering anglers laser sharp hooks but they also produce noteworthy high-quality rods suitable for any fisherman.
Fenwicks manufactures top of the line rods for freshwater fishing, ice fishing, and fly fishing.
Pfluger rods are perfect for the novice angler. They offer cheap prices for quality first timer rods. It may be in your best interest to begin with an inexpensive rod until you get your bearings.
As you gain more experience fishing you will find what rod characteristics do and do not work for you.
Thus, in time you will be able to tailor your rod to what works specifically for you. You will not only gain knowledge of what you prefer but also of what you need technically.
Fishing is a highly addictive sport, so understand that your first rod purchase will not be your last!
Fishing Rod Buying Guide Conclusion
Before making a purchase, be sure you know which fishing rod fits your style. Ask other fishermen or your local sporting goods store for additional advice not found in our fishing rod buying guide.
If you have any questions, please contact us for help.
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