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Every angler has their own unique set of requirements, so searching the many different fishing rods can be a somewhat exasperating experience. Experience level, water conditions and targeted species of fish are only a few of the many variables that can make finding a fishing rod difficult. When starting your search, it’s a good idea to break the prospective fishing rods down into the basic types, including:
Spin & Bait Casting Fishing Rods - Generally more robust for fishing in heavy cover, spin casting and bait casting rods can handle heavier line and usually feature a forefinger grip trigger. With the reel and guides on top of the pole, these fishing rods make frequent casting much less demanding. Many manufacturers produce casting rods; St. Croix Fishing rods are among the many brands that manufacture these types of rods.
Spinning Rods - Widely used for trolling and fishing with live bait, Spinning rods are typically between 5 and 11 feet long and have the reel and guides mounted along their underside of the rod. Shakespeare spinning rods are just one example of these types of rods.
Trolling Rods - Intended for casting a lure or bait beside or behind a moving boat, trolling rods allow the movement of the boat to pull the bait through the water. In fresh water almost any rod can be used for trolling, however trolling rods are specifically designed for the purpose of trolling.
Surf Rods - The most common type of saltwater fishing rods, Surf casting rods resemble oversized spinning rods. Engineered to maximize casting distance, they are generally between 10 to 14 feet long and strong enough to cast heavy weighted lures or bait. St. Croix fishing rods are one type of surf rods.
Considerations in Fishing Rod Selection
Even though there are many different types of fishing rods, there are still a number of considerations that you’ll need to make.
The Construction of Fishing Rods - Among the most important pieces of equipment, fishing rods are manufactured using a variety of material each of which has distinct differences:
Fiberglass - Fiberglass fishing rods have proven to be strong, reasonably responsive and a good choice for newer anglers.
Graphite - Favored by experienced anglers, graphite fishing rods offer an excellent mix of both strength and flexibility.
Bamboo - Often used in fly fishing rods, Bamboo is renowned for being light and flexible
Fishing Rod Length - Rod length can have a direct result on the ease with which you can cast and fish. While the typical length of a fishing rod can range from 6 to 12 feet there are some exemptions: ice fishing rods can be as short as 2 feet to accommodate the short casting distance. While personal preference is often a primary component in most anglers’ decision making process, some general rules of thumb include:
The longer the rod, the greater the casting distance
Shorter rods can provide needed leverage for larger fighting fish
Younger anglers normally should use a shorter rod
Fishing Rod Selection Tips
Successfully selecting a fishing rod can be a difficult task, however you may be able to simplify this task by considering some of our fishing rod selection tips:
Avoid glued grips when possible
Generally, the more line guides, the higher rod quality
Consider a multi-piece rod for backpacking or travel