Types of Fishing Rods and How to Choose the Right One

People who love to fish know that it is essential to have the best equipment possible. When focused on choosing a rod, you’ll have to consider where you’ll be and what fish you want to catch. It’s also essential to think about the bait you’ll likely use.

You’ll find that there are many types of fishing rods out there. Since it can be a little confusing at first, we compiled a list of the most common ones. We also talked about selecting the right one based on your particular needs.

The Basics

Before we get too involved in the various options available, you need to know what to consider when selecting a rod. There are many qualities and parts when it comes to this fishing equipment.

  • The Handle or Grip: This is what you will hold, and it starts at the base of the pole. You’ll grip this part while recovering the fish and casting the line.
  • Weight: Every rod blank features a balance of quality of adaptability. The stronger rods allow for heavier casts and weights, though it isn’t sensitive to strikes and might not flex well enough to use a lightweight line. Lighter rods are generally more delicate and might not be durable enough to catch a large fish.
  • Length: Rods also come in various lengths, with the shorter ones giving more power to a fighting fish. They’re usually ideal for big game fishing or trolling. That said, longer rods cast longer distances and usually disassemble into four pieces to make it easier to transport.

Rod Materials

Fishing rods can be made using a variety of materials such as graphite, bamboo, composite, and fiberglass. The material used can influence the angling mode, the ability to use it well.

Fiberglass rods are ideal for beginners because they don’t need a lot of support and offer more rod power. You can use them for larger fish, including pike, muskie, and walleye. When you need a strong and heavy rod for recovering a fish that fights, this might be best.

Bamboo rods are more likely to produce a fluid, smooth back-cast. You’ll notice a dampening impact more toward the end of your casting motion. Generally, it is made from a Tonkin stick, which is of the utmost quality.

Graphite rods are a favorite of advanced fishermen because they are light and high-quality. The lightness of the handle is ideal for a variety of angling circumstances. This can give you more battling power when dealing with a fighter.

types of fishing rods

Types of Fishing Rods

Now, it’s time to talk about the various fishing rods available on the market. This can help you learn more about them and decide which one is right for you.

1. Spinning Rods

Unlike the casting rod, the spinning rod features a reel hanging under the rod and opposite to the top. It requires you to use the second and third fingers holding the pole to straddle that part where it joins the rod. Of course, the primary advantage of this is that you can keep your rod in the dominant hand to help with control.

Since the weight of the reel is hanging underneath the rod, you may find it more comfortable to fish for more extended periods. This option might be better when you’re casting a light line. Plus, you can peel off line using the reel spool.

2. Casting Rods

The casting rod is sometimes called a spin-cast rod, and it is used to hold the casting reel mounted over its handle. It features a straightforward push-catch for the line discharge, as well as an encased space where the line will leave the reel.

Generally, these rods are quite inexpensive, which is ideal for beginners. However, they also work well for a variety of needs, including waterway and lake angling. They are usually more effective than a spinning rod because they use heavier lines and are more accurate.

3. Fly Rods

The fly rod comes in many sizes and shapes. They’re usually flexible so you can bring the line forward and backward to cast. Plus, they’re lighter in weight when compared to other options.

Of course, the smallest sizes can catch small trout. They can also be used for marlin and tuna fishing.

One distinction of this rod is that it doesn’t have a butt piece after its reel. The lower section after the reel would interfere with the casting method.

A weighted line is used to assist in casting. A fly is constructed of hair, feathers and other lightweight materials. You’ll need to find the right size rod for castings and the size of the fish. The bigger your fish, the heavier your rod needs to be.

4. Ultra-Light Rods

In most cases, an ultra-light rod is more challenging to use, but it also adds to the thrill of catching the fish. They are generally shorter in length, have lighter lines, and are built to be lightweight. It’s best to use them for smaller fish such as bass, panfish, and trout.

Sometimes, fishermen do use them for larger fish with varying degrees of success. That said, the light line and lure might be less frightening to small fish, which is ideal if you want to catch a lot on your outing. Generally, bait used with this type of rod includes tubes, wet flies, little spinners, and plastic worms.

5. Surf Rods

The surf rod is generally for fishing from the shoreline or rocks. They’re designed to be bigger than the traditional spinning rod, but you’ve got longer hold handles for casting. Many times, these rods are up to twelve feet long, allowing you to cast past the surf breakage.

These rods are usually strong enough to cast significant weights and lures, even in choppy waters.

6. Trolling Rods

Trolling means that you’re casting off from a moving boat, so the motion can pull the bait while it’s in the water. This is a specialty rod that you are primarily going to need for Great Lakes and ocean fishing. Some trolling rods, though, also act as spinning rods and vice-versa.

Usually, these rods are stiffer and have fast action. Slower-action rods might be too flexible for trolling, especially if the boat is moving quickly.

7. Telescopic Rods

The telescopic fishing rod is designed to open up or shorten itself based on what and where you’re fishing. This can be helpful if you’re traveling by foot or bicycle to the location.

types of fishing rods

Choosing the Right Rod

Of course, understanding what each rod is and how it works is only the beginning. You still need to decide which one is right for your needs. Though the casting rod is great for newbies, it isn’t suitable for some tasks.

1. Power

Power refers to the amount of pressure you need to apply so that the rod bends appropriately. Light-action rods bend more while heavy-action rods bend less. In a sense, power focuses on the force the rod has to deal with while you’re fishing. The power also determines the lures that are used. Light action rods use smaller lures, while heavy action rods use heavier lures.

Numerous factors can come into play, such as the size of the rod and the materials that it is made of. There is always an argument about which materials are best for feel and fight. It’s up to the user to determine what they like best and what gives them the power they need.

2. Rod Length

Most fishing rods are between six and 12 feet in length, though some can be up to 14 feet long. The length you choose depends on the type of fishing you’re going to do, the angling position, and the species you want to catch.

Usually, beginners need a shorter rod to offer more control. You can develop your technique and learn to cast a decent distance with a pole that is up to nine feet long. Children are going to need a shorter rod than adults.

When you’re fishing in an area with woods or brush, a shorter rod is likely ideal. In open, wider spaces where you might choose to fly fish, a longer or extendable rod is best.

If the goal is to get big or strong fish, the rod should be short and robust. In a sense, if the rod is shorter, you have more control over the larger fish.

3. Line and Lure Length or Weight

The rod’s length and weight has to match your line weight. Sometimes, rod descriptions show the weight of the hook or lure that the bar could support. That doesn’t necessarily mean it must always use that type of lure or hook.

Lure weight is often measured in grams or ounces. Generally, you should consider the bait you’ll use before choosing the fishing rod. For example, if you use a flip rod with a crankbait, it’s going to be quite difficult. Though it is possible to do so, the accuracy, distance, and capacity might change because of the type of bait you’ve chosen.

4. The Rod

Before you can determine the length or weight of the line and lure, it is essential to know what makes up the rod. The bait and fishing line will also influence the fight and casting distance.

Usually, angling rods come in a variety of sizes, including:

  • Ultra-Light: Ideal for little fish and Crappie
  • Light: Suitable for bluegill, perch, sunfish, small bass
  • Medium-Light: Good for Walleye, trout, and bass
  • Medium: Choose when fishing catfish, bass, or redfish
  • Medium-Heavy: Best for salmon, musky, pike, or snook
  • Heavy: Consider for sturgeon, tuna, tarpon, and salmon
  • Ultra-Heavy: Works best for tuna, shark, sailfish, and halibut

The weight the rod can support is an indicator of the size and species you wish to fish. For example, ultra-light rods are best for smaller fish that require moderate reactions. If you don’t use the right rod, you have a higher risk of losing the fish or breaking your rod or line.

5. Action

Most people don’t realize it, but the action of your rod means the flexibility of the rod and where it bends.  There are primarily three action options to consider.

Fast-action rods are usually solid and feature a curvature at the tip. Medium or moderate-action rods have a rod that bends a little deeper, so the tip is more flexible.

The slow-action rod is more flexible and could bend well into the butt of your rod. This activity might be necessary, depending on how you use it and what fish you’re hoping to catch. Plus, the strategy you use may help you choose which action you’ll need.

6. Power with Action

Now that you understand both terms, it’s important to know how they play off each other. The action tells you how much control you have. The faster responses mean more weight on the fish, but you also have to consider power.

Power focuses on the weight of the rod. Therefore, the type of fish you’re catching decides how much energy you need based on how quick the action is.

Conclusion

It is ideal to have the right equipment, regardless of what you’re doing. When fishing, there isn’t much to it, except the bait, rod, and the right cast actions. You’ve learned a lot about the types of fishing rods and when they might be most suitable for your needs.

We focused on the variety of lure options and how rods are designed to cast deeper and more accurately. Of course, the right bar and line are also crucial so that casting is precise, and you have a better chance of catching your preferred fish. Now, it should be a bit easier to distinguish between the rods and know which is best.

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