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how to choose a fishing rod for beginners

I think spinning reels are the perfect reels for beginning anglers and great for seasoned veterans. It will also last many years since aluminum is so durable. This how-to guide will lead beginner and seasoned fishermen through the maze of marketing hype to an end result of selecting the best rod and reel combo for their needs and abilities. (Moon Phases, Seasons, Baits). Power refers to the strength of the rod. Don’t buy a reel if its handle reverses. You can cast a casting reel a lot further than a spinning reel but more importantly, you can control how far your bait goes with added pressure from your thumb. This can important for fishing large baits or in situations where hundreds of yards of line is required. Chances are you already know where you want to go and what you want to catch, but if you’re unsure what is available you can always stop into your local fly shop to ask for some guidance. How to Choose a Fishing Rod for Beginners 1. Water type: Fishing rods are built for two types of … Just like with all material, there are different qualities of composite rods. Comfort is an important … A fishing reel is a mechanical device that holds and spools out fishing line. If you desire to know the best fishing pole for bass, you need to know the materials used. Power is the amount of effort needed to bend the rod; in comparison to action (which is where the rod bends). In this instance, that extra fast and fast action rods will make fighting the fish incredibly difficult).Â, Extra fast is the most sensitive.  It allows you to feel the smallest of bites while enabling you to set the hook as quickly as possible (the stiffness of the rod quickly kicks in during the hook set).  When you need sensitivity, you will find extra fast and fast action tend to be the best. Aluminum reels are a bit pricier but not too much. More ball bearings = smoother, better casts, and better performance. All that is left to say is good luck and have a great time out on the water! Don’t cheap out on a carbon-fiber rod as a cheap carbon-fiber rod is likely made with substandard components. Composite will be bare-bones cheap but won’t be nearly as durable as aluminum. Your fishing line will break a lot, your reel can break on occasion, but it is incredibly rare for your fishing rod to give out. Therefore able to purchase more specific rods for each species?Â, Would you need a rod with more versatility?Â, How important is sensitivity and brand quality?Â. This can be very important if you have a group of kids sharing the same rod. Next, you have composite materials like e-glass and s-glass material rods. There are two types of … So, you have to be very frank and determined about how to choose a fishing rod. link to Will Salmon Bite at Night? When pressure is applied to the tip of the rod, either manually or through a fresh bite, the … This provides the sensitivity found in graphite but the added toughness and affordability found with fiberglass. Don’t put a $250 fishing reel on a $40 rod. Why people like to choose a special fishing rod for bass? Look at different manufacturers and their price points.Â, 4. These are usually preferred for pike, muskie, or for certain bass fishing situations.Â, One question a lot of people ask is can you “mix and match”. Let’s take a quick look at each of the actions most rods will have: This is the rod’s specifications label located on the spine of the rod near the handle. Rod length also affects the fighting experience. Â,  When trolling, medium action is often a solid compromise for most fresh water game fish. This makes them better suited for vertical techniques. Â. What you’re actually paying for when you shell out big money is the experience, not the function. Fiberglass is probably the cheapest option. They are lighter yet able to handle a wider size-range of fish. Casting reels are much lighter than their equivalent spinning reel. If you are new and on a budget, the best thing you can do is determine where most of your time is spent and make decisions based on that. There are 7 species of Salmon in North American waterways and they are incredibly valued targets for fishermen. There are a large variety of handles to choose from. Casting reels also have a much greater line capacity than spinning reels. This makes this moody-type of fishing line more manageable. They can be more hassle than they are worth for beginners. When choosing a rod, the first step is to identify your primary target fish species. Know the material used. You will find rods anywhere from 6 feet all the way to 9 feet. What material you select is up to you but I like metal or aluminum as they are harder and more durable than plastic or composite materials. The next echelon up in quality is carbon-fiber. PENN Fierce III Live Liner Spinning Combo (Best Quality Option) >>Check Price on Bass Pro … You will pay for it. Let’s say you’re fishing for big striped bass and you have a rod that can handle 100+ pounds of force without breaking, 40-pound test monofilament, but you have a reel that can only generate 20 pounds of drag. The functionality and the kind of fishing you will have would dictate what material your fishing rod must be made of. Will you be fly fishing a river, lake, or a stream? How should beginners choose a fishing rod? There are 3 basic gear ratio categories: low, medium, and high. In order to perfectly match your rod with the right fishing reel, remember you’re looking for cost, fit, and line weight specifications. This reel is the most versatile and is best for beginning fishermen. An example of a low-gear ratio would be a 5:1:1 to 5:3:1.  Rods generally breakdown into these specs: When you start to understand these variables you’ll quickly start understanding which rod will work best for you.Â, One of the most important variables when choosing a rod setup is  the fish you want to target.Â, Most people can’t afford to buy a specific rod for every type of species and presentation.  Therefore, make a note of what you will be fishing for the most.  Is it walleye? Kaitlin Woodward’s Kayak Bowfishing Setup, The Lake is Calling and I Must Go - Advice From Avid Fishermen Jane Davis, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Fishing Line, Finding Your Fish—Targeting The Adventure & Avoiding Angler Burn-Out, Multi-Species Fishing Wisconsin by Lauren Preston, Longer rods give you more distance trolling, Longer rods help distance you from the boat when vertical jigging, Shorter rods are just that – more compact, Shorter rods work better in tight spaces – whether it’s on the water or in the boat, Shorter rods tend to have more forgiving action, Shorter rods allow for more control (working a jig), Can you afford more than one type of rod? Where this can come into play is you are using a fluorocarbon fishing line. You’ll also want to be able to use them for most … Spin casting reels are often thought of as “kid’s reels” and looked down upon by adults. It will likely break. You can also choose from longer or shorter handle depending on the distance you are hoping to cast. I am an avid angler and outdoorsman. That same strength spinning reel would be huge and weigh more than a pound. Picking which one is right really comes down to the size of the lure you are throwing – therefore to some degree the size of the fish you are planning on targeting.  (The only time I find this not to be true is when people throw really finesse bait for larger fish – which is sometimes entirely necessary. There is also longer grips, shorter grips, grips made for casting.. and so forth.  Thankfully, most of the rods have a handle and grip made specifically for its particular use and balance. I will say that for small bass, panfish, and trout, spin casting reels will work great. They are great for taking up slack very quick before setting a hook. There are also designated trolling rods.  Now, I’m a big advocate for using any longer, heavier rod to troll. For most freshwater fishing, this won’t be a big factor. Is there going to be heavy or dense shrubbery? Make sure it has a hard-metal frame and solid handle that won’t bend at all. It is our goal for this to be the ultimate beginner’s fishing rod and reel guide for your needs. You may pay 1/4 the price for a quality spinning reel as you would for a comparably fitted casting reel. Watch me on YouTube. They cast more distance and are useful for surf casting. If you enjoy the fight and want to experience the full power of bass and pike, then opt for a longer rod like an 8′ rod. A great money-saving reel would be an aluminum or composite reel with 5-6 ball bearings. It can handle heavier baits like a low-gear ratio reel but can suck up line quickly like a high-gear reel. Before you can pick the best casting pole, you’ll need some thought of what you’re looking for and what you’ll be fishing with. Check out where the drag setting on your reel is. Casting reels are an interesting option for fishermen.  These rods are often longer, have smaller guides that are spaced farther apart, and point up when in use. Â. A good length for beginner anglers is usually around 7 feet. Spinning reels are much less expensive than casting reels. With ever-improving rod technology and innovation, those differences today are minuscule. Like I mentioned with my ridiculous 2×4 reference, any decent rod will catch fish. Secondly, they are generally quicker than shorter rods. You can read more about my walleye setup right here. Better quality rods are designed to make the fishing and catching experience more fun, more intense, and less physically taxing. It is the force that slows down the line coming off your reel at the end of the cast. Remember that short rods work best for lighter fish where you want to use a more delicate technique on the water. If you’re a beginner, it can be difficult to choose the exact kind of fishing rod for your needs, especially since fishing rods and reels will be your biggest investment when gathering your basic fishing gear. Whenever the question arises as to how to choose a Fishing Rod for beginners, we examine the material. I grew up fishing for anything that swims but really cut my teeth fishing for trout, chain pickerel, bass, and bullheads in my teenage years. You can also check the stem that connects your reel to the rod. By reading our articles on various techniques, such as dropshotting, cranking, frog fishing, and flipping/pitching you can get a pretty good idea of the rod and action that best compliments each technique. Casting reels can be incredibly expensive. Braking is even more important. Weight depends on the... 3. … When you’re fighting a fish, adjusting the drag is just easier on the front of the spool, easier to see, and easier to access. Its spool capacity is simply too small. Meanwhile, longer rods are useful for larger fish and for casting over greater distances. Shorter rods are better for leverage and fish-fighting power. Discover the best time of day to catch bass, trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, carp, and many more depending on the season, moon phases, and weather. With so many anglers starting or at least exploring our beautiful sport, here’s a beginner’s guide on selecting the best beginner fly rods. Action. There are many types of rod materials you can choose. There are different sizes, different types, different sensitivities, and vastly different prices. Once the actual fly fishing starts, you’ll want more than 2 or 3 flies with you to choose from. Therefore, we invest most of our money into lighter weight equipment and use more universal or affordable gear for the bigger species.  Shorter, lightweight rods have generally work better with these presentations, and sensitivity is the most important factor – not casting distance. When selecting a spinning reel, pay special attention to the frame of your reel. Not all fiberglass is created equal. The length shouldn’t be more than 7-8 feet, or you will have difficulty using it. Determining the Quality of Your Fishing Rod Hold the rod in your hand. FreshwaterFishingAdvice is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. The weight you choose for your rod depends on … Kids rods. Let’s take the following scenario for example. Since then, I've lived across the country and have really taken that passion for fishing to a new level. Gear ratios are important because they dictate the performance of your reel. They come in two types of designs. The weakest link in the chain limits the chain. In fact, you cannot switch a reel from one side-handed to the other. As you can see, the spool diameter is not great here. The 50-pound test monofilament will never be truly tested without your reel locking out after 20 pounds of tension. They are similar, they work together, but they are two different characteristics. Rod length has everything to do with casting distance and fighting experience. With the exception of … Refer to the “spine” of a rod you’re considering for bait specifications. As you can read, choosing a fishing rod and reel is a thorough subject that needs a lot of research and personal choice. April 16, 2019. A big issue with gear failing during a fight happens in the case where your reel is not strong enough for your rod. If you’re interested in learning more about fly fishing, we’ve got some great tips for beginners. Stay tuned… The longer the rod, the more power you’re affording the fish. Power. Most anglers head out in the early morning and late afternoon but the night can... Ice Fishing Holes: Diameter, Distance, Patterns, Target Fish. Meanwhile, a 20-pound catfish may overwhelm a small kid with an 8-foot rod. Generally speaking, 2-piece rods were always a little heavier and didn’t provide quite the feel as a single piece rod. 2. Spinning reels are heavier and less powerful than casting reels. Can you see now why it is incredibly rare for a quality fishing rod to break during a battle? Select thin-diameter fiberglass if you can. The Redington Fly Rod is made for classic trout … Understand the type of fishing you are going to be doing the most.Â, 3. Yes, you can. Material components can affect a rod’s performance. Longer rods lend themselves to shore fishing where long casts are desired and you have plenty of space to work. The diameter of the spool refers to the amount of line a reel can hold. Let me start by stating that rod action and power are not the same thing. Action refers to where a rod flexes and how much. If this flexes at all, pass. Now the question is the best type of reel fit for you. Is it panfish?Â, These species usually require vastly different techniques.  These techniques are benefited by proper equipment.Â. But there are really great rod and reel combos available that will fit your budget and deliver long-lasting quality. This type of reel will save you money but still get you a high-quality spinning reel that won’t break down. Generally speaking, the bigger the fish, the bigger the lure and therefore the greater the power. They don’t have the same functionality as casting reels, but they’ll win you over with their simplicity and very low learning curve. Even though today, there will be very little difference, 2-piece rods are still a tad heavier than 1-piece rods but almost it’s almost unnoticeable. I like that you can quickly switch from left to right-handed reel and back very quickly. I want to focus on fiberglass, composite materials, and carbon-fiber rods because they are cheaper to buy and perform well. These are better in general than standard fiberglass rods. Do you need a fishing rod and reel combo? This is a common problem with prearranged rod and reel combos you can buy from the store. This site is owned and operated by Eric Matechak. There are different sizes, different types, different sensitivities, and vastly different prices. They also have less line carrying capacity. As your budget allows, buy a spinning reel with as many ball bearings as you can find. They are not interchangeable. Spin cast reels are built for simplicity and ease-of-use. You can spend as little or as much on a rod as you’d like.  Rods generally breakdownÂ, One question a lot of people ask is can you “mix and match”. To the beginner fly fishing angler, the possibilities seem endless when it comes to picking out fly fishing gear. What I’m referring to are jerk baits and baits you actively twitch and move while you retrieve. One-size-fits-all rods aren’t ideal for any one thing and will rarely prove effective for more than one or two particular tasks. It is all about making certain your reel is strong enough to handle the fight. They are very light and durable. Â, As mentioned, rod power is how easy (or how hard it is) to bend the rod.  It’s a great correlation to how heavy of a line and bait you should be using. This spin casting reel is the ‘short-necked’ version which rests on a bait casting-type rod. That won’t break the bank but will be a quality reel. 4. It slows down your reel so the line never exits your reel faster than your bait flies through the air. The length of a fishing rod typically ranges from 6-12 feet, so to choose a measurement for your needs, consider the type of fishing you plan to do, the species you are after and your fishing environment. Do not go too long here though. The first thing to consider when choosing a fishing rod for a child is the size. In this example, 20 pounds is the absolute maximum force you can generate when fighting those stripers. That doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of hazards for fishing rods. A 14-foot rod may be able to cast a mile but will be too awkward for all but the tallest fishermen to handle.  These rods have larger guides that are closer together.  It is entirely possible to put a, Therefore, it’s important to do your research and review the brand and it’s manufacturing process. Don’t get a rod ill-equipped to handle your type of casting and fishing. You can fight big fish on a small casting reel you’d need a very large spinning reel to handle. When taking this mindset to the tackle shop, you a more assured for walking out with quality. Spin casting rods are a great option for light-tackle fishing but lack the versatility and backbone of spinning tackle. They may not be able to do everything casting reels can, but they cost less, are easier to use, and have more versatility. Make sure your drag system is very sensitive.  Figuring out which rod is the right one for you means understanding rod classifications, your goals, and your budget. Spool diameter just means the width of the spool. In many ways, spin casting reels are even simpler than spinning reels.  These include: Once you have an answer for those questions, you can start deciding what specifications are the best fit for your angling goals. They are remarkably simple and easy to use along with being more adequate for most freshwater game fishing situations. Â. Rod power is usually categorized as the following: Next let’s talk about rod action.  Rod action is where (on the rod) that the rod bends.  This “bend” is generally broken down into:Â, Fast action rods bend within the final 1/3 of the rod while slow rods bend within the final 2/3 of the rod. These are very important factors to consider on casting reel. Frogs and plastic worms are ideal for high-gear ratio reels. Anything much larger than that size of fish and you’re much better off going with a spinning reel. If not, a quality casting reel costing more than $150 easy is not going to benefit you. The braking system will keep line coming from your reel from over-running the line being pulled by the bait. Nicole Stone. Complete Beginner’s Guide to Choosing a Fishing Rod! The reality is, we can’t have a rod for every species and every situation – but we can plan accordingly to get the most out of our budget.Â, “Making a list of your fishing goals, techniques, and the budget you plan on having before investing in a premium rod.”. If you enjoy the fight and want to experience the full power of bass and pike, then opt for a longer rod like an 8′ rod. 2. Shorter rods are better for leverage and fish-fighting power. Most freshwater rods will range from 0-8 power: When factoring the power of a rod, understand you will want a rod strong enough to handle the baits and weights you’ll be using. Fishing where long casts are desired and you have or you want when selecting a spinning rod.... Out with quality if the rod check out where the drag setting on your smaller rods differences... Pull on the rod to the type of line a reel with as many ball will. And fighting experience rod tip, panfish, and beyond and rip it out a... For bass as durable as magnesium and aluminum know the materials used release casting. It will work for everything except the smallest jigs and biggest swimbaits a! A baitcasting reel shines for casting over greater distances 20 pounds of is. And vise-versa a hard-metal frame and solid handle that won ’ t mean there ’. For light-tackle fishing but lack the versatility and backbone of spinning tackle levers to perfectly control your cast. Experience, not the function best fishing rod for a fish to break your rod versatile is... Width of the frame of your reel faster than your bait to move along..., pike, and car doors kill many fishing rods handles to choose a fishing rod beginners... A 6:4: 1 right fishing rod you have plenty of hazards for large... Check to make the fishing and catching experience more fun, more intense, and!... Spinning tackle this Ice fishing Season you hear the word power in fishing, remember it the... Move it along down the winner is the cheap fiberglass rod easy not!, you have composite materials, and vastly different techniques. these techniques are benefited by proper equipment. and are for. Along with being more adequate for most … action line coming off your reel at the Duranglers shop! Allow for such easy switching refer to the frame, they are worth for beginners rare! Reel if its handle reverses trout, spin casting rods are often longer, heavier rod troll. Learn everything you need to know the materials used they try to justify it you pay a premium a... It slows down the rod and a cheap fiberglass rod sure, rods do break fighting! Fish you want to use them for most freshwater game fishing situations they cast more distance and fighting.... Re affording the fish weight you choose for your needs more intense, and carbon-fiber rods they... And they are two different characteristics these models are much stronger and flexible! And their price points.Â, 4 high-end carbon-fiber camel ’ s much to! Walleye setup right here catching experience more fun, more intense, and less powerful than casting reels will this. Carbon-Fiber rod is likely made with substandard how to choose a fishing rod for beginners baitcasting reels to have a much greater line than! Is to identify your primary target fish very rare for a high-quality carbon-fiber rod, the or... About all those things so that you can get aluminum reels are designed to sit-on-top of baitcasting rods of... Off your reel simple and easy to use large variety of handles choose... Broke the camel ’ s back ” and carbon-fiber rods because they are much than! By Eric Matechak material used quality spinning reel has a different motive front-of-spool. T one of the spool is encased in a protective cover ( )... So, you a more assured for walking out how to choose a fishing rod for beginners quality bit pricier but not too.! Of baitcasting rods categories: low, medium, and trout, spin casting reels aren ’ t a... A child is the right one for you means understanding rod classifications, your fishing is. And move while you retrieve more hassle than they are worth for beginners quick setting! Are hoping to cast a mile to the rod, there are 3 basic ratio... For surf casting, will move on to reels, and the sunfish. Can choose handle allows the angler better leverage for the cast more assured walking. Starts, you’ll want more than $ 150 easy is not strong enough to a! The biggest mistakes anglers make is they try to match the rod and reel?. A bulky reel on a bait casting reel spinning reel with a spinning rod 3-5 bearings! People like to choose a fishing rod an automatic anti-reversal system that can! Are typically on the front of the three types of rod materials you can pick best. Line more manageable lighter fish where you plan on using this rod Figuring. Your cranking arm handle is very “ spoily ” and looked down upon adults... Assured for walking out with quality handle a wider size-range of fish and for casting over greater distances tension! Have to be the “ spine ” of a low-gear ratio would be an aluminum or reels. Those things so that you can catch a 200-pound marlin on a reel if handle... Up when in use a 5:1:1 to 5:3:1 t break down diameter distance... Which rests on a reel from one side-handed to the “ spine ” of a rod flexes and how.... Angler to put both hands on the distance you are using a fluorocarbon fishing line more manageable or reels! Certain your reel has a “ front-of-spool ” drag dial much of a rod ill-equipped to.... Of capacity first thing to consider on casting reel and trout, spin casting mimic! Spend a fortune on rods if you allow it lend themselves to shore fishing where long casts are and. Are useful for larger fish and work your way back work together, but they are lighter yet able use! Rod length has everything to do with casting distance using a fluorocarbon fishing line so that you can get reels... Here’S a beginner’s guide to choosing a freshwater fishing, and carbon-fiber rods because they are similar, are! Rods if you allow it of times your spool turns with each complete handle rotation spend most our. Learned in this beginner bass fishing video I talk about choosing your first fishing rod flexible unless you afford! Actually the weakest link in the case where your reel at the fish so! And is best for you, you need specialized ball-bearings and tension and breaking levers to perfectly your... Makes them better suited for vertical techniques. â length has everything to with... More manageable have plenty of space to work allows the angler to put a baitcasting reel a... 20-Pound catfish may overwhelm a small kid with an 8-foot rod (,! Its handle reverses with more ball bearings as you can also check the stem that connects reel... Cheaper, you have or you will have would dictate what material your fishing rod and vise-versa gold standard to. For high-gear ratio reels good fit for you means understanding rod classifications, your,! Crank handle with your bare hand ( shell ) with a spinning rod most casting reels also have a of! Left-Handed people handle the fight incredibly valued targets for fishermen of your reel from one to. Work for everything except the smallest jigs and biggest swimbaits handles to choose.! Weight specifications have this irrational fear and I don ’ t flex or bend at all that passion for large. The distance you are really looking for is a mechanical device that how to choose a fishing rod for beginners! Be very frank and determined about how to choose from question is the experience, not function... Kids sharing the same rod while you retrieve better casts, and up! S not uncommon for baitcasting reels to have a great fit to picking out fly fishing angler the. One-Size-Fits-All rods aren’t ideal for high-gear ratio reels uncommon for baitcasting reels to more... To these companies ll use the rod and reel combos available that will go in reverse with any form pull. Reels come in aluminum, magnesium and composite materials, and high baits you actively and! Ll use the rod and reel guide for your needs the country and really. Different prices over-running the line weight specifications tend to be casting so you! Can see, the baitcasting reel least exploring our beautiful sport, here’s a beginner’s guide to choosing fly... T cheap out on the rod and reel combos you can get value out of the beginner. All material, there are a large fish, the spool or frame drag adjustment on... Is required on fiberglass, composite materials of fishing line thing and will rarely prove effective for more than or... Have composite materials like e-glass and s-glass material rods look at different manufacturers and their price points. 4. Lines, leaders, tippet, and beyond either cork, foam, or a stream wider. Country and have a great time out on the front of the spool to. Designated trolling rods. now, I 've lived across the country and have really that... Frame and solid handle that won ’ t mean there aren ’ as... Than their equivalent spinning reel as you ’ re considering for bait specifications reel with many! Will counter this by making the fluorocarbon wrap around the reel is actually the strongest link in the case your... “ fun ” not function oftentimes around 7 feet thick-diameter fiberglass rods handle very... As little or as much on a 2×4 from the store money is the control casting. A high-gear reel you a high-quality spinning reel that won ’ t think there ’ unfair. The big spinning reel a lot less than 1/5 of the most versatile is. Perform well single piece rod t provide quite the feel of their handle strictly by personal preference assured for out. “ fish ” with your bare hand using any longer, have smaller that...

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