Fishing for a new rod

Olympus Digital Camera

Fishing season opens shortly and in the days leading up to it, there’s no doubt sporting goods stores will be packed with people wanting to restock tackle or to purchase new gear. Many of these fishermen and women will be looking for a new fishing rod either for themselves or for a youngster.

I was in a Bass Pro shop a little while ago and the number of fishing rods on display was mind-boggling. The store offered racks of casting, spinning, and fly rods, and there even was a stand of rods for surf fishing. With all the choices available I wondered how the average fisherman could begin to make a choice.

Most people who shop for a new fishing rod just pick one up and shake it a few times before heading to the check-out register. Like Goldilocks, they will use this technique until they find one that “feels right.” They may be happy with their purchase but I feel there’s a better way to go about it.

First of all, it’s important to know what kind of rod best suits the fish you are targeting and your fishing style. If it’s a spinning, baitcasting, or even a fly rod you are looking for the idea is the same.

Rods can be of a light, medium, or heavy action so, it’s necessary to consider the type of fishing you will be doing. A light action rod will have a softer tip and won’t be suited for tossing heavy bass lures in thick cover. Similarly, a heavy action rod, one with a stiff tip, probably won’t be sensitive enough or suitable when for fishing for crappies or other panfish using worms or small minnows for bait. Most casual fishermen will be better off with a rod with a medium action to make it more versatile regardless of what fish species they are targeting.

Length is another consideration. A rod that is too long, say 7 feet or more, may not be suited for throwing larger lures into heavy cover but, it could be perfect for tossing a hook and bobber a longer distance. Similarly, a rod with a stiff action may be the perfect choice when fishing for bass in the Lilly pads. Most will be happier with a six or six-and-a-half-foot rod.

The majority of fishing rods on dealers’ racks are made of fiberglass or graphite. While more expensive than a fiberglass rod, consider one made of graphite. Rods made with this material have more sensitivity in the rod tip due to their stiffer structure. This extra sensitivity lets you fish a lure better and to more easily detect subtle bites.

Don’t forget to look at the rod guides to see how many there are and from what they’re made. The more guides on the rod the smoother it will cast a lure. Back in the old days, rod guides were made up of steel and polished chrome. Monofilament fishing line easily cut grooves in the guides which frayed the line. Today, rods and their inserts are comprised of various materials like titanium and silicon carbides, ceramic or aluminum oxide. Low-quality guides will not be able to handle braided lines and can wear out quickly.

Finally, consider if the rod you like comes apart for ease of transportation and storage, some don’t. Buying a new fishing rod needn’t pose a problem if you know what you want before heading to the store.

Categories: Blog Content, New York – Mike Raykovicz

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