October 03, 2019 4 min read
With over 3 million people fishing recreationally each year and with over 23 million fishing activities in a year (1) fishing is one of the most significant outdoor activities undertaken by Australians. In the US the number of people fishing is over 46 million (2). No wonder there are so many choices when it comes to choosing a rod and reel. How do you choose a fishing rod and reel? It's time to demystify the options and help you narrow down the choices.
The best place to start is with you and your fishing requirements. Here are a few questions that will help qualify the right rod and reel for you.
If you have at least most of the answers to these questions you are on your way to a choosing the right rod and reel for you.
Fishing Rod Measurements and Specifications
Choosing a Rod Length
The length of the rod is measured from the tip to the end of the butt. Fishing rods range in length from about 1.2m (4 feet) all the way up to 4.3m 14 feet.
Larger rods often dissemble into several pieces for easier transportation. More popular now are the telescopic rods that collapse into a small unit for storage and expand again when it's time to fish.
The action of a rod is the point on the rod where it bends. This measurement ranges from "ultra light" to "heavy". A heavy action means it bends closer to the tip while a lighter action bends closer to the butt of the rod. Rod action is also influenced by material which is covered in the next section.
In fishing, you are either using live bait or lures. A casting or live bait fisherman may want a more sensitive rod in order to be able to feel each small movement in the water. A lure fisherman may prefer a stiffer rod to be able to manipulate the rod and imitate the movement of the prey.
Fishing rods are made of carbon fibre (also known as graphite), fibreglass, or a combination of both materials. The material that your rod is made of is related to its functionality and the kind of fishing that you will be doing. There are pluses and minuses for both materials.
Choosing a Reel.
Rod choice is also determined by what kind of reel you will be using. Reel type is either spinning or casting. The different kinds of reels correspond to a fisherman's different needs. Each reel type has a matching rod. eg. Baitcaster Reel matched with Baitcaster Rod.
Now that we have all the factors we are going to attempt to bring them all together in a simple chart. This is a guide only, ultimately choosing a rod and reel is a personal choice that you need to feel right with. You will find that most anglers have multiple rods and reels to suit different conditions. If you are starting out, get a kit that is going to suit across multiple conditions and you can specialise with other set ups once you have a good feel for your specific requirements. It is best to get something that is easy for you to manage and for you to enjoy yourself out there rather than to overstretch too far and have a miserable time spending all your fishing time in tangles.
Fishing Rod Selection Guide
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