How To Buy Freshwater Rods
Finding a good fishing rod starts with three basic considerations: your experience, your preferred way of fishing and the type of fish you are after. You then have a choice of several styles of rods to get the job done.
How to buy freshwater rods
There are two main types of rods--baitcasting and spinning. The type of rod you buy depends as much on the reel you buy as the type of fishing that you plan to do.
- Baitcasting rods
- The reel and line are seated on top of the rod
- A trigger grip lets you hold the rod securely while releasing thethumb bar/line release
- Spincasting reels generally match up best with baitcasting and casting rods because they sit on top of the rod are are designed to fit this way
- Spinning rods
- Spinning rods use a spinning or spincasting reel. These rods have three main differences from casting rods.
- The reel hangs from the bottom of the reel seat, and the line guides are on the bottom as well
- The handle length is balanced against the rod's length
Triggers are not used on spinning rods
Length and weight
- This depends of the type of fish that you want to catch
- Typically, the bigger the fish, the longer the cast so the longer the rod
Lure and line weight
- The heavier the lure and line, the longer and heavier the pole that you should buy
- Action describes the way a rod is designed to perform when casting or reeling in a fish
- It also relates to the lure or bait you need and the strength of the reel that should be used
- Most manufacturers use terms such as ultra-light, light, medium-heavy or heavy
- The smaller the fish, the lighter the action that you'll need; the heavier the fish, the heavier the action that you should buy
Most rods today are made from either graphite or fiberglass, or a composition of these two materials.
- Graphite has been refined over the years to provide lighter, more flexible rods that give you "sensitivity," a big plus in feeling when a fish begins to nibble on your bait
- This material is also strong enough to land a larger fish
- Fiberglass provides more durability than graphite but sacrifices some sensitivity and is heavier than graphite
- New composite rods give you the best of both graphite and fiberglass--the durability of fiberglass combined with the lightweight, power and sensitivity of graphite
- Pistol grip
- A pistol grip is the shortest type of grip
- It is contored to the shape of your hand with a hook for your index finger
- This hook helps in casting more accurately
- A longer triggerstick is used for two-handed, longer casts
- Materials come in two general styles - cork or EVA foam
- Cork is a traditional material that has a good feel and solid grip
- EVA foam offers more durability because it is more resistant to temperature changes and water wear
- Line guides can be made of plastic, metal or ceramic, listed from least to best quality. These circles are positioned to the rod's shaft to control fishing line.
- In casting rods, line guides are positioned on top of the rod. They are smaller to reduce the play in the line and allow for easier casting and quicker retrieve.
- Spinning rods place the line guides on the rod's bottom. These guides get larger toward the base of the rod.
- The number of line guides is determined by the rod's length
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How to buy combos
- If you are new to fishing, combos are a great way to start because manufacturers match the right reel with the right rod. They usually even put the right line on the reel for you.
- All you need to do is determine the type of fishing that you want to do and then find the combo that best suits your needs
- Like anything else, the more features in a combo, as well as the more quality components, the more you will pay. A good combo, though, can provide a lifetime of fun.
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