One of the largest points of debate among anglers is the subject of rod length. The owner of Dobyns Rods, Gary Dobyns, specialises in designing a wide range fishing rods and is quoted as saying – “A rod’s length should only be limited to an angler’s ability to use it”. He personally prefers to use use a 9-foot fishing rod when bass fishing and tournaments rules allow for it. He is famous for saying that longer rods tend to pick up more line on a hook set, that can help if an angler is caught in an awkward position and looking for a good swing. Longer rods have a tendency to cause some anglers’ errors and as Dobyns says, “A longer rod is also better at balancing applied pressure against the surges and jumps of a hooked fish”.
In summary, typically a longer the rod will offer an angler more control over a fish.
Today’s current range of fishing rods are typically made from two materials: graphite and fiberglass. Graphite tends to be the lightest and most sensitive of the two materials. But fiberglass is still used extensively and has many applications in the fishing industry. It is suggested that if using baits that require a rod with a medium or lighter action, fiberglass tends to provide the required parabolic bend (referring to the bend of the rod being similar throughout the length). Graphite is the stronger, the more sensitive and typically the more expensive material of the two. Graphite rods are typically the anglers preferred choice, due to the lighter weight and increased sensitivity of the material.
Line guides are almost as important as the rod’s blank and a good quality guide enables an angler to detect strikes transferred through the fishing line to the rod blank. There are various quality line guides range and they generally range from good to great. Pricing is also varied based on the quality level of the line guide and in some cases is significant. There are typically two basic sizes for freshwater casting rods, which are micro and standard line guides.
Micro guides are extremely small line guides that are normally used with fly-fishing equipment, though in recent years micro guides have found their way into the casting rod industry, with claims of an overall lighter and increasingly sensitive rod. Many manufacturers claim that anglers are able to cast longer distances with these guides. Rods that are using micro guides tends to require more guides on the blank and therefore are typically more expensive. Guide sizes are still considered a matter of opinion and vary from angler to angler, so it’s best to try different combinations and settle on the size that works best for you. It is critical to have the correct guide placement and you should examine any rod before purchasing to ensure the guides line up accurately.
There is not that much choice for reel seats as they are very basic and many anglers prefer a reel seat that allows them to feel the blank with their finger when holding the rod and reel (a cutout on the bottom of the reel seat will expose the rod’s blank). When determining the right reel seat it really comes down to the angler preference, as some reel seats are wider than others and that will vary the trigger placement, along with seat nut size. We recommend that you handle a variety of rods to identify the reel seat that feels the most comfortable for you. If a rod isn’t comfortable to hold, the perfect combination of length, power, and action is irrelevant. Pay attention to the shape of the grip on spinning rods (some spinning rods don’t have grips). Always test out a reel on the rod you’d like to purchase to see how the combination feels.
As with almost everything else we have covered here, there is a variety of rod handle types available and they are also made from various materials such as: cork, EVA foam, or even a combination of the two. Some anglers prefer the feel of cork over the feel of EVA foam, but both are a lightweight and easy to grip option. The right handle length will be dependant on the type of casting that the rod will be used for and the longer the handle will allow for longer casts with heavy baits, thi is generally because it allows for an angler to use both hands to generate more load and forward force while casting.
Short handles are great for short casts with lighter baits and allow for one-handed or roll casting to targets without interfering with the cast. There are also options for handles to come in split grip, pistol grip or full grip to allow for an angler to adjust to the intended casting. Its recommend to use a full grip handle for casting heavy baits or for long distances where two hands are required. While for lighter baits or close target casting, selecting a split grip or pistol grip will be more suitable. Split grip or pistol grip can reduce the overall weight of the rod as they have less material in the handle and with less material on the handle a split grip handle tends to be a little bit more sensitive.
While it seems that purchasing the correct rod for your use can be an overwhelming process, but if you are able to adapt some of the general guidelines we have covered with you here then you will generally be able to select the suitable rod for your needs.
Once you have your perfect rod combination then you are only a cast away from the catch of a lifetime.