2001-05-26 / Sports

Straight From The Angler

Straight From The Angler

By Paul N. Jalonschi

When you find yourself face to face with two or three aisles of fishing rods, confusion tends to set in rather quickly.  Which fishing rod should I get?  How do I know am getting the right rod?  Should I get one that is eight feet tall or one that is six feet tall?  Well the first thing that goes through my mind is " look at all these fishing poles!!!".

Usually happiness follows, because I have so many choices.  But, how do I know I am buying the right fishing rod?

First thing that you should ask yourself when buying a rod is what kind of reel you are going to be using.  Am I using a bait-casting reel or a spinning reel?  If you are using a bait-casting reel, you should buy a bait-casting rod.  A bait-casting rod is a rod that has a pistol trigger type grip or hold on the back of it.  What are the advantages of the bait-casting rod and reel combo?  The first advantage is that you can cast farther with a bait-casting combo than you would with a spinning combo.  The second advantage is that your casts will be more accurate.  And the third advantage is that you can use heavier lures, spoons and weights with a bait-casting combo.  What is a disadvantage?  Well you have to be willing to master the art of bait-casting.  It is much easier to cast with a spinning combo. 

With a spinning combo you can use the heavier weights but a spinning combo is the best choice when using lighter lures, weights, jigs and poppers.  If you are surf fishing, using a bait-casting combo(bait-casting rod and reel) is what you might look into.  If you have only a small amount of space and a whole lot of water to cover, having a combo that can give you that extra distance on your cast, will improve your chances of catching fish.

How far a rod tip bends should factor in next.  Rods that bend only at the tip or rods that only slightly bend at the tip, are refereed to as fast rods. A fast rod is very stiff at the tip, so even when a fish lightly nibbles at your bait, you will feel it. Fast rods will give you longer casts.  So if you are looking for a extra feet on your casts, a fast rod is the way to go.  The down side of a fast rod is that if your are using baits like minnows and bunker, a fast rod will greatly increase the chances of that bait ripping of your hook, therefore giving the fishes a free meal.  If you are just dropping your bait in the water and fishing the bottom for catfish or fluke, a fast rod will give you an advantage because you will feel the fish taking your bait.

Rods that bend not only at the tip but throughout the whole body of the rod are called slow rods.  A slow rod will help you present the bait to the fish better than a fast rod. Your bait won’t rip off the hook.  If you are using Rapala lures and are crank baiting or using spinner baits, a slow rod is the way to go because it wont pull the lure out as quickly as a fast rod.  Therefore it will allow a fish that shows interest in your bait to chase or bite it. I find it a better fit when I am using a slow rod, especially when going after big fish.  With a stiff or fast rod, when a big fish bites the bait, your hands get quite a shock when he starts pulling.  Plus when you’re fighting that big striped bass, there is a greater chance of your fast rod snapping in two, because there is no elasticity in your rod. A slow rod is better at absorbing shock and you don’t have to worry about your fishing rod breaking in two.

Lastly, if I am buying a rod, I always ask myself if I am going to be using this fishing rod for surf fishing.  I am sure we’ve all seen those eight to ten foot fishing rods. Those rods are ideal for surf fishing.  They will help you cast longer and fight fish better. They will let you use some real heavy lures, spoons, jigs...But, if your are going to be surf fishing for a long time, you must remember that a long heavy rod plus heavy jigs equals tired arms and shoulders.

Lastly one should check what is written on a rod.  Most rods will indicate what size and weight lures you should use.  They should also indicate what test line one should use with that particular fishing rod.  If you are going for small fish like perch or porgies a lighter test line should be used.  Lighter line also allows one to cast farther.

There are a lot of rods out there.  Choosing and understanding what fishing rod you should use will give your the advantage over other fisherman.  I hope these small tips will help you in better understanding fishing rods and their use.


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