Ask any avid fisherman about their favorite pastime, and you’ll hear a lot about becoming one with the fish and the water. It’s almost Zen. That’s because fishing is all about finding the perfect balance between your equipment, bait, line, the water, and your intended catch. When everything aligns, the fish will come biting. Today, we’re going to start with the rod and reel and how to choose the combination that’s right for you.
Are You Experienced?
If you’re a beginner, there are rod and reel combos already assembled for you. But these are strictly for newcomers or kids. You’ll quickly want to upgrade as you get to be more seasoned.
Where are the Fish Biting?
You can find a fishing hole near your home or you can drive several hours. If you plan to travel, be sure to get a rod that breaks down into several pieces. Otherwise, a standard pole that comes apart in the middle (or not at all) is generally fine.
Rod Length is Important
Rods are measured from the end of the butt (where you hold the rod) to the tip. They range all the way up to 14 feet in length. In addition, each rod integrates flexibility and strength with stronger rods casting heavier lures and lighter rods giving you more sensitivity. This allows you to feel the fish nibbling. Choosing the one that’s right for you depends on what and where you intend to catch the big one.
- Shorter rods are often stronger. This means they can use heavier lures and lines, and catch bigger fish. These are great if you plan to troll for big game fish or don’t need to feel the gentle strike on your line. Most fishermen who use lures prefer a stronger rod.
- Longer rods offer more flexibility. The longer and lighter the rod, the more they will bend, which is great for casting from shore rather than a pier or boat.
Coastal Fishing Tip: The action of any rod is the point where it bends. Heavier rods will bend closer to the tip while lighter ones will bend closer to the butt. Heavier actions are used for larger fish, while lighter action is ideal for smaller ones.
Gain (or Lose) Some Weight
All rods will list either the weight of the lure (or bait) it can cast or the pound test (the fishing line it can handle). If you know what you will be fishing for and what line you’ll be using, you can narrow your choices quickly.
Graphite, Fiberglass, or Both
The materials used for rods boils down to graphite, fiberglass, or a mixture of both.
- Graphite rods are lighter and stiffer, but also far more expensive than most models. These rods allow you to feel the fish taking the bait, which is why experienced sportsmen often choose them.
- Fiberglass rods are very flexible, don’t break easily, are less expensive, but are much heavier.
- Graphite/Fiberglass rods are the best of both words. They’re great for all types of fishing and locations.
Reel It In
Now that you have the right rod, it’s an easy task to marry it with the right reel. Choose the type that works with your level of experience along with the weight of line it can handle.
- Spinning reels are great for beginners. These wonderful reels keep tangles to a minimum and make casting simple. What they don’t do is offer much flexibility or control. If you plan to do some general fishing, or you’re simply buying a rod and reel for the kids, spinning reels are a great choice.
- Standard Casting reels are some of the most common types of reels. They offer far more control and accuracy, but can get tangled far easier than spinning reels.
- Baitcasting reels are for the advanced fisherman. These allow you to feel the line and cast with pinpoint accuracy.
Coastal Loves Fishing
You’ll find everything you need for your fishing adventure at your nearby Coastal Farm & Ranch. That includes coolers, camping chairs, rain gear, and employees who know a thing or two (or three) about fishing, what to buy, where to go, and how to get there. Stop by and start planning your fishing adventure today.