How do I know which rod is right for me? There are many things to take into account. In this article, we try to make a general tour of the market, analyzing the most important points that must be taken into account when purchasing a rod.
How to Choose a Fishing Rod for Beginners
Of course, the final choice will depend on many other considerations that have to do with the specific type of fishing that you are going to carry out as well as the tastes and economic possibilities of each one.
And of course, you should never tire of asking at the establishment where you make your purchase; it is the surest way to know that we are not making mistakes.
The rod’s size or length is one of the most important points that must be taken into account. A good tip is to always decide on a rod whose length allows us to maneuver and launch the tackle or lure with great comfort.
There is nothing worse than fishing with a rod that is outside our size, both large and small, since, without a doubt, the only thing we will achieve will be wrong casts that will not obtain any results.
When choosing the size, you should keep in mind that a short rod works very well for casting in tight areas, while a long rod is essential for long-distance shots. The current trend is towards shorter and finer rods, which, thanks to the current manufacturing materials, are just as strong and powerful as the thick and long rods used in the past.
With the term resistance, we mean the ability of the rod to resist the fight against the fish.
We must consider that a rod must have enough resistance to shedding the weight to be used, regardless of whether it is one section, two, three, or telescopic.
However, when choosing a rod, we must not make the mistake of thinking that the strongest is the best. The resistance of a reed is not a characteristic that indicates quality but is a condition of the element; In other words, the reed must simply resist what it was made for. If it did not happen, it would not work.
Depending on the resistance of the rod, we can make the following classification:
Of course, the lighter the resistance of the rod will mean that it is valid for small fish, which will increase as we increase the resistance.
Choosing an unsuitable resistance for the species we are trying to fish will prevent the rod from giving us (or wrongly doing so) the sensations that the fish transmits during the fight, making the fishing action more difficult.
3. Memory of a reed
The natural shape of a reed is straight; however, the fishing action involves constant flexing. Well, when flexed, the cane offers a resistance that is equal to the applied force but in the opposite direction, that is, a reaction.
The speed with which it returns to its previous state is what is commonly called the reed reaction or “memory.”
The rod must have the right reaction or memory so that the fisherman does not lose the fishing feeling, to make the cast satisfactorily, or to nail the piece if necessary.
The maximum weight that the rod can be subjected to at the time of casting. It is expressed in grams, normally with two numbers, which indicate the weight range that the rod supports without problems.
Indeed, each rod is designed for a specific type of fishing, based on which the level of flexion that it can achieve and the limit of effort that it can withstand is established.
In this sense, there are three moments in the set:
- Critical zone: a moment in which the tip of the rod is subjected to the greatest load, overcoming its resistance and breaking easily.
- Strength zone: optimal position for the rod, where it will be able to make the greatest efforts and is used correctly.
- Tension zone: the position where the reel and line are under the greatest tension.
As we know, when casting the rod, it flexes; Well, this bending can occur in different ways. According to the shape of the curve, the rods are classified into:
- Quick action or tip rods: so named because they tend to bend at the tip. They provide a greater fishing sensation but are less effective when making long casts.
- Medium action rods: bend in the middle of the rod. They give a good fishing feel and are suitable for medium casts.
- Slow or full action rods: bend over their entire length. They are the most suitable for long casts.
Of course, all the characteristics of the reed are related to the material with which it is made.
Currently, the market saturates us with a large number of materials that it offers us:
- Fiberglass (solid or hollow).
- Carbon fiber or Graphite.
- Kevlar: very strong and at the same time very light resin that is used in armoring of vests and vehicles and that is currently being introduced in the manufacture of fishing rods. However, its high price means that its use is not very widespread.
- Composite: a mixture of fiberglass, graphite, Kevlar, or other materials.
These are, so to speak, the most widespread, but there are also others less present on the market. Indeed, every day we can see how manufacturers investigate to create new materials that offer the best benefits. The main objective is that the rod has the greatest possible reaction: the highest speed to return to its natural straight state.
Thus, natural reeds are practically in disuse, mainly due to the maintenance they require, since their cost is not competitive. The latter is due to the artisanal process required for its elaboration, which goes from the plantation to turn it into a fishing rod. However, excellent reeds can be achieved with different action cuts and with a good reaction. In fact, some of the most prestigious factories continue to offer natural cane products even today in fly fishing. We always refer to hollow natural cane; Solid ones have been a low-cost option mainly in the varied type of sea fishing, but except for their resistance to blows, they do not offer any advantage from a technical point of view. The same happens with hexagonal wooden canes.
With all the materials, the three types of actions mentioned above can be achieved.
Undoubtedly, the appearance in the 60s of fiberglass rods was one of the greatest innovations ever. The solid ones appeared first, followed by the hollow ones, which ultimately revolutionized the market, thanks to their lower weight.
If there is something to highlight in this material, it is that it hardly needs maintenance care. Also, their low weight, their great reaction, and their extraordinary resistance and flexibility, together today with the great variety of models and low cost, make fiberglass rods position themselves as soon as they enter the market, in the first place of sales.
But fiberglass has been overtaken today by another material, graphite rods. Although their cost is higher, they have a greater reaction and a lower weight (like kevlar). Against them, there are those who claim that they are more fragile to shocks than fiberglass, which must be added to the fact that graphite is a conductor of electricity, which means a risk of use on days of electric shocks ( unfortunately, we all know accidents of this type happened to fishermen)
There are also the so-called “composite rods,” in which it is a question of combining all the benefits of the different materials that exist, combining weight, reaction, and cost.
It is another of the fundamental points that we must take into account when choosing our rod, considering that it should never exceed our physical capacity. Keep in mind that we will spend many hours? Charging? of the rod, but not only that, but we will also have to make a real physical effort in each cast; We will surely regret it if the weight of the rod is excessive.
In any case, the rod must have the weight that the fisherman deems convenient since the lighter is not always better. We must not forget that in the case of needing to carry out long casts with varied coastal fishing equipment, the rods with greater weight have greater performance; the weight must be chosen, like so many other characteristics of the rod, depending on the type of fishing that we are going to carry out.
The rod must have a correct assembly in terms of the position and type of thread grommet, suitable handle, etc. An important aspect of the rod is the guides, rings, or guide rings of the rod, which is a device for guiding the fishing line designed not to offer friction, hardness, and at the same time that they are light and do not add more weight to the rod.
Indeed, the rings must maintain the rod’s sensitivity, they must prevent the thread from twisting, they must help the shooting distances be greater, and they must maintain the balance of the rod.
Another of the fundamental elements of the rod is its handle since it is the one that will allow the passage of sensations from the tip of the rod to the hand of the fisherman, a set of sensations that are essential when it comes to achieving the results.
If we had to highlight a series of qualities that a grip must meet, we would talk about the following:
- Functionality: that is, the ability of the handle to provide the angler with adequate support to handle the rod.
- A functional grip will allow a better transfer of energy from the angler’s hand and arm to the rod and line.
- Ergonomics: the quality that allows the angler to handle the rod comfortably and efficiently, minimizing effort. A rod must be equipped with a handle of a size and shape matching the number and power of the rod and the standard measurements of the people. A well-designed grip results in better performance and less fatigue.
- Quality: based mainly on the type of material with which it is built, on which the durability, the sensations transmitted, the weight, etc., will depend.
The traditionally used material is cork, which is marketed in different “grades” that indicate its quality.
One of the materials that are most used today is the so-called? EVA Foam? (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate). It is a synthetic material that has the appropriate characteristics for making handles of all kinds. Its compression index, given by the density of the material, its resistance, and other properties, has found a place in fly rods, especially in the handles for medium and low price rods, although mainly for fiberglass rods of medium numbers.
It has a single disadvantage compared to cork: it is somewhat heavier.
In short, we will say that the market can find a wide variety of models, each of which offers a different weight, length, action. The correct choice goes through the combination of all these elements in such a way that we find the rod that has all the characteristics and that fits our budget, of course.