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Equipping for Success: How to Find the Best Fishing Rod for You

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Did you catch a fever?

The fishing fever that is? Fishing is a relaxing and fun past time for tons of people around the globe. Most of us no longer need to fish for sustenance, but pretending you do brings you back to a simpler time.

Whether you're fishing for dinner or catch and releasing, you'll need a fishing rod. Don't have one? Learn the best way to shop for one below.

1. Think About Use and Location

You're not going to choose the same fishing rod as a commercial fisherman if you take your kids out to the lake twice a month. First of all, you don't need to spend that kind of money - kids are expensive!

And second of all, you don't need the rod equivalent of a sumo wrestler when someone with a normal strong arm could do the job.

Where do you usually fish? What's the environment like? If it's usually calm and the waters aren't rough - then you can work with a rod that has lower flexibility.

If the waters are rough and the winds are steep, then you'll need a stronger rod to hold up to abuse.

Will you need to travel with your new fishing rod? Some (yes, even quality) rods break down into pieces so they're easier to travel with.

2. Think About Budget

A good rod will cost you at least $150. Just get ready to spend that right now. The amount that you spend depends on how committed to fishing you are.

A good model of deciding if an expensive item is worth it is to divide the cost by the times you think you'll use it in a year. So if you go fishing twice a month for twelve months, then a 200 rod only costs you $8 per time you fish.

That's well worth it. But if you only get out three times a year, that same rod costs you $66 per use.

Yes, you can use the rod for more than one year - but that's a good equation when you're just starting to put together your budget.

3. Decide on Size

Fishing rods are like golf clubs and skis, in that they need to fit your body. We're not talking about it being your exact height, but it needs to be a reasonable length for your stature.

If you try out the rod in store, you shouldn't feel like you'll fall over backward from a regular cast.

Once you understand the size range you like, then it's time to think about whether you need a longer or shorter rod.

Long rods cast further, so they're good for situations like ocean fishing - where the waves will pull your line anyways. They're good for heavier lures too - if you're fishing for big fish.

Shorter rods are better for fighting, yes, with a fish. If you have a long rod and the fish is struggling, there's only so much room in the boat.

With a shorter rod, you can manipulate the fish better and have a better chance of getting a fighter on board.

4. Weight Limits

Shorter rods don't handle as much weight as longer rods when it comes to bait and catches. Each fishing rod will come with a pound rating, which is the maximum amount it's designed to reel in.

Most of the time you're not going to catch anything that's too heavy for your rod unless you're lucky. But don't take a wimpy kids-style pole out big bass fishing.

You won't reel in anything but ripped up bait and maybe some scales.

5. Check the Action

No, this isn't some vague verb. The action is the part of the fishing rod that bends to account for the weight/movement of the fish.

They're rated on a scale, from "ultralight" to "heavy" a heavy action is located up further away from you on the pole, to account for active fish.

A light action is near the butt of the pole and is usually for smaller fish catches.

You'll want a stiffer backbone for bigger fish and a more flexible one for the little guys.

6. Choose a Material

Once you have all those things figured out, you need to decide what material you want your rod made out of.

Some people swear by graphite rods, but those are more expensive. They're also more sensitive, which fishermen like if they need to feel out the behavior of a fish on the line.

They're light in your hand but can break easily due to their brittle nature.

Then there are fiberglass rods, which are heavier but can hold more weight/action. They're usually the least expensive and good for a range of fishing scenarios.

You can get combination rods - which are the best if you fish in different places or for different fish often.

7. Choose a Reel

There are two main types of reels, spinning, and casting. Spinning reels are better for beginners because they don't get tangled as often.

They don't get tangled, but it doesn't allow for as much control as a casting reel.

A casting reel gives you more control for accuracy but is more difficult to work with. If you're fishing with heavier lures, this type of reel is better.

Reeling in Our Fishing Rod Article

With all that in mind, you should head to your local fishing or outdoor supply store. While you could buy a fishing rod online, you want to feel it in your hand and make sure it is a good fit.

When it comes to getting lures for that fishing rod - know that custom is better than storebought. We can help you decorate your tackle box with our selection here.

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