When the frigid temperatures of winter are firmly behind us, and the promise of a blooming spring just ahead, the time for becoming one with the outdoors beckons us like a wave from an old friend. There’s hardly a better way to indulge in the fresh air and enjoy the natural spoils of Mother Nature than a soul-stirring day of fishing by choosing the right fishing rod.
Less rigorous than a hunt, but more active than just camping, fishing takes us back to a time where we provided for our families with little more than our bare hands. Whether it be fishing in the raging rapids or lazing in a canoe, connecting with loved ones, fishing is the pastime cum sport that is accessible to all.
So you want to try fishing, but aren’t sure where to begin? Well to start your journey, you’ll need a few essential things: 1) A place to fish, 2) The best fishing rod and reel combo.
Also, expecting some basic things from the terrain you’re in, along with some other fancy additions, is pretty much all you’ll need and that’s what makes fishing so irreplaceable. Whether you’re alone, or with a group of friends, or a relative you want to bond with, fishing can provide hours of relaxing enjoyment in a peaceful and idyllic setting.
Let’s discuss the best way to begin your new “hooking” lifestyle. From choosing the best fishing rod to maintaining it for years to come for beginners and experienced fishers alike. You shouldn’t just pick up the first fishing rod for sale you see!
Below are five of the top fishing rods to help you start your angling journey. Find the right rod to enhance your new hobby today!
The Fiblink 4-piece Travel Casting Rod is a lightweight rod that packs an enviable amount of power in its carbon fiber construction. Solid framework is evident in the corrosion resistant stainless steel hoods. Sturdy ceramic inserts and enhanced graphite round out this formidable tool. It comes with a multi-purpose hook holder and the entire thing is anchored by a comfortable, ergonomically designed cork grip. It’s the perfect rod for those constantly on the go.
Best overall value for a travel rod.
Can handle up to 1 oz. lures.
Comes in a soft carrying case with four dividers for each section.
Although convenient, not as powerful as a one-piece rod.
UglyStik by Shakespeare is a rod that maintains the integrity of the Pure Fishing brand with humor, style, and substance. The construction of UglyStik adds graphite that not only contributes to a lighter weight rod, but one that boasts more sensitivity to alert you when you’ve got a catch teasing your line. The handle is made from comfortable cork, and the stainless steel guides ensure you’ll have your rod for many trips to come!
The combination of lightweight, durability and increased sensitivity make this rod a standout from its more cumbersome counterparts.
Can feel the light strikes of smaller fish while still being able to haul in larger fare like bass and heavy catfish.
Casting ¼” or less lures can result in a less than precise. This can be fixed by adding a bit of weight.
Ultralight fishing is making its way into the mainstream because its portability and convenience works in most casual fishing environments. This lightweight rod allows the fisher to have ultimate control of their hooking experience. With a wide array of actions and lengths designed to find a myriad of species, the Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod is a no brainer. Made of sturdy graphite composite and anchored on a comfortable cork handle, this lightweight rod delivers in a big way. It’s all stainless set of guides and insert ensure durability and the unit boasts a conventional reel set with cushioned hoods. Your new rod will be the perfect tool to bring in the best catch.
Conveniently comes in two pieces ensuring maximum portability.
Made of sturdy graphite composite.
Increased sensitivity means the rod naturally has limits on the amount of weight it can withstand. Be sure to check the guides when taking the rod for a spin.
This 7′ carbon casting rod comes in a 2-piece design that was made to travel. Along with corrosion resistant aluminum hoods on the enhanced reel seat, the soft touch finish on the full contact reel seat makes this a comfortable and easy-to-use fishing rod. The precision spacing of the guides are nearly perfect and allow for friction-free line flow and peak casting performance and sensitivity.
You’re in control with a rod that has a high-density EVA split grip. You can spend long days on the water with little fatigue and maximum fish! This rod is powerful, versatile and flexible and able to cast medium to heavy bait and will have you reeling in an impressive game. It still boasts a lightweight design that your fellow anglers will wish they had once they see your haul.
Made of IM6 graphite to ensure increased sensitivity and durability.
Able to cast medium to heavy bait.
Pieces may need sanding to fit snugly
The Zhijin Pocket Fishing Rod is a telescopic rod that collapses completely for no hassle travel. The rod is made from a combination of high-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass and stainless steel to make your pole hard and durable even though it’s collapsible for easy storage. Each section locks firmly into place without losing sensitivity. The hooded reel seats are made from corrosion resistant stainless steel which prevents unwanted frailty in the rod. The rod will fit comfortably in your grip for hours of fun.
This tough fishing rod can easily deadlift up to 8 lbs.
Comes with a storage bag and a plastic cap to protect the guides.
Three-point welded stainless guides with ceramic inserts to ensure the longevity of your investment.
The action may appear too stiff for a heavy rod.
Guides may be too small for a spinning reel and may be more suited to a bait cast reel
The Importance of the Right Fishing Rod
First, it’s important to find the right rod to fish with. To do this, it helps to understand the difference between a spinning rod and a bait cast rod. Your brand new rod is just a part of the tools you’ll use to lure in your catch.
The rod itself serves the purpose of guiding your line in the right direction when casting the bait into the water. Shorter rods cast shorter distances and are used for lightweight lures. They allow more control and flexibility when you’re fighting a larger catch. They can also be used when trolling.
Longer rods can cast farther distances and are usually used for fly fishing or when you’re fishing directly from the shore rather than a boat or dock. They are also more useful when using heavier lures.
The fishing reel is what feeds your line through the guides on your rod and maintains the tautness while controlling the length. Two main types of reels used are bait-casting reels and spinning reels. While both complete the same task, each one has its own advantage to bring the fish directly to you.
Typically, bait-casting reels require more skill than spinning reels. Bait-casting can give you unparalleled accuracy with a little bit of practice and ingenuity. The advantage of baitcast reels is they are typically longer and can be outfitted with heavier line. They can cast precise and long distances and can be used to haul in heavy fish like bass, or walleye.
Spinning reels are more suited to beginning anglers. The spooling system prevents the line from becoming tangled in the reel and the larger spool allows you to reel in your catch faster.
A good start is to determine where you’ll be fishing and what kind of fishing you like to do. After doing so, consider these things:
- Put Your Ruler to the Test: Decide whether you’ll be standing on the shore, in a boat or on a pier. As described above, the length you’ll need to cast will determine your control of the lure and bait and ultimately help you reel the fish in.
- Watch Your Weight: If you’re looking at trolling for large game fish, you’ll want to make sure the rod and line can handle the weight of not only of the fish but also the bait and lure you’ll be using. Once you determine these factors you can choose a fishing rod that will fit your needs conveniently, making your fishing outing a joy.
- Lights, Camera, “Action”: The action of a rod is the point on the rod where it bends. It’s usually measured from ultra-light to light, to medium, medium heavy and heavy. The heavier the action the closer to the tip the rod bends, while a lighter action bends closer to the butt or end of the rod. Heavy actions are meant for larger or stronger species of fish and lighter actions are used with smaller or lighter species.
- Material Matters: Most rods are made of graphite or fiberglass and contain stainless guides, ceramic inserts, and a cork or rubber handle. Flexibility is important once you understand the kind of fight the catch is going to put up. Fiberglass is heavier but more flexible than graphite and harder to break. Graphite rods are lighter and generally stiffer, but they are also more sensitive and can help when determining the position of your lure or when teasing the fish.
- Know Your Bait: There are two types of bait you’ll use when fishing: live bait, or casting, and lures. Live bait entices your catch with the promise of food while lures bring in the fish through attractive or shiny objects much like a cat toy. Casters may be more interested in a sensitive rod so they can feel every movement in the water, while lure fishers may desire the control to imitate the movement of the prey through the waters. Once you understand the type of fish you’re going for, you’ll find it easy to find suggestions for suitable bait and lures.
- What’s in a Name?: Knowing the right terms is essential when figuring out the right equipment to get. Here is a rundown of some common terms you might find while getting initiated into the inner angling circles.
- Blank – The blank is the line of the pole that creates the core of the rod.
- Taper – Taper is sometimes used the same as action though it describes not only the thickness and rigidity of the rod, but also the thickness of the wall of the blank. It has less to do with the actual bending and more to do with the overall flexibility of the fishing rod, but it can be used interchangeably with “action.”
- Power – This refers to the strength or “lifting power” of the rod. This may also be referred to as the backbone of the rod. Power ratings are where the designations of ultra-light to heavy come in and it works closely with line strength. Heavier power means stronger lines and lighter power uses a more nimble line that won’t overwhelm the rod. Additionally, the type of water will help you determine your power. Thick, mossy or heavy cover will require a stronger rod while clear, open water can withstand a lot with a thinner less visible line. Keep power ratings in mind to match the rod to the best type of line to use.
- Responsiveness – This can be exchanged with “sensitivity.” This is important to flick castes for those who want to land their lures as accurately and discreetly as possible while still maintaining enough strength to haul the catch in.
- Modulus – Modulus can refer to the stiffness of the graphite or material that makes up your rod. This doesn’t necessarily affect the weight, but rather the durability and flexibility which can then factor into the type of fight you put up with your prey.
- Guides – Guides are the usually made of ceramic, stainless steel or metal and feed your line up your rod from the reel to tip. You’ll want a guide that has less friction to ensure longer casts and less heat which can damage your fishing lines. Guides need to be durable and dependable as they act as sort of a sight for your fishing rod. A rod with more guides will generally happen to cast more accurately, but can also cost more.
- Cork – Cork is a newer innovation of an old method. As fishing rods become less cumbersome and lighter and more durable, the need for a handle that is ergonomic as well as functional came about. Anglers can spend hours holding these rods so comfort is the key when designing a new brand of rod. Cork is also great for conducting sensitivity even when wet. Which means with the right gear an angler can feel every movement their prey is trying to make so they can decide the best way to reel them in.
- Reel Seat – The reel seat is simply the apparatus that hold the reel onto the rod. Most experienced anglers prefer seats with cutouts that allow you to feel the blank. Graphite is a good option because it’s corrosion and rust resistant. It’s a common thing, but worth the investment to ensure the longevity of your rod.
The right fishing rod for you will allow you to feel much more of what’s happening with your reel while fishing. This is especially helpful in less than clear waters. You’ll be able to tell if you’re dragging through the mud, sand, rocks, etc. It can also determine when a fish is trying to nibble or toy with your bait and help you decide how to hook then and reel them in.
When you’re comfortable with your fishing rod, you’ll find ways to build your skills to place your lure exactly where you want and improve your casting ability.
All in all, the decision to take up fishing is one that is loaded with benefit and reward. With just a little care and preparation you can embark on an outing that will pay off not only in fish fries but experiences that will affect your life and your loved ones. The reels and information above make taking the first step easy. So choosing the right fishing rod is up to you. Happy angling!