This guest post was written by Jeff Stevens, writer and editor of Hunter’s Guide.
The majority of fishermen today sometimes find the wide variety of fishing gear available just too much. It raises several questions in the fishing world that will bring a wide array of answers. What kind of reel will I need with a particular rod? What type(s) of lure should I use? Do I need certain equipment to catch certain fish? What kind of fishing line do I need to use? The questions are seemingly endless and actually require very little research to discover the answer.
Sport fishing isn’t meant to be complicated; it’s supposed to bring enjoyment to those that love doing it. One of the best parts of fishing is putting a bend on the tip of your rod, and you don’t have to break your wallet to do this. One of the main reasons why people are choosing the wrong gear is the fact that they are so used to skipping directions, but it is very important to pay close attention to exactly what it says on the manufacturer’s packaging.
Talking to local experts, getting to know the personnel at the stores close to you, and simply looking online for certain information are all great ways to be informed on the best fishing gear for your particular needs are. In my research, I have found several articles, blogs, do-it yourself pages, videos and more to help identify the best fishing gear and avoiding the wrong stuff. Here are a few helpful tips in guiding you in the right direction to picking the right fishing rod and reel.
First, let’s assume you’re in the market for that “general purpose, all-round” fishing rod; the one that “just feels right” when you pick it up. If you’re looking for a rod like this, you probably don’t have a solid walnut rod rack in your den that sports a dozen or so custom-built rods. What you probably have is a very functional spin cast rod in your garage that you’re ready to pass on to a youngster, because you’re ready for an upgrade.
Spinning or casting? Chances are you’ll be considering either a spinning rod or casting rod and reel. Some manufactures offer prepackaged rods and reels. But if you’re buying these items separately, you’ll need to know what to look for. A spinning rod has a straight handle with no finger hook and the guides are on the bottom of the rod, while a casting rod has a handle that is tipped down slightly, the guides run along the top of the rod and there is a finger hook on the bottom. This is to wrap your index finger around when you cast. Also, a casting reel sets on top of the rod while a spinning reel hangs below the rod. Spinning reels do not work well with casting rods and vice versa. So, make sure your rod and reel match.
If you’re fishing for bass, walleye, catfish or any panfish and you’re buying a casting or spinning rod, try to choose a rod 5 1/2 to 6 feet long with a medium-light to medium weight. Most rod manufacturers print this information on the butt of the rod where it attaches to the handle. And, don’t forget to ensure the reel you buy has been built to the same tolerances to match your rod and you’ll be ready to go!