If you are just starting out fishing you may be confused by all of the different types of fishing rods available in your local tackle store.
Long/short, thin/thick, multiple sections one piece or telescopic.
For every kind of fishing rod there is also a lot of different models available and they are usually distinguished by three main attributes:
Most rods have this rating stamped on the rod blank just above the handle.
The length is normally always stated in feet and inches. Rods range from 5' all the way up to 15' long.
A longer rod will generally cast longer distances. A shorter rod gives you more control and is easier to use for close up work.
The power indicates how heavy a lure or weight that the rod has been designed for. Sometimes they it is quoted in ounces, more often than not it is rated as one of the following:
- Extra/Super Heavy
Unfortunately between the different manufacturers these are not always the same, but they are usually similar enough so as to be a decent guide.
The action of a rod describes where the bend starts when it is under load. A fast action starts up near the rod tip whereas a slow action starts further down the rod blank towards the reel:
All types of fishing poles will have the above ratings.
Types of Fishing Rods
The most common types of fishing rods are:
- Casting rods
- Spinning rods
- Trolling rods
- Flyfishing rods
- Travel rods
- Ultralight rods
- Surf rods
- Ice rods
However, within each class of rod there are many specialist rods that are designed with a specific use case in mind.
When choosing a fishing rod it is important decide first on the type of fishing you will be doing.
A casting rod is designed to be used with a baitcasting or a conventional reel.
Casting rods are constructed so that the reel sits on the top of the rod unlike a spinning rod where the reel hangs below the rod on the underside.
Ultimately the best baitcasting rods are all about casting performance. Due to the design of a baitcasting reel you can simply flick a switch and cast at will.
Once you master how to cast with this setup it really does become second nature and is a lot less tiring on the arm than using a conventional spinning combo.
Casting rods have probably the biggest number of applications that they are used for especially in the freshwater bass fishing world.
Spinning rods are a popular type of fishing rod that are known for their versatility and ease of use. They are commonly used by beginners and experienced anglers alike, and they are suitable for a wide range of fishing applications.
They are the kind of fishing rods that most people will associate with a "fishing rod".
Spinning rods are designed with a reel seat that is located on the underside of the handle, and they feature larger line guides that are positioned on the same side as the reel. This allows for the line to be released more smoothly and with less friction, making casting easier and more accurate
They differ in design in that the line guide closest to the reel will be much large than on a casting rod.
But in general they will have all of the same parts of a fishing rod as a baitcasting rod will.
Spinning rods are available in different lengths, power ratings, and actions, which determine how much weight they can handle and how flexible they are. They are suitable for a variety of fishing techniques, including light tackle fishing, finesse fishing, and even some heavier applications such as saltwater fishing.
Also Read: Match Spinning Reels to Rod
One of the main advantages of spinning rods is their ease of use. They are typically lighter and more flexible than casting rods, which makes them ideal for fishing with smaller lures and lighter lines. They are also more forgiving when it comes to casting technique, making them a good choice for beginners.
When selecting a spinning rod, it is important to consider the type of fishing you will be doing, the size and strength of the fish you are targeting, and your personal preferences in terms of length, power, and action.
Trolling rods are designed for a specific type of fishing technique called trolling, which involves dragging lures or bait through the water while moving forward in a boat. Trolling is commonly used in freshwater and saltwater fishing to catch larger fish species such as salmon, trout, musky, and tuna.
Trolling rods are typically longer and sturdier than other types of fishing rods, with lengths ranging from 6 to 10 feet or more. They are designed to handle heavier lines and lures, and they have a fast action that allows for quick and powerful hook sets. They also feature larger guides and a sturdy reel seat to accommodate the heavy line and reels used for trolling.
When selecting a trolling rod, it is important to consider the size and strength of the fish you are targeting, as well as the type of lures or bait you will be using. The length and power of the rod should match the weight of the lures and the strength of the line. A longer rod is typically better for trolling at higher speeds, while a shorter rod is better for slower trolling speeds.
Trolling rods can be used with a variety of reels, including conventional reels and spinning reels. They can also be used with downriggers or planer boards to help keep the bait at the desired depth.
Overall, trolling rods are a specialized type of fishing rod that are designed for a specific technique. When used properly, they can be highly effective for catching large fish species in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
Fly fishing rods are designed for a unique style of fishing that involves casting a lightweight artificial fly to attract fish. Fly fishing is commonly used for trout, salmon, bass, and other freshwater species, but it can also be used for saltwater fishing.
Fly fishing rods are typically longer and thinner than other types of fishing rods, with lengths ranging from 6 to 10 feet or more. They are designed to be used with a specialized fly reel, which holds the fly line and provides drag to fight fish. The guides on fly rods are typically smaller and fewer in number than on other types of rods, as they are designed to minimize friction and allow the line to flow freely during casting.
Fly fishing rods are available in different weights and lengths, with each weight designed for specific fishing applications. Lighter weight rods are typically used for small streams and delicate presentations, while heavier weight rods are used for larger fish and stronger currents.
Fly fishing rods have a flexible action, which allows for a more delicate presentation and better control over the fly. The casting technique used in fly fishing is also unique, with the weight of the fly line providing the momentum for the cast rather than the weight of the lure.
When selecting a fly fishing rod, it is important to consider the weight and length of the rod, as well as the fishing conditions and species you will be targeting. A shorter, lighter weight rod is ideal for small streams and delicate presentations, while a longer, heavier weight rod is better suited for larger fish and stronger currents.
Overall, fly fishing rods are a specialized type of fishing rod that are designed for a unique style of fishing. When used properly, they can provide an enjoyable and challenging fishing experience, as well as a connection to nature and the environment.
Travel fishing rods are like normal rods however they are usually in 3 or 4 pieces so that the can be packed down neatly into a rod case so that there is less chance of damaging them during travel.
A hard rod case or tube is best as it provides the maximum amount of protection versus a cloth rod cover.
Travel fishing rods are designed to be compact and portable, making them ideal for anglers who enjoy fishing on the go or for those who travel frequently. These rods can be easily broken down into multiple pieces and stored in a carrying case, allowing them to be easily transported in a car, backpack, or luggage.
Travel fishing rods are available in a variety of styles, including spinning rods, casting rods, and fly rods, and are typically made from lightweight materials such as graphite or carbon fiber. They are designed to provide the same level of performance as traditional fishing rods, while also being easy to pack and transport.
When selecting a travel fishing rod, it is important to consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the fish species you will be targeting. Travel spinning rods are versatile and can be used for a wide range of fishing applications, while travel casting rods are designed for heavier lures and larger fish species. Travel fly rods are designed for fly fishing and are typically lighter weight and more flexible.
It is also important to consider the length and number of pieces of the travel fishing rod. Longer rods are better suited for fishing in larger bodies of water, while shorter rods are better for smaller streams and ponds. The number of pieces will determine how compact the rod is when it is packed away, with rods available in two to eight pieces.
There is a specific type of spinning rod that is called an ultralight spinning rod.
These rods are really light and short and are used with very light line in the 2 to 6 lbs range.
As the name suggests the power rating is "ultra light" and are predominantly used for smaller freshwater fishing.
They make excellent trout spinning rods for small rivers and streams.
Ultralight fishing rods are designed for fishing with extremely light lures and lines, typically in the 1-4 lb range. They are ideal for targeting small fish species such as trout, panfish, and bass, and they can be used in both freshwater and saltwater environments.
Ultralight fishing rods are typically shorter in length, ranging from 4 to 7 feet, and they are designed to be lightweight and sensitive to even the slightest movements and bites. They are usually made from graphite or other lightweight materials, and they often feature smaller guides to accommodate the light lines used with these rods.
One of the advantages of using an ultralight fishing rod is that it allows for a more delicate presentation of the lure, which can be especially important when targeting skittish fish. It also provides a more challenging and rewarding fishing experience, as even smaller fish can put up a good fight on such a light setup.
7. Surf Fishing
Surf fishing rods are designed with maximum casting distance in mind. They are usually quite long, 8 feet at a minimum.
Surf fishing rods are designed for fishing in the surf zone, typically from shore or near the beach. They are typically longer and sturdier than other types of fishing rods, with lengths ranging from 8 to 14 feet, and they are designed to handle the larger waves and currents present in the surf zone.
Surf fishing rods are typically made from graphite or composite materials, and they feature larger guides and reel seats to accommodate heavier lines and reels. They are designed to cast heavier lures or bait longer distances, and they often feature a fast action that allows for quick hook sets when fish strike.
When selecting a surf fishing rod, it is important to consider the size and strength of the fish you will be targeting, as well as the type of lures or bait you will be using. Longer rods are better suited for casting longer distances, while shorter rods are better for fishing in tighter quarters or areas with higher waves.
It is also important to consider the power rating and action of the surf fishing rod. The power rating indicates how much weight the rod can handle, while the action refers to how flexible the rod is. A faster action allows for quick hook sets, while a slower action provides more control over the fish during the fight.
8. Ice Fishing Rods
Ice fishing rods as the name suggests are used when fishing through a hole in the ice.
They are extremely short and light rods that are mostly used for vertical jigging through the ice.
They are typically shorter in length, ranging from 18 inches to 48 inches, and they are designed to be used with small lures or bait.
Ice fishing rods are often made from lightweight materials such as graphite or fiberglass, and they typically feature smaller guides and reel seats to accommodate the lighter lines used for ice fishing. They are also designed to be sensitive to even the slightest bites, allowing anglers to detect when fish are nibbling on the bait.
When selecting an ice fishing rod, it is important to consider the type of fish species you will be targeting and the depth of the water you will be fishing in. A shorter rod is better for fishing in shallower water, while a longer rod is better for deeper water.
It is also important to consider the power rating and action of the ice fishing rod. The power rating indicates how much weight the rod can handle, while the action refers to how flexible the rod is. A faster action allows for quick hook sets, while a slower action provides more control over the fish during the fight.
Telescopic fishing rods are designed to be collapsible, making them easy to transport and store. They are ideal for anglers who enjoy fishing on the go, or for those who have limited space for storing fishing gear.
Telescopic fishing rods are available in a variety of styles, including spinning rods, casting rods, and fly rods. They are typically made from lightweight materials such as graphite or fiberglass, and they can range in length from 4 to 20 feet.
Telescopic fishing rods are designed with multiple sections that collapse down into each other, allowing the rod to be easily packed away in a backpack or luggage. When fully extended, they provide the same level of performance as traditional fishing rods, with sensitivity and strength that can handle a variety of fishing applications.
It is also important to consider the length of the telescopic rod when fully extended, as well as the number of sections. A longer rod is typically better for fishing in larger bodies of water, while a shorter rod is better for smaller streams and ponds. The number of sections will determine how compact the rod is when it is packed away, with rods available in two to eight sections.
Overall, telescopic fishing rods are a convenient and practical solution for anglers who enjoy fishing while on the go or for those who have limited space for storing fishing gear. They provide the same level of performance as other kinds of fishing rods while also being easy to transport and store.