Fishing rods are precision tools and outfitting yourself with the right size is a must. Unfortunately, many anglers fixate on the materials and overlook the length altogether. This is a big mistake as size has a large impact on the distance, accuracy, leverage, and comfort of your fishing rod.
Ultimately, much of choosing a rod size comes down to preference, your physical measurements, and where you plan to fish. Longer rods are generally more adept at casting greater lengths, while shorter rods are more accurate, but less capable of long casts.
Whether you’re new to fishing or a long-time angler looking to re-size, we’ll cover everything you need to know to find your perfect rod length.
How Does Fishing Rod Size Impact Performance?
Using a correctly sized fishing rod can make or break your day on the water. More specifically, rod size will impact your cast in the following four ways.
- Distance: Long rods make it much easier to complete a long-distance cast. Something to keep in mind is that the longer the rod is the less accurate it will be.
- Accuracy: Shorter rods typically offer more accurate casts when long-distance casting isn’t necessary. This is because shorter sturdier rods are typically easier to manage and control.
- Leverage: The angle between your line/rod and the fish will determine your leverage. Fishing rods are made up of two parts: the blade, which is the longer part of the rod and the base (or handle). The longer the blade is, the more leverage your rod will have and vice versa.
- Comfort: Comfort is the most subjective aspect of outfitting yourself for a fishing rod, but it is also the most important. You can find the perfect rod for your specifications and environment, but it won’t be much fun if it’s uncomfortable to use.
How to Find the Right Rod Length
Getting the length right is the first priority when choosing a fishing rod. According to pro angler Garry Dobyns, “a rod’s length should only be limited to an angler’s ability to use it.” This is of course only true if the angler can properly handle a long rod.
Rods can be any length from 4 to 15 feet, but bass rods generally tend to be between 6 and 8 feet. A short rod (under 6 ft.) is best for shorter accurate casts, but a long rod (over 7 feet) is best in situations where accuracy isn’t as critical. A longer rod may pick up more line on a hook set, which can help when you’re caught out of position. On the other hand, if you’re fishing in murky water with low visibility a short accurate rod will be your best bet.
Without knowing the specific conditions and location, we suggest beginning anglers start with something around 7ft. This gives you a good mix between the control you have over your fish and the control you have over your rod.
What is Fishing Rod Power & Action?
The size of your fishing rod also plays a large part in determining the rod power and action.
Fishing rod power is a reference to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod. More specifically, the power of your fishing rod is rated based on the lure, fish size, and line that your rod can realistically handle. These power designations usually range from ultra-light to extra-extra heavy. As a general rule of thumb, light rods have less power but work well will smaller lures.
Fishing rod action describes how much and where a rod bends under pressure. Extra fast performance rods bend up closer to the tip whereas slow action rods have a long bend that starts lower down the rod. Different types of actions work better for different types of fishing, but generally, the faster the action the more sensitive your lure will be.
Additional Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Rod
Types of Fishing Rods (could include an image here if we have one that shows off coastal fishing’s supply of rods)
- Casting Rods:
- Spinning Rods
- Fly Rods
- Sea Fishing Rods
- Telescopic Rods
- Trolling Rods
Fishing Rod Material
- Fiberglass rods: Fiberglass rods are flexible and typically heavier than graphite rods. This makes them well suited for beginner anglers.
- Graphite rods: Graphite rods are available in a variety of stiffness settings. They are ideal for those looking for fast-action.
- Composite rods: Composite rods are constructed of both fiberglass and graphite or a range of other materials.
Fishing Rod Components
- Handle: Fishing rod handles generally consist of grips, a reel seat, and a butt. Handles and their subsequent parts can vary in material and cost.
- Reel: A fishing reel is the cylindrical part of the rod that is attached to the handle and is used for winding or slowing the line
- Guides: Fishing rod guides are small rings that face up on casting rods and down on spinning-style rods. These guides are where you feed your line in order to minimize tangling.
You never want to make the wrong decision on an important purchase like a brand new fishing rod. We hope this article helped point you in the right direction when it comes to finding the ideal length for your experience. In the meantime feel free to browse our wide range of affordably priced rods that come complete with free shipping.