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Fishing Rods: Selecting Your First Pole
Salty scents, cool breezes, and relaxing out on the open water as you wait to hook your next meal: fishing is one of the world’s most popular pastimes since it can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. The simple act of casting out your line from your fishing rod and waiting for a bite brings peace and tranquility, while reeling in a fish can be one of the most exciting things you’ll ever experience.
If you’re daydreaming about getting out on the water, you’ll increase your chances of capturing a successful fish with the right fishing poles. Before making a decision on what to get, ask yourself the following questions to help you determine your choice:
- How much fishing will I be doing? Will I be out on short trip, or will I be fishing for a longer stretch? The more fishing you do, the more durable you’ll want your rod to be.
- What do I want to catch? Am I fishing for bluegills and crappies or tuna and halibut? The bigger the fish, the stronger your rod and line will need to be.
- What conditions will I be in? Are the waters going to be rough and choppy, or placid and serene? Rougher conditions warrant stronger rods.
- How strong am I? Can I handle pulling in any size fish, or do I need extra help? Look for qualities that will help you reel in your catches. Graphite rods offer plenty of give and won’t break with large fish and are good for standard excursions. Composite rods are a combination of graphite and fiberglass and provide flexibility with added durability.
- What type of boat will I be in? Will I be pier fishing or in a boat? Get a long rod for surf fishing and pier fishing. Short rods work for boats, since they’re easier to maneuver in small spaces, while if you’re freshwater fishing from a bank, medium rods are best.
- How tall am I? What size rod will feel comfortable for my body? Be sure to get a rod that fits your height and size.
Spinning rods are easy to use and ideal for beginners. Spinning rods have a spooling system that prevents the fishing line from getting tangled in the reel, while the spool and large fishing line guides reduce friction to allow you to reel in your catch quickly. They’re great for throwing light baits and are ideal if you’re fishing for smaller fish in open water, such as bluegills, perch, and crappies.
Use a casting rod if you’re fishing for pike, bass, and muskie. These types of rods are longer than spinning rods and come with heavier gauge line, which makes them great for fishing over long distances or to catch heavier fish. Since the line comes off straight, not coiled like with a spinning rod, casting rods tend to be more accurate.
Trolling rods are preferable if you’re looking to go after heavier fish. Trolling is where lines that have hooks on them are dragged behind a boat, in hopes fish might bite. They’re designed to handle big fish like salmon and walleyes.
These types of rods are used during fly fishing, in which an artificial “fly” is used to lure in catches. The weighted line brings the weightless fly to the fish, and fly rods are often used in both freshwater and saltwater fishing for everything from trout and salmon to bass.
At Sportsman’s Warehouse, we have hundreds of rods available for whatever type of fishing trip you’re headed out on. Want to talk things through with an expert? Check out your local store on our store locator.
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