We are often quizzed by our customer on the different types of fishing rods available, so we thought it would be helpful to post a handy guide about what to consider when selecting your fishing rod. Our guide breaks down the different fishing rod terminology you’ll encounter and gives advice on how to use the terms to your advantage as you select your rod.
Fishing Rod Weight Gauge
Identifying a rod with a weight gauge suited to your the fish your fishing is a great way to start your search for your new fishing rod. This should be one of the first things you consider before looking into rod action, power and length. Ask yourself, ‘What am I fishing for?’ to identify the right weight gauge. Generally speaking, we like to break down the rod weight into three categories for simplicity:
Fishing rod weight class 2-4: Suitable for small fish, such as trout, grayling or for fishing on a small river
Fishing rod weight class 5-7: Suitable for when the fish are a little bigger and stronger - ideal for carp or bass
Fishing rod weight class 8+: These fishing rods are ideal for a powerful fish, such as salmon, pike or tuna at the top end of the chart
If you are looking for general advice for a first time rod buyer, a nicely even 5 weight rod should be a good place to start for river fishing. This will give you the ability to trial your rod against a variety of fish and in time you will be able to tell if you want to buy another rod that’s either stiffer or a little more flexible.
Once you know where to start in terms of weight gauge, the next step to consider is the length of your new fishing rod.
Fishing Rod Length
As a basic standard, the majority of fishing rods will come made to 9ft. This is a great starting rod length. That said there are several reasons why you might consider using a rod that is slightly smaller or, conversely, slightly larger. If you know that you will be casting short into a river with many obstacles around you, such as bushes, trees or high land backing behind you, you may wish to consider a slightly shorter rod. This will give you the ability to cast more effectively in tight areas and will give you more play when landing smaller catches.
Going to a pier with no obstacles around you? Perhaps a larger rod would be a better choice; it should allow you to cast a little farther. However, we wouldn’t advise this is used as the sole reason for buying a large rod. Your decision is probably best placed using a firm understanding of where you will be fishing, so that you can pick a rod length suitable for your location and environment. A 9ft rod can be used in a variety of locations and is an ideal starting point. Once you’ve decided on the right length, you another step closer to finding that new fishing rod. The next step is to consider the action of the rod.
Fishing Rod Action
Rod action is the name given to how long the rod takes to return to its original position after casting. While there is no industry standard measure for describing the action of a fishing rod, you can consider as a basic rule of thumb that the faster the action, the quicker the rod will return to its starting position. Getting the right action of rod for to suit the fish your fishing is essential as this will have a big impact on your ability to cast and catch effectively.
At ArdMoor, we like to break down the action of rods into three simple categories:
Fast Action: These rods are stiff towards the butt of the fly rod and become more flexible the farther up the rod you go. With most of the bend occurring towards the tip of the rod, these fishing rods are ideal for casting longer distances and for use in the wind. That said, unless you are an experienced angler, being accurate with these rods might prove a little more difficult. Accuracy is critical to making the catch, so consider this when selecting your rod action.
Medium Action: The more forgiving medium action rod is an ideal starting point and is a favourite amongst many anglers due to its ability to more gracefully handle any mistakes in casting technique. This rod has the majority of its bend towards the middle of the rod and is often used for fishing larger fish such as salmon.
Slow Action: This particular type of rod will bend almost right the way down to the butt of the rod. These rods can be extremely accurate; however some anglers may struggle to get the distance required if they are inexperienced.
As a final point of consideration, you will want to match the weight of your fishing line to the weight of your rod. To give you an example, match a 5 weight line with a 5 weight rod. Should you decide to use a line weight that is lower than the weight of your rod, you may struggle to cast accurately if at all, so we recommend new anglers match up line weight and rod weight to get off to a flying start.
We’re here at ArdMoor to help with your fishing rod selection process. We have provided you with some starting points for fishing rod shopping in our fishing rods category. Our collection of fishing rods is split up by type of fishing, so you can find a fishing rod to suit, whether you are fly fishing, spinning or boat fishing.