Introduction To Fishing Rods

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The vast selection of fishing rods available at a typical retail store.Picking a fishing rod can sometimes be an overwhelming task for a beginner angler. Whether it’s a river fishing rod, one for lake fishing or deep sea fishing, it can sometimes be hard to understand the difference and pick the perfect one. From Daiwa to Fenwick, there are plenty of fishing rods on sale that cover a gamut of brands, types, sizes and shapes. But it’s a critical process so read on through our fishing rods guide:

Fishing rods are essential tools that are used to help an angler fight a fish.

The rod absorbs a lot of the weight and provides leverage to aid the angler in a battle. They also help with casting by increasing the radius of the swing and catapulting the bait at high speeds.

Most fishing rods are built using strong graphite or fiberglass that can handle the stress that is placed on them while fighting a fish. Some anglers still use cane polls for small species like sunfish. There used to be many manufacturers that made rods out of lightweight metal, but they are very rare now thanks to the strength and sensitivity of current grades of graphite.

Almost all fishing rods have a series of loops along the entire length of the rod called guides. The fishing line is threaded through the guides when fishing. The purpose of the guides is to hold the fishing line close to the rod and transfer the weight from the line to the rod. Rods without any guides will have a hole near the handle and another at the tip of the rod. The line is then threaded though the inside of the rod.

There are countless fishing rods available today, and each one is designed with a specific purpose in mind. There are many variables to keep in mind when selecting the right rod for the type of fishing and species that is being caught.

Rod Types

By Sergey Ryzhov/

There are several different types of fishing rods that are designed to hold specific types of reels and cast specific baits or lures.

Here are the three most common types of fishing rods:

  • Spinning Rods

Spinning rods are used with open face spinning reels. They are generally used with lighter lines, and can cast light baits and insects effectively. The guides on spinning rods are typically larger than guides on other types of rods because the line comes off the spool horizontally in loops. The large guides allow the loops in the line to easily pass through. This is the most common type of fishing rod due to the ease of casting with a spinning reel.

  • Casting Rods

Casting rods include both baitcasting and spincasting varieties. They are very similar, with the major difference being that spincast rods usually have short molded handles. Spincast rods are mainly used by beginner anglers due to the ease of casting with a spincast reel. Baitcast rods are usually used by experienced anglers because the reels require tuning for each lure and control of the free spool by using a thumb during the cast.

  • Fly Rods

Fly fishing rods are designed to be used to cast tiny flies made of hair, feather, and thread. The flies are so light that casting them under their own weight is usually not possible. Instead, a heavy line is used to carry the fly during the cast. The fly fishing rod is used to transfer the weight of the line forward and backward, taking a bit more line with it on each forward stroke. Once there is enough line out the end of the rod, the line is released in one final forward cast.


Fishing rods are rated by the amount of weight the rod is able to handle. Fly fishing rods are given a specific number. That number should then be matched with a line with the same rating. For spinning and casting rods the weights are usually broken up into the following:

  • Ultra-light
  • Light
  • Medium-light
  • Medium
  • Medium-heavy
  • Heavy


The action of a fishing rod refers to the amount of bend in the rod when you put weight on the tip. The slower the action, the more bend there will be across the entire rod. Conversely, rods with faster action will only bend near the tip. The image below shows example of a common rod action.


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Martin Garagher
Martin was born in a fishing village near Baja peninsula. He knows the art of fishing since he was 6 years old. He is now an accomplished fisherman with many decorations in his belt. He currently works as a professional fishing trainer and an author in many international fishing magazines.

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