Fishing Rod – What is the difference between a fishing pole versus a fishing rod? A fishing “pole” is traditionally recognized as being made from natural elements such as cane, reed or bamboo, etc. A fishing “rod” is constructed out of conventional composite materials such as graphite, fiberglass, boron or Kevlar, which can also include a combination of these materials.
Before deciding which of the fishing rods best meets your needs, anglers should know the power and action of the fishing rods. These two components often get intertwined and confused, even by experienced anglers.
Action refers to how much the rod bends when you’re casting or have a fish at the end of the line. Extra fast action fishing rods bends just at the tip. Fast action fishing rods bend in the last quarter. Moderate-fast action fishing rods bend over the last third. Moderate action fishing rods bends over the last half. Slow action fishing rods bend all the way into the handle. Faster action fishing rods put more force into your throw and give you longer casts. Softer action fishing rods are more forgiving and have less tendency to throw live bait from your hook.
The lure weights and line sizes that a rod can handle determine its power. Ultra-light fishing rods are designed for 2-6 pound lines and lures weighing from 1/32-ounce to 1/4-ounce. Fishing rods can handle progressively heavier lures and lines as their power increases from light to heavy.
A great choice for all-around fishing are the medium-light power, fast action fishing rod with a spinning reel. They are the best choice for fishing situations where the line used is 10 pounds or less in strength. These fishing rods are supple enough to enjoy catching small farm pond bass and pan fish, while beefy enough to land a large channel catfish or a four-pound bass. Spinning gear is easy to use and allows you to cast light lures a long way and helps protect light lines, allowing beginners to make mistakes while landing a decent sized fish without breaking off. The fast action gives these rods enough heft to set the hook when fishing a plastic worm or jig for bass, or setting the hook on a catfish.
Light power, fast action spinning fishing rods are a good choice for bluegill, crappie and small trout. Quality ultra-light fishing rods also work for these fish, but many ultra-lights are too short and too wimpy.
Medium power, moderate fast or fast action baitcasting fishing rods work well for larger black bass, walleye and channel catfish. They are the best choice for lines of 10 pound or higher but they require much greater practice than spinning gear to use effectively.
Moderate fast action fishing rods are a good choice if you plan to fish with leeches or minnows for walleye, or chicken livers for channel cats. The slightly softer action usually helps prevent you from throwing off the bait while casting with these fishing rods. If you plan to jig and worm fish for largemouth bass and occasionally fish for the other species, choose fast action, medium power fishing rods.
Medium heavy or heavy power baitcasting fishing rods with a fast action are the best choice if you plan to fish striped bass, muskellunge, flathead catfish and blue catfish. This set-up is also good for flipping or pitching jigs for largemouth bass. Moderate or slow action rods with a medium-heavy or heavy power rating is the best choice if you plan to use live bait with theses rods. Again, the softer action protects against throwing the bait off the hook on the cast. These fishing rods possess enough strength to land these fish, but they can also handle the heavy lures and strong lines needed.
Once you determined which fishes you will be targeting, do your research to determine the appropriate fishing gear tackle and especially the most appropriate fishing rods.