Fishing rods are my weakness! Choose your weapon…

Of late, I’ve been asked by a number of people for my thoughts on choosing a fishing rod to chase Bream.  Reality is, there is a lot of personal preference with respect to brand, action, and length that goes into choosing a rod, and there is no prefect rod to cover all fishing situations.

All four of us have multiple rods rigged for different situations when we fish.  Personally I generally have 8 ready to go, but Chris and Ian can have anywhere up to 11 or 12 rigged with various lures for numerous applications during a tournament.

As personal preference goes, I like shorter rods particularly when fishing around structure. Shorter rods facilitate more accurate casting in heavy cover, and more control when fighting a fish.  I use 6′ rods designed specifically for casting jig head rigged plastics, and 6’6″ rods designed for fishing small crank baits on fluorocarbon lines.

I prefer cork grips, and have a weakness for the “enthusiast” gear in the old Daiwa Battler and Heartland-Z ranges, though neither of these factors really impact on the performance of the rod.

Drill down a little further, and there are a couple of really basic principles to consider when choosing a fishing rod, depending on the intended application

1.  When using a single hook/jighead, use a fast action rod. Fast rods tend to be tippy, recover quickly, and the butt section tends to be quite powerful. When fished with braided lines, the sensitive tip tends to transmit even the slightest of bumps and ticks when a fish bites, and gives way quickly into a powerful blank which helps to set the hooks.

2. When using lures with trebles a regular action rod is probably a better option. Regular action rods have a more parabolic arc when loaded and tend to be less powerful. I like to use fluorocarbon lines on these softer rods. The “feel” of bites is often more subtle, but the blank will fold down into the butt section of the rod and combined with the stretch in the line, will cushion surges from the fish and will help minimise pulling small treble hooks out of the fish during the fight.

Obviously, nothing is ever that simple! There will be times when you may want to throw these “guidelines” out the window.  When fishing oyster racks with crank baits, you’ll want to compromise between having the power to turn a fish quickly before it runs you back into the structure, and pulling those small trebles out of the fish.  This is when having multiple outfits comes into its own.

Keep in mind also, with this kind of light tackle fishing, it’s the fishing rod that does most of the work in fighting the fish, and that any reel with a half decent drag will do the job. Many anglers still place little importance on the rod they are using.  They’ll spend $500-$1000 on a state of the art, high-end reel, and “chuck” it on any old rod.   Choosing the right rod with the right action for the application is 80% of the battle.

To read more from the Fishing rods are my weakness series, click here

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