Continuing our Beginners Series, one of the most difficult things to decide when you start out fishing is what fishing rods to buy.
Let’s face it, most of us are on a budget, and in all seriousness, we aren’t even sure that this new hobby isn’t just a passing fad.
As with the purchase of anything new, my advice is spend as much as you can afford. You get what you pay for in life, and if you do end up getting serious, you’ll end up wanting to upgrade your gear in a few months anyway.
With this in mind, this blog post looks at “3 light tackle fishing rods I’d buy and why”.
Let’s be clear from the outset, we are Daiwa fans here, so they are all late model Daiwa rods, and despite what you might think, you don’t need to take out a second mortgage these days to get into a better than average Daiwa spin rod. In fact I own and use all of these rods, and 2 of them are probably the most heavily used rods I have (except for my old school HLZ finesse specials and Battler Sparrows – but you can read about that obsession elsewhere on this site).
1. Light Soft plastic rod:
My pick is the Daiwa Black Label SSS 6011ULXS. I’ve written about it before, but here’s the quick summary?
6 foot rod, cork grip and extremely sensitive. I like the short rod, particularly fishing around structure, where you need to pitch and skip and flick your lightly weighted lure into or under every conceivable crevice. It has an extra fast action and sensitive tip that allows you to feel the slightest of ticks through the line.
This rod is fashioned off the more expensive Steez range of fishing rods, and incorporates quality components. Best of all, you can pick up one of these rods for $275 from a leading online retailer
2. Light crankbait rod:
I make no bones about it. I love fishing crankbaits on light fluorocarbon line. It’s my favourite way to fish. There’s something really addictive about anticipating an aggressive strike from an actively feeding fish, that I don’t ever get tired of. I could rattle off 5 or 6 different rods to use, and some of them at the upper end of the price range. For example I do really enjoy using my 6’6 Interline, but in all reality, you just can’t go past the Daiwa Infeet Gekkabijin RF68-T.
At $239 from that very same online retailer, it is great value for money. It is ultralight and designed specifically for use with fluorocarbon lines. Some might say that the blank is a “noodle”, but personally this is my preference with this kind of fishing. It has a regular action and the blank folds with a nice parabolic arch when loaded, and this helps to cushion surges from the fish when hooked up with light trebles.
3. All round, one light tackle spin rod does it all:
There will be many of you looking for this very rod.
Does it exist? Personally I don’t think so. But, having said that, if your budget limits you to just one rod, and you want to be able to fish plastics and blades, and throw crankbaits and poppers and maybe even the odd unweighted pink grub or stick minnow, my pick would be Daiwa’s Black Label Versatile 691 ULFS.
I’ve used it as a jerkbait and crankbait rod on the big black bream from the Derwent in Tasmania, Dave Poulton has used it with great success as a topwater rod, fishing Sugarpens with a super fast aggressive retrieve for Whiting, and I’ve caught my share of fish on blades and plastics on this rod.
No doubt that the infeet will do a better job on the crankbaits, and the Black Label 6011 will be a better “contact” rod, but this Versatile is exactly that… versatile.
So there you have it. There are countless others out there, and if you asked the 5 of us here at lureandfly.com, we’d probably each give you a different answer, but that’s my pick of the 3 light tackle spin rods I’d buy if I had to narrow it down.