This past year I began to explore my options for buying a new fishing rod. Well, truth be told, I watched one of my favorite Pro's, ran down to a sporting good store and bought what the Pro was using. Good choice right? Well...NO! I have missed vast quantities of hook sets and caught 2 stinking fish with that rod. Who's fault is it - the rods, the Pro's, or my lack of knowledge at the time of purchase? This article will hopefully take away all of the mystery in the world of rods and which one is right for you.
The Pro I was watching was none other than Mark Zona on Zona's Awesome Fishing Show. He is one of my favorite guys to watch not just because he does give some great tips, but because he is one of the funniest personalities in the Sports and Outdoors TV gig. Zona was flipping weed lines and using a slip-rig. It is a lot of vertical or almost vertical fishing. In that scenario, the super stiff rod and heavy line he was using was spot on, and he caught almost every fish that bit. My problem of missing fish came when I attempted to take a rod like that and use it for all applications. On top of this, my physical limitation did not help this rod stick a fish at all which I'll explain a little a later in detail.
First let's look at the different rod styles and their applications:
|Fishing Rod Characteristics|
1. Extra Fast/Fast - Flipping or vertical cover fishing. These rods are meant to be used when you need a rod with no give. It's brute force here. The majority of the rod is solid backbone and allows an angler to rip a fish from cover and have greater sensitivity.
2. Moderate - Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, swim lures, drop-shotting. These rods are designed to help the angler make long casts. The action of the rod also aids an angler to drive treble hooks into the tissue instead of ripping the bait out of the fish's mouth.
3. Slow - Catfishing. A catfish is caught best by simply reeling up the line and holding tension. The rod should help a fisherman drive the hook into the corner of the mouth due to it's flex. It also allows a fisherman to play the fish without breaking the line as often.
So back to my miserable failure. My logic was if the rod had a fast tip, then that would help me out a lot. I could use the extra speed. Not so, in fact it works just the opposite. The faster the rod tip the more power is needed to drive the hook. I had taken a fast action rod and was attempting to use it with swim baits and such. I was missing almost every fish...why? I was literally pulling the bait out of the fish's mouth or lacked the power to drive the hook and the fish would throw the bait. Add to the action of the rod the fact that I use braided line which has zero stretch, and it was a wonder that I even caught the two fish that I did. So, I went back and used a rod I had owned forever, I caught almost everything that hit. The old rod was a moderate to moderate/fast rod. It gave me enough bend to drive the hook and yet enough strength and stiffness to know when the fish hit and not completely miss it.
|Ask for HEEEEELP!|
Funny, the two fish I caught on that new rod were both right at the bank and it was virtually a vertical hook set...go figure right?
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- Scott Anderson