What To Look For In A Fishing Rod

Talking here about the importance of the correct choice of rod for any type of fishing that we are going to practice is, clearly, absurd.

The rod is the beginning and the end of fishing , the main element without which the sport fisherman is nothing.

Throughout the history of fishing, there have been many types of rods that have been created with the aim of always offering more and better features.

Materials, actions, lengths… today the offer is so wide that it leads anyone to get lost.

How do I know which rod is right for me?

There are many things to take into account… In this article we try to make a general tour of the market, analyzing the most important points that must be taken into account when purchasing a rod.

Of course, the final choice will depend on many other considerations that have to do with the specific type of fishing that is going to be carried out, as well as with the tastes and economic possibilities of each one.

And of course, you should never get tired of asking at the establishment where you make the purchase; It is the safest way to know that we are not making a mistake.


The size or length of the rod is one of the most important points that must be taken into account. A good piece of advice is to always decide on a rod whose length allows us to maneuver and launch the tackle or lure, with great comfort.
There is nothing worse than fishing with a rod that is out of our size, both big and small, since without a doubt the only thing we will achieve will be wrong casts that will not obtain any results.

In choosing the size you should keep in mind that a short rod works very well for casting in narrow areas, while a long rod is essential for long distance shots. The current trend is towards shorter and thinner rods, which thanks to current manufacturing materials are just as strong and powerful as the thick and long rods that were used in the past.


With the term resistance we mean the capacity of the rod to resist the fight against the fish.
The first thing we must consider is that a rod must have sufficient resistance to throw the weight that must be used, regardless of whether it is one section, two, three or telescopic.

However, when choosing a rod we must not fall into the mistake of thinking that the strongest is the best. The resistance of a reed is not a characteristic that indicates quality, but rather it is a condition of the element; In other words, the cane simply has to withstand what it was made for, if it didn’t, it wouldn’t work.

Depending on the resistance of the cane we can make the following classification:

  • Ultra-light.
  • light.
  • Stockings.
  • Heavy.
  • Ultra-heavy.

Of course, the lighter the resistance of the rod will mean that it is valid for small fish, which will increase as we increase the resistance.

Choosing an inappropriate resistance for the species we are trying to fish will mean that the rod does not send us (or does it wrongly) the sensations that the fish transmits during the fight, making the fishing action more complicated.

Memory of a cane

The natural shape of a reed is straight; however the fishing action supposes a constant bending. Well, when flexing it, the cane offers a resistance that is equal to the applied force but in the opposite direction, that is, a reaction.

The speed with which it returns to its previous state is what is commonly called reed reaction or “memory”.
The rod must have the appropriate reaction or memory so that the fisherman does not lose the sensation of fishing, to make the cast satisfactorily or to nail the piece if necessary.


Maximum weight to which the rod can be subjected at the time of casting. It is expressed in grams, normally with two numbers, which indicate the weight section that the rod supports without problems.

Indeed, each rod is designed for a specific type of fishing, based on which the level of flex that it can reach and the limit of effort that it can withstand are established.
In this sense, three moments are distinguished in the set:

  • Critical zone: moment in which the tip of the rod is subjected to the greatest load, being able to overcome its resistance and break easily.
  • Strength zone: optimal position for the rod, where you can make the greatest efforts and it is used correctly.
  • Tension zone: position in which the reel and the line suffer the greatest tension.

As we know, when casting the rod it flexes; well, this bending can occur in different ways. According to the shape that the curve takes, the reeds are classified as:

    • Fast action or tip rods: so named because they tend to bend at the tip. They give a greater fishing sensation but are less effective when making long casts.
    • Medium action rods: they bend in the middle of the rod. They give a good fishing feel and are suitable for medium casts.
    • Slow or full action rods: they bend in their entire length. They are the most suitable for long casts.


Of course, all the characteristics of the cane are related to the material with which it is made.
Currently the market saturates us with the large number of materials that it offers us:

  • Natural.
  • Fiberglass (solid or hollow).
  • Carbon fiber or Graphite.
  • Kevlar: very strong and at the same time very light resin that is used in armoring vests and vehicles and that is currently being introduced in the manufacture of fishing rods, although its high price means that its use is not very widespread.
  • Composite: mix of fiberglass, graphite, kevlar or other materials.

These are, so to speak, the most widespread, but there are also others less present on the market. Indeed, every day we can see how manufacturers investigate to create new materials that offer the best performance. The main objective is that the rod has the greatest possible reaction, that is, the greatest speed to return to its natural straight state.

Thus, natural reeds are practically in disuse, mainly due to the maintenance they require, since their cost is not competitive.
The latter is due to the artisan process that is required for its production, which goes from the plantation to finally turning it into a fishing rod.

However, excellent rods can be achieved with different action cuts and with a good reaction. In fact, in fly fishing, some of the most prestigious factories continue to offer natural reed products even today.

We always refer to hollow natural cane (bamboo, tacuara); solid ones have been a low-cost option mainly in the type of varied sea fishing, but except for resistance to shocks, they do not offer any advantage from a technical point of view. The same happens with the hexagonal wooden rods.

With all the materials you can achieve the three types of actions mentioned above.

Undoubtedly, the appearance of fiberglass rods in the 1960s was one of the greatest innovations ever experienced. The solid ones appeared first, followed by the hollow ones, which were ultimately the ones that revolutionized the market, thanks to their lower weight.

If there is something that stands out in this material, it is that it hardly needs maintenance care. In addition, its light weight, its great reaction and its extraordinary resistance and flexibility, together with the great variety of models and low cost, mean that fiberglass rods will be positioned as soon as they break into the market, in the first place of sales. .

But fiberglass has been surpassed nowadays by another material, graphite rods. Although their cost is higher, they have a greater reaction and a lower weight (just like Kevlar). Against it, there are those who claim that they are more fragile to shock than fiberglass, which must be added to the fact that graphite is a conductor of electricity, which means a risk of use on days of electric shocks ( unfortunately we all know accidents of this type happened to fishermen).

There are also the so-called “composite reeds”, in which it is a question of combining all the benefits of the different materials that exist, combining weight, reaction and cost.


It is another of the fundamental points that we must take into account when choosing our rod, considering that it should never exceed our physical capacity . Keep in mind that we will spend many hours ?loading? of the rod, but not only that, but we must also make a real physical effort in each cast; We will surely regret it if the weight of the rod is excessive.

In any case, the rod must have the weight that the fisherman deems convenient, since the lightest is not always better, we must not forget that in the case of needing to carry out with varied long cast coastal fishing equipment, the rods with higher weight have higher performance; the weight must be chosen, like so many other characteristics of the rod, depending on the type of fishing that we are going to do.


The rod must have a correct assembly in terms of the position and type of guides, adequate handle, etc. An important aspect in the rod are the guides, rings or guide rings of the rod, which is a fishing line guide device designed to offer no friction, hardness and at the same time to be light and do not add more weight to the rod.

Indeed, the guides must maintain the sensitivity of the rod, they must prevent the line from twisting, they must help the shooting distances to be greater and they must maintain the balance of the rod.


Another of the fundamental elements of the rod is its handle, since it is what will allow the passage of sensations from the tip of the rod to the fisherman’s hand, a set of sensations that are essential when it comes to achieving the results desired.
If we had to highlight a series of qualities that a handle must meet, we would talk about the following:

  • Functionality: that is, the ability of the handle to provide the angler with adequate support for handling the rod.
    A functional grip will allow for better energy transfer from the angler’s hand and arm to the rod and line.
  • Ergonomics: quality that allows the fisherman to manipulate the rod comfortably and efficiently, minimizing effort. A rod must be equipped with a handle of a size and shape matching the number and power of the rod, as well as the standard measurements of individuals. A well-designed grip results in better performance and less fatigue.
  • Quality: based mainly on the type of material with which it is built, on which the durability, the sensations transmitted, the weight, etc. will depend.

The material traditionally used is cork, which is marketed in different “grades” that indicate its quality.

One of the most widely used materials today is the so-called ?EVA Foam? (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate). It is a synthetic material that has the appropriate characteristics for making handles of all kinds. Its compression index, given by the density of the material, its resistance and other properties have found a place in fly rods, especially in handles for medium and low priced rods, although mainly for fiberglass rods of medium numbers. .

It has a single disadvantage compared to cork: it is somewhat heavier.

In short, we will say that in the market we can find a great variety of models, each of which offers a different weight, length, action… The correct choice goes through the combination of all these elements in such a way that we find the rod that has all the characteristics… and that fits our budget, of course.