Fishing poles, also known as fishing rods, are the core to any good fishing rig. When buying a fishing pole, it is important to understand all the key points before you buy one.
Fishing poles are made from many different materials. Common pole materials include wood, fiberglass, graphite, or composite materials such as carbon fiber. The requirements for good fishing pole materials are flexibility, strength, and sensitivity. The main focus for a fishing pole is casting distance. Depending on what type of fishing you’re going to be doing, there is a perfect pole out there for every type of fisherman. Here are some of the common types of fishing poles:
Deep Sea Fishing Poles: Deep sea fishing poles are very long. Some poles are up to 11 feet long. Deep sea fishing poles are usually thicker in diameter than other poles, and they have heavier tips and guides (eyes) to allow for a heavier fishing line to catch large fish. These are the poles used to fish blue marlin and sharks.
Fly Fishing Poles: Fly fishing poles are usually much thinner and more flexible than traditional fishing poles. The longer length of a fly fishing pole is intended for casting fly line which is a heavier strand than traditional fishing line. This design allows for less emphasis on the weight of the lure, and the ability to focus on the skills and finesse of the fisherman.
Spincasting Fishing Poles: Spincasting fishing poles are one of the most common type of fishing pole in the world. A spincasting pole is a traditional fishing pole designed to hold the very popular spincasting reel, also known as a spincaster. A spincasting pole has the reel mounted on the top of the pole, and features a straight handle making it easier to reel in that big fish.
Spinning Fishing Poles:
Also known as spinner fishing poles, spinning fishing poles range from 5 to 9 feet in length for extra tip sensitivity. Spinning poles have the reel mounted on the bottom of the fishing pole, as well as the line guides.
Surf Fishing Poles:
Surf fishing poles are very long poles that can range anywhere between 8 and 15 feet. This added length increased kinetic leverage to launch your cast out past the break. Surf fishing poles are designed to accommodate substantially larger reels allowing the fisherman enough line to cast it way out there.
Ultra-Light Fishing Poles:
Ultra-light fishing poles are designed for smaller fish. These lightweight poles are perfect for Sunnies, Perch, Crappies, and other small fish. Ultra-light fishing poles are usually between 4 and 6 feet in length, and are usually paired with light fishing line and smaller lures or bait.
It is often thought that the most important thing about fishing poles is casting ability. It’s amazing how much the process of tossing your baited hook into the water with a simple flick of your wrist can affect a fisherman’s performance so much. But in reality, a fishing pole’s performance is based on a combination of features, not just the fishing pole. The length of the fishing pole, the size and position of the line guides, and the positioning of the fishing reel all combine to provide a smooth and powerful cast.
As a basic rule, you should make sure the fishing pole you want is strong enough to handle the strain of fighting fish the size you will be fishing for. It is also important to have enough flexibility in the pole so it gives to the fish; just enough to make the fight enjoyable and less disturbing to the fish. You will get to know your fishing pole, so there’s plenty of time to get comfortable.
The specifications for fishing poles are listed by manufacturers with specific lingo. It’s important to understand all the terms when looking to buy a fishing pole, as well as important things to consider. We’ve outlined some key points below:
A fishing pole’s action refers to the fulcrum point that the pole flexes at. Common terms used to describe the amount of action a fishing pole has are slow, medium, fast, or a combination 2. Fast poles are more sensitive and bend closer to the tip of the pole, while slow poles are likely to bend closer to the handle when a big fish strikes. There is no standard way of measuring fishing pole flexibility, so each company’s terms will very slightly. Please keep that in mind when your selecting your fishing pole.
Fore Grip and Rear Grip Length: There are several grips a fishing pole can have such as pistol grip, drop shot grip, or trigger grip. Common materials for fishing pole grips include cork, plastic, and wood. Many fishermen prefer cork grips due to their durability, lightweight, and resistance to temperature retention. This is especially important for ice fisherman, because no one likes cold, wet hands. With so many fishing poles on the market, it’s hard to know exactly what type of grip is best for you. Usually you can find entry level fishing poles that are labeled for the type of fishing you will be doing.
Guide Type and Quantity:
Fishing pole guides are the little hoops on the top or bottom of a fishing pole that direct the fishing line during the casting and reeling process. As a rule, the more guides a fishing pole has, the better the pole will be at handling stress and the weight of larger fish. The size of the line guides is dependant on what type of fishing pole it is. Spincasting fishing poles will have larger line guides near the reel to allow for the spinning of the reel, while other fishing poles will have smaller line guides all the way up for baitcasting and other traditional fishing reels that don’t require the additional opening.
Length of the Fishing Pole:
The average length of a typical fishing pole is between 5 and 15 feet, even though ice fishing poles can be as small as 16 inches. As a rule, longer fishing poles allow for increased casting distance, while shorter fishing poles provide greater rigidity and strength for fighting bigger fish.
Number of Pieces:
Usually, a fishing pole can be split apart into several smaller pieces for easy storage and transport. Generally, the number of pieces a pole breaks down into is based on the length of the fishing pole. Longer poles break into more pieces, as many as 6, because the idea is to have a storable pole. Some new telescoping fishing poles can compress down to the size of a pen. But fishing pole length is kind of a trade-off. Though you’re gaining portability with multi-piece fishing poles, you also lose strength and sensitivity in the joints of the pole.
The power rating for a fishing pole is determined by the pole’s ability to handle shock weight. Most power ratings are self explanatory in name, such as ultra-light, light, heavy, and ultra heavy. At a glance, one would assume that an ultra-light will catch smaller pan fish, while an ultra heavy is the choice for deep water fishing.
Many manufacturers design fishing poles specifically for the type of fish you’re after. They offer turn key fishing packages that include everything you need to get started. Many fishing poles are labeled with the manufacturers recommended line weight and lure weight to help remove the guesswork.
In the end, it comes down to personal taste and the type of fishing you will be doing. The best thing you can do is educate yourself, research different fishing poles, and make a decision based on your personal needs. You can always ask for help at your local bait and tackle.
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Written by Ripley Hunter
Ripley Hunter enjoys a wide variety of outdoor activities and adventure sports. From kayaking to rock climbing, Hunter's real love lies in fishing, whether on the water or ice. Among his great adventures is deep sea fishing in New Zealand. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.