Numerous fisherman purchase a fishing rod for many reasons, some purchase based on a specific need, others buy a rod because the price is just right and too hard to pass up a good deal. While there is nothing wrong with purchasing a fishing rod, because it is a good deal, that discounted price fishing rod more than likely is designed for one or two fishing techniques.
Now you may be saying that a fishing rod is a fishing rod and it will work in a variety of situations, this may be true sometimes, but in many scenarios using an incorrect fishing rod for a specific presentation will result in missed/lost fish and possible injury or fatigue to you as the angler.
Using the proper rod depends on several variables, what bait are you fishing, type of line and gear ratio of reel. By taking all of these variables into account you’ll be able to put together the proper rod setup to increase the number of bass that cross the gunwale of your boat.
Talking to Witch Doctor Tackle Owner and rod builder, Adam Trieschmann, who has spent years in developing the Witch Doctor Tackle lineup of rods, he went over a recent scenario he faced on the water. On this day he only had one rod with him, a 7’6” medium heavy casting rod that had 30 lb braided line spooled on the reel.
His initial lure offering was a lipless crankbait and the result was one of the three bass he had hit made it into the boat and the one that did was hooked outside the mouth. The reason why, the rod had no give, coupled with the no stretch in the braided line, the bass literally weren’t getting the opportunity to get the bait in their mouths. Next on the docket to try was a ½ oz spinnerbait, the result was the same thing, again the wrong rod was being used.
The last offering to try was a ¼ oz Texas-rigged soft plastic craw and success, every single bass that hit the bait was caught and landed. Now Adam could’ve changed up his line selection to monofilament or used a lower gear ratio reel for the first two presentations and his success would’ve increased some, but the primary element in the equation that was incorrect was the rod. Select the proper rod and you’ll hook up and land more bass!
When it comes to flipping, pitching and especially punching mats or heavy vegetation with a heavy tungsten weight Texas-rig or jig, it is paramount that you use a rod that isn’t too lite. “If you pair up too lite of a rod with a heavy weighted lure, you’ll absolutely wear yourself out,” stated Adam Trieschmann, Owner/Founder of Witch Doctor Tackle. “By using the right weight rod for flipping in these situations you’ll be using the strongest muscle in your arm to do the work, your bicep, instead of your wrist.”
The above scenario is how many anglers will develop tennis elbow or bursitis in the shoulder, from years of flipping with a rod that is too light, resulting in the rod tip wanting to always be up. By using the right rod for these situations such as the Hydrilla Gorilla or the Oracle Pitchin’ Stick from Witch Doctor Tackle, the rod will want to go down, which will naturally pendulum your bait to the target. By practicing this technique you’ll be able to flip farther and impart a more natural action in your bait.
Another benefit to using the right action rod for fishing around heavy cover is that when your jig or Texas-rig gets hung up on a reed or weed clump, it won’t sling shot back at you, like it would if you are using to light of a rod. For example the Hydrilla Gorilla will load up on a 2 lb bass, but the tip is stiff enough where it won’t load up when your bait is hung up on a reed. This eliminates the safety hazard of a ¾ oz or heavier tungsten sinker and sharp hook flying towards your face.
If you have spent any time casting small baits, that don’t weight much, you know that it is tiresome to put all your effort in to casting a number 5 or 7 Rapala Shad Rap any great distance, especially if the wind is blowing into you. By using a rod that isn’t designed for these small baits, you will be fatiguing yourself cast after cast and by the end of the day you will be physically drained and setting yourself up for shoulder aliments.
By using a medium action rod, you’ll be able to cast that Shad Rap or balsa crankbait further, meaning you can cover more water in a short amount of time and you can fish that presentation all day without feeling tired or taking a break to let your shoulder rest. For me the Witch Doctor Tackle Surman50G Medium action 6’10” casting rod is the rod of choice here as I can whip a Shad Rap all day long for early season bass action.
As you are looking to upgrade some of your fishing rods or add to your arsenal this fishing season, take the time to think about the exact presentation you’ll be using that rod for as you want to make sure the rod you are using has been designed/built based off of that given presentation. By using the right rod will not only aid in your fishing success, but also keep you casting and fishing longer without feeling fatigued.
Three Things to Keep in Mind When Buying a Rod…
- Perks of a Longer Rod: Depends on the type fishing you are doing, especially if you are making long casts, you need a longer rod to pick up more slack in your line prior to setting the hook. Using longer rods also aid in anglers being able to make longer casts with monofilament line especially. If you are fishing shallow water or wanting to keep your bait up in the water column above submerged vegetation, a longer rod will bring your lure up in the water column as well.
- Butt Length: When selecting a fishing rod, pay attention to the butt length, as a longer (typically 11”) butt allows you to get two hands on it, resulting in more leverage to make long casts. A rod with a short butt (9”) is good in tight quarters to make pinpoint casts when using a lighter action rod.
- Casting Lite Lures: If you are casting small lures that don’t weigh much, you’ll want to use a slower action rod as you’ll be able to cast that lure farther.