Many anglers seem to overlook the importance of their fishing rod. Having a decent rod is very important. You rod helps you detect bites, set the hook, and then fight the fish. If you have a sub par fishing rod you simply wont catch as many fish as you should. For example, the airline once lost my friends fishing rod case that contained his ultra light fishing rod. It was a rod he had been using for more than ten years and was very familiar with it. We had to go to an unfamiliar store to replace the rod seeing as how the airline was going to send his bag back home, and my friend was without a rod. He bought the only ultralight rod that he could find in that particular store, and he fished with it for the next few days. I out fished him 3 to 1, and our catch rate was normally fairly equal. The only difference was the fishing rod. Once we returned home and he had his original rod back, he has never used the one he had to buy in a pinch again.
The point to that story is that the one he had to buy so that he could fish, wasn't nearly as good a rod as the original. His biggest complaint the entire trip was that the replacement was too “whippy". He couldn't set the hook. If you've never had the pleasure, this fact is true. If your rod has the stiffness of a whip, you can't set the hook to save your life. Bites are difficult to feel as well if you rod is whip like. In order to set the hook properly your rod must have some backbone (stiffness) to it.
Does this mean that you have to find the one perfect fishing rod on this planet and then pay hundreds of dollars for it? No not at all. A very serviceable fishing rod can normally be found for $50 or less. I personally love the Quantum X-tra lite rod series for ultralight fishing. And these rods are extremely affordable. Normally they are less that $50 and quality and durable. I've had the three that I have for over five years with no problems. Actually the car door got a hold of one of them a couple of years ago and I had to get a new one. Slamming the car door on my fishing rod is obviously my fault and says nothing about the quality of the rod. The bottom line is that an anglers fishing rods are often overlooked as secondary to the fish catching process and they shouldn't be. Spend a little time finding the types of fishing rods that feel right and perform well for you. This will pay dividends in the future. And remember, you should be able to find nice fishing rods that can be used for most freshwater fishing situations for $50 or less each. In my experience it isn't at all necessary to break the bank buying your next fishing rod.
Trevor Kugler Co-founder of JRWfishing.com Trevor has more than 20 years of fishing experience and currently raises his 3-year old daughter in the heart of trout fishing country. . . . . . Montana.
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