Fishing Rods

Fishing Rods How-Tos

Types of Fishing Rod

For many of us, fishing rods may all look similar - as long as it can hold the bait and lure the fish, any type can be used at any site, right? Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. A good rod will be determined by the type of fish, water and more. has broken down the most popular types of rods, they are as follows:

Spinning rods

This rod is normally used in fresh water fishing. It measures from 5-7.5 feet in length. The spinning rod is most effective when using the spinning style of reel. It can thus cast and retrieve bait and lures. Due to its design it's considered an all-round rod to be used in varied locations such as river, pier, or light boat fishing.

Casting rods

Rods for bait-casting are usually made from fiberglass or graphite. The length ranges from 5 to 8.5 feet. The casting trigger is placed beneath the grip while the reel is located at the top. It holds from 5 to 8 large-diameter line guides. The fast action of the casting rod makes it suitable for catching muskellunge and flathead catfish.

Fly rods

This type of rod is specifically designed for fly fishing. It has a length of between 5-11.5 feet. The fly rod is much thinner and lighter compared to other types. Its classification starts from 0 (lightest) to 15 (heaviest). Lower classes (0, 1 and 2) are used for small flies and fish such as pike and smallmouth bass. Higher class (from 10 and above) is suited for large fresh and salt-water fish such as salmon, tarpon, billfish, steelhead and tuna.

Trolling rods

Trolling (not to be confused with "trawling") entails tying fishing rods on the rear of a slow moving boat, or pulling-in the line bit-by-bit from a fixed position. The fishing rods are used to fish mackerel, salmon, kingfish and other types of pelagic fish.

Muskie rods

Muskie can grow to a length of more than 50 inches and weigh over 30 pounds. The fish is also quite aggressive and is known to tear bait, lure and line to pieces. To catch the fish, special types of rods are used. They are large, sturdier and feature lures that are a foot (12 inches) or even longer.

Walleye rods

The rod which is used to catch the Walleye has a length that starts from 5 feet up to 10 feet. Considering this fish is found in the deep water, the rod is extra sensitive to detect even the slightest motions in the water. If comes as light, medium-light, medium and medium heavy.

Jigging rods

This rod uses a special type of lure known as a jig. The jig which is a hook molded into the sinker makes jerky and vertical movements instead of horizontal motions. It's used in fresh and salty water to catch fish varieties that come near the water surface. These include salmon, smallmouth, and largemouth bass.
The rod action and power matters a lot when choosing a rod. For small trout, bluegill and crappie use fast action, light power. To catch channel catfish, walleye and black bass use medium action and power. Moderate action is suited for fishing trout, perch or bass while fishing rods with heavy and fast action are used to fish blue catfish and muskellunge. Browse extensive selection for all your tackle needs.

How to Select the Right Fishing Rod (Video)

Here is a video from Shakespeare that walks your through the process on choosing the best fishing rod for your type of fishing.

Video Transcript

Hi. My name is Casey Davidson. I'm the product manager for Shakespeare Fishing Company. Today, we're going to be talking to you about choosing the right rod.

When you're at the store, choosing a rod can be pretty difficult task especially when you have all these options to choose from. I'm going to talk to you a little bit about rod's length, the rod's action. And also, how to select the right rod depending on what type of reel you'll be using.

The first thing I'm going to talk to you about is the rod's length. And when we talk about length, it really refers to the entire rod - from the tip section all the way to the butt and includes the grips of the rod. Rods very from four foot six all the way up to 12 and even 15 feet sometimes.

There's some advantages and disadvantages to shorter or longer rods. Longer rods generally allow you to cast larger lures and allow you to cast farther. For shorter rods, are generally used for casting lighter weight lures and generally cast a little bit shorter than your longer rods.

Next, I want to talk to you about rod's action. So when we talk about action, we're really referring to the point on the rod where the rod bends. So I have an ugly stick, five foot ultra-light here. And as you can see, when I bend the rod, the rod bends very close to the handle which equates to an ultralight action.

As you progress up to a medium action for instance, this is the ugly stick six six medium. When you bend it, the bend is a lot closer to the tip section. And as you progress up in actions, so you're medium heavier your heavy action, the bend is really just going to be at the tip section.

So action varies from ultra-light, light, medium, medium heavy all the way up to heavy action. And as you move up, the rod just get a stiffer and stiffer backbone.

You can find a rod's length and action on the underside of the rod. So as you can see here, six foot six. Action: medium.

So if you're going to be fishing for catfish, trout, some smaller species of fish, we recommend that you choose an ultra-light action rod to light action. And the four foot six to the five foot six range.

If you're going to be fishing for bass, walleye, striper; you know, some of your larger fish, we recommend you go with a medium to medium heavy action rod. This is the six six medium which is our best-selling medium action rod.

If you're going to be surf fishing or pier fishing or cat fishing, we recommend you go with a medium heavy to heavy action rod. This is the eight foot medium heavy surf rod which is one of our most popular surf fishing rods.

Last thing I want to talk to you about choosing the right rod based on the type of reel that you'll be fishing with. There's two main types of rod - spinning and casting.

There are two distinctive features on casting rods that you should look for. One is they generally have a trigger on the reel as you can see here. The second distinctive feature is that the lead guide is generally smaller on a casting rod than a spinning rod.

Spinning rods look like this. There's no trigger on the reel as you can see. Also, the lead guide on a spinning rod is a lot bigger than casting.

We hope you enjoyed our short little video today. And remember, when you're at the store and you're choosing a rod, really think about the length, think about what action you need. And also, think about what type of reel you're going to be using before selecting the right rod.

If you want to find out more information about Shakespeare, you can visit us on our Shakespeare Fishing Facebook page or also visit us on our website at