Whether you are new to the world of saltwater fishing, or a seasoned pro, you know that the right rod for the job matters. Read on to see the best saltwater fishing rods and get ready to reel in your next big catch.
Types of Saltwater Fishing Rods by Material
This remains the most widely used rod material for salt water fishermen. Fiberglass is both strong and flexible and lasts a long time. If you’re out on the ocean in rough waters fiberglass is a good option and will hold up in any condition. The only drawback to a fiberglass rod is the weight, it’s tricky to feel subtle strikes.
Unlike fiberglass, graphite rods shine their best when it comes to detecting subtle pickups and strikes. The rod is highly sensitive and you’ll feel the lightest touch and the fight of the fish. Unfortunately it’s not as durable as fiberglass, you’ll notice it can get nicks if it’s not treated carefully and get brittle over time.
This new material for saltwater fishing poles is made up of a composite of both fiberglass and graphite. They took the toughness and durability of fiberglass and combined it with the sensitive touch and lightweight of graphite for the best of both worlds. Some of these rods are even rated for 200-pound lines but you wouldn’t know it from their size.
Choosing the Action on a Saltwater Fishing Rod
The action is determined by how far down the blank (starting at the tip), the bend of the rod extends. This is the number one factor in your rod’s performance. If you purchase a rod with a fast or extra fast action you’ll be purchasing a rod best suited for casting accuracy and the ability to use large baits and lures for those big fish. If you have a rod with a medium to slow action then you’re getting the benefit of the extended casting distance, the ability work small lures and baits and pitching live baits. A rod with parabolic action — giving you the ability to cast longer — is not the same thing as a fast action. These rods are used for live-lining large baits in search of fish like striped bass, sailfish, big dolphin and snook.
Castability on Saltwater Fishing Rods
Choose a fast and extra fast action rod for casting accuracy, those fishing rods will give you the speed and power to catch the prize. Remember that their stiffness does result in shorter casting distance but you can overcome that disadvantage a bit by using a heavy lure or bait to help the cast go further. In a medium-action rod you’ll see more bend and as a general rule, the more the bend, the more energy the rod takes in, allowing you to get further distances with your cast. Unfortunately all that energy load means there is less opportunity for casting accuracy when the energy releases. Still, a slow to medium action rod has it’s place, especially when light jigging or pitching live baits from a distance.
The rods power is not the same thing as the rods action. The power refers to how powerful the blank is and that is determined by the line strengths. A heavy rod can stand 80-130 pounds while ultralight rods in the 8 pound class are for a different set of fish all together. Choose your power to match the fish you’re hoping to catch with either a light 10-20 pound line, a medium with a 20-30 pound line or medium heavy up to 80 pounds.
The Length of the Saltwater Fishing Rod
When you need to choose the length of your rod your first consideration is the main purpose for that particular rod. The longer rods give longer casting distance but shorter rods give you better leverage. When power is your first choice, such as when trolling or jigging then a short rod is a better choice. Think through all the aspects of the perfect rod for your situation and it’s not just about the species of fish you hope to catch, take account of all the characteristics and choose the best combination for the job.
How to Take Care of Your Saltwater Fishing Rod
- After each use always rinse your rods in fresh water, paying attention to the guides and reel seats. Towel dry when finished.
- Every so often remove the reels and lubricate reel seats, fasteners and any roller guides.
- Check guides for corrosion and check guide wraps for wear and tear.
- Use a thin piece of sock to pull through the guides to check for nicks. If the sock hangs, even a little, your guide is damaged.
- When stored on board your boat make sure the rods aren’t hung where they’ll bang against hard surfaces or other rods on choppy water.
- Apply a light coat of bowling-alley wax for extra preservation and shininess.