Getting Started in Bass Fishing
While bass fishing can be overwhelming for beginnings, we’re hoping to help ease that pain. Our Rod Selection series will be 5 parts, so that we can hopefully inspire others to join our passion. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Revital Outdoors team!
Step 1: Choosing the Right Rod
If you’re new to freshwater bass fishing and feel like you don’t know where to start, then you are in the right spot! I have been catching bass for fun since before I entered high school, and now in my 30’s I compete in tournaments on a professional level. Therefore, I have a great deal of knowledge on the subject of catching bass, and I look forward to sharing that knowledge through this series of blogs. One thing that I can assure you is that an important part of having success with catching bass isn’t always about what bait you’re throwing, but instead what type of rod you’re utilizing. Moreover, in this blog I will outline the differences in types of rods and will offer my advice for picking out the perfect rod for you.
Selecting The Perfect Rod
First, before we dive into what specific type of rod you should purchase to begin bass fishing, let’s start out with what the different types of actions and power of a rod mean. A rod’s action basically refers to how the rod bends. The two most common actions in a rod are deemed as fast and moderate. A fast action rod is one that bends more towards the tip of the rod and less towards the butt of it. Due to this, creating a sturdy and strong action for a rod that is best suited for throwing baits that have a single hook. Additionally, the other option for an action of a rod is a moderate one. A moderate action creates an even or parabolic bend throughout the rod that is most commonly used for baits that have multiple hooks or “treble” hooks.
Step 2: Rod’s Power
Moreover, a rod’s power determines how stiff it is. The different powers of a rod that you will see are light, medium, medium heavy, heavy, and extra heavy. Furthermore, just like the different actions available in a rod, certain powers of a rod are better suited to throw different types of baits. For example, a medium power rod is better suited for baits with treble hooks like a crank bait or top water. On the other hand, a heavy rod is better for something like a jig or texas rig. Don’t worry, we will discuss terms like that in future blogs if you’re unfamiliar.
Lastly, you need to consider whether you want a spinning or casting rod. This determines whether you use a spinning reel or a bait caster to throw your lures. The only difference between the two types is the position of the line guides. A spinning reel will sit below the rod therefore the line guides will be positioned on the under side of the rod as well. On the contrary, the opposite is true with a bait casting rod. Most new anglers start out with a spinning rod due to its ease of use. Typically, they graduate to a bait caster when they get more experienced. Again, I will break this down further in future posts.
Step 3: Casting Vs. Spinning Rod
Here is my advice for the perfect rod to begin bass fishing. A seven foot long, medium power, fast action rod (7’M) is perfect if you’re comfortable with a spinning rod. A lighter power is preferred with a spinning rod due to the characteristics of the reel itself. Spinning reels are suited for lighter baits so a medium power seems to work best. For a bait caster a seven foot medium heavy fast action rod (7′ MH) is the most common choice. This is a well rounded rod that is perfect for many types of bait presentations. Personally, I own 20+ bait casting rods, and over a third of them are 7′ MH due to versatility.
There are many different brands of rods on the market that vary greatly in price and little in performance. Some of the well known brands are Abu Garcia, Berkley, Dobyns, Duckett, Fitzgerald, Lews, MHX, Shimano, and St. Croix. However, expect to spend roughly $80 to $250+ for a quality rod. Higher end rods are often built with quality components and come complete with a replacement warranty.
Most importantly, make sure the rod feels good to you in your hands. There’s nothing worse than a rod that is too heavy or isn’t balanced properly. It makes fishing with it a chore and ultimately unsatisfying. When holding the rod, ensure that you gently flex it at the tip to guarantee that the power and action aligns with the specs. I would suggest asking a store clerk to allow you to attach a reel to the rod and hold it before purchasing it. This will give you the best feel for the rod to help you determine if it is right for you.
In conclusion, we hope that you were able to gain some background knowledge in rod selection. Make sure you stay tuned for upcoming blogs and the parts of this series. If you have any questions, please reach out to the Revital Outdoors Team! We look forward to hearing from you.