How to Choose a Saltwater Fishing Rod

If you are just getting into saltwater fishing, it is important to know and understand the type of gear you need. Even if you have been freshwater fishing for most of your life and have a plethora of items on hand (yeah, I said plethora -- deal with it), it is important to realize that your freshwater rod and gear are not necessarily going to be able to make the transition to the ocean. You will want to choose a rod that is specifically for saltwater fishing. If you don’t, you could end up with a broken rod and a very bad day ahead of you.

Of course, if you’ve never done this before, it can feel rather daunting. This is especially true because you have to consider the different types of fish that you might be going after. You need to choose a rod that has all of the characteristics you need. It can seem impossible, but we’re here to help make the process a bit easier. Let’s look at what you need to consider.

Consider the Style of Fishing

Saltwater fishing can actually encompass many different types of fishing. Rods that might excel in one area would not be as good of a choice for another type of fishing.

Those who fish in saltwater might be surf fishers, who stand on the shoreline and cast beyond the breakers, or they could be those who like to fish from piers. It can also include inshore fishing, which means fishing in water that is less than 30 meters deep. Offshore fishing takes place in deeper waters, and trolling means to drop a line in the water from a boat that’s moving.

Of course, you also need to think about the type of fish you are hoping to catch. You want to make sure you have a rod and line that will be capable of holding those fish, as well as a reel that can get them to you. After all, you don’t want to try to catch a bluefin tuna with a tiny Hello Kitty pole! Therefore, consider the type of fishing you will be doing and the type of fish you want to catch, and then choose a rod that’s made for that type of fishing. This is the best way to start narrowing down your selection, so you can be sure you are getting a pole that will work well for your needs.

Choosing the Rod

Ideally, you will get a rod that is both durable and lightweight. The graphite options tend to be the best option for this combo. However, there are also fiberglass rods. The only real advantage to fiberglass over the graphite rods is the fact that they tend to be easier to maintain.

In addition to the durability, you will need to consider the length of the rod. The rods can vary quite a bit in size. Some are just a few feet long, while others can be around 15’ long. Again, you have to consider where you will be fishing and how far you need to cast. Longer rods tend to be more difficult to manage than shorter ones.

The rod’s action is important to consider, as well. A fast action will have flexibility only toward the tip, which is good for heavier fish and equipment. It can also work well in windy conditions. Medium actions are rigid toward the bottom with more flexibility toward the top, and they can handle many different sizes of fish. Slow action rods will bend along the entire length of the rod. This tends to be the easiest for beginners, but it is only a good choice for small fish.

Should You Buy the Gear Separate from the Rod?

When you start to look up options for saltwater fishing rods, you will notice that there are often some combo deals available. This simply means that you get not only the rod, but also the reel, and in some cases, some tackle to go along with it. This could be a good option for those who are new and who do not have any other gear of their own. Just make sure that you are getting the best quality you can find. The rod and reel need to be able to withstand the rigors of saltwater fishing.

However, if you know a bit more about saltwater fishing, whether you have done it before and are getting back into it or even if you have just read quite a bit about it, you might want to buy everything piecemeal instead. This way, you can put together the exact kit that you want to own. This tends to be a slightly more expensive option, but you will find that it also allows you to get just what you need.

Never make the mistake of simply buying the first saltwater rod you find and thinking that it is fine. You need to be willing to put in a bit of research to make sure you are getting the perfect rod for your needs. Check some reviews, learn more about the rod, and then you can make your purchase with confidence.

Once you have your saltwater fishing rod and all of your other gear, it’s time to get out on the water and have a great time. Bring back a big one or three!


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