Choosing a fishing rod length needs to be thought about before buying. A long rod casts farther and shorter rods offer accuracy. The type of fishing affects the rod length also. Fishing on streams uses shorter rods. While surfcasting a longer length is critical. An angler’s choice in lures has an effect on the length. Then action and power work with the length for performance also. There are many factors in choosing a rod length.
Comfort needs considering when choosing a fishing rod length. A person’s height impacts comfort. A tall angler has no problems with an 8-8 1/2 foot rod, while a shorter angler will have difficulties. If using more than one rod too much change in the length can cause problems. The action and length create different release points in a cast. As a result, accuracy will be affected. Most anglers are better off with rods close in length.
Fishing Rod Lengths Based on Type of Fishing
The species of fish have sway on rod length. Bass fishing uses rods in the 6 1/2 to 8-foot lengths. Larger fish such as musky and big catfish a 7 1/2 to a 9-foot rod is common. The method of fishing relates to the length also. Live bait and lures have different needs in a rod. Lures use specific actions set to the hooks and work with the retrieve rate. Using live bait a softer rod is desirable. All the aspects of a rod need to work together for the best performance. The rod length is only one-third of the rod’s performance. You need to include the power and action for the best performance with a fishing rod.
The action and power are affected by the materials used to make the rod. There are fiberglass, graphite, and composite materials used in rods. A graphite rod is stiffer while fiberglass is flexible. Graphite has better sensitivity and is lighter. Fiberglass bends throughout the blank reducing hooks pulling out. A composite rod is a blend of both making it the best option most of the time. Composite rods offer sensitivity, flexibility, and cost less than a good graphite rod. A cheap graphite rod is prone to breaking. If you only have one or two rods the composites are the best to have for this reason. Although a rod specific to certain fish can use graphite or fiberglass. Graphite is great for walleye jigging whereas fiberglass is perfect for catfish.
What Length is Best?
An angler has to decide if casting distance or accuracy is more important. The shorter rods are accurate and longer rods increase distance. The rods in the 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 foot lengths are in the middle offering good results in both areas. These lengths are comfortable for most anglers. Switching between a rod in these lengths causes few problems with casting also. Rods in 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 foot lengths are common and available in all the materials.
Anglers going for catfish will do well with a 7-9 foot fiberglass rod. While a bass angler needs to have 7-7 1/2 foot composite rods for the many presentations. There are exceptions, surfcasting needs a 10 foot or longer rod. Going after panfish or trout a 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 rod is often better. As an angler take the time to match the rod with the species. Plus where you fish will determine what length is better for you. Shore fishing needs longer rods for casting distance.
The chances are a rod in the mid-length of 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 works for most anglers. Fishing for larger fish a longer rod will be needed. Musky anglers use 8-9 foot rods. Fishing for small fish and the short rods are better. The angler needs to decide what length will work best for what they are fishing for and where.
Keeping fishing simple for tight lines and bragging rights.