A Rod for All Occasions
When it comes to buying a new fishing rod you have numerous choices to consider with there being so many quality rod manufacturers out there. When you purchase a new rod there are many factors you need to take into account before you make your purchase. First, you have to consider how often you plan on using it. If you only plan to fish a few times a year it may be hard to warrant spending upwards of 100 dollars on a rod. If you are an avid angler who fishes competitively it's easier to spend the money to buy a quality rod, as it is a tool that could possibly win or lose you a tournament. And while you can easily spend upwards of 200 dollars many companies are offering high quality rods for less. One of the the biggest innovations in the past years has been the introduction of split grips. While some like the traditional cork handles many have started using split grips with foam handles. Split grips make the rods lighter and also allow you to have more feeling since you are in constant contact with the rod. I personally have been using split grip rods for the past few years and can't say enough good things about them. I recently spoke with Keith Bryan, President and CEO of Powell Rods, and asked him about the new trend of split grips and he added having the split grip not only gives an improved look and feel, but also decreases the building cost. I asked him how important it was to be on the cutting edge of impovements with all of the competition from so many companies. He explained the importance of staying cutting edge while balancing it with realistic in expectations. He went on to say he didn't want to introduce new items every year unless they were truly able to upgrade with real results, because when you come out with new products without making real upgrades it devalues dealer and consumer inventory.
With all the choices of rods we now have many companies have different lines for all different techniques. While having specific rods for specific applications makes choosing easier, many rods can be used for more than one application. For instance a Powell Max 703 is a 7' med-heavy extra fast action rod and on the rod it gives different applications that the rod can be used for such as; senkos, jigs, flukes, texas rigs and spinnerbaits. I asked Keith if he thought anglers put the right amount of emphasis on matching rods to the techniques they were using, he responded that he believed they did and he always tries to educate anglers that most rods will be useful for more than one application, such as heavier crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater baits. He also said that while the the Powell Max line of rods are technique specific the new Endurance line of rods which aren't listed as technique specific are outselling them.
While many rods may be interchangable crankbait rods are in a class by themselves most often, although some elect to use them for topwater applications also. Most prefer a graphite or fiberglass rod for these applications, with the length determined by the size of the bait, in the 6' to 8' range. The general rule is the bigger the bait the longer the rod. The action is also very important, medium-medium heavy with a fast tip is very popular. The action allows your bait to have the erratic action while the tip is soft enough that you won't rip the bait away from the fish.
Finesse fishing is a tactic many rely on very heavily. Finesse fishing can be anything from throwing small finesse jigs to drop shotting. A tactic I use when when pressure gets high on my local lakes is wacky rigging. For this tactic I prefer to use a Powell Max 7' medium-heavy spinning rod with an extra fast action. Some like to use medium action rods as well when using light baits. When throwing shakey heads I do prefer to use a casting rod, a Powell Endurance 723 medium-heavy rod. Personally I prefer baitcasting outfits over spinning tackle whenever I can get away with it.
Another important rod to have in your arsenal is a flipping stick. For me a Powell Endurance 7'1" 714 heavy action with an extra fast tip is my rod of choice. A person's height can dictate how long of a flipping stick they are comfortable with. A flipping stick should have plenty of backbone so you can move the fish quickly when fishing around heavy cover such as brush and docks.
So next time you are unsure how to match your rods with different applications check out technique specific rods if you are unsure what you are looking for. You can find Powell Rods at www.powellco.com check them out you will not be disappointed.