Fishing Rod Types: Casting, Spinning & More

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The very first choice you need to make in fishing is what kind of rod you are going to use.

Rod choice governs how you cast, what reel you use and what type of situation your setup is going to be best suited to.

To help you understand what to look for in a fishing rod, you might want to check out some of our general articles on fishing rods including:

Spinning Rods

close up of spinning rod and reel sitting on a table with lures

Spinning rods are the workhorses of the recreational fishing world. Almost everyone who fishes has at least one spinning rod in their kit.

Spinning rods range in length from about 4’5″ to about 9′. In general, long rods are good for casting long distances. Obviously they are hard to use in wooded rivers or areas where space is limited.

Spinning rods have a power rating that ranges from light through to heavy. The power of the rod is a measure of how much it bends for a given amount of force applied.

Spinning rods are also rated by action ranging from slow to moderate to fast. This is a measure of where the rod bends. A slow action rod bends deep down into the rod whereas with a fast action rod, the bed occurs in the upper section of the rod.

Baitcasting Rods

Baitcasting rods are very popular and the mainstay of the bass fishing community.

Also known as casting rods, they must be paired with a baitcasting reel. The reel sits on top of the rod.

One advantage of this style of rod, which has a trigger grip, is that it can be cast well with one hand.

Baitcasting rods have the same power and action ratings as spinning rods and tend to be smilar in terms of the range of lengths they come in.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.