You Should Match Your Rod and Reel To the Way You Fish
From Bob Jensen
I was spooling new line onto some of my rods and reels the other day. That's a ritual for many anglers at the beginning of a fishing season. After putting new line on my light jigging rod, my crankbaittrolling rod, my spinnerbait rod, my slip-bobber rod, then finishing up with my jigworm rod, I got to wondering: Do I really need all these rod and reel combos just to catch a few fish? I had just spent a couple of hours putting line on five rod and reel set-ups and still had several to go. Maybe I'm confusing myself thinking I need a bunch of rods and reels to go fishing.
Here's what I decided: Consider a golfer. Not a pro, just the guy or gal like most of us who goes golfing once a week or once a month. Look at all the golf clubs they carry in their bag. Each club is a tool designed for a specific application.
Next think about the home do-it-yourselfer: The handy-man around the house. Not the professional contractor, just the guy or gal who likes to fix their own stuff. Have you ever seen how many tools they can accumulate!?
Fishing rods are tools. Some rods perform some tasks better than others for a certain type of fishing. If you've ever tried to throw a crappie jig on a muskyrod, you know that's not a very good idea. If you're going to consistently catch fish, you need a rod that was built to fish a particular way. Does that mean we need a bunch of different rods to go fishing? Absolutely not! But if you're thinking about getting a new rod, you need to give a little thought to how you'll be using it.
I remember many, many years ago when graphite rods first came out. They were clunky, had minimal action, were fragile, and they cost about a hundred bucks apiece: We thought they were great!
Many of the graphite rods that you can buy today for a hundred dollars are so much better than their predecessors of thirty years ago. A Fenwick HMG rod costs about a hundred dollars and is an outstanding rod: It's as good a rod as most of us will ever need.
The thing is, you don't need a bunch of rods to go fishing. You need to match the rod you use with how you're usually fishing.
If you're a walleye angler and fish mostly with jigs and rigs, like so many walleye anglers do, you can get by with just a couple of rods. In fact, a six foot six inch medium action Fenwick HMG will probably take care of most of your fishing needs. Largemouth bass anglers need a few more rods because bass are found in a variety of locations: They might be in open water or in an underwater jungle. You'll need a rod that handles six pound test line, one that handles fifty pound test line, and several in between if you're going to really get into bass fishing.
Additionally, you don't need to spend a hundred dollars on a rod. Some of the more expensive rods certainly are a pleasure to fish with, but Lightning Rods will do a completely acceptable job in many circumstances, and for trolling, an Ugly Stik will work forever, and neither are budget-breakers.
We need to remember that we don't need a bunch of rods and reels to enjoy our fishing and to be successful, we just need to use the ones that will help us present our baits most effectively.
Keep a tight line!