There’s no denying it, fishing gear costs money, so any time you can save dollars without compromising on quality is worth looking in to.
When it comes to terminal tackle – hooks and swivels in particular, there is no substitute for quality.
We’re talking a few dollars between the best and the cheapest which is not a saving, its a liability.
Buy the best rolling swivels you can find, not the cheap chainstore 100 to a pack ones, it’s not a matter of if they will let you down, only when, and you can bet it will be when you have that fish of a life time on the end of your line.
The same goes for hooks, buy brand names hooks because cheap hooks snap, have burrs that nick fishing line and have weak tips that blunt quickly.Buying a fishing rod can be a daunting experience for the beginner, so many to choose from and no idea what rods suits what application or how much you need to spend to get something suitable.
I’m going to let you in a secret, fish have no idea how much you spent on your fishing rod.
You buy an expensive rod to please yourself or impress others, not to catch more fish.
Think of it this way, a $50 rod in the hands of an expert will catch more fish than a $500 rod in the hands of a novice.
Rod choice should be about practicality for the type of fishing you plan to use it for and suitability for the species and size of fish you’re hoping to catch.
For example kayak fishing can put you in a lot of tight awkward spots, and without any rod locker or safe out of the way place to store a rod, it is very easy to snap a rod paddling through skinny backwater creeks.
My favourite kayak rod is a short length ABU Muscle Tip, the tip is very flexible solid glass and you can almost bend the rod in half without breaking it – best of all it costs less than $50.
I also have a $500 rod specifically designed for offshore jigging, a rod torture style of fishing that snaps cheaper rods like match sticks.
If you’re unsure, the best way to start is by choosing a rod firstly on the line class you’re going to use it for – if you can’t tell by picking it up and shaking it if it is suitable, go by the information that is printed on the rod – If you’re going to use 3kg line, buy a rod marked 2 – 4kg.
Before you buy a rod you’ll also need to decide what reel you will be using on it because rods are built to suit either a baitcaster, sidecast or spinning reels.
Next decide on the length you want – if you’re land based you probably want a longer rod so you can cast further, somewhere between 2 – 2.8m is popular in estuaries. Long rods can be a bit awkward in a boat, it can be hard to get a fish close enough to net which is why 1.8 – 2m is a popular length when fishing from a boat. The final decision is taper or how stiff the rod is, whether it bends through the full length of the rod or just the tip. Rods that bend through their full length are called slow taper rods, they are best suited to bait fishing using sidecast or spinning reels. Rods that are stiffer with a softer tip are called fast taper rods and best suited to casting lures, trolling or using baitcaster or overhead reels. Once you’ve decided on the style rod that suits your needs, you’ll find they are available in a varied price range, choose the rod you can afford then go and wear it out – that’s where the fun is.