many thousands of dollars do you have invested in your fishing gear? If
you fish for a living, your investment may be well into the six-figure
range. But even people who fish for fun spend big money on performance
bass boats, luxury tow vehicles, the latest electronics and enough
baits to make a big sporting goods store jealous.
So why do
people still try to save a few bucks by buying inferior rods? Better
yet, how can people expect to catch the fish of a lifetime or cash a
tournament check when they donít correctly match their rods to their
With rods, one size (or action) does not fit all.
the fish are hitting spinner baits during practice but are smashing
jigs during the competition, you have to have the right gear to be able
to make the transition.
Hereís a short list of bait scenarios and the kind of rods you need if you want to maximize your fish-catching potential.
A 7-foot rod with a light action is ideal. The looser the action you
have on the rod, the less likely the fish is to shake the lure loose
because there will always be tension on the rod. Also, a light rod
willallow fish to eat the lure better, making for better hook sets.
Worms and light jigs: This is the most used rod, so if you only own
one, make it a good one. I like the distance and leverage of a medium
or medium heavy power 6-foot rod, like a Berkley Series One.
In lakes with heavy cover, try a 6-foot rod for added accuracy.
rigs: Use a heavy 7-foot rod. The length allows you to cast long
leaders in open water and set the hook even if the fish has your leader
off to one side.
Spinner baits: For shoreline cover, a medium
heavy 6-foot rod works well. If you consider 3/8-ounce a big bait, then
a medium power will be more to your liking. For open water, slow
rolling, a 6-foot rod will give you added distance and help set on
monofilament line in deep water.
Flipping and pitching: At
least a heavy 7-foot rod is standard gear but you may want to drop down
to a medium heavy power for getting jigs 20 or more feet away from the
boat. For these presentations, I prefer the
Fenwick Techna AV FlippiníStik, a 7-foot-9-inch rod that is based on a custom design Iíve used for years.
thereís big money on the line, pros will keep as many different,
specially matched bait-and-rod combinations on their boat as they can.
Thatís because matching your presentation to your rod can result in a
better strike-to-catch ratio and bigger paychecks.
Larry Nixon is
a former Bassmaster Classic winner with more than $1.5 million in
career earnings on the BASS Tour. Nixon lives in Bee Branch, Ark.