Ultra lite fishing rods provide great fun. However, care must be used that you do not exceed the specifications of the rod.
Fishing rods come in a large variety of styles & lengths, each designed for specific uses to meet a particular situation. Components that make up a fishing rod are a rod blank, handle, reel seat and guides. Ferrules if used also make a difference. the more used, the less sensitive a rod will be. The type of material also impacts the sensitivity. Graphite ferrules are more sensitive than metal ferrules. Fishing rod components determine the amount of vibration that travels from the lure/bait up through the line to the hand. the more vibrations a rod transmits, the more sensitive it is. The greater the sensitivity, the more you will understand what is going on in the water.
The rod shaft is called a blank and generally, it is made using graphite. Occasionally fiberglass or other material can be used. Like most things, there are good graphite rods and there are bad ones. There are also good fiberglass rods and there are bad fiberglass rods. most rods today are made with graphite blanks due to their strength, lighter weight and greater sensitivity. The thickness and density of the rod material also influences the characteristic of a fishing rod. Graphite is more sensitive than fiberglass and boron is denser and more sensitive than graphite. A high quality graphite blank is the key to better rods. The number of modulus is a measure of resistance to flex. The higher the modulus count of the graphite, the stiffer and stronger the blank. Higher modulus graphite rods also are more brittle. Higher strength allows the need for less material in the blank. Less material means less weight and less mass for the vibrations that are being generated to travel through thereby increasing the rod's sensitivity. Rod blanks having a modulus count of between 58 and 70 million modulus are extremely sensitive yet have such excellent durability that they come with a lifetime warranty.
The characteristics of a fishing rod blank are determined by what portion of the rod flexes and how much strength it takes to make the rod flex. Action/taper refers to where or how much of the rod will bend. A fast action rod will start to bend more toward the tip where as a slow action rod would tend to bend over the entire length of the shaft. a medium action rod would start to bend in the middle. The taper of the rod itself controls the action. A fast or short taper would make a slower action rod and a slow or long taper would make for a faster action rod. In essence, this is where in the rod you get your hook setting power (backbone) is in the rod. A fast action tip has the hook setting power more toward the tip of the rod while a moderate tip is toward the middle.
Power of strength is the amount of force needed to bend the rod. the thickness and type of rod material will determine this. most rods when marked are referring to power not action. The power of a rod should be consistent with the line weight ratings.
Example of where the blank runs through the handle.
- Black Foam: The black foam grips are light in weight, more durable than cork, chip resistant, and unbreakable. They are comfortable, soft and warm to the touch. Used on some saltwater rods.
- Cork Slide Ring: Cork handle with two plastic or rubber rings that secure the reel. The rings allow placement of the reel in a position determined by the angler. Since it does not have any hardware, this type of handle is lighter than most others.
- EVA Foam slide ring: The EVA foam grips are light in weight, more durable than cork, chip resistant, and unbreakable. They are comfortable, soft and warm to the touch.
- Fixed Seat: The handle is typically cork with a predetermined position where the reel is attached to rod. The reel seat is made of a high plastic material that provides great durability with the reel secured by metal threaded rings. The handles come in various lengths to match the type of conditions anticipated by the rod manufacturer.
- Pistol Grip: This casting handle is curved in the shape of a pistol handle and has a set trigger to provide a comfortable, firm grip for one’s hand.
- Straight, Trigger Seat: A straight casting handle with additional gripping power provided by a trigger like attachment to the underside of the reel seat. Seat is made out of plastic.
- Tapered: Tapered cork handles are common in fly rods. Reel placement is dependent upon the particular rod handle. The “tapered” handle conforms to an individual’s hand better than a straight handle making it a more comfortable grip.
- Tapered, Fighting Butt: A tapered handle with the addition of a “stop” at the end of the handle to prevent one’s hand from sliding off. Some stops are screwed in and give the ability to add weight and change the balance of a rod.
- Tennessee: A long cork or fiberglass composition handle that does not provide a reel seat. Reels are “taped” on using black electrician’s tape or some other similar material. It allows you to hold the rod with a smooth surface under your hand, with no metal or plastic lumps or hard pieces to cut you or freeze you in cold weather. It is also lighter than most kinds of reel attachments.
The real seat is another important factor. How the reel is attached to the rod is critical.You do not want the reel to come loose or fall off. A collar that is tightened by hand to attach the reel is my preference. Other prefer to use slip rings or tape. Most rods incorporate graphite or plastic reel seats that serve the general purpose of keeping the reel firmly attached to the rod.
Guides serve several important functions:
- Transmit line vibrations to the rod so it is easier to “feel” the fish.
- Distribute stress applied to the blank while fighting a fish.
Some guides have ceramic rings inside the outer metal frames. Other guides have silicone carbide, aluminum oxide, gold aluminum oxide, stainless steel, or chrome plated insert inner rings. All of these help reduce the friction that causes fraying or nicks in your line.
The number of guides should be adequate to allow the line to lay evenly along the length of a fishing rod with minimal contact of the rod. You should also pay attention to the wrapping attaching the guides to the rod. If the wrapping is not sufficient, the guide will become loose and need replacing.
Knowing the makeup of a rod provides the information needed to select a fishing rod that is appropriate for the way one needs to fish successfully. Match the fishing rod to the presentation that will be used to trigger the fish.
Fishing Tip: Guides are important and need to be checked before you go fishing. If any are bent, straighten them out because the line will not flow through them correctly. Take a Que-tip and turn it in the inside of the circle of the guides. If any cotton sticks to the circle, have the guide replaced before you use the rod again. If you do not, the line will fray or have nicks in it and.
will break when you set the hook on a fish.
Fishing Tip: The more joints in a fishing rod, the less sensitive it is. Do to their construction, joints are inflexible and tend to deaden vibrations.
Fishing Tip: Not only do wood handles look great, but thy increase sensitivity to fishing lines. However, wood handles can change the balance point of a fishing rod. That is why we suggest to avoid wood handles on heavier rods.
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