The Basics Of Fly Fishing: Getting It Right

You take the time to get into just the right location in that great stream that your friend told you about. You have been waiting for so long to enjoy this time, alone, fishing to your heart’s content. There are many amazing moments in life but fly fishing is one of your favorite. You’ll get into the waders, getting into just that right location so that you can cast.

The tip of your rod should be in the four o’ clock position with 20 feet (6 meters) of line extended beyond your rod’s tip. Trap the line between the rod handle and your index finger. To begin the back cast, bend your elbow, raise your forearm and move the rod tip from four o’clock to eleven thirty and lift the line from the water. Pause for a moment at this point to allow the line to extend behind you before casting the rod forward. Allow the rod to follow through as the line extends to its full length in front of you. Then continue to work the line in this manner. A fish strikes. The fight is on and you successfully land the fish. This is fly casting.

Fly fishing is an old method of angling. It was primarily developed to catch trout and salmon. Today, it is still used to fish these species, but is also used to catch bass, carp, pike and a wide range of saltwater fish. The difference between casting and fly fishing is that in casting you use the weight of your bait, sinker and bobber to propel your cast. In fly fishing, the weight of the line propels your line forward and puts your fly into position. The fly cannot do this, as it is essentially weightless. The goal in fly fishing is to present the fly gently and to always be in control of it.

When you fly fish, you need special fishing equipment that includes a fly rod and reel, a special fly fishing line and artificial or live flies. These are tied onto your hook with feathers, fur, thread or other materials in colors and sizes that represent natural prey. The key to successful fly fishing is balance. The rod, reel and line, as well as the tippet all have to match in order to have a positive fly fishing experience.

Rod, Reels and Lines

Fly fishing rods are lightweight and long. The line provides the casting weight and is heavy. It can be of differing density, depending on whether you want the fly to sink or float. Line is matched to your rod by weight. Look near the fly rod butt to find out what line weight must be used. Graphite rods are best because they can produce any action that you wish to use. If you are a beginner, buy a basic and moderately priced rod, or borrow one from a family member or friend.

Flies and Leaders

Flies weigh very little. The fly is usually attached to the line by a leader that is two to three meters in length (6 to 9 feet). The leader often tapers to a fine end. This is called a tippet. Tippet size range from 8X, which is the smallest, to 0X, which is the largest. Tippets are set in units of .001 inches. To match the tippet to the fly, you must subtract from eleven and multiply by .001.

For example to find the diameter of a 4X tippet, you would subtract four from eleven. That equals seven. Now, multiply by .001. This size would be .007. What if you have a # 18 fly? How would you calculate tippet size? You would put eighteen over four and calculate. The answer would be 4.5. Since there is no 4.5 X tippet, you would move to the next largest size, which would be 5.

Types of Fly Fishing

There are two types of fly fishing – dry and wet. Wet flies are fished beneath the water surface and are divided into several types, including live wet flies, lures and nymphs. Dry flies float on the water surface and are coated with a substance called, ‘floatant’ to make this possible.

If you are interested in fly fishing and can’t decide which equipment you need to have a positive fishing experience, ask an experienced angler for help. This can be a family member, friend, someone from the local angler’s club or a staff member of the local fly fishing shop. Fly fishing is not as hard to learn as it appears to be. Have fun and enjoy that big catch.

The best way to enjoy your catch is to take the time to enjoy the many wonders that the fishing experience offers. No matter what that first adventure turns out to be, you can make it amazing by spending some time learning the skills from an experienced fisherman.

Source by Niall Kennedy

Reviews of Crappie Fishing Rods

When you become a serious angler you know that the fishing rod you choose can mean the difference between having a great fishing day and having a bad one. If your fishing rod can not live up to its expectations, then it pulls the rest of your equipment down with it. You need to make sure that the crappie fishing rod you choose will not hinder your efforts when fishing for that big one. You need a rod that provides you with the catch of the day instead of the story about the big one that got away. Below are some crappie fishing rod reviews that will help you decide which rods will be best for you.

The B’n’M Ultimate Crappie Rod

The B’n’M Ultimate Crappie Rod is designed especially for catching crappie, walleye or bass because you can cast, flip or jig with it. You can even rig for live baiting action or for jigging. It is a very strong rod that provides excellent tip action. You can buy either the 8ft or 10 ft rod. What most anglers like the best about this particular rod is that even though it is strong enough to haul in the big fish, it is also sensitive enough so you can feel live bait wiggling on the hook. Many anglers agree it is a great buy as you can tell by the five start rating it has received.

The Ozark Crappie Spinning Rod

The Ozark Crappie Spinning Rod is made from a lightweight IM7 graphite structure. It has a cork handle with stainless steel guides. It is a great rod for spin fishing and the distance it will cast is really good. You will find that it is also a very sensitive rod while still being strong enough to haul in large fish. This makes the Ozark Crappie Spinning Rod great for trying to catch even the largest crappie. These rods received a five star rating as well.

Quantum Xtralite XP Crappie Rod

If you are a serious angler that is searching for a rod that can withstand the test of time, you will love the Quantum Xtralite XP crappie Rod. It was designed by Todd Huckabee and can provide you with three techniques for crappie fishing. Therefore, they are great for dipping, rigging and trolling. They are designed with graphite blanks and reel seats. This rod has a natural cork and fantastic ultralight action that you will simple fall in love with.

Ozark Rod Co. Crappie Rear Seat Jigging Rods

If you are in need of a jigging rod this one is a great choice. It is designed with stainless steel guides and a cork handle. The rear reel seat makes it possible to balance the rod so you have more control over it. It can be broken down into two pieces so it is much easier to carry around than the original length rods made for jigging. This one received a five star rating from anglers that have had the opportunity to give it a try.

Ozark Crappie Slow Trolling Rod

If you do a lot of trolling when fishing you will find that the Ozark Crappie Slow Trolling Rod gives a great performance. Since you will find the need to use heavy sinkers from time to time, you need a rod strong enough to support this weight. This rod is designed with fiberglass E-Glass to make it stronger. As you know it can be difficult to know when a crappie is taking the bait so this trolling rod is designed with colored tips to help out in this area. It also can be broken down into two pieces to make it simple to travel with and for easy storage.

Source by Daniel Eggertsen

Virginia Saltwater Fishing – How to Catch Saltwater Fish in Virginia

Virginia has many great places for fishing of all types. Not only do many residents of this beautiful state spend considerable time on the waters but so do many people who travel from other parts of the world to enjoy the great fishing that Virginia has to offer.

While the freshwater fishing is rampant throughout the state as well, many people come for the great saltwater fishing opportunities along the coastal regions of Virginia. Saltwater fishing in Virginia has no limits to season or weather. In fact, some of the best saltwater fishing in the Commonwealth can be done after Labor Day when the seasonal fishermen go home for the end of summer. You can find some excellent fishing in the Atlantic, off the coast of Virginia and we’re going to tell you how to do so. If you want to know how to catch saltwater fish in Virginia, here are some tips and hints to help you along your journey.

When to Fish
While Virginia has great saltwater fishing at any time of year, many hardcore anglers prefer fall fishing when the tourists have gone home and the fish are hungry. In fact, some of the largest fish in the ocean may be making their way closer to the shorelines in search of food. When the weather is cooler, many of the saltwater fish that previously lie dormant in the waters will now come out looking for food.

Be sure you are licensed to fish legally in Virginia and that you are up to date on the latest codes and regulations before heading out. There are some restrictions on the number of or size of certain fish that you catch in salt waters of Virginia so be sure you familiarize yourself with these regulations before heading out.

What to Catch
So what types of fish can you expect to catch when you go Virginia saltwater fishing? Some of the most popular, largest, prized saltwater fish you can try for in Virginia are:
Red drum
Cobia
Flounder
Striped bass

This is of course, not the only choices you have of fish from saltwater areas of Virginia but they are some of the most talked about and the most sought-after species among anglers in this part of the country.

Red Drum- The traditional season for red drum is May to June but they can also be found later in the fall. Due to a prohibition against keeping fish over 26 inches long, many anglers have taken to catching these large red drum with the sole intention of tossing them back in again. Many of these fish get very large, some as much as 30-50 pounds. Saltwater fish this large and strong require special equipment to help catch them and reel them in.

Cobia- Cobia is another popular fish found in the saltwaters of Virginia’s shorelines. They share many traits with red drum and are often found in the same areas. These are often caught by chumming in the waters or using fresh cut bait with an appropriately sized hook. Some anglers have also seen results using spoons for this particular species.

Source by Daniel Eggertsen

Saltwater Surf Fishing – 3 Tips to Catch More Fish

Saltwater surf fishing can be very frustrating. Even the best surf fisherman will have days without a bite. You could be armed with the best equipment and bait, but there will be days where you will go home with nothing. Here are three tips to reduce days without a bite to a minimum.

#1 Fishing at the right time of day is extremely important. The best time for any kind of saltwater surf fishing is around high tide. The general rule of thumb is two hours before and after high tide. Check your local tide chart and find out what time of day high tide falls. Dawn and dusk high tides are the best, and you will stand a much better chance of catching fish than any other time of day.

#2 Check the beach out at low tide. Nothing is constant in saltwater surf fishing, inshore water current patterns change and so will the shape of the beach. Sand banks will constantly shift, so make a note of where they are. Getting your bait into the hollows either side of these sand banks will increase your chances of bites as they are a natural place for fish to forage for food. You will be able to pinpoint the sand banks at high tide as this is where the waves will break most frequently.

#3 Wherever possible use fresh locally caught bait, preferably from the beach you intend to fish. Only use frozen bait as a last resort. If you are fishing lures, use something that is a close match to the natural food of the fish you are after, or ask your local tackle shop which lures are working the best. It is well worth the time spent gathering your bait, and will definitely improve your chances of hooking a fish.

Source by Richard Obie

How Graphite Fishing Rod Blanks Are Made

Fishing rod blanks are made of a carbon fibers composite or prepregs (= pre-impregnated) produced by the chemical industry with a long and costly procedure. The vast majority of carbon composites are not used to make fishing rods but have endless applications in larger sectors of the industrial world like the automobile and aerospace industry.

A composite is basically a material made of two or more different materials. In a carbon composite the carbon fibers are reinforced in a polymer matrix (e.g. polyester or epoxy).

But, first of all, is the raw material made out of carbon or graphite? Can we say graphite or carbon blanks? Answer: actually we can say both. We can say carbon thinking of the atoms, the “material” at the base of the “stuff” we hold in our hands, and we can say graphite as well thinking of the molecule and thus the structure that the carbon atoms have.

So, in a carbon fiber composite, the raw material, the “carbon” is in its graphite form: hexagonal rings bond together in a ribbon structure (yes, not exactly in a plane like in the graphite of a pencil). The structure is very flexible, resistant to stretching, strong, and light. Perfect to make a fishing rod!

A fishing rod company which makes their own blanks must know which composite to order since the prepregs can differ in purpose, composition or fiber type, orientation, resin content, and weight per square meter.

Sometimes, along with carbon fibers other fibers like glass-fibers, boron or ceramic are mixed together to form different layers And a fishing rod blank manufacturer can often use three or four different prepregs at the same time, each for a different section of the rod.

Now, there are many types of carbon fibers: IM6, M8, M55, M40, M40J, M46J, T300, HR40, and more. Each have their own properties: which are the modulus and the strength. Good fishing rods have generally speaking a high modulus, a high strength, and intermediate percentage of fibers.

Modulus is the ratio (expressed in millions of psi, “pounds per square inch”, a measure of a force on an area) between stiffness and weight of the graphite blank. The higher the modulus, the more energy the rod can store and release. The energy is a way of saying the speed and the power of the rod. Think of a swimmer on a diving board and try to imagine to variate the properties of the jumping board and you will see what it is. The higher the modulus, the more expensive is the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact. Some also like to say that modulus is the resistance to flex. The higher the modulus, the more expensive is the blank and also more brittle the blank after an impact.

As a consequences, if you are new at building custom rods, stay away from top modulus blanks and rather use a mid-range modulus.

Now, let’s go back to the carbon composite and let’s say you are a fishing rod manufacturer and are going to make a blank. When it arrives, it is tough but “floppy” it. To transform it into a fishing rod, you need to do three things: design its shape, apply heat and pressure, cool it down and finish it.

A lengthy, sophisticated process which requires machineries which the average hobbyist cannot afford. But anyone can buy rod blanks of the same quality of their brand names today directly from the manufacturers themselves or their wholesaler.

Bamboo rod makers, on the contrary, can make their own rod from the raw material, “tonkin” cane, keeping control of all the elaborate process at every stage, especially when it comes to design the taper and so the action of the rod.

Tonkin cane is actually bamboo of the Pseudosasa Amabilis species and the best quality comes from bamboo plantation in the South West China.

So, you only need to find a bamboo broker, or importer to start making your own bamboo rod. An enthralling experience which is witnessing a Renaissance today.

Source by Alessandro Brunelli

Trout fishing Tackle- Rod and Reel Lures and Flies

Your trout fishing trip would not be complete without the proper tackle. It is imperative to have an assortment of fishing supplies when doing any type of fishing to insure a good fish dinner at the end of the day. So lets look at some of the essential trout fishing tackle that you need to have.

Trout Lures

  • Spinners- Some good spinners are,  Aglia Spin Fly, See Best, Thunder Bug (silverfish), and the Thunder Bug (mayfly). There are more great spinners out there these are just a few I recommend.
  • Spoons- Some good spoons are, Trophy Spoons, Thunderbolt Spoons, Little Cleo Spoons, Phoebe Spoons, and Kastmaster Spoons. I have caught trout on all of these many times.

Trout Flies- Some good flies are, Woolly Bugger Black, Sparkle Dun Tan, Royal Wulff, Prince, Stimulator Orange. I have great success with these flies.

Fly Fishing Rod and Reel- There are several good types of rods on the market you really need to choose on what you can afford, keep in mind you don’t want to lose that monster trout because you slacked on the price and he broke your rod. That don’t make for a good fishing trip.

Waders- You need a good set of waders and this I would not slack on the price at all. Imagine springing a leak in 50 degree water. This has all the makings for another bad fishing trip.

You really need to be prepared with a back up rod and reel and extra hooks just in case. Remember it is better to be over prepared than under prepared. I hope that this trout fishing tackle list will help you get ready for your next fishing trip.

Source by Phillip Wayne

A Beginner’s Guide To Trout Fishing

For those of you who are new to trout fishing I figured I’d write a quick article titled, a beginners guide to trout fishing, to give you some simple and basic trout fishing tips that will help you be more successful. It isn’t very different from any other type of fishing (obviously) but there are certain simple things that can be implemented to tip the odds into your favor.

I’ve personally been fishing for trout for more than twenty years, and learned from an angler that was someone I consider to be a trout fishing master. This man (who I refer to as my fishing mentor) was a highly successful trout angler, and some of the simple tips and techniques he developed/used will most certainly help you on your journey.

The first thing to keep in mind in reference to trout fishing is that light gear should be employed. Actually, in a perfect world, ultra light gear should be employed. When I refer to gear, I’m referring specifically to your rod, reel, and line. So ultra light rods and reels, spooled with light line should be used for trout fishing. By ‘light line’ I mean six-pound test at the heaviest. I personally prefer four-pound test, but six-pound test is passable, especially for a beginner.

The reason we use such light line is because trout are found in cold clear water, and fishing line is much more visible in these types of conditions. Couple this with the fact that trout have very keen eyesight, and the bottom line is that light line needs to be employed when trout fishing. Ultra light rods and reels make using light line much easier as well. Not only this, but using ultra light gear makes catching fish a ton of fun as well.

The next thing for the beginning trout angler to understand is that certain days and times of the day are more productive than others. What, you don’t believe me? It’s true; there are certain times that are better for fishing than others. As a matter of fact, when the moon isn’t in my favor for example, I tend not to even bother going fishing. The key to understanding the most opportune times for fishing lies in understanding the weather and moon.

When fishing for trout it’s always a good idea to use live worms as bait. My mentor used live worms for trout bait almost exclusively. And the best way to rig a live worm, when using it as bait, is a set of pre-tied gang hooks. My mentor was the first person that I ever saw using this method for freshwater fishing, and it is highly effective. For me, trout fishing and gang hooks go hand in hand.

These simple tips will help the beginning trout angler have a lot more success. How am I so sure of this? Because I’ve been using every one of these tips for more than twenty years and know from experience how effective they are. Remember, there’s no substitute for spending time on the water, and as you implement and practice these techniques you will become even more adept at catching trout.

Source by Trevor Kugler

What is Freshwater Fishing

Individuals carry out freshwater fishing in lakes, rivers, streams and bodies of water all over the world that don’t have any salt or have low salt content. Saltwater fishing is however done in seas and bodies of water that have high salt content. Different species of fish are found in freshwater and sea water. Brackish water is where ocean water and freshwater combine, and in these conditions both freshwater and sea water varieties of fish can be found. A number of species of fish are able to stay in less salty, or more saline, conditions. Every fishing field, whether freshwater fishing or saltwater fishing, is decided by what species is being hunted. In salty water, both aspects could be done side each other.

Freshwater fish species embrace northern pike, walleye, bass, trout and crappie. They are the preferred varieties with anglers. Salmon is a sought-after variety that lives in both freshwater and saltwater. Commercial fisheries catch salmon whilst it’s in salt water, whilst leisure anglers usually catch salmon in streams and rivers.

Despite the fact that there are less fresh water on the planet than sea water, many leisure anglers practice freshwater fishing while at their vacation cabins. People love freshwater angling perhaps because of their perceptiveness for freshwater fish, or due to the convenience of access since many individuals do not live around the ocean.

Freshwater fishing may be considered as a sport fishing activity. It is possible to practice it from the boat, from the shore or wading in rivers. Ice angling is a choice in countries where lakes and rivers freeze over during winter months.

Different sorts of equipment can be utilized in freshwater fishing with each having its own qualities and disadvantages. Someone can carry out multiple freshwater fishing with differing sorts of hooks, lines, and poles. There are different sorts of reels: close-faced reels, with a push button to let loose the line; open-faced reels, where a bell is flipped to let loose the line; as well as casting reels and fly fishing reels. Nets are less popular because of restrictions that some jurisdictions place on the usage of freshwater fishing with nets.

The picking of lure is a decision that takes trial and error. Relying on what kind of fish is being sought, dissimilar baits are advised because every species has its distinctive preferences. Predatory fish are attracted to live bait, cut bait, or lures (artificial bait). Fishing situations also play a role in the selection of lure.

Source by James Madison Iii

The Difference Between Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing Reels

The first difference you may notice between saltwater and freshwater fishing reels is the price, because saltwater reels are much, much more expensive. After further inquiry, you may feel as though you are getting ripped off, because the two reels look like they are essentially the same thing. However, there are differences that are much bigger than the price, and there is one main reason why: the fish.

Ocean fish are much larger in size and generally have a much more savage temperament, meaning that they are highly likely to fight back when you catch them. Since this is the case, you need a stronger, more durable reel that can withstand the brute strength of these large sized saltwater fish without buckling or breaking. For this reason, saltwater tackle is made tough. Additionally, saltwater tackle must be able to withstand the damaging saltwater it will encounter on all of your fishing trips. Most saltwater reels are coated with a special covering that prevents the salt from corroding the reel and rod too much. Additionally, the inner-workings of the reel have to be salt resistant, so they are often times made from special alloys or alloy hybrids. This is where the price part comes in. Saltwater reels are so expensive because they have to be made to be so durable. Also, the alloys that the bearings must be made of are generally a lot more expensive than the metals used for regular use reels.

Freshwater fishing reels are, on the contrary, a lot less expensive. They do not need to be made of incredibly high quality materials because freshwater fish are not as large as those living in saltwater, and although some of them put up a fight, they generally are not strong enough to warrant the use of a large reel. However, simply because they are not made of as durable materials does not mean that they are of inferior quality; these materials are perfect for the type of fish that live in freshwater.

When fishing, it is crucial to have the right type of reel to ensure a disaster free trip. Using the wrong equipment can lead to personal injury if the rod or line snaps from not having strong enough tools. So, when fishing for large, powerful fish in saltwater, use a saltwater reel, and when fishing for smaller, less powerful fish, opt for a freshwater reel.

Source by Ron Aldo

Fishing Equipment – How It Changed Over Time

Fishing began when man first set foot in water, and the tool and methods used evolved from a sharpened stick for catching fish, to fishing equipment in abundance which can be quite overwhelming for today’s fresh angler. We no longer have to use a bamboo pole, but a wide choice of open and closed spool rods and reels that are around today for standard fishing equipment.

Everyone used to head to their local bait and fishing tackle shop near the fishing waters where they sold hooks, lines, sinkers, and worms. Now, you can find superstores for the great outdoors lined with spectacular equipment. You will find a wonderful display or lures, rods and reels to choose from, even the online stores are fully stocked so it can become a bit of a challenge choosing the correct fishing equipment.

Your rod and reel will become a very important part of your equipment for a good fishing experience. A closed spool rod and reel has a spool holding the fishing line which is entirely covered by a metal or plastic cover, to protect the fishing line from all weather conditions. The disadvantage to this type is that it gets tangled and knotted, and trying to unravel it all to get it working properly can be a problem. An open spool is the more popular choice for today’s anglers for the standard as the reel is open faced, so that is smoother when reeling in your catch. Any tangles are more easily fixed with the open fishing line.

Choosing your fishing line is another important decision you will have to make. The technology in the kinds of fishing line within the last decade has improved dramatically in performance. There is a multitude of fishing lines to choose from, so you need to be concerned that it is strong enough and has enough of a weight test to manage the fish that you intend to catch. If you want to get hold of that big mouth bass, your fishing line needs to be able to stand that test, or it will the one that got away.

Bait and lures are important for your fishing equipment to put in your tackle box. You need to learn how certain lures are effective for certain types of fish when angling. You can choose from thousands which fall into two main categories, hard lures and the soft lures. Hard lures are mainly of shimmering spoon lures and replica fish lures, and crappie jigs. In soft lures, most are made of latex scented replica crawfish or worms. You can also buy the classic, crickets or worms. Having a variety of lures in your tackle box will get you ready for all types of angling so be prepared.

Fishing is so diverse and there is no shortage around the world. As a beginner or an advanced angler, there is choice fishing equipment to suit everyone at all levels.

Source by Abhishek Agarwal

An Easy Guide To Sea Fishing Rods And Reels

Fresh water and salt water fishing gear is really quite similar, but there are some basic differences in the two of them.

First, and most importantly, saltwater fishing gear have all their metal parts specially treated, so they will resist corrosion better than their non treated counterparts.

Sea water fishing rods and reels tend to be heavier and more durable than fresh water fishing gear as well. In spite of this, if you are just beginning to attempt saltwater fishing, and you don’t want to invest in saltwater equipment just yet, you really could use your heavier duty freshwater gear, provided you meticulously clean it when you are finished, in order to prevent damage in the future.

In the past, rods really were nothing more than a mechanism from which to drop a hook into the water, so you could pull in a fish when it took your bait. Now, the more sophisticated mechanisms are complex tools to help you cast farther and more accurately.

The average length is about ten feet, but rods are available from two to twenty feet in length. Generally speaking, the longer the reel, the better your advantage is when it comes to casting great distances as well as helping to set the hook and making it easier to reel in the fish.

Rods generally have guides and wire loops to help your line travel from the reel outwards and allowing it to be easily retrieved after the cast or when reeling a fish in.

When fishing for a type of fish where there is a lot of casting and retrieving your line, you might want to consider a spin cast rod. Conventional spinning rods are better when fishing for the larger types of fish such as shark or tuna, Surfcasting rods are very massive and quite long. They are constructed very heavily to facilitate casting a huge weight a long distance and getting it out there where the big fish are! Fly fishing rods are being used more and more in salt water to cast streamers. They are very thin and flexible.

Saltwater fishing rod grips are the part of the rod you hold onto. They may be made of rubber, or foam, and on the really good models, they are usually made of cork.

Basically speaking, fishing reels are for storing deploying and retrieving your bait, hook, and line. They use mechanical technology to make it easier for fishermen to handle large and strong fish. They utilize a drag system to make it easier to control the fish and to reel the line in once a fish is on your line.

Spinning reels are probably the easiest to use. If you are fishing for anything less than the big saltwater fish, they should work well for you. They have a line spool that is fixed in place on the bottom of the rod. They are the best choice for light tackle and particularly good for beginning fishermen.

Spin Cast Reels reduce line twisting and tangling that sometimes happens when you use a traditional spinning reel.

Source by Daniel Eggertsen

Fishing Rods – What is the Best Fishing Rod to Buy?

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Spin Rods

Spinning fishing rods are most often used in freshwater locations, although you can buy heavier rods for saltwater or boat use. Spin rods are designed to suit an eggbeater style reel and are used for casting and retrieving lures and baits. Many general purpose rods are called spin rods. It is likely that if you want to do a little river fishing, some pier fishing, or maybe light boat fishing that a spin fishing rod may be your best choice. Spin rods generally have lengths of 1.6m to 2.4m.

Surf Rods

Surf rods tend to be the longest fishing rods, and they are usually quite heavy in construction and weight too. They are long to assist in casting bait and sinkers/tackle from the beach out into the surf. Also, you can catch quite large fish with surf rods (maybe even shark) so a rod with plenty of strength is required. Surf rods are designed for eggbeater reels, overhead/conventional reels and sidecast reels. They are typically 3m to 4.2 m in length.

Game Fishing Rods

Game rods are used for game fishing in deeper saltwater. They are designed to catch large pelagic fish, and typically designed to hold fishing line of 10/15kg up to 37kg in strength. Game rods are thick and do not bend very easily. They will often have a gimbal fitting on the butt section so they can be used in a game fishing harness or chair. They will often have one or more ‘roller’ guides instead of regular line guides.

Fly Rods

Fly fishing rods are designed to catch freshwater fish, most usually trout, halibut or salmon. They are between 1.8 and 3.6m in length, and have a thin ‘whippy’ blank. They are designed to hold fly fishing reels and are predominantly used for freshwater fishing (although some people now use larger heavier rods and flys for some saltwater fishing too).

Boat Rods

Boat rods are probably a sub class of spin rods, but are shorter and heavier in length, designed for the rigours of saltwater fishing. They may be short to medium length (1.6 to 2.1m in length) and be able to hold line weights of 10 to 20kg. In Australia for example, boat rods are used for snapper and shark fishing, and may  be designed to hold overhead/conventional or eggbeater style reels.

Construction

Most rods are made of either of 2 materials, fibreglass or graphite.

Fibreglass rods are hardier, can usually bend more, and cheaper. However, graphite rods can offer better ‘feel’ and now thanks to improving technologies, can be quite tough and resilient too. Graphite rods are usually more expensive.

Value/Quality/Brand

There are many brands of fishing rods in the market these days. Some brands are known worldwide, others are local to a country or region, and there is a growing number of very small brands due to the ease of importing product directly from factories and agent sin China (eg, home eBay businesses).

The fact is most rods in the world are manufactured in asia. Usually in China. The big companies/brands all use very large and sophisticated factories. Smaller brands either use contract factories or piggy back onto the top tier factories. there are many rod factories, so quality can vary. We recommend sticking to well known brands and retailers in your area that can offer support, have good product knowledge and can offer good value too.

Look for good reputable retailers, and do some price research before buying.

Trolling For Rockfish

Trolling is the preferred angling method for those targeting striped bass (a.k.a. rockfish) during the spring and fall seasons on the Chesapeake Bay. The two primary areas that are the focus of this article are the recommended tackle and techniques required to catch rockfish.

TACKLE: Over the years we have experimented with many different setups some that worked well and some that didn’t. Below are my recommendations as to what works best.

RODS: For your planer board rods I recommend a 6 to 6 ½ foot 30 to 50 pound class rod. The rods need to have a gimbal and a solid set of guides. Stay away from guides with ceramic inserts. Roller guides are not required and a likely sign that you over spent. We use offshore angler’s power sticks which are available from bass pro shops and should last a lifetime. Cost is around $90 per rod. All of the required characteristics for your boat rods are the same except I recommend a 40 to 60 pound class rod because your boat rods are going to typically be used to troll relatively heavier baits including in line sinkers.

REELS: For your planer board reels I recommend Shimano Tekoda 700’s and for the boat reels I recommend Shimano Tekoda 800’s. When you get the reels you will want to adjust the reel handles out 1 place to the farthest position as this will give the angler more leverage on the fish when cranking the handle.

LINE: For your planer board reels I recommend 50 pound test mono either clear or dark green camouflage. I tend to stay away from the high visibility lines when fishing the Chesapeake Bay. I also typically do not put braided line on my board reels because braided line has a higher propensity to slip out of the scotty clip. If you prefer to use braided line on your planer board reels, and many folks do, then I recommend at least 80 pound test to ensure the line does not inadvertently slip out of the clip. For the boat reels I recommend 65 pound test moss green power pro. I also have no problem spooling a couple of the reels up with monel wire. I grew up using wire and we still catch plenty of rockfish on wire line each season. As for your leaders I recommend 60 pound test fluorocarbon but given the cost any clear or low visibility monofilament will suffice.

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LURES: We use mostly chartreuse and white tandem rigs with parachutes affixed. We also use umbrella rigs. Our tandems are typically 2 to 4, 4 to 6 and 6 to 8 ounce combos with 9 inch shads attached. We typically use products produced by local outfitters. For more information as to the specific companies and brands we use please contact me via email at the email address given below and I will provide you several folks who can meet your needs. I should point out that we do adjust our trailing baits quite often and have found that green and chartreuse tomic plugs, made in France, work very well. Also don’t be afraid to use a crippled alewive or tony accetta spoon either.

THE SPREAD: We run 21 lines from a 35 foot Carolina Classic express sportfisherman with a 14 foot beam. I know many a charter captains who run many more lines than that. My philosophy is simple. Troll as many lines as you’re comfortable with. Mitigating factors should include the number of accessible rod holders you have, your vessel’s beam width, and your crew’s experience level. The last thing you want to do is compete against a charter boat. Most charter boats run 2 trips a day and deploy as many rods as possible because it greatly increases the odds that they can return to the dock with happy customers in time to pick up their next party. Your typical fisherman that is out there for the love of the sport shouldn’t need a 140 feet span of planer line and 30 rods deployed to catch rockfish.

PLANER BOARD MATH: At the onset of your fishing day you need to stagger your distances and weights as you need to find where in the water column the rockfish are feeding and adjust your trolling depths appropriately. Be careful not to put your heaviest lures to the far outside position on your planer boards because this increases the likelihood of a tangle when the bait is struck. We typically work lightest to heaviest without significant weight variation on our board lines. I would not recommend deploying to the planer lines any tandem with a combined weight in excess of 14 ounces. We recommend you leave the deeper running heavier rigs for the boat rods not the planer boards. When deploying your planer rods be sure to adjust the bait’s distance behind the boat appropriately remembering that the farthest bait out if struck and pulled from your clip will drop the farthest distance behind the boat. For instance, if your planer board is tracking 100 feet a beam of your vessel and you drop a bait back 120 feet and then run it all the way out to the planer board when struck you will have the fish 220 feet behind the boat. Why is this important to note? Because you must be careful to adjust each additional line you put out on your planer board line to ensure appropriate separation. If you fail to do so you’ll spend more time sorting through tangles than fishing. For instance, given the example above you would not want to put the next bait 140 feet behind the boat and send it to a position 80 feet a beam of your vessel because if both baits get struck at the same time the 2 fish will be right on top of one another exactly 220 feet behind your boat. At that point the only distance separating the 2 fish and the 220 feet line spans is the horizontal distance between the respective rod holders.

BOAT HANDLING: At the onset of your fishing day we recommend a trolling speed between 3 and 3.5 knots speed over ground. For some inboard vessels this means you may need to have a trolling valve installed. As a short solution you can use a sea anchor to slow your speed but this is not a good permanent solution and represents another potential obstacle anglers must avoid when landing a fish. You want to pay particular attention to your trolling speed and note at which speeds your having more success. On a slow day don’t hesitate to adjust your speeds. Our basic principle is the colder the water temperature the slower we troll. In the winter months we’ve trolled as slow as 2 knots and caught fish.

FINDING FISH: Work the channel edges in a zig zag pattern from one side of the channel to the other until you locate the fish. Depths from 35 to 80 feet are most appropriate. We often drop our boat rods back a little farther when we are in the middle of the channel and adjust them appropriately as we reach the channel edge. Your really not looking for fish but rather bait as where there is bait there is bound to be fish. Pay attention to diving birds and large schools of menhaden you might see on your sounder. Mark the larger schools and don’t be afraid to circle back over those marks repeatedly from multiple directions.

KNOW THE TIDES: If readers take one thing away from this article it should be the importance of knowing your tide information. Always have a tide chart on your boat and be sure to make note of the high, low and slack tide times for your area before departing the dock. Rockfish always bite best on an ebb or flood tide and are much less likely to bite on a slack tide. If you don’t have a full day to put into your fishing effort make sure you plan your departure time to avoid fishing in slack tide conditions.

Buying the Right Fishing Rod

Fishing Rods come in a massive variety. You can buy fishing rods for fishing out of a boat, in freshwater, in rivers, for fly fishing, off the beach, off the rocks, for overhead and spinning reels and a huge other list of different applications. The trick is to get a rod which is going to fill the requirements of what you are doing. You wouldn’t go and buy a racing car to go four wheel driving, so likewise don’t buy a beach rod and expect to take it out in the boat with you.

Fly fishing rods are very different to standard fishing rods, and overhead reels make rods different too (although some rods can work both ways with an overhead or spinning reel). Buy a rod that is in your budget, but that is going to do what you want it to. If you only go fishing a few times a year then perhaps getting that nice looking graphite rod is not a good idea; knock it only a few times and you are up for a whole new rod. Fiberglass rods are a great start as they are strong and long lasting. It doesn’t matter if you drop them either; unlike the very fragile graphite rods!

What is most important in a rod is usually the length and composition. For fishing off the beach the bigger the rod the better (but don’t get anything over 15 foot) assuming you are a fully grown adult. Kids are better off using small rods for the beach as they are easier to handle. Freshwater fishing, fishing off the rocks and fishing from a boat can be done with a smaller rod, but boat rods tend to be a little less flexible (depending on what you are trying to get!). There is a huge variety of rods that you can get, but you should get the help of someone who is experienced when you walk into a fishing store.

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Source by Escalure Fishing Tackle