Imagine for a moment that you are standing on the shore of a quiet, peaceful lake. Early morning; there is no one else around, and for a brief moment there is only you, the trees, the water, and the silently swimming fish. When you’re prepared with the right supplies, there’s no better time to cast your line and start fishing.
Fishing is one of many outdoor activities that straddles the line between hobby and sport, but regardless of your intentions, at its core, fishing is about communing with the natural world and a chance to return to a sense of connection and purpose. If you’re interested, one of the first tasks you’ll want to tackle is finding the right fishing rod. In this guide I will focus on freshwater spinning rods: as a beginner or intermediate angler, you may not yet have access to a rental boat or a deep sea cast, but almost anyone can find the nearest lake and take up spinning in this sport, yes that freshwater spinning will be the best choice if you are just starting out.
What is spinning? Are there different types?
Spinning is generally considered the most popular type of fishing rod and is beginner-friendly due to its ability to cast long lines with light lures, affordability and ease of setup and use.
What factors should be considered when buying a fishing rod?
Length, action and price are the main factors to consider when buying a fishing rod. Spinning rods are available in three popular materials: graphite, glass and composite. While there are a number of lengths available, a 7-foot shasta is generally considered a good option for freshwater fishing. Action describes how much the rod will bend when you press down on the tip – that is, when you are hooking a fish. For most beginners, a medium or medium-heavy fast action is recommended: medium or medium-heavy rods will bend in the top half of the rod, providing a long casting distance and decent casting power.
If you’re new to fishing, it might be a good idea to look into rod warranties: your gear will inevitably break, and it’s a good idea to have a protection plan in place just in case.
How to take care of spinning and reel
This guide focuses on freshwater rods, but I’d like to make a quick note about saltwater fishing: If you do get into this hobby, know that there is nothing worse for rods and reels than salt water on them. Always rinse yours off after a day in water—you can even take them into the shower with you if needed.
When it comes to freshwater fishing rods, there are a few basic rules of fishing rod care: don’t stick them in the sand or ground, and don’t jam them in doors. If cleaning your core, set drag and drop first. Then spray the rod with a little water. Wipe the rod with a soapy cloth or sponge and rinse it again with water. Finally, shake off excess water and allow the rod to air dry. When you are ready to store the rod, loosen the resistance. This prevents the accumulation of moisture and preserves the material.
How to store fishing rod
Rods can withstand extreme forces when fishing, but they are delicate tools and should be handled with care. Most rods come with a coating to protect them from damage—if you scratch them, the entire rod will be damaged.
Store the rod vertically above the ground, preferably indoors. Line deteriorates faster than anything else, so protecting it and the rest of your rod and reel from the elements should be your number one priority. Transport and storage socks will also help keep dirt and grime away. If you have the space, I recommend installing a rack or attaching hangers to keep the rods securely attached to the wall. Store the fishing rod away from extreme temperatures or moisture, and if you hang it up for the season, be sure to loosen the pull: this will help prevent line breaks.
Spinning Abu Garcia Vendetta
If you’re looking for a quality, reliable rod that straddles the line between affordability and top-notch construction, look no further than Abu Garcia’s Vendetta rod. Constructed from a blend of 30-tonne graphite combined with multi-directional Intracarbon, the Vendetta has been built to withstand heavy loads while maintaining a light base weight.
Vendetta’s carbon fiber reel seat and stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts complete the strong, long-lasting rod; Available in a variety of lengths, powers, actions and line ratings, the Vendetta will suit the intermediate to advanced angler, as well as appeal to beginners inspired by quality and performance.
- Materials: Graphite and carbon fiber rod, EVA handles, stainless steel guides
- Weight: 0.66 lbs
- Available lengths: 6’3″ – 7’4″
Daiwa Steez AGS bass rod
Perch anglers, look to Daiwa spinning: yes, it’s expensive, with a starting price of $550, but the high price is worth it right away: the Steez AGS Bass Rod weighs 40 percent less than traditional guides, thanks to its rigid carbon frame fiber impregnated with Daiwa Nanoplus technology, which ensures an even distribution of resin and carbon on the blank. This results in a high-performance combination of power and sensitivity from any angle. The Steez AGS Bass Rod also features a carbon fiber reel seat that offers high strength and sensitivity, as well as low weight.
The Steez AGS Bass Rod is available in three spinning models (and 10 casting models) that cover a wide range of applications. Each rod is equipped with a fully adjustable Daiwa Hook Keeper and protective rod sock, so you can feel confident protecting your rod on the go.
- Materials: carbon fiber core; split grip cork handles
- Weight: 3.7 oz
- Available lengths: 7’1″ – 7’6″
Spinning Cadence Essence
The Essence Rod is light and responsive – the 24t carbon rod features stainless steel guides and SIC inserts for reliable casting performance and long-lasting durability.
Cadence’s popular spinning reel comes in a variety of lengths and actions, and for less than $60, will appeal to a variety of anglers, primarily beginners looking for options that will perform well on the water and make little impact on their wallet. Reviews of Cadence Essence mostly note the ease of holding the rod in the hand, as well as the protective quality of the packaging.
- materials: 24-ton graphite, stainless steel inserts, EVA stopper and handles
- Weight: 1.69 pounds
- Available lengths: 5’6″ – 7″
Ugly Stik Carbon Inshore
If you are at all familiar with fishing, you know the name Ugly Stik: the brand is known for reliable, well-functioning rods that work in a variety of fishing conditions. If you plan on shore fishing (any fishing that takes place in waters around 30 meters deep or less), this rod can handle any cast.
The Ugly Stik has made several notable upgrades to this rod, most notably in its weight: the new Carbon Inshore is 30 percent lighter than its predecessor and uses 100 percent 24-ton graphite for a light and well-balanced feel. The moment I took the Carbon Inshore out of the box, I was struck by its minimal weight and aesthetics. The cork handle is comfortable for both long and short casts and I feel comfortable using the rod knowing that it comes with a 7 year warranty. If you want a versatile rod that packs cutting-edge technology into an accessible package at an affordable price, this Ugly Stik is for you.
- Materials: 24-ton graphite, stainless steel guides, cork handle
- Weight: 10 oz
- Available lengths: 6’6″ – 7′
Spinning St Croix Victory
St. Croix is known for producing luxury rods at its factory in Park Falls, Wisconsin (although it should be noted that the brand has expanded to an additional factory in Fresnillo, Mexico), and the brand has built a loyal fan base in its territory for delivering quality, hand-crafted rods , that won’t break the bank.
The Victory range of spinning rods is one of the brand’s most popular, with 25 models to choose from, each backed by a 15-year transferable warranty. The Victory 7’1″, Medium Heavy, Fast retails for just under two hundred bucks and features a hybrid SCIII+ carbon fiber blank combined with St. Croix’s Fortified Resin System (FRS) technology that reduces weight and increases strength. very responsive , and the split handle handles are comfortable without adding extra bulk. A slow-cure Flex-Coat finish on the guides and a single-layer slow-cure sealant on the blank protect and support your rod.
- Materials: Carbon fiber, reinforced resin, cork handle
- Weight: 3.8 oz
- Available lengths: 6’8″ – 7’10”
Spinning Fenwick Elite Bass
The grouper is, by all accounts, the most sought-after freshwater fish in North America. If you’re going to compete with thousands of other anglers for the most popular fish in the country, you need a rod you can count on.
Fenwick’s Elite Bass Rod Series uses a blend of carbon fiber and resin in the blank for an unmatched strength to weight ratio and combines this with ergonomic reel seats and plug for easy and comfortable fishing. Titanium guides and zirconia inserts combine durability and light weight, and the rod comes in a variety of lengths and actions.
- materials: Graphite, carbon fiber, titanium, cork
- Weight: 5 oz
- Available lengths: 6’9″ – 7′