dave mercerChoose your stick carefully

It’s that time of year when we all start reviewing our gear from the season before and start to plan towards next season. No matter where you fish or what you fish for, you need the right rod for the job. It does not really matter whether you fish for Bass, Pike, Musky, Walleye, Trout, Salmon, Sunfish or Sharks; they all require the right rod for the job.

Let’s face it. Your selection of a fishing rod will probably one of the most important aspects of successful fishing. On top of that, your rod is also one of the very first things your fishing bud-dies see when you go fishing with them. Nobody wants to show up with a state of the art Snoopy Rod & Reel combo and be the butt of jokes all week.  Maybe if you show up with a cool enough rod people might even think you know what you are doing!

With that being said, one of the biggest mistakes any angler can make is just having one rod – especially if it’s the wrong one.  Think about fishing like any other sport or past time, you need to think of your rod as a tool. We all have a buddy that uses a pair of vice grips as a hammer and it kind of works but a hammer works better.  It’s kind of like golf.  Tiger Woods would never consider using a putter to drive a ball off the tee. That’s why he has a driver in his golf bag.  (Enough about golf, though. I never trust a sport that considers water a hazard. Plus those funny pants they wear make my butt look chubby.)

One of the cool things about fishing is, although you can do it with one rod, there is no limit on how many you can carry. There is a different rod for each application and if you want to be the best angler you can be, you should make sure to pair your rods with the technique you plan to fish. There are rods for crank-baits, spinnerbaits, jerk-baits, tubes, drop shots and flipping – the list goes on and on. Before you choose the rod, figure out the style of fishing and match it with the right rod for the job. Rather than rolling up to your local sports store and asking for a new rod make sure to tell them how and where you plan to use it.

For the seasoned angler, rod choice is pretty simple but what if you are just getting started in the great sport of fishing? How do you get started? How do you pick your first rod?  It’s always best to choose a quality rod, pick the highest quality rod that’s in your budget. You know the old saying, ‘you get what you pay for?’  Well, it’s true in fishing and just about everything else.

If it’s your very first rod I would recommend a rod that is suitable to do a multitude of tasks. Something seven feet long with a medium action rated for 8 to 17 pound line is the most versatile. With this rod you can fish a number of different baits & species effectively. This rod will serve as a solid base to start building your rod collection on. As your passion, or in my case addiction, to the sport of fishing grows so should your collection of rods. You can stick with one but if you want to be the best angler you can be you should always use the “Right Rod For The Job”!