Spinning Rods -- Educational Portal

spinning rods are versatile

The modern spinning rod tapers from butt to tip with the guides spaced lengthwise from the reel seat upwards. They are generally five to eight-and-a-half feet in total length. Longer rods will cast further, enable harder hook sets, pick up slack line faster and better fish control. Shorter rods are generally considered more accurate for casting around docks or other structures. There are a number of applications for which they are designed, and it is important to match your fishing mission to the proper rod.

spin-2A spinning rod and reel.

Common Terminology of Spinning Rods

Blank -- The basic structure of the rod; its core composition is generally fiberglass, carbon fiber, graphite, a composite or bamboo.

Spinning Reel -- A specific kind of open-faced reel designed to be used in conjunction with a spinning rod. It is absolutely paramount that you match your spinning reel to the rod it is suited for and vice-versa. (SEE Spinning Reels Portal).

Reel Seat -- Plastic, wood or aluminum fitting placed on the blank within the last 1/4 section of the rod that secures the spinning reel to the blank.

Taper -- The diameter of the base of the rod relative to the tip and often synonymous with its "Action."

Rod Butt -- Also known as "butt section," this refers to the part of the rod held closest to the body when fishing. This is the thickest and heaviest area on the spinning rod.

Rod Tip -- The opposite end of the rod blank from the butt section, this is where the tapered length of the spinning rod ends and the line (connected to the reel) exits.

Guides -- Also known as "eyes," these ring-shaped implements run lengthwise up the blank to control the line coming off the spinning reel upwards to the rod tip. Guides are made of metal like stainless steel, although higher-end rods use titanium and other metals. The interior portion of the guide uses an insert made from a variety of high-tech materials such as silicone carbide or alconite to ensure that the fishing line runs smoothly through the guide. The guide may also be coated to create a smooth surface. More guides enable better casts by utilizing all of the rod's available power to get the line out and are one of the trademarks of a better quality fishing stick.

Grip -- Often made of cork, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) or foam, the grip protects the angler's hands, prevents the rod from slipping and transmits sensation Pieces: Rods are available in 1, 2, 3 or 4-pieces. One-piece fishing rods are considered the most sensitive rods, especially when the rod blank extends through the handle. Multi-piece rods break down into several sections and are not considered to be as sensitive as single piece rods, and are better suited for travel or storage.

load-zoneLoad Zone diagram.

There are four major qualities that describe the capability of a spinning rod.
These are Power, Action, Line Weight and Lure Weight.

Power -- The "power" of a rod refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod and defined by a descriptive scale from ultra light to ultra heavy.

Action -- The "action" of a rod is determined by where a rod bends (and/or flexes). Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip, moderate action rods flex near the mid-section, and slower action rods flex down into the butt section.

Line Weight -- Describes the tensile strength of the fishing line best suited to the flexibility and strength characteristics of the rod.

Lure Weight -– Describes the weight range of lures that are best suited to use with the rod.

Casting distance is one of the important considerations of rod action, describing how fast it takes for the blank to return to the straightened, neutral position after being put under load. A 'slow' blank is going to flex in three-fourths of the total length and is a reference to its range of motion. In describing casting ability, the action of a rod pertains to its available energy; this quality is described as "rod loading." The more the rod loads, greater casting ability it will offer.

spin-1Basic spinning rod and reel.

Why Use this Kind of Tackle?

The versatile spinning rod can be used with equal effectiveness in artificial and live bait fishing. It is great to use for sight fishing on the flats, for free-lining live bait when fishing in deeper waters, or for skipping baits and artificials under docks.

Most Popular Types:

Bamboo rods -- The heaviest and least popular material, although some people still enjoy its classic attributes.

Fiberglass rods -- Durability and affordability make fiberglass rods a popular choice. They are less sensitive than graphite counterparts. Fiberglass is a great choice when pursuing large fish that do not require casting or extreme sensitivity.

Graphite rods -- The most popular modern blank material, enjoyed for its light weight, casting attributes and sensitivity. Graphite is the ultimate material for flexibility and fighting power. This graphite is a carbon fiber blend; the quality of the finished product depends on the bonding agent and the amount of graphite used in the blend. The term "modulus rating" refers to the graphite's tensile strength, which is calculated by measuring how much it is elongated when a few million pounds of pressure per square inch are applied. Graphite with a higher modulus rating indicates that it will be less elastic and therefore, more rigid.

Composite rods -- Many rods are made with a combination of materials, for the best of both worlds. An example is a rod made of graphite and fiberglass.

8-8-ft-spinning-xtra-xtra-hvyAn 8-foot Xtra-xtra-heavy spinning rod.

How to Rig this Kind of Tackle

A spinning rod is used by releasing the line from the reel, executing a cast, pitching the bait to an area in the water and closing the reel bail. A spinning rod should always be pointed so that the reel faces away from the angler. Those new to the sport sometimes make the mistake of fishing with the reel pointed upward.

Use the following steps to cast your spinning rod:

Practice in an open grassy area using a hookless lure to get the hang of it!Grip the rod at the reel seat using your casting hand.Place your index and middle finger ahead of the reel foot and your other two fingers behind the reel foot.Retract (let it hang down) your bait about a foot from the rod tip. If you have a sinker or bobber attached to the line, it should be about 12 inches from the rod tip. Using the tip of your index finger, pick up the line ahead of the reel and lightly press it against the rod. Open the reel bail to release the line to cast. With the rod in front of you and facing a 45 degree angle upward. In one quick motion bring the rod back and then foward casting at your target by releasing the line from your fingert at the onset of the cast. Use the rod tip as an extention of your arm to aim at your target. Once the cast has been successfully placed, close the bail of the spinning reel with your hand.

red-20-pk-480Spinning rods are perfect for tossing baits at redfish.

Tips for Fishing with This Kind of Tackle

The spinning rod and reel should complement one another. When selecting your gear, purchase them together, or bring the component you already own to the store when you shop. The rod and reel should be balanced as good ergonomics are essential.

Consider how you will be using this rod and reel combo; fresh and saltwater gear varies greatly and should only be used for their intended purpose. Additionally, the type of fishing line you will be using must be given consideration. Again, your overall spinning combination is the final product for fishing, so be certain you are gearing up properly.

When fighting a fish, avoid bending the rod in too tight of an arc or it may break

If your lure becomes snagged, point the rod at a horizontal level toward the lure and pull straight backwards. This angle lessens the chances of the rod breaking.


When fighting or landing fish, keep your hands on or below the rod grip-- but never above. The grip was designed to distribute the load and by placing your hand above thus creates a single pressure point, which could break the rod.

After a day of fishing in saltwater, be certain to rinse your gear with a gentle spray of fresh water. Wipe down the spinning rod with lemon Pledge on a paper towel to keep your investment looking good.

The Online Fisherman Staff

The Online Fisherman

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