Shopping for Fishing Rods: How to Reel in the Best Deal

fishing rod
If you’re new to fishing, you may be surprised to find out how expensive equipment can get. Visions of simple poles and cans of worms dug from the earth fade when you see shiny rods and gleaming reels with price tags in the hundreds of dollars. In fact, you can peruse the high-end offerings from manufacturers like Shimano, Daiwa and Oyster to find rods and reels worth thousands!

fishing rod

This doesn’t mean you can’t find something good for a reasonable price. The trick is understanding what you need before you start shopping so you know which areas to compromise on.

Saltwater or Freshwater?

Rods and reels designed for saltwater tend to be sturdier than those made for freshwater. They have to withstand the corrosive effects of salt and, as ocean fish come in a greater variety of sizes and types, they also have to be strong enough to handle a fish capable of putting up a fight.

If you want a fishing rod that can pull double-duty, go for a saltwater rod. While freshwater rods can’t hold up to saltwater, saltwater rods can work in either.

Sturdy is Better

Light-action, graphite rods are slender, delicate works of art that enable you to feel every nibble and tug from even the quickest of fish. They also narrow what you’re able to catch down to pan fish. To make the most of your purchase, go for a medium-action, fiberglass rod. You’ll be able to catch a wider range of fish, plus fiberglass can handle bending better than graphite. If a fish puts up a struggle, you won’t be left with a snapped line or, worse yet, a broken rod.

Read Reviews

Nothing will give you a better idea of whether or not a rod is worth the money than hearing from other people who have made the purchase themselves. Scour the internet for reviews on inexpensive rods and reels. You may be surprised at the glowing reviews that some of the least expensive fishing rods get. New York Magazine, for instance, swears by the Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod, which is currently selling for a mere $45, as of 2018.

Buy Used

If you’re truly looking to save money, buy used. Hit up flea markets, yard sales and the internet for rods in great condition. The most important element to inspect on a used fishing pole is the reel. Make sure it moves fluidly without hitch. Look for signs of rust and wear.

Fishing doesn’t have to be expensive. If you do your homework, you can get fishing pole for a reasonable investment.

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