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There you are, standing in front of rows and rows of fishing rods at your favorite sports store thinking, “What in the world did I get myself into”.
Well if you’ve made it this far, it’s likely you were inspired by a fishing show on the internet, TV, or maybe a rivalry with the little kid next door that keeps bringing fresh fish home and you are still buying frozen fillets from the grocery store. Either way there you are, hanging on to your wallet as the salesman points out the “best fishing combos your money can buy”. Yes, there are many options, and it can get confusing and downright overwhelming. This is enough to make you want to put this whole fishing thing on the back burner for a while, but don’t go nuts just yet. Lucky for you we have a few tips on what to look for. You don’t need a second job to invest in some good fishing gear, although if you decide to purchase a boat as well, you just might need a 2nd or 3rd job. Let’s keep it simple. Here are a few key points to help you decide what kind of gear you really need.
What kind of fishing are you looking to do? If you are just interested in fishing the bay or the flats on your favorite beach, light tackle rods are the way to go. Light tackle means anything from 2-20 pound test line. So generally the gear should be light as well. Graphite rods are a great choice. They are light and sensitive which helps to respond to those light nibbles on light line. Not a great option for bridge fishing though. They are fragile, and those rough concrete and or metal railings will snap your rod in a heartbeat. If you are considering bridge fishing, invest in a fiberglass rod. They are a little heavier, but they are tough and flexible enough to handle long casts, tough battles and large sport fish like sailfish, tuna and kingfish.
How often will you be delving into this new hobby? This will help you decide just how much money you want to invest in this new hobby. Like anything in life, you get what you put into it. That $20 rod sure sounds good, and heck it looks just like those other more expensive ones, but the difference is substantial. Would you rather buy 6 rods at $20 or just invest in the $100 rod that will standup to years of fishing? It’s like taking an economical car to a sports car race and getting upset when your engine explodes when just revving your engine at the starting line. Invest in quality gear. You can always hang it up in your den and tell stories about the ones that got away. Or you can make a gift of it if you find that you just have absolutely no patience or skill at this whole fishing thing.
One piece or two pieces? Well this again comes down to what kind of fishing you are looking to do. One piece rods are just that, one piece. Hence eliminating the old adage of strength based on its weakest link. But two pieces like Surf Casters are great rods. Normally they are two pieces because casting beyond the surf require 10’+ rods so it just makes sense for storage purposes. It’s a matter of preference and convenience. All in all, it really comes down to what you’re willing to spend and just how invested you are in fishing altogether. You could pick up a great rod at a yard sale, pawnshop or online bidding site, so you don’t have to buy it at a sports store. Look around, ask around, make an informed choice and enjoy your new hobby. Show that kid you can catch fish that does not come in a plastic bag!