First posted Nov 2011
With lure fishing for pike, perch and zander being really popular at the moment while the weather is still mild and the fish are very active, I'm being asked quite a lot for help with choosing a lure rod. Lets face it, it can be very confusing when looking through a catalogue or racks in a tackle shop when confronted with dozens of different ones. I can't be there to help everyone but I have compiled a simple guide to help you through the maze of rods available.
1 Fixed spool or multiplier?
Multipliers are useful for specialist lures like jerk baits and those which offer high resistance on the retrieve. Other than that, its a matter of personal preference. If you are a beginner, consider using a fixed spool until you are more confident of your ability as multipliers can be a lot more difficult to use at first. The rest of my guide considers rods for fixed spool reels
2 Casting weight.
Lightweight - for smaller pike, perch, zander and chub. Usually rated to cast lures up to 30 grams.
Standard - for most general purpose pike fishing. Usually rated to cast lures from 20 to 60 grams.
Heavyweight - for casting heavier lures or more demanding situations where there are snags. Usually rated to cast lures from 40 to 80 grams.
As you will see, there is an overlap and there may be variations in the rating. For example a standard rod might be rated as 20-50, 20-60 or 15-50 as there is no industry standard. Look for a rod in the category you require. Remember that most lures, or their packaging, are marked with their casting weight if you are not sure.
3 Price point
You will frequently find several rods which fall into your choice of casting weight. The next step is to consider their price tag. You will have to decide whether you want an entry level/budget priced rod, a top of the range model or something in between. Most entry level rods from reputable companies like Shimano are excellent value whilst their top of the range models have advanced features.
4 Choose a length
When you have completed steps 1, 2 and 3, you will have chosen a rod with the desired casting weight and at the price you want to pay. There may be one more choice to make as many models are offered in different lengths. Longer rods have the advantage of fishing around dense waterside vegetation whilst many boat anglers prefer shorter rods. The choice is yours.
1 - Preferred reel type
2 - Casting weight
3 - Price
4 - Length
Follow these logical steps and you can't go wrong!