by Bob Jensen

Wherever people fish, North, East, South, or West, we’re getting excited about returning to the water to go fishing.  Some folks fish year ’round, whether it be through the ice in the north country or from a boat or shore in places where the water doesn’t freeze.  The reality is though, that there are more people fishing in most places in the warmer months than in the cooler months, and the warmer months are fast approaching.  It’s at this time of year that lots of anglers are in the market for a new rod and reel.  Following are some things to consider when choosing a new rod and reel and spooling up.

Maybe you’ve seen one of those anglers who take a bunch of rods along when they go fishing: Maybe you’re one of those anglers.  While it’s wonderful to be able to have a rod for every technique that might be employed in your day on the water, most of us just can’t have all those rods.  We need to find a rod that will perform several tasks adequately.

If you’re a walleye angler who sometimes chases bass or panfish, and you’re looking for a rod that will enable you to practice several techniques on each of those species, you should look into a medium action 6’6″ or seven foot spinning rod.  With a rod of that length and action, you can jig or rig or pull small crank baits for walleyes.  You can also use slip-bobbers.  For walleye anglers, this rod will do a lot of things.

It will also serve well as a jig-worm rod for largemouth bass, and in many parts of the world jig-worming is very popular and productive for bass.

This set-up will also be suitable for throwing sixteenth ounce jigs for panfish.  Add a slip-bobber and a small split shot or two and it will handle tiny baits as well.

This action rod won’t do everything.  It’s not going to do the job when you want to throw a spoon into the slop for largemouth bass.  It’s just not built for that.  If you golf, you wouldn’t use a putter to tee off, same thing here.

If you are looking for a bass rod that will serve well for several different techniques, you should look at a flippin’ rod or maybe a pitching rod.  These are longer rods with a heavier action, but there are several different actions available.  You can find a rod of this style that will work well for spinner baits, spoons, and heavy jigs, maybe even some crank baits.

Once you’ve selected the rod that you think best suits your needs, you need to decide if you want a new reel or if you’ll use a reel that you already have.  If you’re going the new route, it works really well to go to a store where you can attach different reels to the rod you’ve selected.  Find something that feels good to you.  Some like a larger reel, some prefer smaller.  Go with what you like.

Don’t let all the rod choices confuse you.  Determine your budget, and then go shopping.  Cabela’s has developed a complete line of rods that will fit anyone’s budget.  Many anglers like to go to a store and shake all the different rod actions and lengths and compare models.  That’s part of the fun of getting ready to go fishing.  I’m in the market for a new trolling rod/reel set-up for walleyes and will be at Cabela’s this weekend shaking fishin’ poles.  Maybe we’ll see you there.

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Rod and Reel Shopping Ideas