A great fishing rod and reel for a beginner’s outfit can make or break your experience. You may or may not want to use someone else’s fishing rod and reel unless it’s recommended for a beginner or they can show you how to use it.
Having the right type of fishing rod to start off with is the difference between having fun or going home frustrated. If you’re not shown how to use say a casting reel or fly reel for your first time, you will be sorely disappointed.
Having the right kind of fishing outfit for your first adventure of fishing with friends or family will make it all that much more fun.
If your not sure what type of fish or waterways you have nearby, talk to your local mom & pop tackle shops as they know what types of fishing are running in your area. They always have local anglers coming in for supplies and telling the stories about their fishing spots, what they caught and what lures were used.
These local area folks are always willing to share their fishing exhibitions with anyone willing to listen. Ask them questions and you will learn more than you ever thought to ask.
How to choose a fishing rod for beginners?
I wanted to take up fishing again, so I went to a bait and tackle shop to see what they had. I was intrigued by a bait caster rod and reel, it looked so cool and spiffy.
There was a sales clerk nearby and I asked what would they recommend for a newbie. They suggested that I start off with something easy to handle, and for the first time I should try a spinning reel, that’s when I first discovered there were distinct differences among rod and reels. Who knew? I certainly didn’t, I thought they were all the same.
The sales clerk recommended that I get a 4′ to 6′ spinning rod and reel combo. It was a perfect length for me and I didn’t feel intimidated by it. The clerk gave me a quick rundown on how to cast this setup that I purchased, and that with some practice I will be just fine.
I decided to go to the pier in Naples, Florida. I started casting out into the ocean and it was apparent to people around me that I was a newbie, a kind gentleman had offered to help me. I was very appreciative of his help and after a few times was able to cast out with confidence.
Second, the “construction” of your rod.
There are three types of materials used to construct a fishing rod: graphite, fiberglass, and composite. Graphite is very lightweight and sensitive but may snap under a good deal of force. Fiberglass, on the other hand, is tough with a soft action and can hold up better than graphite. However, the composite is a mixture of both fiberglass and graphite making it stronger and more sensitive, the ideal rod for different environments.
Referring to how easily flexible the rod is when force is applied to it.
The “fast-acting” rods are used to catch larger species of fish. With this rod, the top third bends providing greater sensitivity and faster power for hook setting. Meaning you won’t need to move the rod as far on the hookset to get to the strong backbone of the rod.
“Medium and medium-fast” rods give more casting distance and still provide adequate hook setting. This one bends halfway with sensitivity and power for hook setting. It is ideal for beginners.
“Slow action” rods bend the most, making this the perfect rod for catching small fish. This rod gives you a greater bending range, but you will need to move the rod farther to achieve the hook set.
Fourth, “power” of your rod.
This describes the resistance of the rod bending under a given amount of weight, or pull of the fish. They are defined in terms such as; ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra heavy. It is the resistance or stiffness of the rod to bending.
How do I choose a fishing reel?
There are 3 types of reels.
The Spin casting reel (closed) sits on top of the rod. Just like the child’s fishing rod and reel that looks much like a toy, it is the easiest to use.
When casting your bait you simply press a button or lever on the reel to allow the line to unspool freely. The line is launched from a secured spool which eliminates backlashing and bird nests and uses much lighter lures and bait.
To cast this outfit you start by making sure the lure is at least 12 inches from the rod tip. Holding down the button you bring the rod around one side of you and release the button when your rod swings through till about 11 O’clock or 1 O’clock depending on which hand is holding the rod.
The Spinning reel is another perfect outfit for beginners. The spinning reel is anchored to the reel seat attached to the underbelly of the rod, and the line is deployed from a moving spool and passes through a small roller before continuing through the guides.
To cast this outfit you start by holding the rod in your dominant hand with the reel foot between your middle and ring finger. Turn the handle so that the line roller is directly under your index finger. Hold the line to the underbelly of the rod with the crook of your index finger.
Then you’ll want to open the bail with your other hand to ready yourself for the cast.
Afterward, you point the tip of your rod to the area you want your bait to land and with one smooth motion, bring the rod to a vertical position using only your elbows & wrist and not using your shoulders.
Without pausing allow the tip to bend back behind you, push the rod forward till your tip is positioned halfway to your target, then release the line with your index finger. At last, close the bail with your other hand and that will stop the spool from releasing.
The Bait Caster rod and reel. The spool sits perpendicular to the rod spins during the cast. Used mostly by the seasoned and experienced anglers, this setup can be a bit more difficult to use as you are controlling the line with your thumb.
To cast this outfit you start by making sure the lure is at least 6 to 12 inches from the rod tip. If there is a sinker or bobber than be sure to have it start away from the rod tip. Grip the rod right behind the reel with your thumb resting at a slight angle over the spool. This will allow for more control over the flow of the line during the cast.
Then turn the rod so the reel is pointing upwards, this allows you to use your wrist when you cast your bait or lure out. Press the reel spool release button and then bend your casting arm at the elbow. Raise your rod until the tip goes a little past the vertical position.
Swing the rod forward until you reach about the 10 ‘O’clock or 2 O’clock position depending on which arm your casting with, Once you do, lift your thumb off the spool just enough so that the weight of the bait is pulling the line from the spool.
Right as the bait hits the water, you need to press down on the spool to stop the line. If you wait too long after the bait hits the water, the spool will keep on turning creating knots (bird nest).
Again, I recommend getting a combo for your first go-around unless you have someone knowledgeable who can help you decide your options if you choose to build your own combo. There are different types of reels on the market that I was never fully aware of until I purchased my first one.
When purchasing your rod and reel, I recommend getting them as a combo, specifically a spinning combo. Doing that will ensure you have the right rod and reel matched up correctly until you learn more about them and how to customize them to your liking.
A rod & reel combo is ideal for a beginner, they are perfectly suited together to ensure the right fit. Also available are combo kits; they offer you a variety of lures, hooks, line, and sinkers as a budget-friendly way to get you to try their brand.
If you decide not to go with the combo kits, then be sure to ask when purchasing a rod and reel separately if they are compatible. If the reel is not fitted with the correct rod you may damage them.
The take away here is that a good fishing rod and reel for beginners would be either the spinning or the spin-cast for their ease of use for new anglers who want a good rod and reel to use.
I hope you enjoyed my review of the different rods and reels and if you have any questions or comments or want to leave your own personal review, leave a comment below. Thank you.