How to Choose a Spinning Rod

A spinning rod is a type of fishing rod that has a spinning spool and a release mechanism for casting. Spinning rods are what most people think of when they hear the word “fishing rod”—a flexible rod with a spool near the handle which you cast using an overhead motion.

Spinning rods are often the choice of beginner fishers as they are easy to get the hang of right off the bat, unlike the more advanced casting rod. Of course, not all spinning rods are made equal. Before buying a spinning rod, make sure you take into account the following features.

A quick note: you can easily rule out a spinning rod if it does not document the power, action, length, and recommended lure weight on the lower section near the reel.


The “power” of a spinning rod is basically a measure of how strong the rod is. Power ratings range from heavy which is for heavier lures and catching heavier fish to ultra-light rods meant for small lures and thinner lines. Heavier rods tend to be better for fishing near bodies of weeds or lily pads while lighter rods are better for open water.

You need to check the power of the rod because that determines which kinds of lines and lures you can use. For example, if you use a heavy lure with an ultralight rod, there is a greater risk of snapping the tip of the rod. By the same token, using a light weight on a strong rod can cause the rod to snap because it is less flexible.


The action of a rod is a measure of how much the rod tip bends when placed under a load. Fast action rods have a lot of flexibility near the tip while slow action rods are more flexible near the base. Fast action rods are more sensitive to activity because as the bending tip registers movements better so they are good for setting hooks. Slow action rods have a lot of flex and are good for ultralight fishing. Because slow and medium action rods bend more than fast action rods, they can cast further because they store energy more efficiently during the cast.


The length of a rod determines how far it can cast. Longer rods can generally cast further while short rods have less of a casting distance. Long rods are good when you need a cast far away from your position while short rods are good when you need more accuracy and maneuverability.


The material a spinning rod is made out of also determines its strength and performance. Spinning rods are made out of all kinds of materials, including fiberglass, composite materials, or graphite. Some newer rods are made out of extremely strong and flexible carbon fiber, but these tend to be more expensive.


Fiberglass rods tend to have the most raw strength but are the heaviest and least flexible. On the other hand, graphite spinning rods are very flexible but can easily break if bent too far. Spinning rods made out of composite materials attempt to find a sweet spot between fiberglass and graphite. For beginner fishers, the best bet is to start with a more sensitive rod such as graphite or composite materials.


Not all spinning rods are made equal. So before you buy, make sure you take a good and hard look at the various options and pick the one that best suits your fishing style and needs. Novice fishers may prefer a lighter graphite rod with fast action while more experienced fishers may want something heavier with slower action. As always, the choice depends on your personal preferences. For more information about spinning rods visit


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