How To Choose A Fishing Rod For Beginners

Sergio Smirnoff

Hello, my name is Sergio Smirnof, and my goal with FishReeler is to provide a valuable resource for anglers of all levels, from beginners to experienced veterans. I hope that my passion for fishing and dedication to the sport shines through in the content I create and inspires others to get out on the water and catch some fish!

Choosing a Fishing Rod

All You Need to Know for Novice Fisherman

The entire history of mankind is a struggle for survival. And the main thing in it is the production of food. This determined the survival of people on the planet. In the beginning, the most ambitious and affordable ways to provide food were hunting, collecting edible plants, fruits, and, of course, fishing.

The latter in those days was the most guaranteed because most of the settlements of people were located on the banks of reservoirs.  It is difficult to imagine what they used to fish in those days. Although from archaeological excavations of settlements from the Neolithic era, it is known that even in those days, people got to fish with some fishing tools.

They were tridents, spears, and even primitive hooks made of stone, animal bones, and tree thorns.  Archaeologists have also unearthed all sorts of traps that people used to use in rivers to catch fish. Among them are those that are found in places today. These are nets woven from vines, stakes, and so on.

Why Did the Fishing Rod Appear?

Probably, of all kinds of fishing gear, one of the first was the invented fishing rod. Some savage wandering along the bank’s rivers or seas for getting yourself scarce food noticed flocks of fish swimming near the banks. He saw hungry fish greedily grab the water falling to the surface of different insects and tree leaves, and maybe he threw them into the water, first amused only by the quick movements of the fish.

Very naturally he had the idea that if he could hide something in the insects that looked like a hook (made of bone or strong wood) and tie it on a thread made from animal veins or plant fibers, and that if the fish grabs and swallows such a nozzle, the hook will hook and the fish can be will be pulled ashore.

So, probably, the fishing rod was born; it is almost like this now in the villages of peasant boys: a crocheted nail without a hat, a hook made of wire or a pin, tied on a thread with a stone instead of a sinker and a stick of dry wood or reeds instead cladding. It’s almost a wild man’s rod. However, even with us, in the present, however, for the most demanding hunters, the fishing rod has strictly preserved all its original basic qualities.

When And Where Was The Fishing Rod Invented?

In fact, you won’t find an exact answer anywhere. There are many versions and what to believe is up to you. Personally, I’m more inclined to believe that the first fishing rod appeared in Egypt. Noble Egyptians loved to spend their free time fishing.

There are frescoes that depict dignitaries gravely fishing fish from special cages. Few people know that the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra was an inveterate angler. There is a case when the Roman General Mark Antony was in love with Cleopatra and decided to impress her and ordered a special diver to stick a fish on his hook during a joint fishing trip. Cleopatra having figured out his plan hired another diver.

In the end, Antony fished it out… salted fish. Surprisingly, reels for the fishing line were also invented by the Egyptians, however, they used them when hunting with a harpoon on a Hippo. Scientists found a granite bas-relief with the image of two burly men carrying a table, from which hangs a magnificent Nile lobby.

Among the documents preserved on papyri is a list of provisions delivered to the temples of Thebes and Memphis. There are Lobans, Nile Clarii, Chromis, and “Nile perches,” lathes so huge that each fish was carried by two men! Today, it is not known exactly who invented the fishing rod, but there is no doubt that four thousand years ago this invention was used in Egypt.

Rods For Different Types Of Fishing

Let’s look at the varieties of rods designed for different types of fishing.

1# Float

Eagle Claw Snap-On Floats

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Types of fishing rods for float fishing are intended for seasonal fishing in open water. Not all fishermen can determine what type of fishing rod they need.

And they are divided into 4 varieties:

  • Flywheel,
  • Bolognese,
  • Match,
  • Plug.

For the flywheel type, the absence of pass rings is characteristic. The rigging of these types of fishing rods is carried out mainly at home. The fly rod is the simplest of all. It is designed for short-distance fishing in standing and running water and has a blind snap.

A typical design of the Bolognese type is a telescope with a non-inertial coil. The main purpose of the Bolognese type of tackle is fishing on the current and at great depths. The design should provide the maximum casting range and good control of the equipment.

The match rod has a plug type of connection and is equipped with pass rings through which the fishing line passes, as well as a handle with a holder for the coil. Match the tackle is originally from England.

A plug is the same fly tackle, which differs from its counterpart with a long stick, which is in length from 6 to 12 m. the Snap of such a rod differs from its predecessors. For such fishing, you will need additional equipment in the form of a high chair, roll-off rollers, and other small things.

2# Spinning Rods

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

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A rod for spinning fishing (fishing by casting a tackle with a lure over long distances) must meet the following criteria: be light, durable, and convenient to use. The material for spinning is carbon fiber, fiberglass, less often-metal. Such structures are intended most often for catching predatory fish. An important part of the equipment is the coil: depending on the current tasks, it can be inertial or non-inertial

3# Rods for Bottom Fishing

Okuma Tundra Surf Glass Spinning Rods

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Recently appeared special rods for bottom fishing, make this type of fishing whiter energetic and effective.

They are divided into three groups, depending on the weight of the equipment used:

  • Vond,
  • Picker,
  • Feeder.

Tackle for bottom fishing, are mechanized rods equipped with special reels, devices. The basics of bottom fishing rods are made of either carbon fiber or fiberglass. The choice depends on the weight of the load you are going to use and the depth of the fishing line.

4# For Fly Fishing

M Maxcatch Extreme Fly Fishing Rod

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Fishing with bait in the form of an artificial fly. In this case, the bait is thrown with a soft movement, imitating an insect that accidentally fell into the water. This type of fishing appeared in the 17th century in England. Fly fishing is used to catch fish that feed far from the shore, such as trout, grayling, Chub, etc. Fly fishing involves the presence of special skills and abilities of the fisherman: to track down fish, to sit in ambush (stand still) for a long period. This type of fishing rod should be light, comfortable, and equipped with a convenient handle. I have advice for you!!! If you bought your first fly fishing, hone your skills of casting bait on land (somewhere in a clearing).

5# For Trolling

EatMyTackle Deep Drop Trolling Rod

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Special spinning rods for catching fish in motion, i.e. from (boats, boats, yachts). The choice of the fishing rod depends on where you are going to fish, on the lake or the sea. If the lake is suitable for spinning with a test from medium to heavy, then for sea fishing you need a stick more powerful. A weak rod will not work, and too powerful will not be so sensitive, you just will not notice weak bites

Advice: the best material for trolling rods is carbon fiber (carbon), fiberglass or composite, light, and durable nanotechnology).

6# For Winter Fishing (Ice Fishing Rod)

Shakespeare UGLYDR36PDQ Ugly Stik Spinning

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Winter fishing rods differ from all previous ones in their small length and ease of use. Usually, these rods are equipped with a nod for a jig, winter spinners, and balancers for baiting a predator, or a snap with a winter float. These rods can be used in the summer, fishing from a boat (they are called onboard).

Fishing Reels for Fishing Rods

Fishing reels made the fishing process much easier. After all, by means of this invention, you can’t only conveniently store the fishing line on the tackle, but also perform a number of important functions that affect the fishing technology. Such actions as casting equipment at long distances, monitoring the course of the bait when making postings, and survival caught trophy, manipulations associated with the use of a reel for fishing.

Types of Reels

Reels for fishing rods are classified into three main areas. Mechanisms on the principle of their work and structure are divided into inertial, inertialess, and multiplier types. The functions of each species are identical with differences only in the performance characteristics of the product as well as in the techniques of performing certain operations by the angler.

1# Inertial Reel

KastKing Centron 4000 Spinning Reel

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Inertial models are the simplest in terms of design and principle of operation. The principle of operation of this type of accessory is based on the inertia of spinning the drum mechanism from the force of casting the bait. In addition to the drum for storing the fishing line, the product mechanism provides a brake stop, which serves as a blind stop of the unwinding mechanism. This function doesn’t participate in the fishing process and only serves for the convenience of moving and storing gear. Important! Braking of the inertia reel drum during fishing is performed by the angler, pressing the rotating part of the mechanism with his finger. Working with inertia requires a certain skill and prior training in casting baits and breaking the drum.

2# Multiplier Models

KastKing Spartacus Baitcasting Fishing Reel

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The multiplier reel for fishing the prototype of which was the inertia reel is gradually replacing the classic type of mechanism. After all its device, although it has become more complex, has simplified the process of feeding baits and regulating the course of the fishing line by means of a clutch. In multi, there are no problems with tangling the cord or so-called beards, and you can learn to work with this product in a couple of trial throws.

3# Inertialess Reel

KastKing Rover Round Baitcasting Reel

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This became one of the fundamental elements of any snap-in. Innovative solutions on the principle of dropping the fishing line from the spool and the use of gear gears to increase the gear ratio when winding the scaffold made the accessory an indispensable part of the spinning, feeder, match, and Bologna directions of fish production. The fine-tuned friction brake and the bait runner function for saving gear from loss add to this type of reel advantage, and the angler is comfortable in the implementation of trophy production.

Classification of Fishing Rods

1# One-piece rods

KastKing Perigee Fishing Rods

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Solid whips are rarely used to build a float rod. The whole structure has short rods that are used, for example, when building a spinning rod. Their length rarely exceeds 1.5-2.0 m. Most often these are monolithic rods of high strength.

2# Telescope (Telescope Rod Fishing)

PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod

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Convenient and easy to use. This is the most popular type of fishing rod used for float fishing. The telescopic rod is easy to carry and transport. It allows you to perform operations that are not possible with a different design. Removing the cap-limiter from the “telescope”, you can detach or replace any knee, which can be convenient in case of failure of the top or middle knees, this also allows you to shorten or lengthen the rod to your liking.

It is considered that the ratio between the total length of the knee and the joint should be 6:1. When connecting and disconnecting the knees, make efforts directed only along the axis of the rod. Turns in joints are not allowed. The Assembly is made from the top, first pushing the topmost knee. Disassembly is performed from the bottom, pushing the first one following it into the lower knee.

3# Plug Rod

“Plug” – the rod with plug/socket connections. Plug rods are usually high-class rods, which are, accordingly, expensive. They are used as spinning, fly fishing or purely sports forms. They have very high strength characteristics and maintain a parabolic structure.

4# Fish Rods With Mixed Knee Joint

The mixed structure means that the rod has both plug and telescopic connections. Usually, its butt part is connected by a plug method, and the top of 3-5 knees has a telescopic structure.

The Material of the Rod

The most popular materials for the manufacture of fishing rods are fiberglass, carbon fiber, and composite materials. Of course, nowadays there are more and more fishing rods made of some unusual materials, often they are even developed by the company itself. For example, bamboo. At the moment, this is more of a souvenir than a practical material, but if you are a fan of the classics, you can buy this option.

Rod Power

The power of the rod is usually determined by the weight of the cast. In particular, the power of spinning rods is estimated by the weight of the bait that can be used in conjunction with this rod. This value is called casting. It is expressed in grams or pounds.

According to this classification, all rods are divided into 6 classes:

  • The easiest-the weight of the cast is 1-10g.
  • Light-the weight of the cast is 10-20g.
  • Average-casting weight 20-40g.
  • Heavy-casting weight 40-80g.
  • Especially heavy-the casting weight is 80-150g. these rods are used for sea spinning.
  • Super-heavy-casting weight above 150g. They are used for sea fishing by spinning fish the size of tuna.

Construction of Fishing Rods

Construction is the degree of rigidity of the whip. This characteristic determines the shape of the bend of the fishing rod during its casting.

There are only 3 types of fishing rod construction, as well as intermediate ones:

  • Very fast, fast;
  • Medium-fast, average;
  • Medium-slow, slow.

Test of Fishing Rods

As for the test, this concept refers to the characteristic of the range of the working weight of the bait. The test can be expressed in units of weight grams or ounces. When purchasing imported gear, the test units are marked as “oz” (ounce). So that you don’t get confused in units of measurement, remember that 1 ounce is equal to about 28 grams.

Compliance of the test by weight of the bait with the spinning rod class:

  • Ultra-light, 1-7
  • Easy, 3-14g.
  • Medium-weight, 5-20g.
  • Average, 10-30g.
  • Medium-heavy,15-40g.
  • Heavy, 20-50g.
  • Extra heavy, from 60 and higher.

Fishing rods with the first type of system have a rigid structure: at the time of casting, only the upper part bends. The slow build promotes bending along the entire length.

Throughput of the Ring Rods

HONBAY Fishing Ring Rods

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A very important part of the fishing rod, which is designed to evenly distribute the load throughout the rod. A large number of rings will be able to show the maximum strength potential, and will not allow the fishing rod to break.

Mounting And Placement Of Rings

Docooler Fishing Ring Rods

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Rings on the rod must be placed on the same line, if this isn’t like that, then the friction of the fishing line will increase greatly, which can affect the casting range. Attention. Also, if the distribution of rings is uneven, the load may fall on a certain place, which is likely to lead to a breakage of the rod. Rings must be attached from the handle to the top and must be located on the same line, only this arrangement of rings can contribute to the strengthening of the rod. In this case, the ring located at the very top of the rod should have a non-standard structure, since it accounts for most of the load

Material of the Fishing Rod Rings

thkfish Fishing Rod Rings

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Very strong materials such as steel, high-strength composites, and so on are used to make the pass rings. Ceramic and porcelain rings also perform well, but many refuse them due to their heavyweight.

Classification of Rings

Rings differ in size and in the nature of the attachment to the rod. Fixing the rings to the rod is carried out using a stand-support. Structurally, the pass rings are removable, folding, roller, split, triangular, built into the rod. We look forward to your comments on this informative article for beginner fishermen.

Sergio Smirnoff
Sergio Smirnoff
Professional fisherman with 40+ years of experience.
Fishing and the ocean is a passion of my life. I am passionate about all kinds of sea fishing: fishing from the shore (spinning, float, baitcasting), from a boat, and spearfishing day and night.

I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) for the last 10+ years and share my daily fishing experiences on my website. Many years of personal experience as a fisherman and the vast experience of my friends allow me to write professionally on any fishing topics (from choosing a flashlight and equipment to deep-sea fishing).

All of my advice is based on practical real-world experience and will be useful to both novice anglers and professionals. Read more about the author.

Affiliate Disclosure: sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Ebay, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shop, Shimano, Daiwa, Rapala, Renn, Okuma, KastKing, etс. Clicking a link helps keep free, at no extra cost to you!

About the author: Each article is verified by the fishing expert Sergio Smirnoff. The articles are written by professional and amateur fishermen with 20+ years of fishing experience.

Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency. The articles are for informational purposes only, share your opinions in the comments and join the fishing discussions, let's share our fishing experiences together!

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Aurean Plumbite
Aurean Plumbite
10 days ago

My opinion is this is for beginners. If you’re just starting out with fishing and feeling a little overwhelmed, I recommend checking out your local tackle shop. While you might end up paying a little more than you would online, the staff at the shop can take away a lot of the guesswork and help you save money in the long run by only buying what you really need. They can also give you valuable tips on what baits/lures to use and where to fish. A good shop can get you most of the way there and set you up for success so that you keep coming back for more gear.

Another great option is to find someone local to fish with who can show you the ropes. Fishing can be discouraging at first, especially if you’re not catching anything, but having a mentor can make all the difference in keeping you motivated and learning the skills you need to be successful.

When it comes to gear, I recommend starting off with a spinning setup. If you’re not buying a pre-paired rod and reel, spend a little extra on the reel rather than the rod. You’ll notice a cheap reel much more than a cheap rod. Plus, if you end up really enjoying fishing, you can always transfer that first reel to a nicer rod in the future.

If you’re looking for a first fishing rod, consider an Ugly Stik. While they may not be the best rods out there, they’re fairly inexpensive and built to last. And remember, the most important thing is to get out there and start fishing – you can always upgrade your gear as you go. 

Yeberon Lighthaven
Yeberon Lighthaven
10 days ago

If you’re just starting out in fishing, it’s important to consider what kind of fishing you’re interested in. Do you prefer freshwater or saltwater fishing? What types of fish are available in your area? These factors will influence the gear you need to buy.

As many others have mentioned, the Ugly Stik GX2 is a great option for beginners. It’s affordable, durable, and versatile. However, it’s also important to consider the reel that comes with it. For an all-around reel that can handle most freshwater situations, look for one with a 10/200(ish) rating. This means it can store 200 yards of 10-pound test monofilament line on the spool, which is enough for most situations. If you plan on fishing in salt or brackish water and want to use a 30-pound braid, you’ll need a reel that can store around 170 yards of that.

In terms of the rod, a medium-power rod with a fast to extra-fast action is a good choice. Look for a rod in the 6’6″ to 7’6″ range, with a lure weight of 1/8 to 5/8 ounces. This will allow you to use a variety of lures and bottom rigs, making the rod more versatile.

Of course, the best way to get started in fishing is to find a local tackle shop and ask for advice. They can help you find the right gear for your needs and give you tips on where to fish and what bait to use. If possible, try to find someone to fish with who can show you the ropes and help you catch your first fish.

Yorg Lighthaven
Yorg Lighthaven
10 days ago

In my opinion, offering recommendations for lower-tiered options when it comes to fishing gear can be tricky. It opens the door to criticism and dissatisfaction from those who are not happy with the suggested items. However, there are still some budget-friendly options out there, such as combos that pair various rods and reels together. 

If you’re on a tight budget, it’s worth checking out combo offerings from your preferred brands, though keep in mind that the paired items may not always meet your expectations. For example, the Shimano Sienna combo or the Berkeley Lightning Rod combo might be worth considering. Alternatively, you could visit a big box store and try out some of the gear within your budget. Ultimately, it’s better to start fishing with whatever gear you can afford rather than waiting for the “perfect” setup.

Kruupos Qaavus
Kruupos Qaavus
10 days ago

It’s great to hear that you’re interested in fishing! As an avid course angler, I understand how exciting it can be to get started in the sport. My main focus is fishing canals, and I’m based in the UK. If you’re just starting out, don’t feel like you need to spend a lot of money on expensive gear. My grandfather always told me, “You can catch a fish with a stick, some string, and a hook.”

For beginners, I recommend basic waggler float fishing. You can get a rod and reel combo from Amazon or your local tackle shop. Amazon has a few budget-friendly options that are great for beginners, such as the Shakespeare Firebird Spin Combo Rod and Reel.

Here’s a list of the essential items you’ll need:

  • Size 14 and 18 barbless hooks (Tackle Shop)
  • Weighted Waggler Float (Tackle Shop)
  • Float stops (Tackle Shop)
  • Pot of mixed shot (Tackle Shop)

If you have any more questions or need further help, feel free to ask. I’ve been doing this type of fishing for 17 years and I’m happy to share my knowledge with you. Welcome to the sport, and all the best!

KZopium Vraz
KZopium Vraz
10 days ago

For a beginner angler on a tight budget, I recommend the Spro Xrossover rod with a casting weight of 20 to 60g, priced at 43.99€. If you plan to fish for pike, I suggest getting a rod with a minimum casting weight of 60g. As for the reel, I suggest the Abu Garcia Cardinal 52FD, which you can find at It may not be the highest quality, but it should be sufficient for a beginner.

For the line, Spiderwire lines with a diameter of at least 20mm are suitable for braided lines, which you can get at Fauna for 19.99€. Keep in mind that braided lines are not as resistant to scratches from underwater objects as monofilament lines. So, regularly check for any damage and replace it if necessary. If you’re fishing for pike and zander, I recommend using a leader, preferably Savagegear Fluorocarbon.

The total cost for these items is 87.93€, which is quite affordable for a decent starter set. However, you will still need additional gear such as dobbers, soft baits, leaders, etc. 

Mertoq Zuanas
Mertoq Zuanas
10 days ago

I’d like to share my thoughts on beginner fishing combos. Personally, I believe that the Zebco 33 is a great option for someone who is just starting out. While some people may view spin cast reels as “kid reels”, I have caught numerous bass and panfish using them from the bank. Even after you move on to using spinning or baitcasting combos, the Zebco 33 can still serve as a reliable backup.

However, if you’re accustomed to using spinning or baitcasting reels, I highly recommend the Abu Garcia brand. The Black Max combo is a great choice for either style, and it’s also very affordable. It’s important to remember that expensive gear isn’t necessary to enjoy fishing, especially when you’re just starting out. The most important thing is to get out there and have fun!