Many people looking to buy a saltwater fishing rod at Fin-Atics in Ocean City, NJ simply show up and pull the first rod that catches their eye off the rack. Others search the Internet for the best deals on rods. So how does one choose the right saltwater fishing rod? Besides asking for some of our expert advice on the subject, here are some basic saltwater fishing rod facts that you need to know before purchasing a rod:
Ocean City Inshore Fishing
Inshore fishing means relatively shallow water and relatively small fish – under 20 pounds for the most part. So, you need a rod that can handle a good size fish, but not one that weighs so much you can’t even fish with it.
Casting – Casting rods are used with conventional reels and can be used with lures or bait for light bottom fishing. They also accommodate floats and are good for free-lining live bait.
Spinning – Spinning rods can usually do the same things that a casting rods does, they simply use a different reel – a spinning reel. Spinning equipment can cast a lighter lure and is not subject to the backlash problems that an inexperienced angler encounters with a casting reel. This is a good choice for a beginning angler.
Bottom Fishing – Either casting or spinning rods can be used for inshore bottom fishing. The water depth, current, and amount of weight required to get a bait to the bottom helps dictate which size rod to use.
Fly Fishing – If you are reading this and you are a beginning fisherman, fly fishing may be the last thing on your mind. But, inshore saltwater fly fishing is extremely popular. If you do plan a first time purchase of a saltwater fly outfit, go with a prepackaged complete outfit in a 6 to 8 weight range. This is a good midrange starting point – heavier weights are for larger fish (Tarpon, big stripers, etc.), lighter weights are usually found in freshwater applications.
Ocean City Offshore Fishing
Trolling – The majority of trolling rods are built for conventional reels. While heavy spinning gear is sometimes used trolling, conventional tackle is by far the most popular. These rods are usually labeled by line class. The IGFA 30, 50, and 80 class reels match up with the appropriate rod. These rods are usually an investment – they can cost that much. It is not unusual to pay over $1000 for a complete outfit. However, there are some good rods that can be combined with good reels that can come in under $200 for the package.
Bottom Fishing – These are the “meat” rods that many anglers have used to catch loads of fish. They are heavier and stiffer than a trolling rod, generally longer than a trolling rod, and are able to stand up to the abuses that a big fish can give them.
Fly Fishing – Fly rods that are used offshore are built for punishment. These are the heavier outfits that have large arbor reels (reels that hold lots of line) and come in weights from 9 to 12. These are very specialized rods for a very specialized type of fishing.
Surf Fishing–Surf rods are another specialized category. They are made for both spinning and casting reels – the choice is more dependent on angler preference than anything else. These rods are from 9 to 12 or 14 feet in length. They are designed to allow for super long casts that can get a bait out beyond the breakers on the beach. The rod size is also determined by angler preference, and usually means longer, heavier rods when looking for bigger fish.
Pier Fishing-Almost any inshore rod, including surf rods, can be and are used from piers. Once again, angler preference, casting distance, and fish size will dictate the rod type and size.
Over all, under standing the kind of saltwater fishing you are interested in doing will determine the kind fishing rodsto use. At Fin-Atics, we carry the top of the line in saltwater fishing rod gear, from G-Loomis rods to Shimano and others, we have what you are looking for