Fishing is a widely popular leisure activity relished by countless individuals across the globe. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, having the right fishing rod is essential to your success on the water. With so many different types of fishing rods available, it can be difficult to know which one is right for you.

In this ultimate guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know to select the best fishing rod.

Determine Your Fishing Style

The first step in selecting the perfect fishing rods is to determine your fishing style. Different fishing styles require different types of rods, so it’s important to choose a rod that’s suitable for the type of fishing you’ll be doing. Here are the most common fishing styles:

Freshwater Fishing:

This is the most common type of fishing and is done in rivers, lakes, and streams. Freshwater fishing typically involves catching small to medium-sized fish like trout, bass, and panfish.

Saltwater Fishing:

This type of fishing is done in saltwater environments like the ocean or the Gulf of Mexico. Saltwater fishing can be done from the shore or on a boat and typically involves catching larger fish like tuna, marlin, and sharks. If you are going after these bigger game fish you may want to invest in a rail rod. These have a stiff backbone and very soft tips to help get that fish in the boat.

Fly Fishing:

This is a specialized form of freshwater fishing that involves using an artificial fly as bait to catch fish like trout and salmon. This type of fishing requires a specific type of rod that’s designed to cast a lightweight fly. Many anglers will tie their own flies and this is a hobby many enjoy and sometimes ends up a business. These rods are a lot more expensive and you will probably need some lessons to use them.

Ice Fishing:

This is a type of freshwater fishing that’s done in frozen lakes and rivers during the winter months. Ice fishing requires a shorter and stiffer rod that can handle the heavier line and bait used in this type of fishing.

Once you’ve determined your fishing style, you can narrow down your search for the perfect fishing rod.

Rod Length

The length of your fishing rod is an important consideration that will impact your casting distance, accuracy, and the amount of control you have over your line. Here’s a general guide to rod length based on your fishing style. Most common rod length is around 6′ to 71/2 feet.

Freshwater Fishing:

For most freshwater fishing, a rod length of 6-7 feet is ideal. This length provides good casting distance and accuracy while still allowing you to have control over your line.

Saltwater Fishing:

When it comes to saltwater fishing, longer rods are generally better. A rod length of 7-9 feet is ideal for shore fishing, while a length of 9-12 feet is better for boat fishing. This depends entirely on how big a fish you are going for.

Fly Fishing:

Fly fishing rods are typically longer than other types of fishing rods and can range from 7-10 feet. The length of your fishing rods will depend on the type of fishing you’ll be doing and the size of the fish you’re targeting.

Ice Fishing:

Ice fishing rods are much shorter than other types of fishing rods and typically range from 24-36 inches in length. A shorter rod allows for more control over your line when fishing through a small hole in the ice.

Rod Handle

The handle of the fishing rod is the part of the rod that the angler holds onto while fishing. It is important to select a handle that is comfortable and easy to grip, as it can greatly affect the angler’s performance.

The most common types of handles are cork and EVA foam. Cork handles are lightweight and provide a good grip, but can be expensive. EVA foam handles are less expensive and more durable than cork, but may not offer as good a grip.

Choose the Right Power and Action

When selecting a fishing rod, it’s important to consider both power and action. These factors will directly affect your ability to catch fish, as well as the overall experience you have while fishing. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right power and action for your fishing rod.


The power of your fishing rod is determined by its ability to handle weight and resistance. This is typically measured in terms of line weight and lure weight. The power of a rod is classified as ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy, or heavy, and it’s important to choose the right power for the type of fish you plan to catch.

Ultralight rods are designed for small fish, such as trout and panfish. They’re great for finesse techniques and light lures, but they lack the backbone needed to handle larger fish. Light rods are a step up from ultralight, and they’re suitable for small to medium-sized fish. They’re versatile and can be used for a variety of techniques and lures.

Medium rods are the most popular and versatile rods on the market. They’re suitable for a wide range of fishing applications and can handle a variety of fish species. Medium-heavy rods are stiffer and more powerful than medium rods, and they’re best for larger fish species such as bass and walleye.

Heavy rods are widely considered the most powerful option available to anglers. They are designed specifically for the largest and strongest fish species such as musky and saltwater game fish


The action of your fishing rod refers to its flexibility and the point at which it bends. This is an important factor to consider when selecting a rod because it affects the sensitivity, casting distance, and hook-setting ability of the rod.

Slow-action rods are the most flexible and bend closer to the handle. They’re great for finesse techniques, such as fishing with live bait or light lures. They also have a slower hook-setting ability, so they’re best suited for smaller fish species.

Medium action rods are a good all-around choice for most fishing applications. They have a good balance of flexibility and strength, and they’re suitable for a wide range of fish species and techniques.

Fast-action rods are the stiffest and bend closer to the tip. They have a faster hook-setting ability and are best suited for larger fish species and techniques such as jigging and topwater fishing. They also provide greater casting distance and accuracy.

It’s important to note that there are also variations of these classifications, such as medium-fast or extra-heavy. These variations provide more specialized options for specific fishing techniques and fish species.

Rod Material

The material used to make the rod affects its strength, sensitivity, and weight. The three most common materials used in fishing rods construction are graphite, fiberglass, and composite.

Graphite rods are known for their sensitivity, lightweight, and fast action. They are the most popular type of rod among anglers due to their excellent performance and versatility. However, it also comes at a high price, making them the costliest option available.

Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are known for their durability and affordability. They are less sensitive than graphite rods but are much stronger and can handle heavier fish. They are ideal for beginners or for those who fish in rough waters.

Composite rods combine the benefits of both graphite and fiberglass rods. They offer the sensitivity and lightness of graphite with the strength and durability of fiberglass. They are a great choice for anglers who want the best of both worlds.


Finally, it is important to consider the brand of the fishing rod. There are many reputable brands on the market, each offering a unique set of features and benefits. Some popular brands like Ugly Stik will do a good all around job for many conditions.

or G.Loomis have been around for decades, while others like Shimano and St. Croix are relatively new. Each brand is unique in terms of handle design, guides, materials used, etc., so it’s important to choose the right one for you based on your preferences and fishing style. Be sure to do some research before

When selecting a brand, it is important to read reviews and do research to ensure that the brand has a good reputation for quality and customer service.


Determining your budget can vary based on a variety of factors such as size, material, and type. For beginners, entry-level fishing rods can typically be found for prices ranging between $20-$50, while more advanced rods suited for experienced anglers typically cost between $50-$750.

If you’re looking for top-of-the-line fishing rods with high-quality materials and advanced features, expect to pay anywhere from $150 up to several hundred dollars. It’s important to consider your skill level and the type of fish you plan on catching when selecting a fishing rod.


Selecting the perfect fishing rods can be a daunting task, but by considering the factors outlined in this guide, anglers can make an informed decision that will improve their fishing experience.

Remember to consider the type of fishing, the species of fish, the rod length and weight, the material, power and action, handle, and brand when selecting the best fishing rod. With the right rod in hand, anglers can feel confident and prepared to catch their next big fish.