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Duckbutter100

How Do You Personally Decide On A Rod?

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I don't mean deciding between flipping or or spinning etc...I mean you figure out your budget and start shopping. Assuming you have no brand loyalty and aren't going to buy another of your favorites.

 

What exactly do you do when you start shopping? I've looked and felt some rods at stores but to be honest they all kinda feel the same to me in the store, I grab the rod and shake it etc..then go to next rod and do the same. I've having a hard time deciding for myself on what to buy. I've read all the reviews and tons of posts and of course narrowed it down to about 5. Veritas, Mojo, ***, Fenwick HMX or a Speed stick.

 

Do you get to actually use a buddies for a while why'll fishing? I dont really fish with anyone that doesn't buy everything from walmart so i dont have that options either.

 

I also read that like every blank is basically made from the same company especially in the price range I'm at. So I get even more confused on how to decide.

 

Im not looking for opinions on which of the 5 is best(I know they are all pretty good) I need help on what to look for to decide for myself. I honestly don't know what Im supposed to do to decide other then maybe which on looks cooler the others.

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Most of the time I stick with a company I know and like, but occasionally I will just take a leap of faith.

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Take your reel into the store and put it on the rods you like.  See which one's feel the best and pick one of those.  That's about as close as you're going to get to knowing what a rod fishes like.  You just have to buy different rods until you figure out what you really like.  

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If you post your possible choices and how you want to use it on this forum, I'm sure folks will give you some opinion.

 

But at the end, you just have to pick one and go fishing.

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I don't fish with anyone who could let me use a rod I might be interested in.  I'd have to take a trip to Cabela's to handle a possible selection....provided they carried that rod.  I research the web.  Read reviews.  Then buy a rod in my budget on faith.  I have bought a few rods based on the recommendations of guys on here that I have communicated with.  Communicating with fellow members is how I wound up with my Zillion 6'6" MXF, Smallmouth 6'10 MF, Smallmouth 6'9" MXF and Quantum 6'10" HF.  I wasn't disappointed in any of the rods they suggested.

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I use others input on here and also do as much internet research as possible. Being from a small town and the closest BPS or Cabelas is 2hrs away I have to take a leap of faith in the end. So far it's worked out for me and I've found a company that has a rod for anything I want. I'm still open though.

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I just went through this myself. I pretty much had all BPS rods and I wanted to break out and try new thing. I was looking for three new rods for specific techniques, so I did a lot of searching online for recommendations for those techniques. I went to stores and felt the weights of the different rods, examined the grips and how they felt in my hand.

I wish I would have tried my reel on the rods before I bought, because I ended up taking one back because it was way too tip heavy.

In the end, if you can't actually use the rod before you buy it, and you dont know anyone with the rod, you have to put some trust in anonymous reviews I guess.

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Compare

 

Warranties and ease of getting the warranty handled like over the counter vs shipping rod +$20-$60. Lifetime, 5yr, 1yr, none

 

Guides alconite vs stainless steel and other types

 

Handles full vs split grip.  

 

Handle too long/short

 

Balance tip heavy vs more neutral.

 

Weight one rod could weigh 3.5oz balance very well the other 5oz and be tip heavy.

 

Return policy of store being purchased from- I return a lot of items I dont like, so a liberal return is something I look for.

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If you post your possible choices and how you want to use it on this forum, I'm sure folks will give you some opinion.

 

But at the end, you just have to pick one and go fishing.

Veritas, Mojo, ***, Fenwick HMX or a Speed stick are the 5.. all of which getting plenty of good reviews on here and other places. I have a feeling I cant go wrong with any of them I just which I could buy with confidence instead of just kind of guessing.

 

There are more in the exact price range that also get reviews but I have no where locally to go and try them out like a ghost etc....

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I went through a long process of buying rods until i found the company I like. If i could give any advice i would first start off by saying "figure out your intentions". Are you only fishing for fun 5 times a year?, are you a weekend tournament angler?, or do you want to build an aresenel for every technique known to man? Do you plan on having all technique spefic rods or do you want a "do it all rod"? Figuring out your intentions will allow you to know how many rods you may want and the quality and warranty you may need. More Quality = More $

 

Next is "do your research". i dont mean go on tackle warehouse and believe every review you read, I mean research what each rod manufactor has to offer,warranty, where they are made (if that matters to you), what lengths and actions are best for what your trying to do.

 

Like Jrob78 said, go to a big tackle store with your reel and try your reel on different rods until you find what is comfortable to you and what fits your price range. One important aspect to me and every serious bass fisherman/woman is balence. You want the rod to feel light when lifting and lowering your rod tip. You will be able to feel a tip heavy rod pretty easily.

 

Last but not least are....details.. Would you rather have a cork handle or eva (foam type)? Split grip or full grip? Then there are reel seats, bait keepers, guides.

 

Everyone has thier ideal stick. Some people find them right away and some waste alot of money finding them. If your not picky and just want to go out and fish every once in awhile, then picking a rod should be easy.

 

Sorry i got long winded, hope this helps

 

 

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Veritas, Mojo, ***, Fenwick HMX or a Speed stick are the 5.. all of which getting plenty of good reviews on here and other places. I have a feeling I cant go wrong with any of them I just which I could buy with confidence instead of just kind of guessing.

 

There are more in the exact price range that also get reviews but I have no where locally to go and try them out like a ghost etc....

 

To me, trying them out at the store is not very helpful. Probably except for how it feel in the hand with the reel (but I have never done that). At the end, you have to fish it to know it.

 

My suggestion was if you cannot make up your mind, you could give 'details' about your intended use (or could be all purpose rod) and exact model (power, flex and length too) and folks can pitch in with comments (like, oh yeah that rod is too stiff for that or etc...) That's, if you like.

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I stick to St Croix rods (All Legend Series) and I just buy the ones I don't have.

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I choose what technique the rod that I am going to be purchasing will primarily be used for. I then research and understand the characteristics that a rod used for my decided technique should have. I decided on what my budget is going to be and then research what some of the top rods that meet my criteria are. If I have the ability I try them with a reel on them, if not, I read and ask questions of owners of the particular rod that I have decided on like and dislike about the rod. I then make my decision based on the best information that I have.

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We are all so very different in what we like, don't like.

 

Easy to say, "dude, buy this brand, it's the best", but what if you do buy that brand and end up hating it.

 

Rather see you spend your money on something that feels great in your hand, that helps you feel connected to the fishing environment you are in.

 

What works for me may not work for you. Guys these days tend toward longer rods than days past, me, I prefer shorter rods 6'6" and under for my style.

 

As mentioned, take your reel(s) in to BPS- -- or if they have your reel, just use one from the box -- and put it on different rods to feel the balance in your hand. That way YOU are in control and can say "yeah, this feels better than that".

 

Wish it were as easy as just saying "go buy XXXX brand of rod."

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Count me as someone who has spent a lot of money trying several companies. Luckily I found a company I like but it took years. Even now I still indulge in other companies just because I'm always open but I keep going back.

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For a new rod I'll take a reel. I'm not brand speific. I do want to try a Dobyn's but no one near me sells them.

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1st I make sure the handle length is going to be ideal for what I plan on using the rod for, and how I personally handle the rod while fishing that technique. Then I look for the handle grip material I prefer, and address how how much usable area there is on the upper portion of the split grip if not a full handle. I make sure the rod utilizes quality stainless or titanium guides and quality ceramic inserts. No recoils or guides that don't have inserts for this guy. I need a reel seat that I'm familar with and feels right. Most importantly I want the rods action to be ideal for what I'm using it for, and trust me, this varies from person to person and every rod companies actions are a touch different. I want to make sure the rod has enough backbone also. I prefer mid micro size guides as bigger guides tend to stick out to far and can cause line wrap with thiiner lines, lighter baits, and wind. True micros are just to small for my taste. Lastly, and this one is important...build quality. I read and ask a lot to make sure the company does not have a lot of quality control issues, and the rods are being built with care, slop free, meaning no excess epoxy and glue, guides are straight, no visible gaps between any seems, etc. If you can hold the rod make sure the blank is dead straight.

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For a new rod I'll take a reel. I'm not brand speific. I do want to try a Dobyn's but no one near me sells them.

I have a Savvy for T. Rigs, Jigs, and Spinnerbaits. It's very light and balanced. I'd let you try it out if you want, I'm supposed to be in the fish eating creek area next month.

 

as for the original post:

I wouldn't say I have a particular brand I follow, as far as rods go, but when looking for one I:

- Check the power and action by pushing the tip down slightly on the floor and seeing where the rod bends and how stiff it feels

- It may sound funny when your in the store, but I check the sensitivity by having either someone i'm with or one of the store clerks, stick the tip of the rod in the hollow of their neck and hum; if the rod is sensitive you should feel a strong vibration in the reel seat

- Try to go for a lifetime warranty (I think all my rods, but one, have a lifetime warranty)

- Compare at the pricepoint vs. features/components

- Check how it feels in the hand with a reel on it and how light the rod is and does it balance well

- Check the overall build quality, straightness of the blank, guide wraps, guides, glue points, reel seat fitting, grip, and but cap

 

The last thing I look at is the overall look of the rod, is this something you can stare at hours on end with your reel on it, cause after all if you don't like it, then why buy it?

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