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Rods- "Power" and "Action"  Defined

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'The lure weight range is standard 1/4-5/8 oz. Any mfg like Shimano, Berkley, Bass Pro Shops, etc. I understand that one company's med action isn't similar to another company's. But let's take it in general sense.

Can I use a med action rod for worm/jigs? I know that this action is more suitable for cranks/spinnerbaits.

Will I be able to use Senko's & 3/8-1/2 oz jigs, if so; what will I be losing out if using a med action rod?

Is a med/heavy rod suitable for worms/jigs? Can this be used for cranks/spinnerbaits?

I'm just confused on the different actions of rods & why one person would be one over another. I read an article in Bassin' in regards to Rick Clunn. He's pretty much just use a 7' med/hvy rod for all his presentations. He's gotten away from the technical side of bass fishing.

Who here goes by Rick Clunn's theory, or are you more of a multi rod user?

Any thoughts????

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Much of the confusion has to do with terminology. Let's define "power" and "action" first.

Power

The power of a rod is simply a rating, which describes the overall stiffness of the blank. Power categories include Ultra-Light (UL), Light(L), Medium-Light(ML), Medium(M), Medium-Heavy(MH) , Heavy(H) and Extra Heavy(XH)

Action

The action of a rod is a rating, which describes the amount of curvature that occurs in the blank due to loading with weight. The faster the action, the further towards the tip the rod bends. The slower the action, the further towards the middle of the rod and so on.

Action categories include:

Extra-Fast: Bend very near the top of the blank.

Fast: Bend in the upper 25-30%.

Moderate: Bend near the middle.

Slow: Parabolic curvature throughout the entire length of the rod.

Action is important because it determines, in part, how much control you have over the fish. The faster the action, the more pressure you can put on the fish (and vice-versa). Many crankbait anglers want more moderate action so that the fish cannot shake free as easily. Another important consideration of rod action is casting distance. The slower the action the better the rod will cast. Rods that have a slower action have a wider curve on their parabolic bend, and therefore can store more potential energy when casting. This is called "rod loading." In effect, the more the rod loads, the more of the rod you use to cast. Fast action rods bend closer to the tip, using less of the rod to cast.

Other rod characteristics to note are recovery, sensitivity and brittleness. Recovery is a measure of the time it takes the rod to recover after a cast. When you impart energy to a rod upon casting, it vibrates. You can see the tip shaking. That shaking bats the line as it leaves the top guide, causing friction. That friction reduces casting distance. Faster action rods tend to recover faster, but do not load up as well. More moderate action rods tend to recover poorly, but load up better. If you can find a moderate action rod with fast recovery, it will outcast everything else if the rest of the playing field is equal.

Sensitivity is obviously important. You want a rod to be able to transmit the feelings you experience when your lure moves underwater, where you can't see it. Higher modulus graphite is more sensitive, although it may be a case of diminishing returns as you get higher and higher up the modulus rating scale.

Brittleness is how easily the rod will break. Most high end rods are brittle, as brittleness and sensitivity tend to be indirectly proportional. That's where a lifetime warranty comes into play!

So, all things are not created equal and if you think a $50 rod is just as good as a $300 rod, you're wrong! Buy the best equipment you can afford and focus on quality, not quantity.

For an all around rod I recommend 6 1/2' or 7' Medium Power/ Fast Action. More than 90% of all the bass fishing you will ever do can be done with this rod. Rod power is more about the weight of the lures you use than the fish you might catch. A Medium Power rod will handle most of the lures you will fish and the fight will be much more fun.

Now for the details. I'll list the Power and Action and a specific rod:

If I were to fish one rod only: 7" M/F spinning. G.Loomis GLX PR844S

If I can fish two, my other rod would be: 7' H/F baitcasting. G.Loomis GLX MBR844C

For technique specific applications:

Light fishing: 6 1/2' ML/F spinning

Soft plastics: 7' M/F spinning

Crankbaits, jerkbaits and topwater: 6 1/2 or 7' M/M or MH/M baitcasting

Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits: 7' M/F or MH/F baitcasting

Jigs, C-rigs and heavy and/or deep running lures: 7' H/F baitcasting

And to break it down just a little further, I fish a Heavy Power/ Slow Action glass rod for big, treble hook lures.

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Guest DavidGreen

Now wasn't that a lot to absorb. But it is the best explanation of rod power and action I have seen posted.

Well done RW......

Tight Lines!      

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You should work within the rod's guidelines with regard to both lure weight and line strength. That is how the rod was designed. Castability and lure weight go hand in hand. For example, a Heavy Power/ Slow Action rod will cast a 1 oz. lure as well or better than a ML rod will cast a 1/4 oz. lure, but that same H/S rod will NOT do well casting a 1/8 oz. jig!

So, match the tool with the job and you will be happy with the performance of your equipment.

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Guest avid

Outstanding presentation.   The factual information that RW presents is not open to debate, but the "preferences" can be discussed.

The only one I really take exception to is the preference for using spinning tackle with soft plastics.  Unlike crankbaits, minnow plugs and such, soft plastics have a tendency to spin, or roll over during retrieve.  Even with swivels they are very prone to twisting the line on spinning tackle.

The current refinements in baitcasting gear make it easier than ever to cast light baits.  Dedicated bassers should check out some of the great lightweight casting reels like the Chronarch 50 mg and the Daiwa pixie, to name a few.

Kudos to Road Warrior for a well organized and obviously time consuming primer on fishing rods.

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Thank you.

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Road warrior i read your post on rod action. I usually fish 1/4 oz. jigs with chompers twin tail grubs. I need a rod that is sensitive yet has some backbone. I'm looking at buying an Avid 6' 2"  casting rod, medium power with an extra fast tip. Will i be able to cast the 1/4 oz. jigs ok with this rod? I have been using a 6' 10" Falcon" Eakins Jig Sepcial " for these baits but it is just too long for some applications and too heavy. What do think would be a good rod for this application? :D

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The baitcasting rod I fish the most is an Avid AC66MF, but I think the tip is too soft for jigs and soft plastics. Maybe the Extra Fast action that you are looking at will address this issue. When you go shopping take along the reel you will be using and a 1/4 oz lead weight. Go out in the parking lot and make a few casts. I think you will know right then if the rod is what you need.

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RW, great explanation for rod selection/consideration. Would you mind it I print this post and place it in the Bass Pro Shop where I work part-time? It would be used to educate others........................Thanks............Al

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Again roadwarrier saves the day! Ghost ,to give you a point the heaviest rod action i use is a loomis med action casting rod in glx.Now here is the differences,in for instance loomis brands there are the original four types of graphites,gl2,gl3,imx and glx.In each rod class lets use the cr722 casting rod it is made in all four materials,but pick  each one up and they all four have a different feel to them.To me the gl2 seems to flex more toward the middle but i would say is the toughest of all four,the gl3 is a little stiffer and a little lighter,imx still lighter and feels more like a gl2,now the glx,the lightest of all but also the stiffest to me but with great sensitivity.So it may be depending on what brand rod chosen as to whether it will work for worms,jigs for you,and the cover you'll fish,etc.

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Guest DavidGreen

Some more clarification.......

Rod Power:  Generally used to describe a rod or blank's stiffness or resistance to bending.

Tip Action:  Where most of the initial flex in a rod blank takes place.

Fast Action  rods will flex mostly in the upper 1/3rd of their length.

Moderate Action  rods in the upper 1/2 of their length.

Slow Action  rods flex along their entire length.

Progressive Action:  Term used to describe a rod blank that continues to bend farther back towards the butt end as load upon it is increased. As the load is increased, the blank responds by shifting the load onto the larger, more powerful area towards the middle and rear of the blank.

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Wow, impressive RoadWarrior!

I have been trying to figure out what new rod to purchase to go with my new Shimano Chronarch 50mg.

Which one would you buy?

I know it has much to do with the lures being used. Probably the biggest I might throw would be a 1/2 oz but generally will be 1/4 oz or maybe smaller.

Those smallies you are holding still look awfully good to me.

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This might sould like a dumb question but where would a "Medium Action" rod fall in to this scenerio. I realize that medium is not the action but this is exactly what it says on the rod "Medium Action". and this isn't some fly by night company it is a Berkley Rod

Harshman

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Think of the rod as a part of the system.  The system consists of everything from the hook to you; inclusive. The rod isn't adjustable, and each one (in the same make model) is identical.  However, the person handling the rod is highly adjustable, and no two people interact in exactly the same way with their equipment.  What you really want to know, is what rod works best for the way you cast and work your baits.  Rated power and actions are good general starting points, but it really comes down to getting it in your hand and throwing a lure or two.  

While I own ten different rigs, I find that changing rigs means re-calibrating me to match; that seems to take a while.  If the change I want to make isn't a huge one, it's easier for me to just adjust or tune the way I handle the rig to make it practical for alternate baits or methods.  I usually carry only two rigs (occasionally three) in the boat. I pick these based on what I expect conditions to be on the trip, and let my style compensate for not having the perfect rod.

With the exception of 2 brute force rigs I have for spring stripers, all my rods but one have fast action tips.  This is because for me, it provide the best lure control, and seems to cast with less effort and greater accuracy than stiff tips.  The rest of the rod (power) is selected to match the lure weight, line weight, reel type and expected fishing conditions.   Brands matter some in terms of construction quality, but you don't have to spend a fortune to get a good one.  Most important is that the rig works for your style of fishing.

If you can, borrow rigs from friends and try a variety under actual conditions.  If you are part of a bass club, that can be easy, and you can see the technique differences demonstrated by someone already familiar with alternate combinations.

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Excellent thread !!! Kudos RW

It should be mandatory to read for everybody who joins, so we are all on the same page.

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Roadwarrior's explanation of power and action was great and highlights a sorepoint with me. Years ago when you picked up most rods in a store the rod had clearly marked on both power(ex. medium) and action (fast taper). You were not confused as to what you were looking at. Now all most rods have marked is the power, line weight, and lure weight ranges recommended. It's like action is a closely guarded secret. In addition the pro keep you confused by changing the action terms (ex. soft tip, hard tip). The other day in watch a program on lipless crankbaits the pro said he prferred a 7 ft. rod with a 5 to 1 ration. I presume he was talking about the action of the rod but where do these guys get these tems. Any ideas on how we users can pressure the rod manufacturers into going back to the old system It was much clearer. I know GLoomis still lists their rods by power and action but they are a little out of my price range. Oh for the days of the Herter's Catalog!

Tightlines to all :D

Mike d.

Sumter, SC    

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Guest DavidGreen

ksugrad1965,

Now all most rods have marked is the power, line weight, and lure weight ranges recommended. It's like action is a closely guarded secret.
Not really a secret. Most all rods you will find in the box stores today have a fast tip action. Look at the chart above and the next time your in a shop take the rod and put a light bend in the tip you should be able to tell just from the bend in the tip.
The other day in watch a program on lipless crankbaits the pro said he prferred a 7 ft. rod with a 5 to 1 ration.
Most likely he was talking gear ratio (GR) on the reel. Most good lipless rigs are 7' med power with a moderate tip action, using a 5.1:1 GR reel.

Tight Lines!!!

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BIG props to RW for that information. you laid it out in an understandable manner even though i read every paragraph about 4 times to make sure i had it down lol. seriously though that helped me tremendously bro thank you

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Dag gonnit,

My three ring binder is filling fast.

Every time I think I've caught up R.W. seems to push me back ;D

Great info from all Thanks,

       

     -John

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Great post. I have  MBR782C  Gloomis cast 6'6' med/fast rated 8 to 14 # 1/4 to 5/8 lure wt. Roadwarrior mentioned 90 % of fishing could probably be done with a 6 1/2 to 7' M/F rod. Question for crankbait fishing shallow and mid depth cranks how effective is the fast action rating as vs the moderate fast or medium action rating. Would a 7' M/M or 7' M/Moderate fast be more in order for cast distance/lure action and effectiveneess.  Posts I read mention the medium action to keep from yanking trebles and losing fish. I have been using my Gloomis more for small/med r traps but not lipped cranks. Also since my Loomis is fast action would setting the drag a little lighter be something to consider. This is my first post new to this forum really enjoy it and txs for any input.

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Welcome aboard!

Anything can be fished with a MF rod, but technique specific rods are more fun!

My "all-around" rod for all treble hooks, buzzbaits and spinnerbaits is a Avid AVC66MF

which has a soft tip. I use it mostly as my dedicated jerkbait rod.

For light and medium weight crankbaits I have an Avid AVC70MM and for big or deep

running lures, Lamiglas SR705R.

8-)

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I know the "power" is printed on the rod alone with lure/line ratings, but where can you find what the action of the rod is?

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Generally, lower priced rods do not list the action,

but it is generally fast, unless it's noticably slow

(some Ugly Sticks for example). Otherwise, the

action is listed with power. Examples are G. Loomis:

MBR844C, 84" or 7', 4 power = heavy; labled heavy

power/ fast action.  St Croix Avid: AVC70MF = 7'

medium power, fast action.

8-)

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