Bass fishing rods have come a long, long way since the days of the 6-foot trigger handle. In fact, most (including myself) would cringe a little at the thought of having to use a 6-foot long rod. In most angler’s boats you would be shocked to find anything under 7-foot and most rod lockers are adorned with at least one, if not a few, 8-foot models. So, what gives? With so many options these days, it’s good to have a basic understanding of which rods work best for any given scenario and why. And of course, so that you can answer your wife’s common question of “WHY DO YOU NEED SO MANY RODS!?”
One reason you need so many tools in your arsenal is because some lures are extremely inefficient when paired with the wrong rod. If you are casting a lure full of treble hooks, too stiff of a rod will cause you to lose more fish than you’ll want! Thus, my first simple guideline is for baits with treble hooks (crankbaits, jerkbaits, etc.) you will want to use a lighter, or softer, action rod and for single hook baits (jig, Texas Rig, etc.) you will want to use a stiffer, stouter, action rod. My typical cranking set-up is going to be a medium heavy rod, but with a moderate action in order to allow that fish to jump without throwing the hooks. I throw my jerkbaits on a medium, fast action rod. But, once I get to single hook lures I will start with a medium heavy, fast action rod and only go stouter from there depending on the weight of the lure (and several other factors).
One of those factors, and likely a primary factor, is going to be the presence AND type of cover I am fishing. If I am putting a bait deep into grass mats and other vegetation, a beefier rod is going to better equip you to get a solid hookset and get the bass out of that cover. On the other hand, when I am casting jigs and plastics around sparse grass, sparse wood, or even around no cover at all, you will typically find me using a medium heavy, fast action rod.
A couple simple guidelines for choosing rod length are; 1) The longer the rod, the more distance you can achieve on a cast and the shorter the rod, the more accurate you will be when making pinpoint casts, 2) The longer the rod, the more leverage you have on the hookset. Thus, if I am trying to launch a deep diving crankbait, I prefer a rod anywhere from 7’4” and up. When I am casting a square bill crankbait around shallow cover, or casting any lure to precise targets, I will be using anything from 7’ to 7’3”. And last, when I am horsing fish out of deep cover, I like 7’6” plus rods to add power to my hookset and for getting the fish out of that cover and into my boat.
These guidelines are simple, and everyone tends to find their own preferences when it comes to finding a rod that works best for them. In the meantime, be sure to click the link below to see our Black Friday prices on Dobyns Rods! Also, find us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date on all of our latest content!