Choosing the right fishing pole for the job

Now that you know how to pick the right fishing line, it is time to choose the right fishing pole.  This decision is pretty easy when you are a beginner targeting panfish but the choices multiply once you start considering other types of fishing or species of fish.  

One of the most overwhelming things when you start to get half-way serious about fishing is trying to figure out what type of rod you should be using.  Nobody wants to lose a fish of a lifetime by not having the right equipment.

The first thing you need to do when trying to choose the right fishing pole is to educate yourself on the different styles.  They are ultralight, light, medium/light, medium, medium/heavy and heavy.  So how do you figure out which one is right for you?

The two main questions I ask myself when picking out what type of pole I will be using are how big is the fish and how hard does it fight?  If the answer to the question is the fish is small and doesn't fight that hard (perch), you should pick the ultralight or light.  If the fish is on the bigger side and doesn't fight that hard (walleye), a medium rod should do.  Targeting salmon or pike?  A medium/heavy to heavy rod will work.

Now that you know what type of rod to choose, the next thing to figure out is how long should the rod be?  Deciding which rod length to use depends on what type of fishing you are doing.  There are so many applications out there it would be impossible to go over them all but I will go over my favorite ones.

Fighting a hard charging type of fish - 8 to 12 feet - the extra length helps absorb the runs so your line doesn't snap.
Fish for panfish - doesn't matter.
Trolling for fish and letting out a lot of line so you need a good hookset? 8 to 12 feet.
Fishing for smallmouth bass?  7 feet or higher.
Vertical jigging - 5 to 6 feet- more comfortable to jig- the extra length is not needed for walleye.
Using slip bobbers - 8 feet or higher- helps with setting the hook.
Bottom bouncing - 7 feet or higher

That wraps up the process I go through when choosing the right fishing pole for an outing.  Hopefully by me sharing my thought process, I will help out the newbie fisherman out there.

Also, please feel free to comment in the section below if you have any other suggestions on which rod to choose for a certain application.  I would love to hear what works for you.

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