Here at Angling Direct, you’ll find hundreds of fishing rods from the market’s leading manufacturers, covering every type of fishing, every angler preference and all budgets across the board. We take huge pride in listing the latest and best rods from the industry’s top suppliers, each of which has a flawless track record for pure performance and rugged reliability. After all, even those who know nothing about angling would probably say the word ‘rod’ if they were asked to name a piece of fishing tackle and there’s certainly no denying that a quality rod is one of the most important pieces of kit in your portfolio. In fact, it was probably the first thing you invested in when you decided to take up angling. However, with hundreds of rods on the market, it can often feel overwhelming when you’re trying to find the perfect rod for you needs and even the most experienced angler can find themselves swamped with choices; carp rods, telescopic fishing rod, fly fishing rod or a travel fishing rod. If you find yourself stuck for choice (or are confused by all the jargon), you can use this quick guide to help you narrow down your options until you have the perfect rod for you!
Most top end rods will state that they have a blank (the main body of the rod) that is manufactured from high modulus carbon fibre. Modulus is a stiffness rating, so if carbon fibre has a high modulus rating then it means it is a stiff rod that can perform well under pressure. Different manufacturers will use different methods to ensure that their rods perform well under high-torque (rotation), too. These techniques can vary from super heating the blank to placing the blank under extreme pressure during the construction phase. Cheaper rods might use a slightly lesser quality of carbon fibre or will be made from a composite material that combines carbon fibres with others to give their desired action.
When it comes to the handle of a rod you’ll most often be faced with a choice of EVA or cork – or some combination of the two. Cork is the traditional material used in rod manufacture and old school anglers will always claim its superiority to EVA. Some of the benefits of cork include its heat retention – meaning that on a cold day it won’t leech warmth from your hand – and its ability to provide a good grip in wet conditions. However, cork is very hard to clean once it gets dirty and with constant use it can wear and crumb. EVA is a modern alternative to cork which is often praised for its light weight, as well as its ability to be manipulated into ergonomic positions. Much tougher than cork, EVA is long lasting and will take a lot of use before it begins to show signs of wear. It can also be cleaned easily, allowing you to maintain the ‘like new’ look of your gear. The handle will most likely be finished with a butt cap: a small circle, usually made from metal and engraved with the brand logo, which sits on the very end of the rod. Its main purpose is to protect the blank from damage.
The rod will then be furnished with guides and a reel seat. Guides are the rings that run up the length of the rod and their main purpose is to create a path for your line to run through. They will start with a larger size at the butt of the rod and will gradually decrease in size until they get to the tip. Butt rings of 40mm (for a standard casting rod) or 50mm (for a distance caster) are most common, with tip rings hitting somewhere around the 14mm mark. Reel seats are designed to hold your reel in position and they come in a variety of styles, from DPS to Skeleton. These will vary depending on the kind of reel you’re housing and the style of fishing you want to do. Most manufacturers will state that their guides and reel seats are Fuji products. Fuji is one of the most popular creators of guides and reel seats and it is famous for its high quality. However, some manufacturers like to produce their own custom designed reel seats or line guides, too. The quality of these will vary depending on the manufacturer but, chances are, if the manufacturer can make a good rod blank then they can also make good furnishings and own brand fixtures are nothing to be sniffed at.
These are the basics that you should see on all of the fishing rods we stock at Angling Direct. Some rods will also offer line clips, hook keeper rings, and isotope slots – these are all additions designed to make your angling easier but whether or not you choose them is down to personal preference. It’s also worth noting that you can buy all of the above to fit onto your existing rods, so you shouldn’t let these rod accessories determine your final choice.
Sections vs Telescopic
A travel fishing rod is a rod that can be split up into multiple sections, or fold down telescopically, for ease of transport. Although they take longer to assemble and deconstruct than their telescopic twins, multi piece travel fishing rods are often the favoured as there is less of a compromise on casting action as they more closely resemble the traditional one or two piece rods.
Typically, the fewer sections the rod has, the less of a compromise will have to be made with the action, essentially, giving the rod a stronger test curve. However, the more sections the rod has, the easier it will it be to transport because of its smaller pack down size.
Are Travel Rods Any Good?
Travel rods require you to weigh up practicality against angling ideals. So, if you like to travel for your fishing, or you fancy a days fishing whilst on a family holiday, a multi-joint or telescopic travel fishing rod that can be broken down into manageable pieces and fits neatly in a suitcase will be ideal for you.
With brands such as Daiwa, Rovex, and John Wilson turning their hand to travel rods, you can be sure that they have invested all their expertise to produce a rod that is not only practical but high performance too.
One or two piece travel rods will function in the same manner as a 6ft or 7ft sawn-off rod, enabling you to fish multiple disciplines; taking carp off the surface, lure fishing for predators, they will also hold their own during a boat fishing trip. The one consideration to take with all shorter rods is the reduction in how far you will be able to cast.
Telescopic rods will also enable you to fish across multiple disciplines, using various styles, however, due to multiple telescopic sections, the playing action is sometimes reduced on telescopic rods when compared to their one piece or two piece counterparts.
They are, however, incredibly easy to setup and transport and because of this continue to be incredibly popular, especially if you need it to fit in a smaller suitcase for your trip.
If you’re an angler, chances are you will want to squeeze in a session whilst on holiday, if you’re on a staycation chances are you will be able to follow local advice on tackle and bait as you will be familiar with domestic practises.
If you’re travelling abroad, local practises and bait could be very different to what you are used to, in order to help you get the most out of your overseas session, we have compiled some travel tips over on the Angling Direct Blog, check it out before travelling.