Home General Fishing

The Value of the Fishing Rod

ScullerSculler Posts: 115 Officer
So me, my friend, and his dad went out wade fishing the other day. We loaded up on bait early in the morning and started fishing. Me and my friend were standing on a sandbar in the water, and his dad a little bit away. After about an hour of catching and releasing spanish mackerel, snapper, ladyfish, annoying needlefish, and a blacktip we went over to his dad to go see how his progress was. Evidently he actually did better then we were doing, so we stuck around and fished by him. I was using a pretty light action cheap rod, my friend an expensive 100+ dollar pole and he was getting a couple more successful hook sets then me but the difference wasn't significant. His dad on the other hand was almost getting a 100% success rate on his hook sets fights. Asked him what the set up was and he said a symmetry and quote on quote "some rod I picked up at ****'s Sporting Goods for 8 bucks." He went on to tell some stories of tarpon he caught with the same set up, and how the pole your using really doesnt matter. Granted he's a much more experienced fishermen then us and an avid light tackle fanatic but I was wondering how much weight YOU guys put on the value of the pole.

In my opinion a good reel is a must, the rod on the other hand should just be comfortable for the user and have some backbone for when your prize fish comes along, but spending a lot of money isn't required for 90% of inshore applications.
«13

Replies

  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,212 Moderator
    That type of fishing I'd say rod matters more than reel. Reel is just a line holder for light tackle stuff like that in open water.

    That being said, your comment about experience is what matters the most. I've done a lot of that type of fishing and how I go about setting hook depends greatly on what kind of fish it is, which you can tell by how it takes bait and any sound it might make.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    The short answer is really depends on what you're doing. Some situations call for a pretty specific rod, some don't. Generally a higher end rod will allow me to do what I want with my lure easier, be lighter, cast more accurately and transmit more feeling. That doesn't mean you need a higher end rod, just that there are advantages to using one. If I'm pass fishing with live bait I don't need anything special. If I'm fishing competitively with gulp on jigheads to redfish or snook feeding back in mangroves/oysters I'll use my Mag Bass GLX so I can feel the exact second the fish picks up the bait and set the hook hard, thus increasing the chance that I'll get him before he wraps me up.

    But no, it doesn't matter the majority of the time. Speak up if you've ever caught a snook this big, and check out the Ugly Stick he's using.


    Edit: it's hard to see it's an ugly stick, but here's the link. It's ugly. http://bigfishesoftheworld.blogspot.com/2013/02/snook-centropomus-spp.html
  • JettyparkJettypark Posts: 1,969 Captain
    LOL... I always crack up when threads like this come along... and trust me i'm not putting it down..
    just some of the zillion of replies that you will get about getting a $$$$$$$$$$ rod :grin... go to any
    pier and look around for the locals that actually catch fish and never say anything.. I bet you anything
    that they are fishing with "El Cheapo rod" ... hell I bet some wont even have a tip on their rods.. yet they
    still outfish people with $$$$$ gear...

    It all boils down to "Skill" more then anything else... People hate the word Uglystik but I have a few and love
    them.. if they break no biggie I go out an buy a new one..

    I fell on the rocks with my St Croix Rod and busted the tip... you talk about getting sick :banghead there are just
    places when its best to have something that's a work horse instead of a show horse... :wink

    Here is my take> Get what you can afford and I have to disagree with the reel just being a line holder :huh the
    reel is the heart of the setup> get a cheap reel and you will pay for it.. get a cheap rod (that has the right action)
    and you won't notice anything.... so what if its a couple of ounces more then a $$$$$$$$$ rod... I hear people
    talking about but the rod weights 4 ounces more then this model... good lord man.. do some push ups :blowkiss

    Also if you ever watch fishing shows> look at some of the rods in the background of the guides boat...
    I bet you anything its a Uglystik LOL...
    aa13.gif"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons"
  • Guitarshredder1Guitarshredder1 Posts: 354 Officer
    Ugly stiks are da best. Any bass guys excited to try out the new gx2? It seems pretty cheap, but decent for the price...
    www.afrcustomtackle.zxq.net
    Custom Rods, Lures, and Flies

    [email protected]
    407-913-4803 (Leave a message or text)
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    Jettypark wrote: »
    LOL... I always crack up when threads like this come along... and trust me i'm not putting it down..
    just some of the zillion of replies that you will get about getting a $$$$$$$$$$ rod :grin... go to any
    pier and look around for the locals that actually catch fish and never say anything.. I bet you anything
    that they are fishing with "El Cheapo rod" ... hell I bet some wont even have a tip on their rods.. yet they
    still outfish people with $$$$$ gear...

    It all boils down to "Skill" more then anything else... People hate the word Uglystik but I have a few and love
    them.. if they break no biggie I go out an buy a new one..

    I fell on the rocks with my St Croix Rod and busted the tip... you talk about getting sick :banghead there are just
    places when its best to have something that's a work horse instead of a show horse... :wink

    Here is my take> Get what you can afford and I have to disagree with the reel just being a line holder :huh the
    reel is the heart of the setup> get a cheap reel and you will pay for it.. get a cheap rod (that has the right action)
    and you won't notice anything.... so what if its a couple of ounces more then a $$$$$$$$$ rod... I hear people
    talking about but the rod weights 4 ounces more then this model... good lord man.. do some push ups :blowkiss

    Also if you ever watch fishing shows> look at some of the rods in the background of the guides boat...
    I bet you anything its a Uglystik LOL...

    Agreed. The best fisherman I know, who wins more tournaments than he looses and is a plethora of knowledge of the subject of fishing, uses TFO rods... Because he likes the company. He could out fish just about anyone with a bamboo rod. And although I'm personally guilty of having some pricey stuff, it's because fishing is my favorite hobby and I enjoy using this particular gear more than the alternative. In some situations like the one I outlined in my previous post it makes my life easier and thus more enjoyable. More expensive sticks don't make you a better fisherman.
  • mikevmikev Posts: 10,822 AG
    With few exceptions, all the rods I've ever owned were Ugly Stiks. They are just fine, for me anyway.
    "The only people that tell you it can't be done are the people who haven't done it themselves."
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,212 Moderator
    A reel for light tackle live bait application... Yeah, glorified line holder IMO for trout, snapper, ladyfish, etc as described above. Given the fact that he's wade fishing with live bait I'd want to make sure I had a long enough rod for good casts, slow enough to gradually load up and set hook on a freespooled trout, but fast enough to keep bait low when casting into the wind or when setting hook on other species with a more bony mouth.

    live baiting with 1 or 2 pounds if drag, though.... Nah, I really don't care what kind of reel it is. Think fly fishing...
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • ScullerSculler Posts: 115 Officer
    A reel for light tackle live bait application... Yeah, glorified line holder IMO for trout, snapper, ladyfish, etc as described above. Given the fact that he's wade fishing with live bait I'd want to make sure I had a long enough rod for good casts, slow enough to gradually load up and set hook on a freespooled trout, but fast enough to keep bait low when casting into the wind or when setting hook on other species with a more bony mouth.

    This is sorta what i don't understand, very technical. Not saying it doesn't make sense or questioning, sorry if it sounds that way, just asking.
    His dad catches pretty much everything inshore up to large snook while fishing near docks, and tarpon with that setup. He has a nice reel though with light 8-12 lb mono line. Very skilled fishermen, but regardless the gear doesn't hinder him at all. So if that's the case whats the point in dwelling that far into a 'glorified' stick. The reel on the other hand I've always felt was very useful to have a nice one. I've paid with many fish to cheap reels due to 'sticky' drag getting caught, the reel breaking, plastic cracking, getting dunked once and completely stopping working.... but the rod just seems to be a stick, but some are more comfortable to the angler for handling and maybe making throwing a light jig easier (but with experience 'his dad' could toss a free lined bait fish to the moon using that rod and mono)
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,212 Moderator
    PM
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    Most of my rods cost $100+ because they are light and feel good. If you need justification to spend $29 for a rod go ahead.:kick
  • mikevmikev Posts: 10,822 AG
    bonephish wrote: »
    Most of my rods cost $100+ because they are light and feel good. If you need justification to spend $29 for a rod go ahead.:kick

    Backwards. I need justification for spending $100 when $29 will do. :grin
    "The only people that tell you it can't be done are the people who haven't done it themselves."
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    There are dudes who would probably outfish most of us with no rod or reel, just hand lining them. I think sometimes we grossly overstate the importance of the gear we use. Maybe it's to justify the thousands we spend on gear when some dudes do it with a rod they got for free :)
  • Jack HexterJack Hexter New Port RicheyPosts: 4,912 Moderator
    Jim311 wrote: »
    There are dudes who would probably outfish most of us with no rod or reel, just hand lining them. I think sometimes we grossly overstate the importance of the gear we use. Maybe it's to justify the thousands we spend on gear when some dudes do it with a rod they got for free :)


    And therein lays the need for, at least, a moderately expensive rod. It's called sensitivity. When handlining, there is no intermediate medium between you and the fishing line to feel the bite. When using a rod & reel, the bite must be transmitted down the rod before you feel it. A lot of research has gone into the "expensive" rods to let one feel the bite. You are not paying, for the most part, for material, you are paying for the research done to develop sensitivity.
  • Ol'DirtyCasterOl'DirtyCaster Posts: 2,377 Captain
    Fish what you want and quit worrying about what the guy next to you is using. I will say this, I spend 200+ days a year on the water and know every guide in the county and not a single one of them is on Shakespeare's "pro staff".
  • tenacioustenacious Posts: 124 Deckhand
    i lived in Bermuda for a little over a year and the locals fished from land with hand lines. even a lot of the commercial guys only used hand lines to bottom fish. i saw a guys hand cut up pretty good from wrenching in a big rockfish (black grouper). if you can catch fish, anything will work i guess.

    there is a guy up here that was catching 20lb-30lb stripers on a spongebob rod an reel for his fishing show.

    i have cheap rods and expensive ones. i came across a great deal on a st croix avid ac70hf with a calcutta 300te reel, so that was my introduction to the "expensive stuff". after using that setup, i never looked back at the cheap stuff again.
    that setup is the most versatile combo that i have ever used. I've caught everything from perch, tautog,flounder, stripers, drum,to medium sharks, etc. it is light enough to jig flounder all day but has enough backbone to pull in 60 - 70lb black drum.

    the thing to consider about the cheap stuff is this: your gear will only fail when you need it to work. is saving $50 dollars worth losing a once in a lifetime fish? if you can afford nice gear, treat yourself.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    tenacious wrote: »
    i lived in Bermuda for a little over a year and the locals fished from land with hand lines. even a lot of the commercial guys only used hand lines to bottom fish. i saw a guys hand cut up pretty good from wrenching in a big rockfish (black grouper). if you can catch fish, anything will work i guess.

    there is a guy up here that was catching 20lb-30lb stripers on a spongebob rod an reel for his fishing show.

    i have cheap rods and expensive ones. i came across a great deal on a st croix avid ac70hf with a calcutta 300te reel, so that was my introduction to the "expensive stuff". after using that setup, i never looked back at the cheap stuff again.
    that setup is the most versatile combo that i have ever used.
    I've caught everything from perch, tautog,flounder, stripers, drum,to medium sharks, etc. it is light enough to jig flounder all day but has enough backbone to pull in 60 - 70lb black drum.

    the thing to consider about the cheap stuff is this: your gear will only fail when you need it to work. is saving $50 dollars worth losing a once in a lifetime fish? if you can afford nice gear, treat yourself.

    This is consistent with the experience most people I know have had at some point. There's a serious leap between $30 rods and $130 rods. The leap between $130 and $230 is more subtle.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,212 Moderator
    This is consistent with the experience most people I know have had at some point. There's a serious leap between $30 rods and $130 rods. The leap between $130 and $230 is more subtle.

    Bingo! Pay 60-70% of the most expensive rod and get 90-95% of the performance top-shelf.

    I buy my rods going the shelf that has "about" what i'm looking for. I pick each one up, play with it, load it up on floor easily, and then narrow it down to two or three. At that point I grab some line.... most decent shops will lend you a spool of line for such a purpose, and then actually load the whole thing. With heavy tackle this requires a second hand, but with light tackle an overhand knot on a rod rack will suffice (read my initial post about reels not mattering for light tackle) and then feel that rod. I do that with my top three. Then pick my favorite and THEN look at the price. Half the time the best rod is the one priced right in the middle. Sometimes it's the cheapest. OCASSIONALLY it's the most expensive. In that case I ask myself just how much better is it. Most of the times I put it back on the rack. On one occasion ever, have I done this and ended up with the most expensive rod. Happened once... and it was 2001... guess what? A live bait 7' trout rod. Still have it. Bout it in 2001 and last spring landed a 40lb cobia on it. blah blah blah. Only time I've boutght the most expensive off-the-shelf rod in a given type I was looking for.
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
  • SuperFlukeSuperFluke Posts: 1,889 Captain
    It seems to me that some folks spend more effort rationalizing cheap gear, than rationalizing expensive gear. At least on the ol' interwebs anyhow.
  • bonephishbonephish Posts: 1,488 Officer
    bonephish wrote: »
    Most of my rods cost $100+ because they are light and feel good. If you need justification to spend $29 for a rod go ahead.:kick
    SuperFluke wrote: »
    It seems to me that some folks spend more effort rationalizing cheap gear, than rationalizing expensive gear. At least on the ol' interwebs anyhow.

    Well said my friend.
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,961 Captain
    Jim311 wrote: »
    There are dudes who would probably outfish most of us with no rod or reel, just hand lining them. I think sometimes we grossly overstate the importance of the gear we use. Maybe it's to justify the thousands we spend on gear when some dudes do it with a rod they got for free :)

    Hate to break it to you but I'm that dude.

    I **** excellence!
  • cprcpr Posts: 9,309 Admiral
    My experience cheap $20 rods break easier and while I liked Ugly sticks I had major problem with the guides falling out. The worst cheap rod was the BPS graphite rod I got on sale of under $30. The tips busted off 3 inches below the top on all 3 and so did the one I got as a warrantee replacement. Now I'm up to $50 calico jack rods and can tell a difference when fighting a big fish.
    "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function." F. Scott Fitzgerald

    "Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future." Niels Bohr
  • troutman561troutman561 Posts: 575 Officer
    Quality of components such as reel seats, guides, etc play a role. Some of my best redfish have been caught on a cheap light Ugly stick. But they fell apart and I can whip the same size redfish in half the time on my Star rod because it has some backbone and helps subdue the fish. Rods are much more than a stick. Try to effectively fish a top water with a slow action tip cheap rod for instance.
  • congoman775congoman775 Posts: 1,395 Officer
    The best advice I can give someone who is 100% happy with thinking rods are just a stick and wouldn't spend more than $20-30 bucks would be to never fish with something in the $100-150 range. I was that guy some years ago and I couldn't go back after feeling the difference.
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    I have a couple Ugly Sticks. They were my first rods and I've caught some nice fish with them but you do get a better rod for a little more. I think the spot where value and quality meet best is somewhere in the $75-$125 price range. There are some decent rods under that range though. One thing I hate about expensive rods is constantly worrying about them. Takes the fun out of fishing for me.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • DKDDKD Posts: 375 Deckhand
    I caught a 150# tarpon this year on a Shimano FX rod (8ft, 10-25#) that I bought on clearance for $12. Picked it up as a spare rod and never expected much out of it. I wouldn't want to use it for throwing jigs, but for bait it works just fine.
  • rysherrysher Posts: 381 Deckhand
  • rysherrysher Posts: 381 Deckhand
    as most about everything we own, be familiar with the tool you have and you will understand how to use it right. learn the characteristic of the fishing rod that you ahve, understand how deep it bends, know how stiff/flimsy the tip is, how sensitive it is, how much backbone it has and based the reaction of your hand (setting the hook) to those factors. any person woulndt have a hookset ratio of close to 100% if he don't know his equipment (and some luck). the more you use the fishing rod you have, the more you'll understand its characteristics.

    And with regards to a $30 rod to a $150 rod, yes there's a difference performance-wise, but can they catch the same fish? yes, of course why not as long as both has the same rating. just like driving a corolla and a ferrari, both cars will take you from point a to point b, the difference is in the experience in getting there. just like with our rod comparison, the experience in handling a 30# fish on a $30 rod compared to $150 is the difference and you wont know the difference until you try both.

    btw, i've never been inside a ferrari before.

    i dont doubt those uglystik users, they are one of the msot versatile rod, they are good at everything but not the best in anything.
  • duckmanJRduckmanJR Posts: 20,686 AG
    " It's not the tomahawk.....It's the INDIAN "

    I can catch fish on junk...or on nice stuff... the gear won't magicly make you a better fisherman.

    What a "decent" rod in the $80 - $120 range will do is make it more comfortable for YOU to cast for longer periods of time with less fatigue....
    There are many roads to travel
    Many things to do.
    Knots to be unraveled
    'fore the darkness falls on you
  • Anclote KeyAnclote Key Posts: 2,354 Officer
    DKD wrote: »
    I caught a 150# tarpon this year on a Shimano FX rod (8ft, 10-25#) that I bought on clearance for $12. Picked it up as a spare rod and never expected much out of it. I wouldn't want to use it for throwing jigs, but for bait it works just fine.

    I have one of those FX shimanos too in a 7' medium. Its a pretty good rod but mine is already rusting near the reel.

    That's one thing about salt water. The corrosions beats up less expensive gear because of the materials. I think in freshwater you can get by with much less.
    The two best times to fish is when it’s rainin’ and when it ain’t. –Patrick F. McManus
  • fishboyfishboy Posts: 1,326 Officer
    DKD wrote: »
    I caught a 150# tarpon this year on a Shimano FX rod (8ft, 10-25#) that I bought on clearance for $12. Picked it up as a spare rod and never expected much out of it. I wouldn't want to use it for throwing jigs, but for bait it works just fine.

    I use the same rod for pompano fishing. Good rod, but I used braid, and it jacked up the guides. Gonna replace it before the season starts again...
Sign In or Register to comment.