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How To Choose A Fishing Rod For Saltwater?

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How To Choose A Fishing Rod For Saltwater?

We will tell you how to find the best saltwater rod.

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Knowing the difference

Knowing the difference and how each saltwater fishing rod works will help you to determine what style you’re looking for.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner 0=””][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_single_image image=”28646″ img_size=”350×350″ onclick=”img_link_large”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_column_text 0=””]

Weather You Are An Expert Or Beginner Angler

Weather you are an expert or beginner angler you will need to understand the differences in rod action to find what’s best suited for your every specific need.

You may be going for light or even heavy jigging, you may want a rod for the best casting distance or more precision based casting. Maybe you are trolling or deep-dropping.

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Let’s explore the different types of rod materials.

Rod Materials

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GRAPHITE: Graphite is a performance based material. This material is an excellent choice for detecting subtle bites and strikes also the feel when fighting different types of fish. One thing to know about graphite rods, they are brittle also wear and tear can weaken these graphite blanks which of course means more chances of breaking.

FIBERGLASS: This is the most common saltwater fishing rod. Fiberglass is durable and flexible. It is also a very strong material. Taking these types of rods in the rough sea is no challenge for a fiberglass rod. One thing to know about fiberglass rods, they are heavy which makes it sometimes difficult for fishermen to pickup or detect when fish bite or strike.

HYBRID / NEW GENERATION COMPOSITE: These type of rods are a cross between both fiberglass and graphite. It gives you the best of both worlds. The lightweight feel of a graphite rod but the durability and performance of a fiberglass rod because of this, this type of rods especially the top quality rods are rated for 200 pound test lines but they pack a punch in such a small size such as a 15lbs to 20lbs baitcasting rod.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]


Depending on your blank material, wall thickness and length also the action which is determined by how far the rod can bend when extended.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]Will make or break your rod performance. Rods with fast to extra fast action are based and best used for accuracy when casting. These are also good for large lures and baits for big sized fish.

A medium / slow action is best suited for distance when casting. These are great for live bait as well as smaller baits and lures. There are a lot of different actions that come in between the two for better performance based on what you are aiming for.

You also have what is known as a parabolic action which helps with casting distance. Sometimes its confused with fast / extra fast actions but it’s actually the exact opposite. Only when a fast action rod is under pressure it will bend and only a small section of the rod generally the tip but the rest of the rod will stay firm. With this it will have the needed strenght and power to control the fish. These rods will strive when using large live bait of certain fishes which includes sailfish, herrings, blue runners etc. It is also great for jigging with decent sized live baits of the same type of species.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]


When it comes to accuracy it’s best to use fast / extra fast action rods which will give you more power and speed to cast a lure / live bait. However you will notice that it will reduce the distance when casting compared to the medium / slow action rods except for when heavy lures and live bait is used.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]An example would be using a large live bait or lure with a 7 foot fast action rod while fishing for mahi. The heavy weight of that bait will allow you to cast at a farther distance compared to using a small lure.

When fishing in shore sometimes the loud sound of a large live bait hitting the water can sometimes scare fish away but using a light weight rod with a medium action will allow you to cast more accurately using lighter lures and baits.

When it comes to medium / slow action rods the bend in the rod will be more than a fast action rod from the tip of the rod down to the middle of the rod. The bend on slow action rods are way more than that of a medium or fast action rod.

With more bend in the rod gives it more power to cast as it loads on the bend but one thing to remember is with this bend action it will leave the rod less stiff toward the top of the rod and your accuracy when casting won’t be as great.

In general the combination of the softer delivery is actually preferred when casting live bait from a distance and with this your bait has a lesser chance of flying off the hook when casting. If you use a medium to slow action rod they make a great rod for light jigging.

With medium to slow action rods they give better performance when it comes to hook sets. However with fast action rods fishermen sometimes get their lure pulled away because of the stiffness in the rod. Given the extra time with a medium action rod gives a better chance for the game fish to fully bite your bait and set in and give a nice solid hookup. Also with the extra play in a medium to slow action rod gives it a lesser chance that your fish will pull apart from the hook and also prevents your line from breaking with those sudden tugs and heavy pressure especially when the fish is jumping out of the water.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]


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1. FAST ACTION RODS: Fast action rods have flex near the top of the pole.

2. MEDIUM ACTION RODS: Medium action rods grant a longer cast and better hook set

3. SLOW ACTION RODS: Slow action rods bend farther down towards the middle of the pole but gives more power in a longer cast.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]


Let’s talk about rod power which shouldn’t get confused with rod action. Rod power determines how powerful the pole is and normally classified by the strength in the line.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]For example a heavy rod will be best suited for lines ranging from 80 to 130 pound test. These are most frequently used for trolling for ahi, tuna, marlin and giant trevally (ULUA). These rods are generally a part of the hybrid / new generation composite rods. Great for fighting blue and yellowfin tuna.

Ultralight rods are used for lines with an 8 pound class such as seatrout, striped bass and other various small game fish.

Light rods are used with 10 to 20 pound lines.

Medium rods are used with 20 to 30 pound lines

Medium heavy rods are used with 30 to 80 pound lines.

Above is just an example and it will vary depending on the manufacturer and material of your rod.

Hybrid / new generation composite rods are equipped to handle 130 – 200 pound lines.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]


Depending on the type of fishing you plan to do as well as the strength of your line will require the proper combination of both action and power.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]When it comes to length the longer your rod is the further your distance of casting should be. Shorter rods will provide much better leverage and handling.

So if you decide to go with a 12 to 20 pound line then you may want to get a 7 foot fast / extra fast action rod using live bait or lures.

Medium action rods you’ll want smaller lures or small live bait.

If you want to cast 8 to 12 pound line consider a 7 foot light to medium rod with a medium action.

If it’s distance you’re after then consider a 7 and a half foot or larger rod.

If you’re trolling or jigging a shorter rod than 7 foot would be a better choice. The most common length for jigging or trolling would be around 6 foot. Even when it comes to stand up fishing.

If you want the upper hand on fish requiring 50 to 100 pound lines then you’ll want to get a 6 to 6 1/2 foot medium heavy rod with fast action.

It definitely takes some thought to select the proper rod for your specific style. Now that you have a better understanding of the different factors when choosing the right saltwater fishing rod look at the different characteristics and combination of each rod and try to determine what you are after.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”grad” bg_override=”full” font_color=”#0a0a0a” bg_grad=”background: -webkit-gradient(linear, left top, left bottom, color-stop(0%, #FBFBFB), color-stop(50%, #FAFAFA), color-stop(100%, #FAFAFA));background: -moz-linear-gradient(top,#FBFBFB 0%,#FAFAFA 50%,#FAFAFA 100%);background: -webkit-linear-gradient(top,#FBFBFB 0%,#FAFAFA 50%,#FAFAFA 100%);background: -o-linear-gradient(top,#FBFBFB 0%,#FAFAFA 50%,#FAFAFA 100%);background: -ms-linear-gradient(top,#FBFBFB 0%,#FAFAFA 50%,#FAFAFA 100%);background: linear-gradient(top,#FBFBFB 0%,#FAFAFA 50%,#FAFAFA 100%);” css=”.vc_custom_1420539889707{padding-top: 90px !important;}”][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]

How to Choose the Right Saltwater Reel

Don’t be cheap!

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The Right Saltwater Reel

Now you know how to choose the right saltwater rod. It’s time to equip that bad boy with the right reel.

When it comes to fishing it can get quite expensive but if you want the right tool you need to pay the price.

Even if you’re just a hobby angler you’d want the best and a cheap reel just won’t cut it in the harsh conditions of saltwater.

You don’t necessarily need the top of the line stuff but a decent mid-range priced reel will do.

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Make Sure It’s Braid Friendly

Your reel should be braid friendly and not all reels handle braid very well and a lot of them perform very poorly with braid. Some bail rollers have tiny gaps located on the end which thing braid can bind in.

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Capacity is huge. Make sure the reel you choose can equip the right amount of line for the type and size you are going for. If you plan to fish deep waters then be sure you have the right line capacity for your adventure.

If you plan to fish inshore then you don’t want a heavy spinning reel and capacity doesn’t need to be as large as if you were to fish deeper waters.

Keep it light for offshore use. A lighter reel will allow you to fish much greater lengths and your fishing trip will last longer. It also puts less stress and strain on your arms and shoulders.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]

How Much Drag Do I Need?

The average angler can hold onto a rod with about 20 pounds of drag pressure for a few minutes. Think of it like doing 1 pull up and just hanging there. So buying a reel with 50 pound drag isn’t necessary unless you’re a professional bodybuilder or the incredible hulk.

The average adult can handle up to 17 pounds while still maintaining comfortability.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]

Take A Closer Look At Components

Another key factor is paying attention to the components in the reel you’re interested in. How much bearings? What material, etc. Also consider corrosion protection. Not all reels are created equal and some are better than others. Some have sealed bearings and internal gaskets. Some also have protective coatings.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]

Take Handle Design Into Consideration

A very important factor when it comes to reels are the design of the handle. The handle needs to feel comfortable for you. This is something a lot of people overlook but it’s the key details that matter. You want to fight the fish comfortably and have a nice comfortable grip on the handle. Basically the handle needs to feel good for you.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text 0=””]

Ball Bearings

Most spinning reels have ball bearings in bail line rollers you may want to consider steering away from those especially when choosing to do saltwater fishing. That’s the perfect place for salt to collect making your reels freeze up. If you do decide to go that route just be sure to clean and maintain your reel after every fishing adventure.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row bg_type=”theme_default” css=”.vc_custom_1420539877433{margin-top: 40px !important;margin-bottom: 50px !important;}”][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]

Official ULUA Brand

Well we covered saltwater rods and reels. If you made it this far congratulations. I know this was a long post but information is the key to success.


Be sure to check our other write ups and if you’re in the market for the next best fishing apparel check out our main site at

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