How To Choose A Fishing Rod

The ultimate guide to choosing your new fishing rod

Whether you are new to fishing, or an experienced angler, purchasing a new rod can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, or maybe even had the same thought yourself in the beginning; isn’t a fishing rod just a stick?

At Fishing Pioneer, we can assure you the answer is much more complicated than the question. But don’t let that deter you, we are here to help.

What type of action do I require? What is the best material for fishing rods?

At some point, every angler has asked themselves these, and many similar questions, I know I have. Luckily, we have compiled what I consider the ultimate guide to choosing a new rod. It can be a collapsible fishing rod, a surf rod, or a shorty, the possibilities and the construction are endless.

Cutting straight to the main points of consideration when looking for a new rod. Regardless of your style of fishing, or preferred catch; you will find all the answers to any questions you might have when buying a new fishing rod.

How To Choose A Fishing Rod
Chapter 1

How to Choose a Fishing Rod Material

Fishing rods are commonly constructed with fiberglass or graphite; each has its unique properties and uses. A rods material can affect the price and is, therefore, a big point to consider when buying a new rod.

However, the most significant impacting factor on material choice will be the type of fishing you are planning to do with it.

How to Choose a Fishing Rod Material


Introduced to the industry during the 1970s by Fenwick, graphite has become the most common material in the construction of Bass rods. A massive spike in popularity is down to the material property of graphite, displaying both high tensile strength and stiffness; sometimes known as the modulus.

But don’t be fooled by brands offering graphite rods as ‘high modulus’ this simply means that the rod is very stiff, but without the strength to back it up the rod becomes brittle and easily shatters under pressure.

The steps needed to create both high strength and stiffness/modulus in a graphite rod require extreme heat and can be expensive to manufacture. For this reason, high-end graphite rods can be a real budget stretcher.


As above, the modulus is how we measure the stiffness of the graphite and has nothing to do with the material used or the number of fibers in the material. Buying a rod thinking that high modulus is what you need, isn’t necessarily the best way of thinking.

A high modulus or very stiff, rod is not ideal for cranking or light line fishing. Because of this, the modulus is just a small part of the puzzle to contemplate when buying a new rod.


In use since the 1950s, fiberglass has been a staple of rod production ever since. Plenty of fishermen will choose a fiberglass rod when launching crankbaits, or situations when medium to slow action is needed.


If you fish a variety of different situations regularly, I would advise a composite rod. Composite rods are made from both graphite and fiberglass materials and potentially others.

When constructed like this, it is possible to get a rod that is the best of both; this can be quite the money saver for anglers on a budget.

If you have a penchant for fly fishing, and budget isn’t an issue bamboo constructed fly fishing rods may be for you. Known as ‘split cane’ across the UK these rods were most popular during the late 1800s until the introduction of fiberglass rods in the 1950s.

While not as popular as they once were, many anglers still opt to use bamboo rods regularly. Debate still rages in the fishing community about whether they are genuinely superior to modern fiberglass and graphite alternatives or not.

Chapter 2


Rod Length is measured from the rod tip to the butt of the handle and has a significant impact on casting ability. Smaller rods will cast shorter distances, the same is true for longer rods casting more considerable distances.


Both have advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation; shorter rods will have less flex, which is one in the pro column when fighting stronger species of fish. Longer rods, however, provide a much greater cast distance, which is perfect for deeper open water fishing.

Rod length can vary from six to twelve feet when choosing rod length; the primary focus will be on the type of fishing you intend to use the rod for. Fishing without a boat or from shore will demand a different kind of rod. Rods of roughly seven feet long are great for new anglers, having a balanced level of accuracy and casting distance.