Tips on Fishing Rod Selection Based on Power, Action and Length

H aving appropriate fishing gears is important in your daily fishing activities. With a wide range of baits/lures available in the market choosing a suitable rod(s) with good action, proper length and suitable power to cast the baits/lures is very important.

Many rods have been produced by manufacturers to ensure its ability balanced with other factors to give the angler an advantage when fishing. An effective angler can usually choose the perfect fishing setup according to their type of fishing. With right fishing gears allows the angler to make accurate bait/lure cast, do good lure presentation, get more fish strike and able to land a fish.


Lures Selection

Choosing a suitable fishing rod should start with a choice of bait / lures to be used. For example: Using a rod with slow action like fiberglass rod to hunt fish with crank baits or top water lures will make it more difficult and inappropriate. Although you can throw crank bait with slow action rod; distance, accuracy and the ability to land the fish will make the process become more difficult and quite miserable. Knowing the different parts of the rod and how this affects the selection of your fishing style when fighting the fish is the first step in selecting the appropriate rod.

Most ultralight rods the lures weight is usually at maximum weight of 7 grams but with the existence of new technologies in rod development now some rods able to cast up to 12 grams. But what’s the point playing ultralight game but you can cast light game lures? I don’t see it as ultralight personally because “ULTRALIGHT” so you got to use micro lures which normally rated from 7g and below.

All rod comes with lure weight ratings on the blank which to be used for reference, a guideline to be followed so as not to harm your rod. It can break your rod because the blank is not designed to carry loads more than recommended lure weight. So, it’s better to avoid than regret later.

When choosing a spinning or a bait casting rod, there are three basic things that need to be considered, namely:

1. Power
2. Action
3. Length

Good rod combination of Power and Action allows anglers to get a proper distance when casting and with appropriate techniques they are capable to cast the baits/lures more accurately. In addition with proper combination of rod length and good reel can provide more effective control on overall. All three of these elements will also prevent fatigue and frustration on the angler.

Rod Power

Power is the amount of pressure on a rod given by an angler. Heavy Action rods requires more pressure/force to bend, while Light Action rods does not require a lot of pressure to see it bend. Different rod powers are designed and engineered to efficiently handle a certain range of lure weights and line sizes.

Rod manufacturers have created several rod categories like Ultralight (UL), Light (L), Medium (M), Heavy (H), or Extra Heavy (EH). And can also have combination of above like Medium Light (ML) or Medium Heavy (MH). Rod manufacturers have made this rod classification since many years by appropriate rod power rating. Here’s an article you can read about Rod & Line Classification:

Rod Action

Action is common thing that always confused anglers because manufacturers tend to do mistakes by labeling their rod Action = Ultralight. When that happened they are always mix it and assume it’s the same with power. You may find some of your friends saying this “my rod is action is ultralight”. This is WRONG.

Action is the speed of the rod bending which returned to its original position. Meaning that if you have a “Fast Action” rod then it means your rod bending speed in the position of top guide to guide number 3 from above. While a moderate action will bend on the top half. As for the slow action rod which normally termed as “parabolic” will bend from lower guide number 3. However, this is dependent on the length of a rod. There are few common rod actions namely Fast, Moderate and Slow or today a combination of Moderate Fast, Extra Fast also exists. Get this right and you will start to understand what is rod/line classification.


Rod Length

The length of a rod is also very important to target your fish and suits the fishing area. It greatly influences the things that you will do to hunt the fish. For example: If you are fishing at shrubby trees area that will have high and low trees where doing an over-head cast is not suitable then rod length selection should be more shorter example 5’6 or below will be more ideal. Short fishing rod will make easy accurate cast and able to overcome all other challenges such as the interruption of trees, shrubs, narrow space that may interfere with your fishing activities.

Longer rods are usually associated with a casting distance. This is not entirely right because it needs an appropriate combination of action and power. Longer rod but has a Slow or Moderate action is less suitable to make a long cast because they usually have a backbone that is soft which designed for different goal. For example: Fiberglass rod with lots of wobbling is not a clever selection. Preferably the rod that has a Fast or Extra Fast action is much more convenient to get a cast farther.

Some anglers like longer rods because according to them it’s much better feel. Again not entirely agree with this because not everyone understands the reason longer rods are made. For me it’s more on target fish, lure types and also fishing area. We need to consider all these factors before anything else.


Selection of a suitable rod and target fish with lures is very important when we are looking for satisfaction in fishing. Anglers who prefer the feel over the amount of catches is more considerable anglers who understand the reason the rod is created by matching it with proper lures, reel and target fish. This is because they understand the purpose of a rod is made and how to get the maximum satisfaction.

Not all anglers really spend time to understand the purpose of a rod was designed for. And most of them never bother to find out why too. Some don’t even know most rods created for specific purpose, game style and based on target fish. These types of anglers are just followers. However, they are not to blame because they simply want to enjoy fishing without care too much on the details. These are usually all-rounder anglers.

Remember, each rod is specially made for certain fish and game. Understand them and try to stick to it in accordance with the capabilities that are tailored to. This is where you will begin to understand the concept of the real ultralight fishing where it’s about matching and balancing the setup with the target fish.

All the things we did in our Ultralight Anglers group in Facebook requires time, efforts, and the corresponding process step by step action not just throw everything and expect all anglers will understand. We have our own way and know what we are doing is based on the market situation and also levels of understanding and experience. This is where there will be some conflict in opinions.

Our advice is spare sometime to study about your setup and try to understand why they give ratings on the rod? Just for fun? What are the point ratings like poundage, lure weights, action and power written on the rod if it’s not meant to be followed? Better leave it empty and you can do whatever you want. Think for a moment…

Then once you understand try to “Balance” and “Matching” your setup properly. You will start to understand why.

Read more on Balance & Matching at:

What is Matching and Balancing in Ultralight Fishing?

Balance and Matching is the most important element in ultralight sport. Many do not understand this concept. Many people make the assumption that their setup to be the “best” and most suitable but the truth is far away. It may look okay for light-medium-heavy game not to follow the ratings given but not on ultralight.

Take the time to read and start to practice them. Spend time on-the-field not only by theory-reading because thru practical you will understand the relevance. Everything needs patience and sensitivity. Everything requires constant research. And everything takes a big heart to accept the knowledge that we give.

What is important; once you understand them, then everything will be resolved for you as an ultralight angler with knowledge. Remember this knowledge not only for ultralight but also for all kinds of fishing because it uses the same concept.

All information given is based on a best efforts to express our opinions and knowledge that has been acquired. Paragraph or inappropriate words may have been used and it is out of control because we have tried most wisely. If you have suggestions, please comment. We will make changes.

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