Selecting a Spinning Rod for River Bass Angling By Don Dusanic Bass Articles Bass Fishing Articles
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Selecting a Spinning Rod for River Bass Angling By Don Dusanic


Last year, I began fishing a local river while targeting smallmouth bass as quarry for the first time in my life. I'd caught them incidentally while fishing tailwater areas and dam faces before, but I'd never fished river sections for them. My residence is located near some good water for these prized fighters, so I did some reading about techniques and equipment. Eventually, I tried several combinations of spinning outfits, which lead me to write this article. I wanted to write this from the viewpoint of someone who wants to purchase a spinning rod that would not only be adaptable to a wide variety of lure weights, but would be relatively sensitive, comfortable to fish with, and affordable as well.


Currently, I use one of several, six-foot long spinning rods at different times when wading the river. My favorite three are of the same make and model. They have a designed lure weight range from 1/16 to 1/2 oz. Keep the rod's recommended lure weight rating in mind when you select a rod. The wider the range, the greater your lure weight options will be when fishing this length. Most times, the recommended line weight range will be wider as well. My favorites have a line test range of 6 to 12 lb. test. This wide range will give you more options when selecting various sizes of baits and will allow you to maximize your casting distance.





A six-foot rod from a given manufacturer's model line should weigh less than a longer model. If I'm wading for several hours, I prefer the lightest weight rod that I can get by with to cast the lures I want to present on that fishing day. In the areas I fish on the river, I can generally use these particular rods to cast from shore-to-shore depending on how I balance my line and lure weight.


The table below displays some characteristics of the two general types of graphite rods. This is just my opinion based solely on my experience with fishing rod blanks.







Blank Characteristic High Modulus Graphite Low Modulus Graphite
Sensitivity Greater Lesser
Casting Effort Greater Lesser
Casting Accuracy Lesser Greater
Strike Detection Greater Lesser
Rod Weight Lesser Greater



Your application should determine what type of rod to select. Don't get caught up in the "name game" concerning rods. Choose the one best suited to your fishing needs, as good rods do not have to be expensive. Rod tapers are much more important than the latest high modulus rod blank. To me, the thinner the taper and greater the flexibility toward the tip, the greater the casting accuracy I can achieve, even at the expense of some additional weight in the blank. Generally, lower modulus graphite rods tend to "load" better. They absorb the energy developed from the lure's momentum on the backcast and then transfer it more efficiently to the cast's forward motion.


The line size to use with your rod will depend on the lure weight. The lighter the lure, the lighter the line I use. I carry spare reel spools of 6 and 8 lb. test with me when I go, and fish with 8 lb. test most of the time. I prefer hybrid nylon-fluorocarbon copolymer lines for their strength and abrasion resistance to rocks. They stretch much less than regular monofilament line and provide greater sensitivity. Braided lines have characteristics much different from monofilament, fluorocarbon, and hybrid nylon-fluorocarbon lines. I do not use them, so they are omitted from this discussion.


Below is a table of line and lure weights that I use for my particular rod.





Lure Weight x Line Test 6 lb. Test Line 8 lb. Test Line 10 lb. Test Line
1/16 to oz. Lure X    
to oz. Lure   X 
oz.+ Lure     X



Jigs with bodies added will weigh more than their listed weight. There is a little overlap regarding lure weights and my choice of lines. I make my adjustments by carrying two spools of line for my reel and switch spools when appropriate. I look to maximize my casting distance with these combinations. Casting distance is more important to me than line diameter and its potential visibility to fish.


I purchase my rods on sale. Generally, they've come from bargain bins. I've purchased some $40 to $55 rods on sale from a department store for between $23 to $29. My favorite rod is an older Shimano Stimula, model SI60MHB. This rod's specifications appear in the second paragraph above. It is a low modulus graphite composition model and has a very thin tip when compared to rods of similar cost and length. The blank is one piece. This rod combines good sensitivity with nice casting distance. It's also one of the best spinning rods for the money that I've ever owned.


Finally, a six-foot, fully rigged rod will fit relatively easily into a mid-size auto, making transport and removal somewhat easier than with longer rods. However, two-piece rods of most lengths, will fit easily into a trunk or back seat of most vehicles when taken apart.


by BFHP Fishing News


     

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    7-11-2013

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