Fast Action vs. Slow Action
If a fishing rod is made from rigid material, it’ll pull back fast when you exert force on it– that’s why they call graphite fishing rods “fast action” rods. A stiff “fast action” graphite rod is great for reeling in large fish, but it’s a disadvantage when you’re trying to catch smaller stuff. Additionally, graphite rods will shatter if you yank on them too hard.
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If you want to be able to tell when smaller fish are nibbling your bait, you need a “slow action” fiberglass rod. Fiberglass rods are heavier than their graphite counterparts, but they’re also flexible and difficult to break.
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If you’re just starting out or aren’t sure what you want to fish for, it’s a good idea to purchase a high-quality composite rod that can be used in any fishing situation so that you can try fishing for several different types of fish. If you find that you’re great at catching a certain species, you may consider getting a specialty rod made just for catching your favorite type of fish.
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