Home Fishing Tips & Advice How Long Should My Fishing Rod Be?

How Long Should My Fishing Rod Be?

Choosing the right fishing rod is important and you should have the right length rod for your personal needs and goals. There are some helpful tips to ensure you pick the right rod for every fishing situation, so keep reading. 

To answer the question, for more accurate casts, use a fishing rod that is less than 6.5 feet. For longer casts (but less accurate), use a fishing rod more than 6.5 feet. Depending on your fishing environment, the correct fishing rod can make all the difference.

How to Choose the Right Fishing Rod

Many anglers focus all of their attention on choosing the right rod material and its action. However, while these things are important, you need to also consider the length of the rod to ensure you choose the right one for you and your fishing situation. 

The rod materials are also highly important but they are only one of the factors that you need to consider. Almost all good-quality fishing rods nowadays are made of fiberglass, graphite, or a composite mix of the two. Graphite is usually considered to be lighter and more sensitive to movement in comparison to fiberglass and is best suited to jig-fishing or fishing with plastic worms. Fiberglass is usually more forgiving and softer than graphite which makes it perfect for fishing with triple-hooked rigs. Composite rods meet somewhere in the middle. 

The rod’s action and movement are also highly important. If fishing with a light line, a light-action rod is usually the best choice. For a medium or heavy action rod, triple-hooked lures, spinner-baits, buzz-baits or bladed-jigs work best as they are fast and reactive. A heavy-action rod is a perfect choice for single-hook bait such as jigs or plastic worms for use in pitching and flipping techniques. 

Despite the importance of choosing the right rod material and action, the length is often overlooked. The length of the rod can have a huge impact on your fishing abilities and your success. 

What Difference Does the Rod Length Make?

In the past few decades, the standards of rod lengths have altered significantly. Previously, most bass-rods were composed of fiberglass and were about five feet in length. Reels did not work as smoothly as they do today and could not cast normal bait very fair. However, it was considered to be necessary to be able to reach thirty feet on a cast. 

As the technology and equipment advanced and developed, the flipping technique became popular and in turn, the standard rod length became two feet longer than the previous standard. Anglers saw the advantages and benefits of a longer rod. The flipping technique is an underhand, fixed-line method which is great for casting lures to around twenty feet. This didn’t significantly alter angler’s casting lengths, but it did change the way anglers viewed their rods. 

Anglers began to notice the advantages and benefits of using longer rods and manufacturers began to produce a range of longer rods for every fishing technique, not just the flipping method. Longer fishing rods and casts meant lures such as crank-baits which sink deeper with a longer cast were used more often. Longer casts also enabled advancements in fishing in clear water, where the fish can see the angler if they are too close. 

Advancements made longer rods normal in all types of fishing. Today the standard length is about six and a half to seven feet in length. 

How Does Rod Length Affect Accuracy?

Shorter fishing rods generally mean more accurate casts. A shorter rod is easy to manage and maneuver and does not require as much energy from the anger as they will need to put less effort into the motion and flex of the cast. 

A short rod of six feet or less is perfect if you are looking to make extremely short but accurate casts. When exact accuracy is necessary, a short rod is the right choice. However, when accuracy is not an issue, a longer rod of over seven feet is a better option. If you are fishing in dark or dirty water or water with heavy cover, you may need more accuracy in casting, and a short rod will be useful. 

How Does Rod Length Affect Distance?

Longer rods enable anglers to cast longer more easily. If you cast forty yards with a heavy bait, your rod needs to be at least seven feet long. You will also want to ensure you have a smooth, quality reel and the main line that has a thin diameter for best results. 

When you gain casting distance, you will also lose accuracy. No angler will be as accurate when casting over one hundred feet as thirty feet, but if the water is clean and clear or you need to gain extra depth, a longer rod and a longer casting distance is the right option. 

How Does Rod Length Affect Leverage?

Longer rods are heavier and offer more leverage than a shorter and lighter rod. This type of leverage is important if you are using a hook-set where the rod can move more of the line quicker than a short rod can. A heavier rod also maintains more energy as it will flex less than a shorter, softer rod. 

For triple-hook baits keeping tension on the fish is more important than the penetration of the hook, thus a longer rod is more convenient. When fishing with the flipping, or pitching method or with a plastic worm, it may be necessary to send a single-hook deeper. However, if you are casting a crank-bait with more than one hook, a lighter rod is usually more helpful. Longer rods are usually most helpful once the fish has actually been caught. 

How Does Rod Length Affect Comfort?

Comfort is a personal thing and it is important to think carefully about what you want. Just because a longer rod is recommended, it does not mean that it is the right choice for you. If you are not extremely tall and strong, you should choose your rod to suit your length. If you are taller, a longer rod will likely suit you better than if you are shorter. 

To Sum Up

Choosing the right rod length is vital if you want to catch more fish. Rod length will affect accuracy, distance, leverage, and comfort when you are fishing, so it is important to make the right choice.