Fishing at Sea - How to Choose the Right Rod.
Sea fishing can be a hugely rewarding experience. In addition to the sheer variety of species that inhabit the shores, coastlines and oceans of the world, itís a great way to relax while taking in some breathtaking scenery. That said, sea fishing can be a little trickier that fresh water fishing in many cases. This is mainly due to the huge variety of both environments and eco systems, which can be challenging for ever the most experience fisherman. Donít let that put you off though - while it can be a steep learning curve (especially for a beginner), the best place to start is by understanding which types of rod and gear youíll need for a foray into the ocean.
Types of Ocean Fishing
There are a number of ways to approach salt water fishing, and each approach often requires different rods and equipment as a result. In general, you can either fish from the shore or from a boat. Shore fishing is often a good way to start, as itís much cheaper than chartering a vessel. There are plenty of guides both online and in print that can give you some good starting tips for shoreline fishing, and it can make for a great day out with the family too.
In terms of shore angling, there are a number of rods to consider, each designed for a specific purpose (although some rods also cross over to other disciplines quite well). The beachcaster, bass rod, spinning rod, float rod, and fly rod are all designed for shore angling. Itís also worth noting that while sea angling rods are generally multi sectioned, you can also find telescopic or single piece rods as well.
If youíre planning on fishing on a boat, then there are a selection of specialised rods for just that. Boat fishing can be exciting and relaxing, although unless you own your own boat and are knowledgeable about the local waters, hiring a charter can be a cheaper option. Additionally, you wonít have to incur the additional costs a boat incurs, such as mooring and insurance. That said, even a small boat can be ideal for a fishing trip along the coast, and there are often some great deals to be found on boat insurance. Either way, the types of rods for boat fishing are comprised of downtide (or general purpose) rods, uptide casting rods, stand-up sticks, lure casting rods, long cast rods, and multi-tip rods.
Shoreline and Boat Rods
As already outlined, there are a number of rods for both shore and sea angling, and narrowing down which rod youíll need can often be a confusing experience. In order to help make that choice, a brief overview of each rodís speciality and focus can help ensure you make the right choice. Lets look at shoreline angling rods first.
Beachcasters are the best choice for beaches, rocky outcrops, or even piers. Generally a little longer than other rods, beachcasters have a fast action and strong, stiff butt section which helps increase casting distance.
Bass rods are essentially shorter versions of beach casters, originally designed to catch Bass, and are ideal for casting large but soft baits. Bass rods are also a good stand in for float rods.
Fly rods are much more affordable than they used to be, and are the best choice if youíre targeting mullet, bass, or seatrout.
Boat angling often requires a different approach, and it can be worth familiarising yourself with the basics before considering a rod.
General purpose rods, are despite their name, essentially designed for fishing on the drift or downtide from an anchored boat. That said, they perform well as an all rounder with regards to bait fishing, and have a fast to medium action. A 20lb general purpose rod will let you go after a decent variety of fish.
Uptide casting rods are also for drift fishing, and began life as beach casters customised for sea fishing.
If youíre going after large fish, then the stand-up stick is by far the best choice. This short rod is designed for use with a harness and acts as a very effective lever when fighting heavy fish.
Long match rods are a good choice if youíre fishing off a smaller or cramped boat, as the design allows for flick casting, and many are telescopic or based around a spigot. Meaning altering the length is easy.
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"Contributed by Jennifer Viner"