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You could easily spend 1000's on a fishing rod and reel, but most casual fishers (and even some professionals) would be happier with anything more versatile and much less high-priced. After interviewing experts and paying much more than 80 hours testing spinning rods and reels, we’ve determined that pairing the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 rod with the Daiwa BG SW spinning reel makes the ideal all-about fishing outfit without having breaking the bank. This combo compares favorably to outfits costing twice as significantly.

The Daiwa BG SW and medium or medium-heavy Ugly Stik GX2 blend is a lot more versatile and resilient than something else in the exact same price tag selection. Investing significantly less indicates shedding out on prolonged-phrase durability paying much more implies you are paying out for characteristics made for certain types of fishing, or lighter-excess weight resources that are wonderful to have but needless for a standard-function fishing setup. (Daiwa’s 1500–2500 designs are excellent for tiny trout streams but can also handle light inshore fishing for spotted seatrout and flounder, whilst the greater 5000 and 8000 versions will deal with greater inshore species and maybe even small tuna and dolphinfish.)

Even so, if you by no means program on focusing on anything bigger than trout and small freshwater bass or small inshore saltwater species (about one to four pounds), you can get away with the ultra-light version of the Ugly Stik GX2 and a smaller sized BG SW reel (size 2500 or much less) and save a number of bucks. If you are fishing from shore in thick brush or in a narrow stream, take into account a shorter rod, down to five feet or even four feet 6 inches, for small creeks and brooks.

Compared with our previous pick, the Penn Battle II—not to mention several larger-finish Penn and Shimano reels—the BG SW is equipped with a much more durable rotor, as effectively as stronger, individual springs for the anti-reverse clutch (which keeps the reel from spinning backward), and most notably, the very exact same ball bearings included in Daiwa’s and Shimano’s most costly versions.

The BG SW’s layout allows trapped water (a frequent concern with braided line specifically) to drain by means of the reel. The drag mechanism is the very same 1 discovered in higher-finish $200-plus reels, but exclusive in the $a hundred range. This tends to make it comparable in durability to reels that cost twice as a lot.

People are our overall picks for individuals who aren’t entirely certain what type of fishing they want to emphasis on. But we also invested some time hunting into choices for individuals who have a greater idea of what they exclusively require.

First off, I had to choose what kind of rod and reel we would focus on, which was an easy choice—if you are going to very own only one fishing rod and reel, a spinning-rod-and-reel setup is the most versatile and the best to use.

In contrast with a baitcasting or fly-fishing setup, a spinning setup is much more relaxed to use and is typically less complicated to restore it also demands less finesse to cast. Believe of it as the “automatic transmission” version of a fishing rod and reel. If you’re beginning from absolutely nothing, a spinning outfit delivers the highest likelihood of success. If you’re a newbie, it is a lot less complicated to pick up than either of the other choices, and it is far less very likely to become tangled than a baitcasting setup.

Key functions of a fishing rod

In my 20-plus years of fishing, I’ve come to discover that when you’re buying for fishing rods—as for any tool—paying a small interest to a couple of key characteristics can be telling just before you even select up a single. The rod’s material, flexibility, sensitivity, and line-guidebook building all make a variation in how well the rod will perform and last.

As mentioned previously, bait-hucking fishers will want anything that is more delicate and flexible, although lure fishers will want some thing stiffer (recognized as “fast action” in fishing jargon). Most rods are produced out of fiberglass, graphite, or a mixture of both. The much more graphite in a rod, the lighter and stiffer it is, but such rods are also more brittle, so you wouldn’t want to hand a single to a three-12 months-old. Fiberglass is heavier but more flexible (“slow action”)—like a whipping stick—and almost not possible to break. For a beginner or an all-about angler, a mixture of both materials delivers the most versatile bundle: It provides you sufficient stiffness to adequately manipulate a lure, even though maintaining enough sensitivity for detecting tiny bites.

The next most crucial specification you will want to contemplate is the material that can make up the guides—the loops that lead, or guide, the line from the reel to the tip (the skinny finish) of the fishing rod. Lower-finish fishing rods (and numerous higher-finish ones, also) usually feature guides produced of both thin stainless steel or aluminum oxide (ceramic) frames holding low cost ceramic O-ring inserts (rings developed to protect the insides of the guides and stop line put on) that chip or corrode, and ultimately fail.

Additionally, the more pieces that make up the guidebook, the a lot more pieces with the likely to fall apart. A design and style with far more pieces means far more jointing and fastening, which usually demands glue. Given that fishing rods are usually exposed to sun, salt, sand, grime, fish parts, and standard wear and tear, glue is merely much less than best (as is plastic) a single piece of comparatively rustproof metal is incomparably sturdier.