While you don’t need either to fish. You will definitely fish easier and have more fun using your rod and reel. Your spectrum of baits and lures you can use will be multiplied a zillion times and many techniques will open up for you. Plus if you are lucky, you will also have the distinguished honor or hooking your best buddy who, so happens to be at the wrong side at the wrong time of your casting sequence!! So let’s use them both.
Rods come in four basic types and then they branch out into species specific types. After specific types we have wood, aluminum, glass fiber, carbon fiber, magnesium, titanium and many other different types. All essentially catch fish after you may pay as little as 5 dollars or 3000 dollars. The four base rods are. Spinning Rod, Bait Casting Rod, Trolling Rod and Fly Fishing Rod. Now you can argue and add Ice Fishing, Crappie, Off shore angling, Surf Fishing and you will win. You name it, we have it. We know you don’t need it, but, we want you to buy it anyway. After all a bigger the size of your tackle, the better you look!
Reels also come in the same categories as the rods and of course the numerous confusing varieties. If, you see on TV or on a DVD. The pro’s have a special rod and reel for every known factor which can be thrown at them. Hell, they change equipment even if they are constipated I think. There is one difference between guys like you and me, and the pro. That difference is, who pays for the equipment?. The pro’s have their sugar daddies who pay for all their equipment, travel, lodging and fishing permits. After all, the pro’s job is to get sales going for these sugar daddies. A guy like you and me can buy a few rods and has to use them all. So we must choose our rods to be very flexible and they must perform multiple tasks.
When, I choose a rod. I first decide what my principal use for it will be. For e.g. I want to use a bait casting reel to fish worm. Then I want to use the senko, wacky and drop shot techniques. Now I need a 6 to 7’ feet rod with a Medium Heavy, Fast action for everything but the drop shot. Drop shot necessitates a Light to Medium action rod. (This is where your 15 dollar Shimano with a 10 dollar spinning reel shines.) So, finally, I do need two rods to do it all the things I want. If I was just using a senko and wacky rig I could have got away with a Medium Heavy rod…but, my want for using the drop shot screwed me up, and also my wallet.
When I choose a reel, I also think before I buy. If, you have ever been to a BassPro or a Cabelas store, without a plan. You will be like a kid in a candy store, buy what you do not need or worst, not know how to use it. Plan your purchase then purchase your plan. If I were just to use worms. I would stick to a medium speed bait casting reel. If I want to use worms and lures I would got for a fast action bait casting reel. If I were only going to use lures, then I would buy just a spinning reel with a Medium Action rod.
But, where the pedal meets the metal. There are no absolute hard and fast rules that you must use this rod for this technique and lure. You can worm fish with whatever rod and reel you have. You can also use spinner baits with your bait casting setup. If the river is flowing fast enough, you can tie a spoon and throw it in the water and it will flare too!! Most important, what you already own for equipment, probably works just like the one you want to buy. There are more anglers with more equipment they never use than ones who have just what they need and use. I am also a victim of owning stuff I will not be using.. unless I were to catch a Tiger Shark in a fresh water lake!
Here is a good example. People catch bass using fly fishing gear. But, no Pro Fishing store sells you fly fishing gear for bass. Does that ring a bell??
All right, now that I have managed to get you guys to throw away your thousand dollar setups and grab the biggest bamboo stick with a reel made out of a soup can. Let me talk a little about the advantages of using the right equipment.
If I were to use a spinner the whole day. It is much easier on your hands and technique to use a spinning setup. After all, why would you want to use a clumsy bait casting setup to retrieve your lure. This will tire your hands to end. On the other hand, If you were to use worms, you need two things, slow speed, high torque and a good feel for what kind of a party the worm is having underwater.
Worm fishing does require more specialized (read expensive) equipment compared to spinning equipment. The trigger on the rod has a sensor which gives you the feel for every movement the worm makes.
A good spinning rod should also transmit the vibrations made by your spinning lure all the way up to the handle and your hands. The simple idea is: when the fish strikes you should know, when you get stuck in some old log, you should also know. That is why, a cheap rod does not transmit all the vibrations to the handle and thus, the expensive rods, arrive on the scene.
Casting distances also vary according to the rod tip. A medium to fast action rods tip gives you longer casts. A stiff tip will reduce the distance. It is indeed an art to be able to cast with a Heavy Rod using a bait casting setup…one hand.
That brings us to your personal capabilities and, the help you have around. I can fish all day using my bait casting setup without one back lash or a problem. But, I had expert help around who taught me how to properly setup my reel. I, have helped friends who had bait casting equipment in the garage for years. Nobody, showed them how to use it and it was a misery, for these guys. If you are not sure you can use a particular piece of equipment, make sure you have someone you can help you before you take the plunge and shell out a few bucks. Manuals usually help, but sometimes they manage to confuse you too.
In conclusion, choose your equipment according to what you will use it for, ask yourself if you can really use it, keep it as light as possible. The guy selling you the equipment will usually be happy to see you off with the most expensive piece of gear he can net you with. And remember, a big reel is not the best, nor the longest rod. The right reel for you is what you feel comfortable with and you use it well. A right rod is the rod you can use for the type of fishing you do.
Happy Fishing.. next time… the worms arrive on the scene