How To Choose The Right Spinning Rod

By | March 9, 2016
How To Choose The Right Spinning Rod
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Need advice on how to choose a spinning rod and reel?

As I said before, to a BassHole, a fishing rod is a magic wand.fishing-tackle-1309602

You’ve thought about it long and hard, done some of your own research, and decided you want the ease of starting out with a nice spinning rod and reel combo.

Why a spinning rod?

  • Bass Pro Fishers might use baitcast rods (harder to master), but they ALSO use spinning gear, so why not start with that?
  • Spinning reels cast farther.
  • Spinning reels can use lighter lines and lighter lures.
  • Spinning outfits are typically easier on the budget.lone-fisherman-1316058
  • You do almost everything with a spinning rod you can do with a baitcasting rod.
  • You can learn to cast a spinning rod and reel in about 5 minutes!
  • As your casting skills improve, your spinning rod and reel will still support you.

I’ve already discussed the variables, options, and characteristics in my earlier post:

How To Choose A Rod And Reel

So let’s get right to it!

Recommendations

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Type: 6 1/2 Foot Medium ActionUgly Stik
Price: $49.95

Shakespeare is a great company which produces inexpensive equipment. I love their objective: “Make fishing easy and enjoyable.” I would add affordable!

I recommend a 6 1/2 foot or 7 foot medium weight spinning rod (I use a Shakespeare 7 foot medium weight Ugly Stik as one of my three primary rods). A spinning reel is easy to cast, and this setup will last you a very long time. The length of the rod is, at this point, personal preference. I prefer 7 foot because a longer rod will cast a longer distance. And I’m pretty comfortable with my accuracy.

A spinning rod requires a spinning reel, and while Shakespeare does make spinning reels (see the combo below), I have two reels that I prefer over the Shakespeare. My reels are are higher quality, so they are a tick pricier than the Shakespeare models. I like my choices because they are more durable and will last longer than the entry price models. Here are what I use:

Pflueger President Spinning Reel

Pflueger ReelSize: 8-Pound/185 Yard (other sizes available)

Price: $59.50 (price is for size above)

The Pflueger company is an old and respected manufacturer of fishing reels. They produce a high quality product that sells at a modest price. I was told by my fellow BassHoles at BassPro Shops this reel is the most requested reel in their lineup. I joined the line and have NOT been disappointed!

Shimano Sedona Spinning Reel

Shimano SedonaGear Ratio: 6.2:1

Price: $61.49

I bought 2 Shimano reels before the opening of my local Bass Pro Shop. They were recommended by the fisherman who was helping me, and he said he used the same reel himself all year long (including ice fishing).

At first I found the reels to stick and jam, even though they have plenty of shielded stainless steel ball bearings. Fellow BassHoles at BassPro fixed me up with Ardent Reel Butter grease, oil, and lube, and now they as good as new (maybe better)!

I first learned of Shimano products when I was bicycling. Shimano products were high quality and affordable, and that translates to their fishing products as well. Their founder, Shozaburo Shimano, declared in 1921, “I aim to make Shimano’s products the best in Kansai, then the best in Japan, and finally the best in the world.” That spirit continues to guide the Shimano company.

Spinning Rod & Reel Combo

Shakespeare Medium Action Ugly Stik Bigwater Combo

Size: 6 foot 6 inch rod, 2-piece, reelUgly Stik Combo

Price: $59.50

Here’s a nice, low-cost combo (though I prefer to buy each item separately, Shakespeare is an excellent brand, and I use a 7 foot Ugly Stick myself, and have used Shakespeare reels in the past, so I have no worries recommending this combo for the budget conscious Bass-Hole).

With a combo like this, the rod will last you virtually forever (or until you break it!). The reel will wear out first, and by that time you can decide to upgrade to a more durable reel.

Final Thought: Get A Spinning Rod & Reel!

You really can’t go wrong with a spinning rod and reel. Even if you are hoping to become a professional bass angler, you will still need spinning gear!fishing-1426139

So why not start out with what works, is easy to use, and will catch you BIG BASS?

Tight lines!

Roger

20 thoughts on “How To Choose The Right Spinning Rod

  1. bart

    I myself am a spinner all the way. I’ve always had better luck with a spinner than a baitcaster. But that just might be because I’m on the Gulf Coast in the swamps mostly

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Bart,

      Spinning reels made fishing accessible to everyone back in the early 1900’s when they appeared. Little learning curve!

      I tried a baitcaster for a season, but never mastered it. Luckily I was able to sell it to another angler! And then I actually switched to fly fishing for about a decade. But now I’m back to spin fishing!

      So what do you fish for in those swamps? I bet there are some “lunkers” in there! Are you in a boat? Try a Weed Demon! The bass love ’em!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  2. Kirill Pometoun

    Hi, Roger!
    I couldn’t come across your site at the better time! I’m going to rent a summer house this season and the property has a nice lake on its territory full of bass according to people who referred me there. Now I’m armed! So, is Shakespeare combo the one you would recommend?
    Thank you. Kirill.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Kirill,

      Oh, you should have a great time! The Shakespeare combo IS a great starting place! You can always upgrade either piece as your fishing needs grow.

      Are you casting from the shore? If so, you might consider a 7 foot rod. I prefer 7 foot myself for the longer casting distance. But the 6 1/2 foot would allow a bit more accuracy.

      You’ll want either 8 pound or 10 pound line, probably. Monofilament is the easiest to start with.

      And be sure to check out the Red Eye Shad! These are awesome. Spinnerbaits and jigs are also great lures.

      Bass are already being caught, so have fun, and tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  3. Tanya Z

    Thx for this very helpful post. Every summer i go fishing with my dad but we always have trouble to catch a good fish. We usually come back with 5 or 6 small fishes, so i started to figure out that we might need a new spinning rosd. I will defietly reccomend that one to my dad. Thx for the review .

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      I hope it works for you!

      A new rod can help you cast farther, hook fish better, and stop having fish break off once you catch them; all depending on the specific type of rod you select.

      But it sounds like you ARE finding fish, but not the larger ones. You don’t mention if these are bass or not, but if they are bass, then I do have some suggestions BEYOND a rod and reel (and maybe less of an investment!).

      Spring has sprung in some parts of the country (we had a mild winter here in New Hampshire, but there is still ice on some lakes). Spring is a GREAT time to catch BIG bass. Because they are all moving up to the shallows, preparing for the spawn.

      You can entice these “lunkers” from the top of the water to the bottom. Here are some my favorite devices:

      TOP: Snag Proof Weed Demon This lure attracts BIG bass. It has weight on one end, and is very easy to cast. You can really cast it right into brush, weeds, lilly pads, and so forth. And then get it back out. If it DOES snag, give a bit of a yank (here’s where I love my 7 foot rod), but hold on for a vicious strike!

      The hardest part of fishing the Weed Demon is WAITING. Once the fish crashes up out of the depths, count, “1-2-3,” THEN set the hook. Be prepared for a monster!

      TOP, JUST UNDER TOP, AND ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM: Spinnerbait. There’s a lot I could say about spinnerbaits, but for now, I’ll just say spring is a great time to use them. And when the fish hit, bam! You can throw a spinnerbait into quite a bit of cover and get it back out. You go fast, it stays on top. You go slow, it sinks down. You can even let it go all the way to the bottom. It’s an awesome lure and loads of fun when you catch the fish on them (smack!).

      BOTTOM (OR SWIMMING): Jig. Jigs will catch bass all year round. They are certainly very effective in the spring. I like to use a “Pig ‘n Jig.” That’s a jig with a trailer, using a crawfish shaped trailer. Best Spring Bass Fishing Lure – Pig & Jig. Big Mama Bass are cruising along the edge of the shoreline, and eating crawfish. In part because crawfish are one of the earliest forage available, and possibly in part because (some experts believe) the bass NEED nutrients from the crawfish in order to spawn. As explained in the post, let it drop to the bottom, and drag it back, ready to haul in some big ‘uns.

      So, do let me know if a new rod works for you and your father, but please consider these lures and techniques. As the days go by, I’ll be adding more material on baits and techniques.

      Until then,

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  4. Heather Grace

    My dad has always loved fishing and has been trying to get me and my husband out on a trip for years. We have a trip planned for this summer and have been looking up gear. As a newbie I am totally overwhelmed haha. You gave some great options. Which would be easiest/best for a beginner?

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      You can learn to cast with spinning gear in about 5 minutes.

      However, the absolute easiest to use is spin casting. Not a bad way to start. My fishing buddy only uses spincast gear.

      Here’s a link:

      Rhino Fishing Combo

      You press the button, and cast!

      I’ll be discussing that option in a future post. It’s great for kids, too!

      They even probably carry “lady’s” versions. Though it doesn’t really matter. And if you’re on a very tight budget, there are less expensive ones as well.

      Let me know how it goes!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  5. Jim

    Hey Roger, GREAT looking site…although I may be a little bias. I love fishing but unfortunately haven’t been out for quite a while. Ice fishing time is about over now as the ice is getting a little rotten now.

    Lots of great tips and very interesting content. I’m not sure how many rods and reels I have either but it’s quite a few.

    Question though: Do you prefer spin casting vs a bait caster? I always thought a bait caster was they way to go for bass. Maybe I missed something there.

    My favourite is walleye, well, mainly because there are no bass in Western Canada. Lol.

    You have a good way of keeping your audience engaged, you should well with your site.

    Cheers!
    Jim

    Reply
    1. admin

      Jim,

      Baitcasting is certainly the way the pros go, though they DO also use spinning gear.

      I tried to learn baitcasting, but failed. SO, I stick with spinning gear. I’m NOT a pro, so it really is not that big of an issue.

      I can cast accurately, probably could be a bit more accurate with a bait caster (once I mastered it), but I’m 62 so prefer to spend the time tweaking my spinning skills over trying a new one.

      Plus, my BassPro Shop buddies warned me trying to learn baitcasting was not easy, and THEY all use spinning gear!

      Never caught a walleye, but hear they are a blast! And don’t ice fish, no casting!

      Tight lines, my friend!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole.

      Reply
  6. Chris

    Great post Roger,
    I am a fisherman myself and use both spinning gear and baitcasters and like both. I also fish rock and surf with big Penn and Shimano reels, and fly fish too. So can cast anything really, I suppose that’s why i like them all.
    I have never used a Pflueger spinning reel though, are they good reels and do you think they would handle salt water?
    I love fishing light tackle in the ocean.

    Thanks again
    Chris

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Chris,

      Sounds like you have some awesome fishing adventures! You should share some of your “fish tales.”

      I would NOT recommend that particular Pflueger reel for salt water. You really need a reel that was designed to handle the corrosive element of the salt. However, here is a very nice Ecooda reel designed for both freshwater and saltwater.

      Whenever you’re going to use a reel for saltwater, make sure it is corrosion resistant!

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  7. Jason

    I have always wanted to fish but never seem to get the chance to do so, for some unknown reason.

    I am now getting interested in getting my “feet wet” and eventually take a “plunge” in the fishing world.

    I remember as a child, my father, along with my brothers and I, used to go out and fish but we never really had the right tools to make it really effective…we were just mostly having fun.

    I think it is now time to get serious about fishing and take on a new adventure.

    I am in the Caribbean where it is good for fishing so I think I will have a good time doing it.

    I have learned a good deal about the right spinning rod that I should use, especially as a total newbie to fishing.

    I thank you for providing some really thougful recommendations for me.

    See you in the waters of the Caribbean or even in California, who knows 🙂

    Best,
    Jason

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Jason,

      There is some AWESOME fishing in the Caribbean!

      You do have Peacock Bass, and they are a blast to catch (so I’ve heard! I’ve never had the pleasure)!

      But you’ll likely need much more rugged equipment than what I’m talking about here. As a BassHole, I fish for freshwater bass. They could be bait for some of the fish you can catch out there!

      You’ll want a reel that is corrosion resistant. Here’s a link to Penn rod and reel combos. Of course there are other possibilities as well. Choosing the right rod and reel is part of the fun!

      Do let me know about your adventures. And what you catch. Just because I’m a BassHole doesn’t mean I’m not jealous of you being able to fish in the Caribbean!

      Tight lines, my friend.

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  8. Deadshot

    Hey there ! Really nice post and really informative ! I absolutely loved the post ! Because i just love fishing !
    Hoping to see much more posts ! Keep up the good work !

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks!

      I love fishing too! So I guess that makes us BOTH BassHoles (but in a good way).

      Hope to see you out there fishing some time! Let me know if you have any questions.

      Tight Lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  9. Ben

    Hi

    Great post, I honestly don’t know enough about fishing but my dad has always been heavily into and always asked me along, I think now I should pick up a rod and go spend some time with him, thanks for the info.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Ben, great idea!

      That will be a wonderful way to spend time with your dad, and have some fun outdoors as well. Your dad may even be able to loan your a rod and reel, as well as some lures, to get you started, so you can figure out what you like and then select your own equipment.

      And no matter what happens, how can spending time with your dad doing something that he loves NOT be a good thing?

      Enjoy your father-son bonding, and

      Tight lines!

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply
  10. Andrew

    Hi Roger

    Very helpful post mate. Fishing is huge in Australia & I don’t mind wetting a line once in a while.

    I did consider a baitcast rod at one point, but I’ve got to say my spinning rod has served me well. Probobly no point changing just for the sake of change.

    Reply
    1. Roger Ford Post author

      Thanks, Andrew!

      Yes, I have heard about the awesome fishing in Australia. I really envy you those fishing opportunities!

      I was considering trying a baitcaster, but when I talked to my buddies at BassPro Shop, they basically warned me there was a STEEP learning curve. Since I’m not a pro bass fisherman, but simply fish for fun, I figured I could forgo learning a new rod and reel (which I’d have to buy anyway! And a baitcaster is a reel CAN be pretty pricey!) and focus my education on techniques using my existing spinning gear.

      As long as you’re having success with a spinning rod, why not keep doing what’s working? After all, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

      Tight lines, my friend.

      Roger, The Smiling BassHole

      Reply

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