Lure fishing rods vary so much today. There are 100 rods for 100 different jobs. Luckily, lure rods are our speciality - from LRF to heavy pike rods. We've seen a lot come and go over the years and helped literally thousands of anglers choose their new favourites...
What's the difference between a spinning rod and a lure rod?
Definition: Spinning Rods.
We always used to "spin" for bass (for example). Today, we "lure fish". From my own memories, spinning was a more relevant term up until about 10 years ago when we used "spinning rods" to fish with "spinners" (mostly metal, flashy, wobbling lures like the Toby or Dexter Wedge). This general term enveloped a few plugs as well. Traditional spinning rods have quite a through-action. They're softer than modern versions and are still designed, recommended and used for species like trout and salmon. When you are simply retrieving a metal "spinner" (those mentioned or a Flying-C/Mepps/Devon Minnow) the rod simply needs to cast well, absorb the take and play fish without them shaking the hook - something that trout and salmon are synonymous for. Spinning rods didn't need to be so specialist so haven't changed much in the past 30 years or so.
Definition: Lure Rods
Our choice of end tackle is far more varied now and we have a wider choice of lure types available (no longer just a "spinner"). In the UK, where lure fishing really branched away from traditional spinning was around 10 years ago. We were late to the party! To fish the different types of modern sea fishing lures, rods had to develop and change to get the best from each. The "action" of modern bass lure rods will vary, with the majority having a much greater contrast between some softness in the tip and stiffness in the butt - unlike traditional spinning rods which will have a more even bend throughout. This is often described as a "fast" action. Most modern lure rods are of this ilk.
How long should I go?
Our advice is to purchase the shortest rod you can get away with for the situations you face. The benefits of shorter and longer rods are highlighted below. It'll be up to you to pick your happy compromise.
Long Rods: The Benefits
1) More distance. Technically, a longer rod gives you more tip speed on the cast, so casts will be longer (as long as the lures are balanced - weight wise - to the rod).
2) Better line control. When you are forced to fish from high above the water (typically in rough seas), a longer rod will enable you to hold the tip down and closer to the water - keeping your lure in the water and allowing any wind less chance to drag it off-course.
3) More reach. Sometimes (although Pythagoras tells us it's often not that much), you will be forced to guide a fish around rocks at your feet. A longer rod makes steering the fish that little bit easier.
However, longer rods are heavier and more tiring to work lures with. The benefits of a short rod are many, so your final decisions will be likely be best based on a compromise somewhere in the middle.
Short Rods: The Benefits
1) More comfortable to fish. Being shorter, they're lighter, obviously.
2) Better lure control. Considering a day on the coast/bank with no wind and easy access to water level, a short rod gives far more direct contact with the lure - making any movements you might want to create are far more easily and effectively done.
3) More pulling power. In some situations - especially in snaggy areas - it can be necessary to pull a fish from snags. A shorter rod gives you more direct power than a long rod.
Top tip: Consider the fact that it's while your lure is in the water that you will catch the fish (not the air), so outright distance should not usually be your primary objective. Though on some occasions it can be the case. Think about lure control and how you can best present the lure to the fish. There is no point being able to cast to the horizon if you cannot work the lure effectively on the way back.