One of the most common questions I get asked by anglers is what length should a spinning rod be. The honest answer is that there is no one defining length. The length of rods used for fishing lures depends greatly on what type of lure fishing you want to do.
For example, if I want to fish small jig heads and sandeel imitators from a boat, then I’d look at a rod length about 7ft 4ins to 8ft, my personal preference being the shorter 7ft 4ins rod. This requires a very fast taper action to work the lure properly in deeper water, but with a progressive power flow so that the rod bends to the weight of a good fish and can work well with non stretch braided lines. This rod is also excellent for working surface popping plugs and diving plugs from the boat when casting over shallow reef ground as its action maximises movement in the plug, plus the rods are lightweight and can be worked by the wrist easily to again impart more action in to the plug.
These short rods are fished with low profile reels such as the ABU REVO Inshore. I can also reveal that there’s a new spinning rod of this type about to appear in the next few weeks under the same ABU REVO name that I’ve been fishing with for the past 12 months during development that’s caught me plenty of bass and some great pollack.
For shore fishing with surface poppers and diving plugs, also for some spinning with spinners then 8ft is the optimum length for working such lures. Only five to six years or so ago the average rod length quoted for plug fishers was often 10 to 11ft, but these are too long, heavy to use and difficult to work one handed when cranking the reel to give the plug action, plus they do not punch a light plug that well in to a stiff head wind in my opinion.
Good 8ft rods will again have a very fast taper action to get the best from braid lines and to maximise the movement in the plug. Again look out for a brand new ABU REVO rod of this type which again has been a full 12 months in development and which I fished with extensively on a recent trip to Iceland taking cod to 5lbs, coalfish to 4lbs and haddock to 3.5lbs on when matched to a small Penn Sargus 4000 reel.
For general sea spinning, then rods between 9ft and 10ft are perfect. These tend to be a fast taper action, slightly less powerful than the previous rods and with a more progressive action down in to the lower mid section of the blank which is the point the real power kicks in. This gives the rod an action ideally suited to casting spinners to maximum range with minimal effort, but also the correct action for playing out fish such as pollack, bass and mackerel in deeper water when fishing off rock ledges and from breakwaters. These rods also suit vertical jig fishing and drop shot fishing too, for bass and pollack and used with either a 4000 or 5000 sized spinning reel. Both the Shakespeare SALT Spin and the Penn Powerstix Bass Spin are rods designed for this latter style of fishing.
You see from the above that there truly is no specific length of spinning rod that suits all styles of lure fishing. Having all these rods in your armoury is obviously the ideal, but if you’re working to a budget, then decide which style of fishing you will do the most and buy the rod that suits that style best and make do when fishing other styles. Typically this will be either the 8ft for general jig head fishing, spinning and plug fishing or a 10ft rod for general spinning, occasional plug fishing and for drop shot fishing or vertical jigging.
We’re just coming in to the very best period through to the end of September/early October for spinning for big pollack and working plugs for big bass. I hope the above information helps you choose the right type of rod and that you get the very best from your fishing over the next couple of months!