Every rod serves a unique function. That is what I tell my partner Emma anyway. Partly because it is true and partly so that none of mine get thrown out! Freshwater rods are as diverse as the fish that they are employed to catch. Here I will give a brief synopsis of each type that I use from the kayak under the heading of which type of fish that they are appropriate for.
Branding is not of huge importance when it comes to rods. I have a range of makes that I like to use and am comfortable with, but this chances from angler to angler. What is important is that any rod used is fit for the purpose intended, is made from quality components and feels comfortable to the person using it. For the record, I favour freshwater rods made by Shimano and Daiwa but do use some others.
You should always use tackle that is capable of beating your intended target quickly and efficiently. Needlessly prolonging a fight through a desire to use lighter gear for more ‘sport’ is totally irresponsible and unsporting. Most anglers like to operate on a catch and release basis. Fishing catch and release is not a moral or ethical choice if you have decided to fight your quarry to the point of exhaustion. Every second longer that a battle is prolonged the fish’s chances of survival deteriorate.
There are a couple of rods that I use for freshwater predator fishing in Ireland for species such as pike, perch and to a lesser extent, trout.
First up is a 7ft/2.1m jerkbait rod. With a casting weight of up to 70g/2.5ozs it can handle a lot of big lures easily. It is also more than capable of being used to drop deadbaits over the side for static ground fishing.
Second is an 8ft/2.4m Shimano spinning rod with a casting weight of up to 30g/1oz. This makes it more suited to fishing lighter lures and baits for perch and trout.
I use a 13ft/3.9m Daiwa rod for float fishing from the kayak in freshwater. Some may think that this is too long but I like the assistance that a long rod gives for line pick up when I need to strike into a fish. A shorter rod will not be as efficient in this task. This is a rod I would typically use to anchor up in a river to trot baits downstream.
I have a selection of fly rods for fly fishing. These include rods made by Daiwa and Greys and range in type from a short 8ft/2.4m rod that carries a #4 line right up to my 11.5ft/3.5m rod that carries a #9 line with a couple in between. As with the saltwater rods, it irresponsible to go fishing with gear that will not beat your intended quarry quickly and efficiently, hence the need for a selection. I shudder when I hear of ‘anglers’ chasing pike on #5 and #6 weight setups.