The importance of being earnest about rods and reels

2013-03-09 00:00

I ALWAYS find myself justifying why I have so many rods and reels, especially to my wife, and more so every time I buy a new one. Non-anglers don’t understand why having a comprehensive selection is so vital; even some anglers don’t understand the importance.

In the same fashion that a golfer arrives at the tee box and selects a driver and then a putter on the green, a commanding bass angler also needs to select the correct tools for his intentions. You can fish every bait in your box on one rod and reel with limited success, or you can match your rods and reels to your bait selection and have no reason to limit your success.


Worm fishing calls for a longer length, heavier action rod, which will assist in better hook-setting strength and extraction of fish from heavy cover.

The fast taper of worming rods and high-graphite content are perfect for fast-paced action and control. The additional length of these rods will also assist with casting distance and sensitivity. Rods of two to 2,3 metres are the correct length for worming, with a medium-action rods being suited to weightless and mojo rigging, and medium-heavy- to heavy-action rods suiting Carolina and Texas rigging.

Reels need to have a high speed retrieve (six to one and up), as well as a strong drag system to ensure you get your fish out of the cover before they get you in the cover. After all, the intention is to fish your plastic baits in the nastiest of cover.


Medium-action rods are the way forward here. I prefer glass-fibre cranking rods or at least a combination of graphite and carbon fibre. The presence of carbon in the rod slows the action of the rod down, and delays the response time from when you detect the bite and then set the hook.

Why is this important? It allows the fish to get a solid mouthful of the bait before you get to setting the hook, which reduces the risk of hooking fish on the outside of the mouth, which often results in lost fish. When a fish eats a crankbait, it inhales the bait more often than it “bites” it, so having this allowance in the action of the rods will undoubtedly increase your odds of success. The slower action of the rods also increases your casting distance of bulky, wind-resistant crankbaits.

The further you cast, the deeper your crankbait will dive — it is a simple equation.

I base my length of rod on the size of the crank I am throwing, starting at two metres for shallow divers and square-bills and 2,2 metres for deep-diving baits.

All the above factors should be considered when choosing a spinnerbait rod. Cranking and spinnerbait reels should have a slower retrieve such as a five-to-one ratio, which will take the pressure off you and get your baits down deeper.

These are the main two categories of rods. In the next issue, I will discuss rods and reels for jerkbaits, and other techniques.

Predator Bass Club will be hosting an inter-club tournament at Inanda dam next month, and have advised that all clubs are welcome to attend and that there will be cash prizes for the top placed clubs, as well as individual heaviest bags. A big fish prize, lucky draw and raffle prizes are also on the winners’ menu.

It is a fundraising event and the entry fee is R100 per angler. All bass and even artlure clubs are invited to enter. For more information, e-mail or or call Dave at 076 146 6039.

Please e-mail me with reports, pictures and questions at

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