BAITCAST RODS are made for use with baitcast reels. These outfits are designed for casting accuracy. Very popular for lure fishing in creeks, rivers etc where lure placement is important because of snags and structure where the fish are holding. The reel and guides sit up on top of the rod. They are mostly between 1.5 and 2.1 metres in length.
BOAT RODS / GAME FISHING RODS / OVERHEAD RODS are made for use on boats when chasing big powerful fish. They feature fast tapers, strong thick butts and flexible tips. The reel and line guides are also up on top of the rod like a baitcast rod. Some rods have roller guides and / or tips, which are like a pulley wheel, to reduce friction on the fishing line. And most rods feature a Gimble at the base of the butt to reduce direct pressure on an Angler and give more rod control when fighting heavy and hard running fish. They are mostly used with an overhead reel.
FLY RODS are designed specifically for casting a fly and fly line, they are long, slender and made to bend with a gradual curve for casting, line control and striking and fighting fish. Fly rods come in different weights from 1 to 14. And basically this refers to the fish you might target. For example a 1 weight would be for small trout and a 14 weight would be for Marlin. It is also very important to match the rod with the right line and fly reel.
Fly fishing set-ups can be confusing and if you are looking to purchase gear I suggest you do your research and get the right advice.
SPINNING RODS are easy to use and are probably the most popular rod style because of that reason. They are great for beginners and are made in a variety of sizes to suit everyone including children. They are typically used with a spinning reel.
The reel and guides sit under the rod. They are made for many applications and in various sizes. They are used for both bait and lure fishing and they are the best style of rod for distance casting.
SURF or BEACH RODS are similar in design to spin rods but they are longer. This length provides greater leverage and allows the angler to cast further. The longer rods also allow the fishing line to stay above breaking waves that are close to shore. This helps to stop the fishing line being buffeted by waves and enables bite detection. Some rods are made to suit overhead reels but by far the most commonly used surf rods suit spin reels and Alvey reels (sidecast reels). Surf rods are generally between 3 and 4.2 metres in length.
ALVEY REELS or SIDECAST REELS are a popular reel for beach fishing in Australia. Commonly called Alvey reels due to the popular Australian brand. These reels are tough, durable and have few moving parts. The reel is turned side on when casting so that the spool faces towards the tip of the rod. This allows the line to come off freely, which is great for long casts. They are well suited to Surf Rods.
BAITCAST REELS are designed for use with Baitcast Rods. They are light, and once mastered, are easy and comfortable to use. Many hard body lure fishermen prefer a Baitcast setup because the quick and light equipment make repetitive casting more efficient. They are made for accurate casts rather than distance. The negative side for beginners is they do take some practice and understanding of how to set up the reel before you can make smooth and accurate casts without your fishing line ending up in a “birdsnest”. There are two main styles of baitcast reels, the low profile bait caster and the barrel baitcaster. The low profile version is better for accurate casting and the barrel baitcaster holds more line.
FLY REELS are designed for use with fly rods. They are simple and lightweight with deep spools made to hold fly line. Their side plates are usually made with holes, slots or windows to reduce weight and provide ventilation for the fly line to dry.
OVERHEAD REELS are designed for use with overhead / boat / game fishing rods. They look like a big version of the Barrel Baitcast reel and are built to handle large, powerful fish. They hold a huge amount of line for fishing deep water and for long runs by game fish. They have strong and usually more technical drag systems for fighting big fish. They are not designed for repetitive casting and commonly used for trolling in blue water.
SPINNING REELS or “egg beaters” are the easiest reel to use and probably for that reason are the the most commonly used fishing reel. They are a great all purpose reel designed for use with spinning rods. They let an angler cast long distances and during the “winding” process lay the line on the spool evenly for the user. Spinning reels come in a variety of sizes for many applications.
Another version of the Spinning Reel is the Bait-Runner reel. These reels are designed for letting a fish take the bait in their mouth and swim with it while the line is still under tension and not “free spooling”. They do this by having two drag systems, a front drag and a bait-runner drag. When the angler is ready to set the hook, they crank the handle to re-engage the front drag.
MONOFILAMENT or NYLON fishing line was the most popular fishing line for decades before the Superlines revolution in the late 1990’s. This line is versatile and usually less expensive when compared to Flurocarbon and Superlines. Monofilament line has great shock absorbtion qualities which make it very practical when fishing for hard hitting species like Giant Trevally. It also has good abrasion resistance yet is soft and flexible. It is most popular in clear colours because it makes it harder for fish to see. This line also floats which makes it great for using with surface lures.
FLUOROCARBON fishing lines are similar in appearance to Monofilament line but with different properties. This line is a great leader material, especially when using soft plastics. Fluorocarbon is almost invisible underwater due to a similar light refraction index to water. It also has high abrasion resistance, less stretch than monofilament line and it sinks in water, which is ideal for getting baits to sit on the bottom and look natural.
SUPERLINES are most commonly referred to as Braid, Fused, Gel Spun and PE line is a group of fishing lines with similar properities. Polyethylene (PE) fishing line is made from synthetic materials like Spectra or Dyneema fibers which are 15 times stronger than steel by weight. They are manufactured in various ways which gives rise to the multiple names.
The benefits of Superlines are:
A thin diameter for their breaking strain.
Better casting ability.
Deeper diving lures and bait.
The negatives of Superlines are:
Visibility to fish.
Poor abrasion resistance.
FLY LINE, used specifically for Fly Fishing, is a rather in-depth category. Fly line is generally heavier than regular fishing line due to its density, which gives it better casting distance. It also has low stretch to give greater control when fighting fish and when working the fly. Low stretch also allows quicker hook sets. Most fly lines are manufactured with a core of braid or monofilament, this core is then coated with Plastisol. Fly line can be made to do various things including floating, sinking or staying neutral in the water column. Do your research and get expert advice before purchasing fly line.
LEADER or TRACE These include fluorocarbon, monofilament and wire. They are the last length of line that connects to your hook, lure, fly etc.
As discussed previously, Fluorocarbon and Monofilament have different properties that effect your choice in using them. Depending on what bait or lure you’re using and what fish species and environment you are targeting, those factors will ultimately make the decision for you when selecting the leader material.
Wire is a leader material that has it’s place when fishing for species with sharp teeth. Some fish like Spanish mackerel will cut through chemical leaders like a well honed blade. The down side of this leader material is obvious because it is not transparent or very flexible so it is more visible to fish and does not present baits as natural. This will most likely spook wary fish and reduce the number of strikes. However the positives out weigh the negatives when fishing for toothy critters because without it you can waste a lot of time and fishing gear.