Choosing the Right Rod (Length Selection)

Selecting the correct length of rod can be an important decision in your rod selecting process, and knowing the pros and cons of each length can help you make the right call next time you’re in the market for a new rod. Your preferred rod length can depend on many things such as your height, the application you’ll be using it for, and, overall, just your personal preference. I’m going to give you the advantages and disadvantages of using longer, shorter, and medium length rods, and at the end of the article, I will tell you what lures I throw with different length of rods.

Shorter Rods: When I talk about a short rod, I am talking about rods that are less than 7′. When throwing baits on shorter rods like this, you will tend to notice a few key differences. The first thing is that it will decrease your casting distance when you switch over from a longer rod (let’s say a 7’6″) to a shorter rod (like a 6’9″). A shorter rod won’t quite have the same load-up when you bring the bait back on your cast so it won’t have as much momentum built up when it’s slung forward, causing your casts to be shorter. One advantage of using a shorter rod, however, is the increased accuracy in your casts. Because the lure won’t load up as much and just sling the bait, you have more control over where you want to cast the lure. Another good attribute of a shorter rod is using them on lures like jerkbaits and topwater walking baits. When you use these lures, you use your wrist to pop and jerk the rod down towards the water, and if you had a longer rod, you would be smacking the water with every twitch of the rod, making it much harder to give the fish a good lure presentation. But with every advantage, there comes a disadvantage. When using a shorter rod, you will have less leverage on the fish to be control it near the boat because there is less distance between the fish and you. Because of this, the less rod there is to fight the fish, the more work the line will have to do, putting it under more stress. Also, ease of transportation is always a factor that should be taken into consideration when selecting a rod length. The advantages and disadvantages for shorter rods are broken down below.

  • Advantages:
    • Increased casting accuracy
    • Easier to use without hitting the water
    • Easier to transport
  • Disadvantages:
    • Decreased casting distance
    • Less leverage on fish near the boat
    • Less guides increase stress on your line

Medium-Length Rods: I believe that rods between 7′ and 7’4″ are considered medium length rods. The good and bad news about medium length rods is that they are kind of a happy-medium as far as the advantages and disadvantages go. While there are definite advantages to having longer or shorter rods in some cases, I usually suggest a rod in this size range to get people started because they’re right in the middle of the spectrum, and you won’t be sacrificing too much of one side or the other. These rods are right in the middle as far as their advantages and disadvantages go.

  • Advantages:
    • Cast farther than shorter rods
    • More leverage on fish than shorter rods
    • Cast more accurately than longer rods
    • Easier to use than longer rods without smacking the water
    • Easier to transport than longer rods
    • Less stress on your line than shorter rods
  • Disadvantages:
    • Less casting distance than longer rods
    • Less leverage on fish than longer rods
    • Less casting accuracy than shorter rods
    • Not as easy to use as shorter rods without smacking the water
    • More difficult to transfer than shorter rods
    • More stress on your line than longer rods

Longer Rods: Though I kind of already discussed the advantages and disadvantages of longer rods when I was talking about shorter rods, I will break it down again because there are definite advantages and disadvantages to each rod length that you need to know.

  • Advantages:
    • Increased casting distances
    • Increased leverage on fish near the boat
    • More guides reduce stress on your line
  • Disadvantages:
    • Decreased casting accuracy
    • More difficult to use while twitching or jerking a bait without hitting the water
    • More difficult to transport

My rods/lures (all of my rods have a fast-action tip):

6’9″ Medium-Light Power Big Bear Rods (BBR) Spinning Rod (10 lb braided line with 8-12 lb fluorocarbon leader) – drop shot, ned-rig

6’6″ Medium-Heavy Power Tip Abu Garcia Vendetta Casting Rod (I plan on getting a 6’9″ or 7′ MH power Big Bear Rod soon though) (15 lb fluorocarbon) – chatterbait, spinnerbait, smaller jigs (when I need to make short, accurate casts with a jig)

6’9″ Medium Power BBR Casting Rod (15 lb monofilament) – topwater poppers, walking baits, 90 series Whopper Plopper, flukes, wakebaits, jerkbaits, smaller crankbaits, Texas-rigged stick bait

7′ Medium-Heavy Power BBR Casting Rod (12 lb fluorocarbon) – 1/4 to 1/2 oz. jigs and Texas-rigs, 130 series Whopper Plopper, fluke, shakey head

7’3″ Medium-Heavy Power BBR Casting Rod (30 lb braided line) – frogs, walking baits, 1/4 oz. to 3/4 oz. jigs and Texas-rigs, buzzbaits

7’3″ 3/4-Heavy Power (between medium-heavy and heavy power) BBR Casting Rod (15-20 lb fluorocarbon) – 3/8 oz. to 1.25 oz. jigs and Texas-rigs, Carolina rigs

7’6″ Medium Power BBR Casting Rod (10-12 lb fluorocarbon) – medium and deep diving crankbaits

I have a couple of notes to follow up my rod list. I plan acquiring a few more rods in the near future. The first one would be either a 6’9″ or 7′ medium-heavy power rod with a fast action tip for a new chatterbait rod. The second one will be another 6’9″ medium power rod with a fast action tip so I can have one for topwater lures and one for jerkbaits and maybe flukes. And last but not least, I plan on buying either a 7′ or 7’3″ medium power rod with a fast action tip for my smaller crankbaits.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article about the advantages of longer and shorter rods, and I hope these tips will help you decided which rod you’ll be landing your next big fish with! I would love to hear your comments and questions so please be sure to leave a comment or e-mail me at (Midwest Fishing e-mail address in the works) about this article or others! Also, make sure to subscribe to our page to receive a notification each time we post a helpful article like this one! Thanks again and have a great day!


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