At a Glance: Spinning Rods
Spinning rods are the rods designed to be used with open face/spinning reels which, when mounted on the rod, will be held underneath the rod in the angler’s hand. Spinning rods are made with rod blanks that will bend or flex in all directions. Spinning rods are best suited for casting light lures and terminal tackle because of the way the line comes off the spool into guides specifically designed for spinning rods. The guides nearest the reel seat will have large openings and long stems which stand the guide well away from the blank to match the long stems of spinning reels. Spinning rod guides become increasingly smaller the further away from the reel seat, which allows the line to unravel from the spool and be funnelled into the guides. The funneling of this line creates friction against the spinning guides, which can affect casting distances for heavier lures and terminal tackle. This is different than baitcasting rods which are designed to feed the line straight off the baitcasting spool and creates little to no friction against the guides. Baitcasting reels give resistance to light presentations because of the need to pull the spool around during the cast - this is not the case with spinning reels.
The handle length and reel seat locations are popular variables with spinning rods, giving the angler the ability to choose just the right rod for comfort and leverage. The balance of a rod and reel combination can be greatly affected by the location of the reel seat, with some spinning rods even featuring sliding rings to attach the reel to the handle at any point the angler prefers. A longer foregrip gives another hand-hold for making two-handed casts, while a short foregrip can allow an angler to reach out and touch the blank to provide the greatest sensitivity. Spinning rods are available in one-piece rods, up to as many as six-piece rods, as well as telescopic models for easy storage and traveling. Lengths vary from as short as 24 inches up to 16 feet long. Casting distances can be greatly increased by using longer spinning rods, which also act as shock absorbers against hard-fighting fish. FishUSA offers spinning rods designed for bass, walleye, musky, panfish and salmon/steelhead.
Top brands of spinning rods include Daiwa, G. Loomis, Okuma, St. Croix and Shakespeare.