When it comes to fishing, there is no question that your rod is going to be one of the most important tools in your fishing arsenal. The problem with picking a rod is that there are hundreds, if not thousands of different brands and combinations. I am going to give you my top three line-up that I consistently use every time I go out. Rods come in all different lengths, power, and action, so it can be daunting when you go to a retailer, or look online because you might not know exactly what you need to get the job done, so you just grab something off the shelf, or put it in your online cart.
Now, all rods essentially function in the same way with a caveat of the different types of rods out there like spinning, baitcasting, spincast and fly rods, but I am going to break down the ones I like to use for each different type. You really cant go "wrong" with whatever you choose, but if you buy a heavy powered rod, when you want to go trout fishing, you may be missing out on some fish that you could have caught with an ultralight rod.
Some of the features that you really want to look for in a rod are:
Length - Because they come in all different shapes and sizes, I would stick to a shorter rod for smaller fish, and a longer rod for bass and other big fish.
Power - Remember, this is how much weight the rod can hold, so go for an ultralight on small fish, and medium to medium heavy for those bigger fish.
Action - I would stick to a fast action on trout, and a medium to medium fast for bass and others.
Warranty - Make sure you check the warranty out on rods, if it does get caught in the door or trunk of your car, you want to be able to get it replaced.
Type - Make sure you get the right rod to match what reel you want. You don't want a baitcast reel on a spinning or fly rod, so keep an eye out for that.
I love St. Croix Rods, and highly recommend them for all types of fishing. Where I live now, I usually fish for trout, or bass, but have used my rods for carp and catfish, and they have held up. I highly recommend the St. Croix Triumph Spinning rods or the St. Croix Premier Series as the best choice when it comes to spinning rods. They hold up to anything you can throw at them and they have a great warranty. They are super comfortable with a nice cork grip, and I love the action on them. These
I use baitcasting rods for bass only for the most part, so I love the St. Croix Mojo Bass Rod. It comes in both one and two piece with a slew of power and action combinations. With a great warranty to boot, this rod will be a go to for you when fishing. It has the same cork grip, and also has a hook loop on it for when you are walking to the water.
I only have one spincast rod in my arsenal of rods, and I decided to go with the Ugly Stik Elite Casting Rod because it was a good name brand, and I have used them before. I use this rod with my kids and usually hunt crappie with it and I have to say it has held up very well. Ugly Stik is a great brand and has been around forever, but you could use any baitcast rod with a spincast reel on it.
I love to fly fish, but I am still new to this type of fishing, and it takes some time to get the hang of casting. I use the Fenwick HMG Fly Rod because I really do like Fenwick rods, and really wanted something nice to start out on. This rod is a medium fast action, and is very comfortable in your hand with the cork grip on it. Fenwick has a great warranty which is great for fly rods because of all the action you do in your cast, so if you hit a tree branch, there should be no problem getting it replaced or fixed.
Care and Storage
Out of all the rods I have had in my life, these are the ones that I use on a constant basis with zero issues. I have had some cheap rods, and I have had some very expensive rods, and none of them have served me like the line up I just gave you. When it comes down to it, its how you treat the rod you have and the care and storage of it when you aren't using it. Try to keep your rod up and straight, and avoid standing them in a corner, or leaning against something where they are bent. If you do this, your rod should last for years without any issues.