When choosing a fishing rod, the most important factor is what type of fishing you plan to do.
If you're looking to try your hand at catching a few fish this season, choose a rod based on the fight in the fish.
Rods are often made specifically for certain types of fish, and fishing rods are graded based on weight anywhere from 12 to 20 pounds or from 80 to 130 pounds and up.
For larger saltwater fish, stand-up rods are a popular choice. They require a lot of muscle power and can range in price from $60 to $1,300 for a top-of-the-line custom rod.
“There isn't any one rod that is going to do it all,'' said Aubert Smith, owner of Rod Builders Workshop in Kingston, Mass.
The best way to choose the best rod is by taking time to examine the various types at a local tackle shop, Smith said.
Becoming acquainted with the various types of rods - spinning rods, conventional rods, high-speed jigging rods, or even fly rods - will help determine what kind of fishing you want to do.
Basic salt-water rods start at about $200, Smith said.
Knowing what kind of fish you are looking to catch will make the greatest difference for how suited you are when you head out on the water.
For bass fishing, a spinning or conventional reel is best, said Russ Eastman, tackle manager at Monahan's in Weymouth, Mass.
Regardless of how much you spend, salt-water rods require maintenance. Washing a rod with fresh water after every use and using some WD-40 will help prevent salt-water corrosion over time.
Many fishing rods carry a warrantee. Getting a lifetime warrantee over one that lasts only five years will help secure your investment. Name brands like Shimano and Penn usually stand up over time, Eastman said.
Rods and reels are usually sold separately. Reels can range in price from $300 to $700, Eastman said.
Shaunna Gately may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.