Fishing Rod Length Guide : What length should I buy ?

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Most anglers overlook the importance of a fishing rod length in ensuring its performance and success. Every fishing technique requires its specific length to work perfectly. Many anglers, especially beginners, usually complain about their rods’ poor performance without checking the best length rod for them. If you purchase a fishing rod and have doubts about the best length rod, you can always seek an experienced angler’s advice. Below is a straightforward guide on the best fishing rod length.

How Does Rod Length Affect Fishing

The rod’s length greatly determines your fishing success. Many anglers ignores the aspect of length, forgetting it is as essential as power and action. The length of the rod affects the casting distance, precision and hook set leverage.

Shorter rods are more accurate and have greater castability. They are also perfect for fishing under heavy cover or areas with a lot of vegetation. Below 7 feet are considered short rods, and they are perfect for this application

Longer rods are those that exceed 7 feet. These rods are better for casting, and they usually cover more ground. They use light lures and require you to be extra careful so that you can corner the fish.

Fishing Rod Length Comparison Table

Fishing Rod TypeLength RangeCommonly used lengthsApplication
Spinning rod4’5” to 9’5”6’ to 7’5”Casting lures, bottom fishing, bobber fishing
Baitcasting rod5’5” to 9’6’5” to 8’Casting lures
Fly fishing rod6’ to 10’  7’ to 9’Fly fishing
Surfcasting rods9’ to 14’10’ to 12’Surf fishing
Boat rod5’ to 7’6’ to 6’6”Boat fishing
Trolling Rod8’ to 14’9’ to 11’Trolling
Ice fishing rod20” to 48”28” to 36”Ice fishing

Different Length for Different Conditions

Fishing rod Length for beginners

Getting a rod as a beginner can be a little challenging. However, if you focus on balance and castability, you can improve your angling skills. Most of the time, beginners do not know how to cast or use a rod. Therefore, you’ll need a rod that is neither too long nor too short to avoid backlashes and fatigue. Also, casting can be challenging for a beginner so, you need a rod that ensures precise casting and versatile rods that can match different fishing techniques. The recommended length for a beginner is a 7-inch rod. A 7-inch rod is somewhat balanced and offers the accuracy you will need as a beginner. It is also very comfortable and easy to handle for a beginner. If you are newbie with a baitcaster, looking for a perfect combo for your next trip, you may check out our content on best baitcasting combo for beginners

Fishing rod Length Guide for Kids

Unlike adults finding a kid’s rod can be challenging. You need to ensure that the length of the rod matches your kid. The rod need not be too long since it can be tiring, especially if the kid is fishing for the first time. The kids’ age and size will determine the kids’ rod.

The rod you get a 13-year-old cannot be used by a seven-year-old kid. Kids fishing rod ranges between 3 to 5 feet depending on the kid’s experience. For any adult, these rods seem very small and insufficient. However, the aim of introducing fishing to kids is not for them to catch a bass fish or grouper but enjoy time fishing with you. Whether the kid catches a fish or not, their experience grows bit by bit, making them pro anglers as they grow.

Spinning Rod Length

A spinning rod is the most common fishing rod. If you ask any angler, they have used this rod at least once in their fishing. Additionally, this rod is easy to use and perfect for beginners and hobbyists. The perfect length depends on the angler’s preference. Some anglers prefer longer rods, while other anglers prefer shorter rods.

The best lengths for spinning rods range between 6′ and 7’5. If you are looking to make short and accurate casts, a 6 feet rod is perfect. However, 7 feet or 7.5 feet spinning rod works perfectly for anyone looking to make longer and accurate casts.

Baitcasting Rod Length

Usually, baitcasting rods are longer than spinning rods. The standard length for baitcasting rods is 6.5 to 8 feet rods. These rods are used for making longer casts. Anglers who use these rods mostly go for species like largemouth bass that require longer casts.

Shorter baitcasting rods of 5 to 6 feet are perfect when throwing lures in tightly confined spaces where casting space is limited. These rods are usually comfortable and accurate. With these rods, you are assured of sensitivity and precision.

The long baitcasting rods are within the range of 6’6″ to 8′. These rods are ideal for species like BigBarra, and they have less strength for fighting fish. They can be used in open flats, drains, and salt waters.

We have also covered details guide on: Best Baitcasting Rod for Bass Fishing

Fly Fishing Rod Length

Fly fishing is a technique that requires long casts. The standard length for fly fishing rods ranges from 7 to 10 feet. The rod length will vary depending on the type of fish you are eyeing and where you are planning to fish.

Eight-foot fly rods are more precise, and they can be used for shorter casts and fish species like panfish.

8.5 feet rods are perfect for all-around fly fishing in varying conditions.

Nine feet to 10 feet long fly rods work are excellent when making long casts or fishing in the windy environment.

Fly rods are usually pricy. If you are looking for quality yet affordable fly rods, you may check out our buyers guide on best Fly Rods under 100 dollars.

Surf Casting Rod Length

Surfcasting rods are probably the longest rods you will find. They are usually 9 to 15 feet long. Length is significant when choosing a surf rod. Usually, the longer the rod, the better. This is because you will be eyeing fish that are 50 to 150 yards from the shoreline. Longer rods will help you last longer and cover more distance.

Your size as an angler will determine the best rod length for you. Some anglers are short, and having a 15 feet rod will be uncomfortable. Therefore determining a length within your size range is essential.

Boat Fishing rod Length

Boat fishing is a technique that requires precision and accuracy. Therefore the rods used for this technique need not belong. The length range of boat fishing rods is 5 to 7 feet. The length will be determined by where and what you are fishing.

When boat fishing in dingy water, you need to be very precise and accurate so, a shorter rod that is 6 feet or less works perfectly. However, when pinpoint accuracy is not required, you can go for 7 feet rods. You can explore deeper waters when boat fishing, making catching fish like Tuna, Marlin, Billfish, and Wahoo easy.

Trolling Rod Length

Trolling rods are used for moving boats and trolling fishing. These rods range between 8 to 14 feet. Trolling rods length depend on where you are fishing and the depth required. These rods are usually long so that you can troll them with several poles at the same time.

You can use these rods as downriggers hence, their long nature. Once a takes a bite, the line is released from the downrigger, and the pole sets the hook. With a trolling rod, you can catch different species, including trout, walleye, salmon, Tun, and Malin.

Ice Fishing Rod Length

Ice fishing rods are the shortest rods you will find. Most of these rods range between 28 to 36 inches. This fishing technique is unique, and since it requires no casting, the rods are very short. However, it requires maximum sensitivity so you can feel the fish nudging under the ice.

While ice fishing, you lower your bait in the ice fishing hole. If you are lucky enough, you will catch a fish or two. Longer rods are discouraged since they will not allow you to sit close to the ice. Therefore, these short rods allow you to be close to the ice fishing hole, and they have improved sensitivity so you can feel every bite.

Best All-Round Fishing Rod Length

The best all-around fishing rod is a spinning rod. It can be used for different techniques and by different anglers. Therefore, the best all-around fishing rod length is a length that matches a spinning rod length. For all-round fishing techniques, most anglers recommend a 7 feet rod.

Seven feet is a perfect length for persons of different sizes. It is quite comfortable and can be used for varying fishing applications.

You can use it in salt water, fresh water, adverse weather conditions, and even deep structure fishing. This length is also the recommended rod for beginners.

Best Rod Length for Bass

When choosing a rod length for bass, you need to determine the size of bass you are eyeing and where you are fishing. Some anglers only go for small bass, while others go for grown bass. Bass fish are common in vegetated lakes, ponds, swamps, backwater pools, creeks, and rivers.

Judging from their location, these fish require highly sensitive rods. Shorter rods perform the magic in this type of fishing. Rods measuring 6 to 7 feet will be perfect. Rods above 7 feet can be problematic. Tournament bass angling circuits also do not allow for bass rods that exceed 8 feet.

Looking for perfect combo for Bass fishing ? Check out our content on high quality bass fishing rod and reel combo

Best Rod Length for Trout

Trout fishing does not require too much experience and a rod ranging between 6 to 8 feet works perfectly. Trout are small species that are targeted by long casting anglers. They do not have too much fighting power and do not require too much sensitivity to fish.

However, your rod length will depend on where you are going fishing. Some trouts will be found in areas with vegetation, and a shorter rod will be perfect. However, in open waters, longer rods that are 8 feet or more are a perfect choice.

More Info: What is the best rod for trout fishing?

Best Rod Length for Walleye

Walleye or yellow pike is a freshwater fish primarily found in shallow lakes, backwaters, and medium to large rivers. A 6 to 6.5 feet rod works excellently in Walleye fishing. These species require shorter-length rods because of their location. Most of the time, you will find them here there is too much vegetation.

Therefore, you will need a short rod that is highly sensitive. A 6 to 6.5-foot rod will let you feel every bite and movement on the rod. This rod length gives you a fast tip while providing enough power to set the hook.

Best Rod Length for Kayak

Most kayaks are highly unstable; therefore, they do not let you stand while fishing. Most of the time, you are seated, limiting your casting in one way or another. Their instability also limits our fighting strength when faced by a fighting fish.

Therefore, the best rod length for kayak fishing is in the range of 6.5 to 8 feet. A 6.5-foot rod is perfect for making accurate and precise casts since it offers more sensitivity. An 8-foot rod, on the other hand, is perfect when you need to make longer casts, even when seated.

Short vs. Long Length Fishing Rods

Fishing rods perform very differently depending on their lengths.  Anglers also have different preferences. Some prefer longer rods, while others prefer shorter rods. It all comes to the fishing technique. Every technique requires different types of rods, and that is where the different lengths come in. Below are the differences between short and long-length fishing rods.

Short and long-length fishing rods vary greatly in casting distance. Short fishing rods offer less power and leverage when casting your baits. So they work better in closed-off waters. In contrast, long rods offer more power and leverage required in making longer casts.

The nest difference is in terms of sensitivity. Shorter rods are known to be stiffer; hence they offer more sensitivity. On the other hand, longer rods are less sensitive and have fast reaction speeds.

In terms of line pressure, shorter rods do not bend as much under pressure and absorb much impact, resulting in the line’s snapping. In contrast, longer lines are more flexible, and they do not snap even under pressure.

Shorter rods are better in fishing smaller species and since they are stiffer and have better sensitivity. Longer rods, on the other hand, can handle larger fish species and their fighting power.

Short rods do not provide enough leverage required to pull a fish out of water. On the other hand, Longer rods give more lifting leverage so you can pull your fish into your boat.

Advantages of a Short Fishing rod

1. These rods are perfect for bushy areas as they offer the versatility to drop the line in these areas. In bushy areas, you will have a greater chance of catching fish with a short fishing rod since the casting distance is limited.

2. Shorter rods are the best for target fishing. If you target a specific type of fish, short fishing rods will help you ensure accuracy by studying the fish and its movement with a precise rod.

3. These rods are highly sensitive, ensuring utmost precision. They let you feel every movement of the lure and even the tiniest bite from the fish.

Advantages of Long Rods

1. Longer rods offer longer casting distances, making them ideal for open waters. Open rods will let you have fun as you make long casts. With a bit of experience and precision, you can catch even large fish, and it helps you cover more ground.

2. Longer rods offer more leverage in the hook set. They are less stiff and bend more, so the hook holds more on the fish, giving you a better fighting chance.

3. These rods offer great accuracy in deep casts and greater distances. Long rods are the solutions when you are looking to make deep casts. They let you reach fish in depths that most anglers do not reach. Here you will find the most unique and sweetest species.

How do I choose a Rod Length?

Sensitivity-When choosing a rod length, you need to consider its sensitivity. If you are looking for highly sensitive rods, go for shorter rods and when you are looking for less sensitive rids, go for longer rods.

Fish species-When choosing a rod length, you must consider the type of fish you will be encountering. Big fish are better suited for longer rods since they are more flexible and vise versa.

Fishing ground-when choosing a rod length, consider where you will be fishing. When fishing in spaces where there is too much vegetation and cover, shorter rods work better. With longer rods casting will pose a challenge.

Footing-Your footing is essential when choosing the length of your rod. If you are on a very stable footing like on a large boat or pier, longer fishing rods will work perfectly. But, if you are standing on unstable grounds, shorter rods work better as they are more precise.

Fishing technique-Your fishing technique will determine the best rod length for you. Techniques that require too much control require shorter rods, while techniques that focus more on casting distance are better with longer rods.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a 7-foot rod good for?

The seven-foot rod is the standard rod size. It can be applied in different fishing techniques.

This rod is also good for beginners and hobbyists. Seven feet cast long distances and can be used for larger fish species.

2. What is a 6’6 medium rod good for?

The 6’6 medium rod works perfectly with spinnerbaits or swims jigs. These rods have soft tips that load the rod for soft splash entry. If you are going for fish that get startled easily, this is the best rod.

3. What length fishing rod is good for bass?

Bait fishing rods range between 6 to 7.5 feet. Some anglers go further to use the 8 feet rod, but it’s recommended. Even tournament circuits do not recommend 8 feet long rods.

4. What is the best length fishing rod for trout?

Trout fish are smaller and mostly go hand in hand with smaller rods. Rods in the range of 6’6″ or less work perfectly for trout fishing.

5. What is the best size fishing rod for a seven-year-old?         

Kids fishing rods are slowly gaining popularity. However, these rods vary depending on the child’s age and size. A three to four feet rod will work perfectly for a seven-year-old. As the child gains experience, you can adjust to a longer rod.

6. What is the best size fishing rod for an eight-year-old?

An eight-year-old kid also will use a three to four feet long rod. However, they can use longer rods depending on their height and experience. If they are a little experienced, you can get them 5 feet long rods.

Final Verdict

Are you having a hard time fishing or can’t catch your desired fish? Sometimes we experience trouble even after getting quality rods. Checking on the length of the rod could fix your problem. The right length rod will make your fishing fun as you’ll not struggle with an extra-long or undersized rod. Manufacturers have also made work easier due to the wide variety of rods available in the market today. Whether you are looking for a 2 feet or 15 feet rod, you can be assured that you will find them without much of a struggle.


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