The right fishing rod is probably one of the first gear you want to invest in when starting pike fishing. What determines a good pike fishing rod?
A great pike fishing rod is usually 8-9 ft long and has a fast action with medium or medium-heavy power. This gives you good leverage and hooking ability when the pike strikes. Depending on the size of lures you intend to use, the casting weight of the rod may vary.
Now you have an overview of what characteristics a good pike fishing rod has. Let’s get into the details on why it’s important to follow them. And, how these features help you land more pike.
There are five types of rod actions to choose from:
- extra fast
- moderate fast
With slow action, your rod will bend quite a lot when your hooking to a pike. Vice versa, with an extra fast rod the initial bend is a lot smaller.
You can look at it this way: With the extra fast rod, the power to hook and land the pike will much much faster than with the slow rod. The slow action rod will need a lot bigger pull (and therefore time) to get the pike hooked.
As you can see I have bolded the fast action – for a good reason. In my humble opinion, it is the best rod action for lure pike fishing.
With pike, you will want to hook as quickly and effectively as possible. Especially in the summer.
If you’re using smaller lures, pike tends to gulp the lure straight to the throat. To avoid this, it’s best to react and hook sooner than later.
The reason why fast action rods are more used with pike fishing is that they have a bit more give, hence less initial tension on your line.
There’s a total of SEVEN different rod power variants to choose from:
Rod power identification shows how much pressure it takes to bend the rod. The “heavier” the rod, the more power it takes to bend it.
While using a light rod is perfect for some occasions and some fish species, pike is usually not one of them.
As pike are a predator species, they have a very powerful attack. Therefore, you need a stronger rod for better hooking capability.
As with rod action, I have also bolded the best rod power in my opinion – It’s the medium-heavy rod.
The reason is quite similar to the rod action. While medium-heavy has very good features for hooking an even a bigger pike, it still allows for some flex.
It’s flexible enough that you won’t rip you the line while landing a pike, yet powerful enough to control the pike.
Using a fast action medium-heavy rod is a very versatile combo for boat and bank fishing. You can use it for both, fishing with lures or bait.
In short, casting weight shows how heavy lures or baits the fishing rod is designed to properly work with.
This said you should think about what type of lures do you use or plan to use for pike fishing and decide on the suitable casting weight of the rod accordingly.
For me, as for quite many other pike fishing enthusiasts, the sweet spot lies in about 15-50g casting weight.
This gives you quite a good variety of lures to play with, and you’ll also be able to do some bait fishing.
For reference, many of the best lures for pike fishing – e.g. from Rapala or Mepps – stay in the weight range of 15-50 grams.
Of course, if you plan on fishing with bigger and heavier lures – you might want to consider a rod with bigger casting weight capabilities.
Now, if you’re a simple fisher who likes a good rod for the occasional weekend fishing, the rod material will not make much difference.
The main thing is to focus on the previous features and the price of the rod.
But if you’re taking fishing more seriously and go fishing maybe a few times a week – investing in a more expensive carbon rod might be a good idea.
- Material: Plastic
- Weight: Heavier
- Sensitivity: Duller
- Durability: Rugged, can handle quite a lot
- Price: $-$$
- Material: Carbon
- Weight: Lighter
- Sensitivity: Vivid
- Durability: Delicate, may crack more easily
- Price: $$-$$$
As you can see, both types of rods have their strengths and weaknesses.
Although Carbon rods are lighter and have a much better sensitivity, they are also more expensive and need to be handled more carefully.
This being said, you should not think that plastic rods feel like sticks in your hand and you’d be better off with a tree branch. Not at all!
Even though plastic rods are duller than the carbon ones, they offer a much better price point. And for a hobbyist, the weight and sensitivity might not play a big role. Not as much as the fact, that they can take a lot more beating.
In short, if you’re just starting out or are just a weekend fisher – Go for the plastic rod. If, on the other hand, you are more serious about pike fishing and need a top-of-the-class rod, you should definitely consider a carbon rod.
Pike Fishing Rod Lenght
We have gone over the most important features of a great pike fishing rod. Yet there are a few things you might still be wondering.
How to choose the right length rod for pike fishing?
At the beginning of this article, I mentioned that a great pike fishing rod is about 8-9 ft (2,4-2,7m) long.
There are some very practical reasons why that length rods have become the go-to rods for many pike fishers – myself included.
The aspects of practicality:
- an 8-9 ft rod offers enough length for riverbank fishing (getting over weeds and such)
- They’re a lot lighter than the traditional 10-11 ft pike fishing rods used for bait fishing
- They are easier to transport and walk around with
- 8-9 ft rods offer a better leverage when casting lures/bait than shorter rods, allowing for longer casts with less effort
Here are some great rods from Amzon you should take a look at:
- Abu Garcia Vengeance baitcasting rod
- St.Croix Premier baitcasting rod
- Shimano Curado casting reel
- Lew’s fishing David Fritts Speed Stick Series
Rod And Reel Balance
When choosing a rod and reel for pike fishing, it’s a good idea to take a moment to think about the rod and reel balance.
Having a well-balanced rod and reel setup is important when it comes to hand exhaustion.
It may seem logical that having a smaller and lighter reel might be better as there’s less weight to handle hence your hand won’t get tired as quickly.
While the weight part may be accurate to some point, the main key for lower hand exhaustion is actually having a well-balanced rod and reel setup.
For example, if you have a heavier rod and a light reel, your setup is more tip heavy, therefore dragging your rod tip downwards.
The Golden Rule
If you’re using a heavier and longer rod, go for a bigger reel – vice versa, if you’re using a light – e.g. carbon – rod, invest in a lighter reel.
This way you make sure your hand won’t get tired sooner then you’re ready to leave for the day.
Spinning Rods Vs Casting Rods
The last aspect of choosing the best fishing rod for pike is whether to go for a spinning rod or a casting rod.
The short answer is, choose the type you feel most comfortable with. It’s equally possible to successfully catch pike with both types of setups.
Really, the decision lies in whether you want a spinning reel or a baitcaster – then buy the rod accordingly.
Here are some features why you might want to choose one or the other:
- Easier to cast without getting backlashes
- Decent Spinning reels start at a lower price point
- Possible to change the side of the handle
- More control over the cast distance and accuracy
- Usually lighter than spinning reels (combined with a lightweight rod, your setup will be more suitable for a long fishing session)
- Generate a lot more drag for its size compared with a spinning reel
I really hope that this article helped you in understanding all the different variables on the rods, and also help you in choosing the right pike fishing rod. If you liked the article, please be sure to share it with friends who might also be seeking that information.