Rod Blanks

Choosing the right lure fishing blank

 

Length of rod?

Not sure, ask yourself a few questions about where you fish and intended prey. The long rod is one of choice for me if fishing the open beach, not all bass hunt in the edge!

The shorter rod (1 or 2 piece) can make life easier when fishing around the edges, under your feet or close in structure. Surface lures on a short rod work with ease of use and takes the strain of the arm on a prolonged session, they gain a lot more control and feed back to!

 

Still not sure?

No one rod may tick all the boxes for your type of lure fishing, so move onto the next question, what are the average weights of the lures you're casting? A rod will have an optimum casting weight; this is the middle range of the rods rating. E.g. A rod casting 10-40g, its optimum is 25g, but this still doesn't mean that it won't work in the other weights!

 

Line class?

Again we are looking at the optimum ranges, but don't go above the rating on the blank, this is there for a reason to give you the best from the rod. Set your clutch on your reel, no good in using 30lb line on a rod rated to 15lb, clutch screwed up tight, and then you wonder why the rod gives way! Allow the clutch to work in the manner it was designed, to help us as anglers play the fish, & allow us to use lighter end tackle for bigger fish to name a couple. 

Different lure rods have different actions according to casting weights, line class & lengths for example. A blank that is considered to have a fast action from one manufacturer may be different under these categories to another company.

 

Consider what you intend to use the rod for?

 - Surface lures?

 - Sub-surface?

 - Soft plastics?

I have blanks from the Japanese domestic market that are of the modern fast style. They are light & crisp with everything you would expect at the top of the range. Match these blanks to the Matagi rod components and we have a Japanese rod styled and built in England.

Spigot joints are on some blanks with others having the 'put over' joint, the spigot makes the blank slimmer in appearance but the 'put over' is just as good and a preference to some.

 

ROD ACTIONS 

This can be determined by the taper that the manufacturer builds into the blank, by the type of material used or wall thickness of said blank.

This is the rate that a rod/blank is classed by in its return to 'straight' after being compressed from casting etc. One of the easiest ways to think of classing the rods action is to divide it into quarters, this will be explained & become clear below, I hope!

 

1 - XF / XFAST

This is where only the uppermost part of the tip will have any action/flex unless under extreme pressure. This rod if used for other than its built purpose can feel like a 'broomstick' if used for another type of fishing. Good for Surface work on hard lures, but can cost casting distance by not compressing through the main/whole of blank.

 

2 - F / FAST

The rod will flex in the upper quarter of the tip section. More casting distance available and this action is preferred by a lot of anglers for most of their lure fishing work. Works well with surface lures, minnows etc., can add some casting distance.

 

3 - MODERATE

The rod will flex in the top half/section. These types of rods can give extra casting distance, work well with live baits and can work better for some on lighter/smaller lures.

 

4 - SLOW

This rod will flex from butt to tip. This type of rod can absorb lunges from running fish, but harder to set hooks at distance due to the rod absorbing any movement from the angler. This means any movement you make with the rod will take longer to pass to the terminal tackle end. Not all bad though! Close in work, this rod can be forgiving and save those line breakages if you have your clutch set tight.

 

Between the above ratings you can have fast to xfast, moderate to fast & slow to moderate. Just place these between the above ratings. 

“The ‘action’ of a rod is determined by where a rod flexes along the blank. Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip. Moderate action rods flex more near the middle of the blank. Slower action rods flex down into the butt section.”
— St Croix


Now just to clear things up a little more...

You can have a fast action rod that will flex or bend through from the tip to middle! This can be produced by the materials used by different manufacturers. On average most anglers may think of the rod action as how quickly it returns to straight from being compressed from the cast.

Personally, I like a fast action that will bend, and I can enjoy playing a fighting fish.

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POWER RATINGS

Quite often a heavy power rated rod will be matched with a heavier line class. You wouldn't want to use a heavy line on a light power rated rod, something will give & undoubtedly it will be the rod to break! This can also apply if you use heavier lures/weights than what is rated on the rod!

"The 'power' of a rod refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod. Different rod powers are engineered to efficiently handle a certain range of lure weights and line sizes. To select a rod power that will perform best for you, simply narrow your choices to rods designed to cast the weight of lures - and sizes of lines - you'll fish with most often." - St Croix.


CASTING WEIGHTS

This is for the performance of the rod in terms of the maximum/minimum casting weights to use. If a rod is designed to cast lures between 8-28grams then don't cast over 28g! This is the point where the rod has been tested to give you the best performance without failure! Down to 8g being the starting weight, this doesn't mean it won't cast weights below, but the rod may not compress as well to cast lighter lures. Below 8g, you will be better off having another rod which will have lighter casting weights, lighter power rating & lighter line class, hopefully then, no failure and you get the best from your tackle and fishing. The same can be said for going to the heavier classes if you want to cast heavier weights. Just remember, at some point something has to give, if rated to a maximum weight don't use heavier than rated. 
(For the purposes of having a weight rating to write about I have used 8-28g as my example).


LINE CLASS

This is the recommended line weight/breaking strain to use with a particular rod/blank. Examples to this would be 12-25lb, meaning the lower recommended breaking strain is 12lbs & the higher rating being 25lbs. In terms of the mentioned class, if you used over the rating something may fail, More than likely it will be your rod!

The line class will be paired to the power rating and the best performance will be to use the ones the rod has been designed for. If you used below 12lbs, the line may fail and break, most probably due to the power rating being higher than the lighter line.


IMPORTANT

Please remember, a certain rod will have been designed to do a certain job. If a rating is marked on the rod then use it for those mentioned, it has been designed for that!

Casting heavier lures or weights above that of the rating or using heavier lines than recommended may cause failure to the equipment.

To get the best performance from your tackle, use it within its designed performance criteria, this will give you the best possible enjoyment from your angling.