Power vs. action: Choose the right rod

No one rod is right for every situation

On the deck of every professional angler’s bass boat lie at least 10 rods for different applications.

Speckled trout anglers should take notes from the bass guys.

Far too many trout and redfish fishermen don’t pay nearly enough attention to what rod they’re using. They’ll just cut off a topwater bait and tie a jighead to the end of the same line.

Or take deep-water jigging, which is an effective way to catch speckled trout all across the coast. Whether you’re jigging a ledge or a deep hole in the marsh, this technique will definitely slime up the ice chest.

However, it’s not the easiest method for catching fish.  It takes concentration and skill, and a problem most anglers run into is not being able to feel bites — that are oftentimes subtle.

That’s most likely because they’re using the wrong rod. The majority of anglers use far too light of a rod for jigging. A whippy, noodle-like rod robs you of all sensitivity, absorbing whatever thump you might otherwise feel.

Few anglers actually understand the difference between power and action. Most fisherman will say they’re fishing with, say, a medium-action rod, but, in fact, there’s no such thing.

Rod powers range from ultra-light to extra-heavy, and rod actions go from slow to extra-fast.

Stcroixrods.com explains it well.

“The ‘action’ of a rod is determined by where a rod flexes along the blank,” the website states. “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.

“The ‘power’ of a rod refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod.”

To get maximum bite detection, at least a medium-heavy power, fast- or extra-fast-action rod is a must. Although it seems overkill for speckled trout that might be no longer than your foot, a stiff blank will transmit bite detection a whole lot better.

On the contrary, anytime treble hooks come into play, you’ll have your heart broken if you use that same medium-heavy, fast-action rod for hard baits.

The same thing that makes it so good for deep-water jigging makes it like poison for baits with treble hooks.

A medium-heavy, fast-action rod just doesn’t have a lot of give.

When a fish explodes on a topwater bait or strikes a stick bait, the heavy lure with multiple treble hooks provides a lot of leverage — and an angler who uses too stiff of a rod will tear the hooks right out of the fish’s mouth.

On the other hand, a light-power rod with a slow-action tip is ideal. This gives plenty of cushion while fighting a speckled trout, and it allows the light-wire treble hooks to stay implanted in the fish’s mouth when it runs and surges.

This necessity is magnified for anglers using braided-line because it has no stretch, unlike monofilament.

About Joel Masson 177 Articles
Joel Masson is an avid angler who has fished South Louisiana his whole life. He lives in Mandeville and can be reached at Joel.masson19@gmail.com.