Picture of Fishing Rod and Reel

Looking to outfit yourself with a new fishing rod, but scratching your head trying to figure out what rod action actually means? Don’t worry, we have you covered!

A fast action rod bends closer to the tip of the rod blank making your lure more sensitive. To be more specific, the added stiffness of fast action rods makes them less flexible, but more powerful. This helps you reel in heavier fish but requires a little more skill to master.

Continue reading to learn about fishing rod action and when it makes sense to go with a fast action rod over the alternatives. 

What is Fishing Rod Action

Fishing rod action is defined as the rod’s potential to bend and then flex back to its original shape and position. In simple terms, rod action is where on the blank the rod bends. The faster your action, the more sensitive your rod will be. 

Rod action is classified into a few different categories including fast action, moderate-fast action, moderate action, and slow action. The ideal action for your own rod will depend on various factors like skill level, where you’re fishing, the type of fish you want to catch, and more. That means one is not superior to the other and how well they perform depends on the situation. 

One factor that affects rod action is the material it’s made out of. For example, fiberglass rods tend to be more flexible and therefore will have a slower action. On the other hand, graphite rods come in a variety of thicknesses and are the material of choice for those wanting fast action.

When to Use a Fast Action Fishing Rod

Fast action fishing rods bend a very small amount. That makes them great for large game fishing or if you are in a situation where you need to get the fish’s head up and out quickly. A couple of common fish to target with a fast action rod include pike, largemouth bass, striper and plenty of other species. 

As a general rule, fast action is used with bigger and stronger predators in deeper water. If you’re fishing in smaller bodies or shallow water, it’s best to opt for a slower rod. It’s also important to assess your skill level and expertise before purchasing a fast action rod. You don’t need to be a master to get the hang of one, but its best to at least have a base level of experience. 

Other Aspects to Consider When Buying a Rod

Aside from rod action, there are some other important considerations to keep in mind when shopping around. These include rod power, length, and components. As precision instruments, any one part of a rod can make or break your overall fishing experience. 

Rod Power 

Fishing rod power is the general measurement of how much pressure it takes to flex a rod. This is rated based on the lure, fish, size, and line that your rod can handle. More specifically, these power designations typically range from ultra-light to extra-extra heavy. 

Rod Length

Using a correctly sized fishing rod can make or break your day on the water. More specifically, the length of your rod affects various aspects of your performance like distance, accuracy, leverage, and comfort. Rods can be any length from 4 to 15 feet, but bass rods generally tend to be between 6 and 8 feet. A short rod (under 6 ft.) is best for shorter accurate casts, but a long rod (over 7 feet) is best in situations where accuracy isn’t as critical.

Rod Components

The main components of your rod consist of the handle, blank, reel, and guide. These all come in a variety of options based on your skill level, budget, and the type of fish you want to catch. 


Outfitting yourself with the perfect rod for your skill level and conditions can be a daunting task. Hopefully you now have a better idea of what fishing rod action is and when its best to opt for fast action. If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to reach out to via the contact us page on our site.

Heading out for a saltwater fishing trip? Make sure you have the right equipment for a productive day out on the water. Feel free to browse our wide range of affordably priced rods and salt boxes that come complete with free shipping.


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