Need a brand new fishing rod, but not sure what rod action actually means?  If you’re new to the  sport you’ll surely encounter a range of confusing angling information and lingo. Don’t worry you’re not alone, we have you covered with a comprehensive guide on the subject rod actions.  

Continue reading to learn about what fishing rod action means, when it makes the most sense to opt for the various action types, and the difference between rod action and power.

With this knowledge, we hope you can make a better informed decision when outfitting yourself for your next rod. 

How Does Fishing Rod Action Work 

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 and vice versa. 

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.

The perfect rod choice can vary greatly based on a range of different factors including fish type, location, skill, and plenty more. That’s why avid anglers tend to carry a few different rods in their quiver. You can think of it like a golfer with the various clubs in their bag. Understanding terms like rod action can help you make the best choices. 

What Are the Different Rod Action Distinctions

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. 

Rod actions defined

Fast Action: 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.

Medium-Fast Action: Just as you would expect a moderate-fast action rod fits somewhere in between the distinctions of fast and medium action setups. 

Medium Action: A medium action rod will bend more or less in the middle of its entire length. You can go with this option when you want to combine some of the benefits of a fast and slow action rod together for a more all-around option. 

Slow Action: Slow action rods are defined as bending right around the lower third of the blank. This gives them a softer and less responsive feel. With that being said there are certain situations where having a slow action rod will pay off in spades. For example, a slow action works best and is very forgiving If you’re fishing in smaller bodies of shallow water. 


What is the Difference Between Fishing Rod Action and 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. 

In most cases, we like to recommend rods with a medium power distinction to give you the widest range of casting quality in different situations. This make your rod decent all around, but if you’re on the hunt for a larger game fish you may need to seek out a more powerful rod.

 As we already went over rod action is the measure of how much a rod bends and the speed at which it draws back. This is separate from rod power as power is rather a measurement of pressure. 

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 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.

The Rod Type

Another important thing to keep in mind when shopping around for a rod is the actual type of rod and what use it was made for. For example, you have trolling rods, spinning rods, surf rods, casting rods, and more.


    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 how it affects your cast. 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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