Salmon Spinning & Bait Rods - Tackle Tips

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A rod for every occasion?


Rod size

If you buy a rod with "salmon" written on it expect to pay a premium! There are many fine spinning and bait rods from the coarse fishing fraternity (especially carp and pike rods) which will stand the test more than adequately, but remember that it must have a solid butt section. Salmon are basically a sea fish and fight accordingly!

I am not a fan or carp rods which don't have an all through cork handle. In salmon fishing you will be holding the rod all the time and its important in cold weather to have something comfortable.

Bait fishing rods tend to have a more flexible and sensitive tip than spinning rods, but its a minor point.

The bottom line is that one rod should do you for both activities. It also means that you have less tackle to carry about.

                  Rod Action
The action of the rod required will depend on the type of reel you are using. A through action rod is best for using with multipliers. It allows you to wind the whole rod up in a slower casting action. Middle to tip actioned rods are best used with a fixed spool reel.

Some people say that a tip action rod is more accurate, but I'm not convinced.


I have to own up here.. I am a tall fellow and I fish a big river, so my preference is for a long rod usually 10-11'. I know that in the United States there is a move towards shorter and shorter spinning rods. I have even seen guests trying to use these short collapsible jobs. and my advice is to leave such short rods (less than 9') at home.

A short rod either gives up on butt strength so that is is not a stiff poker, or its so flexible throughout that it does not have the power to land a fish.

It is only fair to the fish to use a rod which matches with its size, fighting capacity and the flow of the river. If you are using a short flimsy rod you will have an awful time controlling the fish. The fish will inevitably become over-stressed and if you take it too far it will never recover (Root and Bohr effect i.e. the blood becomes acidic causing even more lactic acid to be released, causing an unrecoverable downward spiral).

So please - fish with a rod which is man enough for the job.




Test Curves


 Additional Advice

The test curve measures the amount of strain it takes to turn the tip of the rod over to 90 degrees. This gives you a good indication of how much weight the rod is designed to cast.

iMost spinning rods fall into the 1.25 to 2lb test curve and are ideally suited to casting typical salmon spinners which fall into the 20-40g range. But if you are going to be doing a lot of dead baiting with big baits, or using heavy leads in high water you should be looking at test curves around the 2.5lb mark


If you are looking for distance casting on a really big river the quality of the rings is important.

A matt rod gives off less glint than a sparkly one. These are designed to catch fishermen not fish.

Make sure the reel seat is strong and big enough to hold the chosen reel. Flimsy fitting will not do.


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