Fishing Rod Power

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A rod’s power typically ranges from ultra-light to extra-heavy and refers to how much force it takes to flex it. Rod power is important for a several reasons. Most importantly, it largely dictates the range of lure weights and line sizes the rod was designed to cast, but it can also be used as a reference for the size and strength of fish the rod was designed to fight. 

Power is an important factor in rod-selection because properly matching a rod to the type of line and lure that will be used is key to obtaining reliable performance. In other words, a light-power rod rated for 4-8-lb. line and 1/16-1/4-oz. lures would not be adequate to cast a 5/8-oz. spinnerbait for bass or present a 1-oz. jig for walleye. In this case, the underpowered rod could potentially fail and disappoint the angler. Similarly, a medium-heavy power rod designed for 8-14-lb. line and 3/8-3/4-oz. lures wouldn’t fail if used to present a 1/16-oz. jig for crappie, but it wouldn’t load or cast as designed, would be heavier and more cumbersome than the job requires, may tear the fish’s delicate mouth, and would also disappoint the angler. 

At the least-stiff end of the power spectrum, ultra-light rods have the least amount of power and are suitable for presenting small baits on light line, generally to smaller fish. At the upper end, extra-heavy rods provide maximum power for presenting large baits on the strongest of lines to do battle with large predators. Medium-light, medium, and medium-heavy are the most popular rod powers and represent the sweet spot for most angling situations.