How To Pick The Right Rod & Reel Combination

Few pastimes command as much interest and discussion in New Zealand as fishing. Just because you've got access to the open water in your boat, doesn't mean it's a simple matter of casting a line and hauling them in!

You're likely to get as many versions of the best-ever All Blacks line-up as you are the perfect combination of rod, reel, bait, lure and style when it comes to fishing in New Zealand waters. So, your best bet is to do some research about where you're likely to fish, what species you're going to target and then look for a set-up which suits.

Remember, the most expensive rod is the one which sits in the shed year-round and doesn't get used, so it's important to find something which suits your needs. Make sure you get expert help to select the right combination of rod and reel. These are the two most expensive parts of the whole fishing set-up and it's important they work in harmony.

There are relatively inexpensive for combos suitable for kids or occasional recreational fishing, all the way through to top-dollar combinations designed to target specific conditions or species, so before you head into store and part with your cash, here are a few things to think about:


What are the basic terms?

Two concepts to get your head around are 'action' and 'drag'. 'Action' describes how the rod bends when it's under pressure, and 'drag' refers to how tightly geared your reel is and how much line it will give a fish with a bit of fight. Your options around action are:

  • Fast: gives you the sensitivity to tell when a fish is striking
  • Medium and medium-fast: give you more distance if you're casting from the shore, more stiffness to set the hook in larger species but still sensitive enough to detect light bites even in deep water
  • Heavy or medium-heavy: withstand heavier line and perfect for targeting larger fish and trolling.

Drag is important because a fighting fish will jerk the line to create slackness and the chance for it to spit the hook. The better the reel, the smoother the drag, the more constant the pressure on the line and the less chance you'll lose your fish.


Where am I fishing?

Different combos suit different places.For example, if you're casting for trout off an inland jetty then you'll want a light set-up and if you're dropping a line over the side in search of a kingfish in the Bay of Islands, you'll want something a lot heavier.

Of course, if you're fishing in salt water then you'll need something which protects against corrosion and wear and tear. Some of your options include inland lakes and streams, surf-casting from the beach, trolling from a kayak, drifting or anchored in inshore and coastal waters, or heading out to the deeper waters in search of big game fish.


How am I fishing?

Again, the techniques are as varied as the people who use them, but when you head in to store you need to know whether you're fly-fishing (in which the cast relies on the weight of the line and the lure is a tied fly), bait casting (using lures, feathers, live bait etc), trolling and drifting (pulling the line behind a boat either using the motor or the tide), or shore-casting (in which you have to cast out from a jetty, bank or shoreline).


For more information on Burnsco's range of products to meet all your rod and reel needs, phone us on 0800 102041, email us, or Livechat with one of our staff via the website. Better still, dropby one of our storesfor personalised advice on the best gear for your needs.