Whether buying a fishing pole for the first time or maybe as a gift, choosing the right fishing pole can be difficult and it's quite easy to buy the wrong one. There are a few different things to look for in order to buy the right one. I'll list the features and stats to look at so you can buy the right pole for it's intended use, location and user.  Remember that since the different stats that you'll find on a pole determine such things as flexibility and weight they are by definition something that is a personal preference so if this is going to be a gift you might want to ask a few questions before heading out and purchasing the wrong one.

Things You Will Need

  1.  Knowledge of where the fishing pole will be used
  2.  You should have a basic idea of the kind of fish that will be caught
  3. You should know who will be using it, their experience level strength and size is important

Determine the type of fishing pole you need

First off, and without a doubt the most important thing is to choose the right type of fishing pole. There are many types, check the following list to see which is the best type of fishing pole to get.

- Lake fishing: Spinning fishing rod
- River fishing: Fly fishing rod
- Deep sea fishing: Deep sea fishing rod
- Boat fishing: Trolling fishing rod
- Ice fishing: Ice fishing rod
- Beach fishing: Surf fishing rod

Make sure you get the right type, the wrong fishing rod can break if it's used the wrong way.

Choose the power rating of the fishing rod

Get the right power rating for the fishing rod. Generally this is determined by the type (see above) of the fishing rod but can vary. The power rating ranges from ultra-light to ultra-heavy. You won't find an ultra-heavy fly fishing rod for example.

Choose the 'action' of the fishing rod

Next determine the action. This is basically how much the fishing rod bends before returning to the neutral position. Some fishermen call this faster or slower. This is more a personal choice when it comes to the perfect fishing rod.

What quality of fishing rod do you want

Different manufacturers offer different quality fishing rods. They vary in material and construction techniques. Look for a one piece fishing rod for the best quality. There are also many links on this page to help you choose the best quality fishing pole.

So there you have it, in a nutshell choose the right type, then power rating, than action. Set a budget and, armed with that info, take a look at different manufacturers to get the best one with the features you want.  Overall this isn't difficult, in fact once you find the right type the power and action ratios are practically determined by default, there is of course some models that are slightly different but overall you should be ok.

In terms of price you can find some rods as cheap as $15 or less (not including the reel) while there are some that cost hundreds of dollars.  Since you now know what all those stats mean you'll be able to figure out the real differences among them.

Read this article to learn all about the various rod and reel combo packages available out there.

Tips & Warnings

If you find yourself lost in picking out the perfect pole I highly suggest you read some reviews on sites like Amazon.  Anglers are pretty vocal about what equipment is good and which isn't so you can be sure you're reading an honest review by a real consumer.