7 Tips For Choosing A High-Quality Inshore Spinning Rod


Looking to get a new fishing rod?

You can do all the research you want, but if you pick out a defective rod from the store, it will not work as well as you think, and it may even break easily.

In this video, I’ll break down exactly how to choose an inshore spinning rod from the store so you can avoid accidentally picking a defective rod.

Plus, I’ll share some tips on what makes a good saltwater fishing rod, and how to maintain it so that it lasts a long time.


Choosing An Inshore Spinning Rod [VIDEO]

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If you want to pick out a high-quality rod, follow these seven tips:

1. Make sure the guides are straight

You don’t want guides that are out of alignment, as that will put pressure on them, which could cause them to break.

2. Make sure the first guide is lined up with reel seat

If your reel doesn’t line up with the first guide, that will put extra pressure on it.

One tip to do this is to bring your reel to the store, set it in the seat, and make sure it’s pointing right towards the first guide.

If you can’t, or didn’t bring your reel, ask to use another one in the store.

3. Make sure your reel seat is centered

Defective rods may have the reel sitting off-center in the seat.

4. Make sure no guides are bent

choosing a new fishing rod tips

5. Inspect guides for cracks and gaps

Make sure the guides and inserts are not cracked and there are no gaps between the rod and the guides.

Gaps could make the guide weaker or allow water to get into the rod and rust from inside out.

how to pick a good fishing rod

Pro tip: use a q-tip or cotton swab to check for cracks in the inserts.

Also, make sure that the guide inserts are there.

I’ve purchased reels in the past that were missing inserts.

6. Make sure there are no cracks or chips in the rod

This will cause the rod to break eventually, especially if it’s made of carbon or graphite.

You can use cotton swab here too to check for cracks, or just use your fingertip.

7. Make sure the rod is straight

If a rod is stored in a bent position for a while, that can cause it to permanently take that shape.

Tip for effective rod guides:

how to choose a fishing rod

Smaller guides are more ideal than larger guides.

This will choke the line quicker, control coils off of the spool, and lead to longer, more accurate casts.


black pelican custom inshore fishing rod review

If you follow these tips, you’re way less likely to bring home a defective rod.

And if you wash and dry it after every fishing trip, it’ll last a long time.

Now all of these tips go for picking out any rod in the store.

If you want to see our reviews of specific brands and types of rods, check out our rod review page here.

Have any questions about picking out a new fishing rod?

Let me know in the comments below!

And if you know someone who’s looking to get a new rod, please TAG or SHARE this with them!

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Thomas Duane
1 month ago

I have an older 7′ rod with a Penn 750ss. The rod was custom for me in 1975. Basically for Blue fishing from a party boat. I’ve caught a lot of fish with this. I have another reel that I am refreshing. Both are getting HT100 drags and hybrid bearings. The rod is fiberglass. No carbon fiber back then. I’m thinking of the Cushion Element 7′ heavy or the 7’6″ medium. I’d like an opinion other than throw away and start over. These will me mostly for pier fishing and I will be buying newer stuff. I have a Penn battle 3 3000 size and some other smaller reels and lighter rods. Just looking for guidance on the rod.

Last edited 1 month ago by Thomas Duane
Chase Williams
2 years ago

I purchased a couple of the Temple Fork rods. Ordered the TFG PSS 764-1 but they sent me one, 764-1 and one 763-1. Should I send the 763-1 back or use it with lighter tackle. (Inshore fishing). What would be pros/cons of using the lighter rod? Should I stay away from using certain lures? Or is there not that much of a difference?

Vincent Jones
2 years ago

I am in the process for buying longer spinning rods for this type of fishing. My situation is a little different though. I have to modify every rod I buy to fit the rod hold I built after I lost my arm 46 years ago. Though all have to be modified, the new “light weight” open blank handles require more modifications. I also have to use MH rods knowing I have to give up castability.

And yes, I could go with custom rods but after over 50 years I find with today’s technology, there is not “substantial” difference between a $80 rod and $400 rod. JMHO

3 years ago

HI Tony. Just received a new rod from Shimano. It is the Exsence Genos Wild Contact 9 foot 2 piece 8 to 42 gm. (1/4 to 1 1/2 oz.) Handles the full range of weight really well. Only available for purchase in the Japanese domestic market. Only tried it on grass so far but cast a measured 78 metres (85 yds) using a 20gm. IMA Hound lure. The rod weighs a light 132gm (4.5 oz).
Also fished Florida in September in Florida. Brought with me a Nebula 9′ 4 piece 7-35 g rod. Fished alongside the TFO and Calico Jack models you guys use and it performed at least equal to those rods. Problem with this game is that there is always something better round the corner (or so manufacturer’s wish us to.

3 years ago

Hi. Can we have an update on the rods being used or recommended by you guys as have come across some incredible rods recently. The Shimano JDM Infinity and Genos series are considered by some experts as potentially the best current lure rods in the world. I bet most people have never even heard of them.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

Hi Tony. Found it very interesting. The workmanship on the rod is excellent. Century blanks are pretty pricey and I didn’t really note any comments on how it performed as a fishing tool ie. versus the TFO and Calico Jack. Do you prefer it to say the Loomis Inshore Heavy action spin?

Dave Otte
3 years ago

Thanks for the great review Tony, this is very helpful! Have you noticed any difference in the length of your casts when using a rod with micro guides vs. a comparable rod with ‘regular’ guides?

matthew brand
3 years ago

great tip Tony! I am very hard on rods and what I found is I prefer stainless inserts to ceramic. when there is a crack in the ceramic insert, it will cut your line. I realize ceramic is less resistance to the line which may allow you to cast slightly farther. I prefer stainless. I was told the more guides the more accurate the cast? thoughts?

matthew brand
3 years ago
Reply to  Tony Acevedo

thanks for the feedback Tony, I have been fishing a long time and I still learn something from every video you post. Great job!

3 years ago
Reply to  matthew brand

Hey Mat, I’ve never had ceramic a guide crack, chip or break after realizing a swivel, hook or other hardware was destroying them, after making some sort of hard contact with them. my biggest 2 mistakes were putting a hook into an insert to store it while moving to the next spot. Also, using a swivel between the braid and leader. Then reeling the swivel into the top guide.

matthew brand
3 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

you are absolutely right! I found myself doing the exact same mistakes. Now my guides seem to break during transport where I have multiple rods together and the rods bounce together either on the boat or in the truck. I probably should get a rod sock to protect them when using ceramic inserts.

Thomas Campbell
3 years ago

Good stuff man! Might I add, checking the spine on the rod. That will play a big part in how the rod performs


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