How To Balance Your Spinning Gear (And Why It Helps You Catch Fish)


Here’s something that I ignored for a long time, but when I finally understood it, it made a big difference:

Balancing out your rod.

When you’re throwing artificial lures all day, having a balanced setup will make fishing a lot easier.

If your rod is not balanced, you’ll be fighting gravity, you’ll get tired much more quickly, and you won’t be able to make the same long and accurate casts that you were doing when you first got out on the water.

And of course, making long and or accurate casts could be the difference between having a banner day or coming home with pictures of the sunset.

So in this video, you’ll learn how to balance out your rod, how the type of fishing you’re doing can affect how you choose your rods, and what to avoid when choosing a rod.

Check it out below.

How To Balance Out Your Rod [VIDEO]

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The goal of balancing out your rod is that when you’re holding it naturally, the rod is in equilibrium.

This means that the tip and the butt are balanced, not trying to fall one way or the other.

To balance out your rod, you need to find the place where you can rest it on one finger.

Once you’ve found that spot, that should be where your top finger goes when holding your rod.

For instance, in the picture below, the rod is at equilibrium when my finger is just above the cork, which is perfect because this is where my top finger would end up if I was normally holding the rod.

balancing out rod and reel

In this picture below, you can see that I have to put my finger about three inches toward the rod tip for it to be balanced out.

When I’m holding my rod up or at a 45° angle all day, I’ll be fighting gravity and will get tired much quicker.

rod weighted forward

However, having a rod that is weighted forward is not always a bad thing.

When I use topwater lures I like to keep my rod tip down toward the surface of the water, so having this type of rod will actually be helpful.

Many high-end rods have light butts because the manufacturer is trying to make them as light as possible, so definitely keep that in mind when you’re purchasing a rod (especially if you’re matching it with a light reel).


best size rod and reel for inshore saltwater fishing

If you’re looking for a good overall rod and reel combo, you want to find one that is weighted neutrally, meaning that wherever your top finger is when you hold it naturally is the equilibrium point.

Having a balanced rod will let you fish much more efficiently and you won’t get as tired as if you had an unbalanced rod and were fighting gravity the whole time you’re using it.

Have any questions about balancing out your rod and reel?

Let me know down in the comments!

And if you know someone who’s looking for a new setup, please TAG or SHARE this with them so they can get the right rod and reel for them!

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Nico schmitz
10 months ago

what kind of rod should I pear with a Shimano FX spinning reel?

Travis Beswick
1 year ago

I cast with one finger above the reel foot, I don’t move my hand to have my fingers above the reel foot after the cast due to timing issues when fish hit when the lure hits the water. Most rods are too tip heavy. I like these rods for crank baits only. For this reason I test balance of rods at the top towards the tip of the reel foot

Jim Knight
2 years ago

I bought a Bull bay custom from Salt Strong. Is there a Diawa Ballistic MQ to balance it. The Ballistic MQ LT 2500 sounds nice. Is there a better match?

Roderick Tillman IV
3 years ago

Are there any applications or techniques where you prefer a medium instead of medium-heavy?

Roderick Tillman IV
3 years ago

I have two rods ones an ugly stick gx2 medium. The other is a st croix medium-heavy. I usually start the day with a top water on one and a slam shady on the other. Which should I tie on each?

Roderick Tillman IV
3 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Appreciate it buddy great info

Brett Laws Laws
3 years ago

Luke, excellent tip! After reading the article and watching the video, I went out to the garage and found the balance point on the combos I have. Due to 2 previous shoulder surgeries, my right hand would go numb within 15-20 minutes of using spinning gear. I went wade fishing a couple hours later, using the knowledge of the balance point and changing my grip on the rod, I was able to fish for well over an hour without my hand going numb. Apparently, the way I’d always held a spinning rod was causing my wrist to be slightly bent, which was never an issue before the surgeries. My new grip straightened it out, eliminating the numbness. Thank you, Luke and Salt Strong.

Thom Ray
3 years ago

Can comment or make a post on the pros & cons of a full cork grip vs. split grip. I’ll test two models of the same brand and see how the balance point changes. I’m still not sure which model (full cork vs. split grip I like better

2 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Star stellar lite has split and full options I believe

Last edited 2 years ago by Finnafish
Jeff M Rops
3 years ago

I’m a firm believer in having a balanced rod and reel setup. My dad and I used to cast lures for 12 hours a day. My rods and reels were balanced his were not. He was a wreck after the first day. That night I balanced his rods and reels and for the rest of the week he was fine. He is now a firm believer in rod balance.
Here is a cheap tip for balancing your rod when the rod’s tip droops down towards the ground indicating the rod butt is too light.
Go to your hardware store and buy a rubber floor protector that you would put on the bottom of each chair leg. Make sure that the protector’s inside diameter is slightly smaller than your rod butt. If you get them too big use tape on the rod butt to get a snug fit.(This type of protector is also what is on the bottom of crutches.)
Many times just the weight of the rubber protector, placed on the butt of your rod, will be enough to balance your rod/reel. If not add some metal washers inside the rubber protector, prior to putting it on the rod butt. Add washers until proper balance is achieved.
Jeff Rops

Raymond Bierschenk
3 years ago

Great information! Haven’t put ANY thought into rod balance but I will now! Will be checking out my rods and maybe alter where I grip it.

Mark Huling
3 years ago

Great stuff LUke. I immedialtey went out and “balanced” my current rods. When are you guys going to add some combo rods & reels to you tackle store? I would think they’d be big hits.

Mark Huling
3 years ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

Thank you!

Owen Green
3 years ago

Hi Luke
Thanks for the tips – My son and I are learning something new from you guys every week! I may be mistaken but it looks like in this video you are far from the sea? The vegetation and sandy track look exactly like the Zambezi flood plains of Barotse where tiger fish hang out! I am intrigued, please tell us where you shot this video and what fish you were hooking into?


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