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Choose your fishing rod based on your needs!

When choosing a fishing rod, you should first consider what you are going to use the rod for. In the Happy Angler online store, rods are categorized as follows: Spinning reel rodsbaitcasting and closed-face reel rodstrolling rodssea fishing rodsfishing poles and bolo rods. The extensive selection offers rods that are perfect for your needs.

Here you can find rod selection information and tips for both beginners and experienced anglers. The information is structured like your typical fishing hobby. We start with fishing poles and proceed through the various forms of lure fishing.

When selecting a rod, it is important to consider the suitability of the rod for your specific needs. Are you looking for a solid general-use rod that can be used for casting lightweight lures and even fishing with slightly heavier lures? Is your intended fishing style trolling, pike fishing, or jig fishing? You can find the perfect rods for these and many other fishing styles in the Happy Angler online store.

Rod properties

Instead of lure-based recommendations, the sorting options available in our online store are based on the fishing style. Our Product Manager determines the criteria to ensure that the rod you purchase is definitely suitable for your chosen style. Many rods can be used for various styles. Other filters you can use to make the selection process easier include price, brand, rod length, and rod type.

When products are added to the online store, their properties are defined to allow you to filter the selection. For spinning reel, baitcasting, closed-face reel, and trolling rods these features include brand, fishing style, rod length, and customer reviews. Of the available filters, “Product reviews” provides particularly valuable information to help you in your decision-making, as these reviews are based on the users’ personal experiences of the reviewed product.

Fishing poles and bolo rods

A still summer's evening spent sitting on the dock, watching the red and white polystyrene float bob on the surface of the water. Only the call of an Arctic loon in the open lake pierces through the silence.

These types of moments are the first fishing memories of many anglers. The old fishing pole bought from a gas station is still waiting on the corner of the summer cottage, ready for relaxed fishing on a summer evening.

Happy Angler’s fishing pole range includes both traditional gas station poles and more modern carbon fiber poles, rod and reel sets, and high-quality, more responsive hook, line, and sinker sets. Why should you choose more responsive equipment? Read our angling tips here to find out!

Why should you invest in your fishing pole?

A carbon fiber fishing pole is easier and more comfortable to use, allowing you to fish for longer, as your hands will not get tired as fast as they would with a heavier fiberglass pole. The difference is particularly noticeable when using a longer pole. For beginners, a 3–4-meter traditional fishing pole is a great option. A shorter pole is easier to control by the budding angler.

Stadin Kalajunnut is a fishing club from Helsinki that operates on the children's terms. The club provides its members access to 4-meter fiberglass poles equipped with more responsive hook, line, and sinker sets designed for competitive use. Fiberglass poles are also more resilient in use. The same applies to spinning reel, closed-face reel, and baitcasting rods. Sensitive equipment makes it easier to notice bites.

“During a multi-species fishing marathon, the competitors fish for 24 hours straight, and I catch most species with a traditional hook and line. I use two 7-meter, one 5-meter, and a few 3-meter poles with different equipment. Particularly with the longer rods I have been very happy with the lighter weight.

Carbon fiber poles have claimed a place in my rod bag, and there is no returning to old-style fiberglass poles.” Juha Salonen, multi-species fisher and fishing blogger online store also offers rods that are suitable for bolo fishing. Bolo fishing is particularly popular in the Baltic countries, but it is now slowly finding its audience in Finland as well. The advantage of this fishing style is that your range is extended by dozens of meters. Do remember that in Finland you are obligated to pay the fisheries management fee if you are using a rod equipped with a reel.

Read Happy Angler's tips for angling beginners and tips for going on a fishing trip with your children.

Your first spinning rod – should you choose an off-the-shelf combo? 

Do you remember the first spinning rod you held in your hands? Did the first casts with a closed-face reel feel strange, or did you perhaps jump straight in with a spinning reel?

Choosing a rod and reel can be quite confusing for new lure fishers. In this case, you might want to take a look at off-the-shelf spinning or closed-face reel combos. These combos include a rod and a compatible reel, and some even come with the line already on the spool. You can find off-the-shelf spinning reel combos here and closed-face options here. Extremely easy – attach a lure and start fishing!

TIP: Closed-face reel it the easiest type of reel to cast with, but spinning reels offer more advance technology and thus allow for longer and more accurate casting.

Casting with a
baitcasting reel requires the most practice, but they are unrivalled for heavier pike fishing in particular.

Solid general-use rod – The single rod tactic

It is important to find a rod that is suitable for versatile uses, as this will eliminate the need to carry several rods with you on fishing trips. The properties of a good rod will allow you to engage in a wide variety of different fishing styles. Jig fishing requires a more responsive rod, whereas a slightly stiffer one will also work for casting heavier lures.

As your skills develop, you will learn to choose a rod that is just right for your needs. Finding the right balance for your reel and rod will increase comfort during longer fishing trips and reduce physical strain. Ultimately you will realize that you know exactly which kind of rod is the best for you.

Tip: If you do not know which length of rod would be suitable for you, rods between 210 and 230 cm are the most popular among beginners. A rod of this size will enable beginners to cast easily and achieve a decent casting length.

Jyri Kuusisalo from Kalastajan kanava offers his tips for choosing the right rod: “My recommendation is to buy a single reel with two different rods, as this will allow you to focus on the style of fishing you most enjoy. Purchase a reel that comes with a spare spool. Use 0.15-mm braided line for one of the spools, and 0.22-mm line on the other. Alternating between the two will allow you to both jig responsively and cast slightly heavier lures. Choose the rods depending on your target fish or favorite technique.”   Jyri Kuusisalo  

Tips for pike rod selection from the largest pike fishing group in Finland

Pike fishing has increased in popularity significantly in recent years. One of the reasons is the Hauenkalastajat group on Facebook. Group members share experiences, go on fishing trips together, and most of all help each other to develop further and break new records.

Join the group here: (FIN)

We asked group members for their tips for choosing suitable rods for different types of pike fishing.

Casting with shads, or pike jigs, requires heavier equipment due to the lures themselves. A decent-sized shad rod is between 7 and 10 feet long (2.13–3 meters) and has a lure recommendation of well above 50 grams.

Casting with spinners will require a slightly different kind of rod. Here, you can use a 7–8-foot (2.13–2.43 meters) rod, which is 1/4 or 1/2-actioned. The lure recommendation should be near to 60 grams at the top end. This will also allow you to cast heavier spinner baits with less effort.

I really took a shine to the rod that felt fast and tip-actioned in the hand. The rod allows me to cast long with up to 24-gram spinners, with the lure recommendation being 35 grams.”
– Mika “Pikedog” VornanenSkes ry's fishing guide of the year 2018

Fishing with jerk baits requires using different reel and rod techniques. Here, you will be best served with a short and slightly stiffer rod.


Jig fishing – choose the rod based on your jigging style

Rods with sensitive tips are used for dropshot jigging, as they enable you to feel each movement of the sinker as it bounces along the bottom. The sensitive tip will also allow you to spot even weaker bites clearly. For more information on dropshot jigging, see Kalle Paavola's jig guide.

Vertical jigging has become increasingly popular among anglers. It consists of using a sonar to find fish, and then dropping the jig in front of them. The rods typically used for this type of fishing are slightly stiffer and shorter. You can find rods designed specifically for vertical jigging here

A slightly stiffer rod that still allows you to maintain the feel of the jig is good for traditional jigging. A responsive rod will also make it easier to hook the fish. 180–210 cm is a good length for a traditional jig rod.

The rods used for traditional bottom jigging are typically divided into perch and zander rods. Perch rods are often tip-actioned, as the perch will begin to shake once caught. A tip-actioned rod will follow the movement of the perch, thus making its escape less likely. A tip-actioned rod bends at the tip section.

Zander rods are stiffer and less tip-actioned. The reasons for this include the bonier mouth of a zander, the deeper fishing zone, and the larger size of zander compared to perch. All of this means that you will need a rod with enough backbone and responsiveness to strike back with right timing to hook the fish.

Does it really matter which rod you use?

“I own dozens of different rods. Most of these are precision tools designed for a specific fishing technique or species of fish. If you want to maximize your catching efficiency, you cannot compromise on features.

 On the other hand, if you want to maximize your fishing enjoyment, you can choose a completely different kind of rod. Increasingly often – or almost always – I carry at least one older combo with a fiberglass rod. They are heavier and have less of a backbone, which makes it harder to hook the fish. But fishing with this type of equipment makes you feel like you have earned every single fish you catch.

 For me at least, this has allowed me to rediscover the joy of fishing I felt as a child.”

– Niko Satto, nostalgic angler


Text: Juha Salonen, fishing blogger & Milla Rannila


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