This is a question I am often asked whilst at my local tackle shop in Puerto De Mazarron. Shore rods are probably the most complex design of all sea fishing rods, as there are so many designs varying in length, taper and material. Rods designed for surfcasting are very different to those designed for fishing from rocks, which will generally be of much heavier design as the risk of getting snagged in the rocks or having to raise fish a distance upwards from the sea. This is very different from beach casting where your aim is generally to achieve long distance.
All of us are different in height and stature; this makes a tremendous difference in which rod will suit the individual. Unfortunately fishing rods are not like new cars where a test drive is possible so you have to consider what you are going to use the rod for. You are basically looking for an all rounder to start with. If you are a serious fisherman you will no doubt end up with several rods each for different tasks. I could obviously fill pages with all the different types and in the future I hope to feature several rods and reels through all ranges of both type and price.
Most English shore rods are either two-piece or telescopic, here in Spain they are either three piece or telescopic, the use of multiplier reels here is very rare for shore fishing as very thin line is required for the clear waters: for example I use 0.14 line with a tapered shock leader for competition use and this is far more suited to fixed spool reels, although I am currently testing a multiplier with some new thinner line and thinner shock leader. More on that in the future. So you are probably going to buy a rod off the peg in your local tackle shop, the choice is mind-boggling and prices vary so much, which should you consider?
Try and find some shore anglers and look at what rods they are using, consider the casting style they are using, where they are fishing and what they are fishing for or indeed catching. Whatever rod and reel you purchase you need to be comfortable with so you can gain confidence quickly and not be put off by it all being too heavy, long or just plain unsuitable for you. After all the idea is to catch fish not hit Morocco on your first cast! This may sound like it’s a little to do with granny’s and egg sucking but it always amazes me how many people I see fishing with huge rods and reels that nearly take them out to sea when they cast out. You must be comfortable and safe with the equipment you are using especially when fishing off slippery rocks - open the rod you intend to buy in the shop and get the feel and balance of it with a reel attached.
If you are just starting out I would recommend purchasing a telescopic rod complete with reel, a combo, as it is known. This gives you the complete outfit, which will be suited to many types of fishing and build your confidence as you practice. As I have said the choice is vast. After some research a good buy would be Grauvell’s excellent MG Telesurf 390 Carbon complete with the Kronos XL50 8 ball bearing reel with front drag system all for under 100€. This combo is very good as the rod and reel feature the very latest technology and all at a very reasonable price, you can spend hundreds of euros but if you are just starting out a rod and reel such as this, although designed for beach casting, has proved to be a good all rounder and will allow you to have a go at all aspects of shore fishing and even if you move on to more complex and specialized equipment in the future it can always be used and is not just money down the drain after a few months.
Whichever rod and reel outfit you purchase please remember to rinse them down with tap water when you get home as the saltwater will ruin them in weeks. The spray from the sea and the line on retrieval gets everywhere and must be washed off or next time you go fishing you will be faced with a seized reel and corroding rod rings.
Copyright © Gary Smith & Luigi Mateos