Much of the thrill associated with saltwater fishing lies in the catch. As there are typically many different species of fish in any given area of saltwater, the possibility of catching several different types of fish certainly exists, along with the possibility of catching quite large fish. Saltwater may be broken down into three different categories: surf fishing, pier fishing and deep sea fishing. Each of these involves equipment which is distinct to each. One piece of equipment where there is a noticeable difference is the fishing rod.
Surf rods are used to propel a lure and weight into or out past the breakers of the ocean. Depending on the species of fish, the bait may be presented in the waves or breakers near the beach or further out where the water is deeper. Surf rods are available in varying lengths, however, most surf rods will be in the nine-foot and longer range. These rods will have a large diameter base and handle which will taper forward. Surf rods are typically in the medium action range, as there needs to be some play in the rod for casting heavy weights a great distance. The action is also appreciated when retrieving the lure or a caught fish. Surf rods are most commonly designed for use with large spinning reels.
Pier fishing typically requires a shorter and more rigid rod. Shorter rods of no more than six feet, stiff, with a slow action are preferred. This type of rod is necessary as the lure, bait and weights are presented down into the water from the pier. Reeling in weights and caught fish requires a rod with a stiff back bone. Pier rods may be designed to work with a spinning rod or a larger open-faced bait casting reel.
Deep Sea Fishing
Deep sea rods, often a combination of the surf and pier rods, are used to fish from boats. This type of fishing requires a rod which can handle a cast as well as the forces applied from bait and weights suspended below the boat. A typical deep sea saltwater rod will be in the six- to eight-foot range, will feature a heavy action, and will be somewhat stiff, though not as stiff as a pier rod. These rods will usually be designed for use with open-face bait casting reels and may feature rollers at the tip for assisting in fishing deeper waters.