Whether it’s a Christmas gift for mates and family or a New Year’s resolution for yourself; if you’re just getting into Murray Cod fishing, it can be very daunting sorting through the stack of gear available, but no need to worry, because Rhys, cod fishing extraordinaire is going to share his handy tips for buying your first cod rod.
LEARN TO USE A BAITCASTER
If you’re new to this style of fishing the first thing you need to know is that a low profile baitcaster reel is a must. They are also known as overhead reels and they look and function very different to the more common spin or thread line reel. Spin reels are perfect for bait fishing, much easier to use, especially with kids.
Baitcasters are more accurate and they provide you with more control over your line and lure. This is a must when casting for Murray Cod because you need to be extremely accurate when casting at structure.
Baitcasters might annoy you at first but keep practising. Chances are you will get a mess of knots on the spool, commonly called ‘birds nests’. This is all a part of the learning process.
WHAT TYPE OF ROD TO BUY
As you now know, you need to get a baitcaster rod to match your reel. Here are a few key features to look for in a rod:
Length: 5ft6in – 6ft2in
Weight: 3-5kg to 6-8kg
Taper: medium – heavy
This is just a guide to go from as the best rod depends on the area you are fishing but it can also be a personal thing. Some anglers prefer a lighter rod for flicking lures easily (myself included), whereas other anglers prefer a heavier rod. If you stick within the above recommendation you’ll be right.
This is a question I get asked a lot and the prices can sometime be overwhelming, especially if this is your first rod and you’re just getting into fishing.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I SPEND
If you’re just starting out and you only fish a few times a year then you don’t need to spend too much. You should be able to pick up a combo which will include a rod, reel and line for between $80-120. This is a cheap setup and won’t last you forever but it’s a good start.
The next step up is someone who fishes once a month or maybe 6-8 times a year. You’ll want to buy each component separate rather than in a combo. Look at around $60-100 for the rod, $120-150 for the reel, and then you’ll need $30-50 spare for braid.
If you’re someone who is looking to fish every second weekend or possibly more than I highly recommend investing some money and getting something that’s top quality. Not only will it perform better, make casting easier and more accurate, but it will last you a lot longer. For the rod $100-200, for the reel look between $200-400 and a good quality braid will cost around the $40-50 mark.
Last of all I want to touch on some of the best brands on the market that you should look at when buying your first setup.
WHAT ARE SOME GOOD BRANDS?
Abu Garcia, Shimano, Daiwa, 13 Fishing, Quantum make outstanding rods and reels. If you find something within the price range I talked about you’ll be sure to have a good quality setup.
Other good brands to also have a look at are; Pflueger, Lox, Penn, Rapala, Dusk, Wilson and JML.