Fishing Rod Weight Chart (2023 Detailed Guide for Choosing Rod Weight)

Fishing Rod Weight Chart

If you are a beginner angler, chances are you will be overwhelmed by the thousands of rods available in the market. That’s right! Choosing a fishing rod is not easy.

Not only do you need to choose between different types of rods, but you also have to choose a rod weight that suits your purpose and style.

This article will cover rod weight rating in full detail and provide you with a fishing rod weight chart.

So, without further ado, let’s read on.

What Is Fishing Rod Weight Chart?

1. What Is Fishing Rod Weight Rating?

Every rod has a weight rating, also known as a power rating. It ranges from Ultra Light to Extra Heavy, which indicates the weight required to bend the rod. As a result, light rods are less stiff, resulting in more bending easier than heavy rods. 

So, as a rule, light rods are perfect for catching smaller fish, while heavy rods are used for handling large fish.

However, choosing the right fishing rod is not entirely based on the right weight for the size of fish you want to catch. In fact, you also need to consider lure weight, line weight, and reel size.

Most manufacturers print a series of letters and numbers on their rod handles to make it easier for buyers to choose. Thanks to that, you can pair your rod with the correct line and lure weight.

2. Meaning of the Numbers on a Fishing Rod

As mentioned above, most rods come with a set of numbers and letters.

These numbers indicate the rod type (“C” for casting and “S” for spinning, length, number of pieces, and weight.  Meaning of the Numbers on a Fishing Rod

For the photo above, S762M tells you that this pole is a spinning rod. It is 7’6” long and has two pieces. Moreover, this rod has a medium weight. In most cases, the second set of letters and numbers represents the recommended line weight (usually given for monofilament line) to be used with the rod. 

Last but not least, the third set of letters and numbers refers to the recommended lure weight.

For the example above, the recommended rule weight is somewhere between 1/3 and 1/8 oz. Once you understand these numbers, you can choose the ideal line strength and lure size to pair with your pole.

In addition, these numbers allow you to choose the right reel size to pair with your rod.

By now, you should get an idea of the numbers on a fishing rod. Next up, let’s learn about the range of rod power ratings.

3. Fishing Rod Weight Chart

Rod powerLine weight Lure weightRecommended species and application
Ultra Light1 - 4 lb test 1/64 - 1/16 ozPanfish, trout
Light4 - 8 lb test1/32 - 1/8 ozTrout, Perch, small bass
Medium6 - 12 lb test1/8 - 3/8 ozWalleye, bass, pike, lake trout
Medium Heavy8 - 14 lb test 3/16 - 1/2 ozPike, salmon, catfish (casting)
Heavy15 - 25 lb test1/2 - 1 1/2 ozPike, muskie, salmon (trolling)
Extra Heavy25 lb test and moreHeavy casting for bass with oversized baits or rigs

4. Fishing Rod Weight

  • Ultra-Light

These rods are very sensitive, making them ideal for trout and small tilapia fishing. Overall, they make fighting with small fish more enjoyable. But, of course, these rods do not have enough power to handle larger fish.

  • Light 

They are a bit sturdier than ultra-light rods, making them ideal for handling slightly larger fish, such as trout, perch, or small bass.

  • Medium 

This is the most common type today.  In fact, they can also handle a wide variety of fish, including smallmouth and largemouth bass, pike, walleye, and lake trout. You can even use them to fight smaller saltwater fish.

  • Medium-Heavy 

They are the perfect pick for handling bigger freshwater fish, such as salmon, pike, and catfish. They are suitable for casting heavy lures or fishing close to cover as well.

  • Heavy

These rods are designed to fight large freshwater fish, such as muskie, salmon, and catfish.

  • Extra Heavy 

Of course, these poles are for handling the biggest fish or fishing with larger lures.

5. Fishing Line Weight

The line rating does not depend on the size of fish you want to handle. Instead, it tells you the ideal fishing line size to use with your rod. Basically, you have to use the correct line strength for each rod weight type to get the best results.

For instance, if you combine a heavy rod with a line that is too light, the line will most likely break, resulting in fish loss.

Fishing Rod Power Chart

Rod powerLure weightLine weight Recommended species and application
Ultra-Light1/64 - 1/16 oz1 - 4 lb test Panfish, trout
Light1/32 - 1/8 oz4 - 8 lb testTrout, Perch, small bass
Medium1/8 - 3/8 oz6 - 12 lb testWalleye, bass, pike, lake trout
Medium-Heavy3/16 - 1/2 oz8 - 14 lb test Pike, salmon, catfish (casting)
Heavy1/2 - 1 1/2 oz15 - 25 lb testPike, muskie, salmon (trolling)
Extra-Heavy1 1/2 oz and more25 lb test and moreHeavy casting for bass with oversized baits or rigs

Like the weight rating, the power rating of a fishing pole represents its resistance to bending. It is usually defined in terms like ultra-light, light, medium, and so on.

Here,  we provide a fishing rod power chart to help distinguish one rod from another The table above lists all main fishing rod powers and matches them with the line weight and lure weight they are best suited for. 

Rod Action 

Simply put, rod actions refer to the position where the rod bends when pressure is applied. The most typical fishing rod actions are fast, moderate, and slow. However, they can be broken down even further, including Extra-Fast, Medium Fast, Moderate Fast, etc. 

Each type of rod action is appropriate for certain types of fishing. For example, rods with a fast action will be the most sensitive, making them ideal for lures where contact with the bottom is essential.

On the other hand, rods with moderate action will bend further down, creating a more significant arc. As a result, they are perfect picks for moving baits like crankbaits.

Although these poles lack some sensitivity, they gain casting distance because the bend in the pole allows catapulting lures further. Slow action rods curve even further down into the rod blank. They allow casting lighter lures with light lines, such as when fishing for trout or panfish.

1. Rod Action Visualization Chart

Now you have an understanding of the ‘Action’ of a fishing rod. Here is the rod action visualization chart. So you have all the pieces of the puzzle.

Rod Action Visualization Chart
Rod Action Visualization Chart

2. Rod Power

A rod’s power is rated based on the fish size, line, and lure it can handle. It ranges from ultra-light to extra extra-heavy or everywhere in between. From the fishing rod power chart above, it is easy to see that ultra-light rods are perfect for handling light lures and smaller fish.

However, these rods can make fighting larger fish an enjoyable task. Light poles are ideal with lures in the 1/16-ounce range. They are great for walleye, panfish, and trout. 

Medium Light power is the perfect pick for lures in the 1/8- to the 1/2-ounce range. Moreover, you can apply it to both fresh and saltwater fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

In general, pole length often depends on the personal preference of the angler. Experts recommend choosing a pole length based on your height. If you are shorter in stature, it is difficult to use a long rod when casting. Also, you need to consider where you are fishing. For example, a longer fishing rod can allow you to increase your fishing distance significantly away from shore. On the other hand, a shorter rod might be better if you are fishing around obstacles.
Line rating indicates the normal breaking strength of the line that can be paired with a properly adjusted reel. For example, a rod with a 10-20lb line rating may work effectively with a braid from 15-30lb.

Bottom Lines

In general, choosing the right fishing rod depends on many different factors: length, weight (power), and action. Through the fishing rod weight chart we provide, you can easily identify fish species, lines, and lures right for your rod. Remember that each rod serves a specific purpose.

So, once you clearly understand the rod’s weight and power, it is easier to choose the perfect fishing rod for your needs. Happy fishing!

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