Rod sensitivity is something anglers discuss a lot when they talk about fishing rods. Experienced anglers put a lot of emphasis on rod sensitivity. But most novice anglers do not know what rod sensitivity is and how to conduct a fishing rod sensitivity test. In this post, we are going to discuss it.
What is rod sensitivity?
To put it simply, sensitivity is the feeling you get through the rod when the lure gets a bite. If you know the right way to detect it, you will understand that it really matters. There are many different types of fishing rods, and all of them do not allow you to feel the sensitivity in the same way.
If you have a technique, it may work very well with one type of rod, but it will not work with all types of rods. It should be noted here that you do not always need to feel the sensitivity. But in some situations, it is essential.
What makes a fishing rod sensitive?
Several factors are responsible for this. The sensitivity mostly depends on a rod’s ability to transmit vibrations. In terms of transmitting vibrations, graphite rods are better than fiberglass. Your rod choice should not be based on just the material. But when you take sensitivity into consideration, a material like IM8 is a good choice because it is especially designed to send vibrations to the hand.
Softer fibers come with thicker walls, and less material is required if the fiber is thick. Frequency is transmitted easily if less material is used in the rod. An uncoated rod usually feels more sensitive than a coated version. However, there are some coated rods with high levels of sensitivity.
Sensitivity also depends on the amount of glue, the type of handle, and the reel seat being used. So, the overall feel is determined by several factors. Rod builders take all these factors into consideration when manufacturing rods.
The durability of the rod is also important. When you hook a fish, the rod should bend correctly. Rod builders try to keep the weight lower while maintaining these characteristics.
As we have already mentioned, rod sensitivity depends on the amount of material used in the rod. More material makes a rod less sensitive. On the other hand, less material makes a rod less durable.
On the market, there are many low-priced rods that are made of cheap graphite. These rods are durable, but not sensitive enough. Rods made of fiberglass are highly durable and are able to withstand major abuse but not sensitive at all.
Very light and thin blanks are used in ultra-sensitive rods. But you have to be very careful when using these rods because they are usually fragile. Taking the middle path is the solution to this problem. Choose a sensitive rod but make sure it is not ultra-sensitive because ultra sensitivity often equals fragility.
Choosing the right gear for sensitivity
If you want to take the sensitivity factor into consideration, you have to be careful when selecting the rod and the fishing line. Braided lines can be a great choice for jigging because they come with zero-stretch attribute. Monocarbon is not a good choice for transmitting feel, because it has lots of stretch. When it comes to a fishing rod sensitivity test, choosing the right rod material is important.
As a mainline option, fluorocarbon is a great choice, because it does not have as much stretch as Monocarbon. The sensitivity of the rod is also determined by how heavy the lure is. You will find things a bit hard if you are using a 4-8 oz-rod and a 1/8 oz weight. That means the weight of the lure should be consistent with the strength of the rod.
Do not use a heavy lure with a light rod. In such a case, vibration will be absorbed, leading to reduced sensitivity. For the best results, buy a rod that is a good match for your intended lure.
Sensitivity tests for different types of fishing rods
There are techniques that can help you feel the sensitivity of different types of fishing rods. Anglers with different levels of experience use technique-specific rods. Now we are going to focus on different types of rods and discuss some techniques to feel rod sensitivity. While the main parts of a rod are the same, the feel when fishing can make all the difference. Hopefully, this discussion will make a fishing rod sensitivity test easier for you.
When it comes to fishing, testing sensitivity is the key. To get better at this technique, you will have to pay attention to bites. As an example, let’s see how Texas-rigged plastics work. As the lure touches the bottom, you will have to make an attempt to feel that. It will help you figure out the exact moment to pick up the bait.
Feeling the sensitivity will not be easy if you are not using a sensitive rod. As a result, you may miss a chance. For example, largemouth bass does not keep the bait for a long time; it spits the bait quickly. When a fish is at the bait, you may or may not feel the sensitivity, depending on the rod. If the rod reacts quickly, you will find it pretty easy to hook the fish.
You can benefit from this technique even if the process does not require much sensitivity. When you are fishing bass, a fiberglass rod is a good choice for a crankbait cast. When you are using a jig, sensitivity is not essential. However, this technique makes the process a lot easier.
Steelhead and Salmon bank rods
For drift fishing, sensitivity is of utmost importance. If you are going catch salmon and steelhead, you will need to do a fishing rod sensitivity test. The technique will help you know when a fish bites, even when the lure touches the bottom. Sometimes there are extremely subtle sensations. So, investing in a sensitive rod is a really good idea.
When it comes to float fishing, extreme sensitivity is not a necessity. However, you will still benefit from the technique. This technique is especially helpful when the bobber is not pulled under water. Sometimes the float is just tilted, instead of being stopped. But as you gather more experience, you will be able to feel that. But, as we have already mentioned, you have to make sure that the rod is light enough.
For hover-fishing, back- bouncing or similar fishing, feeling the sensitivity is of utmost importance. Light bites and bottom connections are involved, and immediate reaction is necessary when there is a bite. However, it is also important to consider the balance of sensitivity and power.
Sensitivity is not a big factor when you are applying techniques like pulling crankbaits with planer boards. When a fish bites, the rod does not send any signal because it is in the rod holder. But you must look at the tip and see what is happening. It is important for a fishing rod sensitivity test.
However, when trolling, a sensitive tip is helpful, especially when you let down the weight. If a heavy weight is dropped to the bottom, you get an instant indication when you feel the weight reaching the bottom.
Walleye bites are light and subtle. This is especially true when you are vertical jigging. The rod you are using to catch walleye should respond quickly to every bite. But the bites are subtle, and you may take some time to feel the movement of the fish. There are rods specially designed for walleye fishing. These rods are highly sought after, and beginner anglers take some time to figure out the right way to use them.
Saltwater inshore rods
In terms of power, inshore rods vary widely. When you are using a lighter rod, it is easy to achieve sensitivity. Graphite construction and lighter blanks make it easy to feel the sensitivity. In terms of sensitivity and length, they are not very different from bass rods.
You will have to handle heavy weights when you are trying to catch large inshore species. At the same time, it is important to retain a tip suitable for light bites. Lamiglas rods can help you handle fish easily, but they are not known for sensitivity.
If you are a surf angler, you will have to fish for long periods of time. To get the best results, you will need rods that are not only stouter but also with a good level of sensitivity. When you are retrieving a bucktail jig or a plug, you will have to feel the exact reaction of your presentation.
It will also help you entice more bites. If you are not familiar with surf rods, you will be surprised at the level of sensitivity these rods provide, although they are stouter and longer than other types of rods.
Whether you are a new angler or an experienced one, fishing rod sensitivity test is something that deserves your attention. You will find it easier as you gather more experience. We hope as an angler you will take it seriously and get better at it.
As always, happy fishing!