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Hi, guys. I have been an avid fisherman for over 50 years. For the last 30 years or so, I have been using a 7’ or 7’6” spinning rod (currently a 7’6” St. Croix Tidemaster) paired with several different spinning reels (12-pound mono to 20-pound braid) to catch fluke, striped bass, blackfish, blue fish, weakfish, drum, snook, jacks, barracuda, red snapper, etc., from Block Island and East End (mostly Shelter Island) of LI, down the east coast (mostly Jersey shore) to the Outer Banks and Florida, as well as Mexico, Belize, and Costa Rica. I’ve been lucky to have caught some fish, and much enriched by the wonderful experiences I’ve had and the people whom I’ve met.

I am only relating this to explain that I am not a novice fisherman; however, I am not particularly knowledgeable about the latest developments in surf (spin fishing) tackle.

If possible, I would like to buy one rod whose sweet spot will cover most of the bases and would still be useful for other types of fishing from the surf. Obviously, if this is unrealistic, and if any rod would still have some deficiencies, I would add a second rod to cover the remaining bases. (Please don’t tell me that two rods won’t cover at least 90% of the lures and types of fishing from the shorelines of NJ and NY. That would be disheartening.)

Does anyone know of a chart that provides rod length, action, and strength with specific classes/types of lures? For example, is a fast action rod desirable/needed for a particular type of lure but horrible with a different type? Would a rod that is suitable for pencil popping be appropriate for all plugging? Is it absolutely true that longer rod lengths are required for longer casts? And wouldn’t a shorter, lighter outfit be more pleasant to use over many hours of casting compared to a longer, heavier one?

I have seen some information on this site but, unless it’s there and I simply overlooked it, I don’t think anyone has put it in such a way that I (and, I’m sure, many others) could then go out and make a knowledgeable buying decision. At this beginning point, I’m not so much interested in a comparison of specific rods, just general characteristics.

Thanks for your insights.
 

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Thanks, Striper Jim, for such a cogent reply. The link to Tackle Warehouse's "Selecting the Right Rod" was illuminating. Although its focus was freshwater bass fishing, the principles it outlined were obviously transferable to saltwater surf fishing. And, for me, the information was reassuring - I have heard/read it before and am glad that my (otherwise) poor memory has not again failed me.

You recommend an 11-foot GSB series lamiglas rod that covers 1 to 4 ounces for pencils, plugs, tins, heavier bucktails and big surf. Thank you for that suggestion. Is there anything specific about the 11-foot GSB series lami that you think is unique to that rod? What other rod might you suggest would be equal/comparable to the GSB lami? (Also, are you suggesting a blank or a finished rod? [I am not a rod builder]). Lastly, if you are suggesting a soft tip for pencils, does the 11-foot GSB lami come with that configuration?

For a second rod, would a 9-footer be more versatile than a 10-footer for light bucktailing? Wouldn't the 9-footer be better suited for throwing a wide variety of lighter lures?

I certainly will take your word regarding the Fuji Hardloy guides (Silicon carbide, or SiC), no matter what rod I purchase.

Any comments anyone would like to add would be very much appreciated.
 
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