How To Compare Fishing Rod Sensitivity

Here’s a quick and effective way to compare fishing rod sensitivity in your store.

How To Compare Fishing Rod Sensitivity

At some point in a conversation about new fishing rods, the customer or salesperson will mention the topic of fishing rod sensitivity — the ability to transmit a subtle strike and other vibrations through the rod blank/handle and to the angler’s hand. The tricky part is how can you effectively compare sensitivity between possible rod choices A and B?

Here’s an idea that works: Cut two 12-inch pieces of 10- to 12-pound monofilament. Tie a small loop in one end of each line. Attach one piece of line to the tip of each fishing rod. Instead of tying a knot, however, run the tag end of line through the rod tip first, through the loop second, then snug it up. (The loop should now be tight against the rod tip. See photos below.)

Testing fishing rod sensitivity is easy in your store with a short section of mono attached to the rod tip (right). Use a loop connection (left) instead of a knot for convenience.
Testing fishing rod sensitivity is easy in your store with a short section of mono attached to the rod tip (right). Use a loop connection (left) instead of a knot for convenience.

Mount a correctly matched reel to the rod, then have the customer hold the rod-and-reel combo as he or she would while jigging (the 10 o’clock position is about right). The idea here is you will tap the line with your finger to test whether the customer can feel it. Important: Ask the customer to close their eyes, then ask them to say when they’ve felt you tap the line with your finger.

On heavy glass rods or glass/graphite composite rods, it will be very difficult or impossible for the customer to detect the line movement. However, on lightweight high-quality graphite rods, the customer should have no trouble detecting the line tap. 

This is an outstanding method to showcase the sensitivity difference in your store’s high-end fishing rods, especially those spinning models designed for finesse tactics for bass or walleyes. 

At the conclusion of the sensitivity comparison, remove the two sections of mono line (easy because of no knots) and set them aside for the next time you or another member of your sales staff wants to conduct the test. Tip: Choose high-vis instead of clear mono because it’s harder to lose.

As stated previously, graphite rods transmit vibrations and bites better than fiberglass rods. Also, rods with fast actions are typically more sensitive than slower rods. When two rods are built from similar high-quality graphite, and both rods have a fast action, then the lighter one (physical weight) is usually the most sensitive.



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