Choosing a good rod for float fishing can be very confusing for the beginner as there are so many different types available. There are basically two methods for catching coarse fish: one is float fishing and the other is legering. I have yet to find a satisfactory general purpose rod. A rod with a through action (one whose curvature is extended throughout the whole rod) designed for float fishing can be used for light legering whereas a leger rod is not practical for float fishing. As a general guide for the beginner, float fishing rods are between 12 feet (3-7 metres) and 14 feet (4’3-metrcs) long whilst leger rods are 10 feet (3 metres) or less. A 12 foot (3-7 metre) glass fibre rod is light enough to be handled by a ten year old and will enable him to control his tackle more easily than using a short rod. Some 12 foot rods have a through action whilst others have only a tip action which enables a very rapid strike to be made. For the beginner or young angler, however, a medium to through action rod will prove more versatile.
One word of warning when buying a fishing rod: avoid some of the short, so-called ‘boys’ rods’ which are sold. These are very often useless and you are belter off saving the money. Most young anglers gain some experience at fishing by using tackle passed down from friends or relatives before actually buying a new fishing rod. Many youngsters show an interest in fishing and, although a few lose this interest after a short time, the remainder become addicted for the rest of their lives. It is wise during this period of initial interest to use handed-down tackle to make sure that the interest in fishing is not just a passing phase.
A fishing rod is not cheap so it is worth the little bit of effort required to keep it in good condition. If it happens to be raining when you finish fishing, wipe the rod down with a dry cloth before putting it back in its bag. Most rod bags have a small tag sewn on to the bottom and the safest way to store a rod between fishing trips is to hang it on to a wall by this tag. Periodically wipe the rod over with a cloth covered in Vaseline. Spigot ferrules on a rod can wear slightly and if this happens just rub the spigot taper with the end of a wax candle. The wax coats the spigot so that it makes a snug fit in the ferrule. The rod rings can have grooves worn in them by the continual passing through of line so these need checking at least once a season. If you do not look after your rod it could well let you clown at the moment you least want it to for example when you hook that fish of a lifetime!