So last night I get the 911 call about a broken rod and what does all the scribbling on the rods mean. It is actually a pretty good question and not the first time someone has asked about it. In this particular case it was a trolling rod from one of the big box stores and they no longer are making the seven foot rod that was damaged during a wave versus sitting on it type accident.
First off let’s tackle the line rating written on the side of this seven footer. It was a medium heavy rod and was rated between 10 and 20 lb test monofilament line. If you are worried about sticking to the 10 lb test rating that is used for the trolling guides for lure depth, there isn’t a problem. If you want to go with a bigger diameter line, no issue here either, so what if your lure runs slightly above a fish’s head, they feed up, not down anyway. This means due to the configuration of where the eyes are on a walleye’s head, they look up, not down.
Now for the lure weight rating located on the side of the rod, this has nothing to do with how much weight you are pulling while trolling. Example would be the weight of my Church Tackle Planer Boards, nor the drag of the lure and board combined. On my St. Croix Premier Glass Trolling rods, the lure weight is 2 oz, this actually means if I was so inclined I could cast up to a 2 ounce lure without snapping the tip off the rod. What is actually more important is that the rod is rated as Medium Moderate action. This means due to the moderate action it will take a bend without breaking while trolling. A fast tip, or even extra fast action would not be good in this scenario.
Now my buddy’s friend will have the problem of trying to match up the action of his old rod while trying to buy a new replacement. First issue will be trying to find a rod in the same length, because it was probably discontinued due to the fact that longer rods are more desirable which lead to poor sales. Next problem will be that no two rods from one model to the next are going to be identical when trying to match up different brands.
Quick suggestion would be if you find a trolling rod you really like, go back to the retailer right away and purchase a few extras for emergencies type situations. Typically these rods are not going to break the bank and usually can be found for $35.00 or less. When purchased with a reel in combination deal, don’t be discouraged, they are almost, always sold separately in house.