Spinning rods are the most commonly used rods by novice anglers. In fact, most fly fishermen start off with a spinning rod in hand. What some people do, however, is they never go back to spin casting, once they have upgraded to a more technically demanding method. This, in effect, deprives them from excellent fishing on days fish are hard to reach by other methods.
Depending on the particular fishing situation spinning rods can be as short as 6 ft (or even less) or as long as 10 ft 6 in or more. They can have different actions too. The stiffer rods are usually meant for larger fish, or a special way of presentation such as jigging. They can tire a fish quickly, which is good for the fish, but not that satisfying to the angler. Softer rods have a more pleasing action and are good for protecting thin lines. They can work on both small and large fish.
When choosing a spinning rod one has to consider the following factors:
Small creeks with bush and trees on the banks are best fished with shorter rods of 6-7 ft in length. Such rods may be rated for 2-6 lb lines for smaller fish, or they may be stiffer and stronger (8-17 lb), in case the query is steelhead. What has to be kept in mind is, a short rod cannot absorb the amount of stress a long rod is capable of. As a result, it is harder to control a trout and easier to lose it. On the positive side, using a shorter rod is, by far, more exciting and adrenaline pumping!
In the large rivers, rod length is crucial. The added length allows us to cast a lure much farther and reach those steelhead and salmon that hide in the middle of the river, or close to the opposite bank. Fishing lakes from shore is also best done with long rods. Although a typical spinning rod will be up to 10 ft 6 in long (about 3 m 40 cm), some of the 12 ft+ float rods can be used for spin casting and viewed as the equivalent of Spey rods in fly fishing.
Matching the rod with the right size lure is fairly easy. Rods are rated for certain weight. Use lures lighter than the maximum rate and see how they feel on the rod. Small lures work on light action rods in combination with thin lines and vise versa. Tying a heavy lure to a thin line with the intention of gaining extra casting distance is a mistake. As often as not the lure will snap off the line during casting.
There are many styles and types of rods on the market. Anglers sometimes make the mistake of buying a casting rod and using it for spin casting. A casting rod has front guides of much smaller diameter. This dramatically changes the angle between the reel and the first guide and leads to excessive line wear. The extra rubbing on the guides also causes reduced casting distance.