Most of us think we know what a good fishing rod should feel like, but shaking one at arm’s length at the tackle shop tells us nothing about the action. A rod’s action can really only be felt when the blank is under load.
To check the action of a rod, place the tip on carpeted flooring (to avoid damaging it) and gently flex the rod from the tip. This will give you a good sense of how the rod will perform when the blank loads during the back cast, when you set a hook, or when you’re simply pulling baits through the water. Observe how the tip reacts to this loading and look for a uniform bend along the blank.
We’ve selected two spinning rods and two casting rods from our test field that best reflect their manufacturers’ assigned medium-action rating.
Abu Garcia Veracity
This rod has a gentle bend along its length and a lively tip that begs to be twitched.
Kistler Helium 3
As its name implies, this rod is lightweight and has an enthusiastic tip and a supple action from top to bottom.
The rod fishes as well as its maker’s longstanding reputation for stellar performance (and its eye-popping price tag) suggests it should.
Quantum EXO Tour PT
A slender taper gives this rod its exceptional overall fishability.
See the full tackle test: best new fishing rods and reels.