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MUST READ! - If you want to LEARN THE SECRET TO PERFECT LURE/JIG SELECTION then read the following information and all will be revealed.
How to Correctly Match Lures to Popping or Stick Bait Rods
This is one of the most critical factors when deciding which lures your going to purchase to best suit your rod and is quite often over looked or misunderstood.On every rod there will be a specification listing either printed on the rod blank near the butt section or available from the manufacturers website. Most high end quality rods will be very specific in these specifications and it is very important to know this about your rod before purchasing any lures.
For example the Temple Reef 'Big Berty' popping rod states that it is a PE10-12 rod and that it can take poppers up to a maximum of 220g. To find the ideal popper weight for the 'Big Berty' we can apply a simple formula to help discover the optimum lure weight range. If we take about 20 -25% off the stated maximum lure weight range (lure up to 220g) we will come back to a weight of 165g, so to round things off we can broadly say that lures between 150g - 180g would be perfectly suited to this rod and allow the angler to have maximum casting capabilities. Lures outside this parameter are fine to use but they will not feel as well balanced to the rod as the ones with in the ideal weight range. This guideline can be applied to almost any casting rod as a general rule.
How to Correctly Match Lures to Combination Stick Bait / Popping Rod
If you only want to purchase 1 rod to cast stick baits and poppers then it has to be primarily a stick bait rod to be able to perform both lure styles, why? The reason is based on the fact that generally speaking a popping rod requires a rod with a 'stiff' tip section to enable the cup of the popper to be pulled through the top water section and a stick bait rod requires a more sensitive tip to enable the lure to be 'worked' through the surface/sub surface layer of the water and allow the lure its maximum natural movement. If a stick bait was pulled through the water with a 'stiff' rod section it would most likely 'blow out' and the lure would skip along the top surface.
If you take the above information on board we can now understand that by dropping our lure weight down we in effect make the top section of the rod 'stiffer' as there is less resistance being applied to the rod. So to find the ideal stick bait and popper weights for our desired rod we apply a broad formula to maximise the performance of the rod.
For example the Temple Reef 711 is known as an ideal combination stick bait / popping rod. The 711 states that it is a PE10 rod and that it can take stick baits up to a maximum of 170g. To first find the ideal stick bait range we can apply the same formula as above. If we take about 20% off the stated maximum lure weight range (lure up to 170g) we will come back to a weight of 136g, so to round things off we can broadly say that lures between 120g - 150g would be perfectly suited to this rod and allow the angler to have maximum casting capabilities. Now to find what poppers weights would best suit this rod we take another 20% off the ideal stick bait range which means that poppers around the 100g - 130g would also ideally suit the 711 rod. Lures outside this parameter are fine to use but they will not feel as well balanced to the rod as the ones with in the ideal weight range.
How to Correctly Match Jigs to Jigging Rods
This is not such a critical factor as you are not casting the jig, but what is very important is that the rod is able to impart the ideal action to the jig for maximum performance. If the jig is too heavy or too light for the rod then it will be difficult to impart a desired action to the jig. Again I would work on the 20-25% less than the maximum rated jig weight for the rod but in most cases this jig weight range is a lot wider, as each jig model, style is uniquely different it is only by trial can you work out the optimum jig range.