Zander rod – The right rod for zander fishing
It is common opinion among anglers that a zander rod must be hard with a suitable tip action. But this is open to discussion, because apart from fishing technique, other criteria should also be taken into account when choosing the ideal zander rod. We have summarised for you what should be considered when choosing a rod.
The right rod for zander fishing
First and foremost, the perfect zander rod is fast, hard and offers quite a stiff tip action that makes it easier to guide the rubber fish. Ideally the basic contact of the jig head can be felt immediately in the blank of the rod. A hard rod is not necessarily fast. Catfish spinning rods for example are incredibly hard, but also incredibly slow. A fast carbon fibre blank reliably indicates every pluck. And that’s exactly what you need when fishing for pike-perch.
The ideal tip action
The right length
In principle, a zander rod should be chosen between 2.40 m and 2.70 m in length, depending on the fishing technique. If you fish vertically or along small streams, you can also use even shorter rods. Longer spinning rods are not recommended, as they are usually top-heavy and therefore slower. You can’t cast any further, you just have more weight in your hand, which can be exhausting in the long run.
When choosing the right pikeperch rod, the grip plays an important role. A long handle is an advantage, as it allows you to fish for hours without tiring, and also ensures quicker striking. Long grips also make it easier to guide the lure and relieve the wrist.
In any case, telescopic rods should be avoided. The blank of a rod is much stronger, which is essential for the hard strike that is obligatory when fishing for zander.
The correct casting weight
It is more difficult to choose the right casting weight. This is determined by the weight of the jigging head on the one hand, but on the other hand it should also be adapted to the water. In strong currents, a rod with 60 to 100 grams can be chosen. However, if the water is shallow and has little current, light rods of ten to 100 grams should be used.
It is important to note that the casting weight specifications of spinning rods are not standardized and can vary considerably from manufacturer to manufacturer. This can only be counteracted by testing in the fishing business.
The suitable reel
First and foremost, when fishing for pike-perch, the reel must fit the rod perfectly, not impair its properties and provide a sufficiently high gear ratio. Depending on the rod, the size of the reel will be between 2500 and 4000 and have a minimum gear ratio of 5:1 or 6:1. Especially when lazing around, it is important to wind in as much line as possible with a few turns.
Like the rod, the reel should also have as little weight as possible, as it is used for hours of active fishing. The weight of the reel and rod must also match. If, for example, a reel that is too light is mounted, the balance will not be right and the rod will react more top-heavy.
In no case should you save on the quality of the reel. Cheap models show signs of wear and tear quickly due to the heavy use. On the other hand, if you can bring yourself to invest in a Stella from Shimano, you will certainly enjoy your reel for many years.
Different rods for different fishing techniques
Jigging involves jigging rubber fish in jumps over the bottom of the water by jagged upward movements. The lure can be accelerated by jerking the rod and moved much more jagged than when lazing about, where the guide is done by the reel. This technique is especially advantageous in the warm season.
Here classic zander rods in the 60 – 80 gram class can be used. Only those who mainly deal with small to medium sized zander can fish ultra fine. The Shimano Yasei Aspius, for example, is an ingenious full-contact rod, which with its 7-28 grams is one of the lightest, but in reality can withstand much more.
When using a rod for jigging it is important to have a correct tip action that immediately indicates the basic contact of the lure.
Even when lazy the rubber fish moves in jumps over the bottom of the water. Unlike jigging, however, the rod remains in one position while the lure is given life by the reel. The jumps of the lure become a bit flatter than in jigging.
The tip of the rod should be particularly hard when lazing. Semi-parabolic rods are more of a second choice in this case, as their tips tend to be soft.
When vertical fishing, the rubber fish is presented to the zander in slow motion right in front of your nose. Especially in the cold season, this method is the best. Vertical fishing is done from a boat equipped with an echo sounder. The angler places himself directly above the fish, lets the lure sink vertically to the bottom under the rod tip, then picks it up again for several seconds and then lets it sink again. Fishing blindly without sonar vertically makes little sense, as only a small area of water is taken up.
The rod models to be chosen are usually slightly shorter (around 2 m – 2.40 m) and have a casting weight between 30 and 65 grams. Lighter rods should have tip action, while harder rods can be parabolic.
The lure is brought to life by constant casting and hauling. As the rod is also in action all day long when spinning, special attention must be paid to the weight of the rod and a sufficiently hard tip. Depending on the water, the length of the rod can be between 2.10 m and 2.70 m. Longer rods are also not recommended.
A final word: experienced pike-perch anglers can confidently swap the hard rod for a softer model with progressive action every now and then, thus considerably increasing the fun factor during the drill.