What Is The Strongest Fishing Rod?

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The concept of an “indestructible” fishing rod is more of a marketing term than a literal fact, as all materials have their limits.

The strongest rods are virtually unbreakable due to their durable composite construction, which typically combines fiberglass and graphite. This combination balances strength, sensitivity, and flexibility, making breaking under normal fishing conditions almost impossible.

Key Takeaways

  • What are the materials used to create an indestructible rod?
  • What can cause a fishing rod to break?
  • Which brands and models are the strongest fishing rods?

Factors For Choosing The Strongest Rod

Shark fishing demands robust, heavy-duty rods to manage these predators’ formidable size and power. When selecting a rod for shark fishing, here are some key features to consider:

Material: Choosing a rod made from tough, enduring materials like fiberglass is crucial, as it offers the strength and suppleness to combat a large shark’s might. A rod like the Shimano TZS69XH Terez is built to withstand even the largest sharks.

Length: Shark rods typically range from 6 to 9 feet in length. Short rods, around 6 feet, give you greater control and leverage for catching tuna, while longer rods, such as a 7-foot option for bottom fishing, can provide the casting distance needed from the shore.

Action: A heavy or extra-heavy action rod is advisable for powerful fish. The action indicates where the rod flexes under pressure. A well-constructed heavy-action rod always bends in the lower third, which provides the strength to fight enormous fish.

Power: The rod’s power is its stiffness or resistance to bending. Heavy to ultra-heavy power rods are required to create the strongest rod. Blackfin rods, known for their strength, are made in America and designed to meet the demands of the biggest saltwater fish.

Fishing rod power rates the amount of pressure needed to bend the rod at its action rating. Power ratings range from the lowest, ultra-light, all the way up to extra heavy.

Line Rating: A rod suitable for offshore fishing and trolling should be rated for heavy lines since these fish are powerful. You’ll typically need a rod to handle line strengths of 50-100 pounds or even more!

Rod Materials

Traditionally, fiberglass alone was used to create the strongest rod blank. However, due to advancement over the past ten years, graphite rods have improved significantly.

In offshore fishing, tuna and shark anglers have switched from mono line to non-stretch braided lines. Therefore, a rod with increased action has now become the preferred option.

All the best manufacturers of stand-up conventional rods now blend graphite and fiberglass for their blanks.

Fiberglass is still necessary as it provides the toughness. The graphite creates a lighter rod and a better sensitivity for bite detection. However, manufacturers must combine the two correctly to ensure that the rod doesn’t shatter with too much graphite content and still contains sufficient fiberglass to provide power and durability. This formula is kept closely guarded, especially in specialized rod builders.

In summary, the composition of the graphite/fiberglass provides a less heavy rod and increased sensitivity.

Which Brand & Model Is The Strongest Fishing Rod?

Determining the “strongest” fishing rod can vary based on the criteria used to define strength, such as lifting power, resistance to breaking, or the ability to handle heavy fish. However, the Ugly Stik GX2 series from Shakespeare is one of the most well-known, durable, and strong choices.

The GX2 is available in a medium-heavy spin rod, a light or medium-heavy spinning rod, and the strongest, the medium GX2 Boat, with a line rating of up to 50 lbs.

While it’s not the strongest rod you can buy, it’s one of the most durable for everyday use. Its composite graphite and fiberglass combination balances strength, sensitivity, and flexibility, making it almost impossible to break under normal use.

Combining The Blank With The Right Hardware

Having the strongest blank creates durability to ensure a rod doesn’t break. However, matching other hardware is crucial to ensure the rod performs as it should.

Line Guides: Quality line guides and rod tips, like the Fuji Aluminum Oxide, are the best in class. On the strongest rods, the wrapping to secure them to the blank must be equally constructed. At a minimum, the wrap should be double or preferably triple-wrapped to ensure it holds.

Reel Seat: This component must be exceptionally strong to keep the reel firmly in place. A well-mounted, stable seat is essential to prevent movement or instability during a fight with a marlin tuna or a swordfish. Aluminium is the standard material used for seats on strong rods.

Rod Butt: Short butts made from aluminum butt or carbon are the best for leverage. A 10 to 14 inch foregrip made from EVA foam will make the grip secure and comfortable when used with a powerful rod.

What Causes A Fishing Rod To Break?

Fiberglass rod blanks can sustain some impact without causing any weak points. However, graphite is less forgiving; knocks can bruise the internal layers because the energy does not disperse. These weak points are the areas where the rod will fracture.

Impact on rods can happen in many situations, even more so on boats. Transporting your rods without a holdall, getting in and out of the boat, inside the boat, and even heavy sinkers knocking against the rod.

The most common causes of a rod breaking are:

  • Positioning of the hands past the foregrip: This creates higher stress due to the shorter action.
  • High-sticking – which is when the rod is raised greater than 45 degrees from the ground or the line direction exceeds 90 degrees to the butt section.
  • Continuous hitting the rod against the gunwale holder.

If you are concerned about rod degradation after some use, you can send your rod for load testing to ensure it’s per the range rated by the manufacturer.

Breaking Out

In over 50 years of fishing, I have never had a rod breakage. However, in many cases, a strong rod is beneficial, especially if you target powerful tuna, marlin, sharks, and sailfish.

Matching the rod with the species is critical; choosing the right weight and action in your rod is key to preventing your rod from giving way. This is important in spinning rods but is equally a factor even in fly fishing rod weight and action.

Steve Fitzjohn