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What is the best way of matching a rod and reel, is there a simple formula we can use, is it just personal preference, is there a reel weight to rod weight ratio ? when balance is talked about where do you hold the rod to check ?


Your views please guys.
 
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Difficult question Steve (but beats watching Wild at Heart!).

A lot seems to be down to personal taste, most people I see trying to check out a rod's balance are putting a couple of fingers under the butt just ahead of the reel seat. Others seem to be able to judge by picking it up and giving it a wiggle. But then some people like a tip heavy rod it seems, others like a rear weight bias. And someone people swear a 3000 size reel is enough and others go to a 5000 - on the same rod!

And then when they have found the right reel, some have it custom painted to match the rod. Now there's keen for you.
 

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I agree with Paul that it is largely down to personal preference. Most of the bass plugging for example is done with reels in the 2500 to 4000 size and rods between 7ft and 10ft. More powerful rods demand more powerful reels to go with them. Lighter rods allow smaller lighter reels.
If you put a light reel on a heavy rod it won't feel balanced and the tip will feel heavier. If you put a big powerful reel on a light rod sometimes the weight of the rod will feel like it disappears and you are left with a heavy feeling reel.
No real (excuse pun) formula for working it out as I know of because different people look for different feel depending on what they are using the outfit for. Personally I have a few different sized Daiwa reels that I use for different things, they are 2000, 2500 and 3000 size. When I buy a new rod I will use what I feel is best suited power wise to that rod. Somebody else might have a completely different approach.
 

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Now that we're all using braided lines you can get away with a far lighter reel than when we needed a bigger spool for mono. I don't think you need to worry too much about "balancing" rod and reel but rather marry all components together around the line strength and fishing style. i.e. if you want to fish PE1.5 then select a reel that holds enough of that line and marry it to a rod that fishes that breaking strain. Rather choose a slightly wider spool though as this will have better casting performance. The JDM models with a wider shallow spool are great, e.g. Luvias 2004 or Biomaster 4000S. No need for backing either.

The reel sits pretty much at the fulcrum point of the rod and if you are using the grip where the reel stem is between index and middle finger then for the reel to "balance" the rod you would need a lot of extra weight due to it being nearly on this fulcrum point. If that makes sense.

If you like a balanced outfit, one that is neither tip nor but heavy, it is worth looking at having balancing weights fitted in the butt section. You can achieve balance through this with the addition of less weight than if you used the reel to achieve the same objective. Many JDM rods now have balancers in the end cap.

A tip heavy rod will tend to feel heavier than one which actually IS heavier due to having a balancer weight in the butt. The weight of the tip enhances wrist strain due to the effect of leverage.

A balanced rod will also feel more responsive as you aren't always over compensating for the tip weight.

Hope that all made sense.
 
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