Selecting a fishing rod may be tricky, especially if this is your first time! One of the things anglers look into is its construction, with fishing rods being made of various materials. Some have tried weighing the pros and cons of each material, with “carbon fiber vs graphite fishing rod” being a popular comparison.
However, you might be surprised that these two materials are the same! Don’t be confused and read on as I talk about the main fishing rod materials and explain it for your understanding.
Carbon Fiber vs. Graphite Fishing Rod
You do have to take note that carbon fiber and graphite are made of the same components. They are both carbon-based, which is why some people tend to use the terms interchangeably!
What you should compare is using carbon fiber and graphite vs. fiberglass. Fishing rods are usually made of graphite (or carbon fiber), fiberglass, or a composite mix including boron, graphite, or a ceramic additive.
So what are the differences between the graphite (or carbon fiber) fishing rod vs. those made of fiberglass? Here are their main differences:
1. What’s Your Technique?
Your fishing techniques all determine if graphite or fiberglass is better.
Are you planning to cast topwater cues like spinnerbaits, buzz baits, or crankbaits? If so, then you’ll do best with a fiberglass rod that has a light or medium action tip. This is because the rod gives both sensitivity and lighter weight for easier casting.
However, if you plan to fish in deeper waters or heavier covers, you want more sensitivity and weight. Graphite rods offer that, as it has a stiffer backbone with the weight you need when fishing in heavy cover.
When you fish for small game fish like crappie or bluegill, you want more sensitivity to feel those softer bites.
If you aim for small game fish, you’ll want to use graphite rods, offering better sensitivity with its lighter and flexible design. It will transfer the vibrations through the fishing rod from fish biting your hook. Some graphite rods are up to 40% lighter compared to fiberglass, increasing its sensitivity!
With that said, fiberglass can also give you the sensitivity needed to feel the soft bites. However, it isn’t as significant as the graphite rod.
Graphite fishing rods are very lightweight and sensitive, much more than that of a fiberglass rod.
Because of this, fiberglass rods are much better for retrieving large, fighting fish like the walleye or pike. Graphite rods are a bit stiffer and brittle, and because of its sensitivity and bend, it may break as you fight off bigger, more aggressive fish!
But professional anglers and rod manufacturers beg to differ, as some graphite rods are made with high-quality material and construction for almost any fishing situation. It depends on the type of fishing rod you purchase and the brand you invested in.
4. The Action
Fiberglass fishing rods usually have a slow to medium action class, which is optimum for soft presentations of larger baits.
Graphite rods, on the other hand, offer the fastest action and little flex, as most of the flex comes from the tip to go from flex to stiff in an instant!
Graphite is lighter than fiberglass, which is why it has better sensitivity (as mentioned above). It’s why anglers love using this material for their spinning rods! But while graphite is strong under steady loads, it is brittle and big striking fish can cause it to fracture.
Fiberglass rods are a bit heavier and don’t have the sensitivity graphite rods offer, but as I said, they can handle fighting fish. If you want a bit of both worlds, then composite rods made with graphite shells and fiberglass cores are the ideal combination.
Fiberglass rods are the least expensive of fishing rod materials, while graphite rods are the most expensive choice.
Think of it as paying more for its sensitivity and flex, with its main difference compared to the difference between an oak tree and swamp maple as they blow in the wind.
The oak (fiberglass) is strong and quick to resume a stiff position compared to the swamp maple. But, the maple (graphite) can sway in the breeze without it snapping, though it depends on the intensity of the wind and your control over it.
Which Fishing Rod Material Is Best?
There is no one best material for fishing rods for everyone. It all depends on various individual aspects, such as your fishing technique and preference.
If your main focus is budget, then you can opt for a fiberglass rod. They are the least sensitive and least powerful for fighting big fish but offers good flex for smaller fish. They are good for beginners and novice anglers on a budget.
But if you want something of high-quality and withstanding small to big fish, then you can opt for graphite or carbon fiber rods. These are the most sensitive and powerful, though also very expensive!
The middle ground would be to find a composite rod, which offers good benefits from both material types.
Besides this, there are also more factors to consider as you select a fishing rod. From size to weight, type to fishing technique, you still have to look into these details. Material is just one of the things to focus on, but not the only one!
Learn more about what else to look into when getting a fishing rod in this informative video:
Wrapping It Up
When looking for a suitable fishing rod, you also have to think about what it’s made of. While carbon fiber and graphite are the same material, you can compare it against fiberglass and see that graphite offers good strength, though at a higher price. With that in mind, remember that you have to also factor in other aspects and features a rod offers beyond its material and construction!
I hope that this article on carbon fiber vs. graphite fishing rod helped you out. So start doing more research on what else to consider when selecting the optimum fishing equipment for you today.