Choosing the Right Fly Fishing Rod

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first fly-fishing rod or want to upgrade to a fly rod that better suits your fishing needs, there are several things to consider before making a purchase.

You should think of the type of fish that you’ll be going after, the length of the rod, the material the rod is made out of and more.

Although choosing a fly rod really comes down to personal preference, thinking of these few things will increase your chances of getting the fish you’re after and will give you a rod that will last for years to come.

Man Fly Fishing

Know what you’ll be fishing for

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a fishing rod is the type of fish that you’ll be chasing.

Although you won’t always be going after the same fish, it’s important to consider what you will be trying to catch on a typical day. There are some fly rods that are better for bass, some that are better for trout and so on.

Length is important

It may not always be thought of, but the length of your fly rod is extremely important. It is typically suggested to get a rod that is anywhere from 8-9 feet for full effectiveness.

An 8-foot rod is good for those who typically fish in smaller streams and make shorter casts, while 9-foot rods are ideal for those who fish in more open water and prefer longer casts. The 9-foot rod is also great for those who fish with a heavier line.

Make sure it’s easy to travel with

Another thing to consider when purchasing a rod is how you will be able to transport it.

If you go on more remote trips that include traveling on planes, you will want to get a 3- or 4-piece rod. This simply means a rod that can be broken down into three or four pieces, as opposed to one that cannot come apart.

They can be easily packed in suitcases or backpacks and reassembled at your destination. They are also beneficial for those who may be kayaking, canoeing or hiking to their destination and don’t want their rod getting in their way when on the move.

Know what it’s made of

When choosing a new fly rod, you will want something that is made from quality materials and is durable. There’s nothing worse than purchasing a new rod only to find out that it can’t stand up to the waters you’re fishing in.

The rod that you purchase should make you a more confident fisherman, and that all starts with the material it is made from. Many rods today feature CNC machined stainless stripping guides, stainless snake guides with oversized loop tips, machined up locking fly reel seats and more.

If you’re looking for a rod that is as comfortable as it is durable, make sure you are purchasing one that has a cork grip.

Consider a custom fly rod

If you’ve begun your search for a new fishing rod and have hit a snag, consider purchasing a custom fly-fishing rod. These rods are ideal because they each have unique characteristics and prices that will meet your distinct needs and budget.

No matter what type of fly rod you are interested in, an experienced fishing rod company will be able to find a fly rod that fits you to a tee.

When you want to purchase a custom fly rod that will give you years of enjoyment, we ask that you call on our experienced team at Signature Fishing Rods. We are proud to offer durable fly rods from Grandt Industries’ Arlington Fly Series.

This limited-edition series offers a durable, yet sensitive fly-fishing experience and has five different models available to choose from. Each of these fly rods are 4 pieces, come with AA cork grips, CNC machined stainless stripping guides, stainless snake guides, locking fly reel seats and more.

Better yet, all of our fly rods are made right here in the U.S.A. and come with a lifetime warranty. Give us a call today at 630.234.6214 to learn more.

How to Properly Set a Hook

When you want to become a better fisherman, there are several things that need to be done just right. One of these is setting the hook in a proper fashion.

The act of getting the fish to bite into the hook, and making the correct moves in the seconds after, is what often sets great fisherman apart from average ones.

Understanding how to properly set a hook will make you a more effective fisherman, and with enough experience, can help you land your desired fish more often than not.

Your posture is important

Fishing On a BoatWhether you’re fishing from a boat or on land, having good posture will give you the balance and power base to achieve a proper hook setting. We suggest having your legs shoulder-width apart and your upper body relaxed. You should also make sure that your elbows are tight to your sides or positioned so the arms of the boat seat do not interfere with the hook setting motion.

Feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook

One of the more difficult things to master is knowing when the fish has made its bite. To successfully set the hook, you’ll have only a few seconds to make this decision. If you pull too early, there may not be a fish on the line. If you pull to late, the fish may have swallowed the hook.

It will take some practice, but you’ll need to get good at feeling for the weight of the fish. It may be helpful to use a bobber if you’re just starting out, as you can typically set the hook when it becomes submerged.

Make your move

Setting the hook requires force and is a quick snapping motion where you’ll lift the tip of the rod upward and then backward over your shoulder. You can also make your snapping or pulling motion off to the side if you prefer (side set). Make sure there is little to no slack in the fashioning line before setting your hook, otherwise your set will just be moving fishing line. Once you’ve set the hook, you may need to give your reel a few turns to make sure it’s set properly.

Although setting a hook differs slightly from fish to fish, you’ll be well on your way to success by getting these basics down.

Whether you’re getting ready for your first trip or you’re an experienced fisherman, Signature Fishing Rods is your team for all of your fishing rod needs. Our team brings years of fishing and sales experience to each customer, making sure you get the perfect rod for success.

We offer custom fishing rods from Grandt Industries and ask that you reach out to our team at 630.234.6214 with any questions you may have about our rods or fishing in general.

How Should You Approach Fishing in the Wind?

Fishing in Rough WatersFishing in windy conditions can be both a blessing and a curse. Depending on where you’re fishing, the wind can attract certain fish closer to the shore, which is great for anglers! However, the wind can also make fishing more difficult and less enjoyable for the angler. Because of this, many anglers will usually avoid fishing in the wind, despite knowing that they have a better chance of catching a fish.

If you’re nervous about fishing in the wind, here are some tips that you can follow so you can feel more comfortable fishing in windy areas:

Stay Close to Shallow Waters

Windy weather doesn’t always have to work against you. It can be a good thing! Strong winds will activate the entire water and attract certain types of fish to move close to the surface. Typically, as the wind pushes itself to shore, it will bring along baitfish and smaller predators with them. Since these fish are moving closer to shore, you will also find larger predators joining into a feeding frenzy.

Go Heavier with Your Bait

If you don’t have luck fishing in the shallow waters, try upsizing your weight at least one size to maintain bottom contact in windy weather conditions. Spinnerbaits are also a great, effective fishing lure to use on windy days.

Anchor Your Boat

If you’re fishing at offshore locations, don’t be afraid to anchor your boat. Many anglers often dread anchoring up their boat because it can be a difficult task. However, a boat that’s in control of the wind can pay off. To increase your success, line up your cast to the structure, and drop the anchor. Then you can fish freely without having to worry about managing boat control.

Invest in the Right Gear to Help You Fish

Be prepared for any weather condition by investing in the best, high-quality fishing gear. At Signature Fishing Rods, you can browse our online selection of custom fishing rods, reels, and other gear.  If you have any questions about what gear would work best for you, please contact us today!

The Proper Technique to Reeling in a Big Catch

Reeling in a Large FishDon’t let the surprise of catching a big fish ruin your chances of reeling it in! The technique to reeling in small fish is quite simple, just keep the tip of your rod up and reel away. Large fish, however, are more complicated. You need to be on high alert, have a strategic plan, and most importantly, be patient.

To help you lock in your next catch, here are some of our best tips for reeling in large fish:

Keep Your Line Tight

One of our biggest tips for reeling in a larger fish is always to keep a firm tension on the line. If the line is too loose, the fish will be more likely to throw the hook. The best way to keep the pressure on the line is to keep the tip up and reel with a consistent and smooth motion.

However, remember that too much tension can end up snapping the line.

Let the Fish Run

When you’re fighting against a large fish, one of the worst things that you can do is force it to stay in place. Although this might feel like the right thing to do, it’s actually increasing your chances of breaking your line and letting your prize swim away.

Instead, set your drag so the fish can take out the line while still tiring itself out. After some time, your catch will eventually have shorter, less violent runs.

The Best Technique for Reeling in Your Catch

When your fish begins to slow down and stops taking line off your reel, it’s now your time to reel it in. First, start by lifting the tip of the rod towards the sky to about 90 degrees. Depending on how large your catch is, you may notice a bend in your rod, but don’t worry too much about this. Your rod is likely built to withhold the weight of your catch. After you’ve mastered the angle, reel as you lower the rod tip back down to around 45 degrees.

Repeat this process until you’ve successfully reeled in your catch!

Have the Right Gear to Help You Reel in Your Catch

Having a high-quality fishing rod will help you successfully reel in your big catch. If it’s time for a new fishing rod, make sure you’re shopping with Signature Fishing Rods. Shop with us online or contact us with any questions you may have regarding our products.

Your Guide for Registering for A Fishing License in Illinois

People from all over the country will travel to the State of Illinois because it has some of the best fishing grounds. Illinois is filled with more than a million acres of water. Lake Michigan is a very popular destination for salmon, and Cedar Lake attracts many bass anglers. Before you head out on the water, you’re going to need to apply for an Illinois fishing license.

When you’re applying for an Illinois fishing license, you’ll notice that there are several options to choose from depending on if you’re a local, non-resident, senior, or veteran.

Here’s a few rules you should know before applying for your fishing license:

Illinois Fishing License

How to Purchase an Illinois Fishing License

Purchasing a fishing license can be done online or from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Any angler who is 16 and older is required to fish with a valid license. There are a few different license options you can choose from, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has a breakdown available for those who are interested in learning more!

Each year, your license will expire on March 31st. The current year’s license will become available starting on March 1st of that year and expiring on March 31st the following year.

Rules for Children

Everyone under the age of 16 can fish without a license, and they do not need a trout stamp to fish for trout. If you are traveling elsewhere in the United States, non-resident children can still fish without a fishing license.

Rules for Seniors Applying for Fishing License

Residents who are over the age of 65 will receive a reduced fee for fishing and other sports licenses. When the resident turns 75, the fee is reduced once again through our super senior license. The price for this license is only $1 plus a $.50 handling fee.

Planning Your Fishing Trip

After applying for an IL fishing license, you can start planning your next fishing outing! However, always remember to review the applicable fishing laws and regulations in the place that you plan on fishing before heading out. Similar procedures for other states can be found on their DNR websites.

If you’re looking for new fishing equipment for your next fishing trip, contact the professionals at Signature Fishing Rods to learn more about our available fishing gear.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Lure for Your Trip

Fishing LuresTo have a successful fishing trip, you need the right tools. Once you find your perfect rod, the next step is to choose your lures.

These three factors need to be considered to help determine the right lures for you:

Identify the Fish You Are Catching

Because there are many lure options, you should first determine the type of fish that you are trying to target. What kind of fish is it? How large is the body? Is it a surface or bottom feeder? The answers to all these questions can affect the type of lure you choose.

Once you can identify the kind of fish that you are looking to catch, knowing what they eat will also help you choose the best lure. Make sure you perform research on the fish before deciding on your lure.

Choose Your Lure Based on the Weather Conditions

Besides identifying the kind of fish, you’re trying to catch, the weather can also affect the type of lure you choose. If you’re fishing in heavy wind conditions, you should opt for a heavier lure. Choosing a heavier lure will help create better tension on the line. By having more tension, you’ll be able to feel more vibrations from underwater and react much quicker.

Color Match Your Lure to the Water

Believe it or not, your lure tends to work best when it matches the water’s color. If you’re fishing in clearer waters, you should stick with colors like blue and green. If you are fishing in muddy waters, it’s more acceptable to test out other darker colors of lures, because their vision is hindered.

Start with an Easy to Use Lure

At Signature Fishing Rods, we have a large selection of Radke’s Pike Minnow lures that are easy to use and will give you unbelievable results in both fresh and salt waters. Shop our collection online, and if you have further questions, give us a call at 630-234-6214!

Everything You Need to Know About Fishing in the Detroit River

If you’re an avid angler, then you may be familiar with the outstanding fishing that can be done in the Detroit River. The Detroit River will draw anglers in from across the country starting in the spring and early summer. It’s easy for anglers to enjoy their walleye fishing experience by the shore or by boat.

The Detroit River is one of the best places for anglers to fish. Let’s learn about what makes it so great: Fishing on the Detroit River

How Big is the Detroit River?

Believe it or not, the Detroit River is relatively short. It runs about 28 miles in length and is about 2.5 miles across at its widest point. Within the river, you can find numerous islands, with most of them on the American side of the river. However, most of the islands are located in the southern portion of the waterway, where the river empties into Lake Erie.

The river begins with an east-to-west flow from Lake St. Clair but curves and runs north to south. If you’re looking to fish in deep waters, the Detroit River’s deepest portion is 53 feet in its northern portion.

What Species of Fish Can Be Caught in the Detroit River?

When you go fishing in the Detroit River, you will find that there are many different species of fish that you can catch. In fact, the Detroit River is one of the most diverse and productive fisheries in the country. With the river’s great structure, you can have success fishing for walleye, bass, perch, crappie, northern pike, channel catfish, and musky.

Where to Find Fish in The Detroit River?

As the weather changes throughout the seasons, the location of the fish will relocate. At the beginning of the year, you can find spawning and pre-spawning Walleye, Sturgeon, big musky, some bass, and pike located in the main river. Walleyes prefer to swim in the heavy currents and surrounding structures. As you continue to head down the river, you can pick up some bass and later perch. In the fall months, it’s common to find muskies in the mouth of the river.

What Equipment Should You Use to Catch These Fish?

Depending on the type of fish you’re trying to catch, the correct fishing rod is needed. If you’re fishing for walleye in the heavy currents, try fishing with the All American Pro AAPS56003A. It’s a sensitive yet extremely durable rod used on the Detroit River for more than 20 years.

Need help choosing your next fishing rod? Contact the professionals at Signature Fishing Rods! Give us a call at 630-234-6214.

3 Questions to Ask to Determine the Type of Fishing Rod You Need

Is it time for new fishing gear? Well, allow us to help! Before purchasing one of your unbeatable custom-made fishing rods form Signature Fishing Rods, there are some questions you should be asking yourself first!

Because we want you to have the best results with your new fishing rod, here is a list of questions you should ask yourself before choosing your fishing rod and equipment: Fishing Equipment

What Species Are You Targeting and Where Are You Going to Target Them?

One of the most important questions you should ask yourself before purchasing any new gear is what fish are you looking to catch? And where will you be catching them? Are you going to fish in rivers, lakes, saltwater, etc.? Answering these simple questions will help you narrow down your rod choices, and our professional team will be able to match you with the appropriate rod.

Do You Have a Preferred Method of Fishing?

Now that we’ve answered the basic questions, it’s now time to figure out how you want to catch your fish. If you’re an experienced angler, you probably have a preferred fishing method that you feel more confident using. Do you plan on using lures, bait, or both? Do you prefer casting?

Although these seem like minor details, they’re very important when choosing new fishing gear. Typically, fishing rods are designed to suit a particular fishing method, and they’re defined by the reel or rig that works the best with the setup.

Do You Know What Kind of Lure You Want to Use?

Two fishing techniques that anglers often try out are jigging and rigging. When you use a jig as a lure, you can catch fish like bass, muskie, northern pike, and walleye. Usually, for this style of fishing, you’ll need a sensitive blank, a lightweight rod with a medium light to medium power, fast to extra-fast tip.

On the other hand, if you’re eager to give rigging a try, you should select a longer rod with light tip action and rod power.

Who Can Answer Your Fishing Questions?

If you have questions about purchasing your next fishing rod, contact Signature Fishing Rods. We have various fishing rods, reels, and lures that will help you have a successful outing. Check out our online collection, and give us a call at 630-234-6214 when you’re ready to begin!

How to Choose the Right Fishing Line

If your fishing rod isn’t working as good as it used to, it may be time for a new line. A reliable fishing line is important to have for a successful outing. It’s recommended to change your line every year.

To help you make the best decision for your rod, here are some considerations you should think about when choosing your line.What Fishing Rod is Best for You?

Is the Fishing Rod Suited for the Conditions of the Fish You are After?

First, it’s important to learn about the fishing rod you plan to use during your next outing. Your fishing pole’s action describes how much your rod bends when you add pressure on its tip and how quickly it returns to its regular position once you let go.

Fast action fishing poles are good for fishing heavy cover or fast current. These are usually sensitive roads that allow anglers to feel light bites and provide excellent hook setting with a relatively short motion. Fast action rods also have great lifting ability.

Medium action fishing rods offer greater casting distance than fast action fishing rods. Plus, they’re great for live bait and smaller lures.

Slow action fishing rods are excellent in handling the unexpected movement of fish near the boat. They are also great for casting distance, but their soft action makes it difficult to set hooks.

Characteristics of a Fishing Rod

There are two characteristics of your rod that you should familiarize yourself with, the action and the power of your rod.

Action of a Fishing Rod 

Rods usually indicate only the power it takes to bend a rod, such as easy, medium, or light. Unlike the custom fishing rods sold at Signature Fishing Rods, the action is often not indicated. If you don’t know the action of a rod, grab the rod handle and carefully bend the tip downward. If the rod begins to bend in the upper 1/3rd of the blank toward the tip, it’s a fast action rod. If the rod bends in the middle, it’s a medium action rod, and if it bends in the lower part of the rod, it’s a slow action rod.

Power of a Fishing Rod 

Light power rods are not normally used to fish for bass. You need the strength of the fishing rod to move a bass out of cover. Medium or medium/heavy power rods with fast tips are used when fishing crank-baits, spinnerbaits, and some plastic baits. The pulling of the line under water requires more power than topwater fishing but less effort than a heavy power rod. Heavy power rods are used when fishing heavy cover such as reeds, bushes, deep grass beds, or timber. This rod allows you to set the hook and get the fish out of these types of structures.

How to Choose the Best Fishing Line

Your fishing line also has different characteristics in their ability to “stretch,” visibility, and toughness.

Toughness is important if you anticipate fishing in areas with rocks, trees, or weeds. Each of these can knick a line that will make it easier to break at what always seems the wrong moment. If structure is not an issue, toughness is not as important. Visibility of line can be important, especially in clear water situations. However, be careful with lines that help with visibility. This type of line tends to be subject to losing its other characteristics quicker due to the elements.

Stretch is a characteristic that many overlook. It needs to compliment the characteristics of the rod. You do not want to use a line with no stretch with a fishing pole that does not have any softness to its bend. If you get snagged or hook a good fish, either the fishing rod or the line is likely to break. You also do not want to use a line with a lot of stretch with a fishing pole that bends easily. This makes it difficult to set the hook.

Experimenting with Fishing Lines

After years of fishing, I have found I should buy one brand of line in several different line ratings. With most of my fishing in the heavy current or heavy rock structure, I use a cut-resistant (extra tough) monofilament fishing line. Also, note that I push the rating limits on my custom fishing rod and fishing line to suit what I feel is best for my fishing situation. You should experiment to find what best works for you.

Purchase a Custom Fishing Rod in Illinois

If you’re looking for excellent custom fishing rods, poles, and reels made in the U.S.A, don’t forget to shop the online collection at Signature Fishing Rods. All rods come with a lifetime warranty. Give us a call today at 630-234-6214 with any questions!

Choosing the Right Rod for Catfishing

Over recent years, catfish have been a popular target for many anglers. To help increase your chances of catching a catfish on your next trip, we’ve curated a list of some of our best tips, including determining which rod is best for the job.

Let’s learn how to catch a catfish:Catfishing

Where to Catch a Catfish

Catfish can survive in many different water systems. From shallow warm waters, to fast flowing rivers, you will be able to find catfish thriving. During the day, catfish like to swim around in muddy water areas. You can find them hanging out in deep structures such as river bends, the base of drop-offs, and deep holes.

Surprisingly, your chances of catching a catfish increase in the evening. During the night, catfish will use their heightened sense of smell and taste and their whiskers to locate their food. So their chances of biting your line are a lot higher.

Choosing the Right Rod

Because catfish range in sizes, you’re going to have to plan where you are fishing before committing to a rod. If you are fishing in waters where the average catfish is about 20 pounds, but there could be a high chance of catching a fish that’s heavier (about 40-60 lbs.), then choose a medium heavy rod.

Suppose you are fishing on a body of water where most catfish can average between 80-100 lbs. Then, you’ll want to choose a heavier rod.

On the other end of the spectrum, if you are fishing in a river where the average catfish is about nine or ten pounds, but you still have a great chance of catching a fish that is about 20-25 lbs. You’ll need a rod with some sensitivity. Your rod should be sensitive enough at the tip to determine when a fish is nibbling at the bait.

Choosing Your Hook

Choosing the right rod is the most important part of increasing your chances of catching a catfish. Once you know the weight of the catfish you’re aiming to catch and have selected your rod, it’s time to find your hook.

There are quite a few great hook options for you to choose from, but we suggest the following to start:

  • Circle Hooks
  • Jig Head
  • Float Rig

If you’re ready to give catfishing a try, make sure you set yourself up for success and get your gear from Signature Fishing Rods. We have new affordable and reliable fishing rods, fishing reels, and lures that will help you reel in a catfish. Give us a call at 630-234-6214 with any questions!