1. Length of the rod in feet and inches. In general, shorter rods are easier to handle and are good for short, accurate casts while longer rods offer more casting distance and fish-fighting power.
2. Line Weight The range of line weights your rod is designed to handle. E.g. 6-14 means the rod is best fished with 6 to 14 lb. test line.
3. Lure Weight oz. The range of lure weights your rod is designed to handle. E.g. ⅛-⅝ means the rod is best fished with ⅛ up to ⅝ ounce lures.
4. Guide Count Number of guides on the rod that your fishing line threads through. The longer the rod, the more guides.
5. Pieces Number of pieces for your rod. Some are 1-piece while many can be broken down into 2 or more pieces for easier storage and transport.
6. Power The stiffness of the rod. It’s best to match your rod to the fish. Ultra-light for sunfish, crappies and small trout. Medium rods for bass, walleye, pike and other sportfish. Medium-Heavy to Heavy rods for big catfish and other large species.
7. Gear Ratio Number of times the spool turns around with each turn of the handle. E.g. 4.3:1 means the spool turns 4.3 times with 1 handle turn. The higher the ratio, the faster you can retrieve your line.
8. Pre-Spooled Lb. The fishing line weight the reel is pre-spooled with. E.g. 10lb means the reel is pre-spooled with 10lb test line.
9. Anti-Reverse This mechanism keeps your handle from turning backwards. Allows you to quickly hook a fish when it bites. ZEBCO QuickSet™ anti-reverse is good and Continuous anti-reverse is even better.
10. Hand Retrieve Left or right hand retrieve. Most reels allow you to switch the handle to either side.
11. IPT (in.) Number of inches of line retrieved per turn of the handle. Higher IPT = faster retrieves. Good for fast-moving lures like spinnerbaits and for helping you stay hooked to fast-swimming fish. *I.P.T. = Inches-Per-Turn retrieve rate
12. Mono Capacity Number of yards of standard monofilament fishing line the reel will hold. E.g. 85/6 means the spool will hold 85 yards of 6 lb. test line.