The “power” of a rod refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod. Different rod powers are engineered to efficiently handle a certain range of lure weights and line sizes. To select a rod power that will perform best for you, simply narrow your choices to rods designed to cast the weight of lures – and sizes of lines – you’ll fish with most often.
The “action” of a rod is determined by where a rod flexes along the blank. Faster action rods flex mostly near the tip. Moderate action rods flex more near the middle of the blank. Slower action rods flex down into the butt section.
Extra Fast action rods offer a high degree of tip sensitivity and offer faster power during hook set. While it can be used in a variety of fishing situations, it is most popular with single hooks applications like worming and jigging.
Fast action rods are a great choice when you want a rod for all fishing applications. This is because it is a healthy balance of fast tip and sensitivity, while still providing some forgiving power for a softer hook set.
With moderate action rods you trade a little less sensitivity for a little more casting range. These are great rods for treble hook applications like crankbaits because the lighter action on hook set keeps the lure in the fish’s mouth.
Slow action rods bend most of the way down, and have become much less popular in today’s fishing applications due to the technology advances in rod design – but ultra-light and some fly fishing applications still utilize these soft rods.