When going into a tackle store, you might find yourself overwhelmed with the amount of possibilities at hand. Choosing the right gear, especially if you are new to this wonderful sport, can be difficult, and when you lack the basic gear knowledge, can end up in a hand-full of wasted money and time.
My first piece of advice for you is to take your time and do some research on the general components of the fishing equipment. You need to understand what the rod and the reel are, what types of lures and baits you can find in stores or in nature, and most of all, you have to think about what exactly you are planning to fish for.
Assuming you already know that a rod is the modern fishing pole that has a butt cap at the base and ends up with the tip top, has a reel seat and guides through which the line is guided towards the tip top, let us talk about the other main characteristics of a fishing rod. Two features that are often confused are the power and action of a fishing rod. What you have to remember is that the power regards the resistance of the rod to the inflexure produced by something pulling the line. The more power in a rod, the less it will bend, and the tougher the fish you can catch with it. Therefore, unless you intend to catch a wounded baby bass, you will have to consider a rod of at least medium power. The action of the rod tells you about where it bends. Extra-fast and fast action mean the rod will bend closer to the tip, while a moderate and slow action mean that it will bend on a lower point of the blank. The action of the rod will help you hook the fish: it is about sensitivity, the cast and how fast you can have your hookset. Different actions will transfer the pressure differently to the blank. You should always choose your rod action based on the lure you are going to use. Slow action rods work well for light baits and treble or multi hooks such as crankbaits or jerkbaits, while a fast action will help you cast heavier lures, spinnerbaits, topwater, and is generally used for stronger fish.
The taper is usually left out of most fishing rod guides, but it is very important, in my opinion. It tells you how fast does the diameter of the blank increase from the tip to the end of the blank. A fast taper means the rod has more backbone and the change is quicker, while a slow taper will give you a long increase. Thickness translates to power, so for a big fish like the bass, you should get a fast taper rod.
The bass is a big fish who fight a long time before giving up. You should buy a rod that has sufficient power for that and which you will feel comfortable with when pulling and bending. Consider a nice grip handle and a soft but firm butt cap, as you will want to uphold your rod on your body for more control.