DETERMINING THE BEST ROD TAPER
Where a rod tends to flex first is determined by the "Taper" of the rod. A rod that flexes mostly near the tip is said to have an Xtra-Fast taper, while a rod which seems to flex over the entire length of the rod employs a Slow taper. The particular Taper of the rod you choose will provide certain benefits when casting and retrieving certain types of baits or lures, so it is important to consider this flex when you are looking to match a particular style of fishing.
XTRA-FAST: An xtra-fast taper is best suited to finesse situations, when tip sensitivity is a must. Also, an xtra-fast taper can allow better actions of light topwater baits, and light spinnerbaits.
FAST: Tapers rated as "Fast" are ideal when you need to feel the bait's actions during retrieve. Crankbait anglers and spinnerbait anglers benefit the most from fast tapers.
MEDIUM: Medium tapers are designed as a multi-purpose taper for just about every bait. While medium tapers offer lower sensitivity levels, these rods are generally designed to perform well with just about any line weight, and any lure weight.
SLOW: Slow tapers are all about quickness in the hookset. The tip of the rod is less flexible with a slow taper rod making these rods ideal for horsing bigger fish to the boat.