I've been looking at buying another spinning rod. In my research of rods I've learned that there are a wide variety of spinning rods for various actions. I guess that I knew this to be the case for rods. But for the most part I've used one rod, replaced as necessary, and one spare spinning rod for all of my non-muskie fishing.
I can understand the reasons for wanting a rod with a more sensitive tip or for having a hod with more backbone, and rods in different sizes certainly make sense. But I wonder to what extent the variety of rods is more about selling more rods than it is to improving fishing.
It could just be, however, that the reason I use one spinning rod for all non-muskies is that I don't take the non-muskies as seriously. Using an undersized spinning rod means that I cannot cast as far and I am probably underpowered for fish like big walleyes. But I am also more comfortable with my one rod and know exactly how to use it for trout, bass, perch, bluegills, and walleyes.
If I were advising someone on the purchase of their first spinning rod, I would point them to something like one of those rod/ reel combos for sale for less than $50 for one rod (it would preferably be made by Abu Garcia or Shimano). And then point that person to any interesting looking rod, of a different size. Add a Abu Garcia or Shimano reel for about $40 and then he'd be set with two sets of rods for less than $120, and probably prepared for most inland bass, walleye, trout, and panfish fishing.