A fishing rod (aka fishing pole) is a tool used to catch fish. A fishing line is attached to a long and flexible rod. At the end of the line there is a hook for catching the fish.
A simple fishing pole is composed by a pole for suspending a line, with a hooked lure or bait.
They are made of carbon fiber, fiberglass or bamboo.
With the term “fishing rod” we refer to a more sophisticated tool fitted with line guides and a reel for wrapping the line. The rods’ length can vary and can be found in sizes between 0.60 and 6 meters.
The longer is the rod, the greater is the mechanical advantage in casting.
TYPES OF RODS
CARBON FIBER POLE: an high-tech pole usually used for coarse fishing in Europe. It is made using a variety of different qualities of carbon fiber. The quality is reflected in the price, with a range from about 120 € to 6000 €.
The length can vary from 3 meters through to about 18.5 meters. It allows very precise positioning of the bait, which in turn enables huge catches of fish with accurate feeding.
SPIN AND BAIT CASTING ROD: it’s designed to hold a spin casting reel, usually mounted above the handle. It has small eyes and, not infrequently, a forefinger grip trigger. It’s very similar to bait casting rods, to the point where either type of reel may be used on a particular rod. Nowadays there is no more reason to distinguish between ”spin casting” and “bait casting” rods, as the rod design is suited to either fishing style, so we have simply casting rods, even if casting rods are typically viewed as more powerful than their spinning rod counterparts, cause they use heavier line and can handle heavier cover.
SPINNING ROD: it’s made from graphite or fiberglass, with a cork or PVC foam handle. It length tends to be between 1.5 and 2.5 meters. Usually, spinning rod has from 5-8 large-diameter guides arranged along the underside of the rod to help controlling the line, with the eyes that decreases in size from the handle to the tip, with the one nearest the handle usually much larger than the rest, in order to allow less friction.
This rod is particularly used in fishing bass, trouts, pikes, walleyes, perches and zanders.
Longer spinning rods with elongated grip handles for two-handing casting are frequently employed for saltwater for steelhead and salmon fishing.
ULTRA-LIGHT ROD: it’s used for smaller fish species and provides more sport with larger fish, or to enable fishing with lighter line and smaller lures. This rod, in smaller line weights (size #0 – #3), has also been utilized for ultra-light fishing, as well as to protect the thin-diameter, lightweight end section of leader, or tippet, used in this type of angling.
Ultra-light spinning and casting rods are generally shorter (1.2 – 1.6 meters is common), lighter and more limber than normal rods. Tip actions can vary from slow to fast, depending upon intended use.
Originally conceived to bring more excitement to the fishing sport, ultra-light spin fishing is now widely used for crappies, trouts, bass, bluegills and other types of panfishes.
SEA ROD: it’s designed for fishing huge fishes from the ocean. Usually it’s very long (around 4 meters on average), extremely thick, and feature huge and heavy tips, eyes, and handles. The largest are used with sport fishing boats. Some of these are specialized rods, as the shark or marlin rods and are for use with very heavy equipment.
SURF ROD: it’s the most common type of sea rod are for surf casting. It resembles oversized spinning or bait casting rods with long grip handles, studied for two-handed casting techniques.
Its length generally ranges between 3 to 4.20 meters.
It’s used in sea fishing from the shoreline from the beach, rocks or other shore feature. Some surfcasters use powerful rods to cast up to six ounces or more of lead weight, artificial lures, and/or bait hundreds of feet.
TROLLING ROD: it’s the rod used for the fishing method of casting the lure or bait to the side of, or behind, a moving boat, and letting the motion of the boat pull the bait through the water, aka trolling. Generally this rod is long and heavily built and used from the ocean anglers and Great Lakes salmon and steelhead fishermen.
TELESCOPIC ROD: it is designed to collapse down to a short distance and open to a long rod. Just think that a 30 feet rod can close as little as a foot and a half, and so it’s very easy to transport in every kind of vehicle. The material used is the same as conventional one or two pieces rods, so graphite, fiberglass or their composites are used. Generally the eyes are a special design, in order to make the end of each section stronger. More eyes means better weight and stress distribution throughout the parabolic arc. This translates to further casting, stronger fish fighting abilities, and less breaking of the rod.
TENKARA ROD: it’s a type of fly rod used for Tenkara fishing in Japan, a practice very popular. It consists in a mix of carbon, fly and telescopic rods, all in one. The result is an ultra-light and very portable telescopic rod.
Its extended length ranges from 3.3–3.9 meters.
The action of tenkara rods has been standardized as a ratio of “how many parts are stiffer : how many tip parts bend more easily”. The standard actions are 5:5, 6:4, 7:3, and 8:2, with 5:5 being a softer/slower rod, and 8:2 being a stiffer rod.
Tenkara rod has cork, and sometimes even wooden handles. The wooden handles (such as red-pine, and phoenix-tree wood) is the more prized because of their increased sensitivity to fish bites and the heavier feel that helps balance the rods.
Other particularities are: no guides, a fixed-line fishing method, where no reel is used, but rather the line is tied directly to the tip of the rod. Like the carbon rods, Tankara allows for very precise positioning of the fly.
ICE ROD: it’s a very short spinning rod, whose length varies between 0.60 and 0.90 meters. The classic ones are simply stiff rod like pieces of wood, with a carved wooden handle, a couple of line guides and two opposing hooks mounted ahead of the handle to hand-wind the line around.
Ice rods are used to fish through holes in the cover ice of frozen lakes and ponds.
FLY ROD: for this kind of road please refer to the appropriate section.