Fishing Poles

Choosing between all the different fishing poles can be confusing unless you gain experience with someone who had been fishing for some time.   Fishing poles differ in the material they are made from, strength from ultra light to extra heavy, purpose for which they will be used (such as fly fishing, spin casting, bait casting, crappie fishing or jigging, ice fishing) and sensitivity.  There is a price range in all these types of rods.  Expensive is not always better - but sometimes when you need an extra sensitive rod paying a bit more will really surprise you in how much better you will feel the bite.

 If you fish for 3 hours one afternoon a year, cheaper fishing rods may be perfect.  Discounted fishing poles can be last years models, or  can be a sporting goods stores own brand which they can discount due to volume.  Many sporting goods stores will have a spring time fishing sale - look for sales at sport shops. 

Cane Fishing Poles

A cane fishing pole is easy and fun to use, add a fishing bobber, a fishing weight, hook and a fishing worm and you are ready to start to fish. They offer an inexpensive fishing pole that makes a great first child fishing pole. Rather than having to learn how to cast, your fishing consists of simple raising and lowering of the rod tip and gently swinging the bait over the water. Click on the following link to read more detail of Cane Fishing Poles and a bit more about cane pole history.

Discount Fishing Poles

You do not have to pay hundreds of dollars for your first rod to enjoy fishing.  There are many cheap fishing poles as well as discount fishing rods for much less than $50 that will provide hours of successful and enjoyable fishing outings. Most people progress from a cane pole to a bait or spin casting rod with a built in trigger which enables you to learn to cast while allowing you to grip the rod tightly enough to not let go.  Where do you find discount fishing rods?  Start at discount stores, but also look at sporting goods stores who have there own brands of rods.  Have you shopped springtime local garage sales?  The most important step, however,  is to select a fishing pole and get started.

Length, Strength, Action

Most fishing poles come in a variety of lengths which can range from very short - usually for ice fishing, to long, up to 7 - 8 feet for larger fish and to cast further. And even longer for cat fishing or salt water fishing. Some crappie poles are 10-13 feet long - perfect for fishing from a boat in the trees and simply dipping your bait in the water swinging it from tree to tree. Selecting between different strength and action of fishing rods is determined by the size of fish you anticipate to catch, as well as the size of lures or bait you will be using. A rod that makes a good child fishing rod to start out with would be a medium light or medium weight 5 1/2 to 6 foot spin casting reel and rod combination for pan fish, bass and other fish likely to be caught while fishing from shore.

Fishing rods strength and action of the rod is determined by the type of material the rod is made from an also the degree of taper.  Notice fishing rods are larger in circumference near the handle and often very small near the tip.   This allows for the classic bend in the rod when you catch a fish.  As you grow in experience, notice what other anglers are using and ask them why they chose what they are using. When you are ready to upgrade to a better and more expensive rod we suggest you visit a reputable fishing store or department and ask for them to demonstrate different actions, strengths, and sensitivities of different fishing rods.

Bait Casting Rods

Bait Casting Rods are most often used for casting artificial lures including crank baits, all sorts of plastic rigs or even poppers.  The bait casting reel is mounted on the top side of the bait casting rod. Two handed bait casting rods are most often used when casting for a longer distance.   Bait Casting Rods can also provide an additional amount of leverage when bringing in larger fish. This rod and reel combination is also a good choice for trolling.  In fact,  some bait casting reels feature a built in line counter.  This is important when trolling so that when you need to reset your bait in the water you are better able to match the previous set up by letting out the same amount of line.

Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Casting

Spinning Rods

Spinning rods can be adapted for most of fishing applications. Spinning reels are mounted on the underside of the rod.  These are good for fishing live bait but also casting a variety of artificial baits.  This combination of spinning rod and reel is usually not used for trolling.   Spin rods and reels are often used for jigging for walleye or crappie.

Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Spinning

Fiberglass Fishing Poles

Rods made from fiberglass tend to be very durable and stand up to rougher treatment. They can be heavier and are somewhat less sensitive than graphite rods, which means that it will be harder to feel fish bite your bait or hook when still fishing for example when crappie or walleye fishing.  Fiberglass fishing rods are generally cheaper as well. 

Graphite Fishing Rods

The biggest advantage to graphite fishing poles is they are more sensitive and lighter weight. When you are fishing all day this can mean being less tired at the end of the day. The manufacturing process being somewhat more complex results in graphite rods being more costly as well. The more you fish the more likely you will want to try a graphite or a composite rod at a good fishing store.  Ask the shop owner or employee to demonstrate the difference in feel between a fiberglass fishing pole and a graphite fishing pole. Some very high end fishing rods can reach into the hundreds of dollars. Their weight is lighter, their sensitivity is greater, as is their strength. You have to decide how much you can afford to spend then determine the best value for you needs.

Broken Rod Tips

The best way to start this topic is to remind you to develop habits that avoid tip breakage.   There are 2 leading causes of broken fishing rod tips.

1.  Raising the rod tip straight up in the air while bringing in a fish. This results in a nearly direct transfer of the work the rod is designed to do right to the tip of your rod. The rod is designed to be used in a manner that is nearly parallel to the water surface. This allows the weight of the fish to be transferred across the entire length of your rod. Develop a habit of bringing your fish to shore or into the boat keeping your rod more level with the water service than in a direct upright position.   Tips of fly rods are very easy to break because of their length especially if the rod is held straight up in the air when bringing the fish to the angler or to the shore.  This can occur even when trying to pull more line off the reel if done when the rod is held straight up in the air.

2.  The other leading cause of broken tips is the result of a direct force inadvertently applied to your rod - stepping on the rod, shutting the rod in a door or tailgate of your trunk or raising your rod in your house or cabin into a turning ceiling fan. Develop a safe routine whenever you place your rods down. On a boat use a rod holder, packing for travel in your vehicle the best method is to use a rod case.  When you place your rod down, always look where the tip will be going - keep it out of harms way.  

Fuji BFRK4C Rod Repair Kit Black! 80x in Box Small Black Freshwater Fishing Rod Parts Tip Tops Black Stainless Repair Guides DIY Set Kits

Even with great habits sooner or later you will benefit by keeping a rod tip repair kit with you.  These contain replacement tips, eyelits and a glue stick which is very easy to use and will allow you to keep your lures in the water.  Keep in mind that replacing a tip on a rod that has had only a 2-3 inch section broken off won't change the action or strength of your rod very much.  If you have broken off a 12-18 inch section your rod may act and react very differently and its strength will be compromised. It may be time to check into the rod company's repair policy, or replace your rod. One advantage of some more expensive models is their manufactures may offer a repair service as part of their warranty.  We received a recent report of a five piece fly rod that the angler had broken 6 inches off the very end.  While not a specific warranty coverage this angler was able to have that entire top piece replaced for a $25 fee plus shipping. Consider this as you purchase your rods, or begin to think about upgrading your equipment.