The Different Types of Fishing Rods

Regardless of whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you need a quality fishing rod. If you’ve been looking for one, you must have noticed that there are so many different types.

Many of these poles are made for different species, locations, and methods. For this reason, you’ll find some rods to be longer and more flexible, while others are shorter and sturdier.

Continue reading to find out what are the different types of fishing rods and what they are for.


Types of Fishing Rods

Spincasting

These are made for a spin casting reel that’s usually mounted above the handle. Spin casting rods have a forefinger grip trigger and small eyes.

However, because they look a lot like bait casting rods, you can actually use either type of reel with it. A while ago we called them either spin casting or bait casting, but at this point, we usually refer to them as simply casting rods. Many people don’t see any difference between the two and, more so, you can use either type for either fishing style.

Baitcasting

Though these look somewhat the same as spin casting, they are a bit more challenging to use. Spincasting type is best for beginners, while baitcasting is more suitable for skilled anglers. Professionals and others alike usually also prefer them for many reasons one of which is accuracy.

These are quite sturdy and powerful allowing you to use a heavier line and cover.

Ultra-light

These are quite versatile and allow you to use smaller lures and lighter lines. They are great for most of the smaller species, though some models can also handle some larger fish as well. Originally designed to bring excitement to the game, these are now widely used for fishing many different species.

Ultra-light poles are shorter at about 4 to 5.5 feet. They weigh less than most and are more limber. Also, these carry 1 to 6-pound test fishing line and their tip actions can be slow and fast depending on what you use them for.

Use them to cast light lures such as crappie jigs, wet flies, tubes, spinners, trout worms and anything else that weighs around 0.4g. In most cases, anglers use them for trout, crappie, bluegill, bass, perch, bream, roach, tench, pumpkin-seed and many other kinds of panfish.

Ice Rods

This is a short spinning rod that’s about 24 to 36 inches long. It’s widely used to fish through holes in the frozen waters such as ponds and lakes. These are essentially just solid pieces of wood with a carved handle and a couple of line guides. They also feature two opposing hooks for you to hand-wind the line around.

Their design has changed over the years, and though they are made to look more modern, the way you use them has remained the same.

Surf Rods

As the name implies, these are used for surf casting. They resemble big bait and spinning casting rods being intended for two-handed techniques thanks to their long grip handle.

This type has to be between 10 and 14 feet long for you to cast the lure to where the fish congregates which is never so near the shore. It also has to be sturdy and powerful so can cast the heavy baits and lures efficiently and accurately. Some people use them to throw heavy lures as far as 100 yards away.

Trolling Rods

In the past, people used casting, spinning and even ultra-light for trolling. It’s a fishing method where you cast the bait or lure to the side of your moving boat and let the boat pull the bait through the water.

For the past thirty years, manufacturers have been making a type especially for this type of fishing. These heavy-duty types are mainly for ocean anglers, steelhead, and Great Lakes salmon fishers.

Trolling needed its own rod because a slow action one is hard to troll with. So, they’ve come up with a fast action type that’s easier to work with. The first people who came up with this were the True Temper Corporation in the 1940s that until then only used to produce garden tools. They made rods of tampered steel that were about 4.5 to 5 ft. long.

These were great for trolling, so all the manufacturers followed to make their own lines dedicated especially to trolling.

If you’re into this type of fishing, you might want to consider a trolling rod. It makes things much easier though you could probably get away with any spinning and casting rod if you’re in lakes and streams.

If you’re targeting large fish, you should consider a trolling rod. If not, any spinning rod will do the job equally as well. Tuna and Marlin are the two most commonly targeted fish for this method, but other large game fish species can also be caught this way.

Telescopic

This is the most popular type among surf fishers. This is mostly due to their practicality because they are collapsible. When it has more eyes, it means its stress and weight distribution is better throughout the parabolic arc. Notice how short are the sections and how many eyes they have because this affects its casting and fish fighting abilities, and overall durability.

These collapse down to size as little as a foot and a half. When you extend it, it’s about 20 to 30 ft. long. The fact you can turn such a long fishing pole into such a small one makes it ideal for transporting. These are simple to carry in a car, bus, subway, etc.

Telescopic are made of carbon, graphite, fiberglass or a composite of these. They slip into each other with ease and are quite durable. The eyes are almost always made to help make each section stronger. Some telescopic rods have different grade eyes you can see in conventional models. Some are even eyeless, and those are usually made of graphite and/or carbon.

These are the favorite type of many anglers not only for the ease of use but the ease of maintenance. One thing you should remember is not to open these the same way you’d open a closed fishing pole into an open position. Whipping these out rapidly is almost always a bad idea. If you do this, you’ll struggle to close them afterward.

When closing it, make a gentle twist back and forth while slightly pushing all of the sections together. Most quality models come with a protective tip cover that also protects the guides. Also, make sure to remove all the sand and dirt from the joints because they could eventually damage them if not.


How To Pick The Right One

There are different types for various kinds of fish, lures and fishing methods. So, you should consider several factors in order to get the one that fits your needs the best.

You should first think about the kind of lure you’ll use. This is because some lures are too heavy or too lightweight for certain rods. Accuracy will suffer if you choose wrongly.

Power is another thing to consider as heavier action rods need more pressure in order to bend. Light action rods usually require less effort and pressure. For this reason, they are categorized as heavy, medium and light. High-end brands usually have in-between levels, too.

Pay attention to the material as graphite is the most sensitive and lightweight. It’s also stronger and usually more expensive. Fiberglass is widely used though graphite is almost always a better choice.


Maintenance Tips

You should take good care of your fishing pole in order to get the most of it. Use a corrosion inhibitor to lubricate the reels. It’s also important to store it away from environmental elements.

Graphite fishing poles are easier to damage so don’t put them anywhere near your other fishing gear. Also, these conduct electricity so don’t use them when it storms.


Final Thoughts

Some rods are better than others for the particular method you’re using, and species you’re targeting. For this reason, it’s important you consider all the factors before you opt for one of the many types.

Having a good fishing pole is crucial, so make sure to take your time with researching and selecting your next rod.

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About the author

    Brett Freese

    I've always had a passion for fishing ever since I was young. I started fishing with my grandpa at 6, and he taught me everything I needed to know! I love sharing my knowledge with the community, as well as learning from other anglers. We only get better if we help each other!

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