When it comes to fishing rods, the various types can be seemingly endless. However, most of these rods fit easily into these main categories mentioned below. It’s time to explore the types of fishing rods, and how each has its own valuable purpose.
Fly Fishing Rod
Fly rods date all the way back to 200 A.D. and were introduced by Macedonian anglers who used giant wooden poles with a line, handmade hooks and a bit of crimson wool. Today they have evolved to our thin, flexible fishing rods designed to cast an artificial fly. These flies consist of a hook tied with foam, feathers, fur, and other composite materials.
Fly rods are most commonly used to catch grayling, salmon, and trout but are also used for a variety of species such as bass, carp, panfish, and pike, including marine species such as bonefish, redfish, snook, striped bass, and tarpon.
Today’s modern rods are almost all built out of carbon graphite and other man-made composite materials such as fiberglass and graphite boron composites. Although there are still a few companies that produce split bamboo rods which are stunning but take a lot of care to maintain their quality and performance. The handles of these rods are primarily cork but can also be made out of wood.
The most infamous fly rod is the Tenkara rod, originating from Japan and used for tenkara fishing in Japan. In essence this rod is a combination of carbon rods, fly rods, and telescopic rods all in one.
Fly fishing has come a long way and will continue to grow.
A fishing rod used for casting bait or lures that features a “baitcaster” reel mounted near the handle which enables the finger or thumb to control the line as you cast. It is typically 4-8 ft long and known as a casting or bait casting rod but is generally dubbed “casting rod”.
The advantages of this rod are the ability to cast further and handle heavier line due to the leverage the angler gains by holding the rod from underneath as opposed to the standard spinning rod. The downside when using this rod is the chance of backlash on the baitcaster reels which causes a huge hassle and wastes precious time on the water. This should not scare you away from using a casting rod, however, because the benefits are far greater than the costs. Casting rods allow you to use a wider variety of tackle and are ultimately more versatile than a spinning setup.
Spinning Rods are by far the most popular due to being the easiest to handle when it comes to the reel configuration and casting technique. They are made out of graphite or fiberglass with a cork or PVC foam handle, and are between 5 and 8.5 feet in length.
A typical spinning rod will have 5-8 guides arranged along the underside of the rod to help control the line. The guide “eye” size will decrease from the rod handle to the tip. The guide closest to the rod handle is larger because is allows less friction from the line coming off the reel.
Spinning rods are the ideal beginner’s rod due to their ease of use, but anglers of all skill levels appreciate the simplicity and effectiveness that spinning rods offer.
Saltwater rods are typically longer (7-9ft on average) and are designed with stiffer action and reinforced guides to handle larger line and, of course, larger fish. Most saltwater-specific rods do not feature a reel seat, as this allows the angler to clamp their saltwater reels as high or low on the handle as they choose, giving them a more comfortable grip and ultimately more leverage on bigger fish.
Trolling rods are utilized when the angler needs to cover a large area of water in a short period of time. There are three basic designs to a trolling rod: standard eyes, inner-flow, and roller guides. All three types of guides allow line to flow more freely when moving at extremely high speeds and are usually reinforced to handle rough fishing.