The 8 Types of Fishing Rods & Poles (Comparison)

8 types of fishing rods

Choosing a fishing rod is not as easy as it might sound. Fishing technology has advanced in strides, and the rod that best suits your needs will take careful consideration and some level of knowledge about each rod, along with its pros and cons. An explanation about the eight different fishing rod types might make the choice of the perfect pole easier.

1. Spin Fishing Rod

The spin fishing rod is relatively common, with a structure similar to other varieties of casting rods. However, it has several unique advantages and features. It allows the angler a stable, powerful hold using the dominant hand, and the reel is at the bottom of the rod, making casting and reeling easier.

What are the common uses for a spin fishing rod?

The spin fishing rod’s features make it best suited for fishing in rivers, lakes, and boats. The rod and reel come in various sizes, suitable for almost all types of fishing.

Pros

  • Excellent versatility with various reel and rod combinations
  • Tangle fixing is easy

Cons

  • Young children might need extra training to use this rod

2. Casting Fishing Rods

The casting rod’s simplicity and ease of use make it a popular choice for anglers. The rod has a thumb button that the angler can push to discharge the line. The easily operable enclosed reel is located on top of the pole, and it works smoothly.

What are the common uses for a casting fishing rod?

The casting fishing rod is particularly well suited for children or newbie fishermen. It is suitable for catching warm water species like smallmouth bass and others. 

Pros

  • The most straightforward rod for anglers to operate and use
  • Tangling not likely due to enclosed reel
  • Offers great accuracy and control when casting

Cons

  • When tangling does occur, the enclosed reel makes fixing difficult

3. Telescoping Fishing Rods

Being telescopic makes this rod compact and portable. It is lightweight, which is an advantage for anglers who spend hours fishing. The telescoping fishing rod has a minimum length for easy transport, and it can expand to the desired length.

What are the common uses for a telescoping fishing rod?

The telescoping fishing rod is ideal for backpackers and people on camping trips. Day hikers and travelers with inadequate space in their vehicles also favor these rods, suitable for catching most fish species.

Pros

  • Hassle-free carrying
  • Easily stored in backpacks
  • Versatile for use anywhere and to catch most species

Cons

  • Telescoping features jeopardize effective casting

4. Fly Fishing Rods

Fly fishing is different from any other type of fishing. Fly fishers can only use fly fishing rods; however, the rods can also be used for other types of fishing. When fly fishing, the special rod can deliver delicate and accurate casting. These rods are longer than most others. They typically range between nine and 14 feet. Fly line is thicker and comes in sinking floating and sink tip, and weights must be added for casting.

What are the common uses for a fly fishing rod?

Fly fishing rods can be used to catch salmon, steelhead, trout and more. These rods can be used in fly fishing only waters where there are restrictions on weights and floats.

Pros

  • Allowed in fly fishing only waters
  • Delicate flies can be used on fly fishing rods
  • Versatile for use anywhere and to catch most species

Cons

  • The casting length is shorter
  • Wind could adversely affect the fishing
  • Learning the skills of fly fishing is a significant challenge

5. Ultra-Light Fishing Rods

Ultra-light fishing rods are only suitable for catching smaller fish species. However, it serves as fly rods, spin rods and more. The purpose of this rod is delicate presentation.

What are the common uses for an ultra-light fishing rod?

Ultra-light fishing rods are suitable for camping and backpacking due to their lightness. It can be used for catching trout and all small fishes found in warm water.

Pros

  • Allows delicate presentation of lures to picky fishes
  • Lightweight for easy handling and carrying

Cons

  • Not suitable for landing big fish
  • Lighter and thinner materials make them less durable
  • Long-distance casting is challenging

6. Surf Fishing Rods

Surf fishing rods come with additional length and a durable butt. This allows casting heavy bait rigs to targeted areas. However, they are not easy to handle and might only be suitable for some anglers. Surf fishing rods come in spinning or casting versions.

What are the common uses for a surf fishing rod?

Surf fishing rods are used mainly by those who cast their lines from the pier, the beach, the surf and other shore areas.

The targets are typically various species of shallow sea fishes.

Pros

  • Surf fishing rods allow large casting distances
  • The rods are reels are heavy, allowing large-fish fighting

Cons

  • Tough to handle due to weight and size
  • Less suitable for angling in lakes and rivers

7. Trolling Rods

Trolling rods are used on moving boats. After the anglers have cast their lines, the motor is used to move the boat in the desired direction while allowing the lure to move through the water. The rods are stiff and the reels are large enough to allow lots of line for moving the lures through the water.

What are the common uses for a trolling rod?

Trolling is a technique typically used on big lakes and for ocean fishing.

Pros

  • More suitable for trolling than other spin casting rods

Cons

  • Limited use because only suitable for trolling

8. Ice Fishing Rods

Icing rods are typically the same as spin rods, except much shorter. The angler is positioned at the ice opening and casts directly down to the water below. Ice fishing rods are not versatile at all, and their sole purpose is ice fishing. However, ice fishing rods are strong enough to hook and fight large fish species under the ice.

What are the common uses for an ice fishing rod?

Although typically exclusively used for ice fishing, these rods vary in length. Fishing in tight quarters such as ice huts requires ice fishing rods no longer than 18 inches. However, for anglers following schools of fish and hopping from one hole to the next, a 48-inch rod works best.

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    Riley Draper

    Riley Draper is a writer and entrepreneur from Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a world traveler, he has been to more than fifty countries and hiked some of the most elusive trails in the world. He is the co-founder of WeCounsel Solutions and has published work in both national and global outlets, including the Times Free Press, Patch, and Healthcare Global. When he's not writing, he's probably on a hiking trip or climbing in the mountains.