The Fishing Rods: Everything You Need to Know 

 August 18, 2020

By  Margaret Gulley

What is a Fishing Rod?

A fishing rod is a pole or stick that fishermen use to catch fish. Basically, the rod is a stick attached to a line with a hook on one end. Initially, hooks were known as anglers, explaining how the word “angling” came up.

Fishing rods vary in length from 2 feet (0.61m) to 20 feet (6.10m). Lures or bait are attached to the hook(s) at the edge of the line to entice fish. Reels are used to store the line to help with fish landing and minimize tangles.

Bamboo and sticks were used to make conventional fishing rods. On the other hand, carbon fibre or fibreglass are used to manufacture modern or contemporary rods.

Unlike fishing nets, fishing poles are often used in competitive fish casting and recreational fishing. However, nets find use in commercial and subsistence fishing.

Available in different actions, sizes, configurations and lengths, the right fishing rod depends on the size of fish to be caught i.e. small, medium or big fish. The kind of water to go fishing, salty or fresh water, also determines the right type of fishing rod.

Different fishing poles are manufactured to support particular types of fishing. For instance, bait casting rods and spinning rods are ideal for casting lures or baits.

Fly rods are designed to cast artificial flies while ice fishing rods go through tiny holes on lakes covered with ice to catch fish. On the other hand, trolling rods are attached to moving boats to drag lures or bait.

Types of Fishing Rods

Different materials are used to make various types of fishing rods. However, graphite, fiberglass or carbon fibre, a composite of new generation materials, are used to manufacture the different parts of fishing rods.

Graphite and carbon fibre are often used in manufacturing fishing poles. Fishing rods are categorized differently based on their intended use (type of water where fishing will take place and size of fish to catch). Some common types of fishing rods include the following:

Carbon Fibre Fishing Rods

Carbon fibre rods, just like glass fibre rods, have unique properties, and thus have different cons and pros. But, none is better than the other.

Unlike glass fibre, carbon fibre is stiffer and less flexible, meaning it’s more brittle. Therefore, it can easily break if mishandled. However, carbon fibre results in faster and longer fishing rods than their glass fibre counterparts.

Moreover, unlike glass fibre fishing poles, those made from carbon fibre have small diameters, atop being more sensitive. They’re also lighter, meaning fishermen can catch fish for longer.

However, both carbon fibre and glass fibre rods are made for distinct purposes. They increase fishermen’s chances of succeeding if used in the right way.

Fly Fishing Rods

Designed for casting artificial flies, fly fishing rods are thin and flexible. They’re made from lightweight materials such as foam, feathers, a hook tied with fur, among other lightweight materials.

However, synthetic materials such as carbon/graphite, fibre glass or boron/graphite composites are often used in modern flies. Traditionally, the fishing rods were made from green heart, yew and Tonkin cane or split bamboo.

The most “classic” and beautiful fishing rods are split bamboo rods. However, they’re the most fragile and require proper care for prolonged use. Fly rods don’t use weighted bait or lure for casting, but the fly line weight.

Lightweight fly fishing poles can cast the lightest and tiniest fly. One end of the fly line is attached to a “leader,” a segment with one filament. The fly is attached to the other edge of the fly line.

The wind, the size of fish to be caught and conditions of fishing waters determine the size of a fly fishing rod. For instance, large and heavy fly lines are bound to cast large and heavy flies.

The sizes of fly line rods range from #000 to #0 rod sizes for the smallest freshwater pan fish and trout. The sizes go up to #16 rod sizes for large game fish in salty waters.

Fly fishing rods feature one line known as a stripping guide with a large diameter. It also has several smaller-looped guide (also known as snake guides).

The guides are organized along the rod to control thick fly line movement. They may feature a handle (butt section) to some extent or none beneath the fishing reel to avoid interference with movements related to casting.

However, a type of fly rod known as the Spey rod comes with an extended rear handle. Based on a two-handed technique of casting fish, it’s used to catch Steelhead and salmon in large rivers, or surf casting in salty waters.

Carbon graphite is often used to manufacture fly fishing rods. Sophisticated patterns are used to lay down the graphite fibre to increase the rod’s hoop strength, preventing it from flattening when subjected to stress.

Fly rods taper from edge to the other. The flexibility of the rod when subjected to stress is based on its tapering level. A highly flexible fly rod is slower than their less tapered and thus less flexible rods.

Slower fly fishing poles develop lighter presentations and are easier to cast. However, the forward cast develops a wider loop, reducing the casting distance. As a result, wind affects its performance.

Fly rods twist when cast and this is attributed to imperfections resulting from the manufacturing process of the rods using wrapped graphite fibre sheets.

Rod guides are oriented along the rod at maximum “give” to reduce the twisting effect. Computerized rod testing or rod flexing to feel its most “give” point helps minimize fly fishing rod twists.

Fly fishermen often engage in custom building of rods as a hobby.

Tenkara Fishing Rods

Designed for use in Japan for tenkara fishing, tenkara rods are categorized under fly fishing rods. They’re a mix of fly, carbon and telescopic rods.

Built with a soft action, the rods are ultra-light, telescopic and portable. They range in length from 11 feet to 13 feet. The tenkara rods’ action is a standardized ratio of stiffer parts to flexible tip parts that bend easily.

The actions include 8:2, 7:3, 6:4 and 5:5. Whereas the 8:2 rod is stiffer, the 5:5 rod slower, softer and more flexible.

Just like modern fly rods, tenkara rods may feature wooden handles and a cork. Made from phoenix-tree and red-pine wood, wooden handles have high sensitivity to fish bites and balance the rods with a heavier feel, making the fishing poles more prized.

Tenkara fishing rods have their tips attached directly to the line. Therefore, they neither feature guides nor reels. The rods are based on a fixed-line technique of fishing.

Just like carbon rods, tenkara fishing rods support accurate fly positioning for precise feeding, leading to huge fish being caught. Sakasa Kebari is a common fly used in tenkara fishing rods.

Whereas the rods are popularly being used in Japan (they’re found in almost every tackle shop), their popularity is just beginning to grow in the United States.

Spin Casting Rods

Designed to hold a spin casting reel, spin casting rods get mounted above the handle. The rods feature a forefinger grip trigger and small eyes. Just like bait casting rods, they use any one of the two reel types.

The rods were once available as “bait casting” or “spin casting” rods. However, today the design of the rods suit both styles of fishing. The rods are known as “casting rods” and made for either of the two fishing styles.

Surf Fishing Rods

Surf casting rods are the most common types of sea fishing poles. They’re oversized bait or spinning casting rods made with long handles to support double-handed techniques of casting.

Ranging in length from 10 feet (3m) to 14 feet (4m), surf casting rods are made longer to enable the fisherman to cast the bait or lure farther into the water depths where fish is available in large numbers. The rods are also strong and sturdy to cast heavy bait or lures required to hold the bottom in place in the waters.

The fishing rods often find use in shore fishing from the beach or shoreline. It can also occur on other features of beaches or the shoreline such as rocks. Powerful surf fishing rods can cast artificial lures, lead weight and/or bait weighing at least 6 ounces over distances surpassing 100 yards

Ice Fishing Rods

Varying in length from 24 inches (61cm) to 36 inches (91cm), modern ice fishing rods come in the form of short spinning rods.

Classic ice fishing rods are still in use today. They come in the form of stiff wood pieces that resemble rods. They feature two line guides, a carved handle made from wood and a couple of hooks mounted in opposite directions.

The hooks lie in front of the handle to support manual line wounding around it. The rods are used for fishing in ponds and lakes covered in ice. They go through tiny holes on the ice into the waters beneath.

IM/Modulus Fishing Rods

The Hexcel Corporation produces specific graphite and names it as IM6, IM7, etc. Other companies also use the number designations because they’re not industry standards. Therefore, they don’t indicate quality.

However, you can compare the material quality a specific manufacturer uses to make different fishing rods. For instance, an IM7 would feature better quality graphite than an IM6 from the same manufacturer. But, that’s not the case if the rods are manufactured by different brands because the materials used may differ

Bait Casting Rods

Unlike spin casting rods often used by beginner fishermen because they’re easy to use, bait casting reels and rods are more complex and difficult to use. However, they’re preferred for professional fishing due to their cast preciseness.

Casting rods can handle heavier cover and line, making them more powerful than spinning rods. Built in a low profile design, bait casting rods feature a silent and fast 7.0:1 – line retrieval.

Sea Fishing Rods

Sea fishing poles are made for use in the seas and oceans to catch fish. Measuring about 4 meters long, the rods are long and thick. Huge and heavy eyes, tips and handles are featured on the rods.

Sport fishing boats use the largest sea fishing rods such as marlin and shark rods. The specialized fishing poles are utilized with heavy equipment

Trolling Fishing Rods

Trolling involves casting bait or lure behind or to the side of moving boats. The fishing technique depends on the boat movement to pull the bait across the waters.

Theoretically, spinning or casting fishing rods, except ultra-light fishing rods, are ideal for light to medium freshwater game fishing through trolling.

Trolling rods manufactured over the last three decades target steelhead and salmon fishermen in Great Lakes, including ocean anglers. An effective trolling rod has fast action to ease fishing through this technique.

Sportfishing requires long trolling rods to support the playing of fish after being hooked. However, good spinning or casting rods can support stream fishing or trolling in inland lakes.

Spinning Rods

Made from fiberglass or graphite, spinning rods feature PVC foam handle or a cork. They range in length from 5 feet (1.5m) to 8.5 fee (2.6m). They also feature 5 to 8 guides along the rod’s underside to help fishermen control the line.

Running from the rod’s handle to the tip, the eyes reduce in size. The eye closest to the handle is larger than others along the rod to reduce friction as the line comes off the reel where it coils. It also collects the large line loops coming off the reel as its spool spins.

Unlike spin and bait casting reels, spinning reels hang below the rod, with a locking or sliding reel seat holding it in place. The rod is designed for comfort to support prolonged fishing. It also gives fishermen control over the amount of effort to apply.

In North America, spinning rods and reels are used in sport fishing to catch pike, trout and walleye. On the other hand, it’s used to catch perch, pike, zander or walleye and eel in the European continent.

Long spinning rods made with extended grip handles are designed for double-handed casting of salmon and steelhead fish in salty waters. They also find use in still fishing and trolling using live bait.

Ultra-Light Fishing Rods

Ultra-light fishing rods are designed for catching smaller fish species. They use lightweight lines and small bait, making them more sport with larger species of fish.

Spin cast rods, spinning rods and tackle are often referred to as ultra-light rods. Fly fishing rods with lightweight lines ranging from #0 to #3 sizes are also used as ultra-light fishing rods. They also offer protection to the rod’s thin diameter, tippet or lightweight leader section end.

Unlike normal fishing rods, ultra-light casting and spinning rods are lighter, more limber and shorter in length (4 feet or 1.2m to 5.5 feet or 1.7m). Based on intended application area or use, ultra-light rods range in tip actions from fast to slow.

The fishing rods usually support test fishing lines ranging from 1 pound (4.5 N) to 6 pounds. Ultra-light rods can cast bait as light as 0.4g or (a sixth of an ounce) such as wet flies, small spinners, tubes, crappie jigs, or bait such as trout worms

The rods were initially made to bring more excitement to the hobbyist sport. However, they’re used to catch trout, crappie, bluegill, perch, bass, perch, perch, roach, Tench, Pumpkin-seed, Bream, including pan fish types.

Telescopic Fishing Rods

Telescopic fishing rods are collapsible and expansible to short and long lengths, respectively. For instance, rods measuring 20 or 30 feet can collapse to as little as 1.5 foot in length. This makes the rods compact and portable to carry around when traveling in subways or on buses.

Just like traditional multi-piece rods, telescopic fishing rods are made from similar materials. They include carbon, graphite and fibre glass or a composite of the various materials.

Spinning rods’ eyes are made in unique designs to ensure each section end is stronger. Telescopic fishing rods and traditional fishing rods feature similar yet different grade eyes. Made from graphite and/or carbon, eyeless Tenkara style rods fall under this category of fishing rods.

Telescopic fishing rods require care similar to those of other fishing poles. However, telescopic rods shouldn’t be opened in a way that the closed fishing rod opens fast into an open position.

Flinging or whipping a telescopic rod makes it hard to close. Push the sections together in a slightly twisting motion to effectively close the rods. Guides and tips come with covers for protection. Keep joints of rods free from sand or dirt to prevent likely damages on the rods.

Surf fishermen love using telescopic fishing poles. Surf fishing rods measuring about 12 to 14 feet are heavy to carry around. Rods with short sections are easier to close into shorter compact sections for increased portability.

On the other hand, rods with more eyes have higher power curve. A rod’s parabolic arc has more weight and evenly distributed stress if the rod has more eyes. The result is casting farther into the waters, increased rod strength and better fish fighting capabilities.

Pen Fishing Rods

Designed to fold into cases that look like large pens, pen rods are more compact that their telescopic counterparts. They’re the smallest fishing rods worldwide. When folded into pen-like cases, they can fit into a backpack or pocket.

A rod’s performance depends on the quality of reel and line it comes with. Pen rods are ultra-light and extend only a few feet longer. They’re ideal for spontaneous fishing expeditions, but not as everyday use fishing rods. Keep one in your glove box or toolbox.

Specification of Fishing Rods

Fishing poles are made with various features or specifications as follows:

Line Weight

Weight of the fishing line or fly line is another fishing rod specification. It’s the tensile force before the line components in pounds. It’s the range a rod is made to support. For fly rods, it can range from 1 to 12 in “N” weight (wt). It can range from 8-15 pound sin spinning or casting rods.

Bait Weight

This is the weight of lure or bait that a fishing rod is built to support. It’s expressed in grams or ounces.

Power/ Rod Weight/ Power Value

Fishing rods for kids or adults can be light, ultra-light, medium, medium-light, heavy, medium-heavy, ultra-heavy, heavy, etc. The power of a rod determines the fishing technique it supports, fish species and the size of fish it can catch.

Pan fish and bait fish are best caught with ultra-light rods. The rods also come in handy when there’s need for responsiveness when catching fish. On the other hand, use ultra-heavy rods for surf fishing, deep sea fishing or for catching heavy fish.

Different fishing manufacturers use distinct power for their rods because specific standard don’t exist. Therefore, rod power across different manufacturers is subjective.

Although any rod can catch fish, certain fishing poles may not be practical for catching some fish species or sizes. For instance, a heavy rod provides no sport for catching pan fish. Similarly, using an ultra-light fishing rod for catching a large fish may call for exceptional skills for handling the rod.

However, the rod is likely to end up broken and the fish lost. The best fishing rod is the one designed for the specific kind of fish you intend to catch.


The speed at which a fishing rod moves back to its neutral position is known as “action.” It can be medium, slow or fast, or even medium-fast. However, unlike common belief, action isn’t a rod’s bending curve.

Fishing rods with fast action progressively develop a bending curve from its tip to butt, creating the curve only at the top. The length and its tapering, and materials used on the blank influence a rod’s action.

As an example, a glass fibre composite blank on a rod is slower than one with a composite blank made from a carbon fibre.

Just like power, action is subjective across different manufacturers. As mentioned, it refers to the speed of a rod, but not bending curve. Some manufacturers use “action” to represent a rod’s power value.

A bamboo fishing rod for kids with “medium” action may perform faster than a fiber glass rod with “faster” action. Just like manufacturers, anglers also use the term ‘action” subjectively. This is because anglers can find some rods to be “slower” or “faster” than other fishing poles.

The weight of load (heavier or less weighty) in comparison to the casting weight of a fishing rod alters the power and action of fishing rods. Rods subjected to heavier loads than their specifications during casting are likely to break. This may occur if the line fails to break first.

When the load being carries is less than a rod’s weight range, the action of the rod fails to launch the load. The result is reduced casting distance. They’re similar to stiff poles. On the other hand, the blank of the fly rod warps due to higher weight ratings. Improperly loaded rods may also result in casting difficulties.

Fishermen can make longer casts using fast-action fishing rods for men to completely progress the bending curve. This is due to precise line diameter and the weight of the cast.

A fishing rod becomes slower if the cast weight of load surpasses its load specifications. As a result, the distance is reduced. Furthermore, the action of the rod is used partially only.

Number of Pieces

Rods come in one or many pieces. Those with one pieces feel natural and thus preferred by many fishermen. However, due to increasing rod length, they’re difficult to transport. Two-piece rods are also popular, but some fishermen feel a difference in sensitivity in comparison to single-piece rods.

But, other fishermen find the natural feel in them too minimal to make a big difference. A ferrule or metal bus is used to join the pieces. The latter kind of joint add mass to the rod, making it easier to set the hook and activate the fishing rod for kids during casting from the tip to butt. The result is an improved casting experience.

Metal bus joints are found in handmade fishing poles. Some fishermen find the fitting superior to single-piece rods. It’s also the strongest fitting for rods, but the most costly. Therefore, they’re often found in fishing rods designed for hobbyists.

Tapering and Bending Curve

When in use, a fishing rod for bends, delivering some kind of power or resistance. During casting, the rod moves forward and the mass inertia of the rod and the lure or bait’s bends or loads the rod downwards. As a result, the bait or lure is launched into the water, making the rod play the role of a catapult.

The fisherman strikes once a fish makes a bite on the bait. The rod then bends to dampen the strike and prevent the line from failing. The fisherman is able to keep the line tensile when fighting a catch due to the rod’s bending curve.

Moreover, the bending curve also exhausts the fish because it keeps it under consistent pressure, allowing the fisherman to catch the fish. The curve also reduces the rod’s lever distance, which in turn, reduces the leveraging effect.

A fisherman requires more power when using a stiff rod. However, less power is used on the fish. A deep bending curve on a rod exerts less power from the fisherman, but calls for more fighting power to get the fish caught. Practically, fishermen are often misled by the leverage effect.

Although it’s thought a hard, stiff rod gives the fish more power and control to fight, it’s the fish that exerts power on the fisherman. Commercial fishing line eliminates the leverage effect because large and strong fish are pulled into the fishing boat without significant effort.

The tapering of a rod determines its bending curve. A slow taper bends more at the butt than the tip, delivering a weak rod. On the other hand, a fast taper bends more on the tip and less at the butt area.

A progressive taper runs smooth from the tip of the rod to the butt. With such a taper, deeper bending curves on the rod deliver more power. Practically, depending on the size and type of fish a rod is built, high quality fishing rods’ tapers curve progressively to attain the right bending curve and action.

Today, a single rod is made from different glass or carbon fibres with distinct properties. As a result, no straight relationship exists between the bending curve and the rod’s tapering.

It’s not easy to describe the bending curve. However, some manufacturers relate it to their action. For instance, “slow action” is used for fishing rods that bend from the tip to butt while “fast action” is often used for rods with bends at the tip area only.

Practically, this description is misleading because high quality fast action rods bend from the tip area to the butt. The “fast action” rods are actually stiff with a tip area that’s either slow or soft.

Fast action rods with progressive bends are more difficult and costly to build. Progressive curve/loading/taper/bending are terms sued to describe the properties that influence a bending curve or the curve itself. Heavy progressive, fast taper, tip action and broom-action are other terms used.

A rod’s bending curve influences how it builds up power and releases it. It influences the fish-fighting properties, how the rod is handled, hook setting ability, the casting, and power distribution over the rod, control over the lure or bait and strike sensitivity when a fish is lured.

Even power distribution occurs over a fishing with a full progressive bending curve.

Fishing Accessories

Accessories enhance the functionality and performance of fishing rods. They include the following:

Fishing Hooks

Different fishing hooks are made to catch fish of varying sizes. Hooks poke into the mouth of fish when they nibble on the bait or lure. However, they can also poke onto the body of fish. Hooks include single, circle, double and treble hooks, with sizes ranging from 32 (the smallest) to 19 or 0 (the largest).


This is the lure that attracts fish. Different fish food are used as bait, but live ones are the best for fishing. However, different fish are lured with varied foods. Small freshwater fish known as minnows and worms are the most common types of live bait.

Corn, grubs, marshmallows, smooshed bread and small pieces of hotdog are other affordable alternatives of bait. Fishermen can dig up worms from wet grounds or buy them from a local bait shop.


Swivels join lines to bait to prevent fishing lines from twisting when lures or baits spin them. With swivels, bait move or spin freely in the waters without interfering with the line.

They come with loops on both ends to attach lines and baits easily. Snaps on the swivels helps reduce effort and save times when making a connection. The components are cost-effective and thus easy to replace.


Bobbers keep baits near the water surface and indicate when fish is nibbling on the bait. When fish is biting on the bait, the floaters sinks into the water. They include the traditional cork (popular ones are made from plastic and come in white or red colors) and elongated slip floaters. The best ones are small and responsive.


Sinkers attach to fishing lines to stabilize it as the hook and bait (usually lightweight) sink deeper into the waters. Keeping several sinkers ensures fishermen can easily replace the ones they lose on long fishing expeditions. They include tungsten, brass, bismuth and steel sinkers.

Sinkers also come in different weights and shapes to determine how deep hooks sink into water. Small split shot sinkers easily clip onto fishing lines, and removing them is a breeze. They also ensure long bobbers stand upright under the waters.

Needle Nose Pliers

The pliers come in handy when fishermen want to remove hooks from caught fish or their skin in case of accidents. The best pliers are made from stainless steel and feature angle or bent tips.

Other fishing accessories include sunglasses, line cutters, sunscreen, first aid kit and tackle boxes.

Fishing Lines

Fishing rods for men or women often come with fishing lines in a pack. However, it’s wise to buy additional lines, especially if you intend to go fishing on a regular basis. What’s more, strong game fish can tangle or bite fishing lines, hence the need for extras.

Every fisherman needs simple strings or cords of varying weights and strengths, and specifically made for fishing. Categorized according to visibility, castability and elasticity, fishing lines vary in strength. Different lines are made for specific types of fish.

Stealthy, clear and thin braided lines are ideal for use in clear waters because they don’t scare away fish. On the other hand, string and heavy fishing lines are perfect for use under rough environmental conditions.

User-friendly monofilament lines are easy to tie into knots, making them ideal for beginners. Every reel require at least 100 yards of fishing line. For instance a greenish or bluish fishing line isn’t visible to fish under the waters, but visible to fishermen above the waters.

Most reels, including those for beginners, come with fishing lines wound on spools. However, fishermen can easily buy fishing lines as accessories.


Artificial baits are known as fishing lures. They’re made to mimic natural fish to act as lures. Most fishermen store lures in their tackle box to use in case their live bait runs out.

However, some fishermen prefer using various lures to attract and catch specific kinds of fish. With different lures, fishermen are also able to fish under different water and weather conditions.

For instance, dark-colored lures are ideal for murky waters or cloudy conditions. On the other hand, light-colored lures work for clear waters or weather conditions.

Lures in at least two colors, however, are ideal for cloudy waters. Long-tailed plastic worms are ideal for bass fishing. Some fishermen prefer their lures in specific colors.

The best fishing rods also come in a rod and reel combo to ensure you get everything you need under a single price tag. It also helps save on a few extra dollars.

Fishing Rod Manufacturers 

The fishing industry is full of different manufacturers. Whereas some have been in the industry for decades, others made entry a few years ago. Here’re two of the most popular brands among fishermen from across the globe.


Fenwick is a pioneer brand for fishing rods that’s synonymous with most experienced fishermen. It’s not just among the best brands for fishing rods, but also a leading manufacturer. The company designs and manufactures high quality fishing rods for kids.

It picks premium materials from across the globe to manufacture its range of rods for catching different kinds of fish. They’re also fitted and finished to deliver unmatched fishing experience, not once, but for as long as a fisherman want to continue catching all kinds of fish.

If properly maintained and cared for, Fenwick fishing rods can last a long time. Therefore, they’re a good investment for everyday fishing. However, the best fishing rods from this brand depend on your specific expectations and fishing style.

St. Croix

St. Croix is also among the best fishing rod brands on the market. Although its range of products aren’t as diversified as with other manufacturers, the company is popular for its traditional yet stylish products.

Fishing rods from the manufacturer are simple with basic features. St. Croix fishing rods are ideal for experienced fishermen or novice anglers who aren’t just into the game to pass time, but want to take it a notch higher.

Maintenance and Cleaning of Fishing Rods

Carbon fibre, graphite or fiberglass fishing rods are strong enough to allow fishermen to catch and fight large fish even with lightweight rods. However, they’re so fragile that a nick is enough to break a rod.

Proper care and maintenance of fishing rods for men or women is the key to long-lasting rods. It keeps the rods at optimal level of performance and saves on time and money. Here’s how to care for your fishing rod and subject it to proper maintenance.

Maintenance of the Reel

Use warm soapy water to lightly wipe your reel after using it for fishing. Rinse it with clean fresh water at minimal pressure because high pressure can easily force water into the drag or gear system, with damaging effects. Don’t immerse the reel in water to avoid preventable damages.

Use a clean dry cloth to wipe off traces of water on the reel. Next, spray a WD40-type surface spray lightly on the reel, but not the line to prevent likely reactions.

Remove the drag knob and the spool to clean its underside. Apply grease lightly on the main shaft and replace the knob and the spool. Make sure the drag knob stays loose to release pressure off the drag washers. Adjust or tighten the knob only when using the rod for fishing.

Lightly grease the handle knobs, bail arm springs, line rollers and folding handles with a sewing machine oil or premium reel oil. When done, use a dry piece of cloth to wipe off excess oil on the surface of the reel.

Open the side plate on a regular basis (possibly once a year) and lightly grease the bearings and the gears. In case the reel drops in water accidentally, give it a complete service.

Dismantle the fishing rod into various components and soak the reel in a container filled with mineral turps. Use clean, fresh water to rinse the part and air dry it in the sun.

Check for damages and replace worn out parts. Make sure all the moving parts on the rod such as gears and bearings are lightly or thinly greased. Fishing rod reels are made up of various parts that fishermen can easily dismantle and re-assemble.

An experienced reel technician in a tackle store can easily service reels for beginner fishermen who’re unable to work on them. Buy reel bags or fishing rod holders to protect your reel during prolonged storage in winter. The covers protect the reels from corrosion and damage likely to occur during storage.

Maintenance of Rods

Use fresh water to clean fishing rods for boys after use. Use warm, soapy water to clean the grips and apply lightly reel grease on the guides to prevent rust or corrosion.

Assess the guides for breakages or fractures along the hairline. Replace damaged guides because their continued use weakens and damages the fishing line. Use fishing rod holders to protect the fishing rods under storage. Keep them on rod stands or racks for long-term storage.

The racks protect the rods from curving or getting damaged. The racks are mounted horizontally or vertically. Rod tube harbor moisture and thus not ideal for storing rods because it can corrode the reel, guide rings or even the reel seat.

Sand the guide rings to remove nicks or rust to protect the lines from breakage during use. Replace your guide if it’s not possible to sand it. Don’t bang the fishing rod on rocks, the boat or other surfaces because they’re fragile. Scratches or nicks, even the smallest, can easily break fishing rods for women or men.

Cleaning the Spool

Tighten the drag knob to protect the stack from water contamination. Use warm, soapy water to lightly wipe the spool.

Cleaning the Rod

Use fresh water to clean the rod from the tip to the butt, focusing on the guides. The warm water removes stubborn dirt even on the grips. Apply reel grease lightly on the guides to protect them from rust. Replace any damaged components because they can easily break the fishing line.

Clean the line with clean water and wipe it with a dry piece of cloth. Alternatively, wash the spool under running water to eliminate traces of gunk or salt deposited on the reel rotor or beneath the spool.

Spray lubricating protectant on a dry, clean cloth and use it to wipe the reel (without making contact with the fishing line) to prevent deterioration of the line.


The best fishing rod is important in the life of a fisherman. If you’re new in the industry or replacing your first rod, but unsure of what to look for in the best rod, read our buying guide below to help you choose the best rod.

Margaret Gulley

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