Fishing Poles: The Ultimate Guide


Fishing rods

The next fishing trip is coming up and a suitable fishing rod still has to be chosen? In order to catch target fish successfully, it must be the right fishing rod with the right fishing accessories. In fact, the confusing variety of different fishing rods often makes it difficult to explain the differences in purpose and use. In the following the most important types of fishing rods are presented.


Various aspects such as overall size, rod length, casting weight, reel seat and an extended range of functions are crucial for determining fishing rods and for their categorization. Not only professional anglers, but also passionate hobby anglers need reliable equipment in order to achieve the best possible fishing results. However, the most important thing about a fishing rod is its operating range. This depends on the casting weight and bait used. Therefore, it is definitely an advantage if fishing rods, reels and other essential accessories are adjusted to the target fish.

Spinning Rods

If you’re looking for capital catches of perch, catfish, pike-perch or pike, you’ll find an overwhelming range of first-class spinning rods. A good spinning rod is the perfect choice for fishing in almost all waters and allows both shore fishing and bait casting from a boat. A proven spinning rod can normally handle tow weights of up to 15 kg. Their great flexibility is due to their carbon fibre and fibreglass reinforced plastic materials. Heavy-duty spinning rods are indispensable, especially when fishing for zander, pike, catfish and perch. With a spinning rod, super light (up to 10 g) or ultra heavy casts (up to 250 g) can be used.

spinning rods are available in different rod lengths. For an allrounder rod 2.80 m long spinning rods are optimal. Shorter versions are also popular for boat fishing, while spinning rods over 3 m long are also used for shore fishing. Spinning rods with telescopic construction are particularly practical for reasons of mobility and can be folded and reassembled without stress. In the end, however, they are less resilient than the classic plug spinning rod. Although the construction may be a bit more complicated, spinning rods with telescopic construction are preferred by professional anglers due to their solidity, flexibility, resilience and optimal line guidance. In order to practice the casting technique essential for spin fishing repeatedly, spinning rods need to be easy to hold and optimally balanced. The special lure guidance includes various procedures such as jigging, plucking or grinding. Small sized stationary reels with a smoothly working brake are recommended here.

Spinning rods

Spinning rod fishing is suitable for lakes and rivers with shallow depths and light currents. The impressive feature of dowsing rods is their overwhelming length, which can reach lengths from 3.5 m to 16 m (head rod, unringed). Stipprods are the best way of catching popular pied fish such as rudd, bream or carp and some predatory fish. Many angling enthusiasts prefer dorsal rods because of their optimal assembly control, as the majority of them are equipped without reels. This may prove to be a disadvantage especially when catching fighting fish, as there is only a limited line length available (monofilament line 0.14 mm – 0.16 mm). This is then compensated for with an internal spring rubber band. Shorter line lengths allow for more accurate tip fishing. On the other hand, perfect casting precision and direct bait contact offer numerous advantages for accurate fishing. Some special end rod designs are equipped with stationary rollers and rings.

When choosing the right spinning rod, you need to pay attention to the appropriate length and casting weight. This should result in an optimum ratio between rod length and casting weight. Natural bait on small hooks and small slit lead are appropriate. Front rod fishing with a high head load can prematurely become a force demanding affair. An essential feature of a front rod is a rod holder, which is used to fix one or more front rods and should be very stable.

Bolognese rods

Another long rod is the Italian Bolognese fishing rod, which is reminiscent of a head rod in design, shape and use. They are mainly designed for peaceful fish such as bream, rudd, barbel and eland. However, Bolognese rods have a high line capacity and are equipped with a reel system. They have reliable reel brakes and steeply protruding line rings. The presence of a line release makes it possible to use a Bolognese rod even for catching capital fighting fish. The impressive length of the Bolognese rod (usually 3.5 to 8 metres) also makes it an ideal fishing tackle for shore fishing in waters with a light current. The flexible catching system allows perfect running pose control with a Bolognese rod, even in wind and weather. At greater depths you can then fish with a standard float.

Bolognese rods can also keep up with stronger currents and impress with high precision, casting accuracy and safe drilling. They guarantee optimal pose control far upstream and at depths of up to 5 m. Especially flexible materials such as carbon fibre products should be preferred due to their high stability and lightness. Wide protruding, coated seal rings at the tip of the Bolognese rod ensure excellent smoothness and agile tip action.

Ice fishing rods

Ice fishing rods are clearly designed for fishing in icy waters. They usually come in short lengths of up to 1 m, as there is no need to cast a longer line when ice fishing. The lure determines the exact design of an ice-fishing rod. Short, rigid fishing rods are used in combination with a steep and symmetrically sinking lure to fish for perch, zander or pike. However, when ice-fishing with small lead lures such as mormyshka jigs with hooks, more flexible fishing tips with thin monofilament or braided lines are preferred.

Normal casting weights are between 20 g and 30 g, special ice-fishing rods with a high dead weight come with a casting weight of up to 50 g. Good ice fishing rods are equipped with a regular stationary reel, are stable and solidly constructed and have a sensitive fibreglass tip for optimum action.

Carp rods

The carp is definitely one of the most attractive target fish. For many anglers carp fishing is an absolute highlight. The flexible casting weight for carp rods is given in pounds (lb) depending on the model. The test curve figures tend to be between 1.5 lbs and 3.5 lbs. This is the required casting weight so that during the test curve the tip of the horizontally positioned carp rod points 90° vertically downwards. Successful carp angling means that procedures such as ground, surface and pose angling are used. Carbon rods are much stronger, lighter and more flexible in use and offer a progressive action. An optimal Titanium double bar ring is necessary, because when fishing for carp, intense forces with enormous pressure are exerted. Ring inserts of sicilium carbide, aluminium oxide or titanium oxide prevent potential damage to the line. A few, but large rings on the carp rod guarantee long casting distances. Perfect carp reels with an optimal gear ratio provide the necessary freewheel and dynamic braking power.

The length of a carp rod is also often given in ft and depends entirely on the area of use. Fishing from a boat requires a short carp rod, while longer lengths (3 m to 4 m) are recommended for shore fishing. Carps prefer live bait such as maggots and worms as well as dough, bread and potatoes.

Fly rods

Fly fishing is a demanding art of fishing, which is based on the fact that floats or weights are not used at all. Only insects in the form of live bait or artificial bait stabilized on a fishing hook are used for fly rods. In addition, a weight is added to keep the featherweight insects under water. Their parabolic method allows the use of various casting techniques and a medium-fast action radius.

High quality fly rods consist of multi-part high density carbon fibre sets and line pulleys with tearproof cotton. One-handed fly rods are ideal for angling smaller fish, while two-handed fly rods should be preferred for fishing capital predators. For beginners 2.75 m fly rods are ideal. Both the water and various fishing techniques require appropriate fly rod lengths. For nymph fishing in rivers or lakes, longer fly rods (up to 8 m) prove to be particularly efficient. Correctly attached nymphs are used here. Nymph fishing without bite indicators is only useful if the bite phase of the target fish can actually be seen. Otherwise, nymph fishing with a bite indicator is more effective. The AFFTA class of a fly rod indicates for which target fish it is particularly suitable. Regular fly rods, which are optimal for inland waters, belong to AFFTA class 5.

Telescopic rods

The telescopic rod is very popular as a particularly flexible fishing tackle and can be stored in any excursion baggage. High quality carbon fibre rods are particularly stable and corrosion resistant. The slidable segments of a high-quality telescopic rod are connected to each other in such a way that they can withstand high loads. Their custom-fit manufacture is an absolute prerequisite for their functional and successful use, since a telescopic rod should be able to compete with a capital target fish. Even heavy predatory fish should be able to be caught without problems with a good telescopic rod.

Due to the plug-in concept of telescopic rods, the rings are set at a higher distance, which can lead to increased friction during the casting process. The ratio between rod length and casting weight must also be well balanced. Regular rod lengths tend to be between 2.4 m and 4.2 m. In this case, an all-round telescopic rod from a higher price segment is a well-invested purchase for successful fishing experiences.

Match Rods

The special features of match fishing require special equipment in order to carry out long casts with carriages efficiently. Therefore match rods develop a continuous lightness and sensitivity and can still be used for heavy target fish and fighters. Their impressive endurance is due to the special ringing with many running rings (14 to 16 rings) and an optimized distribution of load and force. However, match rods are mainly used for angling game fish (white fish) such as rudd, trout, bream or carp. They are used for long casts and demonstrate a fast action ability. Three different lines are used for match rod fishing. Floats weighing 2 g to 10 g should be attached to a solid main line made of dark nylon, which has enough dead weight to sink and not to be driven away from the fishing point.

Carbon rods are also preferred for match fishing because of their solid resistance and light weight. Match rods in lengths from 3.5 m to 6 m are ideal for shore fishing, more compact versions are ideal for boat fishing.

Pilk rods are designed for sea fishing from a boat. To meet the special challenges of sea fishing, pilk rods have a special construction. They are short and due to their stiff backbone they are not very flexible. This allows them to cast a high weight for a quick sinking of the bait constellation, which is indispensable in the often adverse weather conditions and strong currents at sea. The target fish are halibut, turbot, whiting, ling, coalfish, hake and cod, which are best caught using an artificial bait with a biting point, the metal pilker in fish imitation. Various action methods of the pilker during the descent, such as basic contact and mid-water guidance, then attract target fish to bite. By-catchers such as streamers, twisters or rubber macques are attached above the regular pilk and contribute essentially to better catch results.

Pilk rods should be equipped with appropriate pilk weights depending on sea depth and currents as well as winds. A minimum weight of 100 g – 150 g applies to 20 m sea depth, for water depths of 50 m at least 150 g of pilk weight should be calculated. For 100 m deep waters, pilk weights should be at least 300 g to 500 g.

Baitcast Rods

One of the most used fishing techniques is fishing with Baitcast rods, which is actually associated with spinning rods. This is where direct bait guidance and powerful action come into play. Twister and rubber fish, wobblers and spoons are used with a Baitcast rod and aimed at larger target fish and predators. Repeated casting and retrieving of the line with bait and moving the bait line back and forth requires a good baitcast rod with a low dead weight.

Good baitcast rods are slightly shorter than spinning rods with a maximum length of 2.40 m. They should be equipped with a light spool, an ergonomic trigger handle underneath the multi reel and lightweight guide parts with stainless steel frames. The upward facing rings plus guide ring must be placed close together on a Baitcast rod to ensure smooth line guidance. However, the special feature of a Baitcast fishing rod is its compact, lightweight Baitcast reel. Its positioning allows single-handed casting, while impressive casting distances are made possible by first-class ball bearings. Baitcast fishing rods feature differentiated braking modes that not only release the line but also prevent spool overrevolution and wigging.

Waller Rods

Waller Rods are designed for fishing heavy freshwater fish and especially European Catfish. The largest freshwater fish in Europe is the catfish. This mega-fish is active during twilight in calm, oxygen-rich waters, stream edges and under sunken trees. Catfish anglers need a good deal of patience and skill to track down a catfish and record a successful bite. Active (mobile) and passive fishing methods (stationary) are used. Active catfish fishing is done with a correspondingly dynamic catfish spinning rod or a vertical boat rod, while for passive catfish fishing, catfish rods are used for bracing.

For direct drills over catfish, vertical catfish rods are used in combination with vertical lures such as teasers and fireball rigs. With a length of 1.60 m to 2.10 m they are relatively short, mainly one-piece and compact and demonstrate high stability. Catfish spinning rods have lengths between 2.10 m and 3 m and can cast weights of up to 250 g.

Surf rods

Surf fishing for cod, halibut or flatfish is carried out from the edge of the sea, i.e. from the beach. Shore fishing is therefore based on the optimized execution of long casts, which often exceed distances of 50 m or 100 m. The tip of the well-balanced surf rod should be sensitive enough to register such distant bites. A brightly painted tip part signals the lure touch and can better draw the angler’s attention to the bite moment. The ringing demonstrates unobstructed line guidance due to the larger rings.

Surf rods should come in a minimum length of 4 m to 4.5 m and should be equipped with long handles for first-class leverage to allow better casting distances. Heavy weights of up to 300 g can also be used, which sink quickly and are not driven away by waves and wind. Those who activate several surf rods at the same time should consider using an efficient surf rod holder in the form of a telescopic tripod.

Travel rods

To be prepared for a perfect fishing opportunity at any time during the holiday, foldable travel rods, which can be easily stowed in any baggage, offer the ideal solution (pack size up to 70 cm). In the form of telescopic or plug-in rods, they can be used as classic all-rounders for various fishing techniques. With push-fit rods, the individual components are plugged onto each other during assembly. The immediate pushing together of the blank on a telescopic rod allows the immediate use of this travel rod.

A travel rod can normally be up to 2.70 m long when ready for action. Its length and the area of use for pilking or spin fishing determine the casting weight. Baitcast travel rods are equipped with a suitable multi reel, which ensures perfect casting and reliable bait guidance.


Fishing rods are usually differentiated according to use, fishing method, transportability, rod length and casting weight. The following criteria determine their suitability for target fish of all types.

Weight and length of rod

The length of a rod is determined by the fishing method used. For example, fishing techniques on shore and beach require rods of greater length. When fishing directly on the water, shorter rods are used for optimum handling.

The weight of a fishing rod also depends on the fishing technique. Lightweight fishing rods are especially important for spinning fishing for many hours, where fatigue-free fishing is a great advantage. Short, heavy rods are suitable for big game fishing for large marine fish.

Tip action

Information on rod strengths such as “ultra light” or “extra heavy” are important in that they indicate the target fish for which they can be best used. Depending on the target fish, the action radius of a fishing rod must be taken into account. The most important actions include the “parabolic action”, the “semi-parabolic action” and the “tip action” as well as the “return speed”. You can read more about these in our article on tip action.

Rods Action Bending Action of fishing rods explained The Rods Action determines how fast or slow actions are implemented by the rod. Because by bending the blank, the action (for example a light pluck when jigging to make the lure jump over the ground) is transferred at different speeds to the end, i.e. the lure.

Casting weight

The casting weight of a fishing rod is given in pounds or grams. In general, casting weights of up to 350 g are used for sea fishing. For freshwater fishing, weights up to 150 g are used. Test marks on the blank of a rod indicate the approximate cast weight factors for the minimum and maximum lure weight. Depending on the blank weight and casting weight, the class of a fishing rod is determined (ultra light, light, medium light, heavy, ultra heavy).


The handle on a fishing rod comes in different lengths. An ergonomic design and high slip resistance are prerequisites for effective use of the fishing rod. Cork coatings and hard rubber are common materials that make the handling of the fishing rod more efficient. Short grips are especially useful for boat fishing, while longer grips should be chosen for shore and shore fishing to ensure effective leverage.

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