fishing pole

Understanding Different Types of Poles for Fishing: A Detailed Comparison

There are many kinds of fishing poles available in the market. So, it’s important to use the right one for your technique, fishing location, and the fish you want to catch. There are six main types of rods: spinning rods, casting rods, trolling rods, surf rods, fly rods, and ice rods. Let’s talk about all of them one by one.

Spinning Rods

Think of a fishing stick with a spinning reel connected to the bottom of the rod. That’s a rod that spins! These are very flexible and easy to use, which makes them a great choice for people who are just starting. Besides, they work well with food, hooks, and even live bait that isn’t too heavy. You can catch different kinds of fish with spinning poles because they come in different lengths and strengths.

  • Type of Reel: Spinning
  • Skill Level: All
  • Pros: Used for a variety of species and fishing conditions
  • Cons: Unable to handle heavy line

Casting Rods

As you might guess, casting reels work best with these fishing pole. Depending on your skill level, you can use either a baitcasting reel or a spin-cast reel. Moreover, they can throw farther and more accurately than spinning rods.

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Many bass fishermen prefer these rods because they are strong enough to handle big fish in both freshwater and ocean. If you use a casting rod with light lures and lines, you might get tangled up. Therefore, always use lines and lures with a bigger diameter.

  • Type of Reel: Baitcast or Spincast
  • Skill Level (with Baitcast Reel): Intermediate to advanced
  • Skill Level (with Spincast Reel): Beginner
  • Pros: Ability to cast farther and with more accuracy
  • Cons: Challenging to master with a baitcast reel

Trolling Rods

It is only possible to use a trolling stick for one type of fishing: trolling. You can put it in a rod stand or hold on to it while you are trolling for a fish. With trolling rods, the action lets the blank bend just enough if you hit a rock while casting. However, it’s strong enough not to break.

  • Type of Reel: Conventional or Baitcaster
  • Skill Level: All
  • Pros: Can have multiple lines in the water (depending on state regulations)
  • Cons: Can only be used for trolling

Surf Rods

Boat rods and surf rods are alike. They are made for heavy-duty use in the sea and for catching big fish. Furthermore, they both have the same parts of a fishing pole. However, one important difference is that they have a larger handle and design. This makes it easier for anglers to reel in fish and throw the line farther.

Also, they can be used for fishing from the beach, boats, or docks because they are heavy-duty and durable. Worry not; the saltwater won’t damage them. But because they are heavy-duty, they are big and bulky, which makes them not the best choice for new anglers.

  • Type of Reel: Large spinning or conventional
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to High
  • Pros: Designed to withstand corrosion
  • Cons: Specific to ocean fishing

Boat Rod

A boat rod is made for fishing in deep water. Most of the time, they are shorter because you don’t have to throw the rod. It’s enough to just drop your hook and weight over the side of the boat. Heavy-duty, solid fibreglass is often used to make boat rods. This is because big fish in the deep sea need reliable power to reel them in.

  • Type of Reel: Baitcasting and Spinning reel
  • Skill Level (with Baitcasting Reel): High
  • Skill Level (with Spinning Reel): Beginner to Intermediate
  • Pros: Boat rods’ length and strength give anglers more leverage.
  • Cons: It might not be the best choice for all boat fishing situations.

Read more about Understanding the Key Fishing Rod Parts: Complete Guide

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Fly Fishing Rods

To make sure your bait is offered correctly when you cast your fly, you need a little more skill. Moreover, fly fishing rods come in different lengths and weights. So, anglers can find the right rod for the species they want to catch and the situations they will be fishing in. Usually, Fly fishing poles are very light and come in several pieces to make them easy to carry.

  • Type of Reel: Fly
  • Skill Level: Intermediate to advanced
  • Pros: Lightweight, easy to transport
  • Cons: Challenging to master technique

Ice Rods

Most of the time, an ice rod is shorter than other types of fishing poles. This is because you don’t have to cast when you fish through the ice, and ice shelters often don’t have a lot of room. There are different powers and motions for ice rods, just like there are for every other type of fishing rod. Furthermore, the rod motion and power will depend on the type of ice fishing you do and the fish you target.

  • Type of Reel: Inline or spinning
  • Skill Level: All
  • Pros: Can be used as a kid’s rod
  • Cons: One-dimensional—only able to fish vertically, doesn’t cast well


The right fishing rod is like having a reliable friend with you when you’re out on the water. To pick the right tool for the job, think about the fish you want to catch and how you fish. If you do some study and use this guide, you should be able to catch that dream fish. So, get your rod and ensure it has all the necessary parts of a fishing pole. Then cast your line and get ready for a great time fishing!

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