A fishing rod is a long, flexible rod used by fishermen to catch fish. At its simplest, a fishing rod is a simple stick or pole attached to a line ending in a hook (formerly known as an angle, hence the term angling). The length of the rod can vary between 2 and 50 feet (0.5 and 15 m). To entice fish, bait or lures are impaled on one or more hooks attached to the line. The line is generally stored on a reel which reduces tangles and assists in landing a fish.
Traditional rods are made from wood including Ash, Hickory, and bamboo, while contemporary rods are usually made from fibreglass or carbon fiber. In contrast with nets, which are usually used in subsistence and commercial fishing, fishing rods are more often used in recreational fishing and competitive casting. Fishing rods come in many sizes, actions, hardness, lengths and configurations depending on whether they are to be used for small, medium or large fish or in different fresh or salt water situations. Various types of fishing rods are designed for specific types of fishing. Fly rods are used to cast artificial flies, spinning rods and bait casting rods are designed to cast baits or lures. Ice fishing rods are designed to fish through small holes in ice covered lakes. Trolling rods are designed to drag bait or lures behind moving boats.
Modern fishing rods retain cork as a common material for grips. Cork is light, durable, and keeps warm. EVA foam and carbon fiber grips are also used. Reel seats are often of graphite-reinforced plastic, aluminium, or wood. Guides are available in steel and titanium with a wide variety of high-tech ceramic and metal alloy inserts replacing the classic agate inserts of earlier rods.
TYPES OF RODS :
FLY RODS - Fly rods are, in modern manufacture, almost always built out of carbon graphite. The graphite fibres are laid down in increasingly sophisticated patterns to keep the rod from flattening when stressed (usually referred to as hoop strength). The rod tapers from one end to the other and the degree of taper determines how much of the rod flexes when stressed. The larger amount of the rod that flexes the 'slower' the rod. Slower rods are easier to cast, create lighter presentations but create a wider loop on the forward cast that reduces casting distance and is subject to the effects of wind. Furthermore, the process of wrapping graphite fibre sheets to build a rod creates imperfections that result in rod twist during casting. Rod twist is minimized by orienting the rod guides along the side of the rod with the most 'give'. This is done by flexing the rod and feeling for the point of most give or by using computerized rod testing.
SPIN CASTING RODS - Spin casting rods are rods designed to hold a spin casting reel, which are normally mounted above the handle. Spin casting rods also have small eyes and, frequently, a forefinger grip trigger. They are very similar to bait casting rods, to the point where either type of reel may be used on a particular rod. While rods were at one time offered as specific "spin casting" or "bait casting" rods, this has become uncommon, as the rod design is suited to either fishing style, and today they are generally called simply "casting rods", and are usually offered with no distinction as to which style they are best suited for in use.
BAITCASTING RODS - While the easy to use spin casting rods are often used by novice anglers, baitcasting rods and reels are generally more difficult to use. Professional anglers, however, prefer baitcasting rod and reel combos because baitcasting reels grant anglers more accuracy in their casts. Casting rods are typically viewed as somewhat more powerful than their spinning rod counterparts – they can use heavier line and can handle heavier cover. Baitcasting rods low profile design along with a super silent high-speed 7.0:1-line retrieve.
SEA RODS - Sea rods are designed for use with fish from the ocean. They are long, (around 13 feet or 4 meters on average), extremely thick, and feature huge and heavy tips, eyes, and handles. The largest of sea rods are for use with sport fishing boats. Some of these are specialized rods, including shark rods, and marlin rods, and are for use with very heavy equipment.
SURF RODS - The most common type of sea rods are for surf casting. Surf casting rods resemble oversized spinning or bait casting rods with long grip handles intended for two-handed casting techniques. Generally between 10 and 14 feet (3 and 4 m) in length, surf casting rods need to be longer in order for the user cast the lure or bait beyond the breaking surf where fish tend to congregate, and sturdy enough to cast heavy weighted lures or bait needed to hold the bottom in rough water. They are almost always used in shore fishing (sea fishing from the shoreline) from the beach, rocks or other shore feature. Some surfcasters use powerful rods to cast up to six ounces (170 grams) or more of lead weight, artificial lures, and/or bait over one hundred yards (90 m).
TROLLING RODS - Trolling is a fishing method of casting the lure or bait to the side of, or behind, a moving boat, and letting the motion of the boat pull the bait through the water. In theory, for light and medium freshwater gamefishing, any casting or spinning rod (with the possible exception of ultralight rods) can be used for trolling. In the last 30 years, most manufacturers have developed a complete line of generally long, heavily built rods sold as "Trolling Rods", and aimed generally at ocean anglers and Great Lakes salmon and steelhead fishermen. A rod effective for trolling should have relatively fast action, as a very "whippy" slow action rod is extremely frustrating to troll with, and a fast action (fairly stiff) rod is generally much easier to work with when fishing by this method. Perhaps the extreme in this philosophy was reached during the 1940s and early 1950s, when the now-defunct True Temper corporation – a maker of garden tools – marketed a line of trolling rods of 4.5-to-5-foot (1.4 to 1.5 m) length made of tempered steel which were square in cross section. They acted as excellent trolling rods, though the action was much too stiff for sportsmanlike playing of fish once hooked. As Great Lakes sportfishing in particular becomes more popular with each passing year, all rod manufacturers continue to expand their lines of dedicated "trolling" rods, though as noted, for most inland lake and stream fishing, a good casting or spinning rod is perfectly adequate for trolling.