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JRW Fishing.com ~ Fishing Rods
       Trout Fishing Size Chart


A fishing rod or fishing pole is a tool used to catch fish.  A length of fishing line is attached to a long flexible rod and is terminated in a hook for catching the fish.  A fishing rod refers to a more sophisticated tool than a fishing pole.  Fishing rods are a casting tool fitted with line guides and a reel for stowing of fishing line.  Fishing rods vary in action as well as length, and can be found in sizes between 24 inches (mostly for ice fishing) and 16 feet.  The longer the fishing rod, the further a person can cast.  Although casting a 16 foot rod seems as if it would be quite difficult, although the distance a person could achieve must be quite extreme! 

History of Fishing Rods: 

The very earliest fishing rods were made of wood, bone, or stone and were called gorges.  Gorges were only about an inch long and pointed at both ends.  A bait and line were attached to these gorges.  Then fishing rods began to become what we know them as today.  A Chinese written account from the fourth century B.C. describes a bamboo rod, with a silk line, a needle used as a hook, and rice for bait.  Later fishing rods were typically made from split Tonkin bamboo, Calcutta reed, or ash wood.  Handles and grips were generally made of cork, wood, or wrapped cane.  Guides were typically made of simple wire loops or, later, loops with ring shaped inserts for better wear.  Even today, Tonkin split-bamboo rods are popular in fly fishing.   

During the middle of the twentieth century, fishing rods became shorter and lighter without losing any of their strength.  Bamboo was largely replaced by fiberglass or carbon fiber.  Modern fishing rods retain cork as a common material for grips.  Cork is light and durable, although EVA foam is also used.  Today, fishing rods are identified by their weight (meaning the weight of line or lure required to flex a fully loaded rod) and action (describing the location of the maximum flex along the length of the rod).   

Ideally the perfect rod should gradually taper from butt to tip, be tight on all of its joints, and have a smooth progressive taper, without any 'dead spots'.  Modern design techniques, along with advanced materials such as graphite and boron have allowed fishing rod makers to tailor both the shape and action of fishing rods for greater casting distance, accuracy, and fish-fighting qualities.  And this is what you see in stores and on the internet.  More options than you ever could have imagined, when it comes to the simple fishing rod.   

Types of fishing rods: 

Bait Casting:  Bait Casting rods are made of graphite or fiberglass with cork or foam handles, and are usually 6 to 7 feet long.  They are generally stiffer than other rod types, and are generally used with heavier artificial lures and natural bait.  These fishing rods have the reel and guides mounted above the rod due to the design of the reels used for casting, which require the use of the thumb for better control (that's right chimps can't use these fishing rods!)  Bait Casting rods were originally developed for larger fish and saltwater fishing.  But they have become increasingly popular among Bass anglers.   

Fly Fishing:  Fly fishing rods are thin, long, flexible rods sometimes made of bamboo, but mostly from man-made materials.  As their name indicates, fly rods are designed to cast a fly (or flea as our mentor used to say).  Instead of a weighted fishing lure, a fly rod uses the weight of the fly line for casting, and lightweight rods can cast the very smallest fly (or flea).  Fly rods tend to have a single, large diameter line guide, with a number of smaller looped guides placed along the fishing rod to help control the movement of the thick fly line.   

Spin casting:  spin casting rods are designed to hold a spin casting reel, which normally mounts below the handle.  Most spin casting rods are similar to bait casting rods in design and action, but the fishing reels mounted to them are quite different.  There are 5 main types of spin casting rods:  ultra-light rods, ice fishing rods, surf rods, jigging rods, and cane poles.  Spinning fishing rods are made from graphite or fiberglass with a cork handle, and tend to be between 5 and 7 feet long.  Most spinning rods have anywhere from 5 to 8 small guides arranged along the underside of the rod to help control the line, as well as a sliding reel seat for attaching a spinning reel below the rod handle.  Spinning rods are widely used throughout all types of fishing, including trolling and still fishing. 

 So, now that you know where the fishing rod came from and what type you need, simply click here to see what JRWfishing.com has to offer you.