What is the difference between a fishing rod and a fishing pole?

Often people loosely use the terms fishing pole and fishing rod interchangeable, not thinking about what is correct. But for anglers, the incorrect use of words will often expose the lack of knowledge within the sport. So to ensure that you do not make the same mistake, here’s the difference. 

A fishing pole is a pole of natural materials with a line attached and a hook. In comparison, a fishing rod is part of a system that includes the rod, the reel, and several guides the line passes through depending on its length—also, the rod is made from different fibers such as carbon and fiberglass.

To better understand the subject, I’ve gathered some information on both rod and pole.

What is a fishing rod?

The standard length of a fishing rod is 7 feet and made of fiber material, such as kevlar, fiberglass, boron fiber, or carbon fiber. The rod can also be made from composite materials, as mentioned earlier, where the rod gets the best qualities of the different synthetic materials. To guide the line, the rod has several guides depending on the length of the rod to ensure the connection between the tip of the rod and the reel.

Rods have different attributes such as weight, action, and power. The weight is the overall weight of the rod and describes how sensitive it is to fish biting. The lighter the rod, the more likely you can feel the “nibbling” of the fish. But for bigger fish, you need a heavier rod since the weight also indicates the overall durability and divided into eight categories ultra light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra heavy. The action and power linked in the way the action indicates the ability til bend, where a slow action rod bends through the rod. A fast action rod bends mostly at the tip and then becomes rigid much further towards the top. Also, the power of the rod is relevant in terms of how much energy it takes to bend.

The different materials with which the rod is built have different attributes to weight, action, and power. Fiberglass rods are often medium to slow action and often heavier than carbon or boron. The fiberglass rod is an excellent inexpensive beginner rod. The boron and carbon fiber rods are more rigid in the way they’re built and, therefore, often categorized as a light fast action rod. In newer rods, the different manufacturers have made composite rods, that harness the best features of the different materials; this makes it possible to ei. gain lightweight and slow action rods.

The reel, generally placed underneath the rod on most beginner systems, but be aware that many different systems being produced where the reel is incorporated into the handle or placed on top.

As a system, the rod, reel, and line work together to cast the hook quite far, often much further than a fishing pole can reach. Also, over time it is possible to develop an excellent accuracy of where the bait will land, enabling the angler to place bait in the best possible locations while fishing.

The frame of the reel which is attached to the rod, and with the handle, the line is retrieved or out. There are two different types of reels, a traditional reel, where the line is retrieved on the spool, and a spinning reel, where a bail is used to apply the line to the spool. In the spinning reel, the spool does not spin but moves back and forth, allowing the line to be placed over the entire length of the spool. The spinning reel is the most common beginner reel.

Two other attributes are essential when selecting a reel for your rod, the drag, and the gearing. The gearing is the ratio of turning the handle to the number of rotations made by the spool, and standard reels have an about ration of 6:1. Every time you turn the handle one, the spool makes six rotations/bail rotates six times around the spool. It is not possible to compare the amount of the line that can be retrieved by comparing two different reels, since the size of the spool affects this metric. The size of the spool, the amount of line that is present in the spool, determines your real speed of retrieving line.

Second, the drag or break on the reel ensures the tension on the line does not pass critical and snaps. The drag should always be attuned to the weight, power, and action in mind. With heavier rods, the drag will feel harder than with lighter, fast action rods. Finally, the type of line used on the reel affects the overall performance by either adding additional flexibility or limiting it.

There are generally three types of line Monofilament, Braid, and Fluorocarbon, each with their properties. Apart from the below-mentioned properties, the line weight is essential and dependent on the type of fish and their estimated weight you are trying to catch.

The Monofilament line is often a good beginner line, cheap and easy to tie knots. Also, it is quite flexible, allowing the ability to absorb shock at the expense of “feeling” the fish on the line. But with all things, there is more than one catch, the line has memory, which results in issues when you retrieve the line previous damage can create problems on the spool. Also, being mostly produced in nylon, the line will breakdown over time and will have to be replaced often.  

 The Braided fishing line has the opposite properties of the monofilament, also being more expensive. The braided line should only be used with more routine, since being more smooth makes tying knots very difficult, and using it will force you to learn new and more complicated knots. A big upside to the braided line is its lack of flexibility, allowing you to feel even the smallest fish nibbling at the bait.

Finally, the fluorocarbon line is rather new as a mainline. It offers a robust line, and it is nearly impossible to see underwater. Unlike the monofilament line, it tends to keep its core structure quite well. These properties make it ideal for a leader on your braided line.

Other lines that I have not mentioned is the fly-fishing line and wire. The fly-fishing line goes without saying for fly fishing and should be chosen depending on the fly-fishing rod that you are using. The use of wire is often used for sharp-toothed fish and can either be used as a mainline or as a lead.  

What is a fishing pole?

As mentioned earlier, the fishing pole is a long pole with a line and hook attached. I remember as a kid, building my fist pole from a long stick, and trying to catch my first fish. It is the oldest form of angling, and I’d say it brings some peace to the sport. Unlike using the rod, where you can cast bobber, and spinners the pole does not have that possibility. Instead, you can carefully use your long 12-foot pole to place the bait accurately in front of the fish you are trying to catch. Also, the fight that the angler gets with the rod does not occur with the pole, since the physics change from pulling the fish out of the water to just lifting it out and onto land.

What types of poles do people use?

The material used for creating a pole is often natural materials, with high durability and long. The most used is the bamboo or cane pole. The advantage of bamboo is the strength and length of it. Furthermore, it is quite easy to process into a fishing pole, just adding a proper grip at the butt and attaching the line at the top.

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