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Can You Use A Boat Rod For Pier Fishing?

Can You Use A Boat Rod For Pier Fishing?
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Many anglers have begun their fishing journey at the edge of a pier, finding a blend of comfort and opportunity that other fishing forms do not offer. But, would one be able to take advantage of these fishing conditions using a boat rod?

Boat rods around 9ft in length may work for pier fishing but will come with varying functionality and operation differences when fishing from a pier. Other rods are more suitable for pier fishing conditions. 

Pier fishingOpens in a new tab. has special conditions. Although your rod and setup will also be based on your target species, tackling these potential opportunities will require a rod and gear that meets the needs that these conditions necessitate. Stick around to find out precisely what you should be looking for in a rod for pier fishing.

Can I Use A Boat Rod For Pier Fishing? 

Boat rods require varying operation and skill, but boat rods around 9ft in length may work for pier fishing, as most boat rods are around 6 – 7ft in length and may be too short unless you’re dropping your line straight down.

But, boat rods are usually rung for multiplier use, which is far more challenging to operate with for a novice angler than fixed spool reels.

The rings are smaller, and the reel may not be on the right side of the spine. As a result, there may be pressure on the line to the first ring from the reel.

Therefore, it’s not advised to use a standard boat rod for pier fishing unless these specifics are comfortable for you, as many other options would be better suited for pier fishingOpens in a new tab.

The main difference when deciding which rod would be most beneficial is that rods are different in functionality, length, weight, strength, and various casting styles and distances. They also hold the various weighted line, bait, and lures much better, which will impact your pier fishing trip’s overall success. 

What makes pier fishing special is that you can cast at decently far distances into waters, which are more in-depth and from a higher standpoint.

However, there are often regulations on piers regarding overhead casting, or there are delegated zones which are marked out for various fishing styles and purposes for safety. 

Nowadays, pier fishing rods, which were usually approximately 9 – 10ft in lengths, have decreased in popularity, and some anglers prefer all-round modern beachcasters. These may offer the capacity for beach and pier fishing and casting on various grounds such as sandy or mixed. 

Piers that snag easily or have strong tides would be more suited to a powerful fishing rod coupled with a speedy retrieval multiplier reel.

Using a medium to heavy corrosion resistant 7 – 9ft spinning rodOpens in a new tab. or baitcaster rod would be appropriate for many scenarios and fish species. Using a light setup is also popular, using setups including a 7 – 8ft spinning rod casting 1 – 2oz. Other forms of fishing from piers such as float fishingOpens in a new tab. are compatible with spinning or baitcasting rods. 

What Kind Of Rod Can You Use For Pier Fishing?

Other than seeking ‘pier fishingOpens in a new tab.‘ functionality, there are a few design features that should be identified in particular to determine how suitable the rod will be for your purposes.

This includes the material used, grip, weight of the rod, the rod’s bend and sturdiness, how much weight the rod and reel can handle well, and compatibility with the environment.

When it comes to deciding which rodOpens in a new tab. would be most suitable for your pier fishing goals, a few other factors would be most influential.

Whether you are spinning, feathering, or float fishing, the fish species being lured, as well as the water and bottom conditions, will need to be considered. Many beach casting rodsOpens in a new tab. and continental rods would be suitable for fishing from piers.

Another factor that should be considered when pier fishing is the amount of bend that the rod has since the rod’s stiffness will play a role in how you could respond to bites.

It’s particularly difficult to even pick up on bites if you are casting near the bottom but, this will not be a challenge with float fishing, spinning, or feathering. 

The rod’s choice will ultimately come down to the fishing setup necessitated by the size and location of the fish species being targeted, such as a lighter rod for smaller fish and a medium-heavy rod for larger fish.

Your casting distance will determine what the most suitable length of your rod will be, as shorter rods at around 6 – 7 ft.

It would be ideal for dropping bait straight down from the pier or only a few feet away, and a 9 – 10 ft. rod would be appropriate for casting at greater distances and would be better suited for deep water fishing. 

Generally, 7 – 9ft spinning rods are suitable for spinning, feathering (with up to 3 feathers), or float fishing, depending on how far out you will be casting.

This is because casting at great distances from the pier and casting only a few feet or straight down can be beneficial if it’s compatible with the targeted fish species. Such a length provides a decent balance between these two casting styles. 

In terms of the rod’s material and weight, the use of graphite results in lighter yet more breakable rods, while the use of fiberglass results in heavier yet more durable rods.

Quality rodsOpens in a new tab. also have a functional grip for optimum comfort and handle over your casts. 

Light spinning rodsOpens in a new tab. with small reels are suitable, and bass rods could also be suitable for pier fishing, as well as other forms such as float fishing. Specifications such as an 11ft 2 – 5oz bass rod would be useful.

The weight of the line being used should be around 20 – 40 pounds as this is suitable for most species, which roam piers and nearby areas. This allows decent casting distance and offers speedy retrieval of your line. 

A stronger rod and reel would be more suitable for fishing in higher quantities, such as a large school roaming the area. Usually, beach casters work well with a multiplier reel or fishing near particularly rocky bottoms and larger fish species.

 Telescopic rodsOpens in a new tab. are also useful for pier fishing, but they are heavier than other rods, which are useful for feathering and spinning, so this weight should be considered against your fishing goals.

When deciding which sinkers would be necessary, it would be dependent on the pier conditions and the environment surrounding it.

Pyramid sinkersOpens in a new tab. are more suitable for sandy bottoms, and bank sinkersOpens in a new tab. are suitable for fishing around rocky structures or rough terrain and the bottom.

Curved shaped sinkersOpens in a new tab. are also great for general use or varying bottom terrain.

Drop netsOpens in a new tab. are needed to gather fish from the waters since hauling them up by rod is forbidden in most areas due to safety precautions. Drop nets are generally necessary because it allows catches to be retrieved without injury or damage. 

GaffsOpens in a new tab. are also useful for collecting fish from the waters below, but these are only useful when your catch is being kept and not released back into the environment unharmed since it will severely injure and likely kill the fish

Tackle bagsOpens in a new tab. are a great investment when venturing out onto any kind of fishing trip and will make your pier fishing experience far more enjoyable and convenient. 

Investing in a quality tackle bag will allow you to plan and prepare effectively in accordance with the target fish species, the distinct environment of the pier fishing location being visited, as well as factors like your choice of baits and lures. 

When pier fishing, there is less mobility as opposed to other forms of fishing. Thus, a tackle bag that can be set down beside you or kept on your body while fishing would be suitable.

Extra tools such as pliersOpens in a new tab. for removing hooks from catches as well as addressing bird’s nests and tangled lines will be handy, and there will be an almost obvious need for a durable bucket or transportable container. 

Additional but not necessary gear, including comfortable fold-out chairs and sunglasses, will create a far more comfortable and enjoyable environment in which to fish.

Some anglers also like to bring along some sharp all-purpose fillet knivesOpens in a new tab. for cleaning catches on-site if it’s going to be kept or eaten. 


There are plenty of beneficial pieces of gear and equipment that you will need, and beginner anglers often neglect the need for a solid rod holderOpens in a new tab..

You can create a makeshift holder, but investing in a quality grip for your rod will make the pier fishing experience so much more enjoyable and convenient while your hands are tied with other tasks.

Pier fishing offers an array of opportunities, many of which could sadly be missed without the appropriate gear, rod, and preparation. But, with a solid understanding of your pier fishing goals in comparison with your fishing setup, you could be reeling in some glorious catches in no time. 

Zaldy G.

I love feeling the cool ocean spray every time I hit the beach with a rod and a bucket of bait. I love the thrill of feeling bites on my line whenever I hook a big one. And I especially love the pride that comes with cooking a fresh catch and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for stopping by. Let's go catch some fish!

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