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Fishing Rod Vs. Fishing Pole: What’s The Difference? 

Fishing Rod Vs. Fishing Pole
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Ask people about the difference between a fishing rod and a fishing pole, and in return, most of them will ask, “Aren’t they both the same?” Even avid anglers make the mistake of calling both fishing poles. So, you may wonder about fishing rod vs. fishing pole: what is the difference between them?

A fishing pole is an essential fishing tool with a fishing line attached to the pole tip. It does not have any extra features. On the other hand, a fishing rod is a modern fishing pole with features like a reel, reel seat, and a guide. 

This article will explain the differences between a fishing pole and a fishing rod. Once you know the details, you will understand which one to get for your fishing expeditions. 

What Are The Differences Between Fishing Rod And Fishing Pole?

Fishing rods and fishing poles have similarities, but they also have many differences. They have different materials, features, functionality, and price ranges. Let us discuss it to understand more:

The Materials

Fishing poles have been used for fishing since ancient times. The materials for fishing poles have been natural, such as bamboo, wood, and cane. However, you will also find fishing poles made from various metals, like graphite. Hence, modern fishing poles are now more substantial and more durable.

Fishing rods may not be ancient, like fishing poles, but they have been used for centuries. These modern fishing rodsOpens in a new tab. are made from alloys, metals, or synthetic fibers. Manufactures craft fishing rods with fiberglass, graphite, copper, etc.

The materials affect the quality and performance of the fishing rods. So, they are sturdier than fishing poles.

Features and Performance

Fishing poles are simple fishing tools. A fishing pole does not have many distinctive features except the pole and the fishing line attached to its tip. It has no reel or line guides like the fishing rod. 

People often prefer a fishing pole for its precision. You can place the lure or bait in the exact part of the water you want to cover. There is no need to cast the lure far away. You just have to lower it down to the spot and wait.

Fishing poles are much more useful in spots with too many obstructions. It will not get tangled with things like casting rods. Besides, poles are a better choice for clear water. 

The fish in the water may get alerted to your presence when using a fishing rod. But fishing poles cause less commotion, so the fish around the area do not get suspicious.

Now, fishing rods have complex features. They have everything like a fishing pole but with more complicated features. 

Every fishing rod has a reel, a reel seat, and a line guide. A fishing rod has more features and is more versatile than a fishing pole. 

Fishing rods are the best choice for fishing expeditions where anglers want to cover a large area. They can cast a fish lure or bait further into the water with a fishing rod. 

Rods are more flexible, and you can use any type of bait or lure, which is not always possible with fishing poles. Thus, you have the chance to catch different kinds of fish with one rod. 

Moreover, fishing rods can cast the lure or bait in different water levels. You can cast the lure into the deep, middle, or top of the water. However, fishing rods can be problematic in places with too many obstacles. The fishing line can get caught and tangled. As a result, the fish can escape. 


Fishing poles have some variations based on where and how they are used. There are mainly two types of fishing poles: freshwater poles and saltwater poles. Freshwater poles are typically made of canes and reeds.

 Fly fishing poles, cane poles, and catfish poles are different types of freshwater fishing poles. These fishing poles are mainly for ponds and rivers. 

Saltwater poles are strongly built for fishing in coastal areas, the sea, and the ocean. Saltwater poles are also differentiated depending on weight-bearing capacity. 

Just like fishing poles, fishing rods have many variations. Apart from being categorized into freshwater and saltwater rods, there are also fly rods, ice rods, spinning rods, casting rods, and many more

Casting rods are for catching massive fish. Anglers can place accurate baits with this rod. Fly-fishing rods are obviously for fly-fishing. They are small and weigh less than other fishing rods. They come in various shapes and sizes. 

Then spinning rodsOpens in a new tab. are similar to casting rods, but they are smaller. They are comfortable to use and move around. Ice rods are for fishing on the ice. They are shorter than spinning rods. 

Ease of Use

In terms of operation, fishing poles are a lot easier to use. They do not have any additional features. So, you do not have to learn about using different features and adjusting them when you go fishing. 

Your skill at casting lures or baiting will depend on your skill, not on the equipment. Also, there is no problem with technical functionality. Therefore, even kids can use a fishing pole. 

Fishing rods are not that simple. It has many features. So, you have to learn about using different parts of the fishing rod. The rod’s reel has complicated parts like a spool, front drag, anti-twist roller, bail arm, reel seat, real handle, support arm, and others. 

Fishing rods require high maintenance to avoid technical issues. Because the rod has many features, it can have many technical problems. While fishing, you may face backlash or brake failure. Nonetheless, if you get the hang of using fishing rods, they become quite convenient. 


If we compare the price range, fish poles are less expensive than fishing rods. Fishing poles are often made of natural and less expensive materials. Some fishing poles are made of expensive materials. 

Yet, they are affordable because they do not have too many features. Fishing poles have minimal features. Thus, you do not have to pay any maintenance costs. 

Fishing rods are expensive because of their extra features and versatility. They are made of expensive and durable materials. Moreover, you have to keep the mechanical parts maintained properly. 

Again, they need to be fixed once they are broken. But the price is not much of a concern as the fishing rods can last longer than fishing poles. 

Fishing Pole Vs. Fishing Rod: Which One Is Better?

It is not easy to say which one is better than the other. Some may find the simplicity of fishing poles preferable. Others may love the versatility of fishing rods. 

However, you must choose one if you want to go fishing, right? In that case, consider getting a fishing rod. Although the fishing rods have a complex design, they are suitable for any type of water and fish. 

Practicing fishing with a fishing rod regularly will eventually increase your precision when casting lures. You can learn different techniques of fishing with just one fishing rod. Fishing poles do not offer such versatility. 

You can also choose a fishing pole if you have a limited budget. Fishing poles are the better option for people who fish a few times a year. Since they are not professional anglers, they do not have to spend extra money on buying fishing rods or extra time learning to fish with them. 


You must have understood the difference between a fishing pole and a fishing rod. You have seen how fishing rods function differently in the debate of fishing rods vs. fishing poles. Although both are fishing tools, calling them the same does not make much sense. 

So, next time you are buying one, consider the differences. 

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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