What is The Difference Between a Fishing Rod and a Fishing Pole?

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Anglers have been using the words fishing pole and fishing rods as synonyms for many years now.

Nevertheless, they are not quite the same.

But what is the difference between a fishing rod and a fishing pole? We have listed the differences here: 

  • Fishing rods have a reel seat and line guides
  • Fishing poles have a line attached to the tip of the pole 
  • Fishing poles are made out of wood or bamboo
  • Fishing rods use fiberglass, graphite, or a mixture of both
  • Fishing rods are more versatile as there are several models available with different features
  • Fishing rods are ideal for casting from afar 

You might wonder how these differences impact performance.

We invite you to stay a little longer as we will discuss thoroughly each difference as well as its impact on performance.

This way, you will be able to tell which option is the best for you. Let’s get down to it! 

Fishing Rods Vs Fishing Poles: Types

There are three common types of fishing rods: Casting, spinning, and fly fishing rods. The first type is the most common among pro anglers. It allows you to cast farther and more precisely. In addition, they are the go-to choice if you are after big game fish. 

On the other hand, spinning rods are more suitable for beginners than smaller fish. Both have a set of line guides. The only difference is that they sit beneath the rod on spinning models, whereas they go on the top. As a result, you won’t be able to use baitcasting reels on spinning fishing rods. 

Fly fishing rods are also quite popular, especially among trout and salmon anglers. They are remarkably different from the previous two options. As a result, the art of fly fishing takes years to master. 

There are also specialized fishing rod models such as trolling or deep-sea fishing. Because these rods are tailor-made for some niche situations, they are inherently more expensive. 

On top of the many different models available, there is also different power, action, and length configuration available. This allows you to pick the right set of features depending on the fish you are after.

In contrast, a fishing pole does not have line guides, and you cannot attach a fishing reel to it. There is a single line tied to the tip of the pole. Consequently, you won’t be able to cast from afar. Plus, since you won’t have a reel you need to hook and land the fish using a single movement: Lifting the pole. 

Fishing Rods Vs Fishing Poles: Construction

Like we said before, most fishing rods either use graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both as a backbone. Fiberglass rods are stiffer but stronger, while graphite rods are more flexible but brittle. Nevertheless, most of the best rods use the latter. The main drawback is that graphite fishing poles are typically more expensive. 

Other models, like the Ugly Stik, use a combination of both to offer the best of two worlds. Still, if you are serious about fishing, we recommend going for a graphite fishing rod. 

On the other hand, some fishing rods comprise two or more sections. This way, you can break down the rod for better storage and transport. There are also telescopic models, which are perfect for backpacking trips. 

Typically, fishing poles have a single-piece construction. Wood and bamboo are the preferred materials for such devices. As a result, fishing poles are easier to use, but it takes a lot of practice to get the timing right. 

Fishing Rods Vs Fishing Poles: Lures and Hooks

Because fishing poles only have a single piece of line attached at the tip, there are only a handful of hooks that you can use on them. Typically, you only use hooks with them. Lures are not a common approach.

In addition, there are only as many knots you can make on a fishing pole. As a result, you won’t be able to fish deep in the water column. Needless to say, this lowers the available pool of options. 

In contrast, there are plenty of different combinations of lures or hooks that you can use on fishing rods. Additionally, you can opt for a wide range of knots as well as terminal tackle.

Fishing Rods Vs Fishing Poles: Casting Distance

Since fishing poles only have a short piece of line attached to their tip, it is only logical to think that they are not the best tool for long casts. So, if that is what you are looking for, then you are better off with a fishing rod. 

On the other hand, fishing rods are more accurate when you need to place the lure in a specific part of the lake. Still, it is not as easy and fast as casting with a fishing pole. Plus, it takes an awful lot more time to master the technique. 

Fishing Rods or Fishing Poles? Which is the Best for You?

Typically, a fishing rod is the safest bet. They are more versatile and reliable. Plus, you can cast farther, catch bigger fish, and try different combinations of lines, lures, hooks, and knots. In contrast, fishing poles are easier to use and set up. 

Fishing poles are also an option for those looking to engage in fishing regularly. But, if fishing is more like a side activity during your backpacking trip, then a fishing pole is a better option. 

If you are interested in fishing rods, we recommend checking our extensive reviews. On the other hand, if you are keen on trying fishing poles, you can find several options following this link

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