A fishing rod is a tool used to catch fish, usually for sport. (Sustenance and commercial fishing usually involves nets.) A length of fishing line is threaded along a long, flexible rod or pole; one end terminates in a barbed hook for catching the fish, while most of the rest of the line is wound around a reel at the base of the pole. The pulley-like arrangement of the reel allows the fish to be "reeled in" once caught. The use of a fishing rod is known as angling. Fishing rods vary in length and strain capabilities. Usually fishing rods will vary in size between 6 and 16 feet (2 and 5 m). This length advantage increase the amount of force which the fish exerts on the fishermans arms.
Types of fishing rods
Fly Fishing rods are long, thin, flexible rods sometimes made of bamboo, but more recently from man-made materials. Fly rods tend to have large diameter eyes (or guides) spaced along the rod to help control the movement of relatively thick fly line. To aid in the freedom of movement required to skillfully cast with a fly rod, there is usually little to no butt (handle) extending below the fishing reel. Although fly rods are mainly used for casting from fixed positions, they can also be used for trolling for fish.
Spin Casting (or "Spinning") rods are made from graphite or fiberglass with a cork handle, and tend to be between 5 and 7 feet (1.5 and 2.5 m) in length. Typically spinning rods have 5 small guides arraigned along the rod which are used to help control the line, and a sliding lock for attaching a reel. Spinning reels are widely used in fishing for popular North American sport fish including bass, pike and walleye. Spin casting rods are also widely used for trolling and still fishing.
The following are sub-sets of spin casting rods:
These are used in fishing "ultra-light" with small, very thin rods (usually 4 to 5 feet long and as thick as a pencil). These rods usually carry 2 to 6 pound force (9 to 27 N) test fishing line and throw bait no larger then 1/8th of an ounce (4 g). Originally produced to bring more excitement to fishing, ultra-light fishing is now catching on with trout fishers as well.
Surf fishing rods resemble spinning rods with much larger proportions. Generally between 10 to 14 feet (3 to 4 m) in length, surf fishing rods need to be larger and more robust in order for the user to get the bait out beyond where ocean surf breaks. The shallow water and low visibility of surf break zones means that fish tend to congregate just beyond this area. Some people can use surf rods to cast six ounces of lead weight and bait hundreds of feet, and casting competitions are sometimes held on dry land.
Jigging rods are very thick spin casting rods which are used to bounce heavy metal lures on or near the ocean bottom. Very heavy bait and line is used in ocean jigging in order to reach the ocean floor through strong currents. To counter act this, jigging rods need to be stiffer and with a larger diameter than spinning rods used for casting or in fresh water applications. Bottom fish such as halibut and cod require a jigging rod.
Jigging as a technique is also practiced in fresh water, however as a rule, normal spin casting rods can be used for this.
Long slender pieces of bamboo. They are great for allowing you to not disturb the fish and reaching out of the way places.
Fly rods are considered to be one of the most difficult sport fishing rods to use. Successfully casting a dry fly requires the user to collect a large amount of float line in the air by making large, sweeping arcs with the rod tip. Once enough of the ribbon-like line for the length of the cast is out of the reel spool and into the air, a last forceful thrust is made to propel the line and fly forward onto the water. This process is referred to as "loading".
Spin casting is easier than fly casting, with the user needing only to make a single, quick, over-hand motion before releasing the line. Exact techniques vary as casting style weighs heavily on the type of reel, bait and line used, as well as the species of fish being sought.