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

While you might hear the term ‘fishing rod’ and ‘fishing pole’ used interchangeably (particularly in the US), there is actually a difference between the two. While they achieve similar aims, there are different times to use both. Today, we will answer the question, what is the difference between a fishing pole and a fishing rod, and discuss the advantages of each.

A fishing pole is a long, tapered and hollow tube with an elasticated end section. Rigs are tied to this end section, and fish are played by shipping in the rearmost sections piece by piece. A fishing rod is also a tapered hollow tube. The main difference is that a reel is used to retrieve the line.


What is a Fishing Pole Used for?

Generally, you’ll find that fishing poles are used more predominantly by match anglers and serious fishermen. Fishing poles are only used for coarse fishing.

Fishing poles are often expensive, and they can be very difficult to handle in inexperienced hands. They are also really easy to break.

Fishing poles are used at relatively close ranges. An angler will be limited in how far they can fish by the length of the pole. A 16-meter pole will allow an angler to fish no further than 16 meters.

Generally, you will only be able to float fish with a pole.

What is a Fishing Rod Used for?

A fishing rod is a good all-around tool for catching a wide variety of fish using many different techniques.

Fishing rods are used in a variety of different scenarios, including: –

  •         Coarse fishing
  •         Sea fishing
  •         Game fishing
  •         River fishing
  •         Carp fishing
  •         Bottom fishing
  •         Float fishing

They are made up of multi sections and have eyes or line guides in which the line sits. Unlike fishing poles, fishing rods are used with a mechanical reel to retrieve the line.

The Benefits to Using a Fishing Pole

While cumbersome and requiring a little bit of experience, fishing poles can be a really effective method of fishing once you get the hang of it. Here are the advantages to pole fishing: –

  •         Speed – If you’ve got the right rig and bait, fishing with a pole can literally be like a conveyor belt of catching fish
  •         Consistency – Fishing poles allow you to drop your bait in exactly the same spot, in exactly the same way time after time.
  •         Better bait presentation – With a fishing pole, you can lower your rig into the water and even hold it in a certain way, allowing you to present the bait in a better way.
  •         Fewer tangles – Because you aren’t casting and there is actually very little line involved, fishing poles are less prone to tangles.
  •         Accuracy – With a fishing pole, you can literally place your bait with inch-perfect precision

The Benefits to Using a Fishing Rod

With a good match fishing rod in your hand, there is little that you can’t catch. Here are some great reasons to consider using a fishing rod.

  •         Versatility – Whether you want to float fish, bottom fish, or lure fish, a fishing rod will do it all.
  •         Easier to Handle – A 16-meter pole is cumbersome and unwieldy. Generally, fishing rods are around the 12-foot mark, making them much easier to handle.
  •         Cheaper – A mid-priced fishing rod will be significantly cheaper than a mid-priced pole.
  •         Better range – Because you can cast with a fishing rod, you have flexibility regarding range. You can fish both close in and at long distances. (Albeit with less accuracy)
  •         More comfort – Fishing rods are very comfortable to use. Hunching over a huge pole all day can wreak havoc with your back. This isn’t the case with a fishing rod

Fishing Pole and Fishing Rod Differences | Final Thoughts…

Aside from the hole ‘catching fish’ thing, fishing poles and fishing rods are two very different beasts. Both have their merits. If you are a serious angler looking to get into match fishing, then using a pole could be good. However, for most anglers, a good fishing rod will be more beneficial as they are cheaper and much more versatile. You can see a great selection of rods, poles, and accessories for both here.