A Quick Guide To Pole Fishing

A Quick Guide To Pole Fishing

Fishing is one of the most popular sports in the country. The only other outdoor activities taking precedence over fishing are biking and running[1]. It is a great sport for people of all ages. You can enjoy it with a group of friends or during a fishing trip with your family.

Pole fishing has many benefits. It is a low-cost activity, does not consume too much of your energy and is more relaxing than other fishing sports.

What Is Pole Fishing?

It is a great outdoor sport for you to sit back and enjoy the perfect weather or beautiful scenery. Unlike the latest equipment designs introduced in reel fishing, pole fishing tools are easy to use and don’t cost much.

Man Fishing

Your pole fishing kit will generally include:

  • Chair: To sit on the bank of river, canal, lake or any other slow-moving water source
  • Fish Pole: Depending on the outdoor setting, you can choose the poles of different material and length
  • Rig: This includes float, hook and a shot attached to the fish line
  • Elastic: It acts as a shock absorber in case your bait catches a fast moving or a heavy fish

You can use the fishing pole to extend the rig on the right spot in the water. Float, which is part of the rig stays on top of the water surface and the hook below the water to catch the fish. The area where you dip your rig for catching the fish is the ‘swim.'

Difference Between Pole And Reel Fishing

Some of the significant differences between Pole and Reel fishing include:


One of the primary differences between Pole and Reel fishing is how far you can extend the bait. Reel fishing allows you to access fishes at greater depth and distances with long reel length. Pole fishing, on the other hand, is usually done on canal or riverbanks and in shallow waters.


The cost of reel rods can go up to thousands of dollars. Since you can extend reels over long distances, there is a lot of rolling back required while catching a fish. This step creates a lot of tension and requires equipment durable enough to handle such force.

Poles, on the other hand, are lightweight, and relatively cheap to buy. Their costs usually range in hundreds rather than thousands of dollars.

Fishing Area

In pole fishing, the line that drops vertically from the pole's end is usually 4 to 6 inches long. Hence, people use it for baiting fish in a more precise manner. Reel fishing, on the other hand, uses a lure and bait system to attract fish from far away.

Water Conditions

Pole fishing equipment works more effectively in low current waters. On the other hand, you can do reel fishing in rough waters while moving on a high-speed boat. This reason is why reel-fishing equipment costs more. 

Holding Pole

Pole Fishing Techniques

Not everyone knows how to use a fishing pole right. The technique you use for pole fishing can be a determinant factor on how much you ‘bag-in' that day. Here are three basic steps that you can follow to enjoy your pole fishing adventure:

Fishing Position

  • Sit slightly to the side of the fishing chair with the starting end of the pole resting on your thighs
  • Hold your position with your feet firmly placed on the ground
  • Use your right hand to firmly grip the pole from the top and use left hand to hold the pole in its place
  • Pole should be parallel to the water level with line dropping at the swim area

Bringing In The Catch

  • Once you sense motion on the float, be ready for the pull
  • When the hook catches the fish, you can estimate its size based on how much the elastic on the pole is stretching
  • If the fish starts running away, wait for it to stop before pulling the pole
  • If the pull is stretching your line too much, you may need to add another section to your pole to increase its length. This motion will release some pressure off the rig
  • Once the fish stops running, pull back the pole while keeping it parallel to the water surface


Once you bring back the pole close to your station, you strike by simply lifting the heel of the pole. This step brings the hook above the water and allows you to put your catch in the bag. In case the bite misses during the strike, lower your pole again as the fish might give it another go.

Pole Fishing Equipment And Their Types


The rod is an essential part of your pole fishing kit. It usually comprises of lightweight material such as carbon fiber or fiberglass. Fishing pole for beginners requires a rod that is at least 7 meters long.

Pole Fishing Rod

The two types of poles mostly used by fishermen include:

Telescopic Pole

It comprises of multiple blanks that can pull out and lock against one another just like a telescope. It is easier to manage the length of a telescopic rod without pulling out your rig from the water.

Press Fit Pole

Press fit rods consists of different pieces that you can join together to form a complete fishing pole. They are suitable for baiting fish more than 7 meters away from the holder.


Floats hold rigs in place and identify any bite on the hook. Floats vary in shapes and sizes. The type of float you use depends on the strength of the currents, wind speed, and the place where you go fishing. People fishing on the banks of canals and rivers use heavy floats due to the constant flow of water.

Pole fishing floats generally comprise of balsa wood, which is much lighter than reel fishing floats. It allows the angular to gauge what is precisely happening underwater in case there is a bite on the hook.


The type of rig you use in pole fishing depends on the swim area. If you are fishing in still water, use the lightest, thinnest and most sensitive rig line. On the other hand, people fishing in running waters use a sturdier rig line.

Tips And Tricks For Pole Fishing

Apart from knowing the right techniques and carrying the right equipment, there are some essential tips that you can use. These tricks will help you get the most out of your pole fishing expedition:

Using A Lighter Rig

A lighter rig includes a lightweight float, which provides natural movement of your hook bait. This effect will attract more fishes to your line.

Moving The Rig

It is always hard to see a float lying still on the water surface. Although you might believe that there are many fishes in the water, they might not respond to your bait. Try to lift and drop your rig now and then. This step creates a movement in your bait and surrounding water, which can attract fishes. 

Using Shorter Hook Length

It is usually preferred to use a 4-inch hook length for shallow waters and 6-inch for water levels deeper than 3 feet. Most fishes swim up to find their food. Hence, you don’t want your hook to fall deep into the water allowing low shot movement.

Fishing Hook In Hands

Creating A Cloud

While pole fishing near the shore, it is always a good idea to make a cloud in the water. It helps attract more fishes in that area and holds the ones that are already there. An effective way to make a cloud is by introducing over wetted coarse pallets in the target area.


If your line is not catching many fishes, you can improvise by throwing a few pallets near the float. Any fish in the surroundings will either notice them falling on the water or see the pallets on the water surface.

Another idea to attract more fishes is to keep your meat fresh. Use a water container and strainer to give your meat a dip and strain the extra water now and then.

Some floats allow your line to pass through the middle. This design is especially useful when you don't want your rig to move a lot in high current waters.

You can try using a caster in your pallet band as well. This approach is great to keep your hook un-masked and to increase your bite to catch ratio.


Pole fishing is a great outdoor activity. It is an effective way to spend some quality time with your friends and family. The experience can be more fruitful if you have the right pole fishing equipment and some useful tips in mind.

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