5 Do's and Dont's When Buying a Coarse Fishing Rod

Mark Griffiths Mark Griffiths

Coarse fishing is a kind of freshwater fishing popular in the United Kingdom, Ireland and across Europe, in which angler's fish for 'coarse' fish such as pike, perch and carp as opposed to game fish like salmon and trout.

5 Do's and Dont's When Buying a Coarse Fishing Rod

The term 'coarse' originates from the nineteenth century, when fishing was a popular sport amongst the gentry, and they disdained those fish that were not considered game fish.

Modern fishing rods are widely used for both recreational and sport fishing, and are often made of synthetic material composites which offer the rod both strength and flexibility. A variety of fishing rods are suitable for coarse fishing, with the particular requirements of a rod depending greatly on the type of fish an angler is hoping to catch, as well as the environment in which they intend to fish. There are some important considerations to be made when deciding on rods suitability.

Do: Consider Type of Fish the Rod Will be Used to Catch and Where

The kind of fish an angler will aim to catch plays a key role in deciding on key characteristics of a fishing rod. Some anglers may go 'specimen hunting', where they attempt to catch specific species of fish, while others may fish for leisure and are less concerned with specific catches. Fishing for larger coarse fish like carp, for example, will require a stronger rod to catch than smaller fish. While it is not necessary to have a specific type of fish in mind, having a rough idea of the sizes of fish a rod may come into contact with makes it easier to decide on the most appropriate fishing rod.

Another consideration to be made is the environment in which a fishing rod may be used. Longer rods may be needed to reach into larger bodies of water, such as wide open lakes, whereas smaller rods may be easier to use in smaller bodies of water, such as smaller rivers which are covered in a significant amount of vegetation. Similarly, if the shoreline of the water is crowded with trees, a longer rod is more likely to get caught in casting.

Do: Consider Which Kind of Rod will be Most Suitable

There are a number of different kinds of fishing rod widely available, and some of those which are suitable for coarse fishing include:

Spinning Rod

The spinning rod is a popular choice for sport and recreational fishing of many kinds. Spinning rods are usually made out of graphite or fibreglass, with a cork or PVC foam handle. An appealing feature for many anglers on this kind of rod is the position of the reel, which is located underneath the rod rather than above it like on other types of rod. This allows more comfortable use for long durations, and also means the rod can be held with the dominant hand allowing for greater control. This type of rod can be found with a wide variety of specifications, and is suitable for coarse fishing for a range of sizes of fish.

Casting Rod

The casting rod is somewhat similar to the spinning rod in construction, though does position the reel above the rod. Casting rods are generally more powerful than spinning rods, making them more suitable for angling for larger coarse fish such as pike or carp. Casting rods often include a forefinger trigger grip.

Fly Rod

Some anglers opt to use fly fishing rods for coarse fishing. These rods are designed to cast an artificial fly to attract fish, and due to the near weightless nature of the lure this requires a special, weighted line. Fly rods are built to be thin and flexible, and often have little or no handle extending beyond the reel. This kind of rod is available in a range of different lengths, and can be suitable for a variety of fishing environments. Fly rods are more suitable for the smaller fish, as it is difficult to catch larger fish with a fly rod.

Some fishing rods available are classed by the specific kind of fish they designed to catch, for example a carp fishing rod. Similarly, rods such as float rods can be designed to cast floats or certain kinds of hook or lure. These classifications can be useful for anglers who are looking for such specialised equipment.

Do: Match the Specifications of the Rod to the Needs of the Angler

There are a number of key specifications which fishing rods are measured by which determine what kind of fishing a particular rod is most suitable for. Some anglers opt to carry two or more rods at a time, in order to ensure they have the correct rod at hand for any kind of fish they might encounter, while others aim to maintain an all-rounder rod, which is balanced enough to be able to handle a range of situations.

Rod Weight

Rod weight, also known as the 'power value' of a rod, is an indicator of the weight of fish, or the kind of fishing, a rod is suitable for. Rods are generally categorised from ultra-light to ultra-heavy, or by similar scales. Ultra-light rods, for example, would be used to catch very small fish, whereas ultra-heavy rods may be more suitable for deep sea fishing. Manufacturers apply their own rod weight, as there is no universally agreed standard. Light to mid-range weight fishing rods are generally suitable for most coarse fish.

Line Weight

This is the range of weights of fishing line that a particular rod is designed to support. Fishing line weight is often measured in pounds of tensile force before the line parts. The line weight for fly rods is represented differently, by a number often from 1wt to 12 wt, with 'wt' representing the standard weight for the first 30 feet of the line. It is important to match the weight of a line with the line weight of a rod. Suitable line weight for coarse fishing varies not only depending on the weight of the fish, but also depending on the weight of the lure, for example a very lightweight lure will require a weighted line to cast properly.

Lure Weight

The lure weight of a rod is the recommended weight of a lure or hook a particular fishing rod is designed to support. A too light or heavy lure or hook can make effective casting more difficult, while exceeding the lure weight of a rod may too much risks damage to the rod. The lure weight is generally measured in ounces or grams. Many different kinds of lures might be used in coarse fishing, with varying effectiveness on different species of fish. Floats, for example, are light enough to float on the water while some lures are designed to sink to the bottom of the water.

Rod Action

The action of a rod indicates how rapidly a rod returns to a neutral position from being bent from casting, or from fish on the end. A rod action can be measured from fast to slow, and the most suitable rod action for an angler can often come down to personal skill and preference. A faster rod may be allow further, more effective casting, while slower rods are often considered more forgiving.

Rod Length and Number of Pieces

Rod length is a key consideration when choosing a fishing rod. . Length is generally measured in feet and inches, and longer rods give further reach to the angler. The most suitable length of a rod can depend on only on the environment in which it is used, but also when it comes to transporting and storing the rod. Longer rods may be needed when fishing in large bodies of water, while smaller rods are more suited to smaller, or overgrown rivers or streams.

Fishing rods can reach considerable sizes, and can be difficult to easily store. To combat this, many rods can be broken down into a number of pieces, and put back together before use. The number of pieces in a rods specification shows how many pieces a rod breaks down into. Some anglers prefer single piece fishing poles, as they prefer the way they handle. An alternative option is the telescopic rod, which can collapse into a much smaller, more easily transportable form.

Don't: Forget to Check Local Laws and Venue Rules

Before purchasing a rod, or any fishing tackle, it is important to be aware of any laws governing fishing. For example, in the UK a fishing rod license is required for coarse and game fishing in locations such as lakes, rivers and canals. In addition to this, fishing venues often have specific rules to ensure the welfare of the fish, and to ensure the enjoyment of all anglers. It is often mandatory, for example, to return any caught fish. Furthermore certain kinds of hook are also often not allowed, and venue rules may necessitate the use of certain tackle. Unhooking mats, which protect the fish from damage while the hook is removed, are often a requirement.

Don't: Forget Any Additional Tackle Which May Be Needed

While the fishing rod is perhaps the most easily recognisable part of an anglers fishing equipment, or 'tackle', the use of additional equipment may be necessary for successful use of the rod. This can include equipment directly attached to the rod, including line, hook, bait and float, and even electronic indicators to alert the angler to a bite. A landing net, for example, may be needed to land a catch, while unhooking mats can be mandatory at some fishing venues. Some equipment may not be necessary, but could enhance the overall fishing experience.


Coarse fishing is popular both as a leisurely pastime and as a sport, and choosing the right rod for the right situation can improve the overall fishing experience. A fishing rod can be found to fit any angler's skill, technique and fishing environment, and Amazon or eBay offers a wide selection of rods and tackle.

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