The Invention of the Fishing Rod | | Get Fish Bait
The Invention of the Fishing Rod
November132019

So, who Invention the very first fishing rod? It’s actually impossible to say! Based on stone inscriptions that date as far back as 2000 B.C, there were many people in ancient Egypt and China using fishing rods. Those in ancient Greece and Rome used them as well. It seems those who lived in prehistoric times caught fish by using their bare hands in shallow water. But over time, people realized how inefficient it was to go after fish like that, and they also wanted to d a way to fish in deeper waters. So they started using a hook and line to do it before eventually tying the line to a long rod and using that to help them fish.

Since then, fishing rods have come a long way. While the earliest versions of fishing poles featured the line tied to a single point on the rods, running rings leading from the bottom of the rod to the top eventually replaced the early models. Then, people started making rods out of different materials like bamboo to improve the flexibility of them. But it wasn’t until the 20th century when manufacturing made it possible to employ materials like fiberglass and graphite to build fishing rods. These are some of the same materials used to make fishing rods today.

History of the Fishing Rod

The first fishing rods were nothing more sophisticated than hazel shoots about 6 feet long with a horsehair line of about the same length fixed to the tip. A hook was whipped on to the end of the line and stayed there until a fish broke it off – the same rod was used for bait or fly fishing and when the day was done, the angler twirled the rod around in his hand, which neatly wound the line around it and went home. The furthest back we can track the use of rods is about 2000 BC, but they were probably in use long before that, and where hazel wasn’t available, any other flexible wood or reed would do. The first description of a longer rod is given in The Treatyse of Fishing with an Angle in 1496, the author of which describes a 14-foot two-section rod with a hollow bottom section in which the tip could be stored.

Rods on tableTwo centuries later, although short rods were still in use, jointed examples of up to sixteen or even eighteen feet had become common. These had anything up to six sections to make them easy to transport and were made out of several different types of wood, very often with a whalebone tip and the line was either attached to the tip using a loop to loop connection, or fed through a single loop whipped to the tip, the other end being held by the angler, because reels weren’t commonly used until the eighteenth century. By the early 1700s, rods had become far more sophisticated and were becoming increasingly specialized, although many were still being made by anglers themselves, rather than by tackle shops, although it had been possible to buy made-up rods for at least a century. A wide range of materials was in use, ranging from deal, ash or willow for the butts, and hickory or hazel for tops, together with the standard whalebone extension. A few traditionalists still used juniper, bay tree and elder for butts; and yew, crab apple, and blackthorn were used for tops, but these native woods were becoming distinctly old fashioned. The adventurous salmon fisherman could even try some new-fangled Indian stuff called ‘Bambou cane’ for the construction of his tops. A big step forward that took place around this time was the use of intermediate rings, which gave anglers much greater control over the fish, especially because the use of reels was becoming steadily more widespread.

Ash and hickory spinning rodWhen the nineteenth century dawned, there still weren’t that many fishermen, which is one of the reasons why the 1850s form such a marked watershed in tackle development – for example, by 1860, few anglers made their own rods anymore. Many social changes took place in the middle of the century, not least the invention of the railway, and they had far-reaching consequences as far as angling was concerned. Lancewood had replaced hazel for tips, and bamboo was becoming much more common, although most of it was sourced from India and it was used whole, rather than split and glued up. Many rods had metal-reinforced joints, but the development of the all-metal suction joint would have to wait until the end of the century as so spliced rods were common.

After the middle of the century, there was a tremendous change of pace, with new developments coming thick and fast. Not only did greenheart and split cane make their appearance, but a growing split began to appear between fly fishing and bait fishing, which was accompanied by increasingly specialization in rod development – at the beginning of the century anglers quite frequently used the same rod for everything, by the end of the century it was rare for anyone to do so. So while Nottingham bait fishermen were using deal and lancewood rods about 12 feet long, roach fishermen on the Lea were using white bamboo rods up to 20 feet long, and trout fly fishermen were using split-cane or greenheart rods that were rapidly shrinking down to around ten foot long, although many double-handed trout rods were still in evidence.

The next big change was the introduction of glass fiber rods just after the end of the Second World War. To begin with these were very expensive and they didn’t offer any significant weight advantage over split-cane rods, with the result that the latter continued to be sold in the UK right through to the late sixties, by which time the American market was completely dominated by glass; Hardy’s didn’t even begin the production of glass rods in earnest until the sixties. As it turned out, the ascendancy of glass fiber was relatively brief, because in the late sixties the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough discovered a new material called carbon fiber. This time, Hardy’s were quick to take notice of the new compound and they began to design new rods with Richard Walker’s help, but they took such an extraordinarily long time to complete the development that the first one was made as late as 1976, three years after the American company, Fenwick, had put a carbon fiber rod on the market.

History of fishing rods goes back to ancient Egypt and China. By stone inscriptions (dating back to 2000 BC) fishing rods were used in ancient Egypt, China, Greece, Trinidad and Tobago, Rome and medieval England. But the fishing rod was invented even earlier.

Fishing has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in the U.S. over the course of time. As of right now, there are almost 50 million Americans who go fishing on an annual basis, and that number seems to continue to climb year after year. As a result, the fishing rods that are used have become more advanced than ever as fishermen try to get every competitive advantage they can when they hit the water. But fishing is something that has actually been around for centuries now, and the fishing pole itself has evolved quite a bit since it first came into existence.

Who is the fishing rod

Fishing rod (or a fishing shole) is a part of fishing equipment used to catch fish by angling. It is a simple stick or pole with a line ending in a hook which is known as an angle. It is made of bamboo, wood or synthetic materials like glass fiber composite or carbon fiber composite. It holds a line and hook, helps fisherman to cast the hook and bait further and have better control over the line.

The Evolution of Fishing Rods

In the 1950s and 1960s, anglers used fishing rods that “threw” a lure or bait forward into the water. The leverage from its length propelled the bait forward and anglers trusted it would land near where they wanted.

Today’s rods are “purpose-specific,” designed to accurately pitch, flip, or cast a multitude of lure types under a variety of conditions.

Serious engineering and development of rods and reels began in the 1970s with the popularity of tournament fishing. The most popular rig for hardcore bass anglers was a Lew’s Speed Stick and an Ambassadeur 5000C spooled with monofilament line, usually Berkley Trilene or Stren Clear.

The Speed Stick/5000C rig was an example of rugged beauty, with its jet-black fiberglass rod, round shiny black reel, black Fuji line guides, and a black rubber pistol grip. The look did not disappoint for they served anglers well with years of hard fishing.

One of the first fiberglass rods offered in three strengths or powers—light, medium, and heavy—Lew’s was a turning point in rod design. They actually “cast” a lure with control, handling baits from the lightweight Bagley Balsa B to the magnum-sized Arbogast Mudbug.

After inventor Lew Childre died in a 1977 plane crash, Speed Sticks began to lose popularity, however, they introduced three quality graphite models in light, medium, and heavy categories.

Under new ownership and leadership since 2009, Lew’s is relying on angler input and technological innovations to drive rod development, following a similar process it used to bring its reels back to market prominence.

“Many folks think we just make reels, but we’re equally committed to making Lew’s the best name in rods too,” said CEO Lynn Reeves. He acknowledged that all of Lew’s Speed Sticks are true to Lew’s heritage of “lighter, faster, and stronger.” New models benefit from common traits like proprietary Advanced Performance Technology (APT) blank construction.

Lew’s Speed Sticks vary in price according to series, ranging from Laser LG Graphite series at $49.99 to the top-of-the-line Team Lew’s HM85 rods at $199.99.

Other manufacturers are adding to their stable of rods, catering to anglers’ needs by developing various lengths, style, and stiffness categories.

Newcomers like Carbon X are bringing their own ideas and strengths to the industry. Their challenge was to build a better fishing tool that delivered the greater fishing performance anglers wanted, which led to the creation of Action Forward Design.

“Our rods deliver an impressive increase in fishing performance in two ways. First, with our Action Forward Design we put more of the rod to work for the angler by putting more of the blank where you can use it and that is in front of your hand,” said David Gray, founder of Carbon X Rods.

Combining Action Forward Design with blanks specifically designed for that concept gives anglers the advantage of having the more usable rod in front of the reel seat, adding leverage and speed to the hook-set.

“The Action Forward Design puts two to six inches more of additional rod length when compared to other rods, in front of the reel where it will fish and work for you,” said Gray.

Most rod brands use 10- to 12-inch rear grips on their 7-foot long casting rods while the Carbon X Action Forward Design employs 8-1/4-inch rear grips on 7-foot casting models, creating two or more inches of rod in front of the reel seat. MSRP for Carbon X Rods goes from $119.99 to $229.99.

In 1948, St. Croix’s co-founders Bob and Bill Johnson decided to build and sell landing nets. Their quality nets, with cedar handles, ash hoops, and hand-sewn netting, proved too costly for most sportsmen.

A brainstorming session saved the company. Perusing a display of cane fishing poles, the brothers decided to modify them to make them portable. They cut the poles into three shorter lengths and fitted them with brass ferrules. A local hardware merchant immediately ordered 500 rods, and the St. Croix Rod Company was born.

In the 1950s they produced and marketed the first fiberglass rod with the color molded into the rod instead of painted onto it—and the rest, as they say, is history.

While the trend has been method specific for most manufacturers, St. Croix has nearly redefined that process with 22 different series for everything from muskies to ice fishing, including nine new models for 2015 while retaining its Legend Extreme series, an ICAST 2012 Winner for Best Freshwater Rod.

These were examples from just three manufacturers, there are many others like Abu Garcia, All-Star, Berkley, B‘n’M, Browning, Denali, Duckett, Daiwa, Eagle Claw, Falcon, Fenwick, G. Loomis, Lamiglass, Okuma, Penn, Pflueger, Quantum, Shakespeare, Shimano, plus brands with retail names like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s.

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