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Different Parts of a Fishing Rod – Explained by Experienced Anglers

parts of a fishing rod
Written by Immanuel Baranov
Last Update: June 9, 2022

As with any sport, you have to have an understanding of the equipment you use. Fishing is no different and so this a run down so you can talk about your rods with other interested parties. We have different parts of a fishing rod well explained for you by our experienced fishing enthusiasts.

Parts of a Fishing Rod: Know from Experts


Blanks - fishing rods

Can be called barrels also. These are the main sections of each type of fishing rod where everything else is attached to. They come in two or three sections and slotted together. They are hollow tubes, nowadays mostly made of synthetic materials like fibreglass or graphite composites. The blanks are cut into sections so that the rod can be assembled and disassembled for easier transportation. Some are in two sections, while others come in three sections are all are tapered from the butt end to the tip.

Butt or Cap

Butt or Cap - fishing rod

This is at the very end of the rod. It can be made of plastic, cork or rubber. When not in use the rod is usually held upright and the butt end cap protects it from damage. This is where the assembly of the rod starts as the butt is attached to the end of the handle and is a permanent fixture .


Handle - fishing rod

Also called the grip. Made of cork or wood. Some are made of PVC or other types of synthetic material. The length of the handle usually depends on the size of the rod and also on its purpose. Spinning rods, for example, don’t need long handles. Some rods need long, sturdy handles, such as sea fishing rods, where a two handed grip is necessary when trying to land big game fish. Long handles help achieve distance when casting. Surfcasters are another example of when long handled rods are a necessary requirement.

Reel Seat

fishing Reel Seats

Although some rods just have a plain length of cork or wood as a handle and attach the reel straight to the handle with simple rings, others have built-in plastic or aluminium reel rests within the handle. A wide range of rods comes with these reel seats. Anglers that prefer the traditional type of open reel can still find this old-style on the rods made from modern materials. The plain, unadorned handles give the angler the choice of where to mount his or her reel. On the moulded reel seats, one end of the reel base is slipped into an immovable socket. The other socket is slid onto the other side of the reel base and set in place by tightening a screw ring. Whether or not the rod has a purpose built reel seat depends on which kind of rod you buy.

Hook Keeper

Hook Keeper - fishing rod

A simple ring that is attached near the handle to slip your hook through, so you can move round without your line swinging free and the hook catching on obstacles. Sometimes it is necessary to change positions around a lake or along a riverbank. When the fish aren’t biting in one spot, they try another. Instead of disassembling your tackle and rod, this simple device lets you dispense with all that. Simply attach your hook to the ring, reel in your line until it is taut and you don’t have any worries about the hook snagging on anything and potentially tangling your tackle or damaging the rod itself. It is one of those very simple, but very effective ideas that can save you a lot of trouble.


Ferrules - fishing rod

These are the thin metal or plastic joints that fit the sections of the rod together. Ferrules are delicate are easy to damage. Care needs to be taken that they aren’t squashed or bent. Without the ferrules to assemble the rod, you can’t put it together. Incorporated on the ends of each section, they are cemented or fused onto the blank.  They are male/female joints that are simply pushed together. They should be a tight fit, but still easy enough to put together and take apart.


Eyes - fishing rod

Sometimes called guides, they are what you thread the line through. The number, spacing and size are determined by rod length and what kind of rod you buy. They are us usually made of brass or other metal. On the cheaper rods they simple loops that are plated in chrome or nickel to protect them from the water and elements. The more expensive type of eye has a ceramic ring on the inside. This strengthens the ring itself. An added bonus with this type of ring is that they aid the movement of the line, both casting and reeling in, because of their smoothness.


Windings - fishing rod

This is thread that attaches the eyes to the barrel or blank. To protect them, they are covered with enamel or some other kind of coating. There are different materials used for binding. The good news is that if they, the eyes or the windings themselves, are damaged they are easily replaced.

Rod End or Tip

tip - fishing rod

The very end of the rod, which is sharply tapered and delicate, compared with the rest of the rod. Great care has to be taken not to damage or break these tops, especially for lightweight and synthetic rods, as if they hit an obstacle they are liable to snap. They can be repaired, but that can turn out to be expensive, depending on the rod.


fishing rod Tip Top

Or end-ring, it includes the eye at the very tip of the rod. Every rod has an eye at the very end. Some are small and easily damaged, others are bigger, stronger and altogether much tougher. Again it depends on which type of rod. Coarse fishing rod tiptops are much more vulnerable than the heavy-duty, sea fishing type.


Q. How many types of fishing rods are there?

Ans. The three fundamental types of fishing rods are graphite rods, fiberglass rods, and bamboo rods. The materials of a fishing rod should match your fishing ability and angling mode.

Q. What’s the difference between short and long rods?

Ans. Short rods are the right choice when you use lightweight lures and go fishing in smaller bodies of water. They are best for fishing in small lakes or a stream. You will cast longer and fight with bigger or stronger fish using longer rods. They are ideal for fishing from the shoreline.

Q. Can I fix a broken ferrule on a fishing rod?

Ans. Most ferrules are fixable to restore the original performance and integrity of the rod blank. Inspect the cracked ferrule to find out if it’s restorable with the cut and tape method.

Q. Is there a wrong way to hold a fishing rod?

Ans. You are holding a fishing rod right when your left hand is in front of the reel. The rule remains the same when you retrieve a line or wait a bit. You’re doing it wrong if you are holding otherwise.

About the author

Immanuel Baranov

My life is pretty much defined by my avid outdoor activities. I’m generally obsessed with fishing, skiing and occasional hunting and whitewater paddling. I’ve been active since my early years. I inherited my passion for fishing from my father who made frequent family trips to the banks of Sacramento River. Growing up, I did a lot of fishing in the vicinity. Now that I have two sons, our weekends are full of fishing activities. I would say, you need good spots where you can go out a lot for the thing you love. I had the privilege to grow up near numerous water bodies and I’m proud to say that I made good use of them. It’s also great to do something with kids that helps them learn patience, endurance and preciseness.

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