The Interesting Reality of Fishing Rods – a Brief History Lesson

Ever since the living creatures in the waters have been considered possible sources of nutrition, many ways were devised to catch fish in a simple fashion. Nets, weirs and fishing rods were some of the primary tools placed in the lakes and the seas around the world in hopes to catch some fish. Let’s talk a bit history and see how fishing rods came to be what they are today.

Fishing Rods

The Early Beginnings

The first fishing rods were made of wood, stone, and bone and they were called gorges. They were only about 1 in (2.54 cm) long and were pointed at both ends. Bait and line were attached to these rods, which soon were made of metal. People started making longer fishing rods which were about a meter, making them a convenient option for fishing off the shore. These pieces were also used in ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and also in China, however, different countries produced them from different materials and in different lengths. The fishing rod was such a big part of the old writings that philosophers and scholars like Plato, Dyonisis, Plutarch and Aristotle have even explained how to fish properly using one and what makes a good fishing rod.

Midway Through

For more than a millennia, the fishing rod changed ever so slightly, until 1496 when a nun, Juliana Berners, issued the book “A Treatyse of The Fysshynge Wyth an Angle”. This book explained the various rods lengths ranging from 5.5 to 6.7 m long with lines made out of horsehair. By 1667 there were fishing rods with lines going up to about 24 meters and during the midst of the 17th century, a loop ring was added to the rod’s tip, which made pulling out and releasing the line way easier. A reel made out of wooden spools and a metal ring became common parts too.

Current State

The improvement in fishing rods came in the form of different materials, like lancewood, bamboo, and greenheart. Bamboo started being used a bit later than greenheart and lancewood with hexagonal fishing rods entered into production somewhere in the late 19th century by laminating six triangular strips of bamboo. In the 20th century, rods started becoming shorter and stronger but they still stayed lightweight. During that same century, the reign of bamboo rods ended with the introduction of materials such as carbon fibre and fibreglass. Plastic became a popular material for artificial flies and nylon was used for the making of lines which increased the popularity of this sport.