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Who Invented Fishing Rods?

Who Invented Fishing Rod

When we think about fishing the first thing that comes to mind is a fishing rod. Rods are such an essential part of a fisherman’s life that it is difficult to imagine life without them. You might wonder what people used to do before they had fishing rods, but what you need to know is that fishing rods have been around for thousands of years. They can be traced back to 2000 BC, so it is safe to say that humanity has been using this tool for a long long time. However, that raises another important question, which is, “who invented fishing rods for the first time?”.

It is hard to pinpoint who invented the first fishing rod ever and who copied who, which makes this question a difficult one to answer. Here is a detailed account of where, when, and by whom the first fishing rod was invented and much much more. 

History of the Fishing Rod

Fish has always been a major part of the human diet. Some archeological findings in Western Europe suggest that fish was a part of neanderthals’ diet. However, there is no evidence they invented fishing rods or of any tools that they might have used for fishing. Supposedly they used to fish with tridents, spears, hooks made of stone, animal bones, and tree thorns. 

Over time fishing tools started to evolve and become more sophisticated, however, it is difficult to pinpoint when fishing rods started to be used for the first time. The earliest evidence of fishing rods comes from ancient Egypt. Paintings of ancient Egypt contain people using fishing tools that resemble modern fishing rods. Similarly, an ancient Greek author named Theocritus also mentions fishing with fishing rods. With all this evidence it is safe to say that people have been using fishing rods for more than 4000 years.

Who invented the Fishing Rod?


Some historians believed that the first fishing rods were invented by Dame Juliana Berners in 900 BC in ancient Greece and Rome. However, there is quite a bit of evidence that suggests otherwise. There are paintings that can be dated back to over 3000 years ago that show people using tools that look extremely similar to a modern fishing rod. These tools were most likely made from wood, bone, or stone and were known as gorges.  

Even though fishing rods have been around for much longer, they became a mainstream fishing tool in 900 BC after Dame Juliana Berners introduced them in ancient Greece and Rome. 

How Did People Fish Before Fishing Rods?

Fishing has always been the main source of food for many human civilizations. So much so that civilizations established their living near sources of freshwater like streams, rivers, and lakes. Archaeologists found tomb carvings and drawings on papyrus scrolls in Egypt that show ancient Egyptians preparing fish to be eaten. Their fishing tools consisted of woven nets, harpoons, and hooks.

Ancient Hooks –

If we look at Ancient Macedonians, they used to fish using artificial flies whereas in China silk lines, hooks, and bamboo rods were used. People in the Indian subcontinent used harpoons attached to long cords whereas Native Americans fished with hooks made from wood and bone.

Evolution of the Fishing Rod

Now that we’ve identified who invented fishing rods. Once people started using fishing rods some four thousand years ago, fishing techniques started to advance at an unprecedented speed. For the first time, it became possible to fish from shore without having to get into the water using a fishing pole. Early fishing rods worked without a line. The hook was attached directly to the top of the rod and because of how flexible the rods were, they created a strong whip that pulled the fish out once it stuck to the hook. Most commonly used materials to make fishing rods included hazel willow, silver poplar, linden, larch, thorn, juniper, beech, ash, and spruce. 

In the late 16th century folding and telescopic fishing rods were introduced for the first time these roads were much easier to carry around. By the end of the 19th century, people started using steel rods in America. While in Britain they appeared in the late 1930s. In Germany, people started using steel to make their fishing rods in place of bamboo which was a lot more expensive. 

After the second world war, the fishing world took a new leap when Fiberglass. Which is a lot sturdier and more flexible, started to be used to make fishing rods. Dr. Arthur Howald who was a fishing gear manufacturer used fiberglass to make fishing rods for sport fishing. However, there still was a need to make lighter and stronger fishing pools. Which is why carbon fiber rods were introduced in the market. Their price at first was way higher than a normal fishing rod, but their performance exceeded all expectations. Nowadays they aren’t that expensive and most anglers can easily buy one of these. 

What are the Different Types of Fishing Rods?

Nowadays we have several different types of fishing rods. All of which are made for specific purposes or specific styles of fishing. Common types include spinning fishing rods, casting fishing rods, telescopic fishing rods, and fly fishing rods. Below is a brief explanation of what some of these fishing rods do.  

Spin Fishing Rod

These are the most commonly used fishing rods because it is suitable for a variety of different use cases. They are perfect for new anglers. They are extremely simple and easy to get used to and offer a wide variety of reel lengths and weights. 

Casting fishing rod

This fishing rod is used for Smallmouth bass and other warm-water species. It is very easy to use as it has an enclosed reel which helps avoid tangling. The rod also provides great control and accuracy to the angler. It is also suitable for kids and new anglers.

Telescopic fishing rod

A telescopic fishing rod is very portable and compact. It is also very lightweight which makes it easy to fish for a longer time, plus it is perfect for backpacking and camping trips. This rod opens like a telescope which users use to expand it to the length that they need.

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Who Invented Fishing Rods

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