Fishing rods are a classic tool for catching fish, dating back at least to ancient Egypt, and possibly even further back than that. They can be easily made from all sorts of different things, ranging from plants like bamboo to modern man-made materials.
While fishing rods were once essential for catching food, today nets tend to be used instead, with fishing rods being used more often as a hobby or for sports fishing. Although the specifics are different depending on the kind of fish that is being fished for, the general idea is to put some kind of bait on the end of the line, throw it into the water, and then use a wheel to pull the line up again once a fish has been hooked. More sophisticated lines can float in the water for hours on end, waiting for a fish to come by, without having to be thrown down and pulled up again.
A fishing rod has more parts than you would expect, including the rod itself (the ‘stick’ part), a grip (where you hold it), a line, guides (to hold the line in position), a wheel (to pull the line back in), and finally a hook (to hook the fish). When you add the bait to this, you can either use live bait (for example, worms), or artificial bait, which is designed to resemble a small fish that the other fish will want to eat.
Having a good quality rod is important, as poor quality ones may snap (either on the rod or the line) if they are used to catch a large or particularly aggressive fish. The best modern rods have been tested over and over again to find the precise configuration that will best catch the fish – although skill still plays a part, it is not too difficult to master modern fishing. Eager to make the sport more challenging, many fishers have turned to fly fishing or ultra-thin rods to make competitions a little more difficult.