Do Fishing Rods Float?

Dropping your fishing rod in the water is one of the scariest things that can happen during a fishing trip. Losing your grip on the rod while on the shore isn’t a big deal, but letting go of a rod while fishing from a boat is another story.

So, do fishing rods float? Some fishing rods are designed to float, but some will sink if dropped in the water. Once the reel’s weight is added to a rod, all fishing rods will sink without exception. Using a rod float, holder, or leash is an effective way of preventing your rod from sinking if you drop it. 

Keep reading to learn more about fishing rods and their floating ability. This article will also tell you how to protect your fishing rod from sinking.  

Do Fishing Rods Float?

Many fishing rods will float when the reel isn’t attached, but some rods may sink even if the reel isn’t on. When the reel is added to a fishing rod, the reel’s extra weight will pull the rod and sink it under the water. 

The shape, size, material, and other characteristics don’t affect the fishing rod’s floating ability. In this case, density is the trait that determines the rod’s buoyancy.

Density is the main reason some rods sink and other rods float when they are dropped in the water. 

Objects or rods that are less dense than the water will float when immersed in the water. On the other hand, fishing rods with higher density than water will sink as soon as they fall into the lake, river, pond, or ocean.

An important thing to remember is that density and weight aren’t the same. Density is the mass of a substance or an object per unit of volume. The weight of an object is the force acting on the object because of gravity. 

Although some fishing rods float, the truth is that all fishing rods will sink when paired with a fishing reel. 

How Do You Make a Fishing Rod Float?

How Do You Make a Fishing Rod Float

Some children get so excited when they feel the fish bites the bait that they let go of the rod and drop it in the water. 

If your kid is fishing in shallow water, there’s a big chance that you can reach out and pull the rod out from the water. But if you’ve taken your children on boat fishing, there’s nothing more you can do than stand by and watch as the rod sinks into the water’s murky depths. 

To prevent this from happening, manufacturers are now making floating rods for children. These rods are specially designed to reduce the chance of a child losing a rod during a fishing trip.

If you’re afraid of dropping a spinning rod in the water, here are some things you can do to prevent it from sinking:

Fishing Rod Holder

Fishing rod holders help anglers keep their rods where they want them to be. The design and size of a fishing boat are important factors to consider when choosing a rod holder to keep your rods in place. 

Rod holders don’t float, but they can help prevent the fishing rod from falling into the water. Fishing rod holders aren’t buoyant. If not installed properly, a rod holder can topple from the boat while holding your fishing rod. 

Not all fishing rod holders are installed on boats, some anglers use rod holders when fishing from the shore. If you use a fishing rod holder while fishing from the shore, stay close to it because a large fish can pull it into the water. 

Fishing Rod Float

Fishing rod floats are made of the same foamy material used to make pool noodles. These devices are around 5 to 7 inches long and tied using Velcro straps around the rod near the reel. 

If the fishing rod slips from your hand, a fishing rod float will prevent it from sinking. These types of flotation devices are suitable for different types of fishing rods. They are highly effective in protecting expensive fishing gear from sinking to the bottom of the ocean.

Fishing Rod Leash

Using a fishing rod leash is very convenient. All you need to do is attach one end of the leash to your fishing rod and the other end somewhere where it will not fall off. 

These leashes are just a few inches long when coiled but can stretch several feet when pulled. This makes them easy to use and prevents the leash from getting dragged on the ground while you’re fishing.

Fishing rod leashes are suitable for freshwater and saltwater fishing, and their plastic sections are rust-resistant. These devices have a fairly long lifespan and will last many years when used correctly. 

Attaching and removing a fishing rod leash takes just a second and won’t affect your fishing experience. 

DIY Fishing Rod Float

Instead of buying a fishing rod float, you can make one yourself using pool noodles or similar flotation devices. Choose a thin type of pool noodle, cut off the desired length, and cut it along one side until you reach the middle. 

Place the DIY dishing rod float around your fishing rod and tie it with zip ties. Instead of zip ties, some anglers use strong rubber bands to keep the float securely in place.


When dropped in the water, some fishing rods will float, but only without an added weight of a fishing reel. When the reel is attached to the rod, the additional weight of the reel will make the rod sink. 

Unless you jump right in the water, there’s nothing you can do to save your fishing rod from sinking. Although you can’t completely eliminate the possibility of dropping the fishing rod while fishing, you can use rod holders, fishing rod floats, or leashes to prevent the rod from sinking.