What Size Fishing Pole Do I Need?

Fishing rods are necessary for fishing, and there are many things to consider when choosing a fishing rod. When picking out a rod, most anglers are so focused on different models, rod power, and action that they forget to ask what size fishing pole do I need.

The length of a fishing pole makes a big difference and depends on the type of fish you want to target. Fishing rods come in many sizes ranging from small 2 feet ice fishing rods to 14 feet surf fishing poles. Spinning rods and baitcasting rods are most commonly used and are 6 to 8 feet long.

This article will take a closer look at the most commonly used sizes of different types of fishing poles. Keep reading to learn what size rod is the best for you. 

Fishing Rod Size Chart 

Before we go any further, here’s a quick overview of different types of fishing rods and their sizes.

Fishing Rod TypeLength RangeMost Commonly Used LengthBest ForBeginner Friendly
Trolling Rod8’ – 14’9’ – 11’TrollingNo
Ice Fishing Rod20” – 48”28” – 36” Ice fishingYes
Surfcasting Rod9’ – 14’10’ – 12’Surf fishingNo
Boat Rod5’ – 7’6’ – 6’6”Boat fishing Yes
Fly Fishing Rod6’ – 10’7’ – 9’ Fly fishingNo
Baitcasting Rod5’5” – 9’6’5” – 8’Casting lures or rigsYes
Spinning Rod4’5” – 9’5”6’ – 7’5”Casting lures, bottom fishing, bobber fishing, live lining, surf fishingYes

Fishing Pole Sizes

Fishing Pole Sizes

There are many different types of fishing rods, and they come in a wide variety of lengths. While some people may say that the size of a rod doesn’t matter, that’s not true. 

When it comes to fishing rods, choosing the right pole size is extremely important for a successful fishing trip

Let’s take a look at the most commonly used sizes of the different types of fishing poles:

Trolling Rod

Trolling rods are longer than most other types of fishing rods. Typically, they are from 9 to 11 feet long.

The extra length allows you to use several trolling rods at the same time without tangling their lines. To prevent the lines from getting tangled, place one trolling rod on the right side of your boat and the other rod on the left side of the boat. 

Trolling rods are also used with downriggers and can bend down to the water’s surface.

Ice Fishing Rod

Ice fishing rods are typically 28 to 36 inches long and are the shortest of all fishing poles. The main reason why ice fishing rods are so short is that you just need to lower the bait inside the ice hole instead of casting the line. 

Surfcasting Rod

Surfcasting rods are usually 10 to 12 feet long and are among the longest rods used by anglers. The impressive rod length extends the casting distance, which is necessary to reach the fish feeding on the other side of the breaking waves. 

When used by a skilled fisherman, surfcasting rods can cast 100 yards or more. 

Spinning Rod

Spinning rods are highly versatile and range in length from short 4’5” rods to extra-long 9’5” poles. They are one of the most popular types of fishing rods and are used to catch different fish species. There are three types of spinning rods:

  • Short spinning rods (4’5” – 6’): Often used in kayak fishing and fishing in small creeks with many shrubs and overhanging trees.
  • Medium-length spinning rods (6’ – 7’5”): These are the most commonly used pole size overall. This fishing rod length is most popular for beginners and can be used for lure casting, bobber fishing, or bottom fishing.
  • Long spinning rods (7’6” – 9’5”): Usually used for surf fishing or open water lure casting that involves long casting distances. These rods are harder to cast than shorter models and aren’t suitable for beginner anglers.

Boat Rod

Boat rods are shorter than most other types of fishing rods and are 6 to 7 feet long. This is mainly because long poles are difficult to maneuver on boats that typically have limited space for casting.

Fly Fishing Rod

Fly fishing rods usually measure 7 to 9 feet and are longer than most other types of rods. These rods must be long because fly fishing lures are very light. So, instead of using the lure’s weight to cast, anglers use the weight of the fly-fishing line to cast a long distance.

Baitcasting Rod

Baitcasting rods are the second most popular type of fishing poles and are slightly longer than spinning rods. Casting rods are 5’5” to 9’ long and are almost always used for casting lures and rigs. 

These rods are designed to work specifically with baitcasting reels and have a higher casting accuracy and longer casting distance than spinning rods and reels. 

How Do You Know What Size Fishing Pole You Need?

The best way to figure out what size rod you need is to decide which fish species you want to catch. You should also decide what type of fishing rod and tactic you wish to use for catching fish. Once you figure out all of these details, you’ll just need to pick a pole size that works best for you.

What Length Pole Should I Buy?

Fishing rods come in various lengths, ranging from small 2 feet poles to extra-large 14 feet fishing rods. What length fishing pole you should buy depends on your level of expertise, the type of fish you want to catch, and whether you’ll cast from a boat or shore.

Spinning rods and baitcasting rods are the two most commonly used types of fishing poles, and they range in length from 6 to 8 feet. If you’re a beginner angler, purchase a 7 feet rod that is easy to handle and can be used for many types of fishing.


Fishing rods come in many sizes, ranging from 2 feet to 14 feet long. While often overlooked, a fishing rod’s length is one of the most important features to consider when buying a fishing rod. 

Shorter fishing rods have a higher casting accuracy, are easier to use, and perform better on kayaks or small streams with lush vegetation. On the other hand, long fishing poles are better for longer casting distances, offer more leverage, and are better for pulling a large fish from the cover quickly.