How to Hold a Fishing Rod (The Right Way)

Fishing is a great pastime, but holding the pole can be awkward and difficult.

If you’ve ever held a fishing rod before, you know that it’s extremely easy to get tired of holding it after just a few minutes. The only way around this is to find some kind of support for your arm or else risk losing the fish at the end of your line.

We’re here to help with our guide on how to hold a fishing pole properly! By following these simple steps we promise that you’ll never have an issue again while out in nature enjoying one of life’s greatest pleasures – catching fish!

Note: Fishing pole is not the right term. It should be a fishing rod.

What Are the Parts of a Fishing Rod

To understand the process of holding a rod fully, you have to know its major parts. Take note; the rod is the proper term for fishing equipment that involves a reel.

Additionally, each part of the rod plays a crucial role in your fishing experience. To ensure that you will have a better fishing performance, you should check these parts.

Without further ado, here are the major parts that you have to look at:


The ferrule connects the two separate sides of a rod and reel. These joints are narrow rings made from metal, preventing the wearing out of the end of the handle.

Additionally, the strength of this part will tell the lifespan of your spinning rod. If you buy a spinning rod that has a weak ferrule, your whole rod will fall apart instantly.


The rod handle is the main part that connects the angler and the rod. It is also where the weight distribution in your rod happens. Hence, if you want to hold a rod properly, you should look for a perfect grip.

Reel Seat

This area is essential to keep the fishing reel next to the handle of the spinning rod. The connection of your rod and reel will dictate the performance of your setup. Remember, the seat’s size, material, and position depend on your casting rod and reel types.

Butt Cap

This part of the rod is near your casting hand. This cap helps provide a smooth transition when you cast and retrieve, cut off hooks, or spool your spinning reel. It is usually placed on the opposite of the body to catch bigger fish.

How to Hold a Fishing Pole
Source: Canva Pro

Steps in Holding a Fishing Pole/Rod Correctly

After knowing the essential parts of the rod, your next catch is to understand how to hold a pole. There is no need to worry because this process will be easy with this step-by-step guide for a strong catch.

Hold the Handle of the Fishing Rod Properly

The angler needs to have a comfortable grip on the pole. Therefore, you need to know the proper placement of your hand or fingers when holding a rod.

Start by securing the handle area with your bottom palm and mount your fishing rod upside. Place them one by one from the ring finger to the index finger, then cover them up using the thumb.

Ensure that you have a comfortable grip on the fishing rod because this will determine your control during fishing time.

Take note; it will depend if you’re right or left-handed on which of your hands will hold a fishing rod. Do not take this factor for granted, as you should place the fishing rod’s reel handle on your right side.

Put Your Fingers in the Proper Positions

After securing the handle and the spinning reel, it is now time to place your fingers in the right position. Put the index finger above the rod at all times for better control and steadiness. Meanwhile, you can use your pointer finger or middle finger to guide you when reeling back into shore.

You have to place your thumb near the rod’s butt end to help with balancing the rod. Additionally, it would help to use your thumb to grip the reel when you’re pulling out from the spool. This position will give you direct contact with the fish or let you feel what’s going on with the bait.

According to Captain Hansen from yoursaltwaterguide.com, you are not fishing if you let your left hand do unnecessary movements. This horrible hand position will allow the powerful fish to slack from your bait. It can also move you in the wrong direction.

Do Not Forget About The Rod Tip of Fishing Rods

The last step in holding a pole is how to grip it at all times securely. The rod tip is very important because it will tell how to move your lure in the water. If the rig collapses, all of those deep-diving lures are useless, and they won’t catch any fish at that time.

It would be best to grip this part tightly for better control. You need this part of your hand’s grip for enhanced control. Furthermore, never let go of the rod tip at any time because it will affect how your line works.

Tips From the Pro

It is important to remember these fishing tips, as this will determine how your experience turns out. Here are some tips on how to hold a pole:

  • Keep your hands busy. If possible, hold the fishing rod with one hand and use your left hand to detect a fish bite. This proper technique will give you a more reliable casting motion.
  • Do not interfere with the conventional reel. Do not use your thumb to slow down the fish when pulling back on the fishing reels. Instead, let the drag do its purpose for you.
  • Keep the balance. Whenever possible, hold the fishing rod against your body for better stability and control. This factor will give you more power.
  • Proper placement of the hands. Place your other hand in front of the spinning reel. Avoid putting your left and right hand behind the fishing reel, as you can lose control of catching your targets.
  • Grip the rod tip at all times for enhanced control. It will also help you hold a pole and avoid tangles in your fishing line during the casting or retrieval phases.
  • Check the type of rod. The type of your rod affects your performance. You may use a baitcasting rod if you want to cast your bait in the water. The Baitcaster rod is the equipment used with baitcasting reels.

We hope our tips on how to hold a fishing rod properly help you start catching fish right away! These simple fixes will make all the difference.

Diana Nadim
Fishing Expert
Diana began fishing at the age of seven, as it has been a long-time family tradition. From catching small bullheads to catching strippers on the backwaters of Bighorn, she loves to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water. Her dad was an expert angler, and he taught her fishing along with her two siblings. They used to go to the Bighorn River in Montana and Henry’s fork, Idaho. As a pragmatic person, she is obsessed with creating well-researched and practical guides and reviews of the best fishing methods and gear.
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