Most kids love to go fishing.  There is no better feeling at any age than reeling in a fish.  However, when choosing a fishing rod for kids, there are some important features to look for.

When you introduce your kids to fishing, you have to build a starter kit for them.  They can share tackle boxes, hooks and lures, but you must buy them a proper fishing rod suitable to their age.  It should be short and lighter with kid-friendly features to make it easy for young ones to use.

So, buy one based on their physical stature and skill level.  This will ensure your children enjoy angling rather than being frustrated if trying to use adult poles. 

Importantly, the focus shouldn’t be on the length alone.  Below are key features to guide you in choosing the ideal fishing rod for kids.

1. Length Of  The Rod

The length of the pole is a critical feature when buying a fishing rod for your kids.  The shorter your child, the shorter and lighter the angling pole should be.

Avoid very short rods so as not to sacrifice your child’s casting capabilities.  The pole should roughly be equal to their height.

A longer pole makes it difficult for kids to maneuver and can affect their confidence in fishing.  A starter rod that a 4-year-old child can hold comfortably for accurate casts is roughly 3-4 feet long.  Go for longer poles as your child gains more experience and can cast accurately. 

Here is the guideline to help you choose the rod length based on the child’s age:

  • 3-5 years old- 2-3 feet long rod
  • 6-9 years old- 4-5 feet long rod
  • 10 years and above- Over 5 feet long rod (Based on your child’s height and experience) 

If your child can cast accurately and reel in well, you can go for longer rods of about 6-7 feet. 

length of fishing rod for kids

2. Reel Style Fishing Rod For Kids

When it comes to choosing the reel, you can opt for closed-faced (‘push-button’ or spincast reels) or open-faced (spinning reels).  These two types are most compatible with starter fishing rods.

Start with spincast reels as it has a push-button that releases the line from the spool.  This makes it easy and simple for kids to cast as the line remains tangle-free.

reel fishing rod for kids

You can buy the reel separately or buy a reel and rod combo designed especially for kids.

Consider one that features popular kids’ cartoons, as it adds some flair to their fishing gear.

If your child is over 7 years or has some expertise in angling, go for spinning reels.

The open-faced reels require more practice to use but prepare your child for the transition into adult fishing.

They are also best for saltwater fishing as they are easier to clean and have less surface area that collects salt deposits, hence minimum mechanical issues.

3. Choosing The Best Material For A Kids Fishing Rod

The material used in a fishing rod for kids is important as it determines its durability.  Choose a material that withstands drops and being stepped on to avoid replacing the rod every trip.

You can opt for fiberglass, graphite or composite blends rod as they are lightweight yet tough to withstand child’s use. 

  • Fiberglass rods

Fiberglass rods are the best starter pole for your kids.  They are cost-effective yet tough enough to withstand wild movements as your child learns to cast or reel in.

On the downside, fiberglass rods are not very sensitive, making it challenging for young ones to recognize a bite quickly. 

  • Graphite rods

Graphite rods are another good option for older kids with fishing experience.  They are very sensitive, making it easier to recognize subtle bites.  The graphite rods are also lightweight, flexible, and durable.

On the downside, they are more expensive than other materials and can break if not handled with care. 

  • Composite rods

Composite rods are made of two or more materials, e.g. a blend of glass and epoxy or fiberglass and graphite.  These fishing rods tend to be lightweight, flexible, and durable based on blended materials. 

They are also cheaper compared to graphite rods yet perform well without snapping.  These features make them a terrific option when choosing a fishing rod for kids. 

4. Weight Of The Fishing Rod

The weight of the rod is highly dependent on the material used.  And, although plastic tends to be the lightest, they aren’t the best fishing rod for kids.  Plastic tends to become brittle over time and can break easily.

Consider fiberglass or composite rods, as they are lightweight and durable.

Check the exact weight of the rod under specs before making an order to ensure your child can handle it comfortably.

As children get older and more experienced, the weight of the fishing rod becomes less important.  However, for portability and ease of use, a telescopic, lightweight fishing rod is great for kids. 

plastic fishing rod for kids

5. Additional Child-friendly Accessories

Consider a fishing rod with additional accessories that make it easy and comfortable for your child to fish.

For instance, some fishing rods and reel combos have cast plugs, bobbers, extra hooks, and snap swivels which are good for learning.

However, you can buy a separate rod and reel and add the safety accessories to the setup. 

6. Tangle-Free Fishing Rod For Kids

Teaching your kids to fish is not meant to be a difficult task.  In fact, it is something you both should enjoy.  However, they will easily tangle a fishing line if they don’t have a proper rod.

Consider a rod with a line running inside a shaft. These types are great for toddlers as they remain tangle-free no matter the circumstances.

Other Things To Know When Choosing A Fishing Rod For Kids

Fishing Location

Are you planning to fish on the beside a pond, stream or lake or from a boat?  You will need stronger rods if trolling from the boat than if casting into a lake or pond. 

Your Kid’s Fishing Experience

If your children have some experience fishing, you may want to consider introducing them to fly rods for something different.  Your childs fishing experience determines not only the ideal length of the rod but also the type.

You could use bigger open-faced reels when choosing a fishing rod for kids with more experience.  As they already know how to manage the line better as they cast and reel in the catch these reels allow for longer casts. 

Your Child’s Age

With your guidance, older children can start using open-faced spinning reels or fly rods.  It is easier to introduce fly rods to older kids than toddlers but not unheard of.

It is ideal for children of 2-4 years to start with spinning rods paired with closed reels

choosing a fishing rod for kids

Key Insights & Takeaways

Finding the right fishing rod for kids means choosing one that serve their needs and abilities.  Always consider lightweight, shorter and tangle-free rods with closed-faced reels made of sturdy material.

As your child gains experience, introduce them to fly rods or open-faced spinning rods to prepare them for adult fishing.  You may also want to consider graphite rods as your child improves to help them detect subtle bites. 

We hope you find this article helpful when choosing a fishing rod for kids.  If you have suggestions or want to add more information, leave us your comment below!

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