What are Fishing Rods Made Of? [Explained]

What are Fishing Rods Made Of

When someone mentions fishing, especially to a beginner, the first image they think of is - what?

A person standing on a riverbank and holding a fishing rod.

Rods come in different sizes and types. They are strong but flexible, and although they can seem thin, some of those are able to withstand great forces.

One of the most frequent questions asked about fishing rods is what are fishing rods made of?

Rods can be made of different materials, including fiberglass, graphite, composite materials and even natural materials like bamboo.

Here I am going to provide basic information about different rods and answer a few more questions, in the following chapters:



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What Material are Fishing Rods Made of?

Here are four most common materials used for fishing rod production.

Fiberglass Fishing Rods

Fiberglass rods are extremely popular.

Three materials on this list are mand made, and fiberglass ones are the heaviest among these three.

Fiberglass rods are very flexible too. A lot of slow and medium action rods are made from fiberglass.

These rods are famous because they are versatile, can be bought anywhere and their price is much lower than graphite rods. That is the reason why young anglers and beginners often use them.

Anglers who fish on rocky terrain like to use them too, because they are more resistant to rough use and accidental bumping into hard surfaces.

Although these can break too; the damage will cost less. And they are a bit more resistant than graphite ones.

Graphite Fishing Rods

These rods are among favorite choices of more experienced anglers.

These lightweight rods enable accurate and distant casting, and because of low weight, you won’t get tired fast.

Graphite rods are more sensitive ...

So, you will have a better feeling of fish biting, nibbing on your lure, or when retrieving it. Most of graphite rods are fast or ultra-fast action.

These are also much stiffer and stronger, which means that you need to use less material to get the same stiffness as other rods, made from other materials, have. Because of that, these rods have a smaller diameter.

Price of graphite fishing rods can be very high.

Composite Fishing Rods

Composite fishing rods are made from a combination of materials.

Usually, these are a combination of fiberglass, carbon fiber or similar ... 

When combining materials, you will get properties of both, so composite rods are usually more sensitive than fiberglass but less powerful than graphite.

The price can vary a lot, and they are more expensive than fiberglass.

These rods are extremely versatile and can be used in numerous situations. Action of composite rods depends on materials ratio. Most of these are medium action rods.

Bamboo Fishing Rod

Bamboo rods have been on the market the longest.

This material was obviously accessible long before modern materials and manufacturing processes were invented.

Among these, bamboo rods are the heaviest, but anglers still like to use them. Long tradition made them as they are today, and anglers using those will often tell you that these rods “feel” better in a hand.

Bamboo rods are popular among fly fishing anglers too. Traditionally, these rods were widely used for fly fishing, and some fly-fishermen like to use them despite the fact that modern materials are available.

Bamboo rods are both strong and elastic. Among natural materials, bamboo is probably the best in rod manufacturing.

When talking about natural materials, I have to mention fishing poles too. Although some refer to rods as poles, that is actually incorrect. Difference between rods and poles is that poles are used without reels, have no line guides, and are also made from natural materials, like different kinds of wood.

Due to their weight, fishing could be hard for inexperienced anglers.

Some will say that using those makes no sense, while others will argue that tradition and craftmanship are important and that these rods are really good.

Good ones are handmade and are very expensive too. The price can be enormous.

What are Fishing Rods Made Of? Materials!

And What is the Best Material for Fishing Rods?

Now when you know what are fishing rods made of, you probably want to know what is the best fishing rod material.

As already mentioned, all of them have different characteristics and are used for a different purpose.

Experienced anglers usually have different rods and use the best ones for any given situation.

Graphite is best for handling large and strong fish, while fiberglass is great to be used in rough conditions.

On the other hand, beginners should choose wisely.

Inexperienced anglers should have versatile rods, suitable for a variety of uses. After you gain some experience and figure out what you want from fishing, you should upgrade to more specific models.

A beginner should have a slow-medium action, so fiberglass or composite are logical choices.

If you are buying on a tight budget, fiberglass is the way to go. If you can afford to pay more, you will not fish on rocky shores and you can take good care of your rod, maybe you should opt for a composite one.

These are more versatile and offer more than fiberglass.

There is no such thing as the best material. They are all best for a specific use they are made for.

Carbon Fiber vs Graphite vs Fiberglass Fishing Rod?

To decide which one to use, beginners frequently make the following comparisons:

• carbon fiber vs graphite fishing rod

• graphite fishing rod vs fiberglass

• carbon fiber vs fiberglass fishing rod

To make it easier, here is a quick comparison chart that shows properties of all three.

GRAPHITE High High Low High Low Fast High
CARBON FIBER Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
FIBERGLASS Low Low High Low Heavy Slow/Medium Low

What are the Other Parts (Materials) of a Fishing Rod?

The body of a fishing rod is not the only part of it.

There are other fishing rod parts too, and different materials are used in their construction.

Line guides

Every rod has guides, and usually the number indicates the quality. The more guides the rod has, the more accurate casting will be. The same goes for retrieving the fish, because the weight will be evenly distributed.

Guides have to be light, prevent friction and enable precise casting. Lightweight will ensure better rod sensitivity and handling.

Outer part of a guide is metal and the inner circle can be plastic, metal or ceramic. Ceramic is lightweight and very sensitive to the line. If the inner part is made of ceramic, your casting will be better.

Plastic is definitely the worst. It can easily break and damage your line. These are often found on low-quality fishing rods.

Stainless steel outer ring and aluminum oxide ceramic inner ring is the most common one. Titanium guides are useful for saltwater anglers.


Handles are mostly made from foam, wood or cork.

The most important thing to consider is how do they feel in your hand. Handle has to be comfortable and have a good grip.

Cork handles are very comfortable and they do not absorb. Foam is lightweight and very durable. Wood can look very good but it is a bit heavier. It is also quite comfortable.

Reel seat

Reel seat has to be firm, accommodate the reel well, but it also has to be light and the rod has to be balanced.

Reel seats are made form all kinds of different materials, like aluminum, stainless steel, graphite, titanium or any combination of metals. It all depends on a rod and other materials used. High-end rods will usually have quality made reel seat that suits the rest of the rod.

What are Fishing Rods Made Of? Line Guides!

What Fishing Rods are Made in the USA? [Brands]

Fishing is very popular all over the world, and the USA is one of the countries which is an example of that.

You probably know that fishing rods are manufactured around the globe, but what fishing rods are made in the USA?

If you search online, you will find many brands which are advertised as USA made. However, not all of them really are.

Some use parts produced overseas, while others produce their parts, but rods are assembled elsewhere.

If you want to buy all-American product, choose from the following manufacturers:

• Falcon
• St. Croix
• G.Loomis
• Edge Rods
• Lamiglas

There are a few more good rods that are made in the USA but use some imported parts:

• Thomas&Thomas
• Falcon
• Kistler
• Cajun
• R.L. Winston Fly Rods

Keep in mind that manufacturers on the first list produce certain rods in the USA, but some of their rods are just assembled there, from foreign parts. Usually they do this for low end rods.

You can check for a specific model you want to buy.

Are Expensive Fishing Rods Really the Best?

Many anglers ask are expensive fishing rods the best ones?

As already mentioned, first you need to know what are fishing rods made of. The material dictates the cost a lot, but that is not the only factor in determining the price.

Obviously, graphite is more expensive than fiberglass, and if you need all the advantages that graphite rods offer, you will have to pay for it.

But what if we are comparing rods with the same features made by different manufacturers?

First of all, you should always buy from reputable manufacturers, because some no-name brands will promise you a lot and you will get very little.

Manufacturing and assembling process is important and everything has to be perfect.

Some high-end manufacturers produce great rods, but you are paying for the name too.

The thing is, not every rod is suitable for everyone.

You and I can buy the same high-end rod, and I could say that I expected more and I am a bit disappointed, while for you this could be the best rod you ever had.

If you find a rod that suits all of your needs, then yes, it is definitely worth the price. In that case, expensive fishing rods are the best.

However, the majority of anglers will be satisfied with some mid-range priced to high-range priced rods which are dependable and well made.

The most expensive ones may suit you but if you dislike just one thing about them, you will feel like you wasted the money.


Now when you know what are fishing rods made of, you should think about their features and decide which one would be the best for you.

If you are a beginner, keep it simple and opt for a more affordable and durable solution. Remember, the best fishing rod material is the one that enables you to fish comfortably and successfully! The high price doesn’t always mean that the rod is good for you.

And don’t forget to pair the rod with a suitable fishing reel and fishing line. If you can, try to hold the rod before you make a purchase, just to make sure it sits comfortable in your hand.

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