The simplest kind of fishing rod is the fishing pole, which is made by attaching a length of fishing line to the end of a rod. While this is typically a "my first rod" arrangement, it can be very effective in certain environments, particularly deep lakes with overhangs where fish will gather in the shade by the shore.
Bamboo's flexibility, coupled with the length of fishing line, lets you play a fish, that is, wear it out, without a reel, as is typical for most other fishing methods.
With a fishing pole, you can use a fly to fish the surface, or a single weight and a lure or bait to fish beneath the surface. Your line should not typically be much longer than your pole, or retrieving a fish once you catch it can be challenging.
A fishing pole is usually made from one or two pieces of treated bamboo, so they are usually quite reasonable, and can be found for less than $20. They can be found at most larger outdoor supply shops as well as fishing stores.
While fly-fishing rods are also made from graphite or fiberglass, bamboo is the classic fly rod material, and it remains a favorite among purists today. A bamboo fly rod is generally made with the split cane method, which involves splitting bamboo lengthwise and then reassembling it into a rod with six or eight strips.
Occasionally, these strips are formed around a steel core for greater flexibility and strength, but this is a specialty item and not typical. Eight-strip rods are more expensive than six-strip rods, as they take more time to build, but they form a rounder rod, which many anglers prefer.
Bamboo's flexibility and durability, in a well-made rod, make them not only excellent fishing implements, but heirlooms as well. Many proud fisherman collect and use antique fly rods.
Bamboo fly rods can be found at specialty fishing stores, but are more typically custom ordered through individuals, catalogs or online. Careful shoppers can find a new rod for around $500, but they typically cost more than $1,000. Antique and collectible rods can cost much more.
Spinning is one of the simpler fishing techniques to master. A spinning lure is cast into the water and it is reeled back in. The motion of the lure through the water causes it to spin in the water, flashing, which draws fish.
Practiced spinning anglers can land a lure within a 1-foot target area time and time again. Part of this accuracy comes from a good fishing rod, and bamboo rods, while much less common than graphite and fiberglass, make a reliable and showy choice for a spinning rod.
The rod's flexibility adds to the ease of casting, transferring the energy easily from the wrist into the line, throwing it out over the water.
Bamboo spinning rods are a specialty item, so they are only likely to be custom orders or found at boutique fishing stores. They are much simpler than bamboo fly rods, however, so they are cheaper, and can typically be purchased for around $600.