How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting & Spinning Rod

how to hold a fishing rod

A fishing rod is an intricate instrument. If you are new to angling or used makeshift equipment such as a bamboo stick or an energy drink bottle, you must learn the correct way to hold a fishing rod.

As a rule of thumb, your strongest hand should hold the rod, and the weaker one must operate the crank handle of the reel.

A Complete Guide to Make a Fishing Rod Holder


Needless to say, each type of fishing rod is unique. In this post, I have shared the correct way to hold three different types of fishing rods.

How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting

Baitcasting rods are lightweight and thin rods commonly used by occasional or beginner anglers. Due to its unique shape and design, fishers often wonder how to correctly hold this rod.


For a productive fishing experience with a baitcasting rod, you must follow the steps mentioned below. These rods are equipped with high power fishing lines and generally difficult to control.

How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting Step 1:

A baitcasting rod will most probably have a thin cork handle. Beginner fishers find it enticing to hold the cork handle while fishing, but it can be counter-productive in the long run.

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Hold the baitcasting rod near the trigger with your index finger and middle finger wrapped around it.

How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting Step 2:

Next, a baitcasting rod is equipped with a small-sized spinning reel; hence the crank handle is joined closer to the handle. You can hold this rod with either of your hands.

How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting Step 3:

Once you drop the line in the water, reach the line with your index finger, and feel the tightness. The vibrations in the line should reflect the activity beneath the water.

That’s all you need to remember about holding a baitcasting rod.

How to Hold a Spinning Rod

spinning rod

Spinning rods are one of the most popular fishing equipment. They can be as long as 9 feet. These rods are equipped with guides (around 8) located beneath the shaft.

When holding a spinning rod, one must take into account the tension applied to the guides.

You could easily scratch the inner ceramic coating in the guides by incorrectly operating the rod. The following steps will help you hold the spinning rod correctly.

Step 1:

The reel spool in a spinning rod is 10-12 inches away from the handle. It is connected to the rod via a metal reel seat.

Lift the rod with your weaker hand and wrap the fourth and fifth fingers of your stronger hand around the reel seat.

Step 2:

Also, the fishing line in a spinning rod is attached beneath the shaft. Hence, to judge the pressure on the line, you can periodically flick it with your stronger hand’s index finger.

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Step 3:

Finally, you can use your weaker hand to rotate the crankshaft whenever you need to reel in or out.

How to Hold a Fly Rod

fly fishing rod

A fly rod is old-timey fishing equipment with a simple mechanism. Also, they are thin and flexible compared to other advanced rods. Also, flywheel rods are more comfortable to hold as they are constructed with naturally occurring materials such as bamboo and yew.

You can operate it roughly, and you don’t have to worry about cracks or bends. Also, note that modern flywheel rods are coated with fiberglass or graphite. Hence you must learn how to handle them with care.

Step 1:

The reel spool in a flywheel rod is positioned at the backmost end of the handle. Hence, there are several good ways to hold the rod. Having said that, you still have to hold the handle with your stronger hand and operate it with the weaker one (provided the reel has a crank handle).

Step 2:

Next, the fishing line in a fly rod is not attached tightly along the shaft’s length. You can let it slack at times.

Unfortunately, there is no way to measure the tension on the line, but you must sense the fish bite with the rod tip’s movement.

Ste 3:

For longer flywheel rods, it always helps when you grip the cork handle with your stronger hand and point the thumb forward.

Alternatively, you can place your finger on top if you feel the need for more control.

How to Hold a Fishing Baitcasting Summary

The rod is attached to a small, seemingly harmless hook. Hence, most beginner anglers wonder why holding a fishing rod the right way is essential.

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The safety of the fisherman is vital when using a fishing rod.

If the fish throws a hook before you have a chance to unhook it yourself, you can get seriously hurt. A flying hook can also endanger other passengers on board. Hence you must always be in control of the rod.

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