Let’s start with the basic fishing rod:
There are different kinds of fishing rods on the market; different sizes, made of different materials for different purposes. But the terms you see above are common to all fishing rods.
*By the way: its called a fishing rod not a fishing pole. Fishing rods have guides and a way to attach a reel to it. An old fashioned fishing pole is made of cane, has no guides and the line is attached to the tip (it has no reel).
The basic parts of a rod:
Butt Cap: This is at the bottom of the handle: sometimes made of rubber, sometimes of cork. This is the end you might press into your stomach if you’re fighting a good fish.
Handle: Referred to as a Grip, as well. This is where you hold the rod; can be made of foam or cork.
Reel Seat: This is where your reel gets attached to the rod. There are different mechanisms available to attach the reel. Some rods will have rings that go over the reel foot (see the reel diagram below to see a reel foot). Most rods have some sort of hood mechanism that screws either up or down on the foot of the reel to keep it in place.
Hook Keeper:Also called a Keeper Ring. This little ring is a big convenience, as it gives you a place to hook your hook so you wont impale yourself when your on the move.
Butt: This is the thick part of your rod that closest to the handle.
Ferrule: If you have a rod that breaks down into 2 pieces or more, the ferrule is the joint where sections of the rod fit together.
Butt Guide:This is the guide closest to the handle end of your rod. Its located on the thickest part of the rod (butt), that’s why the call it the butt guide.
Guides: These are the rings you see going all the way down the rod, they "guide" the line down the length of rod to the tip. The number, spacing, and size of the guides depend on the kind of rod you are using. But, generally speaking, the more guides the better. A higher quality rod will have at least one guide for every foot of its length (i.e. 6 foot rod should have at least 6 guides).
Wrapping: Those wrapping/windings are how the guides get and stay attached to the rod. It’s basically string that gets wound around the foot of the guide, and is then painted over with a kind of glossy enamel to protect it.
Tip:This is the uppermost part of the rod, the thinnest and most flexible, nearest the tip top.
Tip Top: This is the guide at the very tip of your fishing rod, its also the smallest, and probably the most important. This is the guide you are most likely to break off. When you are not watching, it likes to get caught in car doors and the like.
Learning new terminology can be a bit of a pain. But, learning this stuff is important: knowing the names and purpose of tackle will help you compare equipment when you’re ready to buy your first fishing outfit, and make it easier to get your questions answered when you need help (because people will know what you’re talking about).
Before moving on, there is one more term you may hear about when trying to find the right rod and that term is Action.
Fast Action: This type of rod is generally stiff, and most of the bend happens at the tip part of the rod.
Medium/Moderate Action:This rod bends a little deeper, so it has flexibility in the tip and in the middle of the rod.
Slow Action: This rod is the most flexible, it bends well into the butt end of the rod.
The type of action you need depends on what you plan to do with it; what kind of fish you are targeting and what kind of technique you plan to use.