Do Fishing Rods Float? – Yes, and Here’s Why

Thomas Krik

Written by

Thomas Krik

Marc Lowe


Marc Lowe

do fishing rods float

If you’re starting as an angler, you might wonder, “Do fishing rods float?” It’s a sensible question, as you’ll spend time in bodies of water and might accidentally let go of your pole during a fishing session. And if you spent a lot on that pole, losing it might be more heartbreaking than a prized catch escaping.

The simple answer is yes; most fishing poles float. However, you’ll also have to take into account other factors, such as its material, design, whether it’s attached to a reel, etc.

In this article, we will look into fishing rods’ buoyancy. Additionally, we’ll throw in some tips to make sure your poles stay afloat as much as possible.

Do Fishing Rod Floats?


In short, most fishing rods, especially those made from cork or EVA foam, can indeed float. However, the rod will be heavy enough to sink as soon as you add the reel. And since your fishing stick always requires a spinning reel, you can expect the pole to sink, regardless of its material or design.

Angling rods for deep dropping and trolling are the rare exceptions that will sink even without the spinning reel attached. This is because these poles tend to be long, heavy, and equipped with large guides.

Things are a little different for kids’ angling rods, since their reels can be light enough to float. In addition, their handles are also designed for extra buoyancy. Of course, these features don’t apply to all kids’ fishing poles, but most can float with the attached reels.

The good news is even if your fishing stick isn’t buoyant by nature, there are many ways to ensure it will stay afloat if dropped in the water. We’ll go into more detail regarding this topic later.

The Science Behind Fishing Rod Buoyancy


Why does a fishing rod float in water? Trust us; there’s no sorcery behind this. Instead, it’s all about the science of buoyancy.

Let’s do a quick science recap: buoyancy refers to the ability of a solid object to float on a fluid surface. This is computed based on the object’s weight compared to the volume of displaced water.

To make it easier for you to visualize: your fishing rod will displace a volume of water equal to its own volume when dropped into the lake, river, etc. The volume of displaced water determines the buoyancy force, which must be equal to or greater than the gravity force (aka the rod’s weight) for the pole to float.

Factors That Affect Fishing Rod Buoyancy

1. Materials


If you’re looking for fishing rods that will float, go with those made from cork or EVA foam.

Conversely, rods made from fiberglass, graphite, and other rigid materials tend to sink rather than float, as these fishing poles usually have more density than water.

2. Design


Some designers place foam inserts or air pockets that will lighten their structure. Others complement the rods with lightweight attachments to reduce overall density. Plus, some angling poles are hollow, so they’re more likely to float compared to solid variants.

3. Density


Ultimately, whether your casting rod will float depends on its density, which is determined by its mass and volume. For the fishing pole to float, its density must be less than water.

Simply put, a rod that looks big but feels light has a higher chance of floating, whereas a small-but-heavy fishing stick usually sinks.

How to Make Your Fishing Pole More Buoyant

What’s the secret to a floating fishing rod despite its weight? Try these tips out:

1. Use fishing rod floatation device


Perfect for lighter fishing rods, fishing pole floats are inexpensive and easy-to-install fishing rod floatation device to increase their buoyancy. However, it may offset the rod’s balance and not work well on heavier poles or those that use heavy tackle.

2. Consider a Rod Leash

Rod leashes tether your precious pole to the fishing vessel so you can easily retrieve the pole in case you drop it.

A rod leash is affordable and relatively easy to set up, with many fishing reels having a section dedicated to these pole-savers. The downside of this attachment is that it can be bulky and restrictive, hindering the user from freely casting their reels onto the open sea.

3. Place Your Poles on a Rod Case

Rod cases can be a lifesaver for your fishing poles, especially when not in use or transport. Made with lightweight materials, the case will ensure that if you drop the rod, it will stay afloat and dry.

4. Use a Rod Holder


Unless your fishing technique requires constant casting, a rod holder will ensure you won’t slip and drop the angling pole into the body of water. It can make it easier for you when pulling in a particularly heavy catch.

Final Words

A fishing rod is an angler’s best friend. And while the answer to the question “Do fishing rods float?” is a yes, there’s much to consider and remember before casting a line.

To ensure that your pole will always float, set it up with lightweight attachments. You can also use rod floats and leashes to ensure your pole is safe from sinking.

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