An Introduction to Freshwater Cane Pole Fishing


Cane pole fishing is not a forgotten art. Even with the popularity of modern fishing rods and reels, there are still many who decide to go old-school with the use of a bamboo cane. Because of their simplicity and effectiveness, many anglers still prefer to use canes over any other modern fishing accessory.

In as early as 2000 BC, cane poles were used by Egyptians. Aside from cane, the set-up includes fiber or silk cord and a bone that functions as a hook. Long before modern spinning rods, the cane was the preferred material of choice.

Want to know more about fishing with a cane pole? Read on and we got you covered in the rest of this post. We’ll let you know all the important things a beginner needs to learn.

What Exactly is a Cane Pole?

For most modern fishing enthusiasts, cane poles are ancient. After all, it is hard to find a decent one these days. Fiberglass and other modern materials have taken over the market.

A cane pole is a fun and functional traditional fishing equipment that we seldom see nowadays. It was the tool of the trade for angling before the birth of the contemporary fishing reels.

At its most basic, it is a long stick, often made of bamboo. It has a line tied at its tip. The line is usually the same as the length of the pole or larger by just a bit. The hook and the bait are attached to the end of the cane.

Different Types of Cane Poles

If you plan to go fishing with a cane pole, take note that different types are available based on their overall construction.

Among others, the most popular is a bamboo cane pole. Bamboo stalks are used, which usually have a length of four to 25 feet. Fungi and insects can be present, which will cause the bamboo to degrade easily. For this reason, it is best to choose one that is made of untreated bamboo.

You will also encounter a group that is called jigger poles. It is what is used in a fishing technique called jigger poling, which we will also cover later in this guide.

Another option is a Calcutta pole. Bamboo is also often the main material that is used in this type of cane pole. For hundreds of years, this is a popular choice amongst commercial fishermen.

If you are looking for a modern alternative, there are also telescoping cane poles available.  They function in the same way as the telescoping fishing rods that you know. It is great in terms of space-efficiency and portability without compromising its performance.

Rigging the Pole the Right Way

If you intend to learn the fundamentals of freshwater cane pole fishing, you should be familiar with proper rigging. The flexibility of the pole is one reason why the setup is a bit different than what most of you are probably used to.

Wrapping the pole is one of the things that you need to do before you go fishing. Bamboo can easily break, so it needs some kind of reinforcement, especially when you intend to take home a large and heavy catch.

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Techniques for Catching Bass


There are different cane pole fishing techniques that you should learn depending on the type of fish that you would like to catch. Catching bass fish can be challenging with a conventional rod and reel. The same can be said if you use a cane pole. However, if you know the right technique, you will end up succeeding.

To catch a bass with a cane pole, you need to master sweeping or jigger poling. It is an old-fashioned method that is still effective these days. One of the requirements when fishing using this technique is to have two feet of line at the tip of the pole. Attach a noisy bait. When dragging the bait in the water, follow an erratic pattern.

The good thing about this technique is that it allows you to fish on banks that are not accessed by most fishermen. You can do this while you are riding an inflatable kayak or a small boat down a calm river.

Like with other types of fish, your success will depend on the type of lure that will be used. That said, some of the best lures for bass include jigs, crankbait, craw, and swimbait, among others.

Techniques for Catching Crappie

Most traditional anglers may drop their line in one location and wait until they have a catch. However, if you want to try freshwater cane pole fishing to catch crappie, you will benefit from learning a technique called spider rigging.

Basically, spider rigging is all about putting your boat where the crappies are. Then, position weaving rods to create a web line, which is exactly why it is called spider rigging. Pay attention to the specific positioning of the rod since this will have a huge impact on the success of this technique.

To add, another crappie fishing tip with the use of a cane pole is to choose the right baits and lures. When choosing crappie baits, lures, and jigs, some of the best to consider include crickets, feather jig, soft plastic jig, swimbait, and shallow water crankbait, among others.

Techniques for Catching Trout

To catch a trout with the use of a cane pole, you need to master a technique known as dapping. This is best to do in a small stream. You also need to maintain a stealth position to increase the chances of having a catch. It is also important that you are as close as possible to the trout without alarming it.

One of the main requirements for dapping is to have a four-pound line, which is typically lighter compared to what you will usually use. Attach a small fly at the end. Then release it into the water while touching it gently. Before you know it, trout will be hooked. Nonetheless, it can be quite hard to perfect during the first few tries. With consistent practice, however, it won’t take long before you will be able to do it properly.

Techniques for Catching Catfish

To catch a catfish, one of the most important is to find the right location. With this, focus on small ponds and rivers that are slow-moving. Cane pole fishing with a catfish can be quite a challenge because of its resistance, so prepare to fight back!

Use a heavier line if you plan to catch a catfish with the use of a cane pole. To wear the fish out, you need to rely completely on the action of the rod and the line since you have no spinning reel. You also need to have a little extra on your line to make sure that your catch won’t be able to escape.

Globo Surf Overview

Even in this modern time, fishing with a cane pole is still a fun experience. Fortunately, it does not need to be complicated. Take note of the tips we have mentioned above, and for sure, it won’t take long before you can take home a freshwater catch. From proper rigging to the right lures, pay attention to our suggestions to avoid frustration.

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