Fishing with kids can be fun if you prepare for that fishing adventures and fishing trips in accordance with the child`s needs. Kids are small and sometimes clumsy, so you don’t want them to swing a 12ft adult rods.
Depending on age and even height, you must choose smaller equipment that is easy to use. Besides, kids may become sad if they can’t fish properly.
So, what size fishing rod for 3-year-old kid vs what size fishing rod for 8-year-old? Or maybe 5-year-old and 10-year-old? Three to four ft rods are great for beginning, but as the child gets older, you can increase the size. Experienced 10-year-old can even use the same rods as a grown-up beginner angler.
Of course, you have to think about the reel too, and for really small kids, no reel or spincast reel are the way to go. As the kids grow and gain some knowledge and skill level, you can try with spinning reels.
You should think about rod and reel combos, which are affordable and great for learning purposes.
Thinking about it reminds me of wonderful memories with my dad, so I decided to make it easy for you and write this short guide.
What is the Easiest Fishing Rod to Use?
Easy kids fishing rod must have a few important features, especially for children. I will tell you how to choose in the next chapter, and here I will focus on rod type only.
While shorter telescopic, or even 2-pece rods can be great for older kids like 8 and 10 years old with some experience, a 3-year-old needs something to play around. A short one-piece pole may be exactly what you need in this situation (perfect kids fishing pole).
For toddlers you have no-tangle options, which are basically rods with fishing lines inside the rod. There is a slim chance that the kid will catch something but will have a lot of fun. That is a great introduction into the world of fishing. Besides, you won’t have to explain a lot about gear, as a 3-year-old can’t really figure it out.
Otherwise, choose spinning rods, very light ones, that are extremely versatile so that your kid can properly learn the basics of fishing.
How do I Choose a Fishing Rod for My Child?
First of all, it has to be easy cast fishing pole. When you think about it, a 3-year-old kid can barely walk properly, and when they are so young, their hands are tiny.
Except for length and casting distance, consider the price, weight, and reel.
Rods for kids has to be light enough for a kid to hold it and the handle has to fit into the child`s hands. Fishing reel needs to be small too, or even better, think about a basic pole without the reel, with just a line and a hook.
Some will say you should choose among various materials to get a firm but flexible rod and so on, but I do not agree. If your child is very small and has never fished before and don’t have any basic skills, you have to be aware of the fact that the rod may become broken on the very first day. So naturally, choose a cheap one. When they learn something and get passion for fishing, you can start considering “real” rod features.
If your child is older and knows something about fishing, you can always include their opinion into your buying decision.
Fish species are not something to consider, because a 3-year-old will not catch a bass. Choose one for panfish, at least for very small kids. Experienced 10-year-olds may think about rods and their features in accordance with specific fish.
What Size Fishing Rod for 3, 5, 8 or 10 Year Old?
Fishing rod length guide for children is extremely important, as that is the main rod feature for kids.
Young beginners will catch small fish, and it should be fun for them.
So, here are some guidelines and a fast tabel:
Best Fishing Rod Length for 3 Year Old
The best fishing rod for 3-year-old is up to 3ft. Of course, it is not just the length that matters. It should be a simple one-piece rod, preferably the toddler version that has a fishing line running through the rod center. This design eliminates line guides and lowers the possibility of tangles. If you don’t like this option, use the basic kids fishing pole. The difference between pole and a rod is that pole has no reel or line guides. Reels are definitely too much for such a young child who will one day be your future fishing buddy.
Best Fishing Rod Length for 5 Year Old
The best fishing rod for 5-year-old when it comes to length is between 3 and 4 ft, depending on their fishing experience. If they started fishing when they were 3, you can choose rods which are around 4 ft. Otherwise, opt for a basic 3ft pole until they learn how to use it.
Kids that are 5-year-old are not as clumsy as 3-year-olds, so you do not need no-tangle toddler versions. If they are coordinated, you may even try with a spincast reel.
Best Fishing Rod Length for 8 Year Old
The best fishing rod for 8-year-old also depends on their experience and their coordination in general. Some 8-year-olds are excellent fishermen, maybe even better than some grown beginners!
At this age, kids can easily learn how to tie knots, use spincast and spinning reels, and they may even have the advantage of smaller hands and fingers that can help a lot when tying very small hooks and thin lines.
A spinning rod, shorter telescopic fishing rod or two-piece, is easy to assemble and use, and it gives your child the impression that they are using the same equipment as you are, which is great for their confidence. The length should be around 5-6 ft for kids that already learned the basics about fishing.
Best Fishing Rod Length for 10 Year Old
And lastly, what is the best fishing rod for 10-year-old? The answer is that sky is the limit here. If they started fishing as toddlers, 10-year-olds can use basically any kind of rods and reels, when it comes to type. Some 10-year-old kids even know how to use a baitcaster.
Of course, a beginner should use a small and simple spinning reel and a spinning rod not longer than 7ft, preferably even shorter, around 5-6 ft. Even if the kid is experienced, do not give them too long rods because they are not tall enough for safe handling.
Yes, short rods will significantly reduce casting distance, but it is more important to learn proper technique, before reaching the other side of the lake. And when they get a bite, it will be easier to land a fish if it is caught nearby.
What about the Youth Fishing Rod and Reel Combo?
Youth fishing rod and reel combo is the best option for several reasons.
First of all, combos are affordable and excellent choice. Reel and the rod purchased together are a great match, and you don’t have to worry that one of these two items won`t suit your child.
Youth Fishing Rod & Reel Combo (#ad) is excellent for an average kid. It is 4ft and 2inches long, made form fiberglass, and it is extremely affordable. This combo is available in two colors, so your kid can choose this important feature!
It is a 2-piece rod which may not be suitable for complete beginners, however, it is great for those who already learned something while using a pole.
It comes with a small tackle kit and basic items. Altogether, this is a great starting point for a young angler.
Some other decent and affordable manufacturers have combos for various age range among kids, and I will mention some in case that the previously mentioned model doesn’t suit you. Zebco Dock Demon Spincast Combo (#ad) is 30 inches long and comes with a spincast reel. This one is better for smaller kids, or inexperienced ones.
But, if you are looking for a rod that will suit a bit older and a bit more experienced child, Zebco Roam Spinning Reel Combo (#ad) can be the one for you. It is longer, 6ft and 6inches, and it is made for bass, walleye, and larger fish. This rod comes with a spinning reel, and it is the only one mentioned that actually has some usable drag on the reel.
And for the end here is my favorite – Shakespeare Ugly Stik. This is really one of the best fishing rods for kids (excellent choice). Perfect size, affordable price, pre-spooled line on the spincasting reel – all this you can get in the Ugly Stik Jr.
Just be careful – there are a lot of Ugly Stik’s – GX2 model (#ad) and Ugly Stik Jr. (#ad). Choose the one that suits you and your kid better.
Basically, your options are unlimited. There are other manufacturers too that offer combo sets for kids (also fishing kits where you will get fishing rod, fishing reel, tackle box and a lot of artificial lures), and you will definitely find something both you and your child like!
No matter if you are considering what size fishing rod for 3-year-old or what size fishing rod for 10-year-old, you have to make a realistic estimate of your child`s abilities.
Kids want to be like their parents but giving them the adult fishing pole or rod you can find will bring nothing but disappointment for both of you.
Fishing with kids should be fun and adventurous, so give them kids fishing gear that is easy to use, fits into their small hands, and can safely be cast without injuring your kid or anyone around you!