Angle rods should be proportioned in length and strength to the different fish which it is intended to be angled for. They ought to bend regularly, and taper gradually; be light in hand, and spring from the butt-end to the top. The great fault of most rods is, that the play of the rod is in the middle, owing to that part being too weak, and like a wagoners whip: it is impossible with a rod of this kind to strike or command a fish of any size. Rods for Pike and Barbel ought to be sixteen feet long; the butt-end made of red deal, the middle parts of ash, and the top of hazle, the bark not to be taken off the hazle, as it weakens them considerably.
Rods for Trout, Perch, Chub, Eels, Bream, and Flounders should be finer, and rings for the running-line will be necessary. The rods for Roach, Dace, Gudgeon, Ruffe, Bleak, and the smaller tribe of fish, should not exceed eight or ten feet in length.
The rod for the artificial fly is made much lighter and of a different construction. It should be very elastic, and spring from the butt-end to the top. The lower part of the rod should be made of any wood that is tough and straight, but in the formation of the upper part too much attention cannot be paid. Our own country produces a variety of wood that will make good tops, and they should be cut at Christmas, and if placed in the open air to season for twelve months, they will be the better for use. The best kinds are elder, holly, mountain-ash, and brier, but the American hickory far excels them all, nor is it surpassed by any wood, with the exception of the bamboo or hollow cane. Jt is a custom founded in error, of loading the tops of rods with eight or ten inches of whalebone; a good top, too, should be light and elastic, whereas whalebone is dull, heavy, and much too flexible.
It is necessary to guard against the influence of moisture on the rod as much as possible, although a shower of rain will not spoil it: unless the rod be protected by varnish, it will soon be deprived of its elasticity.
Rods should not be kept in too dry a room; the practice of steeping them in water is a bad one, and will soon spoil them.
It is the practice of some anglers, when the season is over, to take the rod to pieces, and bind the parts to a straight pole, and to let them continue in that state until fishing season returns.