Cane Pole Fishing: A Complete Guide To Bamboo Cane Pole

How would you describe bamboo cane poles? They’re long, strong, lightweight, and versatile. And they’re also very affordable. If you want to try out fishing with bamboo cane poles, then you’ve come to the right place.

Cane Pole Fishing A Complete Guide to Bamboo Cane Pole

In this article, we’re going to share some top tips about using bamboo cane poles, and show you how to get started with cane pole fishing.

What Is A Fishing Cane Pole?

A cane pole is a type of rod that’s made from bamboo or other types of wood. These rods are typically used for fly-fishing but can be used for baitcasting as well.

The length of these rods varies depending on what kind of fish you plan to target. For example, if you’re targeting bass, then you’ll need a longer rod than if you’re targeting trout.

The most common lengths of cane poles are 6 feet (1.8 m) and 8 feet (2.4 m). However, there are many different sizes available. You can use shorter cane poles if you prefer, but it will make casting more difficult.

A cane fishing pole is a large stick, usually made of bamboo, that has a fishing line attached to the end. The line is often the same length or a bit bigger than the pole length and it has a hook and baits at the end.

When the angler hooks the fish they then lift the pole to bring the fish close to their body and secure them with a net.

What Is A Bamboo Cane Pole

Bamboo canes are a type of grass that grows in tropical regions around the world. The most common variety used for making cane poles comes from China. It’s called “Bambusa” or “bamboo”.

You’ll find it growing all over Asia, especially in Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and India.

Bamboo cane poles are made from thin strips of bamboo that have been cut into sections. Each section is then tied together to form the pole. This process creates a hollow tube that is filled with air. Once the bamboo cane pole is finished, it’s ready to use.

To ensure your bamboo pole is durable, it should be stored away from direct sunlight and moisture. If you store it outside, keep it in a dry area where it won’t get wet.

You also need to be built strong, solid, and have dense walls. You need nods close together as this will also strengthen the pole. 

Bamboo cane poles are built at different lengths but the typical range is around four to twenty-five feet long.

Treated And Untreated Bamboo

Depending on the type of bamboo used, there are different types of treatment available. Treated bamboo removes harmful insects, and makes it more resistant to pests or fungi that could damage your pole.

The common treatments include leaching or smoking the bamboo, borax, and boric acid mixture, or treatment of chrome, copper, and boron.

If you don’t want fungi, termites, or weevils infecting your bamboo, then we suggest you go for the treated bamboo.

Bamboo Durability

Bamboo cane poles should be treated before they’re used. Treating them makes them stronger and more durable. There are many ways to treat bamboo.

Cane Pole Fishing A Complete Guide to Bamboo Cane Pole (1)

You can soak it in salt water, or spray it with insecticide. Then you can dry it out, or you can wrap it in plastic. When you’re done treating the bamboo, you need to store it away from moisture and sunlight.

However, even a bamboo pole that has been treated can break if your leave it in water too long, slam it in your car door, or let it sit in a car with the temperature too high. 

Jigger Poles

Jiggerpoling is an old method of using a jigging rod to catch fish. Jigger poles are similar to cane poles but they are longer.

They come in various lengths, including six-foot (1.8 m), eight-foot (2.4 m), ten-foot (3 m), and twelve-foot (3.6 m). Some people say that these rods are better for catching smaller fish like bass and catfish.

For bait, most anglers use a minnow-shaped plug, part of a belly of a fish, or even some pork attached to a hook. This bait is placed on a leader line that’s attached to the top of the jigger pole.

Jiggerpoling usually takes place on a small boat and the bait is moved along the cover to find a bite. You should present the bait when you are on grass or dead wood.

Telescopic Cane Poles

Fiberglass cane poles are strong and durable. They are lighter than wooden cane poles but still provide great strength. They come in various diameters and lengths. Some are designed specifically for Tenkara fishing while others are more general purpose.

Telescoping fiberglass cane poles are popular with backpackers who need a lightweight smaller pole that can be used for Tenkara fishing in the backcountry.

How To Set up A Cane Pole

When it comes to rigging your cane pole, it’s going to be different from your standard setup. Since you will probably be fishing with a flexible bamboo pole, you’re going to want to attach your line to the pole.

When it comes to wrapping, a cane pole should be tied together at the bottom and the top. You should use a dacron fishing line when tying knots.

A double fisherman’s knot is made by bringing the line over the hook and around the shank. The two ends are then brought back together and tied off.

Take a spinning reel and tie a loop knot at one end of the pole, take this loop with the dacron loop and make a loop to loop connection. Then place a hook on the alternate end and some split shot weight and a bobber up top. Now you are ready to catch some fish.

If you are rigging a telescopic pole, as the material can be tough with granite and fiberglass, you should directly tie off your line on the tip.

It also doesn’t hurt to come down away from the tip around a foot and tie your line to this sturdier area. Then you want to wrap up to the tip and tie one more knot and continue to make a leader with your setup.

How To Choose Your Cane Pole

When choosing a cane pole, you need to consider several factors before buying one. Here are some things to look for when shopping for a cane pole:


The length of your cane pole depends on the size of the fish you plan to catch. For example, if your target is smallmouth bass, then you’ll probably need a short cane pole.

On the other hand, if you’re after largemouth bass, then you’ll likely need a long cane pole.


How much weight you add to your cane pole will depend on how heavy your fish is. Larger fish require heavier poles. Therefore, if you’re going after a big fish like a muskie, then you’ll need a heavier cane pole.


The strength of your cane pole will determine its durability. Look for a sturdy cane pole that has thick bamboo walls.


Different materials can provide different benefits. Although most people choose bamboo because it’s light and flexible, others prefer wood because it’s stronger.


The price of your cane pole will vary depending on what material you choose. However, you shouldn’t spend too much money on your cane pole.

How To Fish With A Cane Pole

Fishing With A Bamboo Flexible Cane Pole

A flexible cane pole is perfect for fishing in rivers or streams where there are lots of rocks and boulders. This type of cane pole is ideal for Tenkara anglers as they don’t have to worry about getting caught between rocks and losing their bait.

A flexible cane pole is great for casting out into shallow waters or even for trolling. When using a flexible cane pole, you can cast out further than you would with a rigid cane pole.

The downside to a flexible cane pole is that it isn’t very durable. If you get hit by a rock, you may lose your entire rig. Also, when you cast out, the rod bends under pressure.

Flexible cane poles are usually shorter than rigid cane poles. They range from 10 feet to 20 feet in length.

How To Use A Cane Pole

Fishing with a cane pole is an easy sport. You place your lure or bait where fish may be, and then give the proper presentation. Your cane pole can be used for fishing anywhere.

As there is no casting, you can drop the line where the tip of the cane pole can reach or where there is a current. Simply let the bait drift to where you require it to go down the stream.

Catching A Fish

When you feel a bit, pull up on your pole. Lift the pole high and bring the fish closer. Don’t reel the fish in. Feel free to pull the fish onto the ground. Remember, the fish should be kept in the water if you are planning to catch and release them.

This ensures it is not exposed to any infection by removing the slime coating. If the fish is larger than you expect then you can bring the fish close to you, using a net to catch.

Fishing Techniques

Canes poles are great fishing tools because they allow fishermen to cast far away from shore. You can use them to catch bass, crappie, bluegill, trout, catfish, and more.

The great feature of using a cane pole is that when you take the lure and move it over an area, all that is left for you to do is to pull the pole up and allow the lure to drop where you began in the first place.

Bamboo Cane Pole Accessories

There are many accessories available for cane poles. These include:


Reels are used to store lines and hooks. You can use either a spinning or fixed-spool reel. Spinning reels are designed to hold multiple spools of line.

You attach these spools to the reel via a bail. Fixed-spool reels are designed to only hold one spool of line. You simply thread the line through the hole of the reel.

Line Stabilizers

Line stabilizers prevent the line from tangling during storage or transport. There are two types of line stabilizers: spring and rubber. Spring line stabilizers consist of metal springs that keep the line taut. Rubber line stabilizers are made of soft rubber bands.


Lines come in various sizes, weights, colors, and thicknesses. Some lines are designed specifically for fishing. Others are used for general purposes. When selecting a line, consider the following factors:


The diameter of your line should be large enough to allow ample room for the hook to pass through.


Your line should be thick enough so that it won’t break easily.


The weight of your line should be appropriate for the size of your lure. For example, if you’re fishing for bass, then you’d want a heavier line.


Color doesn’t matter all that much unless you’re fishing for specific species. But, if you do decide to buy colored lines, make sure that the color matches the water.


Hooks come in many shapes and sizes. Choose a hook based on how big the fish you’re targeting is. Hooks also come in different materials such as plastic, stainless steel, and lead. Plastic hooks are the most popular choice among fishermen.

Lead hooks are considered the best option for catching large game fish like salmon and trout. However, lead hooks are more expensive than other types of hooks. Lead hooks are also known as sinker hooks because they sink to the bottom of the river or lake.

Stainless Steel hooks are generally used for smaller fish and are not recommended for larger fish.  Plastic hooks are the least expensive type of hook. However, they aren’t as strong as stainless steel hooks.


Lures are baits that attract fish. Lures come in many shapes and forms. Some lures are designed to look like food while others are meant to resemble prey.

Fish attractors are baits that imitate baitfish. These types of lures work well for catching perch, crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Plastic worms are artificial baits that are shaped like real worms.

Plastic worms are used to catch panfish such as sunfish, carp, and channel cats. Jigs are baits that are made to look like minnows. Jigs are often used to catch walleye and northern pike.

Spoons are baits that are shaped to resemble crayfish. Spoons are good for catching large-mouth bass.

Final Thoughts

We hope after reading this article, you have learned everything there is to know about cane pole fishing. We’ve provided you with an overview of what you need to get started, equipment and techniques, and why using a bamboo cane pole to fish might be your new best friend.

Why not give it a go next time you’re heading to the lake? We promise you’ll love it!

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Tommy Bull
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