fishing pole

< Previous | Next >

All in One

Is there a difference between a fishing pole and a fishing rod? The former doesn't return a lot of hits on Google while the latter seems to be the usual phrase.
For more context, in chess there's a trap called the 'Fishing Pole'. I was just wondering if they had a specific reason for not calling it the 'Fishing Rod'.
fishing pole.jpg

The knight (horse) with a blue box around it acts as a bait--you cannot capture it or you're going to lose the game very quickly. The position of the knight and pawn that I've highlighted is reminiscent of a fishing rod, which explains the name of this trap, or so I assume.
Last edited:
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I think of a fishing pole as literally a pole of some sort, such as bamboo – something that doesn't collapse or come apart in sections, something Tom Sawyer would catch fish with – not the more sophisticated rods they use today. I have no idea why fishing pole is used here, but chess is an old game. :)
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    USA English
    BE fishing rod = AE fishing pole.
    I use the terms interchangeably. To me, there is no difference. Maybe there is to someone who fishes more often than, say, once every couple of decades. :)
    Speaking as one who does a lot of fishing, those of us (AE) who fish a fair amount use "rods" if we're talking about manufactured equipment with line guides, a reel mount, a separate handle, etc. although we might jocularly refer to a "pole."

    We have rod holders, rod cases, rod carriers, salmon rods, casting rods, fly rods, etc. and never use "pole" in those collocations.

    And if you really want to start something, try referring to an avid fly fisherman's fly rod as a "pole."


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I had a quick look for information about fishing poles and pole-fishing.
    It looks to me as if the posts above that refer to Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn have it right.
    A fishing pole is one of those long stick-like things that have a line attached at the end with a hook and bait.
    Of course the modern version is a highly-sophisticated piece of kit that may be several tens of metres long and cost several thousand pounds.
    It looks to me that the essential difference between rod and pole MIGHT be that a rod includes a reel to wind in the line, a pole has the line attached to the end of the pole, no reel.

    How this might relate to chess, I have no idea.


    Senior Member
    I am sure that the difference between rod and pole varies from person to person, place to place, devotion to fishing vs. devotion to avoiding fishing (;)), and probably from time period to time period. But the only definition of pole vs. rod that really counts here is, I suspect, the definition of whoever named this maneuver. For example, if the person who named did the amount of fishing I do (that is, as little as possible), then how real fishermen differentiate is meaningless. Or if that person named it in 1894, then what we call rods and poles now may not be applicable to what were called rods and poles then. I looked around a bit and never did find a history of chess' fishing pole, but perhaps you'll have more luck, All in One.


    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I'm with sdgraham. Spent hundreds of hours fishing as a kid and young-middle-aged adult. What we called a pole was invariably a non-manufactured stick (usually bamboo) with a line tied to its end from which dangled a baited hook and perhaps a "float" or "bobber,"

    A rod, on the other hand, was manufactured and had a reel for winding in the line as well as guides from the reel to the tip.

    One major difference was that a pole, by its very nature, did not allow for fishing at much depth.
    < Previous | Next >