Fishing with Two Rods

Using two rods when sea fishing is relatively common these days. This article discusses the pros and cons of such an approach and examines the advantages and drawbacks which anglers can gain from taking this approach.

Two Rods Rocks

There are pros and cons to fishing with two rods.


  • Quite simply having two rods increases the chances of catching fish and reduces the chances of a blank fishing session as there are twice as many baits in the water.
  • An angler can fish at two different distances at once. This can be particularly effective when fishing beaches where the angler does not known the distance at which the fish are feeding as one rod can be cast at maximum distance, while another if fished close in.
  • Similarly two completely different species can be targeted when using two rods. For example on a clean sandy beach one rod can be baited with sandeel and cast at distance for thornback ray, while the other rod can be used to cast much closer in using smaller hooks on a multi-hook rig for flounder or other flatfish. From a rock mark or pier one rod (possibly a light spinning or bass rod) can be used to floatfish for species such as mackerel, pollock or garfish, while a heavier beachcaster is used to fish close in with big hooks and baits for conger eels which could be present in the structure of the pier or rocks.
  • A different bait can be used on each rod and the angler can experiment with different baits to see which one gets results.
  • Bites can be easier to detect as when the rods are in a stand the rod tip which has the bite developing can be compared against the other rod tip. This can be particularly helpful in windy weather when bites are harder to spot.
  • If an angler is fishing with one rod and major problems/damage are encountered (i.e. lost rod rings or even a snapped rod) the angler will have no choice other than to head home. However, fishing with two rods means that an angler will at least be able to continue fishing with the one rod they have left.


  • Anglers fishing with two rods will use up twice as much bait. If fishing for winter species such as cod where big baits are used, or when fishing for flatfish with multi-hook rigs these problems with be exacerbated and a surprisingly high amount of bait can be used up when fishing with two rods.
  • Similarly, when fishing with two rods in a snaggy area the chances of getting snagged are doubled and a higher amount of terminal tackle can be used.
  • Anglers fishing with two rods take up more space and there can be issues with lines becoming crossed. It is probably best to stick to using one rod on a busy mark to avoid these problems.
  • The simple act of carrying two rods to a fishing mark can be an issue. Some rock marks are difficult enough to get to with one rod and minimum gear and it can simply be dangerous to try and access difficult marks when carrying two rods.
  • Similarly, fishing with two rods can be hard work. This can be especially problematic if multiple hooks have to be baited up, or in winter when hands are cold, gloves need to be taken on and off and large cod baits need to be put onto the hook and then secured with bait cotton. This can mean that anglers spend time baiting up and casting out the first rod, and then by the time the second has baited and cast out it is time for the first to be retrieved and the whole process repeated. This can make for a tiring fishing session, and also means that anglers can be so busy that bites are missed.
  • Some piers which charge for access limit anglers to a single rod, a second admittance fee will have to be paid on these venues to use a second rod, while some ban the use of second rods altogether.
  • There is always the problem of both rods registering a bite at the same time, leaving the angler with no choice other than to leave one rod while the other is reeled in.
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