One of the oldest types fishing rod would be the cane pole. Usually cut from a thin flexible bamboo cane 7 to 12 feet long, there will be a piece fishing of line tied to the tip which is a little bit longer that the pole with a hook tied to the end and perhaps a float. This can be a productive method for bait fishing for smaller fish but it is a bit difficult to successfully bring in a large fish using a cane pole.
Fishing Tackle and Equipment for Beginners
Most beginning fishermen will use earthworms or nightcrawlers. One or more worms are placed on the hook and the line is flipped out over the water to drop beside likely hiding places.
Most casual fishermen today will opt for a spinning reel and rod or a spincast reel and rod. which are relatively simple to use.
My personal recommendation for someone who is beginning to fish would be a light to medium 5 1/2 foot spinning or spincast rod using 8lb test line. 6 to 10lb test line is the good range for fishing for panfish with bait. Longer rods will generally cast farther but can be awkward to use if there are alot of trees and vegetation along the shoreline.
Please see Bait Fishing Rigs and Natural Baits
The improved clinch knot pictured above, is one of the most useful fishing knots that you can learn to tie.