How The Medieval Fishing Rod Evolved

Medieval fishing rods were used during the old decades when the book “Treatyse of Fishing with an Angle” was first published. This book remains to be the oldest printed book on fishing that exists today. It gives tips on how to construct a fly-fishing rod and line, how you should tie a fly and some valuable suggestions for bait and techniques for various English fish. The book was written in 1496, around the juncture of the Middle years.

Fishing Rod Evolved

Structure Of Medieval Fishing Rod

The Treatyse provides directions for making a fishing rod with a length of 5 meters. The medieval fishing rod can be detachable into three parts. The top section is made from one long pole, and the bottom section is made from another long pole and fits into a hole in the bottom staff.

The long, sturdy bottom part is made from a long branch made of willow, hazel, or ash that is as thick as an arm and has been cut to a slender shape. It has a hole cut into it where it would attach to an iron staff. One end is covered with bands of iron, which give it the strength and balance it needs.

The length of the middle section of the medieval fishing rod is about one meter. It is made from thin wood and fits inside the slot at the bottom of the staff. It is locked in place using an iron spike.

The top part is approximately one meter, made of fine, flexible juniper or blackthorn, and is permanently glued to the bottom section. At each section’s tip is a loop holding a fishing line. There is a cord loop hanging from the top section’s end. The fishing line is tied around a loop that attaches to the top of the tube, and there are no reels or guides on it. Its top two sections can be fitted into a hole in the lower part of the fishing lure by sliding them backward. In this way, nobody will know that you are going angling.

Other Materials Used To Make Medieval Fishing Rods

Other materials that could be used for making rods are:

  • Bamboo
  • Tonkin reed
  • Hickory
  • Ironwood
  • Maple, or Malacca cane

These are made from light, tough, and pliable materials. Rods are generally made up of three pieces: the butt, the middle, and the tip.

A Brief History Of Fishing Rods

Fishing rods are mentioned in ancient cave paintings from the 2nd century. It’s not known when the fishing rod was invented, but it was made in 2000 BC and used in many other countries before that. The earliest fishing rod model was made in prehistoric error and was referred to as a “gorge.” 

Ancient fishing rods have been found in many countries, including Egypt, Greece, China, Trinidad, Rome, Tobago, and England. It is unknown who constructed the fishing rod because it was used in many countries during that time. Hence, no one knows exactly who made it. Fishing is also referred to as angling. Trolling refers to the act of luring fish that are in a particular area to bite the bait.

Catching fish on a medieval fishing rod

The Future Of Fishing Rods

The future fishing rods will entail a thinner line. However, it will be braided to be strong. The rods will come in a limited number of colors, such as black, yellow, and some other light colors. What’s more, the reels will be made of lightweight metal and steel and have a plastic cover on them. The fishing rod and reel plastic material may be replaced or taken off when it wears out over time. Every fish hook has to be a certain shape and size to hold it securely, so it can catch any fish, small or big. The rod will feature a grip that will be made from rubber to be able to offer a better handle and grip the fish when they are fishing.

About Medieval Fish

Food for Medieval people included a huge variety of different fish. There were different species of fish, such as herring and pike—eel, salmon, plaice, whiting, and cod. Various kinds of shellfish were also used in the Medieval period. These included crabs, cockles, oysters, and mussels.

It is believed that the inhabitants of the Europe sea coasts and especially of the Mediterranean ate the same fish as we eat today. Some other fish were used for food, but they have since become abandoned. Porpoises and the salted whale were believed to have supplied all European fish markets.

Whale meat shipped from the Arctic to Europe in huge slices was only consumed by the low-level classes. According to a scholastic writer of the 16th century, even if the meat were boiled for 24 hours, it would remain very indigestible and hard.

How the medieval fishing rod evolved

FAQs About Medieval Fishing Rod

Was fishing practiced in medieval times?

Fishing was influential in the medieval world. It was common to eat fish in the medieval period. Thus, the catching, preparing, and storing of the fish, as well as the cooking of it, played a significant role in the everyday lives of Shakespeare and others.

 Did Medieval people consume fish like salmon?

Seven hundred years ago, kings had to begin regulating the fishing of sturgeon and salmon. It’s because the demand for these fish was so great that they had to establish rules for fishing to avoid the extinction of certain fish species.

How did fishermen catch fish in the Medieval Ages?

Early people mostly used fish traps to trap all fish, including salmon, eel, dabs, trout, flounders, etc. The traps would be buried under the earth in an underground chamber. These small fish traps were about 6 feet long and consisted of two small chambers with a large opening into which the main basket was inserted. Other exciting fishing methods included the use of a hook and line and the use of fishing nets.

Wrapping Up

Fishing remains among the ancient practices of life as it began in the medieval ages. During those times, the medieval fishing rod had no advanced features similar to current fishing rods. Fishing reels were non existent, unlike the baitcasters and spinning reels of today.

 Even though modern fishing rods have become highly efficient, you can still construct the medieval fishing rod and try to relive the golden days. Moreover, they are durable and sturdy!

Photo of author

Clarence "Fish" Fishburne

Fish grew up in the south fishing for catfish, bream, bass and anything else he could get to bite his bait or lure. After college he moved to Maryland and now fishes the Potomac River, Chesapeake Bay and other waters in the surrounding area. He frequently travels to other parts of the country in search of his favorite gamefish, the elusive catfish.

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