When Was the First Fishing Rod and Reel Invented?

The first fishing rod and reel combination, as we know it today, was invented in the mid-19th century. Prior to this time, people used simple poles and lines for fishing, with weights used to cast the line and a hand-wound line for retrieving the fish. This rudimentary method of fishing was used by people all over the world for centuries.

The Invention of the Fishing Rod and Reel

The first modern fishing rod and reel combination was invented in 1810 by an Englishman named William Joseph Marks. He created a wooden fishing rod with an attached reel that could be operated with a hand crank.

This invention allowed fishermen to cast their lines farther than ever before, and also gave them more control over how far they cast their lines. It also allowed them to easily retrieve their lines when they were done fishing. Marks’ invention revolutionized the sport of angling and made it much more accessible to people all over the world.

Marks’ invention quickly spread throughout Europe, and soon after his invention, other anglers began creating their own versions of Marks’ design. One of the most famous is John Alden’s “Alden Reel,” which was designed in 1820. This reel featured improved winding mechanisms that made it easier to operate than Marks’ original design.

Modern Fishing Rods & Reels

Since then, rods and reels have evolved drastically. The modern fishing rod is usually made from fiberglass or carbon fiber composites which are lighter yet stronger than Marks’ original wooden design. The modern reel is typically made from aluminum or stainless steel, which is much stronger than Marks’ original brass reel.


In conclusion, the first modern fishing rod and reel combination was invented in 1810 by William Joseph Marks. His innovative design revolutionized angling around the world and paved the way for future generations of anglers to enjoy this popular pastime.

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Michael Allen