Do Kids’ Fishing Poles That Launch Work Well?


Launcher type fishing poles sure do look cool, but do they work? I did some research to find out if they really are what they claim to be.

So do they work? Launching or “rocket-propelled” fishing poles usually do not work very well. Almost every review says they work for 3-4 casts, then break. In addition, many kid-sized fishing reels tend to break easily or get tangled, and if you try and turn it to a gun, it only makes that problem worse.

There are some very specific reasons why this gadget is a dud. Teaching kids to fish can be tough, and there are better solutions than a bait launching fishing pole.

Why Launcher-Rods Are Bad

In order to understand why they are bad, we need to understand their intended purpose. These “rods” are basically a gun that shoots a pod/bobber containing your bait, sinkers, and hook.

The payload containing your bait is rather large and has a fishing line attached to it that is coiled into the gun’s reel.

Your child is supposed to cock the gun and shoot the little bobber/clamp mechanism into the lake. Once it hits the water, it opens to release the hook and bait. At this point you use it like a normal fishing rod with a bobber.

That’s all fine in theory, but it is usually more trouble than it’s worth.

It Breaks Easy

Fishing poles like the Rocket Fishing Rod are well known to have problems. They have a complicated launching mechanism that you are putting into the hands of your 12-year-old.

Many people have had their child break it within the first few casts. A great example is this wonderful review right here:

“Please, don’t waste your money. I read the reviews, but my godchild insisted for Christmas. As ALL reviews said, it broke in about ten minutes.”

Amazon Review with a Verified purchase

Amazon is full of this type of review. Parents who got their child this fishing pole because their child begged them for it overwhelmingly walk away disappointed. I find it interesting that a whopping 61% of all the reviews on Amazon for this thing are only 1 star.

You may point out that 20% of the reviews are five stars, and I thought I should look into those. After reading some of the five-star reviews. These reviews were written by people who are giving this product as a gift, and most of them have not even taken the product out of the packaging.

Part User Error & Part Cheap Manufacturing

Sometimes it’s tempting to buy into shortcuts and fun gimmicks when it comes to fishing. But products like this aren’t usually built to last. There are some things that users probably do to contribute to their breakdown, but they’re also just not built for heavy-duty use.

For example, launcher rods require a special piece that is part of the line that is in the water. Anybody that has gone fishing will know that losing bobbers is a very common occurance, and the launcher fishing rods are no different.

I would like to point out one major design flaw of these rods. Take a look at a picture of the Rocket Fishing Rod. It differs from the normal fishing rod in the fact that it isn’t a fishing rod at all. Fishing rods are designed to pull on your fishing line in the most gentle way possible.

They do this by bending and holding on at multiple points. After shooting your bait, the launcher rod turns into a reel on a stick. There is no bend to prevent the line from breaking.

As you can see, whoever gets this rod will lose their line multiple times, and due to the nature of the rod, the line will most likely break closer to the reel than normal rods.

As I stated before, bobbers get lost. Since the rocket rod requires a special bobber you might be going home early, even if the shooting rod part doesn’t break.

If you were very careful with it, you might able to get more than one days’ use out of it. The key word being might. I never buy anything that has less than 50% 5-star reviews on Amazon, and this falls well below that criteria. Please don’t but this for anybody’s birthday no matter how bad they want it.

What You Should Get Instead

Look, I get it. Giving a fishing rod with a nasty hook attached to it is very scary. Your child might be danger prone or very uncoordinated. That might even be the reason you are taking him/her out fishing in the first place.

You are not alone in this. Plenty of parents have wanted to take their five year old out fishing and been scared to death of them getting hooked. Thankfully there are other solutions out there.

May I present to you the backyard bass-casting game.

This game is intended to teach children how to cast without exposing them to hooks.

It works by attaching a little fish onto the fishing line of an existing rod and reel and placing the snag-fish in the grass of your yard. Whoever is practising casting then sits on the porch and casts their little heart out, trying to drag the fish through the part of the fish in the grass that will allow them to reel it in.

Don’t bother getting them a launcher rod when they are going to need to learn how to cast anyway. They will thank you later for teaching them how to do it the right way.

I know I wish my father had done this for me. Instead, I ended up slapping the water on my first trip out fishing because I had no idea what I was doing.

Get your child a simple, closed reel rod that has good Amazon reviews. Particularity you are looking for something that says its lightweight and durable. Something that doesn’t snag often is the ideal.

Chances are your kid is going to be mad that the are not recieving their fancy launching rod, so you might need to get something else that has a little bit of gimmick to distract them.

If I had a child that wanted a launching rod, I would get them this one. This review says it all:

“I posted a review earlier for Plusinno fishing rod combo that I bought for myself. Since I liked the product I ordered this one for my kid.

My son really liked this fishing rod and wanted to go fishing right away. This has an eye-catching blue color. Looks really well made and telescopic feature makes it convenient to store. I ordered a bit bigger size by mistake. If you are ordering this for little kids, try to order a smallest.

It also comes with lots of fishing lures hooks and baits. Which is good for me as I will not worry when my little one is going to lose them one by one :)”

Verified Purchase on Amazon

For 20 bucks, you really can’t go wrong with this pole. If it breaks, oh well. It comes with a bunch of starter things that your kid will be excited about. Plenty of stuff for your child to lose!

Teach them the right way to fish and they will become a better fisherman for it. Don’t bother buying something that only lasts a day and will be more expensive in the long run.

Chances are it will break and just leave a bad taste in your child’s mouth, making them have no desire to fish again.

Related Questions

What is the best way to get kids into fishing?  If your child is nervous about fishing, try letting them do it on their own. Let them figure things out. Your child just might not be a fisher like you and you might need to find something else to do with them.

What is the best fish for children? The best fish for kids is probably the same fish that you are fishing for right now. If you use a smaller bait they will catch fish that are more their size. If your child does get one that they have trouble reeling in you can always help them.

Tim Butala

My name is Tim and I have been a fisherman my whole life. My favorite fish to go after is a Stripped Bass.

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