Is a rod pod better than bank sticks?

The decision between Rod Pods and Bank Sticks is a relatively simple one, but it’s one that can be debated at length.

It’s usually a matter of preference, but there are also situations where you should use both during a session.

For example, if you are setting up in a body of water and fishing straight ahead or if the bottom is very hard, you should use a rod pod.

If you are fishing in the pools or at right angles to your fishing spot, or if the bottom is nice and soft, banksticks are a better choice.

When you should use a Rod Pod

A Rod Pod is much more stable than Bank Sticks, but much less maneuverable when you have your left rod on the left edge and your right rod on the right edge.

Ideally, in this scenario, use bank sticks and keep the rod tip pointing toward the rig. This way you will get a much better bite indication.

If the bottom is really hard, it can be impossible to get a bankstick into the bottom, and I definitely do not want you to use a hammer to get them in, because you’ll scare all the fish away. A rod pod is a much better option.

I made the mistake of buying a cheap Rod Pod – what a waste of money! It fell apart the first time I used it…

I decided to invest in a decent Rod Pod and I wish I had made that decision sooner.

The Rod Pod I am using now is similar to this one on Amazon and it was worth every penny.

Trying to use a cheap Rod Pod can be very frustrating and sometimes risky as the Rod Pod can break during a take, causing you to lose your rod.

I always make sure I have a few spare rods in my rod holder just in case I see stray fish and need to set my rod up through some trees or at a different angle than the others.

This typically happens when fishing on a headland of an island.

When to use Bank Sticks

Bank sticks allow you to bring your rod tips closer to the water, and you can keep them as close together or as far apart as you need for your setup.

You can buy bank sticks for a few pounds at a tackle store. For a rod you should have at least one with a screw on the tip to have a bite indicator, the other can be a plain and simple one.

They come in thick and thin sizes and some are extendable.

The thicker ones are definitely better because the wind does not blow them around as much. However, a rod pod is much better for windy conditions, although the thicker banksticks are harder to push into the ground than the thin ones.

Banksticks either need to be pressed into the ground or hammered into place, but if the ground is firm, you will obviously need a Rod Pod.

Should you choose to hammer the rods in, remember that almost all the other anglers on that lake will think you are a jerk for making so much noise. Fortunately, I have both at my disposal. So if I have to use a hammer, I use the Rod Pod instead.

However, there is a downside to the Rod Pods: the good models are quite expensive for their price. If you can get by with the Banksticks, you do not have to worry about the Rod Pod.

Bank Sticks for Hard Ground

On occasions you will fish a lake that has hard ground, making it difficult to push the bank sticks by hand.

In this situation, you can use a rubber mallet to bang them in, or use a rod pod.

If you don’t want to use a rod pod, then choose bank sticks that are thinner to make it easier to hammer them in to the bank.

Buzz Bars

If you use banksticks, you can also use buzz bars instead of a pair of banksticks per rod.

Buzz Bars can be used with up to four rods if you use only two Bank Sticks.

They are a good solution if you do not want to carry a rod holder around.

Bank Stick Stabilizers

If you are using buzzbars, you might also want to invest in bankstick stabilizers to keep your rods from landing on the ground when you have a violent take.

They come in different shapes and sizes, but make sure you buy the right ones depending on the diameter of your bankstick.

Further Reading


I have made a lot of mistakes during my fishing sessions and don’t want you to make the same mistakes. I’ve learned the hard way over 20 years of fishing most weekends, testing, tweaking, and testing again and now want to help you excel with your carp fishing.

If you need any help, you can reach me at Fishing Again’s Facebook page

Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Shane