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Rod-and-Reel Repurposed

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Nice catch.

The classic rod-and-reel combo has been the design of fishing rods for hundreds of years now. The even simpler design of a string hanging from a simple wooden stick even older. But what if you're not fishing exactly? This trope repurposes fishing poles to hook other objects.

If you've dropped your keys down a hole, need to pull something from far away, or you're missing a weapon, the fishing rod can do it all.

Compare Dangerous Backswing. Contrast Fishing for Sole, where the character intended to catch a fish, but caught something else instead. The hook may turn into a Stripping Snag.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Case Closed a fishing line is often used by the killer as a weapon or as part of a complicated mechanism.
  • An episode of Doraemon has a random schoolboy admit that he once used one to lift Shizuka's skirt.
  • The manga of Doraemon: Nobita and the Kingdom of Clouds have the leader of the Evil Poacher managing to steal Nobita's Cool Crown (which controls the titular kingdom) using a fishing rod, leading to the villains taking over. This was changed in the anime adaptation however, where the poachers instead snuck upon Nobita and Doraemon to snatch the crown up close while Nobita is distracted by a screen.
  • In Hunter Hunter Gon uses a fishing pole as a weapon before learning the Nen. However, he never uses it to directly attack an enemy.
  • Jewelpet Kira☆Deco!: Sapphie, who runs a large bookstore, uses a fishing rod to fetch books that her customers request.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind: Pesci's Stand, Beach Boy, is a fishing rod capable of three things: it's capable of tracking people and literally fishing them out from other rooms, it can phase through any and all objects including skin, and attacking the line simply reflects all damage onto whoever it's hooked into.
  • In Majokko Meg-chan Rabi twice uses this on her big sister Meg to lift her skirt and see her panties.
  • In episode 52 of Mazinger Z Shiro's toy ends up in Sayaka's bathroom while she's in there brushing her hair with just a Modesty Towel on. Not wanting to alert her, he tries using a fishing rod to get back his toy, but accidentally ends up hooking her towel instead and ends up snagging it off her.
  • Miss Machiko
    • The first episode has Kenta using his fishing rod to steal Machiko's panties forcing her to chase him half-dressed.
    • An episode has three little kids use this to lift Machiko's skirt and distract her while one of them steals some food.
    • Another has Kenta uses a fishing rod with multiple hooks to catch not only Machiko, but also the skirts of three schoolgirls.
  • Ranma
    • The first movie has Ebiten, the main vassal and lieutenant to the antagonist, use a fishing rod to lash out opponents with the rod's line to slice their flesh. It earlier gets used to grab Akane by her arm and haul her up to where the enemy group is.
    • The manga also has a "Koi Rod of Love" storyline where a child's fishing rod with a toy carp on the end has been turned into a magical device. You cast the line at whoever you want to fall in love with you and if the carp hits them, then they will. Ryouga unwisely tries this to win the love of Akane, unsurprisingly his cast only manages to reel in Ranma-in-girlform who immediately goes full Yandere in their love for Ryouga.
  • In Space☆Dandy, the eponymous protagonist uses a retractile fishing rod to catch things or beings (like Meow in the first chapter) as well to hang on high places.
  • Episode 54 of Yatterman has Boyakky try to use a fishing rod to hurt the heroes. Instead, the hook ends up twice affecting his comrade Doronjo's costume showing, the first time, her breast.
  • YuYu Hakusho: Ura Urashima, naturally being that he has modeled himself after the fairy tale fisherman Urashima Taro, uses a fishing rod as his weapon of choice (using it as an improvised whip).

    Comic Books 
  • Aquaman foe the Fisherman utilizes specialized lures and a fishing rod with a razor-sharp hook and titanium-steel line as weapons to "catch" his enemies.
  • Batman: The Cult of Zafub from Legends of the Dark Knight #128-131 are a group of assassins who specialize in killing their targets using that target's own greatest skill. So a stunt driver gets run off the road, an army guy might be forced into a Sniper Duel, a master martial artist might be beaten by a better martial artist and, as we see in the comic, a fisherman gets killed by an assassin with — you guessed it — a fishing rod.
  • In one old Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olsen comic, Jimmy unravels a mystery involving some thieves partially by finding a fishing hook too big to be for any fish in the area. Therefore, he deduced that the crooks were hiding their loot underwater and went fishing for it. (Superman quickly slipped it on the hook to prevent it from taking as long as it might otherwise.)
  • In Justice League of America #6, the League investigates a series of apparently impossible museum thefts which turn to have been carried out by an expert fisherman casting a line through the museum window and "catching" valuable artifacts.
  • In Supreme, the Fisherman (and his sidekick Skipper) uses a fishing rod as the Allies' Expy of Green Arrow (and Speedy).

    Film — Animated 

    Film — Live-Action 

  • In Dragon Brigade, when visiting towns, Rodrigo thinks it's hilarious to "fish" off the side of the airship and try to snag people's hats. He throws back any hats he actually catches, he just enjoys the challenge and the outraged expressions.
  • Newsflesh: Irwin Ash North sits in trees with a fishing rod and raw meat to attract zombies.
  • There Is No Epic Loot Here, Only Puns: Ruli's fishing rod is actually a legendary weapon, and when she gets a giant lizard instead of a fish, while Delta freaks out and starts ordering her monsters to run, Ruli simply hooks the back of the lizard's throat, smashes it against a wall, and tears out its brain.
    Ruli: Lizards don't count in the fishing contest.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel: In "Guise Will Be Guise", Angel uses a fishing rod to ensnare a villain who is standing in the sunlight to avoid the vampire.
  • In Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, Zyuoh The World's weapon, Zyuoh The Gunrod, is a fishing rod that can also be used as a gun or a spear.
  • Gilligan's Island: In "Beauty Is As Beauty Does", the Castaways decide to hold a Beauty Contest. To provide isometric exercise, the Professor has Mary Ann swim in the lagoon while he holds onto her swimsuit with a fishing rod. Gilligan arrives, and, thinking the Professor is struggling with a huge fish, tries to help. As a result, Mary Ann's swimsuit comes flying off, to everyone's embarrassment.
  • The Goodies: In "Scoutrageous", Graeme and Bill use a fishing rod to snatch a toupee off a pedestrian while earning their Wig Spotter's Badge.
  • Hardball: After Kevin's failed trial of digital locks puts the school into Lockdown in "The Odd Couple", Mikey and Tiffany work together to fashion a fishing rod, a tennis racquet, wire hangers and duct tape to fashion a reaching device to lift the key to the override box from the caretaker's storeroom so they can shut the system off.
  • Invoked in Impractical Jokers. One challenge has the Jokers attempt to grab bags in a mall with a comically oversized fishing hook.
  • Kamen Rider Den-O Rod Form, based on the Japanese folktale hero Urashima Taro, uses the DenGasher's Rod configuration as a spear/staff, although it would sometimes conjure a laser "string" to swing at his opponents, the tip alone easily cutting them down.
  • The New Avengers: The sentries in "The Eagle's Nest" are disguised as anglers, and use their fishing rods and weighted lures to kill any outsiders who come too close to discovering the island's secret.
  • Seinfeld: In "The Rye," George uses a fishing rod to smuggle a loaf of marble rye bread in through his in-laws' second-story window.

  • The Old Master Q spin-off, Master Q's Fantasy Zone Battle have Master Q and pals, Big Potato and Chin, with Fa Mulan in tow, facing a group of Shaolin monks in a soccer match (don't ask). Partway through, a monk with the ability of flight managed to snatch the soccer ball by flying out of range, and Chin responds by pulling a fishing rod out of nowhere and using it to yank off the monk's pants.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons BD&D supplement The Book of Marvelous Magic. There are several types of magical fishing poles. One can be used for catching fish, but the others have interesting abilities.
    • The Pole of Exaggeration catches creatures, but causes whatever is caught to double in size.
    • Pole of Levitation: when its hook is attached to the user, it causes the user to rise into the air.
    • Pole of Monster Fishing: can catch monsters instead of fish.
    • Pole of Rescue: Its hook can be sent down up to 40 yards. After it attaches itself, the target can be pulled up to safety.
    • Pole of Treasure Fishing: the hook can be sent in search of treasure. Once it finds it, it signals the user with a tug.

    Video Games 
  • Chantelise: You need to hit an enemy who is the final boss with the fishing rod to get a treasure. And you can also use it as a weapon.
  • Korcha from Chrono Cross uses a fishing rod as a weapon.
  • The Fisher Kings of Fallen London are a Street Urchin gang who keep to the roofs and gutters, and steal the hats and wigs of passers-by using fishing rods.
  • Lenox from Eternal Return Black Survival is a former mafiosa who retired to spend her days fishing. While on Lumina Island, she uses a fishing rod as her choice of weapon.
  • In Final Fantasy XIII, Pulse tribesmen have complex rods that function as both weapons and lassos-slash-bridles for the various wild mounts flying around.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you can use a fishing rod to distract a boss in the middle of the fight (he stares stupefied at the lure). This was likely a nod to the fact that in two previous games, an inventory item was usable against bosses to deflect their attack.
  • Makai Kingdom has Fishing rods as one of the more... out there weapons. Notably, one of their skills snags an enemy, and then flings them to the Moon!
  • The fishing rod in Minecraft is usually used for fishing, but it can also be used to reel mobs, dropped items, and other players closer to the user.
  • In Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge, Guybrush uses a fishing rod to recover a map piece that's stuck in the middle of a cliff.
  • In Night in the Woods, if you choose to tag along when Bea goes on a housecall to fix an old furnace, you can attempt to cobble together a fix of your own using various objects you find around the basement, including a fishing pole. All it does is fall apart, which is probably for the best.
  • Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time: In Big Wave Beach, the Fisherman Zombie uses his rod to reel your plants towards him and the water, one tile at a time... and if most plants fall into the water, it's a One-Hit Kill.
  • In the Rune Factory games, fishing rods can also be used as weapons.
  • Nachi's signature weapon in Senran Kagura is a fishing rod with a shuriken tied to the end. She's been known to hook a wad of bills on it for a Cash Lure too.
  • In Sesame Street Counting Cafe for the Sega Genesis, Oscar the Grouch has a fishing pole, which he uses to take whatever food Grover has on his plate from him, altering the order Grover has for Mr. Johnson. Grover can either time his movements to safely get past Oscar or bring some extra food for Oscar to take.
  • Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew: Quentin's fishing rod is used to hook objects in the environment, or to reel in dead bodies or even to pull allies to him.
  • The Sly Cooper games feature unique mechanics for the three main characters to pickpocket items off the enemy mooks. Bentley, the Gadgeteer Genius, uses a magnet at the end of a fishing polenote .
  • Big the Cat from Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In Sonic Adventure, while Big does use his fishing rod primarily for fishing, he can also use it to attack enemies from a distance if he aims it at them. He can also use his fishing rod as a club if he is standing next to an enemy.
    • In Sonic Heroes, Big can use his fishing rod as a bat and Amy and Cream as balls to attack enemies. He can also swing his fishing rod in a circle to attack enemies around him.
    • In Sonic Chronicles, Big's basic attack has him casting his fishing rod at enemies and reeling them in.
  • SPY Fox in: Dry Cereal begins with the titular hero skydiving from an airplane without a parachute, and needing to use one of his spy gadgets to make a safe landing on the island of Acidophilus. One of the gadgets Spy Fox can have with him is a fishing pole, which he can then use to latch onto a helicopter.
  • The Fishing Rod in Stacklands not only is used for fishing on the Island, but it also has combat stats since it can also be used as a weapon.
  • Isabelle in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate uses the fishing rod from her home series to pull opponents closer and even as an alternate recovery move if she falls off the stage.
  • In Umihara Kawase, while the title character's fishing rod can catch the curiously terrestrial fish, it can also be thrown to cling to platforms like a Grappling-Hook Pistol.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Clover Ebi's weapon, Kingfisher, resembles a fishing pole, complete with the sound a fishing pole makes reeling and casting whenever the line winds and unwinds. Combined with his Good Fortune semblance, Clover can always be counted on to snare his target and bring them down. When his team captures and arrests the heroes at the beginning of Volume 7, Jaune grumbles about the way they were taken out "by that fishing pole guy".

    Web Videos 
  • Double Life SMP: Much of Day 4 is dedicated to every other person on the server playing around with fishing rods by flinging entities far into the air with them. While it is indeed fun, it carries a strong risk to it in that the entity in question can be killed if they don't land in the Minecraftian Soft Water or have enough health to survive the fall — first demonstrated by the "Ranchers' Revenge" Warden at the start of the episode, then soulbound pair Etho and Joel in the middle of it, causing the two to become Red Names, players on their final lives whose main purpose is to kill everyone else on the server.
  • VG Myths: This is mentioned in "Hyrule Myths - Can You Kill Ganon With A Cucco?", talking about how in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, you can use a fishing rod to distract a boss in the middle of the fight (he stares stupefied at the lure):
    or even try to fish the final boss to death, which is actually a decent distraction it turns out.

    Western Animation 
  • Back to the Future: An accidental example occurs in "Gone Fishin'". While the boys and Marty are visiting Doc's childhood, he casts his fishing line and it catches on a low-flying plane. It acts as a rope and starts his career as "Daredevil Brown" when someone sees it.
  • Danny Phantom: The Fenton Fisher fishing pole, which has a fishing line coated in a resin that ghosts can't break, falls under this trope in both of its appearances:
    • In "Parental Bonding", Jack casts into his ghost portal to fish for ghosts. It actually gets a bite in the form of the Dragon Ghost while Jack is out of the room.
    • In "Shades of Grey", Danny uses the fishing line to tether a ghost dog (who is currently in oversized guard dog mode) to a large tree. It works... until the dog notices Danny's fight with Valerie and takes off, easily uprooting the tree and dragging it behind him.
  • On the Donald Duck cartoon "Donald's Happy Birthday", Donald takes his nephews' piggy bank away from them, so they use a fishing rod try to fish it out of his hands while he's napping.
  • Hey Arnold!: In "Helga's Locket", Helga loses her titular locket and it ends up in Grandpa Phil's possession. At one point, she tries to get the locket back by using a fishing pole with a magnet on the end. She is unable to get the locket off of Phil's neck and Phil's weight holds her back, causing her to stumble into Abner's litter box.
  • Inspector Gadget between his many gadgets, he has a fishing rod, used for fishing but also to catch criminals... or simply it appears when it's not needed. Also seen in the movie.
  • Looney Tunes
    • In Rabbit Romeo, Elmer Fudd uses a carrot on a hook to lure Bugs Bunny into being a mate for his Slobovian rabbit Millicent.
    • Elmer also used it in Stage Door Cartoon, where i.e. tried to trap Bugs by lowering a carrot down his rabbit hole.
    • Wile E. Coyote was fond of such a resource, usually with a lit TNT stick.
  • In the The Loud House episode, "Two Boys and a Baby", when Lincoln and Clyde change Lily's diaper, Lincoln attempts to dispose of the dirty diaper with a fishing pole. Unfortunately, Lily's dirty diaper accidentally hits the ceiling fan and makes a mess of Lily and Lisa's room (which, thankfully, isn't shown to the viewers).
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "Luminians on the Loose", Superman uses a fishing rod to snatch a kryptonite necklace off Lex Luthor from a safe distance.
  • Rugrats (1991): In "Send in the Clouds", the babies believe Tommy's house to be up in the clouds during foggy weather, and they try to prevent Stu and Didi from leaving the house until they can get it back on the ground. To keep Stu from leaving the house, Tommy drops Stu's keys down the bathtub drain. Stu uses Lou's fishing pole to fish them out, and although he succeeds, he gives himself a black eye as a result.
    Lou: Got the iodine!
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Hooky", SpongeBob's pants are caught in a fishing hook. He tries taking off his pants, but the hook is also caught in his underwear. Eventually, the hook is reeled in, tearing off SpongeBob's briefs, leaving him naked in front of Pearl and her friends.
    • In "Clams", Mr. Krabs takes SpongeBob and Squidward clam fishing to celebrate earning his millionth dollar. Squidward is uninterested and simply lounges on the deck reading a book, while SpongeBob enthusiastically participates. However, his casting is so bad that he instead snags Squidward's book, then his chair, then his shirt, then his nose.
  • TaleSpin: In "Stuck on You", Baloo and Don Karnage are stuck together by a very sticky glue. To keep Rebecca from finding out that he is stuck to Karnage, Baloo hides Karnage in a blanket and pretends he's sick. However, this lie works too well, as Rebecca believes he really is, sends him to his bedroom, and takes the keys to the Sea Duck away. After Karnage sneaks Baloo out of his bedroom through the window, he snatches the keys with a fishing pole to get them back from Rebecca without her noticing.
  • Wacky Races (1968): At the end of "The Super Silly Swamp Sprint", Lazy Luke pulls out a fishing pole and uses its hook to latch onto the finish line. He reels it in and wins the race as a result.

    Real Life 
  • A fight between police officers and a family in a trailer park involved the use of a fishing rod as a club.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Weaponized Fishing Rod, Improbable Use Of A Fishing Rod


Squidward Gets Hooked

While on a company-mandated clam fishing trip to celebrate Mr. Krabs earning his millionth dollar, SpongeBob's overly enthusiastic backswings end up snagging Squidward's belongings (including his shirt). Eventually, SpongeBob hooks Squidward's nose and tears it off, at which point the scene cuts to a long shot as Squidward screams in pain.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ScreamDiscretionShot

Media sources: