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A Simple Fishing Rod Licence Guide

03 Oct 18

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There are a number of rules in place when you are taking part in any type of fishing across the UK including the need to purchase a rod licence. If you fail to fish with a rod licence you can be prosecuted and fined up to £2500.

Always carry your rod licence with you when fishing.

In this article, we are going to explain what type of rod licence you require and cover some of the main rules that you should be aware of.

buy a rod licence

What type of Rod Licence do I need

You will need to purchase a rod licence to fish for the following species with a rod and reel setup. 

  • salmon
  • trout
  • freshwater fish
  • smelt or eel

If you are fishing in the River Tweed in England you will not require a rod licence.

If your child is under the age of 13 you will not need to purchase a rod licence.

If your child is 13 to 16 they will require a Junior Rod Licence which is free.

coarse fishing licence

Types of Rod Licence

Trout, coarse fish and eel rod licence

This rod licence is designed to allow you to fish for non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish. Freshwater fish would include species such as Carp, Tench, Bream and Rudd.

If you are planning on heading down to your local lake and fish using a floater rod, this is the rod licence you will require. I find this is not as clear as it could be on the official government website.

Many anglers fish in different manners such as fishing with two rods, this rod licence allows for one of the following uses.

  • 1 rod for non-migratory trout in rivers and canals
  • up to 2 rods for non-migratory trout in lakes and reservoirs
  • up to 2 rods for freshwater fish

Some carp anglers, for instance, will fish using 3 rods and so the above rod licence will not be sufficient. You would have to purchase two rod licences to cover all three of these rods, but the best approach is to purchase a 12-month rod licence that will allow for up to 3 rods. You will see later that these 12-month licences are much better value for money compared to the daily ones.

As a side note, you should always check with your local fishery to see how many rods they allow per angler. I have seen over the years many smaller and popular venues restrict the number of rods you are allowed to fish with, this eases the pressure on the fish and allows everyone to fish comfortably.

Salmon and sea trout rod licence

This rod licence is designed to allow you to fish for salmon, sea trout, non-migratory trout and all freshwater fish.

Much like the trout, coarse fish and eel licence, this rod licence allows for one of the following uses

  • 1 rod for salmon, sea trout and non-migratory trout in rivers and canals
  • up to 2 rods for salmon, sea trout and non-migratory trout in lakes and reservoirs
  • up to 3 rods for freshwater fish

You will see that this rod licence allows for three rods for freshwater fish, if you are going to purchase a 12-month rod licence I would opt for the first trout, coarse fish and eel licence as this will cover three rods and is much better value for money.

As a side note, in your fishing, you may use a marker and a spod rod. These rods are solely designed to bait and mark the area where you are fishing respectively and are not counted as one of your allocation of rods per rod licence.

Buying a Rod Licence

Now you have a better understanding of the types of rod licence available and hopefully, the exact rod licence you require, you need to actually buy one. 

Rod licences can be purchased in the following ways

If you are wanting to purchase the Junior rod licence for someone who is aged 13 - 16 this has to be done online.

A rod licence is available for the following periods with the 12-month option being better value for money. 

  • 1-day 
  • 8-day
  • 12-month

Discounts are also available for over 65's when purchasing a 12-month rod licence.

Prices

Rod Licence Type Trout and coarse 2-rod Trout and coarse 3-rod Salmon and sea trout
1-day £6 Not available £12
8-day £12 Not available £27
12-month £30 £45 £82
12-month over 65 or disabled £20 £30 £54
12-month junior (13 to 16) Free Free Free

Now you know how to get your rod licence sorted, its just a matter of getting out onto the bank, catch lots of fish and have a great time.

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