Why Do Fishing Rods Have Split Grips? (Explained)

A split grip design is a cool and hip design for your trusted fishing rod. The aesthetic of the design adds a bit of uniqueness to your fishing experience. And if you are new to the game, you will enjoy the comfort of the lightweight grip design.

In most cases, the split grip design is usually a customized design. Though most manufacturing companies are making these designs as they are in demand now.

The look of the grip design is a good enough reason for its’ growing popularity. In any case, the design of a split grip fishing rod is definitely worth having.

Why do fishing rods have split grips?

The design of the split grip handle increases the performance of the casting and the hook setting. A split grip design creates an improved fulcrum point and reduces the entire weight of the rod by a little. On top of that, this design looks very unique than the rest of the fishing rods.

The split-grip design was initially seen in custom-made fishing rods. But nowadays, due to the increasing popularity of the design, most of the manufacturing companies have started to make this design commercially.

What is the purpose of a split grip fishing rod

The basic purpose of a split grip fishing rod design is to take the extra weight off the fishing rod so the hook setting is more flexible for the angler. This design makes it easier for beginner-level fishermen.

The design of the split grip has its own aesthetic and looks different than the average fishing rod. The looks is not the only reason it is popular, however. The design lifts off the added weight from the actual rod and helps with better grip.

7 benefits of using split grip fishing rod

New Look

A split grip gives the fishing rod a different look which adds a unique aesthetic to your overall fishing experience;

Light Weight Rod

The design of the split grip rod takes the extra load of the graphite or the core of the fishing rod and makes it lightweight and more comfortable for the angler to use.

Ergonomic feel

This design makes you feel more relatable with the fishing experience. Something about the aesthetics of the design brings you closer to the adventure.

Casts more accurately  

 The lightweight of the rod makes it more comfortable for the angler to cast the bait with more accuracy.

Roll cast grips better on the forearm

This is a very small benefit as most of the professionals do not feel the difference but most of the time it makes the fishing experience more comfortable for beginners.

Rod handle extends longer

The split design helps the graphite core or the actual rod to extend longer than a regular fishing rod

Extra sensitivity

A split grip rod is more sensitive than a regular rod. The split gives the rod more flexibility and sensitivity.

Other than looking really cool, these are the benefits of a split grip fishing rod.

Fishing rods split grip vs. full grip.

This is a common debate nowadays as split grip fishing rods have gained popularity. The overall choice is whichever works better for the angler.


Apart from the very obvious difference, which is the split design itself, there are some minor differences between the two types of fishing rods.


The split rods have a more exposed or blank interior which takes off a couple of ounces. In the case of a full grip fishing rod, there isn’t a blank interior which makes the rod seem comparatively heavier.  


In close ranger, a split grip rod paired with a bait caster works more accurately. In terms of longer and farther range water bodies, the full grip is more stable.


The blank exposed interior makes the split grip rod more sensitive than the full grip rod which has no blank expose.

These were the basic differences between the split grip fishing rod and the full grip fishing rod.

Which one is better?

The answer to such a question lies on the usage, comfort, and mostly preference of the angler. For beginners, a split grip is obviously better as they are lightweight and easier to handle. The casting is also more convenient in this fishing rod.

For professionals, the full grip fishing rod delivers more stability and strength. And for the anglers who target the bigger fish and wider water bodies, a full grip fishing rod is their number one choice.  

Different types of fishing rod handles

There are several types of rod handles available. Almost all of which is equally popular. But some of the most common ones are listed below-

  • Cork;
  • EVA foam;
  • A combination of cork and EVA foam;
  • Split grip;
  • Pistol grip;
  • Full grip

Try to stick the general suggestion and the recommendations from your professional anglers as buying a good and proper rod handle is very crucial.

Why do fishing rods have cork handles?

The cork handle is perhaps the most popular fishing rod handles there is. Both beginners and professional anglers prefer cork handles. And here’s why-

  • Cork handles are much, much lighter than any of the other types;
  • They keep the handle warm and more comfortable to hold;
  • Prevents accidental slips;
  • Provides more friction to your hand and handle.

Maintaining a cork handle may seem hard as they are prone to dirt and damage. But the cork handle offers more benefit and advantage for the angler. This is why this type of handle is so popularly and widely used.

Can you replace cork on a fly rod?

Yes, you can replace a cork on a fly rod. It is rather easy and can be done with the use of some professional tools. Unless your cork is extended into the reel seat.

Cut off the cork with proper tools first. Use a cork press to make your own grip. Glue the mandrels to place and use reamers to fit the cork to the grip. Shape it to your comfort and preference.

  You will need a kit or proper tools to do this task. Best to go to a professional and learn firsthand about the entire process. You can always go to a hardware store to get the job done but that isn’t really fun.   

How to change/replace fishing rod grip? 

In case your fishing rod grip gets damaged you should change it immediately as the broken grip will cause more damage to you and your entire rod. The simple steps to change a fishing rod grip is given below-

  • Cut the grip lengthwise;
  • Remove the grip;
  • Clean the blank for debris;
  • Ream the new fishing grip;
  • Use double-sided tape;
  • Apply a small amount of denatured alcohol for smoothness;
  • Slide new grip;

And with that, you have a new grip on your fishing rod. Now you can change your grip whenever you like and however you want.

How do you protect cork rods with handles? 

To protect the cork rods you can seal the rod handle.

Clean the rod handles with magic eraser first and apply U-40. This solution keeps the stains away. It also prevents the fillers from getting loose. Loose fillers might clog the pits of the handle.

How do you wrap a rod handle? 

The most common wrap around a rod handle is the paracord wrap. It is very easy to tie-wrap a paracord around your rod handle-

  • Strip and clean the blank handle;
  • Wrap the handle with double-sided tape;
  • From the reel seat start wrapping the paracord to the handle downwards;
  • When you get to 1″ to the butt stop and make a loop;
  • Run the cord through the loop;
  • Cut the cord and tick it in;
  • Roll the handle to make it firm.

With these simple steps, you can wrap your rod handle properly. No professional tools or help is needed. You are good to go.

It is more convenient and comfortable to fish with a split grip rod if you are a beginner. The lightweight of the grip design will take a lot of pressure off your shoulder and fishing rod. Enjoy your new adventure with a cool design.

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