The main tool used in prawning is the prawning rod. Usually made in Taiwan, China or Japan, these rods usually come in lengths of 5 feet, 6 feet or 7 feet and are usually collapsible for easy storage. Prawning rods are made from a variety of materials, from natural materials like bamboo and wood, while higher end rods can be made from carbon-fibre or other high-tech materials.
Prawning rods are usually classified as ‘hard’ or ‘soft’, with harder rods having a quicker action for those whose style of prawning is to quickly rack up the numbers of prawns. While different people have different opinions, I feel that a harder rod enables the prawn fisherman to strike quickly and pull up the prawn without much fighting. Prawn fishermen who compete in prawning competitions typically use hard rods. Softer rods are made for those who enjoy the thrill of ‘fighting’ the prawn after it’s on the hook, and some also say that a softer rod provides for much more sensitivity when feeling for the bites of the prawn. Softer rods also help the prawn fisherman to strike with less strength but still sink the hook in. From what I understand, this is because the softer the rod is, the more ‘spring’ is imparted to the line and hence a harder strike.
While there are a wide variety of prawning rods available, the prices are even more wide-spread. You can buy a $2 fishing rod from Daiso, or splurge over SGD$300 on a carbon-fibre model from Protako.
More well-known brands of prawning rods include Protako, Yu-Shang and Pro Kee. Take a look at some of the reviews of prawning rods here.