Toy Review: Rocket Fishing Rod

It may sound hard to believe, but I don’t think I’ve been more disappointed with a product, when I was a child or now as an adult, than I am with the Rocket Fishing Rod. It’s a ready-to-go fishing rod toy that eliminates the learning curve of manual casting by launching a bobber-hybrid-lure-compartment from its gun-like barrel. As someone who’s been fishing since a little boy and also grew up on Nerf gun wars in the woods behind my house, the Rocket got me all giddy with nostalgia the moment I saw it. Sadly, as both a toy and a fishing rod, it’s a total flop. I should’ve known better than get my hopes up, because hybrid, jack-of-all-trades products always seem to be a waste of time and money.

The Rocket is basically a spincast reel housed inside a plastic pump action shotgun toy that doubles as the rod. Similarly, the launching mechanism is fairly simple to learn and operate, which is appropriate for kids and inexperienced anglers. To launch, simply reel the bobber tube until it is snug halfway into the tip of the barrel. Slide the pump handle forward until it clicks, pull back to load the bobber all the way down inside the barrel, hold the safety button located on the left side of the reel, and then pull the trigger to fire away.

This part of the Rocket actually does work, and is reasonably fun purely in an “Ooh, I can shoot a piece of plastic 30 feet into the water!” capacity. The firepower packs a pretty strong punch, and the maximum launch distance is a good 20-25 feet. The fun is nothing more than a short-lived gimmick though. When it comes time to use the Rocket as, you know, a functional piece of fishing equipment, that’s where everything truly falls apart.

The main downfall of the Rocket is its bobber, a clamshell safety cannister that opens up to house the hook. Once the cannister launches it’s supposed to open upon hitting the water, allowing the end of the line to unravel so the hook and attached bait can dangle down, as it would when fishing with a traditional hook and bobber setup. The problem is that the cannister never opens, which is kind of a big deal since you can’t catch a fish without a hook or lure for them to bite on.

Even if the cannister mechanism worked reliably, I don’t think it would matter much anyway. The bobber itself makes a substantial splash when it hits the water, likely scaring away any potential fish in the area. Even with some adjustability, the short length of line between the hook and the ginormous bobber would only seem to further act as a repelent. The drag system is poor–there are two tensions, all or none–and the short, bulky ergonomics of the rod don’t provide proper leverage. Even just reeling in the bobber on its own feels rather clunky.

There really isn’t much else to say about the Rocket Fishing Rod. While the toy gun part is at least mechanically operational, the novelty of it wears thin quickly, and the launching distance seems to steadily decrease after the first shot. As a fishing rod and reel combo, it simply does not work. Kids may have some fun with it initially, in the same way they would any toy gun, but once the gimmickry wears off and they decide it’s time to stop horsing around and try to catch some fish, they’ll only be left disappointed by the fact that they have virtually no chance of doing so.

By passing on the Rocket’s $40-$50 price tag, you can find a real fishing rod and reel that will actually do what it’s supposed to, and probably come away with plenty of leftover cash to spend on a proper toy gun.

Buy From: Amazon and www.rocketfishingrod.com.

Disclosure: A Rocket Fishing Rod was provided to VGBlogger.com for review consideration by Goliath Games.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!