Most states in the USA allow licensed anglers to fish with two rods at a time. However, in some places like Minnesota, anglers can use only one rod while open water fishing. And then in Georgia, you can use as many rods as you'd like except while fishing for trout which limits anglers to one rod each.
South Carolina also does it differently, there you're limited to four rods while shore fishing but have no rod restriction from a boat. In Oregon, anglers can fish with two rods so long as they secure a second-rod permit. Rod regulations can be tricky and change by the state, lake, and even time of year so it's extremely important to know the regulations before hitting the water.
To help point you in the right direction, here are the general rod & reel limits for every state in America. While this list covers the rod limit rules for every state, it does not cover the nuanced regulations for specialized waterways. Please double-check local rules before hitting the water.
In nearly every place you fish, you must be attentive and near your rod while fishing regardless of the lines allowed.
The freshwater rod & reel limit for every state in America:
StateLines AllowedSpecial NotesAlabamaUnlimitedWeiss & Neely Henry Lakes allow 3 linesAlaska12 while ice fishingArizona2Arkansas2California22 pole permits requiredColorado2Up to 3 hooks per lineConnecticut3Delaware25 while ice fishingFloridaUnlimitedGeorgiaUnlimited1 while trout fishingHawaii2Idaho12 while ice fishingIllinois23 while ice fishingIndianaUnlimitedIowa23 while ice fishingKansas2KentuckyUnlimitedLouisianaUnlimited*on most watersMaine25 while ice fishingMaryland3Massachusetts25 while ice fishingMichigan3*Will vary by waterwayMinnesota12 while ice fishingMississippi5Missouri3If you use more than 3 poles (or 2 poles on the Mississippi River) at any one time, the additional poles must be labeled with your full name and address. No more than 33 hooks totalMontana1-2 in open water and up to 6 through the ice in certain placesRules differ from lake, river, and seasonNebraska25 while ice fishingNevada3Some waters have further restrictionsNew Hampshire26 while ice fishing. Some exceptions.New Jersey3New Mexico2New York3North CarolinaUnlimitedNorth Dakota24 while ice fishingOhio3Oklahoma7Oregon22 pole permits requiredPennsylvania3Rhode Island2No more than 3 hooks per lineSouth Carolina4 while shore fishingUnlimited lines allowed from a boatSouth Dakota2 4 while ice fishingTennesseeUnlimitedTexas100 hooks all devices combined Community lakes hold special regulationsUtah2Anglers over 12 are required to have fishing licenses in UtahVermont2Each line may not have more than two baited hooks or three artificial flies or two lures with or without baitVirginiaUnlimited1 while trout fishingWashington22 pole permits requiredWest Virginia2Wisconsin3Wyoming2Certain lakes allow 6 lines while ice fishing
Updated March 31st, 2022 at 7:53 AM CT