How Many Lines (Rods) Are You Allowed To Fish With? (Every State Covered)

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 Notes
AlabamaUnlimitedWeiss & Neely Henry Lakes allow 3 lines
Alaska12 while ice fishing
California22 pole permits required
Colorado2Up to 3 hooks per line
Delaware25 while ice fishing
GeorgiaUnlimited1 while trout fishing
Idaho12 while ice fishing
Illinois23 while ice fishing
Iowa23 while ice fishing
LouisianaUnlimited*on most waters
Maine25 while ice fishing
Massachusetts25 while ice fishing
Michigan3*Will vary by waterway
Minnesota12 while ice fishing
Missouri3If 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 total
Montana1-2 in open water and up to 6 through the ice in certain placesRules differ from lake, river, and season
Nebraska25 while ice fishing
Nevada3Some waters have further restrictions
New Hampshire26 while ice fishing. Some exceptions.
New Jersey3
New Mexico2
New York3
North CarolinaUnlimited
North Dakota24 while ice fishing
Oregon22 pole permits required
Rhode Island2No more than 3 hooks per line
South Carolina4 while shore fishingUnlimited lines allowed from a boat
South Dakota2 4 while ice fishing
Texas100 hooks all devices combined Community lakes hold special regulations
Utah2Anglers over 12 are required to have fishing licenses in Utah
Vermont2Each line may not have more than two baited hooks or three artificial flies or two lures with or without bait
VirginiaUnlimited1 while trout fishing
Washington22 pole permits required
West Virginia2
Wyoming2Certain lakes allow 6 lines while ice fishing

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.1 / 5. Vote count: 19

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?