The rods--usually of solid fiberglass--are plenty strong enough. As a test, I once dead-lifted 16 pounds with my Barbie rod without breaking it. And I found that fishing with these things is indeed more difficult, from casting on to setting the hook with such a short rod. Eventually, I had both experienced guides and lodge owners trying to get the rod away from me so they could try it, too. Just to see if they could do it.