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Valheim: How to buy and use a Fishing Rod

An unknown piece of equipment in Valheim is the Fishing Rod, which is actually bought from an NPC unlike most other items in the game.
When players first start exploring Valheim, they likely come across various rivers and lakes that contain fish swimming around. As food is a hot commodity early on, many players try and hop in the water to grab the meat. 

However, unlike other creatures in the game, the fish can’t actually be picked up and added to your inventory. No matter how close one gets to you, there’s not an interactable option to catch the fish. If one gets close enough to the shore you can swat at it with your axe but this doesn’t usually work. 

As players continue exploring Valheim, they eventually stumble across the answer to why the fish aren’t catchable. In short, you need a fishing rod. While this sounds simple enough, the way you go about acquiring a rod is a little more complicated. 

Buying a Fishing Rod in Valheim 

Buying a fishing rod valheim
The Merchant is one of the only NPCs in Valheim. (Picture: Iron Gate)

Unlike almost anything else in the game, the Fishing Rod needs to be purchased from an NPC on the map. That’s right, there’s another character besides the bird, Hugin, to talk to. This NPC is named “The Merchant” and is found near the centre of the map. As Valheim is procedurally-generated, there’s no set location for him. 

However, once you get close to him, an icon will appear on your map. If you do go out looking for The Merchant, make sure to bring 350 Coins with you. This is how much it costs to buy a Fishing Rod. Coins are found in dungeons and as a drop from Trolls, if you want to learn how to take down these humungous beasts check out our guide.

When talking to The Merchant, simply click “Buy” on the Fishing Rod in his inventory and you have yourself a fancy new tool. 

How to fish in Valheim

How to fish in valheim
Fishing in Valheim rewards you with extra meat. (Picture: Iron Gate)

Make your way to a body water with the rod in one of your eight action slots. Once you’re close to water with fish swimming in it, hold down your fire button (default: left mouse) and release it after a few seconds. Next, tap the right mouse button to start reeling your line in. If you’re lucky, a fish will bite, and you have to start clicking the right mouse button to bring the fish to shore. 

All of this clicking uses stamina, so make sure you have enough before attempting to reel the fish in. If you’re successful, the fish will plop down on the ground and you just have to walk over it to add it to your inventory.