A downloadable game

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Now Available In Print! Rodreel Softcover


A village stricken by tragedy. A group of plucky young fishers. An ancient region, reclaimed by nature, and the wish-granting fish that waits at the heart of it.

Welcome to Rod, Reel, & Fist.

  • A Tabletop Fishing RPG?! Rod, Reel, & Fist is 280+ pages of tabletop fishing adventure. Players take on the roles of heroic fishers trying to save their village by making a truly legendary catch.
  • Everyone Can Play: Rod, Reel, & Fist is suitable for all ages, and its dice system makes all failures into temporary setbacks. At the same time, it's built to scale up and provide a challenge for seasoned players, and it comes with a host of alternate settings that reflavor the game as a space opera, cyberpunk adventure, or a martial arts odyssey.
  • Simple But Deep: Catch fish and ward off hostile animals using a "rock, paper, scissors, dice" combat system that relies on clever resource management, reading your opponent, weighing risk versus reward, and knowing when to step back and let your teammates help.
  • Build Your World: Easy-to-follow rules help you to design your own setting---either by yourself or collaboratively with your friends.
  • Endless Adventure: The book comes with six scenarios, including an introductory sandbox, a tournament, a fishing journey, a timeloop, and a tower defense minigame where the players protect their town against hundreds of eels. Also included is the roguelike Legacy Mode, which expands the game by adding an evolving adventuring region to which the players must return multiple times in order to fully conquer it.
  • Beach Episode Compatible: Splice Rod, Reel, & Fist into your current campaign for a light-hearted sidequest or a hot-blooded mini tournament arc.


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CategoryPhysical game
Rated 4.9 out of 5 stars
(58 total ratings)
GenreAdventure, Role Playing
Tagsall-ages, fish, Fishing, Tabletop


Buy Now$13.00 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $13 USD. You will get access to the following files:

Rod, Reel, & Fist PDF 2.11.20.pdf 41 MB
RRF character sheet.pdf 18 kB
RRF setting sheet.pdf 18 kB
slaughter eel cards.pdf 3 MB
Rod, Reel, & Fist PDF Prototype Bookmarked II 1.23.22.pdf 26 MB

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Community Copies

If you'd like to check out the game but it's not in your budget, free Community Copies are provided. Please grab one and leave a rating if you can.


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Is it possible to get a printer-friendly version of this? That cyan background is going to be a dull grey if I try to print it on my laser printer, and would needlessly burn through cyan if I still used an inkjet.

Unfortunately the layout file for this one is super precarious. It was my first real stab at doing layout myself.

What would you need for a print friendly version? Just removing the blue backgrounds? I think I could go through and pick them out individually.

There are also print versions available via the link at the top of the page, but they're via drivethru, so they're sort of limited by drivethru's shipping areas.


Yeah, it was just to remove the blue/teal backgrounds. It fits the theme nicely for screen reading, but it isn’t super friendly for printers.

I will take a crack at it.

I feel the need to stress that the pdf is really rickety and I might not actually be able to remove the blue backgrounds without it crashing, but if it is doable I will have it done by end of day tomorrow.

Unfortunately I genuinely cannot get to the blue backgrounds without the layout file crashing. This shouldn't be a problem with any other game---I must've done something weird here while learning how to use affinity.

There were other technical issues too---I needed to relink every image file---but that was at least solveable by spending a lot of time.  I don't currently have the technical know-how to remove the blue backgrounds, which have somehow become loadbearing.

The next best option might be to order a physical copy, but if that's not feasible due to shipping restrictions or pricing, I can spend a day bashing together a new barebones version. It won't have illustrations or hyperlinks, and the table of contents will be cut down, but it won't take more ink or toner to print than a regular document.

If you'd like me to do this, just let me know and I should be able to do it within a day or two.


Are the numbers US-style dates (Month/Day/Yr) or version (Major.Minor.Patch)? Periods are usually used to separate version numbers for games like this, so that was my first thought.

The international standard of YYYY-MM-DD works in file names and tends to be easy for folks from any nation to understand.

They're US style dates. I do like the idea of switching to the international date format, but I'm worried that might confuse people too.


Honestly, you can confuse people if you have more than one version, period. People can expect surprising things, and when they don’t find what they expect, they can get confused.

The thing about the ISO date format is that alphabetical sort ordering also sorts by the date. This means that as long as the earlier part of the filename is the same, the files will fall in a consistent order.

If someone will be confused with any choice you make, the best you can do is to have something that tries to help the user figure it out. The sort order will help both on Itch and on the local file system, plus a person doesn’t even need to know the difference between “it’s a version number” and “it’s a date” because the sort order is the same in either case.

The way to prevent confusion would probably be to go with an “Old Versions Archive.zip” of the old versions and to only have a single version of the PDF. I’ve seen some games go with that approach.

That's a good idea.

I could also maybe add a revisions counter to the filename---although it could be trouble if I only implement it on one game, and it would be a fair timesink implementing any change on all games.

I'll do some thinking on it.


Is it possible to play solo? Without a GM.

Yes, with a few small adjustments.

During multiplayer games, you don't usually know what sort of fish is at the end of your line unless you take a specific power, but in solo there's no way to conceal that information from yourself, so you should play as if you have that power.

The game also uses a rock-paper-scissors mechanic, but you can roll randomly to determine which sign the fish throws.


Should your RPG have Fishing in it? Obviously it should and now it can.


As a passing player of sega bass fishing and enamoured with the idea of Legend of the River King, I picked this up on a whim as a means to explore other RPG systems, little did I know that I know that I found a treasure trove of fishing RPG content here that works as a standalone, as well as a pn add on to other RPG campaigns.  I am honestly ashamed to have just browsed this, and I hope to be able to support you fully one day, for the passion and love this under-represented genre deserves.

At the very least, thank you for making this game! 👍

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

It was a lot of fun to create, and I'm happy that people are discovering it!


I grabbed a community copy and I just wanted to say thank you <3

No problem!


we played this system! we had some criticisms and messed up on some of the rules, but we had a lot of fun! (unfortunately this is not the party that almost soloed the bear)

Whoah! I'm glad you enjoyed it, and I'm stoked to see an AP for Rodreel!

Deleted my own post with a video link in the comments.

Videos are now properly embedded up top.


My player almost just beat a bear on their first time playing with starting resources (with no bonuses to animal combat besides snacks and Gambler Type). it was literally one roll below what was needed and one roll away


Whoah. Solo? That is super difficult.

With Straining and Gambits, it's definitely possible to get the bear to whiff a Stand Firm roll, but their resistance to Stress means you have to do this for several rounds. Kudos to your player!


since the player was approaching it solo, and the bear's stress resistance was based off of the party, i ruled it was only one. (despite them having a party, but i let them not join the combat because player was being a reckless bear fighter)


Completely reasonable! Bears are still super tough even without the resistance, and honestly a bear might drop its guard a little at a fisher trying to 1 v 1 it.

Will the pdf ever get bookmarks. I find it difficult to keep reading without them.

(1 edit) (+2)

Ah, sorry about that. The PDF is my first layout, so it's definitely rough. I'll attempt to add some bookmarks today, and I'll update the file.


I've added a version of the PDF with chapter bookmarks.

The layout file is super precarious, so it took a lot of crashes to get there. If you run into any bugs please let me know.

It seems like clicking the bookmarks moves the page in a position where the title of the section is cut off. Other than that it seems fine so far. Thanks.


No worries. I think I know why it's doing that, but I'm not sure I have an easy fix. I'll aim to redo the bookmarks by end of day tomorrow.


Bookmarks are fixed. They shouldn't be cutting off the chapter headings anymore.

Just ran a oneshot of this, lots of fun!


Thank you!


This TRPG is really astounding. It took me a few days to get through it all, many of the sections need time to sit and digest with you. 

As someone who has never fished in a meaningful way, it is hard for me to picture how to make the fish combat exciting without immediately falling back into the outlandish and goofy, though eventually that's where you'd want to take the game with the nature of the mid level fish (I adore the concept and art of the Panfish). The combat and story tools feels straightforward, as it was designed to be. A quest to capture a legendary fish is a one track plot, and the doubt of 'is it magical are not?' are irrelevant when players have to catch it to win. 

The number of fishing techniques and limited variety in types of fishers were a little disappointing too, I would have loved to see more, and more mechanics to support solving problems beyond fighting on land or water.

But when I was doubting the game's variety, I was blown away by the sheer creativity of the settings, play options, and adventures. It's a wonderful showcase of all the ways you can twist the system into something new, easily packed with replayability and originality. The bestiary and fishiary is so rich with fresh ideas, it makes me wish that the fisher types and techniques could have had that level of detailed description.

With the volume of settings and modules, there really is something for everyone here, no matter how little you think of fishing. Even if just using this TRPG to fuel your D&D5e beach episode, you won't be disappointed at all. In fact, prepare for that game to take a new direction after you introduce a little Rod, Reel, & Fish into it.


Thank you for the review!

More fishing techniques and fisher types are planned in a supplement, as well as some variant rules for combat. They were definitely the trickiest thing for me to write, but I'll double down on them and make sure I have a good quantity.


Fun game, but the table of contents is 20 pages long (it has an entry, usually multiple entries for every single page from 36-284). That seems more appropriate for an index at the back of the book.


Yeah, it's pretty beefy. This was my first go at doing layout for a project, and I did want to frontload all the section headings I could in the ToC, but there's probably a better way I can walk the line between it being comprehensive and it feeling bloated.