I am not ready to let Madison (my 4 year old) use a real fishing pole yet. Right now, I envision many hospital trips if she had one. However, we have several magnetic fishing pole sets, and they are awesome. Basically, she goes fishing in my living room almost on a daily basis. She spends several hours catching her fish and then throwing them out back on the floor. Will (my one year old) likes to get involved in the game too. He either plays with the fish or tries to pretend to be the fish and grab the end of the string. The ball pit we have is a boat so it ties in quite nicely. I really need to get a picture of her sitting in that boat with her pole. It is super cute.
I highly recommend a magnetic pole until you are comfortable that your children won’t cause serious damage with a real one. I don’t think Madison is ready this summer either for a real one. However, she is completely happy with the magnetic fishing poles and we’ll keep her using those until she is ready.