Fishing pole with fishing line
Because the Fishing Line items produce a permanent fishing skill enchantment on a fishing pole (consuming the fishing line), they can be viewed as an investment in your fishing pole. As a rule, since the fishing lines have limited availability, you wont want to outright waste them. Heres the poles with the lines applied:
The four best poles are good candidates for application; discounting the Arcanite Fishing Pole as an obvious candidate, but with severely limited availability, the next three are close in fishing skill bonus, and each has a niche – Big Iron can be traded to alts, Seths has the best combat stats, and Nat Pagles has the best fishing skill bonus.
Also, the Darkwood Fishing Pole is so rare that, well, first off its a non-issue, but if you happen to have one, it should probably be worth a fortune – even with mediocre stats. It fills a niche, and its totally a sellers market. So dont feel too bad about buffing it, if you want to.
The table shows that it would be a waste to apply a fishing line to a basic Fishing Pole when the Strong Fishing Pole is readily available cheaply and gives the same fishing bonus. Same for the Blump pole, when a Strong pole provides a cheap +2 more fishing skill. Catch nine fish to skill up your fishing skill to 10 and invest in at least a Strong pole if you are going to apply a fishing line to a low bonus pole.
That leaves only the Strong pole as a questionable investment of a fishing line – you may use it for many levels if you fish, but you will outgrow it, and you dont really need the small bonus to fishing skill that it provides while you are leveling your character and your fishing skill. Fishing lures provide much more skill bonus and are cheap. If you fished Stranglethorn at a low level and have a small stack of fishing lines, well, maybe wasting one isnt such a bad thing. (I dont even recommend the Strong fishing pole, period. The small bonuses are unnecessary, and the cheap basic Fishing Pole can be thrown away when your bags get too full and is easily replaced near any auction house.)
Where do I get a fishing pole in WoW Classic?
Do I need a fishing rod in WoW?
Is fishing useful in classic WoW?