The next step up from cane pole fishing would be introducing someone to the "rod and reel" . If you a getting a young child into fishing the chain stores have "cute" little fishing poles for the smallest children. These are not typically well made and generally do not function as well as a little better set-up, but they are attractive to the small children and gets their attention for developing an interest in fishing and it will be something they call their own. my taught had her own "barbie " pole until she was old enough to hold and use a small spin casting outfit. With the popular children's fishing pole's the adult should not plan on getting much fishing done but rather standing near the child to teach and show what to do. That is why a cane pole may be a good stater option for children. the mechanics of tossing the bait out are easier with a cane pole and they do not have to master any coordination skills with trying to hold the pole and real it in. Also the flexibility of a cane pole will make a 6 ounce bream feel like a 10 pound bass to a five-year old. The "barbie" Pole will not cast any farther than a cane pole and it should be easier for both adult and child. The next step up from the cane pole would be either a spin cast reel or an open-faced reel. The spin cast reel would be the preferred outfit to get as the next step up. My uncle bought me and my brothers a hybrid outfit when we were younger fishing every chance we got. They were called uni-spins and were held like an open-faced spinning reel but had a closed cap and a button on the top like a spincast reel. The spinning reel is held in the down position with the reel closest to the ground, with the spin cast reel the reel is held in the up position. On both reels are the handle in turned forward. If the spinning reel is held upside down (facing up) the handle needs to be turned backwards (toward you ) which makes it especially awkward to use. Both can be purchased for around $25.00 or less. for a smaller child a rod length should be around 5 foot to 51/2 feet in length. This length will be comfortable and easy for a small person to handle. If the rod and reel is to be for a medium to larger sized child/ young adult a 6-6 1/2 foot rod length would be a little more versatile.