Since the arrival of patch 5.0.4, there's been a change to fishing. You no longer need to equip a fishing pole to use the Fishing skill. Did you notice how the tooltip has changed? How it now says "Equip a fishing pole?" Well, the skill now does that for you. It's rather a downrgade on the old basic fishing pole, as it looks like little more than a fairly straight tree-branch with a piece of string tied to one end. To use it, you'll need to find the spell in the professions section of your spellbook and drag it onto your bars, as for me at least, the old one didn't work.
But once you've done that, you no longer need to worry about remembering to re-equip your sword and board, your staff, your two-hand axe. The fishing pole doesn't replace any of your usual weapons when it appears via the new spell, so they're never un-equipped in the first place! Gone are the days of my trying to tank Morchok by waving a fishing pole at him in a semi-threatening manner. I'm a little sad about that, actually.
What's more, you don't even need to have a fishing pole in your inventory. That's right, with the new Fishing spell, you have a fishing rod mysteriously stored about your person somewhere other than your bags, which you can magically whip out whenever you want to fish. I'll let you make the jokes.
However, if you are the proud owner of one of the many upgraded fishing rods available in the game, and want to use it for the skill bonus, you will still need to equip it. The new fishing skill isn't smart enough to equip an upgraded rod, and as a result those who use them will need to keep them in their inventory and equip them like they did before.
It's open warfare between Alliance and Horde in Mists of Pandaria, World of Warcraft's next expansion. Jump into five new levels with new talents and class mechanics, try the new monk class, and create a pandaren character to ally with either Horde or Alliance. Look for expansion basics in our Mists FAQ, or dig into our spring press event coverage for more details!