In Pokémon Crystal, the Old Rod is given to you by a fisherman inside the Pokémon Center on Route 32. This area is located directly south of Violet City.
But before you can reach the Pokémon Center with this fisherman, you’ll first need to defeat Falkner and win the Zephyr Badge.
To reach the Pokémon Center with the fisherman NPC, you must first do two things:
- Defeat Violet City’s Gym Leader
- Travel down Route 32
The Violet City Gym Leader, Falkner, must be defeated to unlock access to Route 32. If you try to walk down the route anyways, you will be stopped by a guy on the route who tells you to first go face Falkner.
There’s no way to pass this guy before defeating Falkner.
Step 1: Traveling Down Route 32
From Falkner’s Gym, head down the nearby path. This path will lead you to Route 32.
Pass by the berry tree and continue heading down. You can grab the Przcureberry from the tree while you’re there.
From here, the path will open, and you’ll have two ways to go.
Stay to the right side. The left path goes to the Ruins of Alph and will lead you in the wrong direction.
Next, you’ll reach the guy who held you up for not beating Falkner. If you’ve beaten the Violet gym then he will let you pass.
Continue down into the wild grass.
Keep going down until the path shifts to the left.
The trainers here will want to battle. However, you can avoid battles by walking around them.
After going left, continue back down. You will start to see mountains on both sides of the path.
Once you pass Liz (the girl facing the mountain), the path will move left again. If you talk to Liz, she will want to battle.
Follow the path around and down.
Now the path will split into two directions.
Both paths will eventually meet back up near the PokeCenter, so you can choose whichever one you want to take.
In this case we’ll go to the right by the docks.
These docks have three fishermen who all will want to battle.
This is also a great place to bring the Old Rod back to once you receive it, just to do some fishing.
Continue down the bridge and back on the main path.
Soon the two paths will meet back up. Keep following it down.
Step 2: Getting Your Old Rod
Shortly after the two paths meet up, you will find a Pokémon Center by itself. Head inside.
Once you’re inside, the fisherman NPC is located on the left, wearing a green outfit and a hat.
Talk to the fisherman and he will give you the Old Rod for free.
Best Place To Use the Old Rod
The best place to use the Old Rod is to head back up to the bridge that you just traveled down on Route 32 (if you took the right path).
With the Old Rod, you will mostly catch Magikarps here.
However there’s a smaller chance that you will hook a wild Tentacool. Both of these Pokémon can be caught at the same bridge.