I’ve heard the argument that the rod is thin enough that it more mimics a branch than an unnatural occurrence and one doesn’t need to be as careful with their rod as they are with their person. While the argument may be correct that a rod may mimic a branch and may not appear at all unnatural, this is only correct in fishing situations where you are fishing in places that are heavily lined with bushes and trees. If you’re fishing along a bank that does not contain any trees, a tree branch would actually appear unnatural.
Also, they forget that while moving from fishing spot to fishing spot, the rod may get tangled in the foliage of the area and create a disturbance that spooks every fish in the general vicinity. When moving through heavy brush the rod and line will get snagged on a branch too small to see and then you’re pulling at the tree and moving branches unnaturally to get your line and rod detached from the trees. This happens both when carrying the rod in front of you as well as behind.
This commandment is a call to be mindful of what you’re doing and where everything that you’re carrying is. Don’t make a sloppy mistake that is going to frighten the fish and ruin your fishing trip.
As always, Good Luck and Guid Luck!