Due to their unique optical properties and facile processability, nanorods of noble metals are promising for highly effective nanoscale optical devices. Specifically, the local electric field enhancement brought about by plasmon coupling between nanorods in an array configuration shows great potential for optical sensing. Recent results demonstrate that vertical arrays of noble metal nanorods, used as substrates for surface enhanced Raman scattering, can achieve the sensitivity levels required for presymptomatic detection. Meanwhile, advancements in controlled fabrication methods can provide nanorod arrays with well-defined structures and properties, which lays the foundation for highly sensitive and reliable sensing. This research news focuses on this rapidly developing field by introducing the mechanisms, characteristics, and preparation methods of nanorod arrays used in plasmonic sensing, along with a perspective for future development and technical requirements.