Sounds like it was discribed to you very poorly, to lead you to be confused.
You need a day ticket (and rod licence) to cover the number of rods "fishing" simultaniously. "fishing" is USUALLY defind as having a hook attached and in the water, so you can have as many rods setup on the bank; the hook attached part is important as spod/marker rods are not covered by this, both for day tickets and licences, given you cant catch with them so you can use them alongside your "fishing" rods.
From the Gov webite:
Rods that are not affected by licence limits
The following rods are not affected by licence limits unless they have hooks attached:
I have encountered a fishery that attempted such nonsense. They wanted extra money for spod and marker rods. I was there for a look around and witnessed the bemused reaction of the angler concerned. I never found out whether it was an ill informed bailiff, or one that was lining his own pockets. I never returned to fish the place concerned. Plenty of folks do fish the place, so I doubt that such BS is current policy.
I would be beggared if I am paying for two rods when only one is in the water at any one time. As for a rod being in a rod bag well how do they charge if your fishing a pole and have 5 top kits set up ? I reckon whoever you spole to on reception doesn't actually know a lot about fishing.