Goals from Scott Hogan, George Donnelly and Ian Henderson got Keith Hill’s men off to a perfect start.
The home side survived an early scare scare when Ashley Eastham failed to cut out Jack Compton’s cross from the left and the ball dropped invitingly to Jonathan Franks 10 yards from goal and his near-post effort was blocked by goalkeeper Josh Lillis’ outstretched leg.
The Dale stopper then caught a headed attempt from Anthony Sweeney before the home side took a 14th-minute lead.
Hogan, a summer signing from non-league Hyde, collected the ball with his back to goal and turned past two Hartlepool defenders before slotting a firm shot wide of Scott Flinders.
Henderson and Peter Vincenti both went close to doubling Dale’s lead before the interval.
The second arrived in the 51st minute when Matty Lund was sent crashing to the turf by a late Christian Burgess challenge. Referee Michael Bull awarded a penalty and Donnelly slammed home his spot-kick.
Henderson netted the third after 62 minutes, collecting Hogan’s through ball before drawing Flinders off his line and clipping a neat finish into the unguarded goal.