Best Fishing Rods Guide – Best Fishing Rod Reviews

With so many options to chose from, it can be extremely time consuming to find a good rod. That’s why we’ve created fishing rod reviews, read below and make an informed decision.

Looking for your first rod so you can take part in the great sport of fishing? Have you looked through some catalogs or browsed in sporting goods store and are already confused? All these new words to learn. Spinning fishing rods? Baitcasting fishing rods?  Spin casting fishing rods? What do all these things mean?

Take a deep breath. You’re not ready to make those choices yet. Before you can even start looking for rods, you need to decide what kind of fishing you’d like to do (as in what kind of fish you’re looking to catch) and where you’ll be most likely to do it – ocean, lake, from a dock, a boat, or whatever is most likely in your situation.

First things first – action. You’ll hear a lot about action. All this means is how flexible the pole is. A rod is said to have fast action flexes in the top 1/3 of its length. If it bends further down the length, the rod is called medium-action. If the rod bends through its entire length, then it’s a slow-action rod. Medium action rods are better at getting distance with a smaller lure. Fast-action rods are better when using certain techniques such as jigging.

Match the action to the fish you’re planning to catch. Crappies or other small fish? Look for an ultra-light rod. For most pan fish, sunfish, bluegill, etc, you’d move up to a light rod. At the other end, if you’re planning on going after shark, tuna, and the like, you’d want an rod with extra-heavy action. Most good fishing stores, both online and physical, will have charts that will match up the specific fish with the fishing rod action needed.

Any good fishing store can help you match the action of the pole to the kind of fish you intend to catch. There’s also charts online to help you match up the action to the specific species. Once you get more experienced, try different styles out to see which one suits you the best. Every angler will swear his way is the best, but a lot of it is personal preference. There’s very few hard and fast rules in fishing.

Next up is where you’ll be doing most of your fishing. If it’s off a small boat or a riverbank, you’ll want a short rod for ease of use. If you’re by the seashore or on a large boat where space isn’t an issue, then you can go for a longer rod. If you hike through the woods before you get to your favorite fishing hole, you’ll also want a shorter rod. There’s no way you want tote a ten foot pole through the woods. A multi-piece rod also works well in this scenario. The fish you’re aiming to catch also play a role in this. Short rods are generally light or ultra-light, so you’ll be limited to panfish and other smaller fish species.

After that, you need to decide which kind of rod/reel combination you need. There’s two types of fishing rod/ree – baitcasting rods and spincasting rods (also called spinning rods). Like everything else about your rod, the choice is driven by what kind of fish you’re going after and what technique you like to use.

Spincasting rods, or spinning rods, are preferred by many fisherman who like its easy casting ability. The spinning rods are distinguished from baitcasting rods by their lack of a trigger grip and their location on the bottom of the rod.  Even when fishing for larger species or in the ocean, many anglers prefer the spincasters. If you have the extra money, go for a higher quality reel, as they use better ball-bearings and will cast better and last longer. A cheaply made reel will hamper your fishing experience., while a high quality spinner will make you a better fisherman.

Baitcasting rods are easy to tell apart from the spinning rods, as the reel is on top of the rod. There is also a  trigger grip that helps the fisherman’s control when casting or fighting a fish once its on the line.
This helps a lot when your hands are wet and slippery from handling fish all day long.
You’ll hear anglers arguing all day long about baitcasting rods versus spinning rods. Yes, there are some situations where one is clearly better than the other, but a lot of it boils down to personal preference.

The Ultimate Guide to Fishing Rods: 2021 Edition

You’re out on the lake. The early morning sun is beginning to emerge over a row of trees in the distance. A cool, gentle wind is rippling the still surface of the water, causing your boat to gently rock back and forth. Peering into the depths, you can make out the shadowy shapes of fish flitting back and forth.

There’s something primal about fishing. It could well be that the urge to fish is built into our DNA. For centuries, the demands of survival forced humankind to figure out ways to capture and consume fish.

Today, most people view fishing as a chance to relax and engage in a hobby that has nothing to do with a computer screen. For solo anglers, fishing is a meditative experience. For others, fishing is all about spending some quality time with close friends or family members.

If you like to fish, you’re in good company. Fishing is popular sport all over the world. Wherever there is water, you’re likely to find a fisherman. In the United States alone, over 50 million people call themselves anglers.

Fishing rods gif

Man Versus Fish

Though fishing is relaxing, it’s also challenging. Any experienced angler can tell you that fish aren’t stupid creatures. They have a keen sense of smell, lightning quick reflexes and instincts that are hard to fool.

Fish have internal ears that can sense even the tiniest vibrations. Additionally, a unique sensory organ called the lateral line allows fish to detect nearby movement. Their torpedo-like shape allows them to slash through the water with ease. Rugged scales and a layer of protective, slimy mucus helps fish defend against attackers.

Fish have millions of years of evolution on their side. We humans, however, can use our brains– and our fishing gear– to lure them into taking the bait.

 Fishing Rod Comparison 

The Anatomy of a Fishing Rod

Fishing is an art.  Your fishing rod is your paintbrush.  Just as painters use a variety of different brushes depending on what it is they want to paint, anglers use a variety of different rods to catch different species of fish.

It’s impossible to fish without a fishing rod– well, unless you use a net.  But where’s the fun in that?

Let’s review some standard fishing rod terminology.

  • Next up is the reel seat. This is where the fishing reel attaches to the rod.
  • Some fishing rods come equipped with a handy little feature called a keeper ring. If you’re moving from one spot to another, you can hang your hook on the keeper ring to keep it from getting tangled.
  • Now that we’re moving past the bottom part of the fishing rod, we can talk about the butt. The butt is the thick part of the fishing rod located just above the handle.
  • Moving on up the rod, the next section we encounter is the handle. A fishing rod’s handle should be comfortable and easy to hold on to.
  • Guides help keep the fishing line aligned with the rod. In general, the more guides you have the better. Ideally, you should have one guide for every foot of rod. The guide closest to you is called the butt guide and the one farthest away from you is called the tip top guide. Be careful with the tip top guide– it’s the guide that’s most likely to break.
  • The bottom of the fishing rod is the best place to start as any. The base of the fishing rod– the part that you’ll need to jam into your stomach if you hook a hefty fish– is called the butt cap.
  • Handles are typically made from foam or cork. Some people think that cork handles look nicer. It’s easy to repair a cork handle– just add wood glue if you notice any cracks. It’s impossible to repair a foam handle, but they tend to last a bit longer overall. Go with whatever type of handle feels most comfortable to you.

Fast Action vs. Slow Action

If a fishing rod is made from rigid material, it’ll pull back fast when you exert force on it– that’s why they call graphite fishing rods “fast action” rods. A stiff “fast action” graphite rod is great for reeling in large fish, but it’s a disadvantage when you’re trying to catch smaller stuff.

More Info

Additionally, graphite rods will shatter if you yank on them too hard.

If you want to be able to tell when smaller fish are nibbling your bait, you need a “slow action” fiberglass rod. Fiberglass rods are heavier than their graphite counterparts. Read More

Specialty Rods and Reels

Compared to an ordinary lake or river, a tumultuous ocean is a much rougher environment for a fishing rod. If you plan on fishing at sea

More Info

you’ll need a special kind of fishing rod called a surf fishing rod.

Live bait fishing also requires specialty gear. For best results, you’ll need a specialty rod equipped with a multi-gear reel. Read More

Where to Buy Your Fishing Rod

When it comes to narrowing down your choice of fishing rods, information is the key. Luckily, you have the power of the Internet– and the expertise of

More Info

It’s a good idea to read up on various types of fishing rods before you buy, that way you’ll have a good idea about what’s available in your price range. Once you get the knowledge, we advise you to try out a few different types of rods. Read More

What Should I Expect to Pay If I Want to Buy an Awesome Fishing Rod?

Though expensive options are definitely out there, you shouldn’t pay more than $200 USD for a fishing rod. Even pros like George Poveromo of George Poveromo’s World of Saltwater Fishing fame use rods that cost less than 200 bucks.

On the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to find a cheap $10 fishing rod. If all you need is a plastic pole to stick in the water so that you can hang out with your uncle, go for it. On the other hand, if you intend to catch some fish you’ll need a better quality rod.

If you’re trying to save money, shop around online or browse our review section. If you do your research, it’s possible to get a decent fishing rod for around $20 USD.

What Are the Benefits of Buying a High Quality Rod?

Nothing is more frustrating than having to call off a fishing trip because your fishing rod broke. Low quality “cheapo” fishing rods will get you through one or two days of fishing– if you’re lucky.

On the other hand, well-made fishing rods are built to last. You don’t have to spend much extra money to upgrade to a quality rod.

Plus, quality rods are easier to use compared to second-rate alternatives.

High quality rods are equipped with single piece, stainless steel guides. The more guides you see on the rod, the better off you’ll be. Well-placed guides distribute tension, allowing the fishing rod to curve nicely instead of bend at sharp angles.

All good fishing rods come with warranties. One year is the standard, but some companies offer five year warranties.

Both cork and foam grips work pretty well. Cork grips have a classic look and they last as long as foam grips as long as you remember to wear gloves when you handle your rod. Oil excreted by sweaty hands tends to erode cork handles.

Spinning, Spin Casting and Bait Casting. What’s the difference?

a spinning rod

Most beginners start out with a spinning rod  and then graduate to other types of rods after they get the hang of fishing basics.  Spinning rods equipped with a spinning reel are super easy to cast.  Also, spinning rods are lighter in comparison to other types of rods.

Spin casting rod

Spin casting rods are even easier to use than spinning rods, but because of their comparatively low gear ratio it is very hard to reel in anything but small fish.  Bigger fish tend to get away because spin casting reels lack gear systems.  Because spin casting rods contain simpler parts, they tend to last longer than spinning rods.  A spin casting rod is a great choice for children and amateurs.

Bait casting rods are ideal for catching heavy fish because they come equipped with thicker fishing line that doesn’t break as easily.  Also, the rod itself is longer and sturdier.  It’s easier to cast long distances accurately with bait casting rods.  The ability to cast from a long distance helps catch some types of fish that are sensitive to vibrations caused by boat movement and talking.

Maintaining Your Fishing Rod

Here are a few simple maintenance steps you can take that will extend the life of your fishing rod dramatically.

  • Wash your rod and reel off with vinegar and water after you fish. This step is the most important one on our list! If you don’t wash your gear, it’ll rust.
  • When you load your fishing rod onto your boat, secure it in a safe place so that it doesn’t get bumped around.
  • Remove your fishing line before storing your fishing rod.
  • Store your fishing rod properly. If you lean it against something, it’ll bend.
  • Look closely at your guides and sand them if you notice any chips or cracks. Chipped or cracked guides are the main reason why fishing line breaks during a catch.
  • Use a toothbrush to pick out any dirt or sand before you store your rod.
  • If you own a portable fishing rod, be sure to keep the joints lubricated. Friction wears out the protective coating that manufacturers apply to the inside of fishing rod joints.
  • Always wear gloves if your fishing rod handle is made from cork.

Trending Fishing Rods

  • Where to Buy Your Fishing Rod When it comes to narrowing down your choice of fishing…
  • Spinning, Spin Casting and Bait Casting. What’s the… Most beginners start out with a spinning rod and then…
  • Fast Action vs. Slow Action If a fishing rod is made from rigid material, it’ll…
  • Specialty Rods and Reels Compared to an ordinary lake or river, a tumultuous ocean…

Types of Fishing Rods: The Top 3 Fishing Rods of 2021

Listed below are three of our favorite fishing rods. All three are high-quality yet inexpensive rods that offer a big bang for your buck– but each one is unique. Let’s take a closer look.

Shimano Solora 2-Piece Fishing Rod

Shimano Solora 2-Piece Fishing Rod

Shimano is a good brand to know if you’re shopping for any kind of fishing rod. We like Shimano’s Solora model because it’s reliable and easy to use. It’s a spinning rod, so it’s very easy to cast.

The Solora is a two-piece portable rod, but the joints are solid and will last a long time if you keep them clean.

The only thing that we would change about this product is the stock reel that comes with it. The reel works just fine, but the line is so thin that it’s only good for catching smaller fish. Upgrade the reel before you drive out to the lake if you want to catch bigger fish, and you’ll be good to go. Another attractive thing about this rod is that the price is very nice.

Berkley Cherrywood HD Fishing Rod

Berkley Cherrywood HD Fishing Rod

Next up on our list is a bait casting rod. Bait casting requires fishing skill, so this rod is for anglers with at least some fishing experience.

We loved the Cherrywood HD’s mixture of sensitivity and strength. When bait casting, you have to know when you’re getting a nibble or else the fish will eat the bait off the hook and swim away before you can reel it in.

Another great thing about the Cherrywood is that it’s built to last. The Cherrywood HD is a one-piece rod outfitted with rugged SS304 guides that won’t warp if you drop your rod or bump it against something.

Additionally, this fishing rod feels great when you hold it in your hands. It’s lightweight and the cork grip allows you to get a handle on the situation when you need to pull hard and follow through on a catch.

Zebco Delta Spincast Fishing Rod With ZD2 Reel Combo

Zebco Delta Spincast Fishing Rod With ZD2 Reel Combo

Our final fishing rod recommendation is a spin casting rod from Zebco. Zebco is another name brand that’s good to know if you’re in the market for fishing supplies. Zebco has been around since 1949 and they are known for producing innovative, high-quality fishing gear.

If you’ve used professional gear before, your mind will be blown when you pick up Zebco’s Delta Spincast. The Delta Spincast is a $60 rod that feels like it costs twice as much when you use it. Many pros who use rods that cost $200 or more keep a Delta Spincast around just in case their main rod breaks.

Most Zebco products last a long time, and the Delta Spincast is no exception. The low price and excellent construction make the Delta Spincast a great beginner fishing rod. If you are looking for a fishing rod to give your son or daughter for Christmas, the Delta Spincast is an excellent choice.

Time for You to Pick!

Now that you’ve read through our Ultimate Fishing Rod Guide, you’re armed with enough knowledge to make a wise shopping decision. If you make your purchase now, it’ll only be a few days before you’ll be out in the water with it. So, what’s it going to be?

If you need help picking out a rod, just fill out the form on our contact page. One of our expert will be happy to provide fishing rod shopping advice.

If you’re looking to find a quality fishing rod on a budget, you’re in luck! We’ve made some comparison charts at different price points to help you save time and money.

Best fishing rods under $50
Best fishing rods over $50

Most good spinning rods and baitcasting rods are made with graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both. It used to be that graphite had some problems with breakage and fragility, but the manufacturing has come a long way. They’re a lot better now. Honestly, there’s not much difference between the various quality brands – it basically comes down to personal preference. Ask some friends what they like, but take their advice with a grain of salt. Try rods made of the different materials, see which one feels the best.

If you’re not ready to make a choice yet, your best bet might be a find a friend with several quality rods. Offer to buy him some dinner if he’ll take you out and let you try out the various spinning rods and baitcasting ones. After awhile, you’ll probably notice you’re favoring a particular style of rod. Take notes as to what kind of action you like and whether you like baitcasting rods or spincasting rods better.You’ll be a better educated customer when you’re ready to start shopping for a rod. Remember, it’s hard to imagine being out on a boat fishing when you’re inside a store that won’t let you cast. There’s a reason why car dealers want you to take a test ride – that’s what sells the car.

You’ll be (hopefully) spending a lot of time with this rod. Make sure it’s one that’s comfortable for you to handle. You can always upgrade as your skills progress. The flip side of that is to get a quality rod the first time, so you won’t be frustrated by faulty equipment that doesn’t work right. The important thing is to go out there and start fishing, not to worry about whether you should get a spincasting rod or a baitcasting one. Have fun shopping!

Finding the right rod can be difficult, thankfully we’ve created a list of spinning fishing rod reviews to help you make the right decision!

For the more experienced angler, it may be time to look past more basic equipment in search of a rod and reel that will allow you more control over the accuracy of your cast, so that you can pick and choose where you are fishing to compliment any local knowledge you may have gleaned or to fish in narrower or more cramped spaces. You may also be looking for hardier equipment that can accommodate heavier lines to go after bigger fish such as salmon. If so, the spinning fishing rod could be the solution you are looking for, as it can easily accommodate heavier lines and its mechanism gives you finer control over the line as it is being cast compared to the more basic spin cast

The spinning fishing rod is named after the type of reel that it uses to feed the line through the body of the rod when casting. Sometimes called an open face spinning reel, spinning fishing rods have the spool of line housed in the open without any covering, and held in place by a bale which effectively clamps the line down to prevent it from moving freely. When preparing to cast the line out into the water, the angler unhooks the bale arm to allow the line to travel in a direct path up the pole. The angler then traps the line under a finger to prevent the line from moving during the action of the cast, releasing at the proper time to send the line out into the water in a fluid motion. The finesse of control over the release timing is what defines the spinning fishing rod as only a light touch is needed, so not only can the rod itself be cast in different ways but the release of the line can be timed at different points of the cast, which is one reason spinning fishing rods are regarded as more accurate than their spin cast cousins, another being due to the line on spinning fishing rods being able to travel unhindered by the nose cone a spin cast model would have.

Additionally, spinning fishing rods bend easily allowing them to throw a lure out with greater momentum from a weaker cast, which is why they are so often used on open water as they offer a longer cast with less stress on the angler. So if you’re looking for bigger catches, or simply want more professional gear that gives you the opportunity to hone your skills more effectively, spinning fishing rods are well worth looking into.

Finding the right rod can be hard, luckily we’ve done our research and made some spin casting fishing rod reviews.

When going out on a fishing trip or learning to fish for the first time, it’s important to ensure that you know what equipment you need, and how it works. So before you take your gear down to the lakeside, or set up a stool next to your nearest river, lets go through what separates spin casting fishing rods from other fishing equipment, and how you can be sure you’re using yours in the most efficient way.

The first step for an amateur angler is usually the spin casting fishing rod. Spin casting refers to the type of reel, the method by which the line travels through the rod and out onto the water. Spin casting fishing rods use a spin casting reel. The reel is the mechanism that winds and releases the fishing line when you’re casting out onto the body of water, and they come in different forms. Spin casting reels are inexpensive, and easy to use – but they are arguably less accurate than other types of reel and they are not very suitable for heavier lines and larger fish. They are perfect for learning how to cast or for the relaxed angler who isn’t so concerned about moving onto bigger fish and heavier lines.

 You can tell a spin casting fishing rod from any other type because rather than being able to see the line being wound and unwound as you cast, the reel and line are held inside a plastic or metal casing, and the release of the line is controlled by a button near the handle of the rod. As such, you’ll find it a breeze to learn how to cast your rod without having to worry about more complex techniques like line control. As a general rule spin casting fishing rods are lightweight, partly due to the reel only being able to handle lightweight lines, and partly because they are used primarily for beginner or casual anglers who don’t want to use heavier equipment. They are quite limber and forgiving so they can still cast reliably in windy conditions, but the cast itself is going to be less accurate than other types of reel that offer you more control over the speed of the line.

 So if you are an amateur angler who just wants to relax and unwind in nature, or you’re a beginner who wants to get into the sport of fishing, you will likely find that spin casting fishing rods offer you everything you need from a fishing rod, with the benefit of being inexpensive and reliable.

Best Fishing Rods Under $50

Product NameRod TypeRatingPrice
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod ComboSpinning4.3$49
Eagle Claw Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic RodSpinning Combo3.6$29
Docooler Mini Aluminum Saltwater Fishing Tackle Pocket Pen Fishing Rod Pole + ReelSpinning3.5$12
Andoer 3M 9.84FT Portable Telescope Fishing Rod Travel Spinning Fishing PoleSpinning5.0$25
Zebco Medium Heavy Spincast Fishing Rod and Reel ComboSpin Casting4.1$35

Best Fishing Rods Over $50

Product NameRod TypeRatingPrice
Okuma’s Nomad Travel Saltwater Multi Actions Fishing Rods-NT-C-703UL-LHybrid5$179.95
Falcon Rods HD Casting RodHybrid4.9$69.95
Tica UMGA Series Surf Spinning Fishing RodSurf4.3$60
Mitchell 300 Pro Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, 7-Feet/MediumSpinning Combo5.0$89.99
Also Read:

Best Fishing Kayak for the Money in 2020

Leave a Comment