The Best Fishing Rods for the Money | Top Pole Reviews [2019]

Whether you are an experienced angler or a newbie looking to test out a new hobby, fishing can be a great way to relax, unwind, and really get back to nature. A great way to gather your thoughts—or even get a chance to hear them—or socialize with your nearest and dearest, it is easy to see why so many people take up the sport as a hobby.

One of the main issues many anglers have when it comes to fishing, though—especially when they are new— is equipment. There is a wealth of information available on the best fishing rods, but which is best for you? Here, we have done the hard work for you, putting together a comprehensive guide covering thirteen of the very best fishing poles—what are you waiting for?

 

 

Our Top Pick

If we had to choose just one pole from those we checked out, it would be the UglyStik GX2. While we’ve reviewed it first below for your convenience, to sum it up this rod is available in a range of lengths and weights all offering impressive durability and quality at a more than fair price point.

 

 

The Top Fishing Poles Reviewed

UglyStik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod – Best Overall

If your preference is for finesse fishing using lighter weights, this is the perfect rod for you. Casting will become seamless and straightforward with no issues, and this rod blends power and speed perfectly to create a balanced and versatile fishing experience.

There is a beautiful balance of lightweight ease and long-lasting durability in this rod that made it a natural choice for the best fishing rod for the money. It is undoubtedly amongst the best two-piece spinning rod options we’ve seen as well.

 

Key Features

  • Spinning reel and rod combo
  • Balanced speed and power
  • Ideal for learners and newbies
  • Graphite and fiberglass composition
  • EVA grips ensure maximum comfort
  • Stainless-steel guides help reduce the risk of corrosion
  • Available in a variety of lengths

 

What We Like About This Product

This rod offers excellent value for the money, with a robust, durable, yet flexible design that is a perfect fit for anglers of all skill levels. It is also available in a plethora of lengths and rod weights, giving you the option to pick the perfect pole for your needs.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

As you may expect, this is not the best choice for anyone looking to hook larger, stronger fish or for use in stronger and wilder currents such as open sea or busy rivers.

 

 

Pros

  • Features a durable, sensitive rod with good flexibility
  • Has a smooth reel
  • Well-balanced construction and design
  • Excellent value thanks to the great price

 

Cons

  • Top of the pole can appear slightly crooked
  • Unsuitable for larger fish or strong currents

 

An excellent choice for those just finding their feet, or as a handy, lightweight spare rod for more established and experienced anglers, the UglyStik GX2 offers unprecedented value for its price point. It was head and shoulders above the rest for our top pick.

 

Overall Rating: 10/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod

If you are looking for an affordable rod which will give you the freedom to travel and explore new waters, this could be the perfect choice for you! The telescopic design means that storage and transportation are super simple. This option could also be a solid choice for those just starting on their fishing journey as it comes with all the accessories you need to get started!

 

Key Features

  • Telescopic design
  • Can be easily stored
  • Suitable for saltwater and freshwater fishing
  • Comes with a range of accessories
  • Graphite and fiber combination allows for lightweight durability
  • EVA handle grips
  • Designed to reduce corrosion and rust as much as possible
  • Medium power

 

What We Like About This Product

The main selling point of this rod is obviously its portability. It’s a solid telescoping pole, but it’s also great for beginners as it offers a complete kit with no need to worry about rounding up the right accessories to get started fishing—instead, you can get started straight away.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

While you obviously can’t expect premium quality at this price, there is no denying that this option does look and feel quite a lot cheaper than similar models available in this price range, and that is a bit disappointing.

 

Pros

  • Complete kit -includes a rod, reel, and tackle
  • Telescopic design collapses for easy transport and quick storage
  • Versatile -works for salt and freshwater fishing
  • Value for the money is outstanding
  • Comes in a range of rod lengths
  • Anti-corrosive coating
  • Sturdy and robust rod with a smooth reel
  • Hi-tech outfit

 

Cons

  • Reel handle tends to feel quite stiff, even after a few uses
  • Feels quite cheap and breakable compared to other models in a similar price range
  • Not suitable for larger fish

 

This pole is an outstanding choice for newbies and those that often travel to fish but isn’t suitable for larger, stronger fish or more experienced anglers. It’s a budget option that won’t break the bank if you break it on a road trip fishing adventure.

 

Overall Rating: 7/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Okuma VS-605-20 Voyager Spinning Fishing Rod Kit – Best for Travel

Some of the best fishing poles are those which are designed to make your life easier, and this certainly ticks that off the list. This offering from Okuma is a complete travel kit, including rod and reel, all packaged in an attractive and durable carry case.

Suited for freshwater fishing, this is a top choice if you are planning on hiking, backpacking, or traveling while enjoying fishing—you can guarantee that nothing will be lost or left behind. This choice is definitely high on our list of the best fishing rods.

 

Key Features

  • Includes a tackle box and essential supplies
  • Comes complete with a soft, padded carry case
  • Designed to minimize corrosion
  • Graphite frame allows for longevity
  • Ceramic line guides to reduce friction
  • Very easy to transport
  • Cork grip for comfort

 

What We Like About This Product

Convenience is the number one plus point of this rod, and the handy carry case means that it is easy to transport all your fishing gear and keep everything safe and together while you are traveling—this really helps to take another worry off your mind and allows you to enjoy your trip!

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

This rod is definitely not suitable for larger fish or strong currents. The rod tends to snap quite easily and may be disappointing if you are used to a slightly stronger composition.

 

Pros

  • Compact for convenient travel and storage
  • Full kit at an inexpensive price offers superb value
  • Ideal for trout, catfish, panfish, walleye, and bass fishing
  • Easy to assemble and use
  • Rod is lightweight and comfortable to carry and use
  • Five-piece design that breaks down for storage
  • Rod, reel, and accessories are all high quality
  • Includes a carrying case and a tackle box

 

Cons

  • Does tend to snap quite easily if used for larger fish

 

This pole would be fantastic for hobbyists and occasional users and makes an outstanding travel rod, but those who fish regularly will be frustrated by the lack of strength.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Penn Pursuit II & III Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

This option could be a top choice for anyone wanting to make their first foray into surf fishing and is a super affordable and accessible kit designed to handle saltwater fishing along with the heavier fish which tend to come alongside this, such as whiting, king mackerel, redfish, and blues. It is lightweight and easy to control, but the graphite construction also ensures durability and long life, even on a smaller budget.

 

Key Features

  • Graphite composite construction
  • Well-built and well-balanced
  • Ideal for inshore, boar, pier and surf fishing
  • Designed for saltwater
  • Medium-heavy power
  • Stainless steel guides
  • EVA grips for comfort
  • Comes in 7- to 10-foot rods
  • Easy to store and transport

 

What We Like About This Product

This pole is a great choice for anyone wanting a chance to tackle some larger fish and expand their skill set to include rougher and stronger currents. It can handle a decent weight and comes in a variety of lengths to help you pick one that best suits your preferences.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

The strength here is definitely in the reel—this is the strongest part of the whole set up. The rod, on the other hand, breaks quite easily, which is disappointing and makes it harder to use for the largest fish.

 

Pros

  • Suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Designed to resist corrosion
  • High-quality, well-crafted rod and heavy-duty reel
  • Great pricing with excellent value

 

Cons

  • While the reel is strong, the rod itself is fairly limited and weak

 

This reel offers a bit better durability and allows you to fish saltwater for some larger fish than those we’ve reviewed previously, but, unfortunately, the rod itself is a bit weaker than we’d like. It’s a shame because this pole could have been a stand-out option rather than just a good value.

 

Overall Rating: 7/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Wakeman Swarm Series Spinning Rod and Reel Combo – Best Budget Pole

An ideal choice for beginners, this budget option is perfect for those who are new to the angling world and don’t want to have to shell out the big bucks just to get started. It is also outstanding for those looking for freshwater fishing from the smallest ponds to the fastest rivers. It’s very lightweight and easy to use and comes in an eye-catching blue metallic finish.

 

Key Features

  • Great budget option
  • Designed for freshwater
  • Perfect for ponds, rivers, and lakes
  • Great for children
  • Can be used to catch bass, trout, catfish, sunfish, and others
  • Ceramic guides help to reduce friction
  • Perfect for short distance casting

 

What We Like About This Product

This model is one of the best-looking rods we have discussed and offers really good value for money, considering the low and affordable price. It is also decent quality and easy to use—great for beginners finding their feet.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

There does seem to be something of limited use and lifespan on this model. It tends to snap after a few good uses, and this is frustrating and potentially expensive.

 

Pros

  • Attractive rod with a blue metallic look
  • Affordable price offers good value
  • The spool comes pre-loaded with monofilament fishing line
  • Fantastic ease of use with smooth operation
  • Comfortable to handle with a lightweight design

 

Cons

  • Quite flimsy
  • Seems to have a short lifespan

 

This choice could be a good pick if you are only planning to fish occasionally. For example, while on vacation or the occasional long weekend. It would also make a nice choice for a child just learning to fish, but It is unlikely to handle regular and intensive use.

 

Overall Rating: 7/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Eagle Claw PK56TS Spin Combo Telescopic Rod

Ideal for bass and freshwater species, this beauty could net you panfish, trout, and crappie—just for a few examples! A telescopic model, this rod folds down to become compact and easy to transport. It’s perfect for backpackers, hikers, and those embarking on the ultimate road trip. A good contender for the best medium-light spinning rod!

 

Key Features

  • Super compact and easy to carry
  • Easy to collapse and store
  • 5 “6 in length
  • Medium power
  • Fiberglass construction
  • The short length offers more control when casting
  • EVA foam handle
  • Five-section telescoping design
  • An excellent choice for younger and smaller users

 

What We Like About This Product

This rod is a great choice for newbies. The lines come already spooled to save time and effort allowing you to use this pole right away. It is also very comfortable to use and handle.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

The reel tends to be very stiff even after a few uses, and this makes it frustrating to use. The rod also tends to break fairly easily, especially if it becomes tangled or caught.

 

Pros

  • Comes pre-spooled with line
  • Telescopic rod design for easy storage and travel
  • Affordable price
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use
  • Smooth reel action and great cast
  • Works well with baits and lures

 

Cons

  • Reed is stiff and hard to manage
  • Rod is quite breakable and fragile

 

This choice is perfect for travelers and would make a suitable spare set for an experienced, occasional angler, or for a total newbie buying their very first rod looking to hone their skills and practice with confidence.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This rod is the ideal combination for both inshore and offshore fishing and offers an ultra-responsive experience perfect for the larger saltwater gamefish. It allows you to enjoy a premium rod style and experience at a far more affordable price tag, and the aluminum oxide guides are designed to help reduce corrosion as much as possible. There is also a variety of lengths available to allow you to pick the perfect type for your needs and preferences.

 

Key Features

  • Designed for inshore and offshore fishing
  • Can be used for larger and stronger fish
  • Helps to reduce corrosion, increasing the lifespan of the rod
  • Anti-reverse bearing helps to eliminate pullback
  • Easy, smooth reeling experience

 

What We Like About This Product

The main benefit of this option is that it can be used for both inshore and offshore fishing, eliminating the need to own multiple rods. This option is great for those who like to travel and fish, or just want to make fishing simple!

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

While the reel is smooth and easy to use, the rod itself is actually quite brittle and seems unlikely to be able to handle larger weights or fish.

 

 

Pros

  • Long rod lengths for long casting
  • Has a smooth and powerful reel action
  • The spool handles braided lines with ease
  • Suitable for saltwater fishing
  • Durable drag washers come greased for durability
  • Tough and durable construction
  • Ultra-sensitive rod
  • Impressive value and quality

 

Cons

  • Can be quite noisy
  • The reel is of a much higher quality than the rod

 

A great choice if you are looking for a simple, basic rod for the smaller fish and calmer waters, the Battle II spinning rod offers a versatile package suitable for multiple uses. It might have been a strong contender for the top spot if the rod matched the quality of the reel.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Penn Spinfisher Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

A prime contender for the best saltwater fishing rod, this is a tough, powerful choice which will allow you to pursue the big ones and emerge victoriously. Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater, each detail of the design is aimed at ensuring durability and robustness to withstand the toughest enemy while still being super lightweight and easy to cast and use—a deadly combination that will be appealing to many anglers looking to go after the big guns.

 

Key Features

  • Suitable for both saltwater and freshwater
  • Both rod and reel are high quality
  • Tubular glass black construction
  • Ideal for offshore fishing
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Aluminum oxide inserts
  • EVA grips
  • Comes in medium-heavy and heavy powers

 

What We Like About This Product

One of the major appeals of this model is its ability to tackle both saltwater and freshwater, making it a versatile and popular choice for those who like to change up their fishing experience.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

Like many combo-use poles, this strikes a middle ground in strength and is definitely not as strong as some other strictly saltwater models, and regular anglers, or those who are fans of open water fishing, will need something more solid.

 

Pros

  • EVA grips offer complete comfort
  • Accommodates braided lines
  • Suitable for limited saltwater fishing
  • Has a smooth and powerful drag system
  • Tough, durable construction
  • Comfortable, responsive, and powerful rod
  • Delivers reeling performance and casting
  • Shielded internal components in a watertight design

 

Cons

  • Not as strong as some poles designed just for saltwater fishing

 

A great choice as a spare rod, or for those still practicing and perfecting their skills, the Penn SpinFisher offers a balance between a freshwater and saltwater pole allowing you to do a little of both without buying two rods.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Daiwa Minispin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

This pole is a great choice for anglers who are regularly on the move, such as hikers, walkers, and backpackers. The lightweight finish is convenient for transport, and this is a fantastic choice for light freshwater fishing in ponds, rivers, and lakes. If you are planning to take your rod on the move with you, this won’t weigh you down, but can still offer a powerful enough finish to allow you to reel in some of your favorite fish with ease.

 

Key Features

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Perfect for backpackers, walkers, and travelers
  • Lightweight and ultra-compact
  • Designed primarily for freshwater fish
  • 5-foot length
  • Features a five-piece system that is easy to assemble
  • Includes GyroSpin balancing
  • Comfortable grip foam handle
  • Comes with a storage case for ultimate convenience

 

What We Like About This Product

This rod is super fast and easy to assemble, and this is convenient for those who are new to fishing and angling. It combines power, strength, and flexibility for an overall effect, which is great for anglers of all levels!

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

This rod does tend to look and feel quite cheap compared to other models in a similar price range.

 

Pros

  • Quick and easy to assemble
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design
  • Five-piece rod is convenient to pack and transport
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Well-built and designed
  • Hard wearing and durable
  • Comes with a quality hard case with space for tackle
  • Limited warranty

 

Cons

  • The handle of the case is quite flimsy and may break easily
  • Overall look and feel is quite cheap

 

The Minispin Ultralight is a very good choice for beginners purchasing their first rods, or experienced anglers who need a cheap and cheerful spare, but keep in mind, like most ultralight and mini options, this model isn’t cut out for heavyweights.

 

Overall Rating: 8/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod Combo – Best Combo Pole

This rod offers a combination which will restore your faith in the combo model, and it provides a powerful, smooth action which is perfect for getting your hands on the fish of your dreams. Though designed primarily with freshwater fishing in mind, it has the strength to withstand saltwater bay fishing if necessary and can be used to catch fish such as bass, trout, catfish, bluegill, southern pike, flounder, perch, crappie, and walleye—to name just a few.

 

Key Features

  • Great rod and reel combination
  • Offers excellent quality and performance
  • Can be used for both freshwater fishing and saltwater bays
  • Lightweight yet durable thanks to graphite construction
  • Stainless-steel guides help reduce corrosion
  • Available in a range of sizes and lengths

 

What We Like About This Product

This combo model really does tick every box. It is lightweight and durable, easy to transport as required, and does have the option to be used in saltwater if you desire. For a combo, it’s also impressively durable.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

While it holds up unexpectedly well under heavy weights, this rod is also unexpectedly uncomfortable to hold. Many fishers are not a fan of the cork handle.

 

Pros

  • Ball bearings provide for smooth operation
  • Durable and well-made corrosion resistant components
  • Balanced, lightweight, and comfortable to use
  • Looks nice appearance wise
  • Straightforward use
  • Smooth cast and reel
  • Amazing price and value
  • Powerful drag system
  • Responsive and sensitive pole

 

Cons

  • The cork handle can be quite uncomfortable

 

The Pflueger Trion is a fantastic combo model with a wide range of uses and options for the application. It’s easily the best combo pole in terms of value on the market today—that is if you don’t mind the cork handle.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Cadence CC6 Lightweight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo

A premium product at an affordable price, this offering from Cadence has a moderate to fast action, allowing you to go after those trickier challenges with confidence. This rod is built for flexibility, designed to bend and twist but not break, and this will allow you to discover the second you have a bite—ideal for those sneakier fish who need an instant response if you stand any chance of success.

 

Key Feature

  • Great quality for the price
  • Moderate to fast action
  • Combination of cork and EVA foam grips help ensure comfort
  • Graphite construction makes this a durable and hard-wearing option designed to take on the toughest fish
  • Offers quality materials and components
  • Anti-reverse bearing helps to make fishing an easier, smoother experience

 

What We Like About This Product

This rod feels far more premium than the somewhat modest price suggests and is a nice treat for those who may not have a large budget but desire a functional and stylish rod.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

While this option looks very cool, it is quite frustrating to use sometimes. The line can be a pain to put on, and there is a feeling that the rod is liable to snap suddenly at any time—it does not feel as sturdy as it is.

 

Pros

  • A very comfortable grip, which can be held securely for long periods
  • Very durable and tough
  • Anti-reverse bearing helps make the whole experience much smoother and more pleasant
  • Easy to cast

 

Cons

  • Quite hard to put a line on the rod

 

The Cadence CC6 is an excellent choice for those on a budget and has a nice design appearance wise but does have some less-than-ideal quirks that affect its usability. Of course, those could be a matter of perspective.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Crystal River Fly Fishing Combo Kit

Fly fishing is a tricky sport, and one maintained and pursued by the persistent few. Most anglers will try out fly fishing and realize quickly it is not for them, and this can be super frustrating if you have spent a small fortune on specialist equipment.

This Crystal River rod allows you to try fly fishing out for a budget price, without worrying about sacrificing quality or having a lesser experience simply because you have paid a lower price for your rod.

 

Key Features

  • Rod and reel combo
  • Well-balanced – perfect for fly fishing
  • The reel can be easily replaced as you go
  • EVA foam grip
  • Graphite body and reel for assured durability

 

What We Like About This Product

I really like the option that this rod can grow with the user. The reel can be replaced for something more high-end and sophisticated at a later date, and it feels like a model you can really grow into and use to develop your skills.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

This is a great rod if you are seeking smaller fish or are only planning to fish as an occasional hobby, but it is unlikely to be suitable for anything larger than a bass, however, and is certainly not for expert anglers.

 

Pros

  • Very well balanced and nice to handle
  • The foam grip is comfortable even for long periods
  • Includes rod and reel
  • The reel can be replaced at a later date – this makes it better value for money

 

Cons

  • The tip is quite delicate
  • Only really suitable for smaller fish

 

Fly fishing is a hobby which few sticks with, so this is a great way to see if you like it before you make a significant financial investment. Even better, the rod can grow with you if you do decide to keep at it.

 

Overall Rating: 10/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Shakespeare USYTHSP30CBO Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel – Best for Kids

This model is advertised as a children’s pole but can also be a fantastic choice for smaller adults, or those who are still getting used to the size, weight, and handling of a combo rod. It has narrow grips, perfect for smaller hands, and the smaller reels are a perfect fit for smaller bodies.

The graphite and fiberglass combination for the construction means that this is a lightweight, portable rod which could be a great entry-level option for those just starting with the sport.

 

Key Features

  • Smaller size, perfect for smaller hands and bodies
  • Graphite and fiberglass combination is ideal for a lightweight finish
  • Narrow but comfortable grips
  • Great rod and reel combination

 

What We Like About This Product

Though this rod is typically marketed at children due to its small size, I like the options and versatility it opens up for smaller adults. It can be a great way to introduce your child into the world of fishing, but also offers an option for those who may struggle with a traditional, full-sized adult rod for whatever reason.

 

What We Don’t Like About This Product

This rod is relatively strong but may snap unless it is handled carefully. Considering it is marketed primarily towards children, it could do with being a little more durable.

 

Pros

  • The smaller size makes this ideal not only for children but adults with smaller hands who may struggle with a typical sized rod
  • The grip is super comfortable and easy to keep control
  • Lightweight but durable
  • An enjoyable rod to use

 

Cons

  • May snap quite easily with very little pressure
  • Requires delicate handling

 

A fantastic option for introducing children to the world of fishing, and getting them used to handling the equipment, this model fits the demographic it was designed for and more, also being well-suited to smaller adults.

 

Overall Rating: 9/10

CLICK HERE TO VIEW ON AMAZON

 

Fishing Rod Buying Guide

We have searched high and low to bring you the very best fishing poles on the market today. Before you make your selection, however, it is essential to consider the factors which need to be taken into account when picking your rod— narrowing these down to the essentials will make the whole buying process far easier and more streamlined. Here are the main factors you will need to take into account:

 

Power

Rod power is perhaps the biggest consideration you will need to make when finding the best budget rod for your needs. It is a major factor in helping to determine the durability and functionality of your rods, so should be your first and foremost consideration when shopping.

The amount of power you need depends on two main factors: personal preference and the level of your fishing skill. There are different categories of rod powers available, including ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy. The power of your rod will also have a significant impact on the size and species of fish you can catch, so it is worth bearing this in mind when purchasing.

 

Here’s a rough idea of the species each power is best suited to:

Ultra-Light is best for very small fish like crappie

 

Light works well for panfish, such as bluegill and sunfish

 

Medium-Light is ideal for smaller bass, trout, walleye, and similar-sized fish

 

Medium is for larger bass, redfish, catfish, and the like

 

Medium-Heavy would be used for pike, salmon, and other relatively large fish

 

Heavy is where we get into the big boys, such as tuna, king salmon, and tarpon

 

Extra-Heavy is for the largest fish types including sailfish, halibut, and tuna

 

The weight of your lure also needs to be considered. If it is too light, casting will be sloppy. If the lure is too heavy, casting will be stiff.

The final consideration when deciding power is whether you plan to cast or toll. Trolling will require a heavier rod as a lightweight model will not handle the drag of the lure behind the boat.

 

Action

Often confused with power, the action is the amount of bend within the tip of the rod when the rod is subjected to pressure. The higher the bend, the slower the action. Differences in bend are usually caused by a different material being used within the rod, and it is vital to understand the differences to make sure you get the correct amount of action.

When it comes to action, rods are categorized into slow, moderate, and fast. Fast-action rods only bend right near the tip, while slow-action rods will bend farthest from the tip, and sometimes throughout the entire rod.

Just as with power, the type of action is down to personal preference. As a rule, fast-action rods are better for large fish, while slow rods are more suited to smaller and more lightweight fish.

Remember that if you are choosing a spinning rod, you will need to find the best balance between the power and the action—this will make your whole fishing experience far easier and more enjoyable!

 

Reel Seats

The reel seat is another crucial area to consider, especially if you are choosing a spinning rod. The reel seat is the place where the reel and the rod attach and should fit well when tightened. A loose reel seat is an annoyance and can lead to a very unsatisfying fishing trip. Those in good shape should also possess cushioned hoods for the best results.

 

 

Length

The length of the rod you choose is important, and these can range from anything from two to twelve feet and even beyond! Consider where you will be fishing from when trying to select a rod length.

Are you likely to be casting from a beach, or a boat right out in the open water? What sort of lures will you choose; heavy, weighted lures to withstand the wild currents of the sea, or something more delicate and lightweight? What species of fish are you targeting? These are the questions to consider before you decide to commit, and the best fishing rod brands will have a variety of lengths for you to try.

Longer rods can cast further, and so are a wise choice if you are planning on surf casting. Shorter rods may have a reduced casting distance, but also tend to be more accurate and easier to focus. These are ideal if you are planning on casing near bushes, weeds, or other structures.

For reference, the most common rod length is between 6 and 7 feet with a medium action. This combination tends to provide the largest range of use in terms of being suitable to fish for different species.

 

Blank Materials

The blank is the pole itself, sometimes also called the rod, and its material is another crucial aspect to consider and can have a significant impact on the way the rod behaves and acts.

Graphite is a popular choice and tends to offer more flexibility and sensitivity combined with power. Fiberglass, on the other hand, tends to be stronger and more durable and is a popular choice for the best freshwater fishing rods. This model is also heavier, and so if perfect for larger fish. Many rods will combine the two, to bring out the best properties of both materials for a high-quality rod.

 

Finding Value

While all the above applies to finding a quality rod, there’s also a trick to finding a rod with good value. Keep in mind that value and a low price don’t necessarily go hand in hand—don’t just buy the cheapest pole you can find.

It can also help to look for bundle deals, so long as you check that the accessories are of decent quality. For instance, a carrying case or tackle is a wonderful bonus, but only if you can actually get good use out of them.

Additionally, if you want to get the best value for your money, you need to not only find a pole that is durable and affordable but also find a single pole capable of meeting all your needs.

For example, a combo pole offers the best value if you plan to fish both fresh and saltwater fish, but if you live too far in-land to ever find yourself saltwater fishing, a combo pole does you little good—it’s less valuable to you personally. You need to settle on what you value to find a valuable rod.

 

Final Thoughts

Now that you have a nice short-list of rods that offer great value for the money and a bit of buying knowledge, we hope you have all you need to find the perfect pole for your needs. As a reminder, our top choice was the Ugly Stik GX2, which combines all the qualities and properties necessary to enjoy your fishing experience and offers excellent value for money.

We also a singled out a few more niche specific favorites above, such as the best rod for kids in terms of value (thanks Shakespeare) and the best travel rod (Voyager really can take you to the last frontier).

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