Patience is indeed the key to catching fish. But, you should know that fishing with the right gear is essential as well. Even if you’re still a beginner, you should never leave anything up to fate when it comes to your fishing trips. For this reason, having an excellent fishing rod is a must.
There are various fishing rods on the market with multiple lengths, weights, power and action options, types and materials. Each of them is good for a specific technique or catching certain fish species.
Since finding the perfect rod is not an easy mission, we’ve decided to help you by recommending some of the best ones on the market. You’ll also find a buying guide walking you through the factors that should be on your checklist before buying one.
Now, let’s dive in and find the best fishing rod for our needs.
PENN Spinfisher VI
|Spinning||Graphite composite||0.6 pounds to 2.4 pounds|
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
|Spinning||Graphite and fiberglass||0.6 lbs.|
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Entsport E Series – Camo Legend
|Baitcaster||Carbon fiber||0.45 lbs.|
The 5 Best Fishing Rods in 2021
1. PENN Spinfisher VI – Best Combo
If you don’t know how to pair a rod and a reel, buying a combo shall be your best option. And there isn’t a better combo than PENN Spinfisher VI.
First of all, you will enjoy the newest generation Spinfisher reel with powerful HT-100 drag with IPX5 rated seals. You’ll also love the CNC gears and 5+1 sealed stainless-steel bearings that allow for smooth reeling.
What’s more, PENN Spinfisher VI offers its customers a lot of models with different specs. For example, the gear ratios of its models range from 4.2:1 to 6.2:1, and the maximum drag ranges from 15 to 50 pounds. This way, you can choose whichever model that best suits your fishing needs.
As for the rod, it’s made of a black graphite composite, making it light, sturdy, and sensitive. This means that it’s unlikely for fish to eat the bait and swim away before you catch it.
The combo’s weight varies according to the model you’ll opt for where the lightest is 0.6 pounds, and the heaviest is 2.4 pounds.
Moreover, you can choose the rod length that suits you as it offers you the freedom to select from rods between 6.5 feet to 10 feet long with various action options.
In case you are wondering if you can travel with it or not, I am glad to inform you that you can, thanks to its two-piece design that allows for easier transportation.
Last but not least, the comfortable and sensitive EVA handle minimizes the wrist fatigue even if you use the rod for extended hours.
Sadly, this is the most expensive option on the list, but it’s worth the money.
- Excellent Spinfisher VI reels
- Comfortable EVA handle
- Various models
PENN Spinfisher VI is the best fishing combo to go for. Plus, most -if not all- anglers will find what they are looking for thanks to its various models. However, it’s not budget-friendly, which may be a deal-breaker for some customers.
2. Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Value
If you’re looking for an affordable yet high-quality spinning rod, go for Ugly Stik GX2. Made of a combination of fiberglass and graphite, this rod is both lightweight and durable. You can also use it in freshwater and saltwater alike.
Plus, it’s versatile since it comes in multiple lengths varying from 4’6″ to 9’. It also offers multiple power options ranging from ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy to heavy. This means that you can use it to catch light fish like trout and panfish or heavy ones like bass.
An additional proof that it’s more than capable of catching heavy fish is its ability to hold line weights varying from 8 to 20 pounds. Besides, it works with any kind of fishing line.
Since the reel seat plays a vital role in the rod’s ability to carry heavy fish because it carries most of the pulling tension, I’m glad to tell you that it’s made of a combination of carbon and fiberglass.
Rest assured that you’ll feel the slightest fish bites thanks to the clear tip design that boosts responsiveness and sensitivity.
Moreover, you can fish with it for as many hours as you want without getting tired thanks to the comfortable EVA handle. Besides, right and left-handed people can easily use it because it has an interchangeable retrieve.
The manufacturers of Ugly Stik GX2 are really confident in their product to the extent that they offer the customers a seven-year warranty.
Sadly, this rod is not very travel-friendly because it comes in a one-piece configuration.
- Seven-year warranty
- Both salt and freshwater
- Works with all kinds of fishing lines
- Versatile specs to choose from
- Suitable for right and left-handed customers
- The guides are not always placed correctly
- Will break if not handled with care
Ugly Stik GX2 is an excellent spinning fishing rod for its price. It’s also one of the best spinning rods for anglers who love fishing all kinds of fish in freshwater and saltwater alike thanks to its numerous specs.
3. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Best for Beginners
If you are a beginner who wants to avoid the hassle of pairing a reel with your rod, PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is for you. You can either buy the package that includes the rod and reel or pick the kit that comes with the necessary fishing gear and accessories such as the line, lure, sinkers, hooks, and a bag.
This does not mean that the combo is not suitable for avid anglers. However, it’s better suited for beginners because the additional tackle is not as equal in quality as the rod and reel.
If you’re not a beginner, I recommend picking the rod and reel combo and then buying weights, lures, and so elsewhere. But, if you’re just starting out, the kit will help you develop your technique.
In case you are a travel enthusiast, you’ll appreciate that this combo is very travel-friendly since you can fit the equipment in the included bag and put it in your backpack, car, or any tight place. Plus, it features a collapsible telescopic rod, facilitating storage.
Its rod is made of high-density carbon fiber and fiberglass, making it very sturdy as well as sensitive. This means that you’ll feel the slightest fish bites and thus never miss a catch.
You can choose the most suitable rod length, depending on your preference as it offers ones with the following lengths: 5.91’, 6.89’, 7.87’ and 8.86’
What’s more, the EVA foregrip handle allows anglers to use the rod for as long as they want without experiencing any wrist fatigue.
Moreover, you can use this combo for all fishing applications in freshwater and saltwater without worrying since it features corrosion-resistant stainless steel reel seats.
PLUSINNO ensures smooth reeling thanks to the aluminum oxide guide inserts, 12 bearings and 5.2:1 gear ratio.
- Comfortable EVA grip
- Can be used in freshwater and saltwater
- Various lengths to choose from
- Low-quality additional accessories
- Cheap bag
PLUSINNO combo is perfect for beginners as it prevents them from pairing a reel to the rod. It’s also excellent for traveling since it comes with a bag and features a collapsible telescopic rod.
4. Entsport E Series – Camo Legend – Budget Choice
Besides being the most affordable option on our list, Entsport E Series – Camo Legend offers two different power rod tips: medium and medium-heavy. In other words, you’ll be getting two rods at the price of one.
Plus, the two tips make the rod pretty versatile and facilitate the adjustment of casting weight. Also, unless you break the base section, they act as spare parts should you break one of them.
The two-tip design is also lovely for travelers because it’s like carrying one rod instead of two. Moreover, the rod comes in a two-piece configuration, which is perfect for portability. It’s also lightweight, coming at 0.45 pounds.
If you think that inexpensive rods are not durable, I am glad to tell you that Entsport E Series – Camo Legend’s rod is made of durable 24-ton carbon fiber. This material provides it with strength and durability.
What’s more, it features an enhanced reel seat with corrosion-resistant aluminum hoods and 6+1 corrosion resistant guides. Since those guides are perfectly spaced in a way that prevents any friction, rest assured that you’ll enjoy excellent sensitivity and maximum casting performance.
The 7-feet long rod also allows you to cast for a long distance since it falls on the long side of the spectrum.
You can also use it to catch heavy fish because it holds a line weight that ranges between 10 to 26 pounds. However, some people complain that the rod broke when they caught heavy fish.
You’ll also enjoy the comfortable EVA handles that boost the sensitivity as well as provide you with maximum comfort. This way, you can use the rod for long fishing trips with minimum fatigue. It also offers greater control when casting, making it easy for beginners.
By now, we can say that the Entsport E Series – Camo Legend is an excellent fishing rod for those who want to learn baitcasting because it offers optimum performance at a low price.
- Good for beginners
- Versatile two power tips
- Comfortable EVA handle
- Travel-friendly two-piece design
- Rod breaks when hooking big fish
Entsport E Series – Camo Legend is the best budget-friendly rod on the list since it comes with two different power rod tips. This means that you’ll be buying two rods with the price of one. The two tips beside its two-piece design render it travel-friendly.
5. Cadence CR5 – Most Comfortable Handle
If you usually suffer from wrist fatigue, Cadence CR5 is there for you. With its two-handle configuration, carbon split grip and full grip using a premium cork and EVA, the Cadence CR5 offers maximum comfort.
The spinning rod is also lightweight, coming at 0.11 pounds only thanks to its carbon construction. It’s also durable and reliable due to the presence of a comfortable Fuji reel seat, a blank wrapped in carbon veil and SiC guides with durable stainless steel frames that prevent the line from sticking into the guides.
The SiC guides also minimize friction and increase sensitivity, allowing vibrations to transfer through the guide until they reach your hand.
Moreover, it’s pretty versatile since it comes with various lengths, power, and action options to choose from. For example, its lengths vary between 5’6” to 7”. As for the power and action options, they vary from ultralight to medium, and moderate to fast, respectively.
Also, if you need a one or two-piece configuration, you’ll find what you’re searching for as it offers both designs. This means that you can choose a travel-friendly model in case you’re usually on the go.
Another great thing about it is that you can use it in freshwater and seawater for any type of fishing condition, even if you’re fishing for bass or trout.
- Saltwater and freshwater
- Comfortable handle
- Various specs to choose from
- Might break
Cadence CR5 is one of the best fishing rods, especially for those with wrist fatigue. This is because of its most comfortable EVA and cork handle. Moreover, it offers various specs to choose from at a reasonable price.
What to Look for When Buying a Fishing Rod
There are various factors to consider before buying a fishing rod, including its type, specs, material and weight. So, in order not to forget any of these factors, we’ve decided to compile them for you in the following buying guide.
There are various types of rods, such as baitcaster, spinning, and telescopic rods. Each of these is used for certain reasons we’ll discuss below.
Such rods offer anglers with accuracy as they allow them to place the lure with precision. The reels of such rods are mounted on the top of the rod when being used.
These are the most used ones, even by beginners, thanks to providing a conducive and more natural way of fishing. This is because their reels are suspended underneath the rod’s top. Plus, they are lighter and shorter than baitcaster ones.
These are going to be your best friends if you are a traveler. They are collapsible and compact, providing anglers with extreme comfort while on the go.
Choosing a fishing rod made of high-quality materials is of paramount importance. For this reason, we’ll tell you the best three materials of fishing rods with their pros and cons.
If you’re okay with paying a lot of money, get a graphite rod. It’s worth its money as it’s the lightest and the most powerful. Plus, it’s impressively sensitive and has the fastest action, ensuring you’ll feel the slightest bites and never miss a catch. However, you should handle it with care because it’s delicate.
If you need to buy a fishing rod that is less likely to break, go for one made of fiberglass. It’s also the perfect material for beginners as it requires less maintenance. Plus, it’s the least expensive and the most flexible. However, it’s heavier than graphite.
In case you’re looking for a rod that has the best of both worlds, the composite rods are your answer. They are made of a mixture of fiberglass and graphite. This provides them with durability, sensitivity and flexibility.
The power of the rod determines the thickness of the rod’s blank and dictates the amount of pressure the rod can withstand without bending. It is divided into light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy. To determine the suitable power option you should opt for, you must know the kind and weight of the fish you want to catch. Go for lighter power options if you’ll catch small and light fish and vice versa.
The action of the rod determines where it bends and the time it takes to get back to its natural shape. To illustrate, a fast-action rod bends in the top third of the blank, a medium-action one bends in the top half, and that with a slow action bends in its lower third.
Each action option is suitable for fishing certain species. For example, fast-action rods are excellent for targeting heavy fish and heavy baits. They will also suit you the most if you are into bottom fishing.
In case you’re a beginner, or you’ll use light lures, a medium-action rod will suit you more because it provides adequate hook setting power.
Since slow-action rods bend throughout the rod, they provide excellent flexibility. For this reason, such rods are suitable for catching tiny fish such as panfish as they allow anglers to fight and win. They also prevent the hook from getting ripped through the mouth on hook sets.
The rod’s weight determines the maximum line weight that the rod can use without the line getting broken. For example, a five-pound weighted rod means that you can target fish with a 5-pound rated fishing line.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is a Fishing Rod Repairable?
If the fishing rod itself broke, there’s no way to repair it. Even if you glue it back together, it won’t be as strong as it was. Plus, it will most probably break again. However, if the guides, reel line, handle, or any other part got damaged in any way, they can be repaired or replaced.
Should I Always Clean my Fishing Rod?
Yes, it would be best if you did so after every fishing trip. The cleaning process is straightforward. First thing you need to do is clean the guides, for they collect all the junk. Then, clean the reel house and the grips to prevent any bacteria from growing on them when they are stored.
What is the Best Way to Store my Fishing Rod?
After perfectly cleaning the rod, make sure you put it in a separate bag so that it doesn’t get tangled with other rods. Also, ensure that they are as straight as possible to prevent them from bending in the middle.
Now that we’ve reached the end of the article, we hope you have found the best fishing rod. In case you’re still confused, allow me to put the spotlight on some products.
In case you’re searching for a combo, you can either go for the expensive PENN Spinfisher VI or the budget-friendly PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo. Note though that PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is more suitable for beginners since the additional accessories are of low quality.
On the other hand, PENN Spinfisher V Is excellent for avid anglers for its superb Spinfisher VI reels and various models from which you can choose.
If you’re low on money, Entsport E Series – Camo Legend won’t disappoint you with its two different power rod tips. This way, you can relax, knowing that if one tip gets lost or destroyed, you still have a spare. It also comes in a travel-friendly two-piece design.