Best Budget Fishing Rods

5 Best Budget Fishing Rods (Reviews Updated 2020)

Scouting for a fishing rod while on a budget doesn’t mean your choices have to be limited to low-quality products. With some guidance, you can get a fishing rod that will give you the functionality of more pricey models without breaking the bank. The ideal budget fishing rods should of course be affordable, highly durable, versatile, and should be easy to set up.

Best Budget Fishing Rods

To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five budget fishing rods that tick all the above boxes and will give you full-scale functionality at a fraction of the price.

1. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

The Shakespeare Micro spinning rod is a great buy for both the newbie and experienced angle and comes in a handy three-piece design. It features an ultralight, lightweight graphite blank, ergonomic cork handles, and universal reel seats that are highly durable. It also features stainless steel guides and is affordable as it stands between $20 and $29.

  • Great for both newbies and veterans.
  • Very lightweight, highly ergonomic.
  • Affordable, very durable.
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2. Zebco ZCAST ML CAST Rod

Zebco Zcast Ml Cast Rod

The Zebco ZCAST is a medium-light power rod and is a great buy for newbie anglers. It comes in a two-piece configuration, top-mounted line guides for casting functionality and extends to 5’6’’. It also sports low-profile ergonomic handles, a pistol grip, and comes at $14.54.

  • Very affordable.
  • Superior casting performance.
  • Highly ergonomic.
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3. Kalex XT2 Telescopic Spinning Rod

Kalex Xt2 Telescopic Spinning Rod

The Kalex XT2 comes as a spinning rod and is a great buy for the traveling angler. It sports a telescopic design for the most portability, a lightweight carbon composite blank, and comes with moderate action and medium power. It also sports low-friction line guides, durable reel seats, EVA grips for the best comfort and no-slip performance, and comes at $24.42.

  • Excellent portability.
  • Very lightweight and durable.
  • Sleek metallic finish.
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4. Sougayilang Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod

The Sougayilang spinning rod sport a carbon fiber/E-glass composite blend for the best lightweight and durable performance. It comes in a six-piece telescopic design, high-grade aluminum reel seats, ceramic-lined steel line guides, and an overall sleek black and gold profile. It is a great buy for the traveling angler, is very portable, and comes at $32.

  • Compact, portable design.
  • Highly durable.
  • Sleek design, very affordable.
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5. OKUMA Celilo Ultra Light Trout Rod

Okuma Celilo Ultra Light Trout Rod

The OKUMA Celilo is very lightweight and comes with a high-grade graphite blank for superb flexibility and durability. It combines ultra-light power, moderate action, and high sensitivity making it ideal for smaller fish, comes with aluminum oxide guide inserts, and high-performance steel reel seats. It also comes with cork grips for the most comfort, a 2-piece design that is very portable and is budget-friendly at $33.

  • Very lightweight and flexible.
  • Highly durable and sensitive, with moderate action.
  • Affordable and comfortable to use.
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Budget Fishing Rods Buying Guide

When on the market for a fishing rod on a budget, the quality is one of the most important considerations to make. You want a unit with great functionality, without having to break the bank.

Our buying guide reviews the best budget fishing rods on the market based on their specified features and customer feedback, to give you the best options to choose from and that all boast of great value for money.

Type

The first thing you want to decide is the type of fishing rod you want to go for. Fishing rods are generally classified into three main categories – baitcasting rods, spinning rods, and conventional rods. Spinning rods are the most popular types of fishing rods and are widely used by newbie, mid-level, and experienced anglers. They are ideal for small to medium-sized fish and are the most affordable on the market.  Baitcasting rods are better suited to catching bigger fish and are more popular among experienced anglers. They offer the advantage of more accurate casts, can handle larger baits, and offer higher reeling torque. They are, however, more prone to backlashing and have a steeper learning curve. Conventional rods sport a similar design to baitcasting rods but are, however, more suited to saltwater fishing and offer the advantage of large line capacity and superior reeling torque.

Materials

When scouting for a fishing rod on a budget, one of the most important factors to consider is the materials it is made from. It should be lightweight, highly corrosion-resistant, and tough enough to handle the strain. In general, fishing rods are made from materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite, or feature a blend of these materials.

Fiberglass rods combine high flexibility with low weight and are the most affordable. Graphite rods are lighter and tougher than fiberglass rods and are very durable. They are more expensive than fiberglass rods, but are more brittle – take less deformation to snap. Carbon fiber rods are the toughest fishing rods you will find today. While they share the same carbon DNA as graphite rods, they are very strong, are the lightest, and the most expensive.

Portability

Depending on where you will be fishing, the portability of your budget fishing rod will likely be another very important factor to consider. As an extension of its materials, it should be very lightweight so it is convenient to carry around. For improved portability, you also want to look for a telescopic rod that comes in multiple-piece configurations that are easily retracted for compactness and extendable when it is needed.

Action and Power

Another important specification pair on any fishing rod is its action and power. The action of a fishing rod is a measure of how quickly it deflects under load and goes hand-in-hand with the power. Quick action rods deflect very close to the tip before reaching equilibrium and are great for big, strong fish. Slow action rods deflect along the rod length and closer to the handle, and are great for smaller fish. The power of your fishing rod is a measure of how much force is needed to cause a deflection along the rod’s length. Fishing rods are generally classified according to power as ultra-light, light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy power rods. Light power rods are suited to light baits and small fish, heavy power rods to bigger fish, and medium power rods, somewhere in between.