Best Fishing Rods

5 Best Fishing Rods (Reviews Updated 2020)

Few water activities beat the primal rush that comes with fishing – choosing the right bait to lure bass, waiting patiently for a bite, wrestling your catch, and the overwhelming sense of pride and satisfaction when you reel in your catch. And while all the equipment in your fishing gear is important to the hunt, your fishing rod deserves special attention as it takes the brunt of all the tugging, and with a good product, you can raise your chances of a good catch. The ideal fishing rod should be lightweight, affordable, highly durable, and should be very versatile.

Best Fishing Rods

With a host of brands on the market, finding a great fishing rod can be a little challenging. To save you the hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five fishing rods so you can make the right choice quickly.

1. KastKing Blackhawk II

Kastking Blackhawk Ii

The KastKing Blackhawk II is a top-notch telescopic fishing rod ideal for the traveling angler and comes in a six-piece configuration that is very easy to set up. It features a blend of high-grade materials for the most durability and flexibility, line guides for the best casting performance, and is highly versatile thanks to its variable length, action, and power. It is compact, lightweight, and sports an EVA handle for the most comfort.

  • Six-piece telescopic design.
  • Highly versatile and travel-friendly.
  • Very durable and convenient to use.
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2. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2

Especially suited to ice fishing, the Shakespeare Ugly Stix GX2 comes with a 28’’ single piece medium power rod and size 20 reel combo. It features the patented Ugly Stik blank, EVA handles for the most gripping comfort and stainless steel line guides for improved casting accuracy. Its reel comes with an aluminum spool, is sensitive enough to detect light bites, but still strong enough to reel in decently large fish.

  • Rod-reel combo, ideal for ice fishing.
  • Single-piece design, comfortable to use.
  • Lightweight and highly durable.
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3. Daiwa Mini System Minispin

Daiwa Mini System Minispin

The Daiwa Minispin is the ideal fishing rod-reel combo for fishing on-the-go and comes with a 4.5 feet rod in a five-piece configuration that is easy to set up. It includes an MS-S500T reel that runs on a bearing drive, supports two to six-pound lines, and boasts of an excellent line twist reduction. It also comes with a highly durable, compact casing for easy portability and includes terminal tackle compartments.

  • Excellent line twist reduction and reeling performance.
  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to set up.
  • Comes with carrying case and is highly durable.
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4. OKUMA Celilo Lightweight Trout Rods

Okuma Celilo Lightweight Trout Rods

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, is very affordable, and comes in a 2-piece design very convenient to use.

  • Very lightweight and flexible.
  • Highly durable and sensitive, with moderate action.
  • Affordable and comfortable to use.
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5. St Croix Triumph

St Croix Triumph

The St Croix Triumph comes as a 4-piece set of ultra-light power, fast action graphite fishing rods. Each rod is very highly durable, lightweight, and flexible, comes with high sensitivity, and high-grade cork grips for the most comfort. They also come with highly durable Fuji DPS reel seats, hard aluminum oxide guides, and all come in a carrying case for excellent portability.

  • Simple design, easy to use.
  • Lightweight, highly durable, and sensitive.
  • Come with carrying case.
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Fishing Rods Buying Guide

Your fishing rod is the most important part of your fishing gear as it doubles as a frame for other equipment like reels and helps channel your effort to reel in your catch. Whether as a newbie or experienced angler, your choice for a fishing rod will directly determine how often you make successful catches, the size of fish you can catch, and the environment in which you can fish.

Our buying guide reviews the best fishing rods on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in a fishing rod before you make a purchase.

Type

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 used with a spinning reel and line guides that sit under the rod. They offer the advantage of easy handling, less tendency to backlash, very long casting range, and suitability to both left and right-handed users. They are ideal for small to medium-sized fish.

Baitcasting rods are better suited to catching bigger fish and are more popular among experienced anglers. They are used a baitcasting reel and line guides that sit on top of the rod. 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 were widely used before the invention of specialized baitcasting rods and spinning rods. They sport a similar design to baitcasting rods with their reels and line guides above the rod. They are however more suited to saltwater fishing and offer the advantage of large line capacity and superior reeling torque.

Materials

The material from which your fishing rod is made is another important factor to consider. In general, fishing rods are made from materials like fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite, or feature a blend of these materials.

Fiberglass is often found in beginner-type rods and combines high flexibility with low weight. It is, however, weaker than carbon fiber and graphite.

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. Carbon fiber fishing rods are, however, even more brittle than graphite and can break upon high-speed impact.

Some fishing rods feature a blend between two or three of these materials and are the best fishing rods you will find on the market. They are designed to combine the positive qualities of each material to yield a hybrid that is lightweight, strong, and flexible.

Length

The length of any fishing rod you go for is another important factor to consider. The longer the fishing rod, the farther it will cast a specified tackle weight. However, bear in mind that longer fishing rods will be heavier and experience higher strain when reeling in fish and so should come with the right materials.

According to length, fishing rods are also classified as fixed length and telescopic fishing rods. Fixed length fishing rods come in a single length that may sometimes be in a 2-piece design – handle and rod. Telescopic fishing rods, on the other hand, usually come in several dismountable pieces making them ideal for traveling anglers.

Power

The power of your fishing rod is another important factor to consider. It 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.

Action

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.