For anglers who don’t have the luxury of very large boats or who just enjoy kayaking, a kayak fishing rod is a must-have in your gear. While a universal fishing rod may work just fine, a kayak fishing rod has been designed with the logistics that come with kayaking in mind.
The ideal kayak fishing rod should be very lightweight, well balanced, highly durable, comfortable to handle, and should be versatile to different types of kayaks.
Best Kayak Fishing Rods
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of our top five kayak fishing rods that tick all the above boxes and don’t cost a fortune.
The Cadence CR5-30 is an outstanding spinning rod that comes in a portable two-piece design and boasts of a lightweight carbon fiber blank that gives it exceptional sensitivity, strength, and flexibility. It is highly versatile to different target species, allows for smooth casting performance, and comes in a wide variety of lengths and performance ratings suited to different purposes. It is highly durable, affordable, and sports cork handles for the most comfort.
- Very lightweight and portable.
- Highly versatile, smooth performance.
- Comfortable, very durable.
The Okuma Nomad Inshore is a great buy for the traveling angler and comes in a 7’ length and a unique 2-tip action per rod. It comes in a dismountable design for the most portability, features a lightweight graphite blank, and a split-base grip design. It sports an overall sleek design, features high-grade zirconium-reinforced guides and aluminum reel seats, and a pistol grip for the most comfort.
- Sleek design, very portable.
- Double action performance.
- Very comfortable and handy.
The Piscifun Torrent comes as a sleek baitcasting rod and is available in one or two-piece configurations depending on your preference. It comes in a 6’10’’ length, features a lightweight resin-reinforced carbon blank, and is exceptionally sensitive. It comes in a host of different configurations, features ergonomic EVA grips, an S-shaped hook keeper, and graphite reel seats for the most durability.
- Very durable and lightweight.
- Sensitive performance.
- Comes with extra value-added features.
The St. Croix Mojo Yak is a high-performance spinning rod specially designed for use on kayaks and comes in a 7’ length. It combines medium power with fast action, is lightweight, super strong, and sensitive with its graphite blank. It sports a slim profile, Fuji ECS reel seats, split cork handles for comfort, and also features a Kigan hook keeper.
- Lightweight, sensitive, high-strength performance.
- Low-profile design and very comfortable.
- Highly durable.
The Ugly Stik Tiger Elite is a top-notch spinning rod especially valued for its versatility. It comes with a lightweight, highly sensitive graphite blank, very comfortable EVA grips, ad an overall low-profile sleek design. It also comes with high-grade line guides, steel-cushioned reel seats, and in a one-piece configuration for solid performance.
- Very lightweight and sensitive.
- Very versatile.
- Highly durable, corrosion-resistant.
Kayak Fishing Rods Buying Guide
For anglers who have kayaks, choosing the right fishing rod is important to ensure your comfort and raise your chances of a good catch while on your mini boat. And as kayaks are somewhat special boats, fishing rods for kayaks should possess some key qualities we will now look at.
Our buying guide reviews the best kayak 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 kayak fishing rod before you make a purchase.
The materials from which your kayak fishing rod is made from should be exceptionally durable to resist corrosion. Graphite and fiberglass are the most common materials you’ll find in a kayak fishing rod. Fiberglass rods are very tough and flexible, and are also very affordable. Graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive than fiberglass rods, but are also more expensive. Some kayak fishing rods are made from composites like carbon fiber that combine one or two fundamental materials and are the best rods you’ll find on the market in terms of low weight, strength, and flexibility.
The next step you want to take is choosing the type of kayak fishing rod you want. In general, kayak fishing rods come as spinning, baitcasting, and conventional rods. Your choice will depend on the type and size of fish you are targeting and your techniques. Spinning rods are the most popular and the easiest to use when matched with a spinning reel. They allow you make very long casts and are great for small to medium-sized fish. Baitcasting rods are great for larger fish and for more accurate casts. Conventional rods will handle the largest fish and are ideal for techniques like trolling if you have a trolling motor mounted on your kayak.
Action and Power
The action and power of your kayak fishing rod are important specifications to consider. Fast 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 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.
The length of your fishing kayak is another very important factor to consider. The longer the rod, the farther away you can cast. The length also becomes important for the fact that kayaks need the most balance when on the water. An excessively lengthy kayak fishing rod may disrupt that balance and cause your kayak to tilt to a particular side. So your kayak fishing rod should come in short to moderate lengths. Anything between 5’ to 7’ is great.