The smallmouth buffalo is the most popular commercial fish and comes as a powerful medium-large species that is often mistaken for the carp. If you have smallmouth on your target list, getting the right equipment in the form of a rod and reel combo will save you the hassle of ensuring equipment compatibility, extra costs, and failing equipment. The ideal fishing rod and reel combo for smallmouth buffalo should be able to withstand the reeling strain, should be lightweight, sensitive, very durable, and shouldn’t cost a fortune.
Best Rod and Reel Combos for Smallmouth Buffalo
We have compiled a list of the best rod and reel combos for smallmouth buffalo that check all these boxes and stand above the vast options on the market.
The Ugly Stik GX2 comes as a 6’ long spinning rod and reel combo and is especially suited to big game. It comes with a composite blank construction, a 2-piece configuration, and features double EVA handles for comfort. The spinning reel features a 4-bearing construction, a 5.5:1 gear ratio, and an anodized aluminum construction.
- Stylish design.
- Lightweight and portable.
- Excellent strain capacity.
The Kastking Crixus comes as a 7’ long spinning combo designed for the best high-end performance. The rod comes with a graphite construction, features golf-style superpolymer handles, steel rings with inserts, and in a 2-piece configuration for carrying convenience. The size 3000 spinning reel comes also comes with a composite construction, a 5+1 bearing construction, and is very smooth.
- Lightweight and durable.
- Highly ergonomic.
- Portable and easy to use.
This combo comes as a telescopic spinning unit and is 6.9’ long. The rod comes with a sensitive carbon construction, dual EVA and cork handles, and smooth guides with ceramic inserts. The spinning reel matches the rod in an overall black and gold, comes with 8+1 bearings, while the whole unit is the ideal budget option.
- Exceptionally portable.
- Very ergonomic and stylish.
The Richcat combo comes as a 6.9’ spinning unit with a carbon fiber composite construction. The rod comes with aluminum guides, a reinforced tip, and an ambidextrous design. The size 5000 reel comes with a 5.2:1 gear ratio, pre-spooled with 120 yards of 22 lbs. line, and matches the rod in an overall black and yellow.
- Lightweight and convenient to use.
- Comes pre-spooled with line.
- Very stylish design.
The Pflueger PRESSP comes as a spinning rod and reel combo and is 6’ long. It comes with a graphite blank construction, smooth guides, and cork handles. The high-end reel comes with a 10-bearing system, a braid-ready spool, and an aircraft-grade cranking handle.
- Lightweight and durable.
- Smooth performance.
- Impressive drag performance.
Rod and Reel Combos for Smallmouth Buffalo Buying Guide
While the smallmouth buffalo is not a particularly huge monster, it grows to decent dimensions and is an impressive catch for just about any angler. Their impressive weights are attributed to their remarkable bulk, rather than their lengths.
In the descriptions above, we have given a rundown of the best rod and reel combos for smallmouth buffalo that stand above most options on the market and what they are good for. Now, we take a look at some of the deciding factors we considered and you should too to give you confidence in the products we chose and find the best match for your budget.
Most combos for smallmouth buffalo will come as spinning units. They are exceptionally versatile, convenient to use, and there is a spinning unit for just about any fishing niche.
Also great for smallmouth buffalo are baitcasting rod and reel combos that boast of more accurate casts and reeling torque.
Rods for smallmouth buffalo stand out with their impressive lengths. The ideal rod for smallmouth buffalo will usually sit anywhere between 10 and 12’. This ensures the rod’s sensitivity for the required power ratings and long casts.
The ideal fishing rod for smallmouth buffalo should come with medium/heavy to heavy power to ensure enough strain capacity. It should also come with fast action to improve sensitivity.
You also want a rod that comes in a multi-piece or telescopic configuration for carrying convenience and is very easy to set up.
The line capacity on your fishing reel for smallmouth buffalo is one of the most important factors to consider. To hold enough high-rated line that can bear the reeling tension, your reel should come with a large spool capacity.
The drag on your reel for smallmouth buffalo is another important factor to consider and works hand-in-hand with your line rating. The drag system allows the line to unspool under resistance as your catch tries to flee, effectively tiring it out. You should never set the drag above the tension rating of your line as it will snap.
The bearing design is also a worth consideration. The more the bearings, the smoother the reel runs. Higher bearing numbers, however, mean extra noise and weight and should thus be balanced.
Some modern reels also come with sealed bearing constructions to prevent infiltration by the elements that may shorten the unit’s life.