5 Best Rod and Reel Combos for Tilapia (Reviews Updated 2022)

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Tilapia are fast-growing, nice-tasting herbivores that are usually found in shallow water, and likely close to vegetation. Choosing the right rod and reel combo for these small-sized fish should not be much of a hassle, and most simple spinning combos will do. The ideal rod and reel combo for tilapia should emphasize portability, sensitivity, convenience, and affordability.

Best Rod and Reel Combos for Tilapia

The best rod and reel combo for tilapia needs to be very light for convenience. Listed below are some combos that are perfectly ultralight.

1. Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo

Cadence Cc5 Spinning Combo

The first ultralight combo on this list, the CC5 combo has a combo that is equipped with corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guides. The reel’s frame and side plates are made from 24-ton graphite, which makes it light enough to be suitable for hunting tilapia. The rod is also lightweight and has a comfortable split grip, and the reel sports 8 ball bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse roller bearing for smooth action.

  • Comfortable EVA knob.
  • Aluminum pinion gear.
  • Carbon fiber drag system.
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2. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Gx2 Fishing Rod And Spinning Reel Combo

The Ugly Stik Combo is one of the most versatile, and the ultralight variant has a rod length of 7 ft, with its graphite and fiberglass build giving it the lightness necessary for tilapia. The reel contains a machined double-anodized aluminum spool, with an oversized bail wire that boosts the overall durability. Another feature that increases the lifespan of the combo is the presence of compression bail springs.

  • 3 ball bearings.
  • Instant anti-reverse bearing.
  • Smooth gear action.
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3. Abu Garcia Black Max Spinning Combo

Abu Garcia Black Max Spinning Combo

In this combo, the 5.5 ft long rod is lightweight, has two-piece body, and a light action that makes it a perfect choice for tilapia. The reel has 4 sealed stainless-steel ball bearings and 1 instant anti-reverse roller bearing all ensuring that the reeling action is seamless. Furthermore, the reel sports a techno-balanced rotor for smooth retrieves, and a heavy-duty aluminum bail wire for durability.

  • Precise gear alignment.
  • Full metal body.
  • Size 5000 reel.
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4. Pflueger Trion Spinning Combo

Pflueger Trion Spinning Combo

The rod in this combo is made from mid-modulus IM6 graphite, allowing it to be lightweight while being capable of coping with a lot of strain. The combination of the rod’s stainless-steel guides and the 7-bearing system of the reel provides smooth performance when tackling tilapia. The reel’s spool is made from aluminum, giving a perfect blend of lightness and durability.

  • Lightweight and sensitive.
  • Corrosion-resistant.
  • Ambidextrous use.
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5. Pflueger PRESSP Combo

Pflueger Pressp President Spinning Combo

As expected of any tilapia fishing rod, the rod in this combo is sensitive, and lightweight, due to its IM-8 graphite construction. The rod is also boosted with stainless-steel guides for accurate casting, and the reel’s 10-bearing system improves smoothness of each cast. The reel has a sturdy aluminum handle, and a spool with an impressive line capacity.

  • Braid-ready spool.
  • 2:1 gear ratio.
  • Responsive rod.
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Rod and Reel Combos for Tilapia Buying Guide

The tilapia is one specie of fish that is an excellent catch for anglers of all experience. Even though very shy, their great taste more than compensates for the challenge of catching them.

We have given you a rundown of the best rod and reel combos for tilapia on the market that stands out among the other options with their specified features and tested performance. We will now give you an outline of the most important deciding factors you should consider when comparing a set of rod and reel combos for tilapia to ensure you end up with the best option.]


Of all the different types of rod and reel combos available, the best suited to catching tilapia is the spinning rod and reel combo. It is very versatile, ideal for anglers of all experience levels, and comes in a very wide range of performance ratings for just about every niche.


The gear you’ll be using to target tilapia should emphasize carrying convenience. As they are not very hard fighting fish, you don’t need the extra weight that comes with high-power units typically of bigger fish. It should either come in smaller dimensions or multi-piece configurations if it is very long.

Rod Specifications

The rod in your rod and reel combo for tilapia should sit anywhere between 6 and 7’ long. It should also come with ultralight to light power. This ensures sensitivity and minimal bulk without sacrificing functionality.

The fishing lines that are typical to tilapia fishing will usually be rated between 6 to 10 lbs., considered small. Lines this small are very prone to abrasive damage, so the design of the line guides on your fishing rod for tilapia are very important. They should be as smooth as possible to reduce friction to the barest minimum.

Reel Specifications

The reel in your rod and reel combo for tilapia should come with a very lightweight and durable construction. The gear ratio is another important factor that separates fishing reels for tilapia from other reels. It should come with a high gear ratio to enable quick retrieval speeds once your catch has been hooked.


The essence of most rod and reel combos lies in their general lower price tag. The same applies here, and your rod and reel combo for tilapia should sit well within your budget and bring the most functionality.