Best Fishing Rods Guide

With so many options to chose from, it can be extremely time consuming to find a good rod. That’s why we’ve created fishing rod reviews, read below and make an informed decision.

Looking for your first rod so you can take part in the great sport of fishing? Have you looked through some catalogs or browsed in sporting goods store and are already confused? All these new words to learn. Spinning fishing rods? Baitcasting fishing rods?  Spin casting fishing rods? What do all these things mean?

Take a deep breath. You’re not ready to make those choices yet.Before you can even start looking for rods, you need to decide what kind of fishing you’d like to do (as in what kind of fish you’re looking to catch) and where you’ll be most likely to do it – ocean, lake, from a dock, a boat, or whatever is most likely in your situation.

First things first – action. You’ll hear a lot about action. All this means is how flexible the pole is. A rod is said to have fast action flexes in the top 1/3 of its length. If it bends further down the length, the rod is called medium-action. If the rod bends through its entire length, then it’s a slow-action rod. Medium action rods are better at getting distance with a smaller lure. Fast-action rods are better when using certain techniques such as jigging.

Match the action to the fish you’re planning to catch. Crappies or other small fish? Look for an ultra-light rod. For most pan fish, sunfish, bluegill, etc, you’d move up to a light rod. At the other end, if you’re planning on going after shark, tuna, and the like, you’d want an rod with extra-heavy action. Most good fishing stores, both online and physical, will have charts that will match up the specific fish with the fishing rod action needed.

Any good fishing store can help you match the action of the pole to the kind of fish you intend to catch. There’s also charts online to help you match up the action to the specific species. Once you get more experiened, try different styles out to see which one suits you the best. Every angler will swear his way is the best, but a lot of it is personal preference. There’s very few hard and fast rules in fishing.

Next up is where you’ll be doing most of your fishing. If it’s off a small boat or a riverbank, you’ll want a short rod for ease of use. If you’re by the seashore or on a large boat where space isn’t an issue, then you can go for a longer rod. If you hike through the woods before you get to your favorite fishing hole, you’ll also want a shorter rod. There’s no way you want tote a ten foot pole through the woods. A multi-piece rod also works well in this scenario. The fish you’re aiming to catch also play a role in this. Short rods are generally light or ultra-light, so you’ll be limited to panfish and other smaller fish species.

After that, you need to decide which kind of rod/reel combination you need. There’s two types of fishing rod/ree – baitcasting rods and spincasting rods (also called spinning rods). Like everything else about your rod, the choice is driven by what kind of fish you’re going after and what technique you like to use.

Spincasting rods, or spinning rods, are preferred by many fisherman who like its easy casting ability. The spinning rods are distinguished from baitcasting rods by their lack of a trigger grip and their location on the bottom of the rod.  Even when fishing for larger species or in the ocean, many anglers prefer the spincasters. If you have the extra money, go for a higher quality reel, as they use better ball-bearings and will cast better and last longer. A cheaply made reel will hamper your fishing experience., while a high quality spinner will make you a better fisherman.

Baitcasting rods are easy to tell apart from the spinning rods, as the reel is on top of the rod. There is also a  trigger grip that helps the fisherman’s control when casting or fighting a fish once its on the line.
This helps a lot when your hands are wet and slippery from handling fish all day long.
You’ll hear anglers arguing all day long about baitcasting rods versus spinning rods. Yes, there are some situations where one is clearly better than the other, but a lot of it boils down to personal preference.


If you’re looking to find a quality fishing rod on a budget, you’re in luck! We’ve made some comparison charts at different price points to help you save time and money.

Best fishing rods under $50
Best fishing rods over $50


Most good spinning rods and baitcasting rods are made with graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both. It used to be that graphite had some problems with breakage and fragility, but the manufacturing has come a long way. They’re a lot better now. Honestly, there’s not much difference between the various quality brands – it basically comes down to personal preference. Ask some friends what they like, but take their advice with a grain of salt. Try rods made of the different materials, see which one feels the best.

If you’re not ready to make a choice yet, your best bet might be a find a friend with several quality rods. Offer to buy him some dinner if he’ll take you out and let you try out the various spinning rods and baitcasting ones. After awhile, you’ll probably notice you’re favoring a particular style of rod. Take notes as to what kind of action you like and whether you like baitcasting rods or spincasting rods better.You’ll be a better educated customer when you’re ready to start shopping for a rod. Remember, it’s hard to imagine being out on a boat fishing when you’re inside a store that won’t let you cast. There’s a reason why car dealers want you to take a test ride – that’s what sells the car.

You’ll be (hopefully) spending a lot of time with this rod. Make sure it’s one that’s comfortable for you to handle. You can always upgrade as your skills progress. The flip side of that is to get a quality rod the first time, so you won’t be frustrated by faulty equipment that doesn’t work right. The important thing is to go out there and start fishing, not to worry about whether you should get a spincasting rod or a baitcasting one. Have fun shopping!

Best Fishing Rods Under $50

Product NameRod TypeRatingPrice
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod ComboSpinning4.3$49
Eagle Claw Pack-It Spin Combo Telescopic RodSpinning Combo3.6$29
Docooler Mini Aluminum Saltwater Fishing Tackle Pocket Pen Fishing Rod Pole + ReelSpinning3.5$12
Andoer 3M 9.84FT Portable Telescope Fishing Rod Travel Spinning Fishing PoleSpinning5.0$25
Zebco Medium Heavy Spincast Fishing Rod and Reel ComboSpin Casting4.1$35

Best Fishing Rods Over $50

Product NameRod TypeRatingPrice
Okuma's Nomad Travel Saltwater Multi Actions Fishing Rods-NT-C-703UL-LHybrid5$179.95
Falcon Rods HD Casting RodHybrid4.9$69.95
Tica UMGA Series Surf Spinning Fishing RodSurf4.3$60
Mitchell 300 Pro Spinning Rod and Reel Combo, 7-Feet/MediumSpinning Combo5.0$89.99