Best Fishing Rods in 2020

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Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced angler, there’s no denying the fact that you’ll be needing the best fishing rods to land your dream catch. While it’s true that your experience, patience, and other gear, such as fishing reels and pocket knives, also play a huge role, a good fishing rod will make the entire process a lot easier. Fishing rods are made out of different materials and you need to be wary of each so as to ensure you find the one that best suits your fishing style.

Not to worry though; our review includes a wide variety of fishing rods, which means you’re bound to find one that matches your style of fishing. So whether you love baitcasting, spinning, or casting into the sea, you’re surely going to find a reel that’s ideal for you on our list. Additionally, we’ve added an in-depth guide below that helps you choose nothing but the best gear. Without further ado, let’s get right to into it:

10 Best Fishing Rods

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning RodHotRate Editors Choice

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The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is one that's popular among anglers. No matter what your skill level might be, there's a GX2 to match your profile. Featuring a graphite and fiberglass build, this spinning rod comes with the kind of power and durability you can always rely on. Its patented design also allows the rod to be able to bend all the way without snapping or breaking. With this rod, you can simply fish for big games without worrying about your fish rod.

Also, the Ugly Stik GX2 ranges from ultralight to heavy build depending on what works best for you. The fiberglass design at the tip is designed to provide the fishing rod with flex and power, thereby enhancing its responsiveness and strength. The rod is also available in multiple lengths, ranging from 4.5 inches to 9 inches. So, ensure that the length you select is one that can work with your fishing style. The durability, flexibility, and variety offered by this fishing rod are some of the reasons why it's so popular and loved.

What We Like
  • Highly durable
  • Fiberglass and graphite build
  • Clear tip
  • EVA grips for a comfortable and firm hold
  • Might be a bit heavy for some users
Features
TypeSpinning Weight12.6 ounces Rod Length7ft PowerMedium Heavy

PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod

PENN Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod

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The PENN Battle II Spinning Rod is a fishing rod and reel combo that's built to withstand the test of time. It is considered to be one of the topmost fishing rod combos for many reasons. Let's start with its all-metal build featuring a metal rotor, body, and side plates. This allows for enhanced durability as well as longevity. Whether you're a surf or saltwater fisherman, this fishing rod combo will serve you well. Penn included carbon fiber washers into its HT-100 drag system. The system uses both sides of the washers, thereby increasing maximum drag up to fifty percent. This fishing rod also comes in multiple variants, just like the GX2 above, in order to accommodate your fishing style.

The Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod also doesn't break the bank. With its price ranging between $90 and $130, you'll be able to purchase your rod while still having enough to get more fishing gear. This medium-light rod also features a Superline Spool system that allows you to tie your superline to your spool without backing. The rubber gaskets hold the superlines and keep them from slipping. And thanks to its HT-100 drag system, heavy drags will mean nothing to you. Its full metal body also allows you to enjoy precise gear alignment even when the rod is under intense pressure.

What We Like
  • Durable and well-constructed reel
  • Great value for money
  • Good drag system
  • Rod and reel combo
  • Rod's last eye lacks durability
Features
TypeSpinning Weight2 pounds Rod Length7ft PowerMedium Light

OKUMA Celilo Graphite Trout Rods

OKUMA Celilo Graphite Trout Rods

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Looking for the best ultralight rod? Then don't go past the OKUMA Celilo Graphite Trout Rods without taking a look. This gear will simply become your favorite especially if you are looking to catch small fishes like trouts. The Celilo is simply one of the best rods for small stream fishing. Featuring aluminum guide inserts, a sensitive graphite blank construction, cork grips, and stainless steel hooded reel seats, this fishing rod will hold down any small fish it catches. The guides are well-placed and the cork handle also feels great in the hands. It comes with a good build quality and an impeccable finish.

The Okuma Celilo can cast with good accuracy and features good sensitivity with moderate action. Whether you want to catch crappies or trouts, there is no better gear to use than these. However, some anglers may not like the fact that except for the smallest rod which is 4ft, 6 inches, the other rods in the series come in a two-piece design. Also, if you're used to really stiff rods, you may not like the feel of this rod as it seems to be a little flexible. Some users have also complained about the reel holders not being the best as a result of a manufacturing defect. But all in all, this rod is one of the best and lightest you can buy if you're looking to go on a trout fishing expedition.

What We Like
  • Great graphite construction
  • Highly sensitive
  • Casting accuracy is great
  • Lightweight and great for small fishes
  • Features a 2-piece design and reel holder tends to break easily
Features
TypeSpinning Weight3.04 ounces Rod Length8ft 6 inches PowerUltralight

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

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If you want a good but inexpensive fishing rod, the KastKing Perigee II is worth looking at. This lightweight gear provides high performance at a really modest price. Available in 4'6" to 7'6" lengths, these rods feature an ergonomic reel seat that allows them to dispense lines effortlessly. This well-built graphite reel seat also allows the poles to remove unwanted weight while enhancing their power, thereby resulting in better comfort and faster deployment. The EVA grips embedded on these poles allow anglers to hold them comfortably even when they are wet and the carbon fiber holder helps keep the hook in place. Thanks to its many size options, you get to use this rod for a wide variety of applications. Whether you want a 1-piece rod or a 2-piece rod, Kastking has tailored this lineup to meet the needs of all anglers.

The KastKing Perigee II features the Fuji O-Ring Line Guides that help you set your line accurately in the water while enhancing your general accuracy. This system also increases your chances of making a catch, which in turn provides a great fishing experience. Hybrid spigot joints provide great power to the rods, ensuring that the power is evenly distributed right from the tip to the grip. You get a great deal of sensitivity here too and to make things even better, the technological design of these poles make it easy for you to move them at unique angles, including 0, 45, 90, and 135 degrees. This simply means that you can fish in multiple areas of the water without having to tilt or move your arms in ways that can eventually cause you an injury.

What We Like
  • The 2-piece rods come with two different tips that allow you to enjoy two different actions
  • The weight and EVA foam grips of the rod provides great comfort
  • Composite graphite design ensures durability
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Eyelets tend to fall apart
Features
TypeSpinning and Casting Weight2 pounds Rod Length7ft, 6 inches PowerMedium-Heavy

Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod

Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod

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The Berkley Lightning Spinning Rod is one that you're bound to love. These rod series have amassed a lot of positive reviews on Amazon and there's no surprise why. Featuring a 24 Ton Multi Modulus Carbon Composite Blank construction, these poles are durable and lightweight. They are stiff and provide anglers with a great deal of sensitivity. And thanks to their stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts, their sensitivity is even more enhanced. However, the spinning models lack the durability that comes with the silicon carbide ceramic inserts featured on the casting rod series. They range from five to seven feet in length and come with different power actions, ranging from extra fast to moderate action.

The Berkley Lightning series also features double-locking reel seats and a rubberized cork handle that makes it easy to operate in really wet conditions. Pair this 2-piece rod with a spinning reel and you'll get a system that's very easy to handle and can be used with any fishing technique. If you're keen on getting the best fishing rod at an incredibly low price-point, this is one of the best rods to work with. You're bound to get an enjoyable experience when fishing with this rod.

What We Like
  • Lightweight and perfectly balanced
  • Highly sensitive and stainless steel guides
  • Moderately priced
  • Easy to use
  • Reel seat doesn't feature palm support which might make it uncomfortable
Features
TypeSpinning Weight4.8 ounces Rod Length7ft PowerMedium

Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod

Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod

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Many anglers need to start accepting that you don't need to spend a lot of cash to get the best fishing rod. With less than a hundred bucks, you can cop a fishing rod like the Tailwater Outfitters Toccoa Fly Rod. It is a four-piece rod that's very easy to pack when you want to travel. This rod comes with an impeccable backbone for determined fishing as well as fast action for handling windy situations and longer casts. Its carbon fiber build provides it with durability and immense sensitivity, ensuring that you notice when your catch is set and you can react in time. Packing this rod for your next fishing adventure is a breeze as it comes with a four-compartment Cordura rod tube with each piece having its own specific spot.

The Tailwater Outfitter Toccoa Fly Rod is also easy to assemble. It features alignment dots that make sure that even a beginner will be able to set it up in no time. Its stylish dark gray color looks natural, ensuring that fishes don't get spooked at the sight of the rod. It features a top-notch cork handle that's quite comfortable to hold as well as ceramic stripping guides that ensure smooth gliding fly lines. The rod tube where the rod pieces are stored even features an adjustable shoulder strap for easy transportation. If you're a beginner looking for a first rod and you want nothing but the absolute best, this rod is one product you should look at.

What We Like
  • It is beginner-friendly
  • All graphite construction
  • Easy to assemble
  • Highly durable and sensitive
  • Feels heavy
Features
TypeFly rod Weight1.4 pounds Rod Length9ft PowerMedium

Piscifun Elite Fishing Rod 

Piscifun Elite Fishing Rod 

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Need a powerful and high-performance baitcasting rod? Look no further than the Piscifun Elite Fishing Rods. The Elite series are simply some of the best baitcasters on the market. Made out of high modulus IM7 carbon blanks, these rods are highly sensitive and provide incredible strength and power. No matter what length you choose, you'd be getting nothing but the best baitcasting performance. It features advanced micro guides that allow you to enjoy an even smoother fishing experience than what you'd get with conventional guides. These guides also distribute stress evenly on the blank while reducing line slap, thereby allowing you to enjoy longer casts, more sensitivity, and enhanced overall power. Additionally, these guides make it easy for you to carry out both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

The Piscifun Elite Fishing Rods also feature high-density EVA foam grips. These grips allow you to hold your fishing pole comfortably even when you're battling big fish. The EVA material is one that will retain its form even after years of use and it's also a quick-drying material so you don't have to worried about baiting big fish in wet conditions. These rod series come with computer-controlled wrapping that makes the power transition very smooth while enhancing the overall balance. You're getting a great value for your money with the rods in this series. They are lightweight, easy to use, highly functional, and versatile as they can be used for both fresh and saltwater fishing.

What We Like
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Great for big fish
  • Comfortable grips
  • Very sensitive and features smooth power transition
  • Build quality feels cheap
Features
TypeBaitcaster Weight3.2 pounds Rod Length7ft PowerMedium

Temple Fork Outfitters Braided Fly Fishing Rods

Temple Fork Outfitters Braided Fly Fishing Rods

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Temple Fork Outfitters is a brand that's known to provide some of the best fishing gear on the market. The brand's fishing reels and rods are simply top-notch and the Professional Travel II Series aren't different. These are medium-fast and highly sensitive action rods that offer powerful and smooth casting while remaining forgiving. No matter what your fishing skill level might be, you're bound to fall in love with this fishing pole. This rod can quickly become the favorite of a beginner or a solid backup for an experienced fisherman.

The Temple Fork Outfitters Braided Fly Fishing Rods feature a matte black finish with a subtle gold logo design that adds to the style. Putting them together is easy as they come with alignment dots that are coded with line weight. Thanks to their anodized reel seats and braided carbon fiber inserts, you'll enjoy fishing with this rod even if you're fishing for extended periods. With this rod, you're simply getting nothing but the best build quality and performance. And to make things even better, it comes with a logoed red rod sock that allows for more customization.

What We Like
  • Great build quality
  • Allows for more customization
  • Can be used in windy situations with no hassle
  • Very fast action
  • May not handle smaller fishes well
Features
TypeSpinning Weight0.16 ounces Rod Length10ft PowerMedium

SHIMANO Solera Spinning Rod

SHIMANO Solera Spinning Rod

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Beginners who are looking to get the best and most easy to use fishing rod should look no further than the Shimano Solera Spinning Rod . Just like Ugly Stik, Shimano is a brand that's known to provide anglers with high-quality fishing rods. Whether you're looking to get the best trolling, spinning, or casting rods, this brand is one you can always trust. The Solera is a medium power rod with an impecabble fast action. If your fishing style is to work quick bait or throw lightweight bait, this is one rod you're going to appreciate. Its line guides are made out of aluminum oxide and they are simply perfect. You get less friction as you cast, which means you'll enjoy more distance and smaller setups.

The Shimano Solera Spinning Rod also comes with cork grips instead of EVA foam. This might be a little disappointing for those who love EVA foam, but the cork grips on these rod series are highly comfortable. They provide a more distinct look while conforming to your holding pattern. This two-piece rod also features a great locking graphite reel seat and an Aeroglass blank construction that allows for improved sensitivity. If you're looking for a rod to use with your spinning reel for lightweight setups, this is one of the best rods you can choose.

What We Like
  • Medium power glass rod
  • Solid graphite seat for your fishing reel
  • Great for beginners
  • Ideal for lightweight setups
  • Feels heavy and functions like a medium-heavy rod
Features
TypeSpinning Weight4 ounces Rod Length7ft PowerMedium

Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9′ Fly Rod

Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9′ Fly Rod

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If you're a beginner who is unsure of what rod and reel combo to buy in order to learn the ropes of fishing, the Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9' Fly Rod is one we'll recommend. Whether you're aiming to catch light bass or trout, this rod and reel combo is one of the best for freshwater encounters. This combo is so good even experienced anglers find it to be an ideal gear. The composite plastic reel comes with a great pioneer, incredible support, and a 150-yard weight forward line. It also features an efficient drag system, a click-drag knob, and a large arbor.

On the rod side, you get a solid graphite build, a four-piece design that makes for easy storage, a Cordura case as well as fast to medium action. With a total weight of 117 grams, this is one of the lightest fishing rod and reel combinations on the market. While it's certainly a good value for money, many anglers don't like the fact that the seat for the reel is quite difficult to use with another brand's fishing reel. Also, Orvis doesn't cover this rod with its standard 25 years warranty. Instead, you get a limited warranty that covers only workmanship defects. Leaving these factors aside, this fishing rod and reel combination is one of the best any beginner, intermediate, or experienced angle can use.

What We Like
  • High-quality build
  • Moderately priced
  • Great sensitivity and cast
  • Good starter pack for beginners
  • It's difficult to attach fishing reels from other brands to the pole
Features
TypeSpinning Weight4 ounces Rod Length9ft PowerMedium

Fishing Rods Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right fishing rod doesn’t have to be much of a hassle. Whether you love fishing in freshwater or saltwater conditions, there’s a rod specifically designed to fit each type and style of fishing. In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at some of the important factors to consider when choosing the best fishing rod for you. Whether you’re a pro or a beginner, you’re surely going to find the information here to be very helpful.

What Is The Best Brand of Fishing Rods?

There are so many brands in the fishing rod market you’ll become overwhelmed if you’re choosing a pole for the first time. While some brands have proven to be effective at producing great fishing poles, other brands, not so much. Some of our top recommendations are Shimano, Orvis, Penn, Ugly Stik, Okuma, KastKing, and Berkley. However, before choosing a fishing rod, we suggest that you carefully consider their pros and cons, read reviews, and make sure they are perfect for the fishes you’d like to catch.

Which Fishing Rod Should I Buy?

Although there are many different types of rods, two of them are considered to be the goto options for anglers. While some of them can be used in any fishing conditions, others are specifically designed to meet the requirements of a particular fishing style. Below are some of the fishing rods you’re bound to encounter in your search:

Spinning Rods

This is one of the two main rods on the market. Spinning rods have their reels behind the rod as well as large eyelets that are designed to face downwards. They usually have their handles on the side of your non-dominant hand so you can hold the pole and handle the reel comfortably. Lines on spinning rods are usually fed out and pulled down. They are the best type of rods for beginners as they allow you to reel in faster.

Additionally, the fishing line on spinning reels usually doesn’t tangle, which means that you get to learn the technique faster and also start enjoying a good fishing experience. However, due to the way their eyelets are designed, there’s a good chance that they’ll break if the force of the pull is too much.

Casting Rods

Casting rods are the second main type of fishing poles. A typical casting rod comes with its eyelets facing upwards and the eyelets tend to be smaller than what you’d find on a spinning pole. Baitcasting reels are mounted to the top of the rod and the handle features a trigger grip. This pole type is perfect for advanced users as learning fishing with it will take time and the lines tend to tangle in the reel. However, once you learn how to use this fishing rod and reel, you’ll enjoyer smoother casts and better distance than what you’d get with a spinning reel.

Trolling Rods

This rod type is designed to allow you to cast from a moving boat. They allow you to drag your lure while using the boat’s forward motion. Trolling rods are usually long, heavy, stiff, and feature fast action. They are used to catch big fishes like tuna and marlin.

Fly Rods

If you engage in fly fishing, a fly rod is what you need. They can be used to catch many different types of fishes depending on how large they are. Fly rods tend to be thin and flexible, however, the heavier the rod, the bigger the fish it will be able to accommodate. One reason why many anglers love this fishing pole is that there’s no butt below the reel. This allows fishermen to cast their lines with incredible speed. Also, their guides/eyelets, known as snake eyes, are specially designed to ensure that your line doesn’t get tangled when you cast while guiding it at the same time.

Pen Rods

Small, foldable, and easy to carry around, a pen rod folds into a case, which comes in the size of a pen, hence the name. They are considered to be the smallest rods on the market as they can fit into your pocket or backpack once folded. These rods are ultra-light and they are just a few feet long when extended. They are ideal as backup reels and great for when you find a sudden opportunity to fish.

Telescopic Rods

Traveling anglers consider these as their goto options. These poles are small and compact as they usually measure 1-2 feet, extendable to 20 feet. You can take your pole with you no matter the mode of transportation you’re using, whether it’ a bike, car, public transit, or while walking. They are, however, larger than pen rods and are great for surf fishing as they come in long measurements and can easily fold back up.

Sea Rods

Available in different lengths, these poles are designed to be used in the ocean. Thanks to their lengths, they can be used in a wide variety of conditions whether you’re fishing on a boat or at the shore. They tend to feature strong eyes, heavy tips, long butt, and a thick and heavy build. These poles are basically used to fight big fishes and the thickest of them can be used to catch sharks.

Surf Rods

Although they can be categorized as sea fishing pole, surf rods have garnered enough popularity to earn their own category. A surf rod is usually longer than a regular sea pole. They are designed to allow you to fish from the shore by providing you with a longer casting distance. You’ll be able to cast past the surf and into the region where the fishes are. These rods come with longer butts that make them easy to use for two-handed casting.

Ice Rods

Ice fishing poles are a lot shorter in length due to the fact that there’s usually no space when one is ice fishing. They are typically between 24 to 36 inches and their eyes are quite smaller than what you’d get on a normal spinning pole. In fact, there are some ice rods that don’t feature reels at all. Instead, you get two opposing hooks that allow you to wind the lines by hand.

What Is A Good All Around Fishing Rod?

In order to decide on the best all-around fishing rod for you, there are some important factors you need to consider. We’ve highlighted and explained some of them below:

Frame and Materials

Fishing poles are usually made out of four materials, including graphite, bamboo, composite, and fiberglass. While fiberglass used to be the dominant material, many of the top poles on the market now feature some of the remaining three materials.

Bamboo: Thanks to its fluid buckcast, bamboo is usually featured on fly rods. It is heavier than graphite but offers an excellent fishing experience. A bamboo rod is perfect for light and delicate presentations such as unweighted small nymphs. However, poles made out of this material tend to be more expensive.

Graphite: Lightweight, expensive, and powerful, graphite rods provide anglers with the most sensitivity as well as the fastest actions. You’ll feel even the tiniest of nibble on a graphite rod. The one thing that keeps them from taking the top spot is their durability. They tend to break easily than fiberglass gears.

Fiberglass: Poles made out of this material tend to be heavy. However, they are ideal for beginners as they require little to no maintenance and they are quite durable. They are also flexible and are considered to be the least expensive rods.

Composite: This is a combination of fiberglass and graphite. A composite rod brings the best of both worlds together by providing better sensitivity, flexibility, and durability.

Action

Action refers to how far your rod bends when pressure is applied to its tip. It can also mean the speed at which your rod snaps back to its original position after experiencing pressure. Fast action rods bend at the tip only, medium action rods bend halfway, and slow action rods bend almost entirely. The faster the action, the more sensitive the rod will be, and the faster you’ll be able to apply pressure. However, slow action rods usually have a better casting distance than their faster counterparts.

Power

Otherwise known as taper or weight, the power of a rod refers to the amount of force needed to bend it. The more power a rod is endowed with, the stiffer its backbone, which in turn reduces its chances of bending. Rods with light and ultralight power tend to bend easily which is why they are ideal for smaller fishes, such as panfish and trouts. Medium, heavy, and ultra-heavy, on the other hand, have more power and they are less prone to bending easily like light and ultralight poles.

  • Ultralight:Can be used to fish small fishes like crappie and baitfish
  • Light:Ideal for small fishes like bluegill
  • Medium-light:Works well for fishes like bass and trout
  • Medium: Great for fishes in the stripper, bass, and catfish category
  • Medium-heavy:An excellent choice for snook, pike, and salmon
  • Heavy:Great for fishes like tuna, salmon, tarpon, and sturgeon
  • Ultra-heavy:Ideal for fishes like halibut, sailfish, and tuna

Conclusion

While getting the perfect rod can be a truly overwhelming process, you can have it easier with the right information. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or an experienced angler, our reviews and guide are aimed at making it easy for you to find the right rod. The products in our review above are ten of the best rods you can buy on the market. With tons of positive reviews on Amazon, you surely can’t go wrong with them. And if you’re unsure of what rod to pick, take a look at our guide. We are sure you’ll find it helpful and insightful.

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