10 Best Fishing Rods

When you go fishing out in your kayak or a boat you should be very picky about the type of fishing rod you use.

After all, not all fishing rods are created equal.

It all depends on the fishing options the rod labels. It is easy to go to the tackle shop and read the fine print and see what the rod limits are and what kinds of fish you can catch.

There are hundreds of brands, designs, and lengths you can pick from. It just isn't logical and you will end up losing the Mahi with a rod designed for Bass as it will most likely break.

You don't want to use the same rod to fish for Mahi-Mahi as you would for Bass, do you?

Well, you can either choose a random fishing rod that might break when you are close to making a catch or pick from one of these ten best fishing rods in the market today.​

Best Fishing Rods (Top 10)

How to choose the best fishing rod?

Fishing can become a great experience when you make the catch and a right fishing rod will help you attain that level of enjoyment.

What you should look for basically is the power of the rod. In layman's terms, this is how well the rod bends.

The closer to the handle the rod bends the lighter the weight the rod will be. There are three main degrees of how powerful a rod is.

You will find some that are ultra-lightweight, lightweight, medium, and of course heavy.

You need to think about the kind of fish you are fishing for and the overall condition of where you are going to fish: saltwater or freshwater.

Things to consider​

There a quite a few things you need to look into when you are picking out the right rod for your kayak. You should basically focus on:

  • Length
  • Butt Section
  • Leashes and fittings
  • Convenience
  • Rod design: Telescopic or Pole

Many fishing rods can be used both in saltwater and freshwater areas to go fishing with.

If it's specially for kayak fishing, you will need a rod that is shorter and has shorter butt sections or that feature in-built leashes.

The length

One thing to remember about the length of your rod is that the bigger the radius of fishing, the longer of a rod you will need.

So, if you are fishing for saltwater fish, then you know that they can get up to 100's of pounds. You should aim at getting a fishing rod that is at least 7-feet long. That way you can cast out and troll the depths below and catch all the different monsters of the deep.

But for lakes, ponds, and creeks 7-foot rod is too much slack and your lures may just end up trolling the bottom of the lake and get caught in debris.

Or stick out too far and get entangled with other kayaker’s fishing rods.

You don't have the advantage of space like you would out in the open waters of the ocean so you should get a smaller rod while fishing on lakes, creeks and streams.

Another thing about longer rods is that they require more space to cast. When you are on a kayak out on the ocean this isn't so much a problem especially if you plan to troll.

But on lakes where you need the distance, having a shorter rod will help you cast out and reel in the fish easier.

Butt Section​

On a kayak you don't have much room to play around with and the butt section will also need to be smaller.

Many kayak anglers will tell you that kayak fishing is a cramped environment especially when you are fighting the fish.

You want to be able to easily fit the rod to your chest, between your legs or under your arm to get the best angle.

But if the butt section is too big, you will have a very difficult time fighting as the butt raises the rod higher or hits the back of your seat and could get tangled in the mesh behind you.

Remember you can't stand up in most kayaks so you will be fighting your fish while sitting down.

Having a short butt section will be your biggest advantage when you are reeling in the fish no matter if you are on a lake or open water.

Leashes and fitting​

"Rig to flip" is a phrase you often hear when you go fishing.

You don't want to take the chance of losing all your gear to the depths below and many fishing rods offer you a purpose-built rod leash or fitting so you can easily attach the rods and secure them.

The leashes and fittings are also very useful when you are out on the ocean and fishing for the big game.

You can rest easy knowing that even if your rod does get pulled from the mount, it is still attached and you can use your cat-like reflexes to get the rod and hopefully score you some dinner as well.

Convenience

Your fishing rod needs to be comfortable for you to handle.

It shouldn't be too bulky or too skinny where you end up digging your nails into the palms of your hand when you are hooked to the big game.

You should always check what type of material is used for the handles as ones that are plastic will be slippery and may cause you to lose more than the fish.

Bamboo handles can be tough and over the years mold to your finger placements, but they are also slippery and will break down faster in saltwater.

When it comes to the handle of your rod get one that uses cork or neoprene.

Cork soaks up water easily, molds quickly to your imprints and is still soft to the touch for long hours out on the water.​

Design

Another thing you will need to consider is the design of the rod and how many sections it has to open up to full length.

You can opt to get a telescopic rod that you can easily store when not in use or you can get one that is a single piece that will hold greater weight for the deep monsters below.

When it comes to design, it really is up to you and your preference.

No one is better than the other and both will get the job done and provide you with a rod for all your fishing needs.​

10 Best Fishing Rods

Now you have an idea of what to look for when it comes to fishing rods, but you still don't have a clue as to which one to buy. No, problem.

We've researched the ten best fishing rods available in the market today.

While this list isn't the end-all, be-all of rods you can pick from, they are recommended to be the best by several anglers and fishing experts.

1. Okuma Classic Pro GLT Fishing Rod

Okuma Classic Pro GLT fishing rod

If you are looking to land a fish 30 pounds or more, then the Okuma Classic Pro is right for you.

It is constructed from durable glass fiber blank material with stainless steel double-foot guides with titanium oxide inserts.

The length of the rod stretches to 7.5 feet, while you can opt for one that is 8.5 feet. What really sets this rod above the rest is the adjustable EVA grips and aluminum oxide guides.

You won't have to worry about your hands slipping when you pull a beast up from below.

This is a great rod for trolling as you mount it to the back of the kayak and let the fish come to you. You won't have any issues fishing in salt or fresh waters as you try to land Flounder, Snapper or Bass.

The rod is sensitive which allows you to feel the struggle and the fish fight which some anglers enjoy.

2. Shakespeare GX2 Spinning Rod

Shakespeare GX2 Spinning Rod

Unlike some of the reviews listed, the Shakespeare Ugly Stick comes with the spinning reel so it is ready when you are.

The Ugly Stick is well balanced and casts well.

The butt section isn’t too long so you can easily maneuver the rod around in various angles while you are fighting your catch.

The rod is one piece so you don't have to fiddle with assembly and it is 6.6 feet with medium powered so landing that bigger fish won't be an issue with this rod.

It can handle 1/4 - 3/4 ounce lures weight and comes with EVA split handles so you don't have to worry about your hands and where to place them.

The best thing about this rod/reel combo is the price.

You can get the Ugly Stick for under $60 so if you do happen to lose it while fishing, it won't break the bank.

3. Abu Garcia Black Max Combo

Abu Garcia Black Max Combo is a great fishing reel

The Abu Pro Max is a great rod for beginners and experienced fishermen alike with 7 feet of length you can be sure that you will catch something beyond your kayak.

The Abu is one piece that offers a reel that allows you to grab it and go to catch big fish in the ocean or lake as it has medium- heavy power.

This rod is made for performance and is constructed of graphite making it exceptionally easy to handle.

The only downside is that this rod weighs 1.5 pounds which can be a bit much when you are tackling big game fish.

Needless to say, though, it has a short butt section allowing you to reel without having that extra rod to deal with.This fishing pole casts smoothly and doesn't backlash like some of the other rods you will find online or in stores.

It is also great for those who want to troll. Just remember to secure it to your kayak before taking off.

4. Okuma NOMAD Travel Spinning Rod

Okuma Nomad Travel Spinning Reel

The Okuma Nomad will have you catching fish up to 60 pounds thanks to its length of 7-feet with medium- heavy power.

The Nomad is perfect for the kayaker as the rod has two different action tips to suit all water conditions and fighting techniques.

The lighter tip is best used for Bass, Salmon, Trout, and Redfish, while the heavier 30-60 pound tip will help you land Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna and Wahoo.

It is constructed of graphite rod blank with carbon outer wrap making this salt water friendly as it won't corrode.

The rod easily breaks down into three sections for transporting yet, when it is put together feels and acts like one-piece rods. The rod is super lightweight and comes in at 1.1 ounces.

No matter what you are fishing or even where you are fishing this is the perfect rod for all occasions. When you are fishing from your kayak, you want sturdy tough rods that can take a beating, and this one will do just that.

The only downside is that you have to assemble the rod and disassemble when you are done, which can take up a little bit of your time.

Other than that, though, this is an all-around fishing rod for you daily fishing trips out on your kayak. You really couldn't ask for a better rod than the Nomad.

Features I like​

  • Tandem with enough space to adjust your kid or dog.
  • Recreational kayak, also used for fishing.
  • Great for family outing.
  • Best for calm water.

5. Daiwa Sealine X'Treme Interline

Daiwa Sealine fishing rod

When it comes to the Sealine X'Treme, more is always better.

You can get one that will land you 15-30 pounds fish like Bass, Trout, Flounder, and some smaller Catfish.

But if you want to go all out, then pick up the 20-50 pound that can easily handle Tuna, Marlin, Wahoo, Ono and anything else your heart desires.

The Sealine X'Treme is a two piece with a sensitive backbone that will allow you to feel even the slightest nibble.

The rod is 7.8 feet in length and is considered medium to heavy power. However, this isn't a combo so what you get is just the rod.

But that only means you get to pick out the strength of your reel and line to help you get the big boys home for dinner.The rod may be simple in design, but it will hold up to the test of time and keep you out on the water as it only weighs 15.8 ounces.

The butt section is a bit long, so you may have to pay attention to where it is going when you are fighting, but for the durability and strength, this is the perfect rod for kayak fishermen.

6. Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod

Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod

When it comes to your fishing options, the Plusinno is great for fresh and salt water.

The Plusinno reaches 7.87 feet and is broken down into seven sections for easy storage.

The weight of the rod itself is only 7oz thanks to it being constructed out of carbon fiber that is mixed with fiberglass.

This is a sturdy hard pole that is durable.As for fishing, this rod offers medium power to easily handle Bass, Trout, Catfish and more.

You can even score a big game fish like Mahi as they don't get any bigger than 100 pounds. The handle is made with EVA fore grip which won't slip from your hands or cause your hands to cramp up if you hold it for extended periods of time.

One thing about telescopic rods though is that they might become loose at the most inconvenient times.

To remedy this issue, simply add some Teflon tape on the screw threads that the rod won't come undone.

Features I like​

  • Lightweight with good loading capacity.
  • Molded in seat to ensure comfortability.
  • Large bow hatch for easy reach.
  • Molded cup holders.

7. Okuma Citrix 3-Piece Fishing Rod

Okuma Citrix Fishing Rod

The Citrix fishing rod is used for fresh and saltwater fishing and is designed for middle to big fish.

The rod is four sections for easy storage and transportation.

When it is fully extended it reaches 7.2 feet and is made of IM8 graphite composite with EVA split grips.

This rod is exceptional for all levels of anglers from advanced to beginner. All you need to do is drop the line in the water and wait for the fish to start biting.

The corrosion of salt water hardly has any effect on this rod due to its material, but it is always a good idea to wash off your gear when you are done with it.

The Citrix weighs just 4.4 ounces which is amazing due to the length of the rod.

Features I like​

  • Spacious cockpit.
  • Extremely stable even in tough water conditions.
  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Strong and stable.

8. Shimano Stimula Spinning Rod

Shimano Stimula Fishing Rod

The Shimano Stimula Spinning rod will work for fresh and saltwater fishing.

It is medium light power so trout, bass, panfish, and pike will snag well. However, this won't do much good for the bigger game like Mahi, Catfish, or Salmon.

The great thing about this rod is that it comes it two pieces that assemble quickly.

The rod stretches out to 6.6 feet and the action is fast allowing the rod to straighten back as soon as you take the fish off the hook and snap a selfie.

The rod is lightweight coming in at 4 ounces and the handle is made of cork so you can be sure the rod won't slip from your grip or be too hard to handle for long periods of time.

The best part about this rod is its hand grips that are split so you don't have to worry about your hands grabbing the graphite composite rod.

The hook keeper is also a good feature to have when you are paddling out to your favorite spot before casting out.

Features I like​

  • Spacious to store any gear.
  • Six mounting brackets.
  • Holds weight at the back for stability.
  • Anglers can stand up and catch large bait.

9. Eagle Claw Fly Fishing Rod

Eagle Claw Fly Fishing Rod

The Eagle Claw Fly rod is used for freshwater fishing.

It is constructed of fiberglass and only weighs 3.5 ounces.

When fully extended the rod is 6.6 feet long and can easily be broken down into two pieces.

It is super small compared to the other rods reviewed due to the fact that it doesn't have a butt section making it difficult to mount on the kayak but offers a feel of control when you cast this out of your kayak.

The line guides are made of stainless steel so they are strong and durable but don't think you can land a big fish with this rod, it will break easily or come apart.

One thing that makes this a superb rod for kayak fishing is the handle grips that are made of cork so your hands won't cramp or slip when reeling in your catch.

10. Shakespeare Telescopic Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Telescopic Fishing Rod

The Shakespeare Telescopic Spinning rod is an ultra-lightweight power rod, so you can only snag small fish with this one.

But despite that fact, this is a perfect rod for snagging Crappie.

The rod is just over 4.6 feet when fully extended and is broken down into 5 sections. It is constructed from high-end carbon fiber so it is sturdy and reliable.

When you are done for the day, it compacts down to 13.5 inches making it especially great when it comes to storage.When it comes to line guides, the Shakespeare Telescopic Rod offers four so you can be sure that the line is right and ready to go.

The line guides are made of stainless steel so you will definitely need to wash this once you are done if you are taking out on the ocean.

The Verdict

The best fishing rod should be an extension of your arm. You want to be able to cast it out to the furthest reaches and still hold it snug as you battle for your dinner.

Try not to get a rod that is too bulky for your body size and doesn't fit snug under your arm or in the rod holder you might have placed between your legs. Also take into consideration that there are many different rods for different fish and come with weight restrictions.

Don't think a rod like the Eagle Claw will have the same performance as the Shakespeare telescopic Spinning Rod. Both are made for different water types and weight.As always when you go out fishing you want to keep everything, including your rods within arm’s reach.

Always make sure to wear a life vest and carry a knife, compass, and whistle when you go out, especially kayaking out in the ocean. Make sure that your rods are secure to your kayak as well.

You don't want a big fish to come up and snatch away your rod, it can and does happen to the inexperienced fisherman so make sure everything is secured.The last piece of advice, you should always get a feel for your rod, even if you buy it online.

Wrap your hand around it like you are fighting a fish to make sure your fingers aren't stretching to hold on or too loose and overlapping where your nails dig into your palms. The rod should be snug and comfortable not something huge that feels like a hunk of metal.

James Moore
 

Hey, I'm the founder of Fishing Kayaks Guide. As a professional angler for over 10 years now, I love to hear and share experience and knowledge about kayak fishing and get connected to all of you people who are enthusiastic to hit the water.

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