Fishing can be a very relaxing activity, but having the wrong equipment can really ruin your day. A day without a catch is no way to end your fishing expeditions, which is why having the best spinning rods is necessary to make the most out of every cast and lure.
Today, we will be providing you with our reviews based on different criteria, but with overall performance taken into consideration. Read on if you want to get a high-end rod for your fishing adventures so that you can make the most out of your hard-earned cash.
Best Spinning Rods
01 Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite (Our Top Choice)
If variety is what you want, then the Ugly Stik Elite has all the bases covered. Providing 17 different variations of the same product, the Ugly Stik Elite can provide you with everything that you need for any type of situation and it comes in under 100 dollars. In fact, you can probably buy two rods for that amount.
Ranging from ultra light to medium heavy as well as from 4’6” to 7’6”, the Ugly Stik is the go-to destination for whatever kind of fish you want to catch under any type of situation. This can also be a matter of preference, although choosing just one or two can be quite a bit of headache once you really think about it.
All variants are made out of a blend of fiberglass and at least 35% more graphite like the Bigwater, allowing it to be more lightweight without compromising durability.
The Ugly Stik Elite also features its Clear Tip design which provides added durability even during tough catches, although some have reported that the eyelets are a bit too fragile for their tastes. The grip, on the other hand, is made out of cork with the Ugly Stik logo etched on it, making this particular rod quite a beauty as well.
With 17 different variants of the same item, it can be quite difficult to make your choice. Once you’ve gotten the perfect rod for you, though, the Ugly Stik Elite will be the most amazing fishing tackle you will ever have, guaranteed.
- It has a durable composition with 35% more graphite
- It is lighter yet more sensitive
- The grip provides a comfortable hold
- The steel rest provides a very firm grip
- It has a seven-year warranty
- It is more expensive than other models
- The line guides may have to be changed after a short while
The Ugly Stik Elite is our first choice not only because it performed well during our tests, but also because there are so many options to choose from. This may put off some people as they might feel that they are making the wrong choices, but simply ask an expert which one is ideal for you, as there definitely is one that will make fishing an immensely enjoyable activity for you due to the Ugly Stik’s durability and performance.
02 Shakespeare UglyStik GX2 (Good Value for Money)
This is an affordable yet feature-rich model that also comes from Ugly Stick. The GX2 is more or less similar to the Ugly Stik Elite, although with a little more fiberglass and a little graphite in its composition. The grip is also made out of EVA foam instead of cork, and while it does provide a firm and comfortable grip even after a prolonged period of time, some may prefer the old school cork composition.
What strikes us about the GX2 is its wide range of rods ranging from Ultra Light to Heavy and easy setting-up process. Varying lengths are available, with the 9’ being the maximum. There’s really something for everybody when it comes to the Ugly Stik GX2 regardless of where you want to use it. In addition, its 7-year warranty ensures that you will get your money’s worth when buying this product.
As with the Ugly Stik Elite, some complaints about the GX2 are with regards to how the line guides handle braid lines poorly. Most comments indicate that the eyelets break when using braid lines, which can really be an inconvenience. A simple solution will be to replace it with ceramics or to stick with non-braid lines. We were not able to replicate that during our tests, although we did feel some friction that shouldn’t be there.
Nevertheless, the Ugly Stik GX2 is a great performer, and there’s a wide range of variants that you can choose from. You are also guaranteed of durability and performance that can only be compared to a few.
- It has a modern design
- It is very lightweight
- The Clear Tip is very sensitive to movement
- It is cheaper than the Ugly Stik Elite
- It comes with a 7-year warranty
- The eyelets are a bit fragile, especially when using braid lines
- Others may like the cork grip of the Elite more than EVA foam
If you want a good choice but would not like to splurge on the Ugly Stik Elite just yet, then the GX2 may be the right product for you. It provides lightweight durability and sensitivity that is good for any fishing condition. While this is a budget choice, its 7-year warranty is definitely a big plus if you want your tackle to last for a long time.
03 KastKing Royale Legend (Our Ultralight Choice)
Extremely lightweight with a carbon matric Kastflex composition, the KastKing Royale Legend makes our list as a reliable medium light spinning rod choice. Up to heavyweight spinning rods are also available. This makes it an extraordinary when it comes to fishing bigger and heavier fish species as you will experience some real power when it comes to rods.
Ranging from 6’6” to 7’ in length, the KastKing Royale Legend provides longer casts but may pay for it when it comes to accuracy. When fishing with your kids, they may have some trouble handling such long rods. Sadly, shorter rod variants are not available, which can make this particular product more suited to a limited market.
Still, nothing can be said about the performance of the KastKing Royale Legend under the right conditions. With a firm grip thanks to the EVA foam grip, you will also enjoy the tight and secure fit that the nylon reel seats provide. Power remains consistent all throughout even with the two-piece construction, although some have reported that attaching them together can be a bit difficult. Of course, one-piece rods are also available, although storing them is a much less convenient affair.
If you want a medium to a heavy spinning rod that is still comfortable enough to carry for a lengthy period of time, then you cannot go wrong with the KastKing Royale Legend. Not only does it perform well, but its stylish black and red design is also quite a stunner.
- It is extremely lightweight
- Nylon reel seats provide a firm grip
- The line guides produce less heat even with fast line movement
- Power is not lost even with the 2-piece configuration
- A limited lifetime warranty is provided
- There are no shorter or lighter variants
- Two piece rods are a bit hard to put together
While quite limited in its use, the KastKing Royale Legend offers supreme performance and durability due to the quality materials used in its construction. This rod also has casting and spinning variants in order to provide you more variety based on your skills and preferences. Considered as suitable for beginners, this item has a great casting range and provides great control for reeling in heavier fish for as long as you can handle its length.
04 St Croix Triumph Spinning Rods
Ranging from ultra light to medium light, the St. Croix Triumph Travel is actually quite durable to catch even larger fish. Made out of graphite with a carbon outer wrap, its strength is further enforced by two coats of Flex Coat. Aluminum oxide line guides and a DPS reel seat round out the tough overall composition of this rod while still providing good functionality.
Other features include a comfortable cork grip as well as a very sensitive tip. All variants of the St. Croix Triumph Travel are rated to be fast action, so sensitivity is also very top notch. However, this model is somewhat limited when it comes to length, but this also makes it a good rod for those who find it difficult to hold and balance longer rods for extended periods of time.
When it comes to appearance, the St. Croix Triumph Travel comes in a sleek looking black frame just the same as Avid series, giving it a classy look. The package also comes with an easy to carry bag where you can fit the rod once disassembled. While portability is a great thing to have, though, you might think that having a rod that is less than six inches in length should not require up to four pieces. This may put you off as having more parts means having more to assemble and maintain.
The St. Croix Triumph Travel comes with a 5-year warranty, so in the off chance that something gets broken, you will be able to get a replacement.
- It is very sensitive even when catching smaller fish
- It is suitable for redfish and speckled trout
- Line guides are very durable
- It has increased durability due to double Flex-coat finish
- It can be used for catching all types of fish
- A 5-year warranty is provided
- It is one of the priciest rods around
- Four piece rods would make assembly inconvenient for shorter lengths
Durable yet portable, the St. Croix Triumph Travel provides optimum performance as well as toughness without compromising on its sensitivity or weight. This particular rod is as great as Croix Eyecon or LXC68MF Legend Xtreme for rougher waters, or for those who aren’t that particularly careful with their equipment.
With that, the higher price tag is much well deserved as you’d probably go through multiple rods before you’re done with the St. Croix Triumph Travel due to its premium quality materials that were designed to withstand any abuse.
05 Cadence CR5 30
The Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod is super light and portable with its carbon fiber composition. Its heaviest variant weighs in at just 4 pounds, making it very easy to carry even after holding it for several hours. Lengths above 5 feet are available in two piece construction, making travel and storage a cinch.
Ranging from ultra light and medium heavy, the Cadence CR5 is available in varying lengths which allows it to be applicable for a variety of fishing methods as well as in catching different types of fish. It also does not compromise durability, especially with the stainless steel eyelets with SIR inserts, which are specially designed to reduce friction without lessening sensitivity. This allows for the minimized breaking of lines despite fast and rough line flow.
Some complaints about the CR5 30 include somewhat poor quality of the cork handle, especially upon prolonged use. Some reels also do not fit the reel seat a bit well. Still, this can be considered as a good value for money product as it is priced at around just 50 dollars. It is durable enough to catch fish up to four pounds with ease, and it is sensitive enough to detect nibbles from even smaller fish.
What’s also great about the CR5 30 is that it provides a portion of profits for each rod sold to supply kids with rod and reel combos to entice them to pick up fishing as a habit. This is yet another reason why you should try and support this product.
- It is very sensitive even when catching smaller fish
- Line guides are very durable
- It has increased durability due to double Flex-coat finish
- It can be used for catching all types of fish
- A 5-year warranty is provided
- The reel seats are a bit loose
- 1-year warranty with 90-day return policy seems too short as compared to others
Extremely lightweight, you will not have any trouble carrying the Cadence CR5 30 around. It is also made up of tough enough materials that will allow you to catch heavier fish. Its eyelets allow you to use different kinds of lines, and it also allows for good karma due to donations made for every rod bought. Its 1-year warranty is quite short as compared to some, but there should not be any worries as the CR5 30 is built to last.
06 Ugly Stik GX2 combo
If you don’t want to have a separate reel and rod then why not get a reliable pole with a reel already included? The Ugly Stik GX2 already made our list above, but this package makes this rod deserving of a second look when it comes to one of most reliable combos you can find today.
The reel complements the Ugly Stik GX2 perfectly. Once installed, you will feel as if they were constructed together into one solid frame. Three ball bearings allow for very smooth casts and couple that with the balance that the GX2 provides, you will be able to make accurate and long casts with relative ease.
The package comes in 7 different varieties, so you can choose which one suits your needs. This is great for beginners who do not have a particular reel in mind, as you would not have to worry about compatibility and performance. The reels are capable of carrying heavier lines, and 20 pounders are a cinch to reel in with its anti-reverse mechanism.
Of course, don’t expect that the included reel in this item would be great as there are better options out there. Still, this is a great purchase if you just want to buy and go without having to make a separate purchase that may not even fit or perform well in the end. The Ugly Stik GX2 comes with the standard 7-year warranty while the reel itself has a 1-year warranty on it.
- The reel is a perfect fit on the GX2’s reel seat
- The complete set is still very light
- The clear tip design is very sensitive to movement
- Line operations are very smooth
- It can handle heavier lines without problems
- The reel comes with only a 1 year warranty
Combining the best spinning rod with an excellent reel in one package is a smart move, especially if you are just a beginner that just wants to start getting the hang of fishing quickly. You wouldn’t have any trouble setting up this combo with any type of fishing rod, and you will definitely enjoy its smooth operation once fully assembled.
07 KastKing Perigee II
The KastKing Perigee II is a superb choice simply because you are basically buying two rods for the price of one. At least for the two-piece variant, you will be supplied with an additional tip that has a different power, so you can swap tips depending on your specific needs. It’s great for freshwater fishing, too, in fact.
The Perigee II is also lightweight and durable with its carbon fiber construction and graphite reel seats. The Fuji O-rings from the KastKing Royale Legend are included here as well, ensuring that your lines will not break even when fighting against the most aggressive of fish. The Perigee II also comes with a lifetime warranty on tips, so you should not worry about harsher fishing activities as KastKing has got you covered in that department.
The EVA foam grip is also available for the Perigee. While it does provide a nice and comfortable grip, you will definitely see the difference after prolonged use when compared to the classic cork composition. Still, this is a relatively minor issue when you consider how the benefits outweigh this drawback.
There are no shorter lengths available for the KastKing Perigee II, so some skill is required when it comes to balance and handling. The rod also comes in both spinning and casting variants, so you will definitely have a lot of options depending on your abilities, whether you are fishing in freshwater or saltwater. Those who want a slower action would be disappointed though, as the KastKing Perigee II is fast across all variants. If you personally prefer a telescopic rod, KastKing Blackhawk 2 is the right one for you.
- A hook holder is included
- Two piece rods provide 2 tips with different action
- It has a beautiful and solid construction
- It is extremely lightweight and balanced
- It has a lifetime warranty on tips
- The EVA foam wears out a bit more than cork
- It is not recommended for fly fishing
The KastKing Perigee II is a steal as it has one of the most versatile options in the market. Whether it be baiting or casting, or if you want a different type of power, you can have all that with the right selection. Capable of catching even heavier fish, this rod is guaranteed not to break under pressure, and you will be surely relieved with the warranties included in this package, allowing you to use this rod without worries and to your heart’ content.
08 Shimano FXS 2 Piece
The Shimano FXS 2 Piece is as basic as it gets, but don’t write this off as a cheap rod. Constructed of a tough aero glass material, the FXS2 can match up against any high-end rod any day of the week. This is one of the best cheap fishing rods for beginners and professionals alike.
The FXS offers its rods in a wide range of lengths, making it suitable for any type of fishing conditions. Unlike the graphite made lightweight Shimano Sojourn, it has ultra light and medium-heavy weights so that you can take it out to the waters for catching fish of any size. The aero glass frame’s action takes some getting used to, though, as it is stiffer than the usual carbon fiber blank that is more common in rods today.
As a basic rod, the Shimano FXS is easy to take up, and attaching the two pieces together is a breeze. The grip is made out of high-quality EVA foam and is built to last, while the aluminum oxide line guides produce less heat than usual and provide smooth support even for fast line movement. Lastly, the graphite reel seats hug conventional seats tightly, offering a snug fit for most types of reels.
For those on a budget, the Shimano FXS is a great buy. While it does not have a warranty with the product, you can really feel the heft and solidity of the frame, making you confident to really try it out against tough conditions while still performing as you would expect for both offshore and inshore fishing. For inshore fishing only, you can try Scimitar, Clarus, two fine models from Shimano.
- It is great for beginners
- It is very affordable
- It provides a long casting distance
- Reel seats provide a snug fit
- Aluminum oxide eyelets handle all types of lines well
- It is a very basic rod
- The aero glass blank material may get some getting used to
This rod is good for beginners as well as for those on a tight budget but would like to try out fishing as a hobby. This also makes a great backup rod for professionals who would like to try out something new. Solid construction and affordable price are two of the reasons why you should check the Shimano FXS 2 Piece out. You can also try SHIMANO Solora, Sellus, SLX, or Stimula that come at the same price range for a similar experience.
09 Shakespeare USSP701MH Ugly Stik GX2 1-Piece
The Ugly Stik GX2 has already made our list twice, but this particular variant is worth separating from the pack due to its versatility and adaptability. While rated as a medium-heavy rod like the Catfish and the Tiger Elite, the Ugly Stik GX2 is quite sensitive enough to detect even small fish movements. Add to that the high power of this rod and you’ve got the equipment ready to catch the heaviest of the stick without worry of your rod snapping.
The Ugly Stik GX2 is composed of a durable fiberglass and graphite blend just like the Dock Runner and the Intercoastal for enhanced durability. This is one tough rod that’s so comfortable to hold even for longer periods of time. Some may find the EVA foam grip a bit awkward as they are more accustomed to cork, but that is a relatively minor issue especially considering how well the GX2 performs.
The GX2 comes with stainless steel Ugly Tuff eyelets that can withstand a lot of abuse as well as different types of lines. The reel seat is made out of metal and can provide a snug fit for most reels without any need for adjustment. This particular variant of the Ugly Stik GX2 comes in one piece and is seven feet in length. Portability may become an issue but carrying it around is not too much of a problem as it is extremely light that even a child can carry it with no problem.
Many also praise the GX2’s 7-year warranty and very helpful customer support, which is why this is a favorite spinning rod for experts as well as ours.
- It is good for all skill levels
- The Clear Tip design is very sensitive to bites
- It has a lightweight frame
- It can carry heavier lures and catch bigger fish
- It comes with a seven-year warranty
- Purists would prefer cork grips over foam
- Smaller children may have a problem with the balance
The Ugly Stik GX2 is one of our favorites among the list because it is very easy to use. It is perfectly balanced and so comfortable to hold without compromising other areas. It is also great to know that the product comes with one of the most comprehensive and a lengthy warranty period being offered, so you would be sure to be able to use this rod for a very long time despite years of use and abuse.
10 KastKing Speed Demon Pro Tournament Series Bass Fishing Rod
Tough, Light, Beautiful – These are the things that describe the KastKing Speed Demon. Coming from the Pro Tournament Series, this rod is one of the most reliable tackle you will be able to get your hands on as it provides superior durability and power that you won’t find in others within its class.
Whether it be bass or other heavier fish, it poses no problem for the KastKing Speed Demon due to its tough carbon nanotube resin composition. This allows the rod to be at least 30% stronger than other materials while being flexible and sensitive enough to detect bites. Premium materials were also used for all aspects of the rod, such as the Fuji reel seat and line guides that are guaranteed to be tough and can withstand the daily rigors of fishing.
An eye-catching feature of the KastKing Speed Demon is its grip, which looks more like the grip of a golf club rather than a fishing rod. Still, this unique design translates well as it provides a comfortable and firm grip that will not tire you out. The complete package weighs at a maximum of five ounces for the longest variant of this rod, so carrying and holding it at extended hours will not feel like a chore.
Capable of both spinning and casting reels, the KastKing Speed Demon is very versatile and is aimed more towards professional anglers. Its high price tag makes it not ideal for beginners, but those lucky enough to have this rod will definitely attest to just how amazing this product is.
- It is available for both spinning and casting types
- It has a hook holder for safety
- It is extremely lightweight
- It has a unique look
- It is great for hooking top prize catches
- There are no shorter rods available
- It is one of the more expensive rods on the list
The KastKing Speed Demon is one of the exceptional models that we’ve laid our hands on. It’s quite easy on the eyes, too. There’s a bit of an adjustment when it comes to casting and handling as it is a lengthy one-piece rod, but once we’ve gotten the hang of it, we fell in love with it immediately. For sure, you will love this beautiful piece of work just as much once you get to test it out.
Why Spinning Rods Are So Popular
While there are many types of fishing rods, spinning rods are more popular as they are much easier to use. They are a great choice for amateur fishermen that are just taking up the hobby. They come with high rod ratings and are highly effective because they provide you more control over your casts as you would only need your dominant hand to hold the rod with your weaker hand working the reels.
As spinning rods make handling reels more convenient, those using these types of rods can be more nonchalant about their technique. Of course, while having the proper form is important and would eventually have to be learned by serious anglers, having the option to be able to fish even with less skill is a plus.
Best Spinning Rods [A Comprehensive Buying Guide]
Here are some of the things that you will have to consider when choosing this type of fishing rod. These factors were used in determining the listed products here in this review. You might prefer one area of consideration over another, but you should know all about them in order to make a more informed purchase for both inshore and offshore fishing.
Rod power is also called its weight, although this does not mean what it usually does. In this case, rod power means the rod’s strength, such as how much it would bend against stress and how much weight it can carry. “Heavy” rods will bend less but can carry more weight while “light” rods bend more but will be able to carry less.
Action pertains on up to which area of the rod it would bend when it is bearing weight. Fast action rods will have only the tip bending, while slow rods will bend almost up to the other end. Of course, moderate rods will bend up to the middle only.
Lengths of spinning rods will range from two feet up to as long as 12 feet. The right length will depend entirely upon you, as accuracy and range are both factors that will be affected by these criteria. As such, you should choose a length that is well suited for your chosen fishing condition.
Some users want lighter rods as this would translate to comfort, especially when waiting for a fish to take the bait. However, a little heft is also sometimes preferred so as to give the rod a feel of solidness. There are a lot of anglers that are gearing towards more lightweight alternatives now, though, as new materials allow for lighter yet tougher construction.
5. Blank Materials
As previously mentioned, the construction of your rod, also called the blank, plays an integral part on the entire package. For example, an ultralight model may be composed of carbon fiber or graphite, which is a very light material. On the other hand, a heavy action choice may be composed of fiberglass which is more durable and can allow you to catch bigger fishes with less worry about your rod breaking.
The grip of the rod is absolutely necessary as this would make the difference between a good day of fishing and a rod lost to the sea. Grips are usually made out of cork, foam, or rubber and may have different designs for better traction as well as for ergonomic purposes.
A cheap product will make for a rod but will not as long as you would want to. The best spinning rods for the money are made of tough materials like fiberglass or graphite while other sections may also be composed out of stainless steel. A rod made out of durable materials can definitely withstand much more abuse and can serve you for many years.
8. Reel Seats
Your reel seat must provide your spinning reels with a firm grip so that it would not move around. It should also be able to accommodate a wide range of reels. Lastly, reel seats should not interfere with the way that you grip your rod once the spinning reel has been attached. Reel seats are usually constructed using stainless steel with some bells and whistles to provide improved performance.
9. Line Guides
Line guides are the eyelets that keep a portion of your reel aligned with your rods. Good size and materials are necessary for line guides in order to avoid breakage of either your reels or your actual guides. They must be open enough as well as provide less friction while still being tough enough to manage lines, especially when reeling fish back in.
Spinning rods can be categorized by type, and each can be specialized depending on what types of fish you would like to catch as well as the fishing conditions that you may encounter.
Lightweight spinning rods are perfect for fly fishing though there are fly fishing rods especially made for this purpose. Its lighter weight is suitable for children with lesser strength. However, some skill may be required due to limitations in the reels that can be used. Take note that extra-light spinning rods are also available in the market.
This is considered as the strongest type as this is designed with power in mind. Capable of reeling in heavy fish species, this also allows you to fish in seas as well as with longer casting in mind. Of course, these spinning rods are also one of the heaviest in the group.
- Medium Weight
Medium weight spinning rods are suited for catching medium sized fish like crappie, salmon, and trout. It can carry heavier lures while not compromising distance, with finesse in casting not affected greatly. This is right for those who will fish in different water conditions.
Of course, the price will definitely be a factor when it comes to purchasing a spinning rod. Your preferred model must be able to provide you with all the necessities while still being durable enough to not require repair or replacement. As such, many are willing to shell out a little extra if that would mean tougher materials used or better performance in the water.
Spinning Rods Maintenance & Storage Tips
Even if you purchase a good spinning rod, it will last only as good as you take care of it. As such, make sure to follow the following tips when maintaining and storing your spinning rods in order for them to last a long time and keep their pristine quality.
- Wash your rods and with warm soapy water after use. Make sure to use salt water during cleaning.
- For nooks and crannies, use a wet Q-Tip to get to those hard to reach areas
- Use lubrication such as oils and grease on the line guides as well as on the rod itself to prevent corrosion
- Make sure that the rod is completely dry before storing
- Store your rod in a place that is not extremely hot or extremely cold
- Store your rod either horizontally or vertically, but never against a wall or in a way that the entire length is not supported
- Cover your rod using a sleeve or similar material that provides a snug fit and will not allow droplets to form as this will corrode your rod
1. What is the most sensitive spinning rod?
Ans. Spinning rods with graphite blanks are considered more sensitive than the fiberglass types. Their ability to send vibrations to hands is superior to fiberglass rods. This isn’t a strict rule but graphite construction usually has good sensitivity.
2. Do pro bass fishermen use spinning reels?
Ans. Professional bass fishermen, even the most reputed ones, use spinning reels to toss a light jerk bait, a beetle spin, or a small crankbait. Baitcasting reels aren’t ideal since they don’t get fishermen the distance needed when using small or light lures.
3. Can I buy an all-around fishing rod for bottom fishing and spinning?
Ans. Lightweight beach casters are the choice of many anglers who like fishing on the bottom and enjoy spinning for mackerel. The idea is to use the caster for spinning and catching 4 mackerel at once. You can then fish on the bottom in the evening with the same rod. The problem with this approach is you can’t fight much while spinning and the rod is clumsy. Some people still find the utility of this rod worth the hassle.
It’s Time to Wrap Up
So here you have it, our list of the best spinning rods on the market today. Hopefully, you would be able to discern as to which one might be the right choice for you based on the information provided above.
Our personal favorites were the Shimano FXS and the KastKing Speed Demon. Both look amazing and while the former can be used as a great backup rod, the Speed Demon will be the one that we will be using quite often due to its unique appeal as well as its unbridled power and casting ability.
Apart from the reviewed brands, you can also check Daiwa (try their Beefstick, Sweepfire & Laguna), Abu Garcia (we prefer the venerate), Penn (their Squadron II, Slammer III, Prevail are our favorites), Pflueger (their Monarch is worth a try), Tica, Okuma, Obei, Berkley, Mitchell, Lixada, Plusinno, Lew’s (known for Cat Daddy, Hank Parker, Mach 1 & 2, Xfinity), Fenwick (known for HMX, HMG, Elite Tech Walleye), and many more.
As we dealt with only top 10 products, we couldn’t give them a spot there. But they surely manufacture quality models.