Though nothing beats a day spent fishing in a favorite area, novice anglers may feel overwhelmed when faced with the choice of which rod to buy. Many parameters, such as line weight, length, and rod power, go into determining the ideal rod for any given fishing technique.
Best for Backpacking: KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rod
The Blackhawk II from KastKing is a collapsible fishing rod that can be stored in a backpack. The carbon matrix blank is as strong and effective as a single-piece rod, but it can be collapsed into a third of its original length using a six-stage telescope. The 6-foot, 6-inch spinning stick that folds to 1-foot, 8-inches is the shortest rod in the series. The Blackhawk II may be purchased in sizes ranging from 6 feet, 6 inches to 8 feet, 0 inches, and in both spinning and baitcasting configurations. You can choose from medium, fast, fast, or very fast action, and four different power levels, light, medium, heavy, or very heavy. With a maximum line weight of 25 pounds, the strongest really delivers a wallop.
Best for Fly Fishing: Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod
Orvis Clearwater fly fishing rods range in length from 7 feet, 6 inches to 10 feet, 2 inches, making them suitable for a wide variety of fishing conditions, from fishing in tinier trout streams to saltwater flats. There is a wide range of rods available, from very light (2-weight) to very hefty (12-weight) models. The reel seat is made of nickel-aluminum and the blank is made of lightweight chrome.
The ceramic insert in these chrome snake and stripping guides ensures they will last a long time. Half wells, modified entire wells, full wells with a fighting butt, and front and rear grips are just some of the variations available for the cork grips to ensure a secure and comfortable hold on your chosen model. Longevity is greatly increased by the use of composite cork parts in rods with fighting butts and double grips.
Best for Baitcasting: Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod
Experienced fishermen typically favor baitcasting rod and reel combinations despite their complexity. You can pick from a range of rod lengths (from 6 feet 8 inches to 7 feet 6 inches) and powers (mild, medium-heavy, and heavy). There are two speeds available for rod action: moderate fast and fast.
The strongest pound-test on this list is for lines rated from 15 to 65 pounds, with lighter lines ranging from 8 to 12 pounds. High-end baitcasters in this price range can be used effectively for both near-shore and deep-sea saltwater fishing. Graphite and fiberglass combine to form the blank, while zirconium inlays strengthen the stainless steel line guides, allowing them to be used with braid.
Best for Saltwater: Berkeley Big Game Spinning Rod
The Berkeley Big Game spinning rod is a high-performance option for fishing with heavy gear and large fish, thanks to its durable fiberglass construction and stainless-steel line guides with titanium oxide inserts. The latter eliminates the risks associated with using lines with a pound test of up to 30 lb. This rod has a medium-heavy power range, and it’s best used with lures weighing between 1 and 4. The best of both worlds can be had with a moderate amount of rapid action: A quick action rod’s sensitivity and hook-setting power combined with a moderate action rod’s casting range (great for getting your line out past the surf break). The 8-foot length of the rod is particularly helpful for casting long distances. A complete EVA handle and a lightweight graphite reel seat add to the rod’s comfort and control.
Best for Walleye: Fenwick Elite Tech Walleye Spinning Rod
If you’re looking for a spinning rod, one of the best options for walleye is the Fenwick Elite Tech. Models are available with fast or extra fast action, ideal for the high sensitivity and fast hook-setting speed needed to catch walleye. Medium power (excellent for lures and soft plastics) or medium-light power (shorter rods) are available, with rod lengths ranging from 5 feet 9 inches to 7 feet 6 inches (ideal for jigging and live bait). Titanium line guides are built to last and may be used with any fishing line or tackle (including braid). Fenwick’s Hidden Handle Design on the reel seat adds comfort, and the TAC and EVA handle ensures a secure grip even in damp conditions. Due to their greater length, the rods can be split into two pieces for easier assembly.