Angling can be an exceptionally soothing activity. Apart from that, fishing can be a way of making a living for some people. Regardless of why you fish, you need a Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for it in the first place. How do you find one?
That isn’t very easy, let us say that. However, we are here to try to solve that problem! Not only we have prepared an in-depth buying guide for fishing poles, but we also picked 10 models that we think are the best fishing rod and reel combo out there! This will help you get some point of reference for your search. Besides, maybe you like one of them and buy it!
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo We Will Cover Today
- Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod
- Penn Pursuit II Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
- Lew’s Mach 2 Spinning Combo
- Penn Spinfisher V Spinning Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
- PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- Sougayilang Fishing Rod
- Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
- Penn Battle II Combo
- Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
Top 10 Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Reviews
Up first on our reviews of best fishing poles is GX2 Casting Rod by Ugly Stik. As you could have guessed, this particular fishing rod is designed for casting!
GX2 is equipped with a trigger, as well as a convenient EVA foam grip, which allows for supreme comfort for casting the lure to whatever spot you want. This would be of most use in large water bodies where you need to catch fish at large distances.
GX2 Casting Rod’s blank construction is made from a graphite and fiberglass combo, which makes this fishing rod durable and quite flexible. In fact, you could even choose the amount of resistance to flexing you want with this fishing rod! That’s because GX2 comes in several variants with different power levels going from medium to heavy, meaning that this fishing rod is good for medium-weight to heavy fish.
Apart from the power, you could also choose the length of the rod. All in all, GX2 is short and measures between 5’ 6” and 7’ 6” inches. The longer rods will be great for farther casting and fighting the fish, while the shorter ones will be appropriate for those who want better sensitivity.
Another noteworthy feature of this fishing rod is that it has a 2-piece construction, which will allow you to take apart GX2 for easy storage and carry.
- Great for accurate casting.
- 2-piece construction.
- Comes in a variety of lengths.
- Durable materials.
- All-around resistant EVA foam grip.
- No clear indication of the action.
Penn Pursuit II fishing rod is a spinning rod, which means that it isn’t as good at casting. But on the other hand, the features of spinning fishing rods allow for better control over the line and the fish!
What’s also remarkable about Pursuit II rod and reel combo is that it comes in longer sizes (7 to 10 feet). As you already know, length contributes to the casting capacity of the fishing rod. Apart from that, long fishing rods absorb shocks better, which helps with fighting fish.
On the other hand, because this is a fast-action fishing rod, it probably won’t be very easy for you to feel the benefits of the rod’s length. Pursuit II is much better for pulling fish out from heavy cover with a quick move rather than fighting the fish. Plus, fast action allows for a much better feeling of the lure’s and fish’s subtle movements.
The range of Pursuit II combo’s versions is also quite nice in terms of power: it ranges from medium-light to heavy. You could either choose one of them or pick several, depending on what you need at the moment.
Penn fishing rod is made from composite graphite for added durability and flexibility. Some of the versions of this rod are 2-piece while the others are just single-piece, so be careful and don’t accidentally get the fishing rod that you do not want.
And lastly, the most remarkable feature of the Pursuit II rod and reel combo is that it includes a decent reel. The reel’s body and rotor are made from graphite, while the side plate is made from aluminum. The reel features 4 shielded steel ball bearings for smooth action, as well as an anti-reverse bearing.
- Great for quickly pulling out fish from the water.
- A wide range of power ratings.
- Nice length.
- Comes with a durable reel.
- Made from composite graphite.
- Not so great for fighting fish.
- The reel is not waterproof.
Buying the spool separately can be another tough journey. If you are a beginner then you need something that is ready to go to action for you. The Lew’s Mach 2 spinning combo is what you require for this.
Let’s talk about the rod itself first. The rod has an aluminum body and sideplates and is pretty robust. However, it is not the best choice against the larger stronger species as it may snap in two easily. It is great for smaller species that usually beginners target.
Other than that, it is very lightweight and smooth in action. The casting ability is great too. Now, let’s talk about the rotor.
The rotor is one of the best that you will ever find. With 10 ball bearings, you will rarely ever get stuck or slow with this. The gear ratio of 6.2:1 assures you a fast retrieve as well.
Furthermore, it accepts all types of lines and has a good capacity as well. Being made from lightweight carbon C40, it does not tire you out either.
It does not matter if you are left or right-handed. The combo is great for both kinds of fishers.
- A really efficient combo.
- The rod is well built with quality materials.
- The rotor is very smooth.
- Good action and casting ability.
- Good choice of materials.
- Ambidextrous nature.
- Reasonable price.
- Easy to use for beginners.
- Not the most durable.
Yet another Penn spinning fishing rod on our reviews of the best fishing rod and reel combo! This one is also a combo, but it differs quite a bit from Penn Pursuit II we reviewed previously!
One of the noticeable differences is the included reel, Spinfisher V. It features a water-tight design, unlike the reel of Pursuit II combo. It also has 5 shielded bearings for smoother action. Lastly, all the components of the reel are made from metal.
The fishing rod of this combo features extra-fast action, which will be absolutely necessary for those who need as much sensitivity and feel of the lure & fish as possible. Apart from that, the extra-fast action will allow for rapid pulling of fish from cover.
In terms of power, this combo comes rated between medium-light and heavy. This means that you will be able to catch any fish that weighs between moderately and heavy.
The length options of the fishing rod are also quite nice. If you need to have more control over the rod, you could go for the shorter 6 – 7 feet rods, and if you want to do slightly better casting, the 10 feet version would be nice.
This fishing rod features EVA foam grips, which are resistant to water and are quite durable. They are also comfortable, though the foam might make it more difficult for you to feel the rod.
As it was with the previous combo, the fishing rod can be either one- or two-piece, so pay attention to what you are getting.
- Sealed, water-tight reel.
- Graphite composite blank construction.
- Fully metal reel included.
- Various options of length and power.
- Great sensitivity.
- Complaints on the poor packaging.
PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod combo kit is quite remarkable in terms of both the features of the fishing rod and in terms of what comes included in the kit. And indeed, this fishing rod kit has quite a lot to offer!
Let’s start with the fishing rod. Its most eye-catching feature is that it is telescopic, which makes it exceptionally easy to store and transport. The fishing rod is made from graphite, which makes it tough and flexible. Depending on the version of the rod you choose, the closed length of the rod will range between 15.77 and 16.93 inches. And speaking of the versions, PLUSINNO fishing rod comes in lengths ranging from 5.91 to 8.86 feet.
PLUSINNO fishing rod has heavy power, allowing you to efficiently catch heavier fish. Besides, this fishing rod has moderate action, which allows for a good balance between control and sensitivity. Though the sensitivity isn’t as good as with fast rods, it is still present at a good level. And because this rod flexes more, it will be easier for you to fight the fish. Also, let’s not forget that better flex contributes to casting!
As for the included kit, it comes with everything an angler might need: reel, line, 6 lures, 6 hooks, 4 sinkers, and 1 fishing bag. Keep in mind though that the set will be best for beginners: in case you are just starting fishing, PLUSINNO combo kit will be an ideal choice!
- Good range of lengths.
- Offers a good balance between control and sensitivity.
- Suitable for heavy fish.
- Includes a reel, hook sets, line, storage case, and more.
- Great if you want an easy to store and carry fishing pole.
- Soft and comfy grip.
- All of the equipment is beginner-grade, especially the reel.
Up next on our reviews of the best fishing rod and reel combo is a quality rod by Abu Garcia. This particular fishing rod is a great choice for more advanced anglers, though it still isn’t a pro-level fishing pole.
Abu Garcia Catfish Commando fishing rod and reel combo is specifically designed for catching catfish, as you could have guessed from its name. One of the design choices that contribute to the rod’s ability to catch catfish is its medium-heavy power, which is what you need for catfish. Apart from those species, you could also catch any other fish which’s weight can be supported by this fishing rod.
Measuring 7 feet long, Abu Garcia Catfish Commando is somewhere in the middle of the long range of fishing rods. The length makes it reasonably good for casting and provides enough shock absorption to help you fight stubborn fish. However, because the manufacturer doesn’t indicate the action of this fishing rod, it is difficult to evaluate how exactly it will perform in terms of control and casting.
The Catfish Commando features a durable and quite light composite build. The grips of the rod are equipped with EVA foam covers for convenient angling.
The last feature of this kit is the included reel, which has fairly good quality. It has 2 stainless steel ball bearings for smoothness, as well as a 4-pin centrifugal brake to ensure consistent pressure during casting.
- Specially designed for catfish angling.
- Great for moderately heavy fish.
- Durable composite blank build.
- Comes with a fairly good reel.
- Not clear what the action of the rod is.
Yet another Sougayilang fishing rod and reel combo But this one has the option of getting a full kit, which would be ideal for those who are looking for everything at once!
This Sougayilang fishing rod is telescopic, allowing for convenient storage and transport. Sougayilang offers length options ranging from 5.84 feet to 10.8 feet. All of the versions have medium-light power. It also seems that this Sougayilang fishing rod has fast action, but we can’t say for sure because the manufacturer doesn’t indicate the action on their product description. Overall, this rod will have good sensitivity and great ability to pump out fish from the water. The casting ability will depend on the version of the rod: the longer the rod, the better the casting is.
All of the versions of this Sougayilang rod come with a reel, which is equipped with about 12 bearings for highly smooth action. The handle of the reel can be mounted from either side for both right- and left-hand use. Overall, the included reel is a rather nice device to stick to if you are a beginner.
As for the optional full kit, it includes an additional 6 lures, 5 swivels, 2 sinkers, 1 line, 2 bite alarms, as well as 1 plastic carry box.
- Telescopic design.
- Medium-light power for lighter fish angling.
- Stiff for better power transfer.
- Great sensitivity.
- Comes in either reel + rod kit or a full pack with lines, hooks, and whatnot.
- Quite a smooth reel.
- Various length options.
- Slight issues with the guides’ durability.
If you are a skilled angler and want to get a quality fishing rod, then Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod may be the best choice!
The graphite blank construction makes the Elite Spinning Rod durable yet lightweight. The guides of this rod are made from stainless steel. As for the grip, it is made from cork, which is the best material to choose if you have been looking for a rod with a good feel and sensitivity.
What also contributes to the sensitivity of this rod is its stiffness and action, though the manufacturer doesn’t specify the exact action of the Elite Spinning Rod. What is known however is that the several options of this rod offer ultra-light to medium power, allowing for angling a variety of small and medium fish? There are also length options ranging from 4’6” to 7’6”. The relative shortness of this fishing pole is a great thing because it makes the Elite rod perfect for confined fishing areas. Just keep in mind that some versions of this fishing pole are two-piece, while the rest are one-piece.
- Power options from ultra-light to medium.
- Stiff and sensitive.
- Cork grip for a supreme feeling of the rod.
- A wide range of short to medium-size rods.
- Optional two-piece models.
- The reel seat is too small to accommodate reels above 4000 series.
Penn Battle II Combo truly is a great fishing rod. It costs good money but is well worth the price thanks to its high-quality construction and features.
This fishing rod has been particularly designed for angling saltwater gamefish. At least, the medium-light and medium versions are. Apart from that, the rod can be used for catching any fish that the fishing rod can handle.
PENN offers quite a good range of length options, starting from 6’6” and ending with 10’. The longer the version, the heavier its power is. Speaking of power, it ranges from medium-light to heavy. As for the action, the manufacturer doesn’t clearly indicate it. But from what we have managed to gather from user feedback, this PENN fishing rod has something between moderate and fast action as it, on one hand, isn’t very sensitive and on the other isn’t very flexible.
The reel included into this combo kit is a quite smooth unit thanks to its fluid cranking with 5 stainless steel ball bearings. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system ensures rapid drag without issues with smoothness.
The grips of PENN Battle II are made with foam, except for the 4000 7’ medium-power version, which has a cork grip. The cork grip makes the rod much more sensitive, so if that’s what you need, you might want to consider getting the 4000 version.
- Ideal for catching saltwater gamefish.
- A wide range of length options.
- Suitable for angling medium or large fish.
- Smooth reel included.
- 2-piece versions available.
- Not really clear what the action is.
And the last rod on our reviews of the best fishing rod and reel combo is Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod! You might think that we have already featured this model, but no, the other GX2 was a casting pole, while this GX2 is a spinning one!
What’s noteworthy about this fishing rod is that it comes in a huge variety of lengths and powers. In fact, nearly all the lengths have all the powers you may need! Overall, the length of GX2 Spinning Rod ranges from 4’6” to 9’, while the power ranges from ultra-light to heavy. As for the action, it seems that it is either fast or something near it. The manufacturer doesn’t indicate the action, unfortunately.
Overall, GX2 would be a great choice for any fish sizes! Apart from that, it would be a nice choice if you want to be able to feel the rod, the lure, and the movements of the fish.
The blank structure of GX2 Spinning Rod is made from graphite and fiberglass, while the grips are covered with EVA foam. As you could have guessed, this rod is durable, flexible, and quite convenient.
What’s also nice about GX2 Spinning Rod is that it comes in either 1-, 2-, 3-, or 4-piece versions. Those rods that have more than one piece would be great if you aren’t quite able to transport and store full-size fishing rods!
- A variety of lengths and power levels.
- Quite sensitive and stiff.
- Made from graphite and fiberglass for longevity.
- Convenient EVA foam grips.
- Several-piece rod options.
- Again, not clear what the action is.
A good fishing rod won’t turn you into a great angler in an instant, but a poor rod may significantly limit your fishing ability. It is thereby extremely important to get a good fishing rood. However, quality isn’t everything you need to account for. You should also pick a fishing pole that will be able to perform the required tasks.
To help you pick the best fishing pole from the variety of rods, we will now thoroughly examine the things you should be looking for in a fishing rod.
There are two main types of fishing rods – spinning and casting – but there are their several subtypes as well. Let’s examine the ones that are the most important.
Casting fishing rods are designed to allow the angler to place the bait wherever they need. In its turn, casting rods can be split into two categories – spin casting rods and baitcasting rods – but you will mostly see rods that are only labeled “casting rods.”
In the case of both subtypes, the guides are on the top of the fishing rod. Spin casting rods typically have smaller guides (with the largest being right next to the reel), as well as a forefinger trigger grip. These rods are designed to be used with spincasting reels.
Baitcasting rods usually only differ in that the guide closest to the reel is slightly smaller because of some differences in how the line peels off baitcasting reels.
In general, casting rods have a trigger grip that helps with holding the rod securely while casting.
Spinning fishing rods look like casting rods but are usually lighter and smaller. Spinning rods usually measure between 5 and 8.5 feet in length and have 5 – 8 guides, which are positioned in a way similar to spin casting fishing rods, though they are located on the bottom of the rod rather than on the top.
The main difference between spinning and casting rods is that the reel hangs from the bottom of the rod. Among other differences are that there are no triggers on spinning rods, as well as their handle length is balanced against the length of the rod.
As the name implies, fly rods are designed for fly fishing. Fly fishing rods are thin, flexible, and lightweight, which allows for working the fly backward and forwards.
A distinctive feature of fly fishing rods is that they do not have the butt section below the reel, allowing the fisher to cast freely and more quickly. Fly rods also have specialized guides called “snake eyes” that are designed to guide the heavy fly line and prevent its tangling.
Ice fishing rods are quite similar to spinning rods but are much shorter because of the lack of space of ice fishing. Ice rods are usually as short as 24 – 36 inches. A classical ice fishing rod doesn’t use a reel and instead has two opposing hooks on the rod for the angler to wind the line by hand.
Sea Fishing Rods
Sea fishing rods are specifically designed for ocean-water fishing and can come in short to very long sizes. These rods, as a rule, are extremely heavy-duty and thick, have large line guides and a long butt to help with fighting the fish. Some heavier sea fishing rods are designed for tough shark and game fishing.
Surf fishing rods are a subtype of sea rods, though they are popular enough to be featured as a separate category. Surf rods are usually long to allow for long casts. Another feature that greatly contributes to the easiness of casting is the long butt that allows for two-hand casting.
Trolling fishing rods are designed to be used on moving boats when trying to entice a fish to attack the lure. Trolling rods are mostly created for catching larger game fish like tuna and marlin. However, because of the similarities with spinning rods, trolling rods aren’t that necessary, unless you want to catch extremely large game fish.
Telescopic fishing rods are the most compact kind of fishing rod. Their length ranges between 1 – 2 feet when closed up and 20 feet when extended. Most typically, a telescopic rod resembles spinning rods, though some telescopic fishing rods may have no line guides, instead of running the line through the center of the rod. Telescopic rods are great for those anglers who want to have an easy to store and transport fishing rod.
Pen fishing rods are even smaller than telescopic fishing rods, and they are generally considered the most compact type of fishing rods. Their name comes from the fact that they can be packed in a case that resembles a large pen, which can be easily put in the pocket or backpack. Pen fishing rods are typically not recommended for everyday fishing, though they can come in handy with unexpected fishing opportunities.
What Are The Things to Look for in Fishing Rods
The power of the fishing rod is its strength or, in other words, its ability to lift a weight from the tip. The more powerful the fishing rod is, the more weight it takes to bend it. The power is determined by the thickness and the material of the rod. Apart from that, rods’ power is closely related to line strength power, as well as the recommended weight of the lure.
Power of the fishing rod is rated between ultra-light and extra heavy. The heavier the fishing rod, the heavier fish you will be able to catch. Plus, heavy fishing rods should be used in seawater or in areas with a lot of cover for the fish. While it is possible to catch heavy fish with lighter rods, their excessive weight will bend the rod in a way that will limit your ability to pull the fish out of the water. Plus, you might simply end up breaking the rod.
The power of the fishing rod determines what kind of lines and lures you should be using with it. If you want to get the best results and also avoid damaging the rod, make sure to follow these general guidelines. Keep in mind that the recommended line and lure weight is typically indicated on the fishing rod itself, so you won’t have to worry about that.
|Power||Line weight||Lure weight|
|Ultra-light||1 to 4 lbs.||1/64 – 1/16 oz.|
|Light||4 to 8 lbs.||1/32 – 1/8 oz.|
|Medium||4 to 12 lbs.||1/8 – 3/8 oz.|
|Medium-heavy||8 to 14 lbs.||3/16 – ½ oz.|
|Heavy||15 – 25 lbs.||Up to 1 ½ oz.|
|Extra-heavy||25 lbs. and more||1 ½ oz. and above|
If you don’t know how much power you need for your fish, let us give you some reference. For fish like small trout and crappie, an up to light-power fishing rod would be a good choice. For larger fish such as walleye or channel catfish, a medium-power fishing rod would be the best. As for medium-heavy and heavy rods, they would be great for striped bass, blue catfish, muskellunge, and other similar fish.
Power is often confused with action. They are not the same and cannot be used interchangeably. Some manufacturers mark their rods, for example, as light-action, in reality referring to the power and not the action. To help you differentiate between these features, let’s now see what rod action is.
Action determines how much of the fishing rod bends when the tip is under load. Besides, action indicates how quickly the rod returns to its rest state after the release of pressure. In general, action can be slow, medium, and fast, but there are some intermediate categories as well.
Let’s see how each category behaves:
- An extra-fast rod bends just at its tip.
- A fast rod bends in its top 1/3 – ¼.
- A moderate-fast rod bends somewhere between its top ½ and 1/3.
- A medium/moderate rod bends about in the middle.
- A slow rod bends along its whole length, excluding the handle.
The faster the rod, the shorter time it will take for it to return to its rest state after the load is released. That’s because the shorter the flex is, the less time it will obviously take for it to return to its normal state.
The action also impacts the sensitivity of the fishing rod. The faster the rod, the more sensitive it will be, which will allow you to feel all the subtle movements of the lure and the fish. Another thing that action influences are the rod’s ability to cast. The slower the action and the longer the flex is, the longer the cast will be.
And the last thing that the action of the fishing rod impacts is the amount of control you have over it. Slower fishing rods absorb shocks better, which will allow you to fight the fish more efficiently. On the other hand, slow fishing rods won’t allow you to put power into the rod to quickly pull the fish out from heavy cover. Everything is the other way around with faster fishing rods: they aren’t as good in fighting the fish, but they certainly are better for pumping fish out from cover.
The length of the rod is an extremely important thing to account for. Generally, long rods are way better at casting the lure, as well as allow you to fight the fish much more efficiently. That’s because longer rods perform better when absorbing shocks, and obviously, too much shock will exhaust you pretty quickly. If your angling is heavily based on casting and fighting the fish, go for a long rod.
If you need more control and maneuverability, a short fishing rod would be the best choice. Short rods aren’t as good shock absorbents, so they aren’t very suitable for fighting fish. On the other hand, short rods are ideal for quickly pulling fish from under heavy cover. Apart from that, a short fishing rod would be ideal for confined fishing areas.
The material of the fishing rod, first of all, impacts its overall durability. There are three main materials used in fishing rods: bamboo, fiberglass, and carbon fiber.
- Bamboo. Bamboo fishing rods range from the cheapest to the most expensive models. Bamboo rods are lightweight, durable, flexible, and water-resistant. Bamboo is not as strong as graphite, but it is much more flexible and light. Besides, bamboo fishing rods need to be taken care of.
- Fiberglass. Fiberglass fishing rods are typically relatively cheap, which makes them good for beginners. Overall, fiberglass rods have balanced strength, flexibility, and need not so much maintenance.
- Carbon fiber. Carbon fiber is the strongest material that you can meet in fishing rods. Such rods are extremely durable and fairly flexible, though not as flexible as bamboo rods. In case you need longevity, a carbon fiber rod would be the best choice.
The line guides are the small circles positioned on the rod’s shaft to control the fishing line. Guides can be made from plastic, metal, or ceramic. In spinning rods, guides are positioned on the bottom, while with casting rods, they are positioned on the top. Overall, you should always go for the best-quality guides. Plastic guides can be seen in the cheapest rods and should be avoided. On the other hand, metal and ceramic line guides offer the best durability, so you should go for them.
Typically, grips are either made from cork or EVA foam. Cork is a traditional material that allows for a good feel of the rod, as well as ensures a solid grip. On the other hand, EVA foam is more convenient and durable as it is more resistant to weather and temperature, but it makes the rodless sensitive.
Frequently Asked Questions about rod and reel combo
Is there any reason to prefer a one-piece fishing rod over other types?
If you don’t need a rod that can be taken apart, there is no reason to go for one. A single-piece fishing rod is much stronger structurally, which definitely is a thing to look for if you want a durable fishing rod.
How to know the line/lure rating of a fishing rod?
Manufacturers typically print the numbers on the rod’s shaft. Examine it to see if you can find the recommended lure or line ratings. If there is none, you could try to check them on the manufacturer’s website.
Can a heavy/light rod be used for catching light/heavy fish?
We wouldn’t recommend you trying catching light fish with a heavy rod, and vice versa. The thing is that you probably won’t even notice that a light fish has bitten on the lure because the weight of the fish will be insufficient to bend the rod. On the other hand, catching heavy fish with a light-power rod is a bad idea because either the rod or the line could just break down due to the fish’s excessive weight. Try to pick a fishing rod that will match the type of fish you will be catching.
As complex as it may seem, buying fishing poles isn’t that challenging in reality. As soon as you start differentiating between power and action and learn about the importance of each of the features, finding the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo will take no time!