Spinning rods are so versatile that they can be used for almost any type of fishing. This is why many anglers you meet will most likely have quite a variety of spinning rods in their collection.
Whether you are looking to buy a spinning rod for the first time, or add to your collection, we’ve scoured the market to find the best one. New products and brands are constantly coming to the market so the best spinning rod available last year is probably last year’s news.
Check out our top five rods below as we’ve got something for everyone. Whether you’ll be ocean fishing or checking out the local rivers, lakes, and streams for freshwater fish, you’ll find what you need on our list.
Best Spinning Rod Reviews
1. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Ugly Stik is a well-established brand in the world of fishing and has been leading the way in quality, affordable gear since 1976. The Elite Spinning Rod offers some new and improved features as an updated version of their original model.
If you’ve ever owned an Ugly Stik before, then one upgrade that’s obvious straight away is the weight. As soon as you pick up this Elite Spinning Rod, you’ll notice the difference as this Ugly Stik is made with 35% more graphite than previous models. This makes it really lightweight to carry to your favorite fishing spots.
Even though the rod is now more lightweight, it still manages to maintain the legendary toughness that Ugly Stik is known for. In fact, if anything, it’s stronger than before and the lighter weight also leads to greater sensitivity which means a more fun fishing experience! Now you can feel the fish fighting even more, without worrying about being snapped off.
The rod has the trademark premium cork handle that is firm and smooth, ensuring hours of comfortable fishing. With the logo etched into the handle, this spinning rod will make a really classic addition to your fishing tackle. If you already loved the original model, then you’re sure to love this one even more as it offers a marked improvement on user experience.
You can buy the Ugly Stik in various sizes from 4’6 to 7’6 offering various power from ultra-light to medium and heavy options. You also get to choose whether you want your rod in one or two pieces.
Two pieces make the rod more portable but one piece offers maximum durability. Having one solid piece also eliminates the possibility of insert pop-outs when you’re fishing.
We love the Ugly Stik brand and if you don’t already have one, then what are you waiting for? This is a top-level spinning rod at a super affordable price, and with a seven-year warranty too. You really can’t go wrong.
Unfortunately, the product doesn’t have any anti-corrosion coating to help protect it from saltwater when sea fishing. So, we’re too scared to take ours to the beach.
- Extended warranty
- Reel fits rod securely
- Variety of sizes
- Can be portable or more durable depending on preference
- Trusted brand
- Some users have reported problems using braided line
- No protection from seawater
2. Cadence CR5-30 Spinning Rod
Cadence aims to bring the best value fishing gear to the market but they also want to inspire a movement to pass on the sport to future generations. The CR5-30 is a dependable rod made from premium materials and presents great value.
This spinning rod is made from 30-ton carbon fiber, making it strong yet still ultra-lightweight and sensitive. The rod’s core (the blank) is also wrapped in a carbon veil to further enhance the durability. This rod would make an ideal purchase for someone looking to fish for game fish such as walleye, trout, and bass.
This also has SiC guides with durable stainless steel frames that won’t get pulled out of line easily. They’re also super smooth to avoid braided line sticking into the guides and minimizing friction. They also enhance sensitivity by transferring the vibrations from the line to your rod and hand.
This rod also has a comfortable and highly sensitive Fuji reel seat for your fishing reel of choice to sit securely in. There are also two different rod handle configurations, including carbon split grip and full grip using EVA foam and premium cork. This rod can also be ordered in a one-piece design or two pieces to make it more portable.
You can buy this fishing rod with complete peace of mind as Cadence offers a 90-day money-back guarantee and a three-year warranty. This is great as it means you can order the rod and see how it feels in your hands before deciding if you want to keep it. You can also have faith in the fact that this rod will last as the warranty will cover any problems you may encounter.
We really love the durability of this rod. It’s rare to find a rod at this price that’s this strong and also lightweight and sensitive.
Unfortunately, if you’re looking for a smaller rod for trout streams and panfish, this isn’t the one as the smallest size this rod comes in is 5’6.
- Comes with a warranty and a money-back guarantee
- Sensitive and strong
- Can be portable or more durable depending on preference
- No protection from seawater
- Not available in sizes smaller than 5’6
3. KastKing Brutus Spinning Rod
KastKing offers affordable innovation with the aim to keep fishing fun. This Brutus Spinning Rod offers exceptional value with astounding choice with 20 different combinations of power, action, length, and number of pieces to choose from.
This fishing road is made of composite glass and carbon fiber for incredible toughness. Brute Tuff composite blanks are made for extreme conditions for anglers who like hard fighting fish, without losing the performance and feel that anglers want. Each rod features a chartreuse-colored tip so that you can easily see when a fish strikes your line, even in bad light conditions.
The components of the fishing rod are as hard as the rod itself. Unlike some other rods, Brutus rods are made braid ready and for tough conditions.
The guides are stainless steel with corrosion-resistant URS stainless steel rings. The graphite reel seat is also strong and will hold your reel in place even under extreme pressure. Similarly, the full-length rod handles are made from EVA foam, making them durable and comfortable.
Depending on what type of fishing you like to do, you can pick from 20 combinations of power, action, and length. There is even a good choice when it comes to the number of pieces that you want your rod to break down into.
Some of the rods even break down into three or four pieces. This makes them ideal traveling rods that you can pack in your suitcase and take on trips, or keep in your car from fishing on the road!
We love the fact that you can buy this rod to break it down into three or four pieces as this makes for a really affordable and durable travel rod.
Sadly, this rod doesn’t come with a manufacturer warranty so even though it is durable, should something go wrong, it’s not covered.
- Great variety of rods
- Offers the best portability options
- Visible strike action at the tip
- Great with braided line
- Not very lightweight against other rods
- No warranty
4. Tica UGSA Series Surf Spinning Rod
Tica is a brand of fine quality fishing tackle available worldwide. They own many patents for innovations in the fishing market that are used by many other brands too. This Tica surf rod offers superior performance that’s unbeaten out on the water.
Everything about this spinning rod is of superior quality. It’s most definitely a high-end rod, made with premium materials, and a price tag to match.
This rod is a luxury buy for those of you who want the best spinning rod available for ocean fishing from shore. Available in lengths from eight to 10 feet, this rod will be perfect for casting out hard baits and spoons over long distances.
The rod is made from high modulus TC3 graphite, making it really strong (although quite brittle), and lightweight. The graphite build is perfect for more experienced anglers and they’ll be able to carry it down the beach without tiring. The best thing about graphite is that it’s great for retaining its sensitivity so you’ll feel every bite and enjoy fighting the fish on the way into shore.
The Fuji Aconite tip top guide and Fuji Hardloy ring guides are hard-wearing while allowing vibrations to be carried from the line to the handle. The rod also features a Fuji DPS reel seat and a specially designed sliding foldable hook keeper to keep your hook safe when set up.
The rod breaks down into two pieces to fit into your car or truck and has a comfortable non-slip cork handle.
We love the superior quality materials used to manufacture this spinning rod. Graphite construction is really strong but still super sensitive to even the smallest of nibbles.
This fishing rod won’t be in everyone’s price range but we wanted to offer a good range of options and prices. This luxury premium rod does come with a premium price to match.
- Highest performance surf rod available
- Easy to carry for long distances down the beach
- Super sensitive for its size
- Breaks down for portability
- Only available with fast action
5. Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod
Berkely enjoys a long history in the fishing tackle market as it was founded in Iowa in 1937. They are known best worldwide for their scented “powerbait” lures. This fishing rod impresses many users and receives a lot of praise for its strength, considering its ultra-low price.
As its name suggests, this rod is built specifically for big fish so if that’s what you’re going for, then you can’t go too far wrong with this spinning rod. It features fiberglass blank construction which would be expected from a big game rod.
The fiberglass ensures its strength, although it is a bit on the heavy side. We’ve yet to witness one of these rods break while a similar rod made of graphite would probably snap pulling in larger fish.
The guide frames are made of stainless steel with titanium oxide inserts. This makes them strong and smooth and can be used with any type of fishing line such as monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braid.
The handles are made of EVA foam to help save a bit of weight and make the rod comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.
We love the fact that this rod is extra strong; perfect for catching big game fish, just as the name suggests!
This rod isn’t very sensitive so you may miss smaller fish biting but that shouldn’t matter too much as you shouldn’t buy this rod if you’re looking for something versatile. Big game and fishing out at sea only for this rod!
- Perfect for big game fish
- Not suitable for smaller fish
- Heavier than other rods
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to shopping for a fishing pole then have no fear as our handy buying guide is here! These are the top five factors to take into consideration when choosing your rod and tips on how to pick out a good all-rounder for beginners.
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide what type of fishing rod you want to buy. That should be a relatively easy decision, based on the type of fishing you will be doing.
A fly rod is used to cast artificial insects (flies) out onto the surface of the water to catch fish that feed from the surface. Fly fishing requires a lot of casting skills compared to other types of fishing. The reason is that you only have the weight of the line to cast out your fly, as opposed to weight or lure on other rods.
Spinning and baitcasting rods are both used to cast out bait and lures but the placement and direction of the reel are different on each. Spinning reels are located on the bottom of the rod and are generally thought to be easier to cast with.
Baitcasters on the other hand, allow for more accurate casting. Finally, ice fishing rods are designed to fish through small holes drilled into ice-covered lakes, where no casting is needed.
The materials your spinning rod is made out of is important as it will affect the rod’s strength, sensitivity, and weight. Fishing rods can be made out of many different materials but they’ve come a long way since their traditional bamboo days.
Having metal parts will make a rod heavier and more tiresome when you’re enjoying a long fishing trip so look for rod handles made of lightweight materials. Modern rods are often primarily made from graphite and fiberglass, or a proprietary blend.
Graphite is preferred by more advanced anglers since it is more sensitive to bites and is quite rigid, with good fighting power. The downside is that it can be brittle against other options. Fiberglass is sturdier but also heavier, making it a popular option for larger, more aggressive fish such as musky and pike.
A blend of both graphite and fiberglass would make a good all-rounder option if you want a fishing rod for multiple purposes.
Fishing rods are given power classifications ranging anywhere from ultra-light through to ultra-heavy. The power class represents how much force it takes to bend the rod. The reason this is important is that you will need a more sensitive rod (ultra-light) to catch smaller fish as on a heavier rod you wouldn’t even feel them nibble!
When you’re using an ultra-light fishing rod, you’ll feel every single nibble you get. On the other hand, a larger fish is likely to break off a lighter rod. If you’re fishing for larger fish or fishing on the ocean, for example, you will often find medium power or above to be more appropriate.
Don’t be tempted to go for a heavier power in fear of getting snapped off since you’ll miss out on all the fun! The lighter power a rod has, the more fun it is to catch fish with, as you feel more of the fight when you’re reeling it in.
The action of a rod is often confused with the power; you’ll often hear people talk about ultra-light action instead of power. The action will be described as slow or fast, or somewhere in between. A slow action rod will bend closer to the handle of the rod as opposed to a fast action rod that will bend towards the tip.
The reason this is important is that a slow action pole will have more flexibility and whip, perfect for lighter lures and baits. Fast action poles will be more rigid which is good for casting out heavier baits and jerking your way out of snags. A medium action rod will offer a versatile, all-rounder option, while you work out what kind of fishing you enjoy the most.
The length of a fishing rod will generally affect how far you can cast it. You’ll often see people fishing from the beach with extremely long fishing rods and this is so that they can cast their bait deeper into the ocean into the swell or behind the surf.
Anglers casting from river banks, on the other hand, will have shorter fishing rods, as they don’t have to cast their bait or lure as far. Shorter lengths will also help when it comes to fighting fish as the rod will bend less. If you’re a beginner, then it’s recommended that you go for a fishing rod around seven feet in length until you build up your skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What Is the Best Material for Fishing Rods?
For handles, you should look for EVA foam or cork. For the main body, graphite is lighter weight and more sensitive, but fiberglass is more durable. It depends on what you’re fishing for and your experience level.
2. What’s the Difference Between a Rod and a Pole?
A fishing rod will have a reel seat where you attach the reel, as well as guides. It’s designed to be used at a distance and can be used for lures and bait. A pole could just have a line attached to the end and is used to place bait very specifically in a certain spot.
3. Are Carbon Fiber Fishing Rods Good?
Carbon fiber is actually excellent material for a rod due to its strength to weight ratio. Rods made out of it have high-performance and good recovery.
4. How Long Should a Trout Fishing Rod Be?
A typical trout fishing rod would be around six to eight feet but it depends on where you are fishing. If you were fishing off a bridge, you may go for something around five feet.
5. What Is the Difference Between Fishing and Angling?
Technically speaking, fishing is actually the act of catching fish while angling is a form of fishing for sport or leisure with a rod, line, and hook, which is also called an angle.
Our five best spinning rods featured here all have something slightly different to offer. Our favorite may be different from your favorite depending on what type of fishing you like best!
We think the best spinning rod featured here is either the Ugly Stik or the CR5-30 from Cadence. If we were in the market for a new rod then we’d probably go for the rod from Cadence.
It’s a fantastic dependable rod and really versatile so you can use it for loads of various types of fishing. We really like the fact that it’s more sensitive than others, so we can catch panfish, but you could also use this for walleye, trout, and bass.