Best Fishing Rods

Best Fishing Rods of 2018 (Reviews and Comparison)

Perhaps you’re an experienced fisherman and want to upgrade your fishing gear, perhaps you’re just starting out. In any case, you want to find out about the best fishing rods available. The only thing is that during your research, you realize that the choice of fishing rods is abundant.

With a vast selection comes a more difficult selection process. So now you need to learn about the different fishing rod types. This is easy if you’re experienced but confusing if you’re only starting out. Indeed, you can choose between beginner fishing rods, trout fishing rods, collapsible fishing rods, ice fishing rods, and a whole load of other fishing rods.

Your choice will ultimately depend on your needs, abilities, and budget. To help you out a little, we’ve combined a review of some of the best fishing rods with a buyer’s guide, comparison, FAQs section, and our own advice.

After reading this article, you’ll be in a better position to make a choice. Our review covers the following fishing rod types:

  • Telescopic Fishing Rod
  • Fly Fishing Rod
  • Bass Fishing Rod
  • Ice Fishing Rod
  • Saltwater Fishing Rod
  • Freshwater Fishing Rod

We will outline all the features of each type, along with a list of pros and cons and a final verdict. This is to help you to determine whom each fishing rod type is most suited for.

The Quick Answer

When you’re looking for a fishing pole, you need to define your needs and choose accordingly. To say that if you go fishing on a lake a lot, you need a freshwater fishing rod is a no-brainer. With regard to this review, we’ve chosen the very best in each of the above-listed categories.

If you want the quick “one size fits 95%” recommendation from us though, it would be the Ugly Stik GX2. It is consistently in the water, and consistently helping to get fish out of the water. If you really aren’t sure where to start, this is a highly-endorsed choice by us.

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Our Fishing Rods Comparison

As a quick overview, we’ve created a comparison chart outlining the main characteristics of each of our best fishing rods. On it, you can get a glance at the basic points you need to consider when choosing a fishing rod.

Telescopic
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Fishing Kit (1.8M-5.91Ft fishing rod and reel)
Fly Fishing
Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4-Piece 9 Feet with IM6 Carbon Blank, Hard Chromed Guides, A Cork Grip(Size:3/4/5/6/7/8/10wt)
Ice Fishing
Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod (24-30 Inches Medium and Medium Light Power)
Saltwater
Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Heavy Trolling Fishing Rod Big Game Spinning Conventional Boat Fishing Roller Rod Pole with All Roller Guides (Heavy Power, 5-Feet 1-inch, 50-80-Pound Test)
Product
Plusinno Telescopic Rod/Reel Combo
Maxcatch Extreme
Fiblink Graphite Ice Rod
Fiblink Offshore Heavy Trolling Rod
Type
Telescopic Rod
Fly fishing rod
Ice fishing rod
Saltwater fishing rod
Material
Carbon fiber pole, aluminum spool, non-slip EVA handle
24T carbon fiber, aluminum steel reel seat, grade A Portuguese cork handle, 4 parts
Graphite, cork handle, stainless steel guides
e-glass graphite, aluminum, EVA handle
Experience Level
Beginner or kids
Beginners or advanced
All levels
Heavy-duty off-shore fishing enthusiasts
Versatility
Sea or boat fishing
Medium to fast action fly fishing rod, highly portable
Available in two sizes, suitable for catching a wide variety of fish
Extra tough for catching large saltwater fish
Telescopic
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Fishing Kit (1.8M-5.91Ft fishing rod and reel)
Product
Plusinno Telescopic Rod/Reel Combo
Type
Telescopic Rod
Material
Carbon fiber pole, aluminum spool, non-slip EVA handle
Experience Level
Beginner or kids
Versatility
Sea or boat fishing
Fly Fishing
Maxcatch Extreme Graphite Fly Fishing Rod 4-Piece 9 Feet with IM6 Carbon Blank, Hard Chromed Guides, A Cork Grip(Size:3/4/5/6/7/8/10wt)
Product
Maxcatch Extreme
Type
Fly fishing rod
Material
24T carbon fiber, aluminum steel reel seat, grade A Portuguese cork handle, 4 parts
Experience Level
Beginners or advanced
Versatility
Medium to fast action fly fishing rod, highly portable
Ice Fishing
Fiblink Graphite Ice Fishing Rod (24-30 Inches Medium and Medium Light Power)
Product
Fiblink Graphite Ice Rod
Type
Ice fishing rod
Material
Graphite, cork handle, stainless steel guides
Experience Level
All levels
Versatility
Available in two sizes, suitable for catching a wide variety of fish
Saltwater
Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Heavy Trolling Fishing Rod Big Game Spinning Conventional Boat Fishing Roller Rod Pole with All Roller Guides (Heavy Power, 5-Feet 1-inch, 50-80-Pound Test)
Product
Fiblink Offshore Heavy Trolling Rod
Type
Saltwater fishing rod
Material
e-glass graphite, aluminum, EVA handle
Experience Level
Heavy-duty off-shore fishing enthusiasts
Versatility
Extra tough for catching large saltwater fish

Fishing Rods Reviews

Now, it’s time to take a closer look at the frontrunner in each of the above-listed categories. When making our choice, we considered criteria like ease-of-use, durability, price, versatility, level of expertise required, along with some other aspects.

1. PLUSINNO Telescopic Fishing Rod (Best Telescoping)

As the name “telescopic” indicates, this fishing rod is retractable with each pole segment snuggly fitting into the other when retracted. The pole is made from durable, yet lightweight carbon fiber, making the rod both very portable as well as durable.

Available in a wide variety of sizes, this fishing rod must rank among the best telescopic fishing rods for kids and youths. Sizes start from 1.8m and go all the way to a 2.7m length. Altogether, 4 sizes are available to suit the height and age of the child/teen/adult.

Not only does this telescopic fishing rod look stylish and handle extremely well, but it also allows beginners to excel at the art of fishing. Setup and handling of the rod and spool are easy to manage, even for younger kids or complete beginners. On purchase, you get the line as well, so you’ll be ready to go fishing in no time at all.

Another thing we liked about this telescopic fishing rod is that it is suitable for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. What’s more, anyone starting out can catch a fish without needing much expertise. The spool runs smoothly, and if you’re wondering could this rod handle a big catch, you need not worry.

To begin with, the handle is made from non-slip EVA, giving you excellent grip. In addition, the carbon fiber rod is well capable of handling considerable weight even though it feels so light.

Pros

  • Retractable and highly portable
  • Suitable for beginners and kids
  • Available in different sizes
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • Can handle a big catch
  • Easy setup
  • Available in 4 different sizes

Cons

Suitable for hobby fishing only

Who’s It For?

This telescopic fishing rod is ideal for families or occasional fishermen/women. Because it’s retractable and lightweight, it’s perfect for family vacations or fun weekend fishing trips. The fact that it is suitable for salt and freshwater fishing is also an enormous bonus. If you want to get your kid into fishing, this could be one of the very best telescopic fishing rods for you.

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2. Maxcatch Extreme Graphite (Best Fly Fishing Rod)

Available in a variety of sizes, this 4-segment fly fishing rod is portable too. On purchase, you even get a tube to stow the pole segments away. This fly fishing rod handles easy which makes it suitable for beginners, but advanced fly fishing enthusiasts will be just as pleased.

To begin with, the lightweight, stylish design doesn’t take away from the durability and portability. With this rod, you can go fly fishing anywhere you wish. Features like the solid aluminum steel reel seat as well as the tip-over butt ferrules and the hard-chrome and snake strippers only add to the appeal of this fly fishing rod.

Casting is easy, and you choose the weight in line with the flies you are going to be using. This rod is excellent for trout or salmon fishing. The fact that its price is on the lower end of the scale should not put you off either. In fact, this rod is well able to compete with the best fly fishing rods, even those costing your several hundred dollars.

Pros

  • Excellent value for money
  • Suitable for beginners and advanced fly fishing enthusiasts
  • Casts well
  • Available in different sizes/weights to suit specific catch
  • Comfortable A-grade cork handle
  • Retractable, lightweight and perfect for on-the-go

Cons

Cast action can appear too fast and short

Who’s It For?

With this rod, you can enjoy fly fishing anywhere. Furthermore, this is an excellent rod for beginners as well as more experienced fly fishing enthusiasts. The portability, versatility, choice of size/weights as well as the exceptional handling rank this rod among the our favorites.

No doubt, this is one of the best fly fishing rods, especially if you are looking for value and portability. Because it comes in 4 parts and stows away in the convenient plastic tube, it’s perfect for backpackers. What’s more, it’s a great rod for kids and beginners, while more experienced fly fishing enthusiasts will also get plenty of use out of it.

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3. JOHNCOO 7′ Power Bass Fishing Rod (Best for Bass)

This bass fishing rod is extremely lightweight and comes in three parts as well as its own bag for greater portability. Designed for long fishing expeditions, the weight, as well as the handle design, ensure maximum fishing comfort.

Three different top ends come with the set, including lure weight (M 7-21g), MH(8-35g), ML(4-21g) which result in the following line weights:

  • M(4-12LB)
  • MH(8-16LB)
  • ML(4-10LB)

As you can see, the weights vary, so you can choose the right one to suit the conditions.

This rod is also excellent value for money without losing any versatility or durability. We also liked the stylish design. Here, the manufacturers have focused on providing durability, ease-of-use and most importantly, comfort. Even if you spend many hours fishing at a time, you do not get tired because of how light this rod is.

In addition, the carbon rod, as well as the EVA handle deliver durability and stability during use. As bass fishing rods go, this is definitely one of the top.

Pros

  • Made from durable carbon
  • Lightweight
  • EVA handle for improved grip
  • Ergonomic design for maximum fishing comfort
  • Stylish design
  • Highly portable
  • Comes with three different top ends for extra versatility

Cons

Only suitable for bass fishing

Who’s It For?

If you love bass fishing and are looking for one of the best bass fishing rods, this one might just be the one. Measuring 2.1 meters and providing three different top ends, this rod gives beginners as well as advance fishermen/women plenty of flexibility. When it comes to handling the comfort, this rod really stands out, allowing you to spend long happy hours of fishing to your heart’s content.

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4. Fiblink Graphite (Best for Ice Fishing)

This rod is also excellent value for money and will deliver most of what any fishing enthusiast may be looking for. Thanks to the graphite rod and rod blanks as well as the durable aluminum oxide guides, this rod is light and sensitive, yet strong enough to handle a sizeable catch.

The materials provide excellent handling and an easy flow, not least thanks to the stainless-steel guides. In addition, the cork handle gives a good grip and plenty of comfort. Users can choose between lengths of either 24” or 30”, with the weight of the longer rod 0.1 ounce higher.

With this rod, you can catch a variety of fish including bluegills, perch, panfish, and walleye. The only thing is, you may struggle with a very large catch above 8 lbs.

One possible downside of this rod is that its top is a little stiff. So, let’s say a 3lb-trout bites. With that kind of a weight, the rod may not bend, so may not even notice it. Nevertheless, most users are satisfied with the sensitivity of this rod.

Pros

  • Lightweight and durable enough for harsh conditions
  • Available in two lengths
  • Suitable for catching a wide variety of fish
  • Well-chosen materials

Cons

Top end may be too stiff

Who’s It For?

If ice fishing is your thing, this might just be one of the best fishing poles for you. Anything from trout to perch, right through to bluegills, this rod will do the trick. The manufacturers have chosen the materials for comfort and durability, so this rod deserves a spot on the best ice fishing rods list.

Apart from the value for money and durable materials, this rod provides excellent handling and great ease-of-use. Though some lament the stiffness of the top-end, most users are happy with the sensitivity and impressed with the quality.

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5. Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Heavy Trolling Fishing Rod (Best for Saltwater)

This rod was designed to handle large saltwater fish and make catching them as easy as possible for fishing enthusiasts. Starting with the durability of materials, right through to the weight of the rod and line, this saltwater rod allows you to catch large fish without much trouble.

Measuring 5’1”, this rod facilitates three different line weights. These include 30-50lbs, 50-80lbs, and 80-120lbs. The relevant rod weights are 18.3 ounces, 19 ounces, and 27.95 ounces.

This tubular one-piece rod can handle large fish thanks to the materials and the parabolic taper. To minimize the strain on the fisherman/woman, the manufacturers have added heavy-duty roller guides. As a result, the pressure is eased because of the added leverage.

In addition, the aluminum butt section and reel seat are durable and can withstand harsh conditions.

Despite its power, this rod is lightweight. That, together with the strong EVA-grip ensure that large saltwater fish won’t stand a chance!

Pros

  • Heavy-duty strong enough to catch very large saltwater fish
  • Durable materials
  • Designed to ease strain by providing added leverage

Cons

Roller guides may rust

Who’s It For?

If off-shore fishing is your thing, then this may be the best saltwater fishing rod for you. The manufacturer’s aim was to design a rod that would handle larger saltwater fish, easing the pressure on the fishing enthusiasts. They have managed to deliver on that front.

Off-shore fishing isn’t for everyone, however, with this rod, anyone can handle bigger fish. Thanks to its durability and design, the strain is reduced, enabling fishing enthusiasts to succeed. Check out the Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Heavy Trolling Fishing Rod.

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6. Entsport Sirius 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod (Best for Freshwater)

Measuring 7 feet, the Entsport Sirius 2-Piece 7-Feet Casting Rod makes freshwater fishing a synch, even in rough off-shore lake conditions. The lightweight high-tensile blanks add to the strength, while the corrosion-resistant stainless-steel guides reduce the vibrations transferred onto the fishing enthusiasts. This means that the rod can handle a very large catch with ease, without allowing the bulk of the strain to reach the rod user.

In addition, the hook holder and hook keeper deliver further convenience. The cushioned screw-down hood provides further stability, even in rough waters.

The EVA handle keeps the weight off the rod down, while giving you plenty of grip and comfort. This rod is designed for use as a bait-casting fishing rod.

On purchase, you also get a bag, which is a nice touch from the manufacturers.

Pros

  • Corrosion and vibration resistant
  • Lightweight, yet durable
  • Ergonomic design for long fishing trip comfort
  • Good stability

Cons

Only suitable for freshwater fishing

Who’s It For?

In our opinion, this rod can compete with the very best freshwater fishing rods. It’s long, lightweight, and durable, and handling it is quite easy. This ranks among the very best fishing rods for freshwater fishing. In saltwater, this rod won’t go the distance. Nevertheless, if you like bait-casting and catching sizeable fish, this could be the very best freshwater fishing rod for you.

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Buying Guide: What You Should Look For in Your Fishing Rod

There are various aspects to consider when choosing a fishing rod. All of them center around your specific ability and the type of fishing you do, in particular.

Take a look at the following criteria.

Fishing Type

Choose the right rod for the type of fishing you do. It’s no use getting a saltwater fishing rod if you intend fishing on a lake most of the time. Fish type and size also come into play here, so make sure your rod can handle the location, conditions, and fish variety you’re hoping to catch.

Versatility

It’s best to opt for a rod that caters to different conditions and fishing varieties. If you choose a rod that is reserved for just one type of setting, you limit your options.

Size and Weight

If your rod can handle different line weights, you have more options. When it comes to comfort, choosing a lightweight, ergonomic rod is a must, especially if you plan on fishing for extended periods. If you are looking for a rod that you can take with you on the go, be sure to check out our review of the best travel fishing rods.

Durability

Make sure to choose corrosion-resistant equipment. What’s more, buy a durable rod that won’t break if you’re lucky enough to catch a large fish.

Value for Money

Higher prices can indicate better quality but some of the rods featured here deliver on both, features and value. Lower-priced rod is often more than adequate.

Level

Don’t choose a professional-grade rod if you’re just starting out. The beginner rods will be more than sufficient for you.

Fishing Rods – FAQs

If you’re a novice fishing enthusiast, you’re bound to have lots of questions. Let’s go through some of the most common FAQs.

Can anyone learn to fish and what’s the best way to go about it?

One of the main advantages of fishing is that people of all ages can enjoy it, from kids right up to octogenarians. The best way to learn is by accompanying an experienced fisherman/woman and learn on the spot. Alternatively, you may hire a guide who will bring you on a guided fishing excursion and show you the basics.

Online, you’ll also find plenty of useful resources in this area. In particular, Orvis has a really great video series about how to fly fish.

What’s the easiest and hardest type of fishing?

As you may expect, offshore saltwater fishing along with fly fishing are considered more difficult than onshore lake or river fishing. Find out about the fish stock in your local pond or lake to ensure there’s plenty of fish to catch.

How do you attach a line to the pole?

Apart from choosing the right rod, getting used to handling the line together with the rod takes a bit of getting used to. Buy following the manual and asking an experience fishing enthusiast, you’ll soon find out how and if you have your own rod, you’ll soon master this skill.

Conclusion

Our list of best fishing rods provides you with a winner for the specific categories. Decide what kind of fishing you’re going to pursue and choose accordingly. All the rods listed here deserve a seat at the table because of the features, value for money, and ease of use.

No doubt, each of these rods will have you spend many happy hours of successful and relaxing fishing.

(p.s. Another rod that we’re starting to like more and more all the time is the Ugly Stik GX2. If interested, check out our review of it here.)

Want more fishing gear? Check out our other reviews on:

Best Bait

Best Lures

Best Reels

Best Line

Fish Finders

Fishing Sunglasses

Fishing Gifts

Fishing Shows