What makes the best saltwater fishing rods anyway? Many anglers will say it’s not about the rod but the fisherman’s skill. That’s obvious, yet some rods allow people who aren’t advanced anglers to experience more success.
Of course, it also depends on what you’re trying to catch and where you’re catching them. The best saltwater fishing rods are sensitive enough to detect that subtle bite on the line. Yet sturdy enough to bring in that trophy whopper you’re after.
The best overall saltwater fishing rod is the Penn Squall Lever Drag Combo. This rod and reel combo can stand up to some of the biggest fish while still being agile enough to fish in more shallow waters.
There is no doubt that purchasing saltwater fishing rods can be difficult. As someone who has made their fair share of mistakes, I hope this article helps eliminate any doubt you might have about the rods on the market.
Top Saltwater Fishing Rods On The Market
1.Penn Squall Lever Drag Combo (Best Overall)
Penn Squall Fishing Rod combines a sensitive, high-performance rod blank made from super high strain fiberglass. Comprised of a double-bend handle and a lightweight graphite reel seat, this support system allows for good flexibility.
This Penn Squall fishing rod and reel combo is the perfect rod and reel for anglers who love fishing for big predators off the coast. It also comes with high-quality stainless-steel ball-bearing rollers to aid in a smooth pull-in of even the biggest fish.
- Built with a level wind trolling reel for big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions
- It features durable construction with a lightweight graphite frame and side plates for lighter weight and targeted line feeling.
- It features six stainless steel ball bearings, instant anti-reverse bearing construction.
- The Penn Squall combo combines premium value and quality construction to deliver a fantastic value. Marine-grade bronze alloy main gear provides incredible durability and smooth cast performance.
- It is built with a lightweight graphite frame and side plates; these reels are designed for fast action during any fishing activity.
- It is lightweight and strong
- Great all-around offshore setup
- Very easy to set up
- Backward reel
2.Shakespeare UglyStik GX2 (Best For Beginners)
Whether you’re a beginner at fishing or not, with this spinning rod from Shakespeare, as well as the UglyStik GX2 spinning reel, you’ll be able to head out and catch fish straight away. All Shakespeare rod and reel combos come with a toolkit custom-made to fit the general needs.
With it, you are sure that you are getting one of the finest saltwater spinning reels you can acquire. People who have tried it can vouch for its high level of performance – it has the power to withstand any force due to its three ball bearings and one-way clutch anti-reverse bearing.
It is a mid-range price, a well-balanced spinning reel that works just as well as it looks. The bail system on this spinning reel provides you with a smooth action. It also helps you increase the durability and lifespan of the rod. Overall, this is a great spinning reel for anyone looking to spend less than $100.
- 6 feet Medium Spinning Combo
- Three ball bearings and anti-reverse bearing
- Two-piece rod construction
- Variety of sizes and weights
- It is durable and reliable.
- Super sensitive
- Strong pull
- On the heavier side
3.Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod (Best Value)
Ugly Stik produces some of the world’s most rigid fishing rods. The Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod is designed to be strong, flexible, and reasonably priced for beginners and experienced anglers. The rod has a stainless-steel system to prevent corrosion when you’re in the open water.
The Ugly Stik Bigwater spinning rod is ideal for nearshore fishing. It can pull in redfish, flounder, and sea trout.
The fiberglass composite blank provides the sensitivity you need to feel subtle bites, while the graphite blank adds extra strength.
Made with Ugly Stik’s Clear Tip technology, this rod is built for added durability and comes with a 7-year warranty. This rod’s unique fiberglass and graphite build mean it’s strong enough to catch big game fish.
Yet sensitive enough to give you that little bite you need. Action on the rivers can be fickle, but if you’re looking for a rod that will get you there, this is the value-priced one for you. It is available on the market in various sizes.
- The Ugly Stik Bigwater features 3M Powerlux resin blanks that are sensitive yet durable.
- Fast action, the lightweight blank design delivers sensitivity for detecting bites. Lateral strength enables powerful hooksets, and sensitive tip enhances jigging performance.
- Slim but powerful in design, this lightweight rod is designed for big fish fights. Built with high-grade custom tapered cork handles in RHW and FW options. They deliver optimum comfort and control.
- The Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater rod and reel combo is robust and durable.
- Lightweight Eva crips
- Strong yet balanced
- Weak body construction
- It can be easily damaged during shipping
4.Fiblink Saltwater Spinning Rod (Easiest to set up)
The Fiblink saltwater spinning rod is lightweight and sensitive enough for finesse fishing. Yet still performing great on more prominent species. This rod handles the pulling power of large fish without flexing too much, creating a backlash. Durable guides are welded to the blank, providing efficiency.
Instead of a traditional cork handle, this saltwater spinning rod from Fiblink has a gimbal butt. This type of handle is comfortable to hold and helps anglers make more aggressive strikes with ease.
The tip of the rod has a saltwater fighting guide that allows you to use three-way rigs. It can be used on lighter action bottom bouncers with a medium power construction. And spoons for schooling fish on the edge of the reef or around shallow piers.
A combination of several products, including the EVA foam handle, makes this rod both comfortable and easy to handle. It also includes a one-year warranty.
Fiblink’s portable 7′ carbon saltwater spinning is compact. You can carry it anywhere in the world, even onto aircraft. The rod features solid carbon fiber construction to provide greater sensitivity and power on the hookset.
It features 7+1 stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts to protect your line from corrosion. The Fiblink Saltwater Series is made to handle all saltwater conditions with an aluminum alloy reel seat with corrosion-resistant aluminum hoods.
- It is powerful
- Lightweight with tremendous overall strength.
- Rods may be weak with big game
5.Berkley Big Game Spinning Fishing Rod (Cheapest Option)
The Berkley Big Game Spinning Rod rocks a durable composite blank construction with stainless steel guides and zirconium inserts. It’s not sensitive enough for finesse tactics, but it will easily handle big baits and fish.
The handle is wrapped in a soft-touch material to provide a comfortable grip even when wet. This saltwater fishing rod is available in 7’0 or 8’0″ lengths with medium and medium-heavy power.
- X-veil high modulus blank
- Titanium guides
- Split grip handle
- Fiberglass shaft
- Limited lifetime warranty
- Cheapest option
- Can handle big lures
- Can use heavy-duty line
- Guides are too big
- Not the best finish
What is a Saltwater Fishing Rod Used For?
Saltwater fishing rods are used for various fish, including Snapper, Grouper, Tuna, Mahi Mahi, and Wahoo. They can also be used in freshwater but are most commonly used in saltwater environments.
These rods are designed to stand up to the elements and the fish you will be catching. They are typically made of graphite or fiberglass, giving them the strength and durability to tackle some of the largest fish.
They are designed to use heavy line and can handle larger lures and bait. They will usually be used with a larger reel and can even come as part of a complete package with the rod and reel included.
Saltwater fishing rods range in length from six to thirteen feet, with most anglers preferring those that fall around eight feet for their versatility.
What to Consider When Buying a Saltwater Rod
With so many options and choices available, it can be overwhelming. So here are some things to keep in mind.
Power for saltwater rods ranges from ultra-light to extra heavy or what is known as Xtra Heavy (XH). Determining the best power depends on the size line you’re using and your technique.
Some companies make saltwater rods better than others. Some of the best manufacturers include Dobyns, Penn, or Fenwick. You can also go with other popular brands like Shakespeare, Shimano, etc., but you should expect to pay more as their quality craftsmanship and materials tend to be more expensive.
The length of the rod is also important, especially if you plan on using it for larger fish. The most popular saltwater rod lengths are 6’6″, 7’0″, and 7’6″. However, some anglers prefer an 8’0″ or even a 9’0″ rod for really big fish.
Saltwater rods come with either stainless steel or titanium guides. Stainless steel is cheaper but not as durable as titanium. For more flexibility, look for a rod with more guide wraps. They protect your line from being cut by the rod blank and reduce abrasion on your line caused by the inserts.
Comfortable saltwater rods are essential for fishing for more extended periods. Look for a rod that is easy for you to handle and is designed for the fishing style you intend to use. Look at the grip material and decide if you want a single grip or split grip.
For saltwater rods, the most common rod materials are fiberglass and graphite. These are lightweight and sensitive, and durable for fighting big fish or even large groups of smaller fish such as Spanish mackerel.
When choosing a material, it is necessary to consider the type of fish you will be targeting. Fiberglass may be the best option for smaller fish because it is more flexible than graphite and can provide a little more drag when fighting a fish. If you’re targeting larger saltwater fish, go with a graphite rod for its strength and power.
Of course, the cost is a significant factor when you’re budgeting for a new saltwater fishing rod. But it’s important not to fall into the “you get what you paid for ” trap. If you know what to look for in a saltwater rod, you should be able to find high-quality rods at affordable prices.
A good warranty is always a plus, especially for fishing rods. Many warranties are for one year, but some go up to a lifetime. So be sure to check what the warranty covers before you make your purchase.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between saltwater and freshwater fishing rods?
Saltwater fishing requires equipment designed to withstand the harsh conditions found in saltwater. Most freshwater rods aren’t made to handle these conditions and could break or become damaged quickly.
Saltwater rods usually allow for thicker line and can support larger lures. They are also designed to be more durable and provide a better fighting experience for larger fish.
However, some anglers will adapt a freshwater rod for saltwater use, but this isn’t recommended as they don’t have the same durability or sensitivity as a dedicated saltwater rod.
How do I fish using a saltwater rod?
Saltwater rods are designed for a variety of fishing techniques. They can be used for casting, trolling, and jigging.
Casting is the most popular technique and uses a weight to send your lure far into the water. For trolling, you attach your lure to a line, then troll it behind the moving boat. And jigging is a technique where you use a heavy lure to mimic the motion of a fish.
What line should I use with my saltwater rod?
The line you use is crucial and depends on the power rating of your rod. Heavier lines are ideal for rods with more power, while lighter lines are better for rods with less power.
You can use monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided line. Monofilament is the most popular choice and is affordable. Fluorocarbon has low visibility in the water and is more durable than mono. And braided line provides the most strength for its size.
What size reel should I use?
The size of the reel is based on the line weight and power rating of your rod. It’s also important to consider if you’re left or right-handed, as some reels are made for one side of the rod only.
Most saltwater reels have a larger capacity than their freshwater counterparts. This is because you’ll need more line to handle larger fish.
How do I care for my saltwater fishing rod?
Your saltwater rod is a significant investment and should be cared for accordingly. Keep your rod in a case when not in use to protect it from damage.
If you’re storing the rod for an extended time, keep it with the tips pointed up to prevent water from entering the guide wraps. And finally, don’t forget to clean and lubricate your rod after each outing. This will keep it in good condition and functioning correctly.
Can I use a saltwater rod in freshwater?
While it’s not recommended, some anglers will use a saltwater rod in freshwater. This should only be done if you’re aware of the drawbacks. Saltwater rods aren’t as sensitive as freshwater rods and may take away some of the fun from your fishing trip.
Freshwater fish are typically smaller and require lighter lures. Using a heavy rod will make it difficult to feel the bite and set the hook.
What are the different types of saltwater rods?
There are three main rod types to consider when making a decision: spinning, baitcasting, and trolling.
Spinning rods are the most popular choice for anglers and are used for various fishing techniques. They are lightweight and well-balanced, making them easy to use.
Baitcasting rods are designed for casting larger lures. They have a higher power rating than spinning rods and are often used for larger fish.
Trolling rods are ideal for those who utilize that technique. They have a long and flexible shaft that allows you to keep the bait away from the boat while moving.
Each rod has its own benefits depending on the technique you use.
What are the benefits of saltwater rods?
Saltwater rods are made with high-quality materials that offer increased durability. They also feature advanced technologies like fighting butts to improve your fighting experience.
Some rods have features to help reduce stress on the rod blank, allowing you to use heavier lures without fear of breaking your rod.
Lastly, saltwater rods are designed to handle larger fish without any problems. This is important when fishing for species like marlin and tuna.
A saltwater fishing rod is a great investment for anglers who want to tackle bigger fish. They are designed to be more durable and provide a better fighting experience for big game fish.
Be sure to consider the size of the reel, line weight, and power rating before making your purchase. And remember to care for your rod by keeping it in a case and cleaning it after each use.
If you follow this advice, you’ll find yourself with the perfect saltwater rod for your next fishing trip.
My name is Ruben. I love fishing like most guys I know. Fishing is so much more than just an outdoor activity- its an escape, its therapy and so much more. I put together a team of other professional anglers in order to create the most inclusive fishing resource.