10 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods in 2018 – Top Models Compared

If you’re an avid fisherman, then you know that it’s crucial to have all of the right gear. If your fishing rod is not up to snuff, then you will wind up going home empty-handed. Thus, you have to pick out the best rod for your needs.

Today we’re going to be looking at the best saltwater fishing rods available. Because the environment is much different than freshwater sources, you have to make sure that you get all of the right features and benefits necessary to land your next catch.

Let’s see what these rods have to offer. 

Best Saltwater Fishing Rods - Comparisons 

10 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods - Reviews 

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod

Although our first rod is called the Ugly Stick, don’t let the brand name fool you. This is a high-quality piece that will enable you to fish for most medium to lightweight species out there without any problems. Ugly Stik is known for making some of the best casting rods, and the GX2 is one of the most versatile and reliable.

First, let’s start with the construction. This unit is made of a composite of fiberglass and carbon fiber, meaning that it’s both lightweight and durable. No matter what fish you’ve got on the end of your line, you should be able to bring it in without risk of breaking anything on the rod.

The other part about its construction is the fact that it’s in two pieces. This is why you can’t take on larger fish species, but assuming that you’re not trying to lure in a massive bass with the GX2, there shouldn’t be any issues with having two pieces. This feature is a benefit because it allows you to store the rod much more easily, enabling you to bring it on many future fishing excursions.

The tip of this model is also high-quality. Ugly Stik makes a proprietary Clear Tip, which is both durable and highly responsive. The benefit of this component is that you can tell when you have a bite much more easily. Because the rest of the rod is stiffer (it’s a medium/heavy action model), it helps to have a tip like this so that you don’t miss your next catch.

The handle of this rod is incredible, thanks to the EVA molded material and the pistol grip. Some anglers don’t like having this kind of hold, but we find that it offers more control and precision when casting. Since this is a casting rod, that’s kind of the whole point. Also, the soft EVA material helps to ensure that you get the best balance overall so that you don’t have to work yourself out just to reel in a catch.

One thing that we really like about the Ugly Stik is that it works with almost any line. It’s rated for lines between 10 and 25 pounds, but you can use just about any thickness, including braided versions if you prefer. This versatility will allow you to make the most of every cast and it ensures that you will use this rod over and over again. 

What we liked

  • Medium/heavy action rod
  • Durable fiberglass and carbon fiber 
  • Two-piece construction for easier storage
  • Soft and comfortable EVA molded handle
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Rated for 10-25 lb line
  • Clear Tip design is more sensitive
  • Expert balance to reduce fatigue
  • Molded pistol grip on the handle
  • Works with all kinds of line

What we didn't like

  • Not built for stronger fish species
  • May not be compatible with all reels

2. Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Boat Fishing Rod

One reason that many anglers love to go saltwater fishing is that you can reel in some massive fish. Unlike going to the river or a lake, you can bring some beasts into your boat, which adds to the thrill of the experience.

However, if you plan on hauling a whopper on board, then you need a rod that can handle that kind of power. Fortunately, we have the Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Rod, which is considered an extra heavy model.

This rod comes in two options - either you can have a 30-50 lb rating or a 50-80 lb rating. Either way, you’re able to catch almost anything out on the water without much trouble. The rod nor the line will give you any issues, so as long as you’re prepared for a fight, you can bring in a catch of the day that will make you proud.

The core material of this rod is fiberglass, but the secret to its performance are the guides. It comes with a 4+1 configuration, and each guide is ceramic with a stainless steel overlay. Not only do these materials make them rugged and dependable but they also resist corrosion and rust, which is necessary when fishing in saltwater. Each guide is reinforced to ensure that they don’t break off, allowing you to use this model over and over again. Also, the construction and positioning ensure that they don’t wear down your line either and cause a break.

Finally, the handle of this rod is incredible. It uses high-density EVA foam to conform to your hand and cushion the impact of your struggle. Since you’ll be fishing for some monsters out there, it’s imperative that you have a handle that won’t dig into your skin. 

What we liked

  • Solid fiberglass construction
  • Two pieces are easier to store
  • 4+1 heavy duty fixed guides
  • Stainless steel with ceramic inserts
  • Corrosion resistant and wear-free materials
  • High-density EVA handle for comfort
  • Rated for lines up to 50-80 pounds
  • Six-foot rod for maximum control

What we didn't like

  • Not suitable for braided line
  • Two pieces are not as durable as single unit models

3. St. Croix Mojo Surf Saltwater Casting Rod

When picking out the best saltwater fishing rod, one of the critical elements you have to pay attention to is the material of which it’s constructed. For the most part, rods are made with fiberglass because it’s both lightweight yet durable, and it won’t corrode over time. However, if you want something more powerful and high-end, you have to go with graphite.

In this case, we have the Mojo Surf Rod, which is made of SCII graphite, so you know that it’s one of the best. Yes, the price point is higher because of this, but you get such better performance that it’s worth the added expense.

What makes this rod even better is that it acts like a one piece even though it’s two. The reason you get the same level of power is that it uses offset ferrules to ensure a more even distribution of pressure on the material. Thus, when fighting your next catch, you don’t have to worry about the weight of the line snapping the rod where the two pieces meet.

Overall, the Mojo Surf is elegantly designed for high-performance fishing. The rod itself is sloped so that you don’t have to worry as much about line snags. The handle is wrapped to ensure both comfort and stability. Instead of using foam to maintain your grip, it has a faux leather feel that conforms to your fingers.

The power of this rod is medium, although other options are available. It’s also a fast action rod, which helps you both with casting and reeling in your next catch. Slow action rods are great for smaller fish, but not when you’re bringing in whoppers. The line rating for this model is between 10-20 lbs, although other sizes can go up to 60 pounds.

What we liked

  • Premium SCII Graphite
  • Multiple power options available
  • Fast action rod for control
  • Sloped frame reduces line snags
  • Extra lightweight yet durable
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Two pieces for easier storage
  • Offset ferrules add more stability
  • Comfortable X-wrap handle
  • Rated for lines between 10-20 lbs

What we didn't like

  • More expensive than other models
  • Not ideal for larger fish species

4. Shimano Trevala Spinning Rods

As you’ll notice in the title, we’re looking at a collection of different rod sizes from Shimano. Rather than focusing on a single spinning rod, Shimano offers a lot of options so that you can find the right one for your needs.

However, because we can’t get into each one here, let’s go over the fundamentals that you can expect when buying a Shimano Spinning Rod.

First of all, it’s imperative to understand that spinning rods are ideal for beginners. While some veteran anglers like having these kinds of reels, they don’t offer as much precision and control as a casting rod.

Secondly, the material of these rods is incredible. They use a composite of graphite and fiberglass to give you the best of both worlds. Also, most of these models are single pieces, making them stronger and more reliable than two-piece versions.

The guides are made of alconite, which is a high-quality ceramic material. The guides are reinforced for stability, and they work with almost all lines, including those that are braided. Depending on the size of the rod you get, you can work with lines up to 160 pounds, allowing you to bring monsters back into your boat.

Overall, the reliability and versatility of these rods make them a viable option for any angler, both beginner or otherwise. Just pick the size that works best for you and see how well it does on the water. 

What we liked

  • Multiple sizes and powers available
  • Single-piece design offers more strength
  • Spinning rod is ideal for beginners
  • Rated for lines up to 160 pounds 
  • Reinforced guides keep your line intact
  • Rugged composite of fiberglass and graphite
  • Durable alconite guides
  • Comfort molded EVA handle
  • Works with most lines, including braided

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the rod may arrive damaged
  • More expensive than other spinning rods

5. Sabiki Fishing Rod Bait Rod

For the most part, saltwater fishing rods are designed to use standard lines and hooks. However, some anglers prefer sabiki fishing instead, which is easier to master and can result in more catches with less effort.

Using a set of small hooks, you can wind up with some impressive catches. The reason that sabiki rigs are more effective is that they resemble the fish’s natural prey, so they are more likely to strike. Instead of using traditional lures or bait, the sabiki works wonders without the wait.

The problem with this method, however, is that the hooks can tangle easily. That’s why you will want to get something like this Sabiki Rod from Eat My Tackle. The rod collects all of the hooks and lines so that they don’t get twisted or hook onto your clothes.

What makes this rod ideal is that it works for both spinning and baitcast reels and it’s super easy to use. It’s two pieces for faster storage, and it has an EVA-foam handle for comfort and support. Sabiki fishing is even better with this rod. 

What we liked

  • Seven-foot rod
  • Works with spinning and baitcast reels
  • Two pieces for easy storage
  • Soft molded EVA handle
  • Designed for sabiki fishing
  • Hooks and rig store inside the rod

What we didn't like

  • Only good for sabiki fishing

6. Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod

Like the Shimano Spinning Rods, this set from Daiwa includes a multitude of sizes, powers, and actions from which to choose. However, all of them have the same high-quality construction and attention to detail that makes Daiwa Tatula one of the top brands in the fishing world.

What we like most about these rods is that they are built from SVF (super volume fiber) graphite. This is kind of like a composite material, which means that it’s extra lightweight and extra durable. You can fish all kinds of waters and never have a problem bringing your next catch into your net.

The other thing we appreciate about these rods is that they are single pieces. As we’ve mentioned, two-piece models can fracture from too much pressure, but you don’t have to worry about that at all with these units. Also, they come with a pistol grip, ensuring that you have the control and precision necessary for casting and reeling.

Overall, you get an incredible saltwater fishing experience with these rods.

What we liked

  • Durable super volume fiber graphite
  • Many sizes and actions available
  • Pistol grip for more control
  • EVA foam handle for comfort
  • Hook keeper built in for safety
  • Reinforced alconite guides for stability
  • Zero-G design is super lightweight
  • Single piece rod is more durable

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the tip may bend or break
  • Not ideal for larger fish species

7. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos

If you’re an experienced angler, then you know that you have to buy all of your fishing components separately if you want the best quality and reliability. Your rod, reel, line, and tackle are all compartmentalized so that you can ensure you get an incredible fishing experience.

If you’re not interested in spending the time or the money in crafting the perfect rig, then you may want something that comes with everything you need already. This combo set from Sougayilang is ideal for beginners or veterans who want a complete fishing set for whenever the mood strikes.

What sets this combo apart from the rest is that it comes with the rod, reel, line, hooks, and carrying case. The rod is telescoping so that it can store easily, and the whole thing is both lightweight yet sturdy. It’s made of carbon fiber material and uses stainless steel components to avoid corrosion.

Overall, this combo set is made for casual fishing. Because you can store it in your car trunk or backpack, it’s perfect to bring along when you’re not sure where the trip will take you. You don’t get the same power or performance as other rods, but you can catch most small fish without any problems. It’s built for the fisherman on the go. 

What we liked

  • Telescoping fishing rod
  • Reel, hooks, and accessories included
  • High-density carbon fiber construction
  • EVA molded handle
  • Lightweight yet rugged
  • 13+1 ball bearings in the reel
  • 5:1 spin ratio for efficiency
  • Works with braided line
  • Ideal for beginners

What we didn't like

  • Rod is not as durable as other models
  • Not ideal for veteran anglers

8. OKIAYA COMPOSIT BIG GAME ROLLER ROD

As we’ve mentioned already, one of the reasons to go saltwater fishing is to land some trophy catches that would otherwise be impossible in freshwater sources. You can take the boat out onto the open ocean and reel in species like marlin or bass with ease, especially if you have something like this heavy power rod from Okiaya.

Overall, this is designed as a big game rod, meaning that it’s both rugged and reliable. It’s built out of aircraft-grade materials, including reinforced roller guides. The shaft is also wrapped to provide additional strength, and it’s a single piece, so you don’t have to worry about it snapping in half.

The rod itself is relatively light on features - it relies instead on the rugged durability of its construction for performance. That being said, you can run up to a 130-pound line on this model, making it an ideal choice for sport fishing of all kinds.

What we liked

  • Durable aircraft-grade alloy construction
  • Reinforced stainless steel rollers
  • Rated for up to 130-lb line
  • One piece design for durability
  • Heavy power and fast action rod
  • EVA molded handle for comfort

What we didn't like

  • In rare cases, the roller guides may move out of alignment
  • Not compatible with all reel sizes

9. EAT MY TACKLE 100-120 Lb. Fishing Rod

We’ve already seen the quality offered by Eat My Tackle, but now we are applying that same commitment to detail with a standard saltwater fishing rod. Thus, if you’re not into Sabiki fishing, you will prefer something like this instead.

The construction of this rod is fiberglass, so it’s both lightweight and durable. It can handle line weights up to 120 pounds, so you know that you can reel in some monsters on your boat. It’s another single-piece design, which adds control and stability while fishing. It’s also a short rod so that you can put more power into your retrieve - helpful when battling a massive fish.

Overall, the rod is made well, but it’s not as elegant as graphite or as precise as some of the other ones we’ve seen. If you’re interested in hauling some big fish into your boat, it will work well.

What we liked

  • Composite fiberglass construction
  • EVA molded handle for comfort
  • Rated for 100-120 lb line
  • Shorter rod length for control
  • Stainless steel roller guides
  • Corrosion-resistant materials
  • Highly sensitive tip
  • Single piece design for durability
  • Heavy power and fast action rod

What we didn't like

  • Not made for spinning reels
  • In rare cases, the reel may rotate around the rod

10. G.Loomis E6X Inshore Spinning Rods

Our final rod is another set like the Shimano or Daiwa sets we’ve already seen. G. Loomis is a high-class brand that delivers some of the best rods you can find. Let’s break down the essential elements that make these so great.

First, the rods are built of carbon fiber. Although it’s not quite as reliable as fiberglass, it still offers lightweight precision and rugged performance. What we also like about these rods is that they use cork handles instead of EVA. Cork is better because it lasts longer and is usually more comfortable than foam.

The balance and handling of these rods are exceptional, and you can get them in a variety of sizes and actions. They are tapered to reduce the chance of snagging your line, and they use aluminum oxide guides to stay on target. 

What we liked

  • Durable carbon fiber construction
  • Full cork handle for stability
  • Tapered design reduces snags
  • Many sizes and options available
  • Expertly balanced for performance
  • Pistol grips available for control
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Corrosion-resistant materials

What we didn't like

  • Pricier than other rods
  • Not made for larger fish species

Final Verdict 

We’ve seen a lot of excellent saltwater fishing rods on this list, but when it comes to our top picks, we have to say that we really like what the Mojo Surf and the Daiwa Tatula Rods have to offer.

Both of these options are made of high-quality materials, and they are built to last. You get exceptional balance and control while casting, and bringing in your next catch is a breeze overall. The power and performance of these rods are second to none, which is why they are our top recommendations.

David Valle
 

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!

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