Best Fishing Rods: Top 5 Poles Most Recommended By Experts

Fishing is a one of America’s great pastimes that allows people to get out in the fresh air and the open sea. Going fishing is also a great opportunity to teach a new skill to your little ones and have fun doing it. This hobby requires first investing in the right equipment. Whether you’re a beginner or pro fisherman, some of the best fishing rods can make all the difference in your experience.

If you find yourself bringing home the day’s catch to feed the family, this is actually beneficial to your health. A recent study by McMaster University involving participants from 60 countries finds that eating oily fish twice weekly can protect against cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals. It is the omega-3 fatty acids in fish that make the difference. Researchers found that high-risk individuals who consumed two servings a week of fish rich in omega-3 lowered their risk of heart attacks and strokes by about a sixth (roughly 16%) compared with those who did not eat oily fish.

There’s more! Another study contends that eating more fish may be the secret to saving the environment. An international team says a “blue food revolution,” which involves doubling the global consumption of aquatic produce, could beat climate change.

So, if you want to try your hand at bringing home a fresh catch, we’ve got the most important piece of equipment covered. StudyFinds compiled a list of the best fishing rods available today to cast on your next trip, naming the products most recommended across expert reviews. Let us know if you have any suggestions for our list in the comments below

Fishing rod with sunset in the background
(Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash)

The List: Best Fishing Rods, According to Experts


1. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod

Trip Savvy says this brand provides review-backed performance at a very reasonable price point. “It’s also one of the most versatile rods on this list, coming in various formats to suit multiple applications. First, choose whether you want a spinning rod or a baitcasting rod; then, choose a one-piece or a two-piece (for easier transport and storage). You can even choose a Twin Tip rod, with interchangeable tips rated for two different powers.”

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod
KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod

“All Perigee II two-piece fishing rods are constructed with Toray 24-ton carbon matrix KastFlex blank technology for strength and accuracy. Available in 29 sizes, ranging from an ultralight 7′ spinning rod to a heavy spinning rod, this brand has the perfect rod to match all of your fishing needs,” adds Yahoo. “The power of these fishing rods is maintained by its specialized high-tech computer control wrapping at four angles (00, 450, 900, and 1350). You’re guaranteed to be able to fish all day without getting tired with KastKing Perigee II.”

“As compared to the Ugly Stik GX2, it’s a little less powerful but a lot more sensitive. A quick glance at the specifications may have you wondering why this is a budget rod. After all, whether it’s power, sensitivity, or lightness, it has it all,” writes Fishing Sensei.

2. Ugly Stik Elite

Wirecutter loves this model for lure fishing and says, “An additional 35% more graphite in the rod is the main factor making the newer Ugly Stik Elite series our pick for lure fishing; the extra stiffness should help you manipulate your lure more realistically. The Elite comes in the same range of sizes as the GX2—we’d recommend a 7-foot-long medium to medium-heavy rod—and costs about $10 much more. That (slightly) higher price also gets you a grip that’s cork, instead of EVA foam.”

Ugly Stik Elite
Ugly Stik Elite

“There isn’t too much to say, but in short, the Ugly Stik Elite is durable, portable, and of good quality. Ugly Stik rods are known for being unbreakable. Their special ‘Ugly Tech Construction’ makes their rods tough as nails. This rod also has good quality components like stainless steel guides and a cork handle. Safe to say, it’s one of the best 2-piece ultralight fishing rods on the market,” adds Fishing Sensei. “It’s somewhat heavier than the higher-end rods on this list, but aside from that, it’s got few other flaws. Check out the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod for a modestly priced, portable, and good-quality 2-piece ultralight fishing rod.”

“If you need a well-built, lightweight fishing rod that’s easy to tote to your favorite fishing hole, look no further than the Ugly Stik Elite. Don’t let its small size fool you. It’s perfectly strong and has impressive fighting power, which was proven on several occasions when we hauled in fish that were seemingly too big for this rod. This Ugly Stik was also versatile enough for different fishing styles, whether it be dropping a hook with a worm on it or just casting with a lure. It was also one of the best when it came to balancing, sitting comfortably in our hands all day long,” writes Outdoor Gear Lab

3. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod

Outdoor Life states that it is the best entry-level rod. “The Orvis Clearwater 9-foot, 4-weight fly rod is a legacy product in the Orvis fly rod family. For many longtime anglers, earlier versions of the Clearwater were very likely the first premium fly rod they ever purchased. It has a stellar reputation as a brand.”

Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod

“Orvis Clearwater fly fishing rods make up one of the most popular series from one of the biggest brands in fly fishing. With a rod for every possible scenario (from tiny trout streams to saltwater flats fishing), these tried-and-tested favorites range in length from 7-feet, 6-inches to 10-feet,” adds Trip Savvy. “As for line weight, options span the entire spectrum from an ultra-light 2-weight rod to a heavy-duty 12-weight rod. Whichever you choose, the blank is crafted from lightweight chrome with a nickel aluminum reel seat. Snake and stripping guides are made from chrome with a ceramic insert for added durability.”

“When it comes to casting, the rod is fast action but still forgiving and is super helpful for beginners learning to cast. Roll casting and overhead casting come natural, and if you’ve never cast a fly rod before, a half-hour on the front lawn can take you a long way. Above all, the rod is protected by Orvis’s legendary no-questions-asked 25-year warranty so you can fish in confidence knowing you’ll be taken care of no matter what happens,” writes Field and Stream

4. KastKing Blackhawk II Rod

According to Trip Savvy, “Whether you’re heading out on a multi-day, backcountry fishing expedition or have a favorite fishing spot that’s only accessible on foot, KastKing’s Blackhawk II telescopic fishing rod is made for fitting in your pack. The carbon matrix blank has all the strength and performance of a one-piece rod but telescopes down in six stages to less than a third of its length. The smallest rod in the series is a 6-foot, 6-inch spinning stick that collapses to 1-foot, 8-inches.”

KastKing Blackhawk II Rod
KastKing Blackhawk II Rod

“KastKing uses advanced build processes to make this travel fishing rod behave more like a one-piece rod. In other words, it’s more sensitive and lightweight, and has a more robust action than many multi-piece, telescopic rods,” notes Active. “Many travel fishing rods are chopped-up versions of full-size rods and lack the sensitivity and feel of the original product. But the KastKing Blackhawk II Travel Rod was designed as a travel rod from the start with features that deliver an experience on par with that of one-piece offerings.”

“Through further trials and development, the most recent Blackhawk II rods come with solid glass-fibre tips. This does not make the rod appreciably heavier than with a carbon tip section. At the same time it does provide a durable/non-brittle tip with lots of flex (contributing to a fast-action blank with good sensitivity),” points out Fishing Discoveries

5. St. Croix Premier Series

Fished That writes that it is one of the brand’s best for a reason: “These rods are affordable while still being durable, lightweight, and highly sensitive. These rods are handcrafted in Park Falls, U.S.A. using SCII graphite blanks. The whole shaft is precisely made such that it has finely tuned actions and tapers for superior performance. A great choice for the value-conscious angler, buying the St. Croix Premier Series will be a decision you won’t regret.”

St. Croix Premier Series
St. Croix Premier Series handle

“The excellent craftsmanship is what allows it to be lighter than the St Croix Triumph, while still being every bit as sensitive, strong, and durable. I measured both rods’ 5.5 ft options and found that the St Croix Premier was about 10% lighter,” adds Fishing Sensei. “Aside from that, it’s also equipped with a Kigan hook-keeper. This will secure the hook and protect your rod from being damaged during transportation and storage.”

“The Premier ultralight features a fast action, and as a combination, they provide the sensitivity you want with the cushioned hookset you need for ‘papermouths.’ Strong, supple, well-balanced, and light, this rod is everything you’re looking for. Bass or panfish–this rod can handle them all with no worries, and your line will break long before it does,” says U.S. Angler

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This post may contain affiliate links.

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About the Author

Saloni Ordia

Saloni is a freelance B2B SaaS writer who excels at creating in-depth product-focused content. When she is not writing, you can find her in the kitchen whipping up new recipes or curled up with a rom-com novel.

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  1. I don’t know any of the people or groups who declared these rods the best, but they obviously had their heads up their behinds! Fly rods are not the only fishiing rods, nor are these the best, even of that elite genre. Where are the Winstons, T&Ts, Scotts, etc? Sure they’re expensive, but this grouping says nothing about these being the best budget Poles! I defy anyone to fish a Winston Air II or T&T Paradigm and compare these to them!
    And GLoomis Spinning and Bait Casting rods, with St.CROIX receiving honorable mention take the lead in those genresl

  2. I fish both st-croix and Shimano” Compre”,medlight6.5 ‘,I mostly fish off a boat,casting jigging,throlling mainly for walleyes,I consider these two rods as my” go to rods” for any Ontario fishing.that my opinion,and I’m sticking to it! Lol

  3. As someone who is new to fishing, I found this article very helpful in understanding what to look for when buying a fishing rod. I appreciate the tips on the different types of rods and how they are best used for different fishing techniques.

  4. Being new to fishing, I discovered this newsletter to be notably informative in guiding me through the procedure of selecting a fishing rod. The insights furnished on numerous rod types and their ultimate uses for special fishing strategies have been mainly valuable to me.

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