Does your head spin when you’re trying to decide which rod to buy? Which brand should you go for? Well, we have got it covered here, with our review on the top 10 rated spinning rods available.
Spinning rods are a must have for anglers because it suits any kind on fishing that you’re into. It’s easy to use and convenient, and it can be used to fish medium, small, large depending on the specifications and also on the reel used. If this isn’t what you’re looking for then try checking out our reviews for the best baitcasting reels!
To help you decide on how to select a spinning rod, below are a few criteria to look out for.
Important Criteria for Spinning Rod Selection
The longer the length of the spinning rod, the more suitable it is for large water surface area fishing like sea or big lakes. Longer rods usually are heavy thus the capability to carry heavy-weight fishes.
As compared to the long, short rods works better in smaller water terrains like ponds or rivers, but rivers I would not advise due to the water current. Shorter rods are actually more sensitive and highly flexible as its normally a one-piece structure whereas the long rods can be two-piece or more.
Just keep in mind, long rod – large waters and large fishes, short rod – small waters and small to medium sized fishes. You can use your long rods for fly fishing, whereas short rods are suited for one precise location fishing.
When it comes to the weight, you need to look at where and what you’re intending to catch. The heavier the rod, the more suitable it is to capture strong fishes due to the power to withstand the capacity and the pull.
Heavier rods are more suitable for water which has high current as well and also has the ability to cast the rod for a further distance. So, we can summarize that heavy or medium weighted rods are more suitable in big water surfaces like the sea, or lakes. Don’t know where to find fishes? Well, check out our reviews for the best fish finders and you’ll be able to find fish in no time.
Lighter or even extra-light fishing rods can be used to haul big fishes as well, but it will not last long, it will have the tendency to snap, or break into halves. Therefore, more inclined towards small fishes, perhaps for fly fishing.
But remember, when you’re getting your rod, ensure your reel matched with its line capacity. Smaller reel for lighter rods, and vice versa – remember this.
Action is basically the amount or the power capacity to withstand pressure before breakage. This is correlated with the speed in which the rod shaft spring back to its original position at rest.
The action is divided into three categories: fast, medium and slow. Under fast, it means that the rod bends a third of the shaft segment when hooked a fish. Medium is when the rod bends at the middle of the shaft, and lastly slow means that when something is hooked, the rod bends fully, flexes the overall length of the shaft.
Imagine catching a large fish with a slow action rod, definitely it is going to flex fully and finally snap, and there goes your catch! Make sure you look out for the label on the action before purchasing your desired spinning rod.
Material and Type of Fishing Area
We have sea, river, lakes, and then we have freshwater, saltwater , etc- and in each of this water terrains, the range of fish species is huge. You need to know whether your rod is suitable for the environment you’re fishing in as well as the type of fish you’re planning to lure in.
To know if it is suitable, look at the material the spinning rod is made of. Stainless steel structure is great, because this material does not corrode when it’s constantly in contact with water, either fresh or salt water. Salt has the tendency to react with certain metals, which triggers corrosion, thus need to be careful.
If in freshwater, basically almost any material should not be a problem like graphite, carbon fibre, aero glass, and fibreglass. If you’re fishing in saltwater areas, look for anti-corrosive material in the rod structure for higher lifespan, such as stainless steel.
Also based on the material used, the weight is determined. Example, graphite is the lightest component which will be most suited for a lighter weight rod, next can be fibreglass which is most commonly used nowadays, and carbon or stainless steel is next for the heavier rod range.
In terms of sensitivity, graphite is highly sensitive as compared to fibreglass, aero glass or carbon fibre. Its is better to opt out for a mix of material to balance the sensitivity level, for example fibreglass with graphite has a good sensitivity level, to alerting you at the wrong time to reel in the rod.
Simple graphite blanks allow weak spots or pressure points to develop whereas rods made with a combination of fiberglass and graphite are far less likely to have these flaws, so its better to go for the mix between these two.
Durability depends on two factors, material used for rod manufacture and whether you are using it for the right occasion. If you are luring in big fish, try to get a bigger, heavier rod as it has the proper material used such as stainless steel, and preferably in freshwater.
When it light and made of materials such as graphite, it is durable but only on a certain period of time, when it is used very often, or if you accidentally used it for heavier fishes in the lake, then it can actually break into half because the action is slow.
The rod tips are also said to be important as it must be capable to withstand the strength when strike, and also not flimsy because when stored in certain places even towards a hard surface like the wall, the tip which bends is considered as faulty.
Top 10 Rated Spinning Rods
Below are the list of top rated spinning rods for its quality and effectiveness for the use of fishing. Among the top brands include Shimano and Shakespeare, but there are a few brands growing fast as well due to their advantages and also being cost effective.
|Name||Length (feet)||Weight||Action||Line Test (pounds)||Lure Test (ounces)||Material||Durability||Price|
|Shimano Stimula 2-Piece||5'6" - 7'||4.8 on - 1.0 lbs||Medium - Fast||6 to 14||1/8 - 1/2||Graphite||Moderate||$$$|
|Ugly Stik Elite||4'6" - 7'6"||4.8 on - 1.2 lbs||Medium||8 to 15||1/8 - 3/4||Graphite||High||$$|
|KastKing BlackHawk||5.91' - 11.81'||10.4 on - 1.1 lbs||Fast||8 to 15||1/4 - 3/4||Carbon Fibre and E-Glass||High||$$|
|PLUSINNO Spin||5.91' - 10.83'||1.1 lbs - 1.4 lbs||Medium||2 to 10||1/25 - 2/25||Carbon Fibre and Fibreglass||High||$$|
|Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 6-15 pds||5.5' - 7'||1.4 lbs||Medium||6 to 15||1/8 - 5/8||Graphite and Fibreglass||Moderate||$$|
|Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 8-20 pds||6' - 7'||3 lbs||Medium||8 to 20||1/4 - 3/4||Fibreglass||High||$$|
|Shimano FXS 2 Piece||5' - 9'||8.0 on - 1.0 lbs||Medium - Fast||6 to 25||1/32 - 3.0||Aeroglass||High||$$|
|Shakespeare Medium Action||6'6"||11.2 on||Medium||6 to 12||1/8 - 5/8||Fibreglass||High||$|
|Shimano Solora 2 Piece||5' - 7'||5 lbs||Fast||6 to 14||1/8 - 5/8||Aeroglass||Moderate||$|
|Sougayilang Spin||5.91' - 11.81'||5.0 on - 11.0 on||Medium||5 to 15||1/4 - 3/4||E-Glass||High||$|
PLUSINNO Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
PLUSINNO is brand offering spinning rods which comes together with its reel. This is because as previously discussed in the criteria, your reel and rod correlates and have to match each other, so it’s better if the set comes together.
Among the selections given when purchasing include the set which comes with the fishing rod and the reel only, or another option will be a full complete set which is the spinning rod and the reel, many types of fishing lures, hooks and also additional necessary items which is needed when going for fishing – in sea or from a boat.
This brand is not very expensive, just above average pricing of rods in the market, thus making it relatively affordable for most. The manufacturer has made this model with length ranging from 5.91 feet to 10.83 feet, so you can definitely find one which suits your needs to fish in large waters or small waters.
Preferably, go for the longest one when you’re intending to catch big fishes, and vice versa. Longer rods has the capability to withstand higher pressure and weight. Based on the line test, its capable of pulling in fishes ranging from 2 to 10 pounds. With the instant anti-reverse feature, it provides enough steadiness when trawling.
It is made of carbon fibre and fibreglass, making it highly durable and elastic due to the composite mixture, and also this specific rod is suitable for both freshwater or saltwater fishing, so its multipurpose. The reel which comes with the set is also highly durable as its made of stainless steel, making it anti corrosive.
The material used to make as mentioned gives the elasticity needed as when catching the fish and it pulls, as you begin to reel in, the shaft can bend, and due to the elasticity, the cases where it snaps into two can be avoided.
This rod has a medium action power, that is why its suited for both heavy or light weight fishing. This telescopic rod is easy to carry around as the collapse design is very convenient for transporting around, can reduce to a shorter length, making it convenient for users. EVA Fore Grip usage is to enhance the comfort while fishing.
Lure to be used for this spinning rod, would range between 1/25 to 2/25. Even though its a long fishing rod, its rather a light-weighted rod ranging from 1.1 – 1.4 pounds, depending on the length. So try not to strain the rod for bigger catch.
The downfalls of this product comes from case to case basis. For example being light-weighted yet long, you would assume that it could go a further distance, but apparently not so, it can go around maximum 40 yards or so. Though claimed to be elastic, being lightweight also can cause a strain on the shaft which in the end after a month or two of regular usage can cause breakage, meaning the durability is negligible.
You can try to lure in larger fishes, but you are pushing the limit. Based on the range given, sometimes even a 5 to 6 pounds fish can cause full flex of the shaft, where the danger of snapping can be possible. Overall, based on feedback and experience by my friends, I think this is more suited to casual, once-in-a-while fishing due to its low cost as well, but in longer term maybe not advisable.
Shimano FXS 2 Piece Spinning Rod
Shimano invented this spinning rod in a way that it would be available for all at an affordable price, and yet a fantastic catch for anglers. Made of aero glass and reinforced aluminium oxide guides, this rod falls under one of the highly durable spinning rods available in the market.
This 2-piece spinning rod comes either as ultra-light, medium or medium heavy, totally ranging from 8 ounces to 1 pound. Ultra-light comes in the length of 5 feet or 5 feet 6 inches, 6 or 7 feet for medium, and 6 feet 6 inches to 9 feet for medium heavy.
Upon line test, this FXS 2 piece spinning rod can take from 6 pounds up to 25 pounds fishes in, and the lure can range from 1/32 ounces to 3 ounces depending on the selected piece of rod. Basically, lighter rod requires lighter lure, for example the ultra-light 5 feet piece can use the 1/32 ounces lure.
This piece of rod is more suited towards freshwater such as ponds, lakes, or river – due to its line capacity test and plus the material it is constructed with is not anti-corrosion type. Due to its 2-piece design, this is an easily portable piece of rod you can carry anywhere. To assemble the rod, its rather effortless and convenient.
Unfortunately, this creation by Shimano can’t be used in saltwater due to the material used for the rod construction, o within 1 to 2 use if you attempt to use in saltwater, you can definitely see it rusting then.
Also being very easily dismantled and assembled, the connection in the middle can easily break if not using the proper rod or reeling in very heavy weighted fish. The rod is also not very sensitive, so even when in hooks a fish, you will not alerted immediately unless a strong pull or the fish struggles.
Shimano Stimula 2-Piece Spin Rod
The name given “stimula” is probably due to its high sensitivity according to the material used in the construction which is graphite. Graphite material makes it one of the durable rods available in the market today. So with a very minor strike, you can feel the rod tingling from the tip.
A few custom made design were added to this spinning rod which is a custom Shimano reel seat, custom shaped cork handle and a multipurpose hook keeper – making it look rather classy than other rods.
This rod is a medium to fast action, so it can hook in rather large fishes ranging from 6 pounds to 14 pounds maximum. Its ultra-light model is 5 feet 6 inches, the medium comes in 6 feet, 6 feet 6 inches, or 7 feet length. Medium light models comes in the length of 6 feet and 6 feet 6 inches.
The weight of these rods range from 4.8 ounces to 1 pound, depending on the length. These rods are not very long and rather light, so its more suited for small to medium sized fishes – such as trouts or sometimes even salmons.
A few disadvantages on this rod includes its durability. Due to its light weight, the structure itself could not withstand the pressure in cases where a large fish is hooked. It has the possibility to snap into 2. The eyelets are also said to be not proper, can break in some cases, but this rod does have a year of warranty, where you can return in for a repair if it actually broke or the parts are not proper.
Shakespeare Medium Action Spinning Rod (6-Feet 6-Inch)
Shakespeare designed only one particular type of spinning rod which is a medium action, 6 feet 6 inches design. It has a stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts, making it a rather sturdy structure, weighing a 11.2 ounces.
Based on the line test, its structure is able to lure in fishes weighing between 6 pounds to 12 pounds, and the lures you can use for this rod is between 1/8 ounces to 5/8 ounces. Try not to push the limit with this rod because its capacity is not of a high range.
The material used in the manufacture of this rod is fibreglass, the top-most used material nowadays for rods due to its sensitivity and durability. It has a collapsible design which makes it easily portable and convenient.
Another great advantage from this spinning rod is that its suited for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. So you can save by purchasing this one rod for both location use, and since its capable to be used at both environment, it is rather highly durable.
Regrettably, the reel seat on this rod is rather flat, so you won’t be able to use a rounded reel for this rod. This rod not very suitable for using with a bobber. After a few casts, unfortunately the rod tip and other sections of the rod becomes loose and could detach – where could cost you your catch of the day.
Shimano Solora 2 Piece Spinning Rod
Shimano has created Solora 2-piece rod using aero glass as its main material for the rod blank. It has reinforced aluminum oxide guides, with a solid locking graphite reel seat and comfortable cork handles. This rod is inexpensive and it is worth the buy.
It comes in 4 specific lengths, 5 feet 6 inches, 6 feet, 6 feet 6 inches, and 7 feet. With its fast action capability, you can expect the line having the potential to lure in fishes ranging from 6 pounds to 14 pounds. It is also convenient and portable. Having pliers by your side will help minimise waste of time so do check out our best fishing pliers review so you won’t have to fiddle and dawdle when you fish.
This rod is suitable to be used both in freshwater and saltwater fishing. You can attempt to catch fishes like trout, perch and many more. The lure which can be used for this rod should weigh between 1/8 ounces to 5/8 ounces.
There is a good amount of flex due to its fast action, and a higher sensitivity as well. The downfall for this model is that sometimes you find it heavier than expected and also stiff, that when smaller fishes are caught you would hardly be alerted.
Also, the connection between this two piece can be quite loose at times and may be of a little inconvenient when you have to constantly adjust and screw it into lace tighter. This rod is probably a good catch for novice or beginner anglers, you can use it for trial purposes or even as a spare.
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
This spinning rod is actually a design by Shakespeare company, which comes in either 1 piece or a 2-piece model. This is priced slight above average but its worth every penny. Its light weight due to addition of graphite, and graphite also is the most sensitive material with a very fine tip.
The stainless steel guides provide maximum durability and eliminate any insert pop-outs. It is a medium action rod, making it flexible and not stiff for use. Its also a design made for both freshwater and saltwater, making it highly durable.
Its comes in various length and power, with length ranging from 4 feet 6 inches to 7 feet 6 inches, and power between ultra light to medium heavy. The line test has proven its potential of catching fishes between 8 pounds to 15 pounds.
The rods range from 4.8 ounces to 1.2 pounds. So its not very heavy, and easily portable either if its the 1-piece or 2-piece model. The appropriate lure to be used should weigh between 1/8 ounces to 3/4 ounces, because heavy lure may actually jeopardize the tip of your rod, causing it to be flimsy or even eventually break during casting.
Its unfortunate that based on some users, the rod quality diminishes over time. If not taken enough care when transporting around or storing, the rod tip can curve or break at times. The coating of the rod also peels of in long term, where the appearance is no longer intact.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod (6-15-Pound Test)
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rods features Ugly Tech Construction where it comes with a new blank through reel seat design, using material with a combination of graphite and fiberglass. This combo enhances the sensitivity of the rod, and also stronger.
Ugly Stik GX2 outer aesthetic design comes in matte black finish with red and silver accents. The Ugly Stik logo etched into the EVA grip to give it a look all its own, distinctive from other rods.
It is a 1-piece or a 2-piece rod construction, and has length ranging between 5 feet 5 inches to 7 feet. The choice between a one-piece or two-piece design depends on the user, sometimes you may feel comfortable to have a 2-piece design due to its portability convenience.
Line test has shown that it can hook fishes between 6 pounds to 15 pounds. The lure should weigh between 1/8 ounces to 5/8 ounces, as less pressure should be at the tip. This rod has a medium action power. This design can be used for both freshwater and saltwater fishing, just give it a rinse after use in freshwater. Stamped stainless steel guides give maximum durability in a high quality rod, even when in saltwater.
The defects in the rod are more prevalent in the 2-piece design, where the attachment points seems to easily come apart with frequent casting. The eyes have a tendency to come loose from the guides as well which is very inconvenient.
KastKing BlackHawk Telescopic Fishing Rods
KastKing has manufactured this blackhawk colored rod with high quality, and best part is its able to function in both freshwater and saltwater. It is a telescopic spinning rod made of high density carbon fibre and e-glass composite, which makes it highly sensitive and powerful.
The characteristic that makes it highly durable is the three point welded stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts. It can be used with braided or mono fishing line, and because it is stainless steel, the saltwater corrosion resistance is uphold.
Also, the exquisite reel seat is made of corrosion resistant CNC machined aluminum, so this model can actually last you for a long period of time, given that you take good care of it as well. This rod is easily portable, and you can fit it in anywhere.
KastKing created the spinning rods of this kind to be in various sizes and lengths. This is because the manufacturer wants it to be versatile and mufti-functional, where you can use for freshwater bass trout fishing, saltwater surf fishing and many more – no restrictions.
It comes in lengths of 5.91 feet up to 11.81 feet, excellent for both small or large water terrains. It is a fast action rod, where it can lure fishes ranging from 8 pounds to 15 pounds. The lure suitable for this rod should range between 1/4 to 3/4 ounces.
This rod is not very expensive, but its above average. From what we see based on its characteristics, it is worthwhile. At times, the tip is quite loose where it can break off upon casting.
The disadvantage is based on the cap on the hollow storage end of the rod, where it is made of plastic. The end is important as it comes in contact with the ground where it sits, so it can be worn out quite quickly and you made need to buy another.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod (8 – 20 Pounds)
This version is different from the one discussed earlier due to the improved characteristics. It is only available either with the length of 6 feet, 6 feet 5 inches or 7 feet. It is a one-piece rod construction and has an EVA handle making it comfortable to use.
The newly designed guides, known as “Ugly Tuff Guides”, provides maximum strength and durability to the spinning rod. The tip is also improved where it is highly sensitive to the lightest strike, and also is strong. And of course, this design is suited for both freshwater and saltwater fishing as well.
The line strength is what makes the difference from the earlier model, this rod is able to pull in between 8 pounds to 20 pounds fish, meaning the line has the capability to handle higher pressure input. So when in the sea or lake, where you have the possibility to catch fishes that are huge, this is a good rod for your choice.
The lure weight preferable would be between 1/4 ounces o 5/8 ounces. The outer design is also with a black matte finish with red and silver accents, giving it a sophisticated look which attracts many of their buyers.
Though the rod is said to withstand up to 20 pounds fish based on the line test, apparently there are cases reported that it snapped even at a 15 – 16 pounds fish caught. The design although attractive, it starts to peel off slowly at the edges with frequent usage. It is not really portable as its a one-piece rod, so based on convenience it lags a bit there.
Sougayilang Spinning Telescopic Fishing Rod
With its ability of being used in both saltwater and freshwater, the Sougayilang manufactured spinning rod is desirable by many anglers. It is made of high density carbon fibre and E-glass for higher power and also improved sensitivity.
It is also light weighted and perfectly balanced, ranging from 5 ounces to 11 ounces depending on the length which is between 5.91 feet to 11.81 feet. You will hardly feel the burden of carrying this rod around. This design is also easily brought around anywhere as it is very easy to collapse, plus the benefit of one year warranty by the manufacturer keeps you worry free in case anything unfortunate happens.
The reel seat is made of Corrosion Resistant CNC Machined Aluminum, so this rod is highly durable even though exposed to saltwater. The guides are also made of stainless steel where you can use for either braided or mono fishing lines, so corrosion is something you can forget about when using these rods.
It has a plastic cap for protection of the guide rings on the pole , and it comes with a bag for protection of the rod. The disadvantage is that the bottom is quite heavy making the casting process rather challenging, also when it is fully extended, it can be difficult to retract back.
In the end, as a beginner or professional angler, all you want is a rod that is worth the money spent and also durable. To ensure what you are buying is right for your usage pattern and also where you are going to fish, you have to look at a few criteria as mentioned above.
The length, weight, material, durability, line and lure test are all important things to look out for when purchasing your spinning rod. Better yet if the rod comes with a reel, so you can have less worry whether your reel would suit the rod or not. Once you’ve chosen your reel, check out our reviews for the best spinning rods!
Hopefully the reviews and discussion given above will help you to make the best choice. So, which spinning rod is luring you in, angler?