The 10 Best Fishing Poles

Updated June 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

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We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You wouldn't go to a construction site without the right tools for the job, so why should you go fishing without the perfect pole? The correct rod can make the difference between a fun, successful outing and a miserable day watching your line float lifelessly in the water, and the options here have the right features to provide you with the perfect cast - and catch - every time. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best fishing pole on Amazon.

10. Sougayilang Spincasting

The Sougayilang Spincasting is made of a blend of high-density carbon fiber and E-glass composite, making it extremely sensitive, but also lightweight enough to hold or carry around all day without getting tired. It's also telescopic, so it's easy to store when not in use.
  • cap to protect eyelets when stored
  • rings won't catch on or damage line
  • can't cast lures over 2 oz
Brand Sougayilang
Model pending
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Shimano Solora

If you're just getting into the sport, then the Shimano Solora is a great pole to learn with. The cork handles are gentle on your mitts, and the aeroglass blank construction ensures that it will last. However, it's heavy enough that you won't want to lug it around all day.
  • good for kayak fishing
  • smooth casting action
  • doesn't have a hook keeper
Brand Shimano
Model solora-24
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Plusinno Telescopic Kit

Get everything you need to catch your supper with the Plusinno Telescopic Kit, as it comes with a quality rod and reel, plus plenty of line, a few lures, and a padded case to carry it all around in. It's a smart choice for those new to the hobby.
  • small footprint when collapsed
  • easy to keep stashed in a car
  • not terribly durable
Model pending
Weight 2.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. FishingSir Starter

The cork grip on the FishingSir Starter gives it both old-school charm and superior ergonomics, as you'll be able to hold it for hours without your hands cramping up. Even better, the whole thing weighs just over three ounces, taking even more strain off your mitts.
  • ideal for fly fishing
  • good value for the price
  • reel is on the small side
Model pending
Weight 2.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Rippin Lips Super Cat

The Rippin Lips Super Cat is made from advanced S-glass fiberglass for a lighter and more agile angling experience. The sensitivity is top-notch, as it provides noticeable feedback any time a fish touches your line, so you never have to worry about missing a catch again.
  • one of the best rods for catfish
  • ideal for bump casting
  • tip is a little fragile
Brand Rippin Lips
Model RL76MH-1C
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Eat My Tackle

The Eat My Tackle is a must-have for any saltwater anglers, as it can easily handle fish up to 80 lbs. with little bending or straining, making it a great choice for tuna or shark. The foam grip won't twist, and will stay comfortable during an extended fight.
  • excellent for bottom fishing
  • very smooth rollers
  • doesn't work for casting
Model pending
Weight 5.2 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 will last for years, thanks to its 1-piece graphite and fiberglass design. It's very well-balanced and has a great feel, and the sensitive clear tip will alert you the second you have a nibble, making it perfect for going after trout.
  • modern-looking matte finish
  • good for beginners
  • suitable for lefties or righties
Brand UglyStik
Model USSP662L
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

3. Yongzhi Combo

With over 13 ball bearings, the Yongzhi Combo has a very smooth reel that will make it easier than ever to drag that bass up on your boat. Its carbon fiber construction enables it to withstand choppy waters as well, so you'll be able to fish in any conditions.
  • fits in backpacks when disassembled
  • made of anti-corroding materials
  • continuous anti-reverse function
Model pending
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Penn Senator

The Penn Senator sports a remarkably light drag, so there's no need to worry about your line snapping once something takes your bait. Once you get a nibble, however, it has plenty of torque to help you bring in your catch, regardless of how impressive it is.
  • high gear ratio
  • stainless steel reinforcement rings
  • ideal for deep sea fishing
Brand Penn
Model 91332
Weight 3.1 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Entsport Baitcaster

The Entsport Baitcaster is a 2-piece, 7-foot rod with well-spaced guides, giving you nearly friction-free sensitivity without having to worry about snags or tangles. It's very easy to whip, so it's great for casting under obstacles like docks or trees.
  • both medium and medium-heavy options
  • comfy foam grip for all-day casting
  • low-friction line flow
Brand Entsport
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Brief History Of Sport Fishing

It is believed the concept of sport fishing dates as far back as 2000 BC. There are scenes discovered from Ancient Egypt depicting people fishing with lines, rods, and nets. These archeological finds show that they fished from the banks of rivers and in boats constructed from papyrus. They also used a combination of techniques, including harpoons, baited hooks, nets, and fish traps in the form of woven baskets. The original hooks were made from wood, shells, ivory, or bone.

There is a Chinese account from the 4th century that tells of fishing with silk lines attached to bamboo rods. They used cook rice attached to hooks as bait. Additional references to fishing can be found in ancient Roman, Jewish, Greek and Assyrian writings.

While it is believed the Ancient Egyptians went fishing for sport, there is no definitive evidence to prove this theory. The first actual evidence of sport fishing comes from a 1496 essay written in England entitled "Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle". Interestingly enough, this sport fishing essay was authored by a nun by the name of Juliana Berners, and not by a man as many might expect.

In 1653, "The Compleat Angler" was written and published by Izzak Walton, which celebrated the art and spirit of fishing. It went into thorough detail on the use of different types of bait, from artificial flies to live frogs, and various methods of fishing. By this time, sport fishing was firmly routed in human history.

Most Common Methods Of Angling

There are four common methods for angling, which include bait casting, trolling, bait fishing, and fly fishing.

Baitcasting can be done on a spinner reel or a baitcasting reel. No matter which type of reel is being used, the concept is the same. Anglers use a rod, often between 5 and 10 feet, to cast either live bait or an artificial lure into specific locations in the water. If live bait is used, they will often be allowed to swim free, though they may also be attached to bobbers designed to keep the bait near the surface. If an artificial lure is used, they will be jigged in different patterns as they are quickly or slowly reeled in depending on the lure type.

Trolling is most often used in saltwater applications. An artificial lure or live bait is tossed behind a slow-moving boat and towed around. Trolling is often performed near floating structures or weed lines where fish tend to congregate, but it is also a good way to locate roaming schools of fish. The correct speed and depth of the bait is crucial to having success with trolling. Rods used for trolling vary in length and thickness depending on the species being targeted.

Bait fishing is properly the most popular method of fishing for amateurs as it takes less skill than any of the other methods. A piece of bait is impaled on a hook and then dropped into the water. The angler waits for the fish to strike the bait, at which point a slight tug is given to set the hook firmly in the fish's mouth. Bait fishing can either be performed with a weight to bring the bait down to the bottom, or a bobber to keep it floating near the surface.

Fly fishing is the most difficult form of angling. It takes considerable skill to cast a fly fishing reel and much time is spent by anglers trying to master it. The idea is to lay an artificial lure known as a fly gently on the surface of the water in the same manner as live flies do. At one time fly fishing was reserved for freshwater streams, but in recent years, many saltwater anglers have adapted the method to ocean applications. Fly fishing rods are generally seven to ten feet long and a very heavy weight line is used.

Some Tips For Choosing The Right Fishing Rod

There is no one rod that works perfectly for these styles of fishing. The kinds of fish being targeted, the method of fishing, and the bait being used all play a role in determining what type of rod should be used.

Fishing rods are often classified by terms like ultra-light or medium-heavy. The lighter the rod, the smaller the fish it should be used to go after. If one uses a rod that is oversized for the fish, it is easy not to notice when a fish is hitting the bait, because thicker rods are less sensitive. Using a rod that is undersized could result in it snapping in half when a big fish takes the bait and starts to run.

The bending curve of the rod should be considered as well. The greater the bending curve of a rod, the easier it will be to cast far distances. Rods that are overly stiff take more power from the fisherman while transferring less of that power to fighting the fish. If the rod will be used in casting applications, one with a higher bending curve is needed.

Rods can be made entirely from one piece, or they can be broken up into two or more pieces. Single piece rods have a more natural feel, but present difficulties when it comes time to transport them. Two-piece rods are a good compromise between convenience and feel. It is best to avoid rods in three or more pieces or telescoping rods as they will be weaker and have an unnatural feel when fighting a fish.

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Last updated on June 13, 2018 by Quincy Miller

Quincy is a writer who was born in Texas, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue his life-long dream of someday writing a second page to one of his screenplays.

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