24 Best Rod and Reel Combos in 2021

Having a quality rod and reel combo might just be the most important piece of equipment for an angler. It is the one gear item that can literally make or break your opportunity to catch and land the fish you are after. Rods and reel combs come in sizes from ultralight spinning rods to conventional trolling setups.

Best rods and reel combos

Whether you’re new to the sport of fishing, or you consider yourself to be a seasoned angler with decades of experience, finding a solid rod and reel combo with so many different brands and models to choose from can be a daunting task. To narrow your search down to the one that’s right for you we have compiles a list of popular setups and provided a detailed review of each.

The types of rods and reel combos include freshwater spinning, saltwater spinning, telescopic, baitcasting, fly fishing, spincast, and conventional trolling. Getting the rod and reel together is a way to reduce equipment cost and help ensure the gear is designed to work together.

Here Are the Best Rod and Reel Combos


1. Penn Conflict II Spinning Rod and Reel

Penn Conflict II Spinning Rod and Reel

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Estimated Price: $200

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 12-20 lbs.

Penn is a brand that’s synonymous with high-quality fishing gear and their Conflict II spinning rod and reel combo is no exception. This ultralight rod and reel combo is quickly becoming one of the most popular models on the market in 2021 since it works ideally for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

This combo is available in four different reel sizes including 2500, 3000, 4000, and 5000. The rod options included are light, medium-light, and medium power rods that are all 7-foot in length. The brand boasts that this combo is crafted according to its freaky light (super lightweight) design and is by far Penn’s lightest spinning rod and reel combo ever made.

It comes with a smooth HT-100 drag system and an RR30 Rigid Resin body and rotor that are both stealthy and durable to hold up against anything you might hook. The Conflict II is powered by Penn’s CNC Gear Technology, which includes a 7+1 high-quality stainless steel ball-bearing system. The rod is crafted with 24-ton graphite and features Fuji Aluminum Oxide guide rings.


2. Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Combo

Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Combo

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Estimated Price: $175-$400

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6 inches to 10-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 15 to 25 lbs.

The Penn Spinfisher VI Spinning Combo might not be as lightweight as the Conflict II, but it’s built to be exceptionally tough and to withstand the hardest fights with some of the largest trophy game fish species in the world. This rod and reel combo is ideal for anglers looking to get their hands on a capable combo that can do it all, the total package.

Made with a tough graphite composite rod, there are no shortage of options for anglers to choose from with this package. It lets them get just the right rod and reel combination for the type of fish they plan to go after.

Available in 7 different reel sizes, anglers can choose between smaller spinning reels that are great for bass and other medium-sized fish species, as well as large-sized reels that allow them to tackle those saltwater giants lurking around coastal regions.

This combo can be ordered with rods ranging in size from 6-foot 6 inches, 7-foot, 8-foot, and 10-foot. Power options including medium-light to heavy stiffness levels. The Spinfisher VI combo utilizes Penn’s HT-100 drag system and also features an IPX5 waterproof rating for the drag and bearing system. These rod and reel combos are exceptionally popular among saltwater guides and anglers.


3. Penn Battle III Spinning Combo

Penn Battle III Spinning Combo

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Estimated Price: $125-$300

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6 inches to 10-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 9 to 25 lbs.

Anglers familiar with the Penn brand and their most notable rod and reel combos are probably well-acquainted with their Battle III Spinning Combo. This one is, by far, Penn’s most popular spinning rod and reel combo, and the company has worked toward building a stronger, smoother version in recent years.

The Battle III reel is made with Penn’s CNC Technology that provides exceptional durability and a proven HT-100 drag system capable of withstanding and controlling even the most intense fights. Penn’s proprietary one-piece stainless steel Dura-Guides ensure that the guide inserts won’t easily loosen as they can with other models.

This combo is available with eight different reel sizes and rod options that range from 6-foot6 inches to 10-foot. With users able to choose from a light to heavy power rods it’s quite easy to see how this particular model is Penn’s most popular. This rod and reel combo is capable of being used in any freshwater or saltwater fishing from the shallow inland marshes to deep-sea bottom fishing.


4. Penn Fierce Spinning Combo

Penn Fierce II and Fierce III Spinning Combo

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Estimated Price: $90 to $140

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 9 to 30 lbs.

Penn is well-known in the fishing industry as being one of the top brands when it comes to producing outstanding rod and reel combos. The company has taken a more budget-friendly approach with their Fierce spinning rod and reel combos. These models include the Fierce II and Fierce III, which are all available at a much lower price than Penn’s other models.

The Fierce combo lineups feature components and capabilities that make them ideal for saltwater anglers. Available in a rod length of 7-foot and power options that include anything from light to heavy. This combo is a great option for young anglers and anyone seeking to get a solid combo without spending the usually hefty amounts associated with premium brands.

The rod is made from graphite composite material that offers one-piece stainless steel Dura-Glides and a finger-grooved EVA grip to assist anglers in casting and fighting any type of fish they happen to catch. The fully metal bodied reel features a sideplate, as well as Penn’s famous HT-100 drag system. This rod and reel combo is ideal for anglers who want a fishing setup that can be used in any type of freshwater or saltwater scenario they might encounter.


5. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $39-$120

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 4.5-Foot to 7-Foot.

The Ugly Stick GX2 is a great spinning rod. It will work well for freshwater and saltwater fishing. The rod length and power can be selected based on the type of fish you plan to go after. Some of the rods are one-piece and while others are two-piece rods. The smaller ultra-light and light power rods are good for panfish, trout, and other small game fish species. For large bass and fish up to around 20 pounds, a 6-7-foot medium to medium-heavy rod is a great option.

The Shakespeare spinning reel is made of graphite and has an anodized spool. It is not a braid ready spool, so a monofilament backing line should be added if braided line is going to be used. The reel has three unsealed ball bearings and an unsealed drag system. This means that it’s more suited for being used as a freshwater reel, not a saltwater reel.

It can be used in saltwater, but it won’t last as long as reels specifically designed for saltwater fishing. For this combo the rod is of great quality and the reel is basically a free add on. You don’t always need to have the most expensive rod and reel though to catch average size fish. This is a very popular spinning combo.


6. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel

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Estimated Price: $120

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 7-foot to 10-foot.

The Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel is an excellent low-cost option for anglers who are in need of a solid saltwater fishing rod. Daiwa is a brand that has long been associated with producing long-lasting and smooth rod and reel combos, going back many decades. They are especially popular with professional anglers, as well as amateur fishermen and women alike.

The rod is made of full graphite blank material that combines strength with sensitivity for catching everything from small saltwater species to trophy redfish, mackerel, and many others. Each rod comes with tough Aluminum Oxide guides.

The D-Wave 3Bi spinning reels offer durable graphite body and rotor construction, as well as an Advanced Ballistic System (ABS) aluminum spool. The reel is virtually made for fishing in the surf as it features the Twist Buster II line roller and Gyro Spin rotor balancing for smooth operation. This is a great, low-cost option for anglers looking to get their hands on a capable surf fishing rod that won’t cost a small fortune.


7. KastKing Crixus Spinning Combo

KastKing Crixus Spinning Combo

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Estimated Price: $70 to $100

Specifications
Type: Spinning and Baitcasting.
Rod Length: 5-foot 6 inches to 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 17.6 lbs.

The KastKing Crixus is available in both spinning and baitcasting rod and reel setups. These have double-shielded stainless steel bearing and can be used in saltwater but are typically used by freshwater anglers. Both of these combos are ideal for bass fishing and other game fish species at a price that’s more affordable to the average angler.

Having a capable baitcasting rod and reel combo means taking your angling experience to the next level. The KastKing Crixus Baitcasting Combo is an excellent choice for those who want a capable starter combo that offers all the great advantages of a baitcasting setup without the big price tag that typically comes with it. With power ratings from light to medium-heavy, there are rod options that will work for fish ranging from panfish to large catfish and hybrid striped bass.


8. Cadence CC5 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Cadence CC5 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $75

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 5-foot 6 inches to 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 10 to 20 lbs.

The Cadence CC5 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is a great option for anglers who are in search of a capable freshwater spinning rod that’s more budget-minded than other brands. This rod and reel is made from quality components and has a surprisingly smooth operation. The rod is made with 24-ton graphite and features corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides.

The Cadence CC5 reel is crafted as a lightweight and comfortable product that features an ergonomic EVA handle knob that makes reeling in your catch a bit easier. The reel also offers a reliable stainless steel main shaft, as well as aluminum pinion gear. This reel is tougher than most other models that are offered at the same approximate price. It features a carbon composite frame and side plates to reinforce this combo’s corrosion resistance ability.

This combo is available with rod lengths that range from 5-foot 6 inches to 7-foot long. Users can opt from sizes that include a smaller ultralight version up to a full-size 7-foot medium-heavy rod. The ultralight offers a 5.2:1 gear ratio while the larger sizes feature a 6.2:1 retrieve.


9. KastKing Centron Spinning Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Combo

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Estimated Price: $60

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot to 8-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 20 lbs.

The KastKing Centron spinning combo is the ideal, budget-friendly option for anglers seeking a good freshwater combo that’s both lightweight and effective. KastKing has established a reputation in the fishing industry for producing combos that rival the capabilities of the more expensive, premium brands without the hefty price tag.

This combo is a great lightweight option that features Toray IM6 Graphite blank which is designed to provide exceptional value and sensitive performance. The Centron combo comes in two size ranges. Rods 7 foot and under that are intended for bass, crappie, and other smaller game fish species. A larger 8-foot version is intended to serve as a catfishing or steelhead setup.

The various reel options that anglers can choose from range from a smaller 2000 size up to a heftier 5000, which is perfect for going after those heavier freshwater trophy fish. The KastKing Centron features a 5.2:1 or 4.5:1 gear ratio, as well as 9+1 Maxi-Dur ball bearings for ultra-smooth casting and reeling experience.


10. Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Rod and Reel Combo

Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $30

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 5-foot to 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

This Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Rod and Reel Combo is a solid option for novice anglers and those looking for a quality low-cost rod and reel. The Daiwa brand speaks for itself as one of the premier fishing rod and reel manufacturers that’s been at the top of the industry for decades. Its low price makes it a great choice for youngsters as it is both lightweight and simple to use.

Daiwa has five different size and strength options for their D-Shock Freshwater combos. The smallest is ideal for crappie and other panfish, while the largest model is a great spinning combo for bass fishing or other slightly larger game fish species. Rod lengths range from 5-foot to 7-foot and each one is made from IM6 graphite that’s exceptionally sensitive and strong.

The single bearing reel well out-performs the price range that the combo is offered at and offers a Digigear Drive system, as well as an ABS machined aluminum spool.


11. Plusinno Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo

Plusinno Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $50

Specifications
Type: Telescopic Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot to 8-foot.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

Convenience and capability is the name of the game when it comes to the Plusinno Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo. This combo is able to fold down to a manageable and small size that can literally be carried anywhere, even as an airport carry-on in most cases. Most other products that attempt to offer this same telescopic folding quality are known for their lack of performance. However, the Plusinno is actually quite adept at functioning as a solid fishing rod and reel combo.

The rod is made with tough and durable IM6 Carbon Matrix technology that is capable of handling just about anything anglers manage to hook. The non-slip EVA handle is also made to enhance the angler’s grip while the stainless steel guides and ceramic inserts create a smooth and frictionless casting experience.

This rod and reel is surprisingly effective and is a great option for anyone looking to keep a fishing rod on hand in places where they might not typically fit. The collapsable design and padded carrying case allow this rod to be packed along with other camping or hiking gear.

Related Article: Best Telescopic Fishing Rods


12. Sougayilang Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo

Sougayilang Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $30 to $50

Specifications
Type: Telescopic Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot to 10-foot.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

Finding a quality-made telescopic fishing rod and reel combo can be difficult as many brands produce cheaply-made, sub-par gear that simply won’t hold up to a fight with any decent-sized fish. The Sougayilang Telescopic Rod and Reel Combo is not in that category as this rod and reel combo is one of the most efficient telescopic combos on the market for 2021.

Made from carbon fiber material, this collapsible rod and reel is an all-in-one solution for anyone looking to get their hands on a telescopic combo that should last many years. The Sougayilang reel features 13+1 corrosion resistant ball bearings that are precision matched with gears and offer a solid 5.5:1 gear ratio. Many users report that this combo has the smoothest casting action of any telescopic rod and reel combo on the market. This combo is extremely lightweight and portable, making it easy to carry virtually anywhere.


13. Lew’s Mach Crush Baitcast Combo

Lews Mach Crush Baitcast Combo

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Estimated Price: $200

Specifications
Type: Baitcasting.
Rod Length: 7-foot and 7-foot 3 inches.
Reel Max Drag: 20 lbs.

The Lew’s Mach Crush Baitcast Combo is a brand new combo that has just hit the market for 2021 and it rivals other premium baitcasters with a number of appealing features. Built with IM8 graphite blanks with nanotechnology, this rod is sure to be one of the most sensitive models on the market. It also comes with the highest quality stainless steel guides with titanium oxide inserts to create one of the smoothest casting experiences of any brand on the market.

There’s no denying that Lew’s is at the top of the fishing industry when it comes to producing well-made, functional baitcasting rod and reel combos. As with most other fishing gear and equipment items, you can expect to pay a little more to get a much higher quality product like Lew’s Mach Crush Baitcast Combo.

The reel features 10 stainless steel double-shielded ball bearings, as well as Lew’s multi-setting brake system to prevent backlashing your line. The anodized aluminum 32mm spool combined with the carbon fiber drag system makes it easy to see why this rod and reel combo should be at the top of any angler’s wish list for 2021.


14. Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo

Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo

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Estimated Price: $110

Specifications
Type: Baitcasting.
Rod Length: 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 11 lbs.

The Abu Garcia Catfish Commando Combo is specially made to handle the extreme amount of pressure a large catfish can put on your tackle while still offering a smooth and pleasant casting experience. There’s a good reason why serious catfish anglers only choose the best possible gear for attempting to land a trophy blue, flathead, or other species of catfish. Using a rod and reel that won’t hold up will result in a lost catch, as well as a destroyed rod and reel in most cases.

The 7-foot medium-heavy strength rod is designed to give anglers the right amount of leverage and power needed to fight the sometimes unrelenting species that so often destroy or damage lesser-quality products. The high-density EVA handle and stainless steel guides add to the overall toughness this combo is known for.

With a reel that features 2 stainless steel ball bearings and Abu Garcia’s patented carbon matrix hybrid drag system, it should be no problem to reel in most average-sized cats. Serious catfish anglers will also appreciate the compact bent handle and synchronized wind level system that makes this combo a truly good deal at a mid-rage price point.


15. Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

Ugly Stik GX2 Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $70

Specifications
Type: Baitcasting.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6 inches.
Reel Max Drag: 20 lbs.

Ugly Stik began to establish a name for themselves a few decades ago by producing fishing rods that were nearly indestructible by all accounts. Since then, they’ve continued to produce rods, as well as reels in a way that’s truly unique and meets the needs of their customers. The Ugly Stik GX2 is a continuation of that success and this baitcasting rod and reel combo is among the best of the best when it comes to affordably-priced gear.

This combo comes with all the same accolades you typically find in an Ugly Stik product, outstanding toughness coupled with reasonably-priced components. With a simple one ball bearing graphite spool, adjustable magnetic cast control, and double-paddle aluminum handle, this reel is among the best on the market that is priced as a combo under $75.

The rod is crafted from Ugly Stik’s legendary graphite and fiberglass material that offers uncanny durability in the face of anything you want to put against it. The rod comes with a 7-year warranty and the Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides are very durable. A monofilament line works best with the guides as a braided line can create rough surfaces over time which can cause line fray.

Related Article: 27 Best Bass Fishing Lures


16. Shakespeare Agility Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

Shakespeare Agility Baitcast Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $60

Specifications
Type: Baitcasting.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6 inches.
Reel Max Drag: 17 lbs.

There’s no denying that Shakespeare products are among the most affordable, yet reliable rod and reel combos on the market. The company has remained true to form in its manufacturing of the Shakespeare Agility Baitcast Combo. This low profile reel offers a 2+1 bearing system that is enough for any bass, walleye, and other game fish species.

The brass drive and pinion gears create an exceptionally smooth casting experience that is nearly unrivaled by other brands that produce baitcasting combos for under $75. With a ported aluminum spool, you’ll be able to appreciate the overall lightweight nature of the Shakespeare Agility Baitcast Combo.

With a graphite composite rod that’s geared toward sensitivity and toughness, many users report that it functions well with both heavy lures, as well as lightweight finesse options.


17. Zebco 33 Spincast Combo

Zebco 33 Spincast Combo

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Estimated Price: $30 to $50

Specifications
Type: Spincast.
Rod Length: 5-foot 6 inches.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

Zebco is a name that is easily recognizable to most anglers throughout the world as the company has built a reputation over the course of many decades. The Zebco 33 Spincast Combo is lauded as one of the most popular models that is a true classic when it comes to a capable all-around fishing rod and reel combo. Known for being both inexpensive and effective, the Zebco 33 is an excellent starter combo that’s ideal for anglers of all age groups and skill levels.

With a 3.6:1 and 4.1:1 gear ratio, this rod and reel combo offers a capable level of retrieve that’s great for any type of game fish. The reel handle can easily be swapped from left to right-handed and the reel also offers the quick-set anti-reverse capability to ensure that your line stays in place. The Zebco 33 comes in a 5-foot 6-inch rod length and is a great starter combo for young anglers, and seasoned veterans alike.

Related Article: 17 Best Zebco Spincast Fishing Reels


18. Shakespeare Kids Rod and Reel Combo

Shakespeare Kids Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $15 to $30

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 36-inches.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

Getting youth involved in fishing from an early age is one of the most important things in the minds of many parents and other seasoned anglers. It’s important to get a good, quality rod and reel combo in their hands that will function well and allow them to focus on the fish and the fun that comes with the sport. Shakespeare is well-known for producing quality products and the company produces one of the best youth model combos on the market for 2021.

This 36-inch rod is made from Ugly Stik’s patented combination of graphite and fiberglass that proves to be nearly unbreakable when it comes to overall toughness and durability. The cork and EVA grip handle will ensure that the rod doesn’t slip out of your youngster’s hands while they’re reeling in a catch.

The 30 size spinning reel is made according to Shakespeare’s high-quality standards and offers a ratio of 5.2:1. If you’re looking for a great fishing rod and reel combo to start your kids with, look no further.


19. Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $100

Specifications
Type: Fly rod and reel.
Rod Length: 9-foot.
Reel Max Drag: N/A.

Fly fishing is widely considered more of an art form than plain old angling. For those looking to get started in this style of fishing, or seasoned fly fishermen who simply want to get a solid rod and reel combo, the Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is an exceptionally good deal when one considers everything it comes with.

This package includes a fly rod and reel, as well as a carrying case, snips, lanyard, line, and a set of flies, all for just under $100. The rod is a  5/6 weight, 4-piece slow action fly rod setup that’s great for trout fishing. Fly fishing works well to catch river-dwelling species that tend to favor aquatic insects or small bugs that gather around the water surface. For large fish like salmon, there are higher weight rods available.

The reel has an 85 mm diameter spool that is made from die-cast aluminum. It features an adjustable disc drag that allows an angler to set the right drag level for the fish they’re expecting to catch. This combo comes with a 5x tapered monofilament leader, as well as plenty of other items that make this package a truly exceptional deal for fly fishing enthusiasts.

Related Article: 27 Best Trout Lures and Flies


20. Penn Squall Lever Drag Trolling Combo

Penn Squall Lever Drag Trolling Combo

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Estimated Price: $220

Specifications
Type: Trolling.
Rod Length: 6-foot to 7-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 13 to 30 lbs.

The Penn Squall Lever Drag Trolling Combo is one of the most popular saltwater rod and reel combos on the market for 2021 due to the many high-quality features and exceptionally well-made components. Penn is by far one of the most popular brands when it comes to deep sea fishing as you want a rod and reel combo that’s tough enough to withstand any kind of marine beast you might encounter.

This combo has a lightweight lever drag reel which is a rare find. It works great for trolling, drift fishing, and bottom fishing. The level drag stays at a more consistent drag value without coming loose like most star drag reels. However, it does not have a levelwind to automatically keep the line level on the reel. Levelwinds are convenient and nice for novice anglers.

Like any solid combo that’s seaworthy, Penn has produced this model to be corrosion resistant and lightweight thanks to its graphite rod material. With a stainless steel gear system and fast gear ratio, this rod and reel is ready to take on everything from mahi-mahi, snapper, grouper, and even small sharks.

Related Article: 27 Best Tuna Fishing Lures


21. Penn Squall Level Wind Trolling Combo

Penn Squall Level Wind Trolling Combo

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Estimated Price: $175

Specifications
Type: Trolling.
Rod Length: 6-foot to 6-foot 6-inches.
Reel Max Drag: 15 or 20 lbs.

The Penn Squall Level Wind Trolling Combo comes with a 20-class or 30-class reel that is capable of handling small to medium-sized fish. It has the very popular Penn Squall reel which is lightweight and easy for everyone to use. Large fish 50-class and 80-class reels are sometimes needed. However, most fish can be caught on the lighter tackle which often provides a better fishing experience.

The combo includes a Penn rod built with a nearly indestructible tubular glass blank. This rod and reel combo is a favorite of professional anglers, as well as fishing guides who commonly focus on trolling for their catch. The reel is made with a super lightweight graphite frame and side plates to give the angler more control. It also features a high-strength marine grade bronze alloy main gear.

Although the drag does not have a super high value it is smooth and works to catch large fish. What makes this reel so nice to use is the level-wind system. This keeps the line even on the spool without having to think about it. Big reels with a braided line can be difficult to work back and forth when under tension because the line digs into the skin. Wearing gloves is important in that situation.

Related Article: 27 Best Trolling Reels


22. Penn Senator Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Senator Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $150

Specifications
Type: Trolling.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6-inches.
Reel Max Drag: 20 to 22 lbs.

Saltwater veteran fishermen know full well the value of the legendary Penn Senator Rod and Reel. This combo has been a mainstay of the deep sea fishing industry since 1936 and has remained atop the game while other brands do everything they can to outmatch it. The Senator is a favorite of commercial fishermen, as well as charter boat captains and even professional anglers who a basic setup that is built to last.

Optimal for both trolling or bottom fishing the Senator is made with a machined and anodized aluminum spool that’s capable of handling fish up to around 50 pounds. With precision-machined stainless steel pinion gear, you’re not likely to experience much damage, even when engaging in the hours-long fights that are common to deep-sea angling.

The rod is crafted from a 1 Piece tubular graphite composite blank and features a graphite reel seat that’s made to withstand extreme pressure. The reel’s HT- 100 drag washers will offer anglers a smooth drag experience even when catching large fish that pull lots of drag.


23. Ugly Stik Bigwater Rod and Reel Combo

Ugly Stik Bigwater Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $75

Specifications
Type: Spinning.
Rod Length: 6-foot 6 inches to 10-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 10 to 30 lbs.

As the name implies, the Ugly Stik Bigwater Rod and Reel Combo is made specifically for the ocean and the many different game fish species commonly targeted in its waters. This rod and reel combo is offered in a variety of different sizes and lengths to accommodate each angler’s specific needs when it comes to fishing from a pier, or from the edge of a boat miles away from the shoreline. As with most other Ugly Stik products, this combo is available for a much more affordable rate than most other rod and reels that are geared toward saltwater use.

The Bigwater offers the brand’s once piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides which do not have inserts which makes them very durable. However, the guides work best with a monofilament line and braided lines can become frayed break over time. The rod is crafted from Ugly Tech’s combination of graphite and fiberglass that’s both strong and sensitive.

This combo’s reel is among the best for budget-minded products on our list. It features a durable aluminum spool, graphite housing, as well as a 1 ball bearing plus one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. With a 7-year warranty, this combo is among the top choices for anglers looking to get a great product that won’t break the bank.

Related Article: 37 Best Fishing Rod Holders


24. Okuma Great Lakes Rod and Reel Combo

Okuma Great Lakes Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $75 to $100

Specifications
Type: Trolling.
Rod Length: 7-foot 6 inches to 10-foot.
Reel Max Drag: 17 lbs.

The Okuma Great Lakes Rod and Reel Combo is an excellent choice for anglers that want a trolling setup for freshwater use. As the name suggests this is a very popular setup for fishing on the Great Lakes for walleye, bass, steelhead, and salmon. Okuma is widely known throughout the fishing industry for producing quality-made products at a more affordable rate than other premium rod and reel selections.

This combo has long rod lengths that work great when fishing with a downrigger. The rods are flexible and won’t break under pressure and even though they are low-cost should last several years when properly cared for. The rod is crafted from the brand’s durable E-glass blank material and features double footed aluminum oxide guides. It also comes with a one-year warranty that guards against any malfunctions.

Okuma is perhaps most well known for their exceptionally well-made reels and this combo has all the right features to add to that legacy. The stainless steel hooded reel seat ensures that the reel won’t move or shift, even under considerable pressure. It’s made with a corrosion-resistant graphite spool, as well as internal machine cut brass gearing. This is an excellent choice for freshwater anglers who expect to catch heavier game fish species on a consistent basis.

Related Article: Best Freshwater Salmon Lures


Information About Rod and Reel Combos

Rod and Reel Spinning Combos

Spinning rod and reel combos are among the most versatile models in production. Many anglers opt for them simply out of the need for a reliable, multi-purpose setup that can be used to target a variety of fish species. A spinning reel is easy to cast and very simple to use in application to a variety of the most popular game fish species.

The single spool is capable of holding any kind of fishing line, including monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided fishing line. Anglers often prefer spinning reels to other types as they are able to cast very lightweight lures, as well as heavier models without interference. The fixed spool allows lines to stream freely from the spool in a way that makes it possible for anglers to throw just about anything they want in order to target specific types of game fish.

A spinning reel is a great option for anglers of all skill levels, including novice and even seasoned fishing enthusiasts. Tt is relatively straightforward and simple to use and does not pose much of a threat for major malfunctions like baitcasting or trolling reels. While spinning reels are often billed as multi-functional combos, it is clear that they are not ideal for use with heavier lines.

Rod and Reel Trolling Combos

Trolling rod and reel combos are designed to function in a way that optimizes an angler’s ability to troll using a variety of lures. Trolling is simply extending a given amount of line off of the reel and letting the lure or bait trail or “troll” behind a boat in a way that entices hungry fish to bite. This technique is especially useful for a number of different types of game fish species as it covers a large amount of water. The lures and baits are setup to mimic the natural motion and speed of a fleeing baitfish or other creatures.

Trolling reels are typically conventional reels with smooth strong drag. These reels hold lots of fishing line and can withstand hard runs from some of the largest game fish species in the world. Instant strikes can often damage spinning or baitcasting rods and reels as they are not equipped to withstand the vicious strikes that often happen when trolling.

When selecting a trolling rod and reel combo, it’s important to pay attention to the specific depth and speed in which you intend to troll. This will dictate the size of the rod and reel that will best suit your needs.

Trolling rods are also an excellent choice for anglers who prefer to bottom fish for various species. Many charter captains select trolling rod and reel combos as they allow their clients to use a variety of different techniques while on the water.

Rod and Reel Baitcasting Combos

Baitcasting combos are generally considered the highest skill level of rod and reel to use. Considerable practice is needed to properly operate without causing damage to your line or sending a lure in a wayward direction. Many professional anglers opt for a baitcasting rod and reel combo as they allow the user to have a surprising level of control of the lure during the cast and in the water. These rods are also very sensitive when using them with jigs and live bait options.

This type of rod and reel combos also allows anglers to cast their lures much with speed and distance control. This is due to the fact that a baitcasting reel utilizes a free-rotating spool that is continuously being controlled by the angler.

Anglers who choose to employ the use of baitcasting rods and reels will need to practice to perfect the best techniques. If the angler has not used this type of reel before there is a higher likelihood that a cast will result in some kind of error. Using baitcasting rod and reel combos allows anglers to cast their lures in a more specialized manner. Such methods are those who prefer to flip jigs and other baits in or near structure where other types of combos simply lack the ability to produce the same results.

Rod and Reel Fly Fishing Combos

Fly fishing is widely considered to be as much of an art form as it is an angling technique. Using a fly fishing rod and reel combo presents one of the most challenging experiences of any type of rod and reel. With practice, most angles come to love the challenge and versatility of fly fishing.

Fly fishing rod and reel combos utilize a longer, more nimble rod that’s able to whip a smaller, lighter lure like a tiny fly out to considerable distances. Anglers who are especially skilled in using these types of rod and reel combos are usually able to flick the rod upward in a quick motion that causes the fly to cast a far distance. Dry flies mimic a small insect taking off from the water’s surface. Wet flies imitate aquatic bugs and small fish the live under the surface. A back and forth motion is often very effective in producing strikes from game fish near the surface. Trout and other types of trophy fish heavily rely on eyesight in order to identify their prey and attack.

A fly fishing rod and reel utilizes a large spool that is best suited for fishing with lightweight lures. A fly rod and reel is specially designed to launch a small, lightweight object out to surprising distances. Other combos like spinning and baitcasting rods and reels will have little to no effect on producing the kinds of casts needed to successfully employ the use of fly lures.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best rod and reel combo for beginners?

Many anglers consider the older, more traditional spincast style of rod and reel combos to be best suited for beginners. These operate with a very straightforward push-button casting system. Users need only to press and hold a button on the back of a reel in order to prepare a cast. Releasing the same button will thereby release the line. This results in one of the easiest casting experiences in the fishing industry.

Once a user masters the operation of a spincast rod and reel combo, they are usually considered to be ready to graduate to using spinning reels. These function largely the same, but with slightly different control mechanisms.

Some anglers argue that getting novice anglers started with a spinning rod and reel is the best. This teaches each user the importance of utilizing the right amount of pressure, as well as the correct type of line and other items. A spinning rod is more versatile than the spincast setup but both are excellent choices for beginners.

What is the best rod and reel combo for bass?

Unlike other game fish species, bass are known to “chew” on their prey or even toy with certain types of bait before taking a decisive bite. This can make it difficult to know when a fish is hooked. For this reason, many professional and recreational anglers agree that a baitcasting rod and reel is likely the top choice for bass fishing. A baitcasting rod and reel are uniquely designed so that the reel and line sit atop the rod, which creates a greater amount of sensitivity.

It is widely known among bass anglers that a baitcasting rod and reel combo are excellent choices of tackle. Especially when using certain types of lures that require an angler to have a greater feel for what the fish might be doing to the lure. Also, it helps determine whether or not they’re making contact with the underwater structure.

Baitcasting rod and reel combos also allow anglers to cast their lures at a controlled distance. This means anglers can place lures gently into the water in a way that is less likely to spook fish.

What is the best saltwater rod and reel combo?

The question of what type of rod and reel combo is best for saltwater fishing truly depends on where the angler is fishing from. In instances where the angler is fishing from the surf along coastal areas, using a spinning rod and reel is usually the greatest strategy. This will allow the user to cast their lure a considerably-longer distance than others. Casting far is crucial in surf fishing as it is important to get your lure out past the strong waves and incoming current.

A spinning rod and reel is also acceptable to use when fishing in and around coastal areas by boat. These types of combos are ideal for using lightweight minnows and other baitfish to catch species like mahi mahi, mackerel, amberjack, and many others.

For deep sea fishing, there’s no better rod and reel combo than the trolling setup. Brands like Penn and other models are specially made to withstand the extremely tough fights an angler is sure to endure when it comes to deep-sea fishing.

Trolling rod and reels are also a great choice for anglers who prefer to bottom fish for the most prized saltwater game fish species. Many professional anglers and commercial fishermen who rely on rod and reel combos to land their fish often rely on the age-old trolling rod and reel to get the job done. These combos are among the toughest in the fishing industry and are capable of being spooled with extremely heavy lines that are needed to catch large game fish species.

What is a good rod and reel combo for surf fishing?

Surf fishing involves using long rods and large reels that are capable of casting heavy weights and fighting large game fish species. A surf fishing rod must be longer than other types of fishing rods as it is required to launch an angler’s bait or lure out well past the strong ocean currents and incoming waves. If an angler fails to surpass these waves, their lure and bait will typically be pulled back toward the shoreline. Not many fish are in this area of water and will thereby be rendered useless.

Using a large open-faced spinning reel is also best for surf fishing as this will allow for the use of very heavy test lines. Using a heavy leader is essential for surf fishing as the extreme pressure that’s placed upon a fishing line is usually too strong for most typical fishing lines and will break with a hard enough cast.

A long rod combined with a large spinning reel is the ideal combination for surf fishing. This will allow anglers to fish greater distances from the shoreline with baits than can be easily found by fish.

What is a good rod and reel combo for pier fishing?

Pier fishing is an exceptionally unique and exciting form of angling as it allows fishermen to place themselves many yards off the coastline, but to also remain in a stationary place thanks to the immovable piers that jut out into the ocean’s waves. Designed to allow anglers to fish beyond the incessant pull of the crashing waves, piers are ideal locations to catch a number of different species throughout the year.

Many anglers will opt for spinning rod and reel combos when it comes to pier fishing because it allows them to have a greater ability to diversify their bait and lure presentations, as well as to spool their reels with heavier lines that are also essential to catching large trophy game fish species along these long structures.

The truth is, anglers can opt for trolling rod and reels, as well as baitcasting combos for pier fishing and still remain effective, but the spinning rod and reel combo is often the best choice for success.

What is the best size rod and reel?

Choosing the best size rod and reel for each individual angler can be a tough decision. This largely depends on what kind of game fish species the angler plans to target. It is possible to catch a large variety of different fish species on one single rod and reel combo. However, anglers must be very careful to employ the proper kinds of fishing line, baits, hooks, and other components in order to experience success.

Most professional anglers prefer a 6-foot 6-inch medium strength rod for freshwater fishing. This will be light enough to catch small panfish species like crappie, bream, and perch, but large enough to handle big bass. A rod of this length is long enough to effectively cast both lightweight and medium to heavy sized lures, as well.

In order to use a 6-foot 6-inch rod to catch species like catfish, a user needs only to spool their rod with a heavier line. Usually no more than a 20-pound test in most cases. Using a spinning reel with this setup is surprisingly effective against most catfish species.

When it comes to the perfect size reel, a 2500-size spinning reel is arguably the best style as it allows for a much greater variety of lures to be fished from its spool. This type of reel can be spooled with heavier lines up to 20-25-pound test. It also works with line as low as a 4-pound test for species like bream and trout. A high-quality 2500 reel is usually more expensive than most other reels, but the effectiveness is undeniable.

What is the best rod and reel combo for kids?

Nearly every professional and seasoned angler remembers starting their fishing career with the classic Zebco 33 in hand. This rod and reel combination is especially easy to use and kids and young adults are usually able to quickly grasp the concept of how to use this rod and reel to their advantage. Many youngsters are able to understand the amount of force and pressure needed to cast certain lures and weights at any given distance.

The idea of allowing kids to gain an understanding and a “feel” for the right amount of force needed to properly cast any type of lure is important. These are the building blocks to then effectively use gear such as spinning rods, trolling combos, and especially baitcasting rods and reels.

The spincast reels are also known to be the most widely effective when it comes to catching any variety of fish across the globe. Young anglers have successfully caught trout, which are notoriously tough to catch due to their uncanny ability to spot the slightest little deviation from their natural environment.

Spincast reels are also ideal for bass, crappie, and catfishing. These are three of the most popular types of game fish species that children should start out learning to catch. Most of them can be caught on a simple rig with a hook, sinker, and a worm. These basic gear will work to catch fish anywhere in the United States.

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