30 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods

Saltwater fishing is vastly different from most other forms of angling. It requires tackle that can hold up against the largest trophy game fish, and withstand any potential corrosion caused by saltwater. There are a number of brands that make rods for saltwater use, but only a select few are capable of performing at a level that’s satisfactory for the most skilled anglers.

best saltwater fishing rods

The best saltwater fishing rods often have characteristics that make them a good fit for the specific type of fish you’re going after. In most cases, a saltwater rod will have to possess enough strength to withstand the heavier load as you may hook the occasional large, tuna, marlin, shark, or grouper. Depending on the specific type of fish you’re after, you can select a rod that’s going to provide you with the right characteristics to give you the best advantage to actually catch those fish.

There are a number of different techniques that are productive when it comes to saltwater angling that includes trolling, bottom fishing, distance casting, jigging, and more. Having the right equipment is key for successful saltwater fishing and it’s crucial to understand each part of your fishing rod and how one rod is better than other choices.

Here Are the Best Surf Fishing Rods


1. Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $62-$90

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: On-Piece or Two-Piece.
Length: 6′, 7’, 8′, 9′, 10′, 11′, and 12′.
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy, and Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Ugly Stik developed a reputation decades ago for making rods that were virtually indestructible. The rods have changed over the years but the concept of producing the toughest rods on the planet remains part of the Ugly Stik philosophy. The company’s Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod is another great option that is made to withstand anything you might happen to hook on the open ocean.

This rod is made with Ugly Stik’s Clear Tip technology for added toughness and boasts a 7-year warranty. It’s made with a combination of graphite and fiberglass to be strong, but still offer the sensitivity you need to feel subtle bites.

The rod is made with Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides that are made to withstand extreme amounts of pressure and prevent pop-outs that can cause you to lose fish. However, these can fray braided line. It’s available in a variety of different sizes ranging from 6 feet to 12 feet in length. The Ugly Stik Bigwater is a great saltwater fishing rod when using a monofilament line.


2. Ugly Stik GX2 Saltwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $35-$80

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One, Two, Three, and Four-piece.
Length: 4’6 to 9’.
Power: Ultra-light, light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

This is a rod that’s an all-around workhorse that you can use to fish inlets and everywhere else along the coast. The Ugly Stik GX2 saltwater spinning rod is specially designed to be a versatile spinning rod.

Made with Ugly Stik’s legendary graphite and fiberglass combination, anglers can enjoy using a rod that’s almost impossible to break, yet also surprisingly sensitive. One of the biggest concerns with saltwater fishing rods is the durability of the guides. This model is made with Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides that eliminate friction as you’re retrieving your line, or when a monster fish rips several feet of line per second from the reel.

The GX2 Saltwater Spinning Rod also features Ugly Stik’s clear fiberglass tip that is aimed at giving you that extra strength to hold up against the hardest-pulling fish. This is an excellent choice for anglers who want a rod they can use from the shore, in the flats, on the reef, or offshore.


3. Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Saltwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $80

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-piece.
Length: 6’6, 6’9, 7’.
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Not specified.

The Ugly Stik Tiger Elite Spinning rod is among one of the brand’s best products and it serves as a great choice for a number of saltwater species. It’s extremely comfortable thanks to the diamond shrink tube that’s coated over the handle that also features rubber gimbals. The Tiger Elite is a one-piece rod that’s designed to withstand the highly corrosive nature of saltwater. This rod is also one that is made with the Ugly Tuff guides which are designed to prevent pop-outs.

For anglers who prefer a more lightweight option, the Tiger Elite is an ideal choice as it is made with a higher graphite content that also works to give added sensitivity. This is one of the toughest rods on the market and is a great option when fishing with monofilament line only.


4. Penn Carnage II Saltwater Spinning Rod

Penn Carnage II Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $175-$200

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One and Two-Piece.
Length: 7’, 7’6.
Power: Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate.

The Penn brand name is synonymous with saltwater fishing and has been for nearly a century. For anglers who are willing to invest a more sizable amount of money into their tackle, it’s hard to find a better rod than the Penn Carnage II Spinning Rod. Made to catch the largest trophy game fish, this rod is designed to be used with braided line and is capable of withstanding the usual strain associated with braid.

Crafted with Penn’s new SLS3 blank construction, this rod offers a slim profile that’s incredibly strong. It features Fuji K guides coupled with Alconite inserts for unwavering toughness and a reinforced Pac Bay aluminum reel seat.

Anglers will appreciate the Penn Carnage II Spinning Rod’s non-slip handle and optional aluminum or rubber gimbal. This is arguably the best saltwater fishing rod on the market today, but the higher price might turn some novice anglers away.


5. St Croix Avid Inshore Spinning Rod

St Croix Avid Inshore Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $240-$300

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’6, 7’, 7’6, 8’.
Power: Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate, Fast, Extra Fast.

St. Croix is among the top brands in the industry when it comes to saltwater fishing rods for many reasons. Their rod quality is almost unmatched and the St. Croix Avid Inshore saltwater spinning rod is one of the best on the market right now.

St. Croix redesigned its Avid Series rods a few years ago and came back with a tougher, more functionally-sound rod that is made specifically for saltwater use. It’s one of the most durable rods in the industry thanks to its trough graphite construction. It offers advanced guides to reduce tangles that are coupled with aluminum-oxide rings and seated in titanium frames that should allow any angler to go into the open ocean with confidence that their rod won’t fail them.

The Avid Series rods also feature Fuji DPS reel seats and an elegant cork handle. This rod boasts a 15-year transferable warranty and is a superior product when compared with most other models from other brands.


6. St Croix Mojo Surf Saltwater Spinning Rod

St Croix Mojo Surf Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $160-$300

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One and Two-Piece.
Length: 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’, 10’6, 11’, 12’.
Power: Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate, Moderate Fast.

The St. Croix Mojo Surf fishing rod series is designed to function as a hardcore surf fishing rod that is capable of standing up to most fish that can be caught around the coast. These rods are made with high-quality SCIII graphite material and offer good strength and sensitivity. The guides are made with zirconium rings that are capable of handling the heavy line and leaders commonly used for surf fishing.

This rod features a Fuji DPS reel seat and the handle is made with X-Wrap material that is both comfortable and offers some nice aesthetics. Everything about this reel is geared toward durability and St. Croix also offers a 5-year warranty on their Mojo Surf lineup.

The Mojo Surf spinning rod is an excellent choice for serious surf anglers who know and understand the ideal characteristics of a solid surf fishing rod.


7. Penn Squadron III Saltwater Spinning Rod

Penn Squadron III Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $40-$50

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One and Two-Piece.
Length: 7’, 7’6.
Power: Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast.

Penn’s Squadron III saltwater spinning rod is designed to be highly versatile while also coming in at a more affordable price than the brand’s other lines. Made with a lightweight graphite blank, this rod is crafted with modified actions that allow for a faster bend. Penn included their one-piece, stainless steel Dura-Guides with the Squadron III model to prevent pop-outs.

The handle is made with a highly comfortable EVA grip and is also available in a more traditional look with cork material on both ends of the reel seat. The graphite reel seat might be an area of concern for some anglers, but the Penn Squadron III spinning rod is overall very tough. This is an excellent choice for anglers who need a versatile saltwater rod that won’t break the bank. This rod meets the basic requirements of a good spinning rod.


8. Penn Carnage II Saltwater Jigging Rod

Penn Carnage II Saltwater Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $180

Specifications
Type:
Jigging Rod, Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’, 6’4, 6’6.
Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast.

Jigging is an art form that can be extremely productive for anglers who master the technique. Penn’s Carnage II jigging rod is specially designed to provide users an edge when fishing jigs as it offers just the right action to make the jig itself look lively. This rod is perfect for going after larger fish like amberjack, tuna, sharks, and others as it is tough enough to stack up against bigger targets, but is light enough to give anglers plenty of ability to work jigs and entice fish to bite.

Penn has designed this rod to be fished with a braided line and the Fuji K guides are made with Alconite inserts to allow for your line to pass through smoothly. The Carnage II rods are made with Penn’s new SLS3 blank that’s built for toughness despite being more slim and lightweight than other rods. With a Pac Bay aluminum reel seat, it’s easy to see why so many anglers prefer to use a specialized jigging rod like this one. It is great to use offshore and on the reef to use with heavy or light jigs.


9. Fiblink Saltwater Spinning Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $44-$60

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 7’.
Power: Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Fiblink is a brand that’s relatively new to the fishing industry, but anglers are quickly taking notice of them. This Fiblink saltwater spinning rod is an excellent choice that is designed to function as a solid multi-purpose saltwater rod. It allows anglers to fish well off a boat whether that is offshore or on the reef. The gimbal butt fits well in fixed rod holders. This rod is made with high-quality carbon and the two-piece design makes it much more portable than one-piece designs.

The carbon-fiber material is extremely sensitive and works when targeting smaller game fish that have a less aggressive bite. The stainless steel guides are designed to be corrosion-proof against damaging saltwater. Anglers report that the EVA foam handle is both comfortable and easy to maintain your grip on while fighting even larger-sized fish. The Fiblink saltwater spinning rod is an excellent choice for any angler as it is both affordable and well-made. This rod is also covered by a one-year warranty.


10. Fiblink Saltwater Jigging Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $64-$70

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’.
Power: Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

The Fiblink Saltwater Jigging Rod is a great option for anglers who prefer to use the highly-effective jigging technique over reefs and other structures to catch game fish. This rod is made with graphite-glass fiber blank material that allows it to have the quick action needed to attract a bite from unsuspecting fish. It’s specially designed for vertical jigging, but can also be used in a variety of other techniques such as casting lures and live baits.

The stainless steel guides feature ceramic inserts that are made to reduce the high amount of friction that is common with a braided line. Fiblink has designed this rod with a sturdy aluminum reel seat, as well as an aluminum gimbal butt that comes with a rubber cap. This is an excellent option for anglers who are in search of a specialized rod for jig fishing but may not want to pay a hefty price for one. The Rod also comes with Fiblink’s one-year warranty.


11. Berkley Saltwater Spinning Rod

Berkley Saltwater Spinning Rod

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Estimated Price: $30-$40

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’6, 7’, 7’6.
Power: Medium.
Action: Moderate.

Berkley is widely known in the fishing industry for producing solid products that are generally less expensive than other premium brands. The Berkley Saltwater spinning rod is one of the most affordable on our list of the best saltwater fishing rods and is a great pick for novice anglers who are just getting their feet wet in saltwater angling.

Despite being made from a composite material, these rods are surprisingly sensitive and allow anglers to feel small fish biting. The rod features Berkley’s patented Armadillo Hide finish that’s an added bonus from an aesthetical standpoint. This model also includes the uplocking X-Posed reel seat and split-grip handle for better grip. This is an excellent choice for novice anglers as purchasing this spinning rod doesn’t require a significant investment on their end.


12. Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rods

Okuma Longitude Surf Fishing Rods

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Estimated Price: $50-$85

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 8’ to 12’.
Power: Medium, Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Okuma has established itself as one of the more popular brands in the fishing industry and online shopping has opened the brand up to more purchases outside of Japan. The Okuma Longitude surf fishing rod is a solid product that is an all-around great fishing rod for saltwater use. Like many other Okuma rods, this one is crafted from graphite material and is strong enough to cast heavy rigs while also being highly sensitive.

This rod is made with aluminum oxide inserts that are designed to handle braided lines. It has double-footed aluminum guide frames are designed to ensure that the guides frames do not bend twisted by hard-pulling fish. These Okuma rods also feature a cork handle above and below the reel seat. This is a good-quality rod that is designed specially for saltwater fishing. With a one-year warranty, Okuma has managed to merge quality and value into one solid saltwater fishing rod.


13. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $50-$75

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’ 11’.
Power: Medium.
Action: Not Specified.

Daiwa is well-known in the fishing industry as a top producer of fishing rods and other gear items. The Daiwa D-Wave rod and reel combo is a great choice for anglers of any skill level. This combo is a great value that can function as a multi-purpose saltwater setup that’s ideal for inshore or surf fishing.

The D-Wave combo is heavy enough to allow for catching large game fish in fresh or saltwater. The rod is made of a full graphite blank and offers plenty of sensitivity while also providing an ample amount of durability. With stainless steel hooded reel seats, you can be assured that this combo won’t succumb to saltwater erosion. The D-Wave reel is both tough and smooth and is crafted from graphite material that also features quality rotor construction. The EVA handle is made to be comfortable and to allow anglers to have a solid grip on the rod while fishing.


14. Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin Telescopic Rod

Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin Telescopic Rod

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Estimated Price: $60-$100

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: Telescopic.
Length: 5.9’ to 9.8’.
Power: Medium.
Action: Fast.

Telescopic fishing rods are relatively new to the fishing industry and finding a high-quality model can sometimes be difficult. The Daiwa Megaforce Tele Spin telescopic rod is one of the most popular telescopic rods on the market and can serve as a great saltwater gear for anglers.

Daiwa has worked to improve their telescopic saltwater rods in recent years. While this model is able to fold up into a compact size that can easily fit into a backpack or other bag, it’s made of carbon-fiber blank material that’s surprisingly tough and functional.

This model features five guides and is strong enough to handle most small to medium-sized saltwater fish species, but the rod is susceptible to breaking under heavy pressure from bigger fish.


15. Penn Battle III Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Battle III Saltwater Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

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Estimated Price: $140-$190

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One, Two, and Three-Piece.
Length: 6’6, 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’.
Power: Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast.

For anglers in search of a better quality rod that also includes a ready-to-fish reel, the Penn Battle III saltwater combo is an excellent choice. This is Penn’s most popular rod and reel combo for good reason. The Battle III was redesigned in recent years to create a reel that was stronger and more smooth than before.

The rod features a graphite composite blank that is good for surf fishing, casting around inlets, inshore, and offshore depending on the length. Anglers can choose between a comfortable cork or EVA handle, as well as a wide range of rod lengths, reel sizes, and rod power levels. It comes with Penn’s stainless steel Dura-Guides that are designed to prevent pop-outs, which is a common problem when fighting heavy fish.

One of the best aspects of the Battle III combo is that anglers can narrow down the specific kind of rod and reel for various saltwater purposes like light inshore fishing, surf fishing, and heavier gear for offshore application.


16. Penn Wrath Saltwater Fishing Combo

Penn Wrath Saltwater Fishing Combo

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Estimated Price: $50-$75

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod and Reel.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 6’6, 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’.
Power: Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast.

The Penn Wrath saltwater fishing combo is a great choice for anglers who are just getting started in saltwater fishing who are in search of a decent rod and reel that won’t break the bank. Like other Penn rod and reel combos, this model can be customized to serve a specific purpose like light inshore fishing or surf fishing.

Penn has designed the Wrath combo to be a highly versatile, all-around fishing setup that is affordable for the novice angler. The rods are made of two-piece graphite composite material and are designed with a comfortable, easy-to-grip EVA handle. It also offers stainless steel guides and titanium oxide inserts that function quite well compared to similar models of equal price.

The Wrath combo’s reels are made of lightweight graphite material that’s built to be corrosion-resistant. This is a solid rod and reel combo for the average saltwater angler and it’s also capable of going anywhere thanks to its two-piece construction. It likely won’t last as long as higher-end models but can still catch lots of fish.


17. Shimano Trevala Jigging Rod

Shimano Trevala Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $140

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 5’8, 6’, 6’6.
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy, Extra Heavy.
Action: Fast.

Many of the most skilled saltwater anglers are advocates of the jigging method as it can produce bites on days when fish simply won’t show interest in other lures and might be too deep to fish easily with natural baits. The Shimano Trevela jigging rod is specially designed to give you the right amount of action to quickly whip the jig up and down in a way that will entice fish to take notice.

This rod is designed with a high carbon butt section that’s fused with a TC4 tip. The rod blank is made of a material that’s aimed at giving anglers better sensitivity while still being lighter than most other rods that are used for jigging. It features reinforced Fuji guides that are made of aluminum oxide material and a diamond-polished smooth finish.

This is an excellent choice for serious anglers who require a no-nonsense rod to use over reefs and other offshore areas where jigging can be used to catch some of the most popular trophy game fish species. The rod is very durable and is a good choice to use for fishing charters as well.


18. Okuma Cedros Casting and Jigging Rod

Okuma Cedros Casting and Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $110-$130

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 5’6, 6’, 6’6, 7’.
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy, Extra Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Okuma is known for making high-quality products and their Cedros Casting and Jigging Rod is a great rod that’s built for performance. Made from a tough E-glass blank material, this rod gives better pulling power when it counts. For anglers who prefer to use braided line, the Cedros is a solid choice as it is designed for shock reduction when using braided line.

The Cedros features zirconium guide inserts that are made to handle the extra friction that comes from the braided line. This rod features stainless steel guide frames that are included with a high-rise frame to keep the braided line off the blank. Anglers will also find that the Cedros offers a pyramid reel seat that’s designed to give them better control over the rod.

Choose from either a split EVA rear grip handle with an ALPS reel seat or a full EVA grip for extra comfort. This is a great rod and is backed with a lifetime warranty by Okuma.


19. St. Croix Mojo Salt Conventional Trolling Rod

St Croix Mojo Salt Conventional Trolling Rod

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Estimated Price: $210-$240

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’6, 7’, 7’6, 8’.
Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast, Fast.

It’s no secret in the fishing industry that St. Croix is among the top brands when it comes to fishing rods. Their Mojo Salt Series conventional Rod is another outstanding product that is made to perform like a workhorse for anglers who frequently venture out to the open ocean.

This rod is made of a unique combination of SCII graphite coupled with FRS technology, as well as linear S-glass that together makes a lightweight rod that is extremely durable and ideal for offshore trolling. It features Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) technology and includes high-quality Sea Guide rings that are made of an aluminum oxide material. There are also Mojo Salt series spinning rods.

With a Fuji DPSH reel seat and premium EVA handle material, anglers will be able to have better control over this rod while working to reel in large catches. It’s also backed by a 5-year warranty.


20. Penn Rampage Saltwater Jigging Rod

Penn Rampage Saltwater Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $90

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 5’8, 6’2, 6’6.
Power: Medium, Medium Heavy, Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast.

It’s imperative for jigging rods to have just the right amount of action in order to fully utilize the lure’s capabilities. The Penn Rampage jigging rod is a great choice for anglers who want a high-quality jigging rod that is relatively affordable compared to some of the premium models that are currently on the market.

This rod is perfect for vertical jigging, but can also function in a variety of other purposes as it is both lightweight and strong. Made from a one-piece graphite composite blank material, the Penn Rampage utilizes Fuji aluminum oxide guides and a high-quality, heavy-duty reel seat to combine for the total package when it comes to a jigging setup.

It also offers a Torque foregrip and rubberized gimbal to ensure comfort and stability when reeling in heavy catches. Anglers can use either monofilament or braided line on the Rampage. This is a highly-rated rod that is worth considering for both novice anglers and experts.


21. Penn Ally Saltwater Trolling Rods

Penn Ally Saltwater Trolling Rods

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Estimated Price: $130

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece, Two-Piece.
Length: 5’6, 6’6.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast.

Skilled anglers all over the world trust in Penn rods as they have a reputation for dependability and performance. The Penn Ally Trolling Rod is one of the best trolling rods to use with big conventional reels.

What rods you will get depends on length, one-piece or two-piece configuration, and power rating. Some will have bent butts and some will have roller guides. The two-piece rod versions will have a bent butt and roller guides. The 50-100 power rating 6-foot rod should also come with roller guides. Other rod sizes will likely come with guides with aluminum oxide inserts. These are heavy-duty rods and are a great choice for offshore fishing.


22. Penn Squall Saltwater Fishing Rod Combo

Penn Squall Saltwater Fishing Rod Combo

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Estimated Price: $170-$250

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’, 6’6.
Power: Medium, Medium-Heavy.
Action: Moderate Fast.

The Penn Squall rod and reel combo is an excellent choice for dedicated anglers who require the best tackle. Made for offshore fishing, this rod is available in a shorter length that’s designed for bottom fishing and other techniques that target the biggest saltwater fish species in the ocean.

The Squall’s rod is made of tubular glass blank material that’s nearly indestructible. Their dependability is nearly unmatched and many saltwater fishing charter guides and captains rely on these rods for everyday use. It offers a lightweight graphite frame reel with side plates and marine-grade bronze alloy main gear that’s extremely tough.

This is a start drag reel and is not going to be as smooth or consistent of force as a lever drag reel. However, it works well when catching fish under 30 pounds.


23. G Loomis Salmon Mooching and Trolling Rod

G Loomis Salmon Mooching and Trolling Rod

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Estimated Price: $400-$425

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 9’, 9’9.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Moderate.

G Loomis is a name that’s synonymous with premium quality in the fishing industry. The G Loomis Salmon Mooching and Trolling Rods are among the top rods of its kind thanks to the incredible level of quality in every inch of its construction. This is a highly expensive product, but well worth the investment for anglers who are looking for the absolute best quality rod for salmon trolling and mooching.

This rod is made with a blank material that’s 15 percent lighter and stronger than G Loomis’ original IMX rods. It’s incredibly important to have a rod that’s highly flexible when salmon fishing with downriggers and this one is specially designed to offer just that. It’s made with Fuji K-frame guides and can hold up to the toughest of fights against any type of salmon.

This rod might be a bit out of the price range of most anglers, but there’s no denying its reputation among professionals and guides for being incredibly strong and reliable.


24. Okuma Downrigger Trolling Rods

Okuma Downrigger Trolling Rods

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Estimated Price: $35-$90

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 7’6, 8’, 8’6, 9’, 10’, 10’6.
Power: Medium Light, Medium.
Action: Slow, Moderate, Moderate Fast.

Okuma’s Classic Pro GLT Trolling Rods are specially designed for use with downriggers and other trolling methods. Made with a tough, yet sensitive fiberglass blank construction, this rod is a good pick for anglers of all skill levels. It offers Fuji-style up-locking reel seats and heavy-duty stainless steel guides that are made to withstand high amounts of pressure.

Okuma is well-known for producing quality rods that are surprisingly affordable for any angler. For those who rely on downriggers to produce bites, this is an ideal choice among other rods on the market. It’s crafted with an EVA foam grip for added comfort and a triangular foregrip to help provide extra control over the rod. This rod is backed with Okuma’s one-year warranty and is a popular choice for recreational anglers.


25. Ugly Stik Bigwater Trolling Combo

Ugly Stik Bigwater Trolling Combo

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Estimated Price: $100

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 8’3, 9’.
Power: Light.
Action: Medium.

It’s hard to find a better trolling rod and reel combo that’s affordable for the average angler than Ugly Stik’s Bigwater Trolling Combo. This rod is made of the brand’s patented Ugly Tech blend of graphite and fiberglass that’s incredibly strong, yet sensitive enough to let anglers feel fish biting.

It’s made with Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides and Ugly Stik’s signature clear tip that’s highly flexible and provides added sensitivity. The reel is made with a 30 size line counter and features two ball bearings, as well as a metal handle and power knob. The reel can hold up to 400 yards of a 20-pound test line and combines with the Ugly Stik rod to form a quality combo that is perfect for freshwater or saltwater fishing.

The rod itself carries a 7-year warranty that’s backed by Ugly Stik. This option is ideal for anglers who aren’t quite ready to spend a considerable amount of money on a trolling rod and reel combo, but still want a functional setup. The reel is not as super quality but it should last a season of heavy use or a few seasons of light use.


26. Diawa Trolling and Jigging Rod

Diawa Trolling and Jigging Rod

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Estimated Price: $35

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Diawa’s Trolling and Jigging Rod is known as the Accudepth trolling rod and is an excellent rod for all-around versatility when it comes to saltwater fishing. This rod is available for a very affordable price and offers a good amount of quality features compared to other models of similar cost.

The rod is 6 feet in length and is made of a one-piece graphite composite blank for good strength and enough stiffness to allow for jigging. It’s made with aluminum oxide guides that are designed to limit friction caused by braided and other types of fishing line. The rod does not feature a gimbal and will not lock into place in most rod holders the same way other models do. This does make trilling with the rod difficult as it might not stay in the proper position in the holder. The non-metal end cap is actually more comfortable to use than most rods that feature a gimbal when jigging and stand-up fishing though. This model is a great choice for anglers who want a low-cost option that can function as a jigging rod or a trolling rod in cradle style rod holders.


27. Fiblink Saltwater Big Game Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Big Game Rod

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Estimated Price: $50-$80

Specifications
Type:
Spinning Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 5’1.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

The Fiblink Saltwater Big Game Rod is a good option for anglers who want a quality heavy-duty rod that doesn’t have the hefty price tag that’s common with premium brand names. This rod is built for power as its short and thick frame is made to withstand the toughest fights on the ocean.

With features like a heavy-duty roller guide that’s aimed at minimizing strain on both the angler and the line itself, it’s easy to see why this is a highly-rated product. Made of one-piece tubular E-glass composite material, Fiblink has designed this rod to handle extreme amounts of force. With an aluminum alloy reel seat and aluminum gimbal butt cap, this rod is built for toughness. This model is surprisingly lightweight and covered by Fiblink’s one-year warranty, making it a great choice for anglers of all skill levels.


28. Fiblink Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

Fiblink Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

Buy from Amazon

Estimated Price: $98

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 5’, 5’6, 6’, 7’.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Saltwater fishing involves fighting some of the largest fish species in the world, which can be physically challenging for any angler. Using a bent butt fishing rod helps to alleviate the amount of strain on your body and allows you to focus on reeling in your catch. The Fiblink Bent Butt Rod is a great product for anglers looking to get their hands on a relatively inexpensive bent butt rod for their boat. It will work with a large conventional reel or electric reel.

Made of solid E-glass graphite composite material, this rod is incredibly strong and able to provide good leverage for pulling against the big fish such as tuna, wahoo, sharks, marlin, and swordfish. It features high-quality roller guides that help alleviate the stress caused by heavy pressure and keep your line from breaking. With an aluminum alloy reel seat and bent butt non-slip handle, this rod is ideal for trolling or deep dropping offshore.


29. Xcaliber Big Game Trolling Rod

Xcaliber Big Game Trolling Rod

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Estimated Price: $195

Specifications
Type:
Conventional Rod.
Construction: One-Piece.
Length: 6’.
Power: Heavy.
Action: Not Specified.

Xcaliber Marine is one of the top brands in the saltwater fishing industry and their rods are commonly used by professionals and amateurs alike. The Xcaliber big game rod is designed to perform at the highest level for serious anglers who rely on their tackle to land catches that turn into big paydays.

This rod is constructed from solid E-glass blank material that’s designed to be incredibly tough. It also features roller guides with quality Teflon-coated bearings made with stainless steel. The unique roller design has deep slots that provide better knot clearance than other brands. Anglers will also appreciate the rod’s gimbal aluminum butt. This Xcaliber rod is backed by the company’s 5-year warranty which means that it should last for many fishing seasons.


30. Daiwa Rod For Big Game Electric Reel

Daiwa Rod For Big Game Electric Reel

Buy from Amazon

Estimated Price: $220

Specifications
Type:
Bent Butt Rod.
Construction: Two-Piece.
Length: 5’6, 6’6.
Power: Medium Heavy, Heavy, Extra Heavy.
Action: Fast.

Having the best possible tackle is essential to success in saltwater fishing. The Diawa Tancom Dendoh is a rod that is designed to be paired with the latest in Diawa electric reels. This rod is made with the brand’s Glatech Blank Construction which combines uni-directional fiberglass with multiple layers of graphite material for an incredibly strong product.

It also comes with Diawa’s Powerlift Grip that is designed to help anglers maintain their hold on the rod and have greater control over powerful fish. With Alps Swivel Tip Top Guides, it’s clear that this rod is designed to the highest standard and is made for catching giant fish. It also includes SeaGuide aluminum oxide ring guides and an anodized aluminum butt end with an aluminum reel seat. With such high-quality components and a lifetime warranty, it’s no question that this is a great rod to use. It works with electric reels or large conventional reels.


Type of Saltwater Fishing Rods

Saltwater Spinning Rods

When it comes to saltwater fishing, spinning rods are one of the most popular types of rods used as they allow anglers to utilize a wide variety of rigs, baits, and techniques. A saltwater spinning rod allows the user to cast their lure out much farther than other types of rod and reel combos. This type of rod is also able to provide the user with a better ability to quickly retrieve certain kinds of lures as it can be easily and smoothly reeled in with very little resistance.

It’s highly important for anglers to know and understand the best rod power and action for the specific type of lure or rig they are using. Using a spinning rod that’s rigged with the right amount of weight can result in the angler making incredibly accurate casts at a considerable distance in some cases. Some of the most popular saltwater spinning rods are made by brands like Penn, St. Croix, Ugly Stik, Shimano, and more.

Spinning rods are made from materials like graphite and E-glass that are designed to be durable enough to withstand the hard-pulling nature of saltwater fish, yet light enough for anglers to continue casting without experiencing too much fatigue in their arms. The guides on a spinning rod are placed on the bottom side of the rod as the reel itself will be underneath the handle. Spinning rods are usually what fishing experts recommend for beginners as they are simple and easy to operate and understand while also being somewhat less prone to malfunction than other types of reel setups.

Saltwater Conventional Rods

Some of the most popular saltwater gamefish species are found far away from the shoreline and often lurking in depths of 100 feet or more. For this reason, anglers must use boats in order to reach the most suitable areas to catch the type of fish they’re going after. Conventional rods are often used to catch fish in deep water from a boat as conventional reels are designed to hold the heavier fishing line and withstand high pressure that large fish can put on a rod and reel.

Conventional rods are used most often for methods like bottom fishing, jigging, and trolling. Like other types of rods, they are available in a wide variety of lengths and thickness, as well as power levels and action. The reel on a conventional rod is secured on top of the handle rather than below it like in the case of a spinning reel. This reel placement creates the possibility for better leverage when pulling and reeling a large game fish species that can put a huge amount of strain on your tackle.

While the guides on a spinning rod are fitted on the bottom, the guides on a conventional rod are placed on the top portion of the rod. These types of rods also come with a “trigger” grip that allows the user to have a better grip on their rod for casting or simply reeling in a catch. Conventional rods also provide better sensitivity to the user than a spinning rod as the line is closer to the rod and anglers are able to feel the fish’s initial bite more than they can with a spinning rod and reel.


Saltwater Surf Fishing Rods

Surf fishing rods are quite unique compared to other kinds of rods as they must be specially designed to help the angler catch fish on the coast among large crashing waves. Surf fishing rods are typically longer than any other kind of rod since an angler usually aims to cast their bait far enough to pass over the breaking waves. There are many brands that produce surf fishing rods that are as long as 15 feet or more, but most anglers are able to cast as far as they need to use rods that are in the 10 to 12-foot range.

The long length of a surf fishing rod is primarily to increase casting distance. Anglers can use rods that are designed with light to heavy power depending on the type of fish they’re trying to catch, but most surf fishing anglers prefer to use a medium-heavy power rod to give them the ability to use relatively light or heavier lures. For anglers who plan to use a heavier line, they will be better served with a heavy powered rod.

Surf fishing rods are often made with faster action as this will help the user get more distance with each cast. Surf rods are also made in two, three, or even four-piece models in order to be more portable for the user. Most surf fishing experts generally prefer to use a rod that’s about 12 feet in length and offers medium-heavy power and moderate action.

Saltwater Telescopic Rods

A telescopic fishing rod is designed to collapse into a short and easy-to-transport length that lets the angler carry it just about anywhere. Some of the most popular telescopic fishing rods are able to collapse to a length of about 18 to 28 inches, which is usually short enough to fit inside a backpack. Telescopic rods must be constructed from a lighter material in order to make it possible for the rod to collapse into small sections.

Most telescopic rods are made of carbon or fiberglass materials. These lighter rods are often strong enough to catch most saltwater game fish species, but can be susceptible to breaking when faced with a larger, more powerful fish. Like any other type of rod, telescopic rods come in a variety of different lengths depending on the user’s preference. Most saltwater telescopic rods are no longer than about 7 feet when fully extended.

A telescopic rod can present the user with more problems than other types of fishing rods. If each section does not properly lock into place, the rod can be more prone to breaking or having one section collapse when the angler is reeling in a catch. Telescopic rods are generally available in medium or medium-heavy power ratings.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is a saltwater fishing rod?

A saltwater fishing rod is very similar to a freshwater rod in its overall design and functionality. Saltwater rods, however, will generally be longer and heavier in some cases as the types of fish in the ocean are usually much larger than freshwater species.

Saltwater fishing rods that are designed for surf fishing are often much longer than other kinds of rods as they must be designed to help anglers cast farther in order to avoid their bait being swept away in the breaking waves. In contrast, for saltwater fishing from boats, anglers generally prefer to use a rod that’s shorter and will provide much more stiffness as they generally are faced with pulling large trophy fish species from deep depths.

One of the most important aspects of saltwater fishing rods is the need for the rod to be corrosion-resistant. Saltwater is highly corrosive for certain materials and freshwater rods and reels will be easily ruined in a short period of time due to the salt content of the water.

How do I choose a saltwater rod?

Choosing the right saltwater fishing rod truly depends on a number of factors. These include where you’re fishing from, what kind of species you’re after, and the type of lure or bait you plan to use, as well as other items that must be considered. If you’re fishing from the shoreline, it’s important to have a longer rod as we’ve already noted, but it’s acceptable to use shorter rods of about 6 feet for trolling or bottom fishing from a boat.

Naturally, if you’re planning to catch large fish species, you’ll want to have a rod that’s up to the task of reeling in something that’s up to 100 pounds or more in some cases. In this case, you’ll want a rod that’s made with a heavier, more durable blank material and use a large reel. Most saltwater anglers prefer a rod that’s made with faster action as this will allow them to cast farther, and will provide a greater sensitivity to feel fish bites.

Who makes the best saltwater fishing rods?

The top brands in the fishing industry are among the names commonly associated with the best saltwater fishing rods. Companies that have been around for many decades have learned to adapt to new fishing techniques and improve their products based on research and customer feedback. Some of the most prominent companies in the saltwater fishing industry are Penn, St. Croix, Diawa, Okuma, and others. Determining exactly which brand produces the best overall saltwater fishing rods is a tough task since each of the top companies have proven the ability to create incredible products year after year that continue to meet the needs of saltwater anglers in a way that’s more efficient than older models.

When it comes to who makes the best saltwater rods, many anglers agree that it’s as much a matter of opinion and personal preference that separates some of the most prominent brands’ products from one another. Like anything else in the fishing industry, you’re usually going to get what you pay for, so it’s important to consider investing a little more money into your purchases if you want better quality.

What is the best all-around fishing rod? 

Ranking the best all-around fishing rod for saltwater use is a tall order, especially considering the vast differences in the characteristics you need to have for fishing from the shoreline, or dozens of miles offshore. It can be argued that the best all-around type of fishing rod is a saltwater spinning rod since this style will allow you to make accurate casts, while also being able to fish from the shoreline or far out into the ocean.

When it comes to a rod that’s suitable in every type of saltwater fishing, a conventional reel might just be a better all-around choice than a spinning rod as it will perform better against large game fish. However, we tend to lean towards our original top choice of the Ugly Stik Spinning rods since this model presents the ideal blend of performance and capabilities. Factoring in the overall cost also helps to drive home the fact that these rods are better suited for the average angler as it is much more affordable than the ultra-premium models that cost hundreds of dollars. The downside is the one-piece guides can cause a braided line to fray and break.

What size rod do I need for beach fishing?

Fishing from the beach is highly unique compared to fishing from a pier or offshore in a boat. The most important thing to consider is that you’ll need a rod that will allow you to cast out far past the breaking waves if you want to have the best chance to catch a fish. This is because most of the fish species commonly found along the shoreline are not going to be swimming in the waves, but will instead choose to stay in the more calm sections just beyond the waves. Casting beyond the waves will also ensure that your bait does not get dragged toward the shoreline by the waves and tides.

For fishing on the beach, it’s best to use a rod that’s at least 10 feet in length and has a medium-heavy power rating. In addition to these characteristics, it’s also important to choose a rod that has fast action since this will help to create a catapulting effect that will effectively launch your bait out as far as possible.

It’s sometimes acceptable to use a lighter rod for fishing from the beach when you are fishing for smaller species, but keep in mind that there’s a chance you could hook a larger fish like a shark or other creature which can result in broken lines, or even a snapped rod.

What is a good rod for trolling?

Choosing the best saltwater fishing rod for trolling can usually depend on the amount of money you’re willing to spend on purchasing a rod. If money is no object, it’s hard to beat the St. Croix Mojo Salt Conventional Trolling rod. While this model can usually be purchased for under $250, it’s still quite an investment on the part of a beginner angler.

When it comes to trolling, it’s highly important to keep in mind that you’ll want a rod that’s tough and features a comfortable grip. Trolling rods are usually crafted from graphite or fiberglass since they have to be much more durable than an inshore fishing rod. As many expert anglers know, trolling is a great way to catch some of the largest types of fish in the ocean and it’s important to be prepared to handle a fish that weighs a few hundred pounds.

What are the best rods for offshore big game fishing?

Fishing for the largest big game trophy fish is in a league of its own compared to other types of angling. There’s nothing quite like gripping a rod and pulling against a giant fish like marlin or tuna that weighs hundreds of pounds and can move an entire sportfishing boat with a few swipes of its tail. To have the greatest advantage when it comes to offshore big game fishing, you’ll need to use a rod that’s big and strong enough for the job.

For offshore fishing, it’s hard to beat Penn’s line of offshore rods. The company has been in business since 1932 and is easily one of the top brands in the world when it comes to producing rods that are capable of handling the largest fish in the sea. St. Croix is also known for producing rods that are highly capable of performing well against the biggest trophy game fish. As with any other type of fishing product, you can expect to get better results from big game fishing rods that are more expensive.

What is the best rod to fish with a braided line?

Fishing with braided line has many benefits when it comes to saltwater sportfishing. Its low stretch makes for a sensitive setup and its thin diameter means reels can hold a high line capacity. It’s important to know that not every kind of rod is equipped to handle the rigors of braided fishing line.

If you plan to use a braided line, you’ll want to look for a rod that features strong guides and ceramic inserts that will help to reduce the amount of friction caused by the braided line and the immense pressure of pulling against a giant fish. Using a rod that does not have durable guides and ceramic inserts will mean running the risk of the line breaking or damaging the guides. When specifically target large fish like tuna, marlin, sharks, and swordfish it is common to use an 80-100 pound test line on a 30 plus class conventional reel. The rod needs to be able to securely hold this type of reel.


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