Best Fishing Rod and Reel for Beginners

Best Fishing Rod and Reel for Beginners: We own many starter rods and the ones most suitable for new anglers are easy to use and versatile. So, we reviewed some of the top-rated rods, starter kits, and combos on the market to find you the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners.

If you are in a hurry:

Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Fishing Rod and Reel for Beginners.

Best Fishing Rods And Reels Reviews

Here is our list of the Best Beginner Fishing Rods:

Last update on 2021-05-10 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Shakespeare USSP701MH/50CBO Ugly Stik...

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the strongest and durable rods on the market. It offers great balance and responsiveness for beginners. The rod is available in different lengths and weights.

We recommend beginners to go for the 6′ medium power 2 piece rod which comes with an 8-20 line rating. It is a middle-of-the-road rod which is neither too extreme nor too costly. It is the ideal fishing rod to get started.

A combination of graphite and fiberglass makes this rod durable, sensitive, as well as light. It is tough enough to deal with big and powerful fish.

At the same time, it is quite flexible, which means that even the biggest of fish won’t be able to snap this rod. Whether lake, river, seashore, or ocean, this beginner rod can do it all.

When it comes to ease of use, we find that there is just nothing better. It is compact, convenient, easy to use, versatile, and affordable. This is the Best Starter Fishing Rod as per our reviews.

Plusinno Rod and Reel Combos

PLUSINNO Spinning Rod and Reel Combos...

The Plusinno is one of the top-selling combos for a reason. The rod is extremely versatile. The spinning reel comes with an instant anti-reverse and power drive gears. All the standard features are here with some good upgrades

The medium power rod is flexible and sturdy. High density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass make it light and durable. The reel seat is stainless steel and resistant to saltwater.

The deep aluminum spool has a large line capacity so that you can avoid the hassle of changing lines.

This spinning combo is a great choice for gifting. It comes with a spinning rod, reel, case, lures, and extra line. No need to buy any extra pieces or worry about matching gear. Plusinno makes it to the second position on our list as the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners.

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with...

Sougayilang is a nice rod combo to get started with fishing. It comes with a rod, reel, spare spool, 110 yards fishing line, 3 fishing lures, accessories, and a carrier bag.

It is specially designed for beginners who want to go fishing for trout, crappie, panfish, perch, or walleye. The design blends perfectly with the surroundings. The fish will never even know you are there until it is too late.

The rod comes in different sizes from 5.91 feet to 7.87 feet. It is made of graphite composite. The rod is about as tough and durable as can be. Yet, it is flexible enough to catch big fish without snapping. It has high tensile strength with good impact resistance.

The 7 steel guides help with long and accurate casting.  The double lock fishing reel seats are another aspect of this rod that we really like. The reel has 13 + 1 ball bearings, precision gears, and a 5.5:1 gear ratio.

We also like the high-quality cork handle, which makes this rod comfortable and easy to hold.

Overall, Sougayilang is a strong, flexible, and lightweight rod. It is ideal for beginners who love to fish while traveling or backpacking.

Penn Fierce III Live Liner Spinning Combo

The Penn Fierce III is a super sleek 6.6FT one piece spinning rod. There are no bulky bells and whistles to weigh it down. It’s a solid “no fuss, just fish” kind of a fishing rod.

Penn Pursuit III is very durable due to its high build quality. An almost exclusive graphite blank is quite lightweight. The dura-guides fit into one piece to prevent pop-outs. After all, we want good quality rods to last, and last it will!

It has a whole lot of tensile strength and impact resistance. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system makes it powerful. Yet, the flexibility allows you to easily catch even the biggest of bass or catfish. The handle is designed for ease of use, comfort, and a great grip.

It tested very well for versatility and we had no issues with inshore, boat, or surf fishing. It is a good starter rod for light to medium fishing.

The spinning reel comes full of grease. It is one of those “little touches” that you don’t know of while buying, but most appreciate while using. Line capacity rings are a nice touch. You know exactly how much line is still there.

Outlife Starter Fishing Kit

outlife Fishing Tackle Kit with Spinning...

The Outlife is a complete rod and reel combo. It comes with a telescopic fishing rod, a reel, 100 meters of fishing line, and a dustproof protecting bag. The accessories include line connectors, lures, hooks, and a travel bag. All this for an unbeatable price. It’s no doubt the Best Starter Fishing Kit out there.

The telescopic rod is available in two sizes: 2.1M and 2.4M. You can extend or retract this a telescopic rod on demand. You can retract these type of fishing rods to become a few inches in length.

The carbon fiber construction is consistent with the newer spinning rods on the market. The handle isn’t cork, but it has an ergonomic design to make gripping easy enough. The reel has 8 stainless steel ball bearings, an instant anti-reverse, and a front drag.

The kit includes a braided fishing line for a 40% stronger pulling force than the normal line.

It comes with a few different lures, hooks, and connectors. It gives beginners a chance to try different lures such as fluorescent, live bait, octopus shape, and a classic hook. All these lures are a little different and there’s no way to tell which will work for you without trying.

The Outlife is a great choice for someone looking for the all-in-one fishing rod reel combos. Most things that you need fishing for the first time are included. It even has a protective bag inside the travel bag.

FishingSir Fly Rods and Reels

FISHINGSIR Fly Fishing Rod and Reel...

FishingSir Riffle is one of the top-rated fly fishing kits for on the market. It is yet another great pick for any beginners looking for a great fishing experience.

The kit comes with one of the best fly fishing rods, a die-cast fly reel, 100 feet of fly line, a tapered leader, 24 flies, a line nipper tool, a retractable zinger, and a fly rod case.

The 4 piece rod easily comes apart into 4 sections. You can screw the pieces together when you want to fish or take them apart when it’s time to hit the trail.

The IM6 graphite rod is lightweight, accurate, and durable. When it comes to performance, this is as good as it gets. At the same time, the rod has a mid-flex, medium action design. Even the biggest fighting fish are not going to be any kind of a match.

The lightweight rod is very comfortable to hold even for long periods of time. You will barely notice that it is in your hands. This is very convenient when you are new to fishing.

As the fly rod can come apart into multiple sections, it is ideal for traveling. Simply take it apart and put it in your camping pack when it is time to get going. You can easily put it together when it’s time for the big catch.

Penn Battle III Rod and Reel Combo

PENN Battle III Spinning Reel and...

Solid build quality is one of the hallmarks of Penn. Battle III is no exception. The rod comes in different sizes. We suggest you go for the 7′ medium light 1 pc rod.

The main advantage of the Penn Battle III is versatility. It comes will all the features you expect and a build quality that will last. This rod isn’t going to quit on you.

Another top feature of this rod is the powerful HT-100 carbon fiber drag. Thanks to the awesome sensitivity, you will feel even the lightest of nibbles.

The rod is extremely lightweight making it easy to use even for long periods. The handle adds to the comfort when holding the rod for extended periods.

The rod comes with an ultralight spinning reel. The fishing reel has stainless steel ball bearings that are smooth as expected.

Cadence CC5 Fishing Rod & Spinning Reel Combo

Cadence CC5 Spinning Combo Lightweight...

The Cadence CC5 fishing rod is made from 24-ton graphite. The build quality is better than most other beginner fishing rods at this price. In fact, it is one of the most durable rods out there.

You can assemble and disassemble the rod very quickly. The assembly process here is among the easiest we have seen.

The rods come in different lengths, actions, and power ratings (ultralight, medium light, medium, and medium heavy).

We recommend beginners to buy the 6’6″ medium action rod. It’s suitable for catching freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout. It works surprisingly well for catching inshore fish as well.

The rod comes with a size 2000 matching spinning reel. The reel has a 6.2:1 gear ration. It features a strong aluminum frame and carbon side plates. The frame, rotor, and side plates are corrosion resistant. The reel is not pre-spooled. It’s very smooth when reeling and not prone to jamming.

Cadence has a social impact program where they gift a youth rod for every pair sold. It’s always nice to support the next generation and make fishing more accessible! The solid build quality makes this rod a good choice not just for beginners but even for experienced anglers.

Piscifun Fly Fishing Combo

Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo...

Piscifun Fly Rod Combo makes it easy for beginners to hit the ground running. It comes with a good beginner fly fishing rod, a fly reel, a fly box, 9pcs flies, and a stainless steel line cutter.

The slow action lightweight fly rod is suitable for catching sunfish, and small trout. It a great pock for fishing small streams.

The rod has premium cork handles for comfort. The cork handle helps in reducing fatigue. Oversized stripping guides and color-coded alignment dots give some subtle touches.

The pre-spooled reel comes with the line, backing line, and leader. Pre-spooled reels are a real timesaver for beginners. The reel features a click drag system for quick engagement. There’re also 9 different fly patterns and a stainless steel line cutter to give you some good options.

The combo comes with a hard case to hold everything. It can be a great gift for someone just starting out.

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod Reel Combo

Daiwa DWB40-B/F702M D-Wave Saltwater...

Daiwa D-Wave is a sturdy two-piece rod. It is a bargain pick as you can’t get a rod this functional for what you’re paying. The rod blank is made of graphite and fiberglass.

The hooded real seats are treated for saltwater use. The aluminum oxide guides are corrosion resistant. This is a good beginner rod for catching saltwater fish.

The Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod comes with a size 40 reel. The gyro spinning rotor is well balanced and fuss-free. A smooth ball bearing drive makes casting and reeling a breeze.

This combo comes with a rod and reel. But you will need other supplies for your first fishing trip. You will need various hooks, lures, sinkers, and a few other accessories too.

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod is a good all-in-one choice for catching bass, stripers, catfish, redfish, Snook, and baby Tarpon. It is one of the top surf rods to have in your arsenal. You can use this rod for freshwater fishing as well.

Pflueger Trion Spinning Pole

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod...

The Pflueger Trion is another good beginner fishing rod. The IM6 graphite makes this rod as durable and responsive as a spinning pole can be. You can feel every minor nibble of fish like walleyes, panfish, and other light-biting fish.

But the sensitivity doesn’t take away this rod’s exceptional pulling power delivered by the spinning reels. The felt drag system is well oiled for a smooth, and consistent drag.

The stainless steel hooded reel seats and steel line guides add to the durability. The handle has three cork placements which are great for comfort. It also allows you to change up your gripping style to suit your type of fishing.

Pflueger is known for great fishing equipment and their rods are no exception. The Trion casts seamlessly and delivers everything you’d want in a classic beginner rod.

Yongzhi Beginners Fishing Kit

YONGZHI Fishing Rod Combos with...

Just like The Outlife, Yongzhi is a complete beginners fishing kit. The kit includes a telescopic rod, a powerful spinning reel, some fishing lures, hooks, braided fishing line, swivels, and sinker weight.

Like most of the other rods on our list, the Yongzhi fishing rod is excellent for beginners. We like telescopic rods as they are easier to handle.

High-density 24-ton carbon fiber with E-Glass composite construction makes it extremely powerful. You will be hard-pressed to find a rod with more power than this one.

It is also durable and built to withstand the test of time. Yet it is flexible enough to catch different species of fish such as pike, bluegill, tuna, or bass.

The corrosion resistant aluminum reel makes the Yongzhi Beginners Fishing Kit ideal for both freshwater and saltwater. You can use this fishing kit for pond fishing, river fishing, pier fishing, or surf fishing.

There is no need to disassemble the rod and reel when it’s time to go home.

Johncoo Baitcasting Rod

JOHNCOO 7' Carbon Baitcasting Fishing...

Johncoo is a baitcasting type of fishing rod. The 7 feet long baitcasting rod is ideal for long casts. You can easily cast close to 100 yards. Even though it is big, it is quite lightweight.

The rod has 3 top sections, medium, medium light, and medium heavy for different fishing needs. A medium power rod is ideal for the first time anglers to catch a variety of fish.

IM6 graphite makes this rod very tough and durable. Not only it is durable, but flexible too. Even those big trout won’t be able to break this rod thanks to its flexibility and build quality. It is easier for beginners to catch big fish without having their baitcasting rod snap.

Johncoo Baitcasting Rod can come apart into 4 pieces. You can take it apart and put it in your backpack when it is time to go home. It is easy to carry due to its lightweight.

The sensitivity of the rod makes it easy for beginners to feel even the smallest of nibbles. But this is just the rod without a baitcasting reel. So, make sure to buy one of the matching reels.

How to Pick a Good Beginner Fishing Rod

Once you are aware of the different types of fishing rods, the next step is to pick a rod for yourself. A few factors that will help you pick the right fishing rod:

What Size Fishing Rod to Get?

Fishing rods are usually 6-12 feet long. But we recommend beginners to go for a medium length rod, about 6 to 7 feet. A medium length rod will allow you to balance between casting distance, accuracy, and ease of use.

The length of the fishing rod affects how you cast it. The longer the rod, the faster the tackle moves. It’s kind of like a whip that makes a cracking sound as the tip moves. A longer rod means you can cast further and faster.

But you need to practice releasing your line as it is harder to cast with a long rod.

What Weight Fishing Rod Should You Buy?

Terminal tackle refers to everything tied to the end of your line (lure, hook, live bait, etc.). The heavier the terminal tackle, the further you can cast.

If you are using a lighter terminal tackle, you want a longer size rod. If you are using a heavier tackle you want a shorter rod. We recommend a medium weight or lightweight terminal tackle to go with a medium rod.

Power & Action Of The Rod

Power is the amount of force necessary to bend the fishing rod. Heavier fishing rods are less likely to bend. Another thing to consider is Rod Action. Action is where the fishing poles bend.

Slow action rods bend closer to the handle. Fast action rods bend closer to the tip. We recommend beginners to go for a medium action rod as it is versatile and easy to use.

Types of Rod Construction Material

Fishing rods are made from graphite, fiberglass, or graphite composite. We recommend beginners go for fiberglass, or graphite composite rods. Such rods are lightweight but have the strength to catch even bigger fish.

Experienced anglers go for graphite fishing poles as they are rigid and strong. Such rods are more sensitive so you can feel bites and nibbles.

Graphite rods are tough and can carry a good amount of weight. But they also run the risk of breaking under stress.

As a beginner, you should get a fiberglass rod. These fishing rods are usually heavier but last longer. They can also make your fishing experience better. Fiberglass rods are better for catching different species of fish.

If you wish to try saltwater fishing, you must go for a graphite rod. If you wish to pursue fishing as a hobby, begin with fiberglass rods.

Some fishing rods use a combination of graphite and fiberglass. These are also a good choice for beginners as they have some of the pros of each material.

7 Important Beginners Rod Tips

A few tips for buying beginner rods and reels:

  1. Look for kits or rods and reels combos to simplify your fishing gear.
  2. Go for a telescopic pole for ease of use.
  3. Look for pre spooled reels if possible.
  4. A real cork handle is nice, but even EVA foam grips will do.
  5. Stainless steel ball bearings are important for spinning reels.
  6. Try different types of fishing lures and live baits.
  7. Don’t buy all fishing gear upfront. Start small and go from there.

What Type of Fishing Rods do Most Beginners Use?

We recommend beginners to start with a spinning rod as these are easier to use and quite friendly.

As a beginner, we suggest that you opt out of baitcasting rods. It takes time and patience to learn the angels for casting. Similarly, avoid heavy trolling or a deep-sea fishing pole.

Casting rods require a little more skill and ability. They are usually chosen by experienced anglers. If you’re fishing for sport or going for the large game fish, then casting rods are a great choice.

Spinning rods easier to use than casting rods. They match with spinning reels. Overall spinning rods are more forgiving and easier to start with.

Considering the conditions that you may face as a beginner, you need a fishing rod that is: Fun, Easy to Use, Lightweight, Strong, Versatile, and Affordable.

What Makes a Good Fishing Rod for Beginners?

When we think about a fishing pole for beginners, we’re looking for ease of use and value. Most beginner fishing rods that we reviewed are easy to use.

A fishing pole shouldn’t be too focused or limited to one fishing style. It should support a fixed spool reel and be versatile. So what fishing pole is that?

There are a lot of good quality rods that we reviewed but Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Beginner Rod as per our reviews.

The Outlife Starter Fishing Kit comes with a good fishing rod and reel, heavy line, extra lures, and a carrying case. It has everything you need for a great fishing experience.

FishingSir is a complete fishing kit that comes with a good fly fishing rod, and all the fishing gear you would need for your first fishing experience.

How Much is a Starter Fishing Rod?

You can buy fishing rod reel combos for less than $100 and in some cases less than $50.

It’s always a good idea to not overspend upfront. So many anglers buy all the latest fishing gear only to find out they prefer a style they didn’t buy.

In terms of value, the starter fishing kits, and rod reel combos have an advantage. You can make one purchase and get everything you need for your first fishing trip.

Starting with a fishing kit or a rod and reel combo and upgrading the specs is the smarter way to go. It will allow you to spend money on what you know you’ll love.


Once again, here is our list of the Best Fishing Rods for Beginners:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
  2. Plusinno Rod and Reel Combos
  3. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo
  4. Penn Fierce III Live Liner Spinning Combo
  5. Outlife Starter Fishing Kit
  6. FishingSir Fly Rods and Reels
  7. Pen Battle II Rod and Reel Combo
  8. Cadence CC5 Fishing Rod & Spinning Reel Combo
  9. Piscifun Fly Fishing Combo
  10. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod Reel Combo
  11. Pflueger Trion Spinning Pole
  12. Yongzhi Beginners Fishing Kit
  13. Johncoo Baitcasting Rod

Ugly StikGX2 is the Best Fishing Rod for Beginners as per our reviews. It’s not the most expensive or the cheapest but a great pick for beginners.

Similarly, Penn Fierce III is another good fishing rod. It comes with a lot of power, durability, and flexibility. It’s convenient to use for beginners.

When it comes to picking the Best Budget Reel/Rod Combo, you can go for the Sougayilang. This rod and reel combo features an unrivaled level of toughness, flexibility, and a convenient design too. The spinning reels come with stainless steel ball bearings.

We hope you like our pick of the Starter Fishing Kits, Rods, and Combos for Beginners.

If you would like to suggest any rods, starter fishing kits, or combos then please let us know via the comments section. We will try to include them in our next update.

Last Updated on March 6, 2021 by Victor Mays