13 Best Fishing Poles for Beginners 2020 – Top Beginner Rods

Best Fishing Pole for Beginners: We own many starter poles and the ones most suitable for beginners are easy to use and versatile. So we reviewed some of the top-rated beginner rods on the market to find you the Best Fishing Poles for Beginners. If you are in a hurry:

Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Beginner Fishing Rod.

Review Summary: Ugly Stik GX2
  • Performance
  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality
  • Verstality
  • Value
4.8

Shakespeare Ugly Stik is a medium-heavy pole in 1 piece construction, offering a very balanced feel. It is extremely durable, versatile and easy to use. It is difficult for beginners to go wrong with this highly rated fishing pole.

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

Best Fishing Pole for Beginners Reviews

Here is our list of the 13 Best Fishing Rods for Beginners:

Last update on 2020-02-21 / Paid links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ugly Stik GX2 Beginner Fishing Pole

Ugly Stik USSP602M30CB Shakespeare...

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the strongest and most durable fishing poles on the market. It offers a great balance and responsiveness for beginners. The Ugly Stik GX2 comes in different lengths and weights. For beginners, we recommend, 6′ medium 2 piece rod which comes with an 8-20 line rating.

This pole is constructed using a combination of graphite and fiberglass, which makes it durable, sensitive, as well as light. Guides on this pole are so slick, that the fishing line freely feeds through and smoothly runs back. When it comes to convenience and ease of use, we find that there is just nothing better. It is extremely lightweight making it easy to use for long periods. The nice handle also makes it comfortable to hold for extended periods of time.

We recommend beginners to go for a middle-of-the-road fishing pole which is neither too extreme nor too costly. Ugly Stik GX2 is the ideal fishing rod for beginners to get started. Whether lake, river, or ocean, this fishing rod can do it all.

We like the high quality of materials used in the construction of this fishing pole. All of the parts are extremely well made, they are built to last, and they offer a virtually unparalleled fishing experience. With a tough build, a lightweight, lots of flexibility, and great casting, you really can’t go wrong with this starter fishing pole.

It is definitely tough enough to deal with big and powerful fish. At the same time, it is also quite flexible, which means that even the biggest of fighting fish won’t be able to snap this rod.  It is compact, convenient, easy to use, versatile, and affordable. Ugly Stik GX2 rod is our top pick for beginners to get started.

Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod

Penn BTLII4000701M Battle II 4000...

Solid construction is one of the most important features of a fishing rod, and the Penn Battle II is no exception. It’s sporting a full metal body, side plate, and rotor. This spinning rod isn’t going to quit on you. It has Fluid cranking with 5 sealed stainless steel ball bearings, which means it will stay ultra-smooth. Nothing says cheap like a lot of drag in the line, the Penn Battle II avoids this altogether.

Another awesome feature is the line capacity rings so, it’s marked for you at 1/3, 2/3, and full capacity. This is useful in changing your performance along the way. Besides, the Penn gets a lot of points for its use of extra heavy-duty aluminum bail wire and carbon fiber drag washers. Carbon Fiber itself is always a good choice because you get an excellent strength to weight ratio. For added comfort, the cork handle gives it a nice weight and feel in your hand.

Penn has several smart features that are useful for beginners. For example, with any rod, you have the potential to encounter pull back. The Penn solves this with an instant anti-reverse bearing, so you reel without interruption.  The drag washers are also treated with grease which gives you performance for a long time. It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes Penn a very good choice with a ton of features.

The main advantage of the Penn Battle II is versatility. It’s a great spinning rod for beginners will all the features you would expect and a build quality that will last.

Plusinno Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos...

The Plusinno is one of the top-selling beginner fishing rod and reel combos for a reason. The rod is extremely versatile. The reel comes with an instant anti-reverse and power drive gears for high strength. All the standard features are here with some good upgrades including a deep aluminum spool to hold the line. This gives you a large line capacity so that you can avoid the hassle of changing lines.

This medium-powered rod is flexible and has sturdy Carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass making it light and durable. The reel seat is stainless steel and resistant to saltwater.

One great thing about this rod is the accessories. It comes with a reel, case, lures, and extra line. This is great for a beginner as the full kit means you have everything you need to start. The rod is telescopic and collapses to fit in the case. This rod comes with a choice of different lengths.

Plusinno Fishing Rod is one of the better gift options on this list because it has the full kit. No need to buy any extra pieces or worry about matching gear. So, it’s often bought for beginners who are interested in getting into fishing but aren’t looking to spend a fortune. This is a great starter set. Even if they don’t end up using it, the compact design means it won’t take up much space!

Penn Pursuit Starter Fishing Rod

Penn PURIII4000702M Pursuit III 4000...

The Penn Pursuit III is a solid entry in this list. The rod is super sleek and isn’t weighed down by any bulky bells and whistles – it’s a very good “no fuss, just fish” kind of a rod. It tested very well for versatility and we had no issues with inshore, boat, and surf fishing.

Penn Pursuit III is very durable. Its high-quality construction provides a whole lot of tensile strength and impact resistance. At the same time, it is fairly flexible, making it just that much tougher. The power makes catching even the biggest of bass or catfish easy. It features an almost exclusive graphite body making it lightweight. The dura-guides fit into one piece to eliminate pop-outs and improve durability. After all, we want a rod to last and last it will!

The rod comes with an ultralight spinning reel. The reel has stainless steel ball bearings which are smooth as expected. Line capacity rings are a nice touch. You know exactly how much line remains.

This good starter fishing rod suitable for light to medium fishing. There are other options if you want to upgrade but, in that case, you will be sacrificing the otherwise sleek form factor. The handle is designed for ease of use, comfort, and a great grip. The reel comes full of grease which is one of those “little touches” that you don’t at once think of, but most appreciate when you’re using it.

Sougayilang Beginner Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod with...

Sougayilang is a really nice beginner fishing rod to get started. It is specially designed for beginners who want to go fishing for trout, crappie, panfish, perch, or walleye. It is designed to blend perfectly with the surroundings. The fish will never even know that you are there until it is too late.

This fishing rod is made of carbon fiber graphite, which means that it is about as tough and durable as can be. At the same time, this fishing rod fairly flexible, allowing you to catch those big fish without fear of snapping the pole. It has a really high tensile strength level with equally good impact resistance. The 7 steel guides help with long and accurate casting.  The double lock aluminum reel seats are another aspect of this fishing rod that we really like. Overall, Sougayilang is a strong, flexible, and lightweight rod to go with.

One of the top features of the Sougayilang Beginner Fishing Rod is the awesome sensitivity. The design of the pole and the handle are both made to improve sensitivity. This means that you will be able to feel even the lightest of nibbles, so you can make the catch every single time. We also like the high-quality cork handle, which makes this rod comfortable and easy to hold.

One thing that we really like about this fishing rod is that it is ideal for beginners who love to fish while traveling or backpacking. It is a telescopic fishing rod that is easy to fit in your backpack for easy carrying. The fact that it is lightweight is yet another bonus.

Outlife Starter Fishing Kit

outlife Fishing Tackle Kit with Spinning...

The Outlife is a complete starter fishing kit. Most things that you need for your first fishing trip are included. It comes with a fishing pole, spinning 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 the price is unbeatable. It’s no doubt the best starter fishing kit out there. It is a great choice for someone looking for an all-in-one solution.

The kit includes a telescopic fishing pole that you can extend and retract on demand. This is very convenient when you are new to fishing. Simply retract the fishing pole to become a few inches in length, making it easy to store in a bag and travel.

The pole comes in both a 2.1 M and 2.4 M. It even has a protective bag inside the travel bag. The carbon fiber construction is consistent with the newer poles on the market. Although the handle isn’t cork, it has an ergonomic shape which makes gripping easy enough.

High tenacity and colorfast PE braided fishing line for a 40% stronger pulling force than normal thread. The kit includes a few different lures, hooks, and connectors – enough to get you started.

It gives beginners a chance to try different lures such as fluorescent, fishing bait, octopus shape, and a classic hook. This makes it a good choice for beginners. All these lures are a little different and there’s no way to tell which will work for you without trying them. Another feature that’s easy to miss (until you need it) is the anti-slip ring which keeps the pole firmly in your control while using.

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 fishing rod, a powerful spinning reel, some fishing lures, hooks, braided fishing line, swivels, and sinker weight.

We like telescopic rods because they are beginner-friendly. There is no need to disassemble this rod and reel combo for beginners when it’s time to go home. Being lightweight is another great feature.

Like some of the other fishing rods on our list, Yongzhi fishing rod is great for beginners. Perhaps one of the top aspects of this rod is its high-density 24-ton carbon fiber with E-Glass composite construction. In other words, you will be hard-pressed to find a rod with more power than this one. It is also extremely durable and built to withstand the test of time. Yet it is very flexible, which is important for catching different species of fish.

The addition of corrosion-resistant aluminum to the reel seat is another big advantage here. It also comes with really high-quality line guides. This makes the Yongzhi Beginners Fishing Kit ideal for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

FishingSir Beginner Fly Fishing Kit

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 option for a beginner to get started with fishing. The kit comes with a fly fishing pole for beginners, 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.

Perhaps the top aspect of the fly fishing pole is that it is made out of quality materials including carbon fiber graphite. When it comes to durability, this is about as good as it gets. At the same time, this material also has a fair amount of elasticity. In other words, even the biggest fighting fish are not going to be any kind of match to this rod. The pole is extremely lightweight, making it very easy to use.

The 4-piece fly fishing pole has a simple design. It can easily come apart into 4 separate sections. Simply screw the pieces together when you want to fish and take them apart when it’s time to hit the trail. As this fishing pole can come apart into multiple pieces, 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 comes time to make that big catch.

One of the top features of the fishing pole is that it is super lightweight. It allows for quite a bit of sensitivity, while also being very comfortable to hold for long periods of time. You will barely notice that it is in your hands at all. It is a top-rated fly fishing pole for beginners out there right now.

Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod

Pflueger P6635M2CBO Trion Fishing Rod...

The Pflueger Trion (try saying that three times fast!) is another good fishing rod for beginners. The rod is IM6 graphite which is among the most durable materials. The IM6 is also about as responsive as a rod can be. What this means is you can feel every minor nibble of fish like walleyes, panfish, and other light-biting fish.

But don’t worry; this sensitivity doesn’t take away from this rod’s exceptional pulling power delivered by the spinning reel. The felt drag system is well oiled which delivers unparalleled smooth, consistent drag pressure. The spool stays very light with its aluminum construction.

The stainless steel hooded real seats and steel line guides are some of the features that make the Pflueger Trion fishing rod really durable. The handle has three cork placements which are great for comfort. It also allows you to change up your gripping style to suit your preference.

Pflueger is known for delivering great value and this rod is no exception. It casts seamlessly and delivers everything you’d want in a classic beginner rod. It also gives you the versatility that you’ll appreciate.

Cadence Fishing CC6 Spinning Combo

Cadence CC6 Spinning Combo Lightweight...

The Cadence CC6 rod is made from 24-ton graphite. This is a popular choice for many of the rods. The ergonomic handle knob is a more unique and welcome feature. The materials are of better quality than most other rods at this price. It is one of the most durable rods.

The build of the CC6 makes it a good choice not just for beginners but even for experienced anglers. It’s good at gamefish including freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout but works surprisingly well for inshore fish as well. Of the rods we reviewed, the assembly process here is among the most streamlined. You can assemble and disassemble the rod very easily and quickly.

The reel features a strong aluminum frame and carbon side plates. Additionally, the frame, rotor, and side plates have all been treated to be corrosion resistant which is a nice feature. The spinning reel is not pre-spooled. It’s very smooth when reeling and not prone to jamming.

The company, Cadence, also 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 this tradition more accessible! The one-year manufacturer warranty should ease any buyer’s remorse here.

Johncoo Starter Fishing Pole

JOHNCOO 7' Carbon Baitcasting Fishing...

Johncoo is one of the top starter fishing poles on the market. The fact that it is 7 feet long makes it ideal for those really long casts. You can easily cast close to 100 yards with this rod, making it a really cool option no doubt. This is a moderate action rod, which makes it a good pick for catching a variety of fish.

Even though it is big, it is a good starter fishing pole for beginners due to its lightweight. A big yet lightweight fishing pole makes it easier than ever for beginners to catch fish. Being lightweight is also a bonus because it makes the Johncoo easy to carry.

To make it even better in terms of transportation, this fishing pole can come apart into pieces. Simply take it apart and put it in your backpack or fishing pack when it is time to go home. It might be lightweight, but it is still very durable and long-lasting rod. The materials used here are really high quality. Johncoo fishing pole for beginners is made of IM6 graphite that makes it very tough and durable. Even those big trout won’t be able to break this rod thanks to its flex and toughness.

Not only it is highly durable, but really flexible too. This makes it even easier for beginners to catch those big fighting fish without having the pole snap. Also, this pole is fairly sensitive, thus making it easy for beginners to feel even the smallest of nibbles when they come your way. This is just the pole without a reel, so make sure to select a matching reel.

Piscifun Fly Rod Combo

Piscifun Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo...

This is another great fly fishing kit for beginners to make it easy to hit the ground running. Piscifun Fly Rod Combo comes with a good beginner fly fishing rod, a fly reel, a fly box, 9pcs flies and a stainless steel line cutter. It can be a great gift for someone just starting out.

The slow action lightweight fly rod is suitable for fishing sunfish, small trout and small streams. It comes with premium cork handles for comfort. The cork handle helps to cast accurately while avoiding fatigue. Cork is the classic aesthetic for a rod, so it’s nice to have a fly rod that brings that classic look in a convenient package.

Features like oversized stripping guides and color-coded alignment dots and an anodized aluminum reel seat provide some subtle touches. It’s also worth noting, this is a fly rod that needs assembling, it’s not telescopic.

The reel comes pre-spooled with fly line, backing line, and leader. A pre-spooled reel is a real timesaver and saves any beginner from the hassle of having to do that first. The reel features a click-drag so you get quick drag engagement. There’re also 9 different fly patterns and a stainless-steel line cutter to give you some good options.

The case is more compact than some of the others mentioned here but a bit less durable. This isn’t much of an issue considering the manufacturer backs it with their limited lifetime warranty.

Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod

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

This is a sturdy two-piece rod that won’t disappoint. As another bargain pick; you can’t beat getting a rod this functional for what you’re paying. This is a good beginners rod for saltwater. The rod can also be used for freshwater fishing. The rod blank is made out of graphite. The hooded real seats are treated for heavy saltwater use.

We like that Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod comes with a size-40 spinning reel. The gyro spinning rotor is well balanced and fuss-free. The standard smooth ball bearing drive makes casting and reeling a breeze. The aluminum oxide guides are a nice corrosion resistant touch.

Because this isn’t a full kit, you will need other supplies that you need for your first fishing trip are included. This combo comes with a beginner rod and reel. But you will need various hooks, lures, 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 a great rod to have in your arsenal.

How to Buy a Fishing Pole for Beginners

We bet this question roams in your mind all the time. Once you are aware of the different types of fishing poles, the next step is to find the right fishing pole for yourself. We recommend beginners to start with a spinning rod. Spinning rods are easier to use and quite beginner-friendly.

Before you begin your selection, a few things that will help you pick the right rod:

  • What is a good fishing rod for beginners?
  • What type of rod and reel do most beginning anglers use?
  • How much to budget for a starter fishing rod?
  • How to choose a fishing rod for beginners?
  • 7 Important Beginners Rod Tips

What is a Good Fishing Rod for Beginners?

When we think about a beginner fishing rod, we’re looking for ease of use and value. Several rods that we reviewed are easy to use though, spinning rods make for an easier setup. In terms of value, the starter fishing kits have a slight advantage because you can make one purchase and get everything you need to get started.

A good fishing pole for beginners shouldn’t be too focused or limited to any one style. It should support a fixed spool reel (which is most user-friendly), and be versatile. So what fishing pole is that? There are a lot of top-rated fishing rods that we reviewed but in our opinion, Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Fishing Rod for Beginners.

What Type of Rod and Reel do Most Beginning Anglers Use?

Casting rods have guides on the top of the blank and let you be more accurate. They are usually chosen by pros and require a little more skill to use. If you’re going for the larger game fish, these are the best choice. But, for a beginner, we’d recommend a spinning rod.

Spinning rods are smaller and lighter than casting rod. They have a “spinning reel.” This means the guides are on the bottom which makes the rod more comfortable to hold. Overall spinning rods are more forgiving and easier to get started with, without having much hassle.

As a beginner, we suggest that you opt-out of casting rods. It will take some time for you to learn the angels that are needed for casting. Similarly, avoid heavy trolling and deep-sea fishing. For deep-sea fishing, you would need a crew and a big boat.

Considering the challenges that you may face as a beginner, you need a fishing pole that is:

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Strong
  • Versatile
  • Affordable

Most beginning anglers go for rods that are made of carbon, fiber or graphite. These are light in weight to carry but have the strength to catch stronger fish. As soon as you catch a fish, the angels of these rods help you to realize your hook movements as the fish starts eating the bait.

If you are deciding to try saltwater fishing, you must go for graphite rods. The rods of these types are tough and have the capacity to carry a good amount of weight. If you wish to pursue fishing as a hobby, begin with fiberglass rods.

How Much is a Good Beginner Fishing Pole?

You can get started for less than $100 and in some cases less than $50. It’s always a good idea to not overspend upfront. So many people buy all the latest gear only to find out they prefer a style they didn’t buy.

Starting with a beginner pole or starter kit and building up is a much smarter way to go and will allow you to spend money on what you know you’ll love.

How to Choose a Fishing Rod for Beginners?

Rod Length

The length of the fishing rod affects how you cast it. Basically, the longer the rod, the faster the tackle moves. It’s kind of like a whip that makes a cracking sound because the tip moves so fast. A longer rod also means a longer cast. The benefit of this is you can cast further and faster. The downside is that you need more room to cast.

You also need to practice releasing your line because it is harder to get right when you’re using a long pole. The length of a fishing rod is usually 6-12 feet. But, we recommend beginners to go for a medium length rod, about 7 feet. A 7 feet rod will allow you to balance between casting distance, accuracy, and ease of use.

Weight, Power, and Action

Your rod includes something called “terminal tackle.” This means everything tied to the end of your line (lure, hook, bait, etc.). The heavier the terminal tackle, the further you can cast. Once you’ve tried this a few times, you will understand how it feels and it will make sense. If you are using a lighter terminal tackle, you want a longer rod. If you are using a heavier tackle you want a shorter rod. We recommend keeping with a medium weight terminal tackle to go with your medium rod, at least until you get some experience.

Power is the amount of force necessary to bend the fishing rod. It’s sometimes called “light” vs “heavy.” This is also referred to as the rod weight. A heavier rod will be less likely to bend. The other thing to consider is “action.” Action is where the rod bends. “Slow” action rods bend closer to the handle whereas “fast” action rods bend closer to the lure. There is also such a thing as a “medium” action rod. We recommend this hybrid style for a beginner. It is the most versatile and will go well with a medium rod.

Types of Rod Material

Fishing rods are made from graphite or fiberglass. Usually, more experienced anglers go for graphite rods as they are more rigid and strong. They are more sensitive so you can feel bites and nibbles of fish. But they also run the risk of breaking under stress.

As a beginner, you should get a fiberglass rod. They are usually heavier but last longer and will make your life as a beginner easier. They are also better for larger fish because of their added weight. Some rods use a composite of the two materials. These are also a good choice because they have some of the pros of each.

7 Important Beginners Rod Tips

A few tips for buying a beginner fishing rod:

  1. Look for kits with many items to simplify your life.
  2. Go for a telescopic pole for ease of use.
  3. Look for a pre-spooled reel if possible.
  4. A real cork handle is nice, but any ergonomic handle will do.
  5. Stainless steel ball bearings are important (and common).
  6. Try a few different kinds of lures to see which style you have the most luck with.
  7. Don’t feel like you must buy it all upfront. Start small and go from there.

Conclusion

Once again, here is our list of the 13 Best Fishing Poles for Beginners:

  1. Ugly Stik GX2 Beginner Fishing Pole
  2. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod
  3. Plusinno Fishing Rod & Reel Combo
  4. Penn Pursuit Starter Fishing Rod
  5. Sougayilang Beginner Fishing Rod
  6. Outlife Starter Fishing Kit
  7. Yongzhi Beginners Fishing Kit
  8. FishingSir Beginner Fly Fishing Kit
  9. Pflueger Trion Fishing Reel and Rod
  10. Cadence Fishing CC6 Spinning Combo
  11. Johncoo Starter Fishing Pole
  12. Piscifun Fly Rod Combo
  13. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Fishing Pole for Beginners as per our reviews. It’s not the most expensive or the cheapest but a great pick for beginners. Similarly, Penn Battle II is another good beginner fishing rod. It comes with a lot of power, durability, and flexibility. It’s convenient to use for beginners.

Plusinno Fishing Rod & Reel Combo makes it to the third position on our list for a fishing starter kit. When it comes to picking a fishing rod for beginners, you can also go for Penn Pursuit. It features an unrivaled level of toughness, flexibility, and a convenient design too.

The Outlife Starter Fishing Kit comes with a good beginner fishing pole, heavy line, extra lures, and a carrying case. This one kit gives you everything you need to get started. FishingSir is a complete fly fishing kit that comes with a good fly fishing rod, and all the gear and equipment you would need on your first fishing trip.

We hope you like our pick of the Best Fishing Poles for Beginners. If you would like to suggest any beginner fishing rod or starter fishing kit then please let us know via the comments section. We will try to include them in our next update.