Hey there! Welcome to my review of the best spinning rods under $100.
I spent a week researching and testing 15 of the most popular spinning rods for under $100. Then, I ranked them based on sensitivity, casting distance, strength, action, power, durability, and overall performance.
These fishing rods stood out from the ones I tested while remaining less than $100.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on a custom spinning rod to get out on the water and start catching fish. Choose one of these fishing rods, and you’ll get a reliable fishing rod guaranteed to help you catch more fish.
Ready to add a new rod to your collection without breaking the bank?
Best Spinning Rods Under $100 – Comparison Table
Best Spinning Rods Under $100 Reviewed
In my search for affordable, high-quality spinning rods, I’ve put together an impressive list of the best options under $100. Check it out!
13 Fishing – Defy Black – Spinning Fishing Rod
I believe this 13 Fishing Defy Black Spinning Rod is the best spinning rod under $100. It delivers for anglers looking to get affordability and performance in one package.
- Quality construction for durability
- Lightweight and comfortable to handle
- Excellent sensitivity for detecting subtle bites
- Guides are a bit small for a spinning rod
- A little stiffer than some other medium rods
- Not as versatile as a medium-heavy rod
Having recently used the 13 Fishing Defy Black Spinning Rod, I noticed its PVG Japanese 24-Ton Blank construction lends impressive durability without sacrificing comfort. I was able to cast for hours without experiencing hand fatigue.
The lightweight nature of this spinning rod made handling a breeze, and its sensitivity allowed me to detect even the slightest nibble from fish.
While using it, I felt confident in my ability to pinpoint small bites and increase my catch rate. However, the guides on this spinning rod felt a bit on the small side, and I would have preferred larger ones for smoother casting.
Furthermore, the rod’s stiffness is slightly more than other medium rods I’ve used, which could be a plus or minus depending on personal preference.
Finally, although it performs superbly as a medium rod, it may not be as versatile as a medium-heavy option for various fishing situations. I love fishing with gear from 13 Fishing and think you will too.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
I highly recommend this spinning rod for its combination of durability, sensitivity, and value for money.
- Lightweight and sensitive graphite rod construction
- Highly durable one-piece stainless steel guides
- Comfortable cork handles for extended fishing sessions
- Some users may prefer a more aesthetic design
- Not suitable for heavy saltwater species like tuna
- Line rating discrepancy in some deliveries
Recently, I had the pleasure of using the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod on a freshwater fishing trip.
With its Ugly Tech graphite fiberglass rod and construction, this rod proved to be both lighter and more sensitive than my previous rods. This made detecting subtle bites much more manageable, leading to a more productive day on the water.
One feature that really stood out to me during the trip was the Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides. These guides not only support the line smoothly during casting and retrieval but also proved to be exceptionally durable. The cork handles were a game-changer in terms of comfort, allowing me to fish for hours without any discomfort.
While I had a great experience with this rod, it’s essential to note potential drawbacks. The rod’s design might not be the most visually appealing to some anglers, and it wouldn’t be the ideal choice for those targeting massive saltwater species like tuna.
Additionally, there have been reports of line rating discrepancies in some deliveries, which should be considered before purchasing.
KastKing Crixus Spinning Rod
I highly recommend the KastKing Crixus Spinning Rod for budget-conscious anglers seeking high-quality performance.
- Impressive KastFlex IM6 Graphite Blank Construction
- Comfortable and slip-resistant Golf Style SuperPolymer Handle
- Durable Stainless Steel Guides with Zirconium Oxide Rings
- Limited guide size at the bottom
- Fitting issues with certain reel models
- Perceived stiffness for some anglers
After trying out the KastKing Crixus Spinning Rod, I was immediately impressed by its KastFlex IM6 Graphite Rod Blank, which provided ample sensitivity and power for various fishing situations. The rod’s lightweight design made it effortless to handle and cast.
While using the rod, I particularly appreciated the comfortable Golf Style SuperPolymer Handle, as it allowed for excellent grip in various weather conditions. However, I did notice that the guide at the bottom was relatively small, potentially causing casting limitations for certain anglers.
Similarly, the rod’s exceptional durability was evident, thanks to the Stainless Steel Guides with Zirconium Oxide Rings, which ensured smooth casting and long-lasting performance.
Do note that, for some reels, such as the Piscifun Viper 2000, I experienced fitting issues due to insufficient threading.
Lastly, while the rod’s stiffness worked well for me, it might be a concern for those who prefer a more flexible rod.
Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod New Model
As a fishing enthusiast, I can confidently recommend the Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod as a high-quality rod for an affordable price.
- Lightweight and comfortable design
- Quality cork and TAC grips
- Time-tested and proven performance
- Not extremely fast action
- The warranty process can be cumbersome
- Some reported inconsistencies in models received
Having recently used the Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod on a weekend fishing trip, I was impressed with its lightweight and comfortable construction.
Thanks to the premium cork and TAC grips, handling the rod for extended periods felt effortless.
One thing that stood out to me was the rod’s time-tested and proven performance, as it’s part of Fenwick’s classic Eagle series. From reeling in small trout to hooking larger bass, the versatile Fenwick Eagle delivered on all fronts.
However, the action on this particular rod is not extremely fast, which may be a downside for some anglers who prefer a quicker response.
Additionally, several users, including myself, have encountered some minor issues with shipping and the warranty process, which can be a hassle.
A few buyers also reported receiving different models than what they initially ordered. Despite these minor setbacks, I found the Fenwick Eagle to be a reliable rod with excellent value.
In conclusion, the Fenwick Eagle Spinning Fishing Rod is a wonderful choice for anglers looking for an affordable and versatile rod without sacrificing quality. Its comfortable design, decent performance, and rich heritage make it a great addition to any angler’s arsenal.
Although there may be some drawbacks concerning its action and potential inconsistencies, the rod’s benefits and overall performance outweigh these minor issues.
Price-wise, it’s hard to beat, especially considering the quality that Fenwick is known for.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Special Spinning Rod
If you’re looking to catch largemouth bass, catfish, walleye, Pike, or other freshwater species without breaking the bank, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Special Spinning Rod is a reliable and affordable option.
- Strong and sensitive due to Ugly Tech construction
- Durable Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides
- Comfortable full rubberized shrink-wrapped handles
- Relatively heavy for extended use
- Not ideal for smaller users or children
- The steep learning curve for casting distances
I recently used the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Special Spinning Rod and was impressed by its overall performance.
The Ugly Tech construction, which combines graphite and fiberglass, creates a durable rod, that is both strong and sensitive. This allowed me to feel even the lightest nibbles, increasing my chances of reeling in a catfish.
The Ugly Tuff guides are another standout feature of this rod. Not only did they hold up well, but they also eliminated the issue of insert pop-outs. This durability made me feel confident in my setup, knowing I could rely on my rod to hold up when handling the big cats.
This rod is also one of my favorite bass fishing rods under $100.
Although I appreciated the rubberized shrink-wrapped handles and found them comfortable in my hand while reeling in fish, the rod’s overall weight became slightly cumbersome during extended use. This might pose a problem for smaller users or children looking to enjoy a day out on the water.
That being said, I still believe this spinning rod is a fantastic option for its price and quality components.
PENN Squadron III Surf Spinning Rod
I recently used the PENN Squadron III Surf Spinning Rod, and I am impressed by its performance and value for money.
- Lightweight and durable graphite composite construction.
- Quality stainless steel Dura-Guides.
- Comfortable rubber shrink tube handles.
- Guide corrosion may occur after prolonged use.
- Could use an extra guide or two.
- May need additional thread coating.
The PENN Squadron III Surf Spinning Rod, with its lightweight graphite composite blank, offers excellent durability while maintaining a comfortable grip.
I found that the stainless steel Dura-Guides were virtually indestructible, and I didn’t experience any insert popouts while casting and retrieving.
However, I noticed that some users reported guide corrosion after prolonged use.
Proper rinsing and gear maintenance can help prevent this issue. An extra guide or two would also make the rod even better for casting and retrieving but doesn’t hinder casting rod or its overall performance.
As a budget-friendly option, the PENN Squadron III Surf Spinning Rod exceeded my expectations.
Despite its minor shortcomings, I can confidently recommend this spinning rod, when paired with a larger spinning reel, to those who want a reliable and versatile surf rod under $100.
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod
I highly recommend the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod for anglers seeking a reliable rod under $100.
I have used this as a bass fishing rod with medium power and fast action, it didn’t disappoint.
- Designed specifically for salmon and steelhead fishing
- Lighter weight with increased sensitivity
- Durable stainless steel guides
- May not fit larger reels
- Not as refined as more expensive options
- Specified for right-handers only
Having recently used the Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod, I am impressed by its performance.
Designed specifically for salmon and steelhead fishing, this rod is built to withstand the demands of these powerful fish.
It’s a 9-foot, medium-heavy, two-piece rod that allows for both the leverage needed to battle these strong species and portability for easy transport.
The Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod feels comfortable and strong in hand, thanks to its premium cork handle. Its Ugly Tech construction with added graphite provides a lighter weight and increased sensitivity compared to the Ugly Stik GX2, making it easier to detect subtle bites.
The Ugly Tuff one-piece stainless steel guides are a notable feature, providing maximum durability and eliminating the risk of insert pop-outs, which ensures a smooth line flow during casting and retrieving.
Despite its many strong points, there are a few drawbacks worth mentioning. The rod may not comfortably fit larger reels due to its reel seat design.
Additionally, while the Ugly Stik Elite is a great rod in its price range, more experienced anglers might appreciate the more refined features of pricier alternatives.
Lastly, the rod is designed for right-handers only, which may alienate some left-handed anglers.
Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo: Telescopic Pole and Spinning Reel
This Sougayilang Fishing Rod and Reel Combo provides great value for both beginners and experienced anglers looking for a portable and versatile rod and reel combo under $100.
- Lightweight and compact design
- High-quality carbon fiber construction
- Comes with a carrier bag and essential fishing accessories
- May require some practice to extend and collapse efficiently
- Not as durable as some other options
- The line can tangle if not handled with care
After taking the Sougayilang Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for a spin recently, I found the 100% carbon fiber rod mixed with fiberglass to be both hard and durable. It was easy to handle and performed well in both saltwater and freshwater environments.
With its heat dissipation properties and well-crafted ceramic guide rings, the rod held up well under the pressure of the catch.
The spinning reel really impressed me, offering a 5.5:1 gear ratio and 13+1 corrosion-resistant smooth ball bearings. The aluminum handle felt comfortable in my hand and could be used both right or left-handed.
The lightweight aerospace-grade aluminum honeycomb design of the spool made casting easy and enjoyable.
Overall, the Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combo is perfect for those who love traveling and fishing on the go. I especially appreciated the added convenience of the carrier bag and essential fishing accessories.
Though it may not be as durable as some other options, it is a great value for the price, and I’d recommend it for anglers on a budget who still desire quality and versatility in their fishing gear.
Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Fishing Rod
If you’re seeking a lightweight and well-balanced spinning rod under $100, the Abu Garcia Veritas is a strong contender.
It can serve as a bass fishing rod or can be used for saltwater fishing.
- 15% stronger and 5% lighter due to Powerlux technology
- Maximized casting distance with ROCS Guide train
- Durable and weather-resistant Closed Cell EVA grips
- A shorter handle might cause some rubbing during retrieval
- Stiffness may require getting used to
- Not a two-piece rod
I recently had the chance to try out the Abu Garcia Veritas spinning rod, and I was impressed by its performance.
The Powerlux technology makes it 15% stronger and 5% lighter compared to previous models, which enhances its usability for long hours of fishing.
The ROCS Guide train system allows for maximized casting distance with lighter lures, making it easier to reach those far-off spots where fish are lurking.
The Closed Cell EVA grips provide excellent weather and wear resistance, ensuring that the rod stays in great shape even after extended use.
However, it’s worth noting that the handle is on the shorter side, which may cause discomfort during retrieval for some users.
Additionally, the stiffness of the rod takes a little getting used to, but it allows for a quick hook set.
Overall, the Abu Garcia Veritas is a reliable and sturdy option for anglers looking for a good quality spinning rod under $100.
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
I highly recommend the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod for its affordability, durability, and sensitivity.
- One-piece, stainless steel guides provide durability
- Clear Tip design offers extra strength and sensitivity
- Perfect for various fishing techniques due to its Medium Power
- The reel seat may not accommodate larger reels
- 2-piece construction may not be desirable for some users
- EVA handle material may not be preferable for everyone
Recently, I had the chance to use the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and was quite impressed with its performance.
The one-piece stainless steel guides and Clear Tip design provided me with the sturdiness I needed without compromising on the sensitivity of the rod. I could detect even the slightest bites, which made my fishing experience much more enjoyable.
When using the rod, its medium power proved to be great for catching a wide variety of fish. I found it versatile enough to use in different fishing situations, from freshwater to saltwater game. The EVA handle felt comfortable in my hand, but I understand that some other anglers may prefer medium power rod with a different handle material.
One minor issue I noticed was that the reel seat might not accommodate larger reels comfortably.
Additionally, while I appreciated the portability provided by the 2-piece construction, some anglers may prefer a one-piece rod for added reliability.
Nonetheless, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is a fantastic option for anglers seeking a high-quality, affordable spinning rod under $100.
What to Consider When Buying Fishing Rods
When searching for the best spinning rod under $100, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure you’re getting the best product for your needs.
Below, I will discuss the key features to look for when choosing a spinning rod.
Fishing Rod Material
Spinning rods are typically made from graphite, fiberglass, or a combination of both. Graphite rods are lightweight and highly sensitive, making them great for detecting subtle bites.
Fiberglass rods, on the other hand, are more durable and provide excellent strength. A composite of both materials can offer a balance between sensitivity and toughness.
Rod Power and Action
Power refers to the rod’s strength and resistance to bending, while rod action indicates the speed at which the rod returns to its straight position after being bent. These two factors greatly affect the rod’s performance.
Choose a rod with power and action that match the type of fish and conditions you’ll be facing, keeping in mind that a higher power rod is better for larger fish while a faster action rod is better for quicker response and accurate casting.
The length of a spinning rod affects its casting distance, leverage, and control. Longer rods usually have greater casting distance and better control for fighting fish, though they can be harder to transport.
Shorter fishing rods are more convenient and often provide better accuracy when casting but may lack distance and power. Consider your specific fishing needs and preferences when choosing the right fishing rod length.
Handle and Reel Seat
A comfortable and secure grip on a spinning rod is crucial for a successful fishing experience. Look for a handle made from high-quality materials like cork or EVA foam for comfort and durability.
The reel seat should be sturdy and securely hold your baitcasting rod and reel in place. It’s essential to choose a rod with a handle and reel seat that feels comfortable to you and matches your other fishing gear.
As an angler, I know that having the right equipment makes all the difference in enjoying a successful fishing experience.
Spinning rods are a popular choice for many fishermen due to their versatility and ease of use, particularly for beginners.
With so many options available on the market, finding the best spinning rod under $100 might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be.
Spinning rods excel in handling lighter baits and making longer casts, which makes them ideal for various fishing conditions and situations, such as freshwater and saltwater environments.
These rods also come in various lengths, materials, and action levels, allowing anglers to tailor their choice to suit their preferred fishing techniques and target species.
When selecting the perfect spinning rod, it’s crucial to pay attention to elements like the rod’s build material, action, and power. These factors significantly impact the rod’s performance, durability, and overall fishing experience.
High-quality spinning rods should provide a balance of sensitivity, casting distance, and strength, all while staying within a reasonable budget.
After researching and testing a wide range of spinning rods under $100, these spinning rods listed above are the best spinning rods you can buy on a budget. Whether you are bass fishing or saltwater fishing, pair these spinning rods with a good fishing reel, and you’ll be good to go.
For more guidance on choosing fishing rods, check out the pages below: