12 Best Spinning Rods Reviewed

best spinning rod

Do you want to catch more fish?

We have compiled a list of the 12 best spinning rods for your money. These fishing rods are built with high-quality materials and designed to be durable, lightweight, and versatile. You’ll never go wrong when you choose one of these spinning rods. They come in a variety of sizes so that they can accommodate any angler from beginner to expert!

When it comes down to it, we know what really matters is how much fun you’re having on the water. That’s why we make sure every product we recommend is top quality but also affordable enough for anyone who loves fishing as much as we do!

Continue reading to find out which rod is best for you!

Our Pick for Best Spinning Rod

Our Pick
KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods
$39.99

Built of IMG graphite blanks, the rod delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price.

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12/02/2021 01:35 am GMT

KastKing is a growing player in the angling world. They earn the top spot as the best spinning rod in our reviews with their moderately priced Crixus line of spinning rods. Adaptability at a reasonable price gives this rod the top rating. This is a two-piece rod that stores easily in a backpack or the trunk of a small car for Available in lengths from 5-0 to 7-0 and power ratings from light to medium-heavy, this rod will fit the bill for just about all freshwater spinning applications.

How Did We Determine the Best Rod?

The metrics for spinning rods are straightforward. Cost, durability, adaptability, quality of construction, power, and variety were all factors. The top rod didn’t win all of these categories, but when combined, the composite total moved the Crixus into the top position. It wasn’t a runaway top rating since many rival rods will serve you as well, or better than this one, depending on the style of fishing you’re about to do, and the conditions you’ll experience on the water.

The 24-ton carbon fiber constructed rod is strong, corrosion-resistant with a light, stiff feel.

Everyone is different, and everyone uses a fishing rod differently.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best spinning rod for you…

We’ve reviewed 12 of the best spinning rods on the market today so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you. In our reviews we cover everything from action to weight to handle length and more! Take a look below for our full list of best spinning rods.

Our Pick
KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods
$39.99

Built of IMG graphite blanks, the rod delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price.

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12/02/2021 01:35 am GMT
Sougayilang Telescopic Fishing Rod
$36.99

You couldn’t ask for better performance in a pack rod. The four sections are only 22 inches long, making it easy to fit in a backpack for action on long hikes into the backcountry. If you’re traveling they’ll fit easily in an airline carry-on bag as well.

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12/02/2021 01:34 am GMT
Premium Pick
St. Croix Triumph Inshore Spinning Rod
$129.99

Constructed in one piece, of premium SCII carbon, this rod is at the top in durability and strength. With a select-grade cork handle, it has the feel of the traditional spinning rods that so many anglers grew up with.

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12/02/2021 01:34 am GMT
Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod
$76.99

Rated for freshwater species like bass, walleye, and trout, the corrosion-resistant design is good for smaller saltwater species as well like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

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12/02/2021 01:33 am GMT
Trout Fishing
Okuma Celilo Ultralight Rod
$34.19

The ultralight style is perfect for smaller fish or light-hitting species. The rod is durable enough to provide plenty of action if a larger fish hits your bait.

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12/02/2021 12:14 pm GMT
13 FISHING Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod
$84.99

They come in one or two-piece varieties, allowing you to carry them through airports or up mountain slopes without worrying about hooking them on the surrounding brush.

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12/02/2021 01:32 am GMT
Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Combo
$69.95

A cork handle highlights this classic Ugly Stik design, Make of a nearly indestructible combination of graphite and fiberglass, this rod has the Ugly Stik reputation of bending over double without breaking.

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12/02/2021 01:35 am GMT
Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod
$47.45

The only problem with Ugly Stik design is that you can never convince your wife you need another rod since these last forever.

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12/02/2021 01:31 am GMT
Okuma PCH Custom Lightweight Carbon Rod
$156.98

Built of 24-ton carbon, with a design that distributes stress equally along the length of the rod. The 3K outer woven carb wrap strengthens the rod.

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12/02/2021 10:05 am GMT
KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rods
$73.99

KastKing designed these spinning rods for use in both trout and bass fishing. The sensitive tip remains strong enough the handle the hardest hitting rainbow or largemouth as it rips your bait and takes off at breakneck speed.

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12/02/2021 01:35 am GMT
Zebco Rhino Tough Glowtip Spinning Rod
$31.99

A basic seven-foot rod with six line guides and one tip. It is strong, durable and the heavy-duty stainless steel guides will last a long time.

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12/02/2021 01:35 am GMT
St. Croix Trout Series Spinning Rod
$120.00

These rods will enhance the fun of trout fishing by magnifying the sensation of power. A hard-fighting 18-inch rainbow will feel like you’ve got a five-pound largemouth battling on the other end of the line.

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12/02/2021 01:34 am GMT

Best Spinning Rods Reviewed

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rods, IM6 Graphite Spinning Rod

KastKing markets this rod as the “gladiator” of all spinning rods. In terms of fishing fighting power, it is a gladiator out on the water. Many prefer single-piece rods, but the PTS (power transition system) KastKing has incorporated into this rod design distributes pressure equally along the length of the rod. The strong stainless steel connections between the upper and lower sections allow the rod to flex as if it were just a one-piece rod.

With 20 different models of the Crixus available, you’ll find a rod with the power and flexibility to meet your needs.

Built of IMG graphite blanks, the rod delivers outstanding performance at a reasonable price.

The golf-style Superpolymer Hander offers superior slip resistance and durability, even on saltwater.

KastKing doesn’t spare the line guides with the most you’ll find on any competitive rod on the market. The guides are all stainless steel with zirconium oxide rings for long-lasting durability.

Lightweight, durable, and with KaskKing’s reputation behind them, these rods are our top selection for best spinning rod on the market today.

Pros

  • Variable lengths 5 to 7 feet
  • Generous guides
  • Good power range selection
  • Moderate to fast action
  • Light to heavy power
  • Moderate price

Cons

  • Two-piece
  • Graphite reel seat

Sougayilang Fishing Rod, Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Pole

You don’t always have to purchase a competition-grade rod to enjoy a day on the water. The Sougayilang is one of the least expensive rods on the market but still one of the best spinning rods for your money.

You couldn’t ask for better performance in a pack rod. The four sections are only 22 inches long, making it easy to fit in a backpack for action on long hikes into the backcountry. If you’re traveling they’ll fit easily in an airline carry-on bag as well.

An anti-wind wrap top ring sets the stage for the seven stainless steel, ceramic line guides

An EVA grip working with the carefully balanced design offers a firm hold and a great range of movement.

The rod is available in one, standard 6.9-foot length.

Pros

  • Price
  • Portability
  • Packing size
  • EVA grips

Cons

  • Four pieces
  • Only one length
  • Stiff

St. Croix Rods Triumph Inshore Spinning Rod

Pay a little extra, get a little extra quality if you find the right combination. The St. Croix Triumph is a classic spinning rod design and certainly one of the best spinning rods out there. Aside from a price a little higher than many of the rods considered here, this would be the top-rated spinning rod.

Constructed in one piece, of premium SCII carbon, this rod is at the top in durability and strength. With a select-grade cork handle, it has the feel of the traditional spinning rods that so many anglers grew up with.

It features sandblasted aluminum-oxide line guides, and a Sea guide XDPS reel seat, with aluminum, sandblasted hoods.

The rod is available in 7-0 and 7-6 foot lengths. The 7-6 is a fast action, medium-heavy power rod designed to handle 10 to 20-pound test line and lures from one-half to one-and-a-quarter ounces. It weighs 6.8 ounces.

The 7-0 reel is also fast action and medium-heavy power. It handles the same 10 to 20-pound test line and is rated identically in lure size, but weighs an ounce less at 5.8 ounces.

Both rods come with a St. Croix five-year warranty.

Pros

  • High quality
  • Two sizes
  • Lightweight
  • Cork handle
  • Five-year warranty
  • One piece

Cons

  • Price
  • Only medium-heavy power
  • Only fast action

Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod

Variety is the first thing you’ll notice with the Cadence spinning rod series. All their rods are rated as fast action with a wide range of accompanying power rates.

The rods come in one and two-piece varieties. Most anglers prefer the one-piece rod, but if you have a smaller vehicle, or intended to carry your rod through willow thickets and heavy brush to get to a stream, the two-piece rod comes in handy.

No one has ever had to explain to their spouse that they need to buy yet another rod because their two-piece Cadence had the tip broken when they closed the door on the truck.

But on 30-ton high-quality carbon blanks, these matrix graphite blanks offer the strongest, lightest, most durable rods while maintaining the sensitivity you’ll need to feel soft-biting fish and that is why we consider this to be one of the best spinning rods available.

Rated for freshwater species like bass, walleye, and trout, the corrosion-resistant design is good for smaller saltwater species as well like redfish, speckled trout, and flounder.

Stainless steel guides with SiC inserts create a smooth, durable action.

They offer two styles of handles with these rods. A traditional cork grip and an EVA.

A standard, twist-tight carbon reel seat is standard.

Pros

  • Moderate price
  • One and two-piece design
  • Fast action
  • Variable power settings
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Carbon reel seat
  • Two-piece design
  • A newcomer on the market

Okuma Celilo Graphite Lightweight Ultra Light Trout Rods

Designed specifically for trout, this rod will work just fine for crappie, bluegill, walleye, and largemouth bass.

The rod comes in lengths from 4-6 to 8-6 feet and in a two-piece design.

Constructed of graphite blanks, it has aluminum oxide line guides, and quality front and rear cork grips.

The reel seats are stout, with stainless steel hoods over a graphite frame.

The ultralight style is perfect for smaller fish or light-hitting species. The rod is durable enough to provide plenty of action if a larger fish hits your bait, just expect to experience the thrill of the rod tip bending almost to your grip as the big fish tests your skill.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Various lengths
  • Comes in a 4-6 foot variety
  • Steel reel seat hoods

Cons

  • Two-piece
  • Only ultralight

13 FISHING – Fate Steel – Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Fishing Rods

This rod is a rarity in the world of cranky customers, it doesn’t have any negative comments associated with it from a wide range of anglers so naturally it made our list for best spinning rods.

13 Fishing is a rising player in the fishing world and this moderately priced rod is one of the reasons. They didn’t spend a lot of effort with fancy adornments that don’t really make much difference when you’re in a battle with a big rainbow or hard-fighting largemouth.

The rods are on the long side at 8-9 or 8-6 feet. They come in one or two-piece varieties, allowing you to carry them through airports or up mountain slopes without worrying about hooking them on the surrounding brush.

A 2A cork handle, 3K carbon rear grip and ALPS stainless steel guides, set with Zirconia inserts mesh perfectly with the 30-ton HTC 3 Japanese made graphite blank.

The 7-9 foot rod is rated medium-light and the 8-6 foot rod is rated as medium.

Pros

  • High in user opinion
  • Moderate price
  • Cork handles
  • One or two-piece varieties
  • Strong for river use with large fish

Cons

  • Only longer sizes
  • Graphite reel seat

Shakespeare Ugly Stik Bigwater Combo

It’s been said many times, the only ugly thing about an Ugly Stik is in the view of the fish being reeled in with one. 

This rod is listed at 12-feet, but the design makes the business end of the rod substantially shorter. The extended handle below the reel seat allows for long, two-handed casts for lake, river, or saltwater fishing where the distance from shore is an important factor.

Ugly Stik is renowned for its ability to flex with the tip extending past the reel seat while retaining enough power to battle a wide variety of hard-fighting fish.

The Ugly tech blank design incorporates a combination of graphite and fiberglass to ensure this incredible range and flexibility.

The clear tip design is responsive and diminishes wind wrap.

The EVA grips provide all-day comfort when you’re using this rod for a long time.

The one-piece stainless steel “tuff” guides eliminate pop-outs while creating the action of a single-piece rod.

The rod is rated at heavy power.

Pros

  • It’s an Ugly Stik
  • Durability
  • Brand recognition
  • Price
  • Reliability
  • Sensitive touch

Cons

  • Two-piece
  • Only heavy rating

Ugly Stik Elite

Another Ugly Stik breaks into the best spinning rods conversation is The Elite. The Elite is available in one or two-piece models in standard six to seven-foot lengths.

A cork handle highlights this classic Ugly Stik design, Make of a nearly indestructible combination of graphite and fiberglass, this rod has the Ugly Stik reputation of bending over double without breaking.

A clear tip design delivers responsivity and strength while reducing wind wrap. The stain stell guides with Ugly Tuff inserts eliminate pop-outs and allows you to use any line on the market.

The two-piece 6-0, 6-6, and 7-0 foot models are rated medium.

The single-piece 7-foot is available in either medium or medium-heavy power.

The extended handle below the reel seat Ugly Stik is noted for allows greater two-hand control on hard fighting retrieves and in making long casts.

The upper reel seat cover is stainless steel.

Pros

  • Ugly Stik
  • One or two-piece
  • Medium to medium-heavy power
  • Stainless steel reel seat covers
  • Price

Cons

  • Wide range of prices be careful
  • Two-piece designs

Okuma PCH Custom Lightweight Responsive Graphite Fishing Rods

If you wanted just one rod design that comes in as many varieties as there are fishing venues on the planet, the PCH by Okuma is the best spinning rod for you.

This is the highest priced rod in our top-10, but it has a bewildering number of combinations of power, and length in both casting and spinning rod varieties.

These full tapered rods come in power ratings from medium to a strenuous quadruple-extra power level. They’re all single-piece designs that are built to handle heavier line.

The line ratings go off the charts, starting a strong 15-pound test rating and extending to monstrously powerful 200-pound test line.

The long 8-0 foot varieties have 10 line guides plus the tip.

Just for fun, they make the rod in a compact 2-10 foot style for ice fishing.

Built of 24-ton carbon, with a design that distributes stress equally along the length of the rod. The 3K outer woven carb wrap strengthens the rod.

The medium, medium-heavy and heavy models all feature Fuji K line guides with Alconite inserts.

The extra heavy through quadruple extra-heavy models have heavier grade ALPS HXN line guides and Zirconium inserts.

Every model has a machined aluminum reel seat.

Okuma takes special pride in their handle material. The grips are made with TPE foregrips, sealed securely to the rod handle with shrink tubing.

These rods are rated for both monofilament and braided line.

Pros

  • 24-ton carbon blanks
  • Full taper
  • Many designs
  • Extra heavy-duty options
  • Uses both braided and monofilament line
  • Aluminum reel seats
  • A large number of line guides

Cons

  • Price
  • Only moderate to extremely heavy power ratings

KastKing Royale Select Fishing Rods, Casting Models Designed for Bass Fishing Techniques

KastKing is back with a reasonably priced rod that is available in a wide range of options.

The Legend rod is constructed of Toray 24-ton carbon matrix, with kastflex technology that gives the rod additional sensitivity and power.

Fuji line guides allow longer casts while dissipating heat generated with some lines. The reel seats are high-strength nylon providing a solid base for your reel.

The bass technique rod is designed for largemouth anglers utilizing a wide variety of fishing techniques. These are the best spinning rods for drop shotting, cast and retrieve, or flipping surface plugs.

The two-piece versions of these rods mimic the one-piece variety thanks to KastKing’s smother power transition system. The joints are firm, conveying even resistance on both sections of the rod.

KastKing designed these spinning rods for use in both trout and bass fishing. The sensitive tip remains strong enough the handle the hardest hitting rainbow or largemouth as it rips your bait and takes off at breakneck speed.

Pros

  • Moderate Price
  • Strength
  • One and two-piece varieties
  • Good reel seats
  • Versatility

Cons

  • Two-piece in some models
  • Designed for only freshwater

Zebco Rhino Tough Glowtip Spinning Fishing Rod

Sometimes you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you just want to show the kids or some friends who have never been out on the water the basics of fishing.

If that’s what you’re after, Zebco delivers in their lower-priced angling options and why it made the cut for best spinning rods.

These medium-rated rods are great for bass, walleye, and trout at a low cost.

A basic seven-foot rod with six line guides and one tip. It is strong, durable and the heavy-duty stainless steel guides will last a long time.

The blanks are basic, hardcore carbon fiber, a material that often lasts for decades.

The versatility of the rod allows it to use six to 14-pound test line and lures weighing up to 5/8th  of an ounce.

Zebco has been around since 1954 and they’re the one company that has introduced more youngsters to the joys of angling than any other competitor.

These aren’t tournament-quality rods, but they’ll get the job done.

Pros

  • Price
  • Zebco reputation
  • 10-year warranty
  • Power

Cons

  • Entry level rod
  • Stiff
  • Basic reel seat

St. Croix Rods Trout Series Spinning Rod

Our final rod is on the upper end of the moderately priced rods and on the lower end of power ratings. This rod comes in one or two-piece varieties and is available in light and ultra-light power ratings with fast speeds.

These rods will enhance the fun of trout fishing by magnifying the sensation of power. A hard-fighting 18-inch rainbow will feel like you’ve got a five-pound largemouth battling on the other end of the line.

St. Croix is known for quality construction materials and leaves nothing out with this rod. A blend of SCVI and SCII graphite creates a strong, dynamic action. The high-modulus, mid-modulus design, with high strain graphite fiber provides a great combination of power and durability while maintaining sensitivity.

The rods range in length from a compact 4-6 to 7-feet.

Stainless steel line guides and a split style reel seat with stainless steel covers enhance the rod with a secure feel attachment.

The rod is designed to hold lightweight two to six-pound test line. The rod is incredibly light, weighing less than two ounces.

A proprietary super resin is fired onto the graphite blank in a curing oven that increases the overall strength of the rod without sacrificing weight.

The ultralight design was created to work with small 1/32 to 3/16-ounce lures.

It carries a five-year St. Croix warranty.

Pros

  • St. Croix quality
  • Lightweight design
  • Stong reel seat
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • Lightweight construction
  • Only for smaller fish
  • Price

Buyers Guide

Now that you know more about the best spinning rods on the market, you can look for the design that fits your unique requirements.

You should ask yourself these questions when deciding which one to buy.

First, how much money are you going to spend? If you’re buying several rods for limited use, go for the lower-priced models.

If you’re after a rod to use for a long time, spend a little extra and get a quality rod you’ll be happy with for many years.

If you’re fishing for trout or bass, they make rods designed just for those species, take a look and see if they fit your needs.

If you’re after a versatile rod that works with specifies from tiny pumpkin seeds to 35-pound channel cats, they’re out there. The action will be a little stiff for the little guys but needs to be strong enough to horse up those monster cats. In between, you’ll want the speed to handle largemouth bass or rainbows as they try to escape with tail dancing maneuvers on the top of the water.

The secret here is no secret at all. Try the rods in person. Take on and whip it a little to test the action. Count the line seats and check to see what the inserts are made of. Check the reel seats while you’re at it. Graphite is fine for most applications, but if you’re going to tangle with large fish that will rip out your drag, have you cranking hard to get them in and that will put a strain on your rod, go with steel or aluminum reel seats. You’ll be happy you did when the big one hits while knowing you’ve selected the best spinning rod for your specific use.

Frequently Asked Questions

best spinning rod

What is a spinning rod?

A spinning rod to many anglers represents the apex of fishing technology. The fishing rod is a very old piece of sporting equipment. Egyptian hieroglyphics dated to 2000 B.C. depicts anglers along the Nile River with long rods over the water, some with lines and fish attached.

Fishing rods were popular in Europe beginning in the 15th century. Modern cane pole-style rods were predominant in the American south from the early 1700s and remain popular today.

The first spinning rods were split-bamboo poles attached to Kentucky reels, the forerunner of modern spinning reels.

These split bamboo rods were made by splitting natural bamboo lengthwise into thirds then gluing the three segments back together. The process created a much stronger rod than the bamboo it originally came from.

Split bamboo rods remain popular among fly rod fishing purists.

Modern spinning rods are composed of fiberglass, graphite, boron, and other inexpensive, synthetic materials

They all come with a rod seat specifically designed to mount a spinning rod, line guides of various materials to guide both monofilament and braided line out for smooth casts, and back for strength when battling a large fish. The flexibility of the rod, the ability of it to bend without breaking, and its power rating, also known as the stiffness of the rod are all factors we’ll consider in the following reviews.

What type of line can be used on this rod?

That’s a great question. Some rods are designed for monofilament only, and some others work better with braided line. The best rod for you might be rated for both.

It will be in the product information on the rod packaging or the website.

Remember, you can pack more braided line onto the same size reels, so check the line guide design on the rod you’re looking at. It needs to be durable and not crack, which can fray braided line or break monofilament.

What’s the lure weight rating for this rod?

You don’t want to cast a three-ounce triangular weight with an ultralight rod. Odds are you’ll snap it in half on the first cast. On the other extreme, you don’t want to throw a 1/8th ounce lure from an extra-heavy rod. It might cast OK, but you won’t feel anything as you work the lure back home.

Knowing the lure weight rating helps you decide which fish you might try to catch with this rod as well.

How long is this rod?

Most freshwater angling from shore or a boat requires a medium-length rod from 5-6 to 7 feet in length. If you intend to cast from shore, either in fresh or saltwater, the longer the rod the longer the cast.

What are the reel seats made of?

It’s not as much about the reel seats as it is the reel seat covers. The reel seat is just where the reel will rest after you crank the thumbscrews tight over the reel covers. In a heavy battle with a large fish, the reel seat covers take all the stress, holding the reel mount securely in place.

Metal is always a better material for a reel seat cover.

What about the tip?

The tip is your interface with the line, lure, and fish. A sensitive reel tip lets you feel the lightest nibble as a fish takes your bait. It can also be the most frustrating section of the rod if it begins to wrap line around it, that’s referred to as “wind wrap.”

They offer wind wrap-resistant rod tips. If you’re going to a location with a steady wind, or fish from a trolling boat, you’ll experience wind wrap if you don’t plan to avoid it with the proper rod.

Wrapping Up

best spinning rod

Spinning rods represent the biggest share of the fishing market. They come in a wide variety of materials, lengths, power ratings, and durability. They range tremendously in price, function, and from hundreds of manufacturers. We hope this guide has given you all this information to help you find a rod that is just right for you.

For more guidance on choosing your next rod check out the pages below