This is our review of the best inshore spinning rods for 2021.
Fishing in the inshore waters can be tricky. The best inshore fishing rods should have the rod length to cast quickly, and the strength to muscle a big fish. If you’re looking for the best inshore fishing rods, you have come to the right place!
Below, you’ll find a comprehensive buying guide and reviews to help you make an informed decision.
I tested 11 of the best inshore spinning rods and found the Penn Battalion to be the best spinning rod for inshore fishing.
Living here on the Gulf of Mexico, I know how important it is to have at least two trusted backups when battling those big bull reds in two feet of water.
Our top pick comes in a variety of models, each with its own unique traits and features.
There are several factors I considered when choosing the best of the best, including portability, materials made from action, power, and weather resistance.
The Penn Battalion – Best Overall Inshore Rod
The Penn Battalion is a true workhorse. It’s an inshore spinning rod that will take you anywhere you want to go. Whether you’re fishing just off the coast, or inland along a river estuary.
If you’re looking for an inshore rod that will work well when jigging from shore and is also lightweight, this is a perfect choice. The flexibility of this spinning rod plus its muscles make it easy to cast but still give enough backbone in order to pull some big fish!
- 30-ton graphite blank that is both sensitive and durable
- Fuji guides that resist breakage
- Ideal for both freshwater and inshore saltwater fishing
- Optional split-grip handle
- Only come in one-piece
St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod—Runner-up
The Mojo Inshore rod is a medium-power fishing rod with a very sensitive point and a very long and strong body. It’s great for detecting light strikes and feeling the texture and contours of the bottom, while also casting like a dream.
- Premium quality
- Exceptional sensitive tip
- Well-made guides
- Long handle for casts out past that first trough
- Less than durable Graphite
KASTKING Crixus- Best Grip
The Crixus is a high-quality but very affordable product that offers you impressive performance and a sensitive feel.
The Crixus has an IM6 graphite blank, tough zirconium guides, and a golf-style handle made of SuperPolymer. It is sensitive enough to feel the slightest vibration in the line. The Crixus makes for a great inshore rod at a very affordable price.
- Golf handle made from High-quality SuperPolymer
- IM6 graphite makes the Crixus a perfect combination freshwater/saltwater rod
- Two-piece construction ensures easy transport
- Zirconium oxide guides treat your line with tough yet tender care
- Best sub-$100 rod on the market
- Hook keeper positioned poorly
CADENCE CR5 Spinning Rod – Best 2 piece
Cadence’s youth charity program helps underprivileged youth find their passion and pursue their dreams. But that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality. With a base to build on in a 30-ton carbon blank, the motion from the tip down to the handle grants anglers a great deal of sensitivity and control.
- Durable 30-ton carbon blank
- Guides made of stainless steel
- Lightweight with a balanced feel
- Charity-focused company that gives to our next generation
- Reel seat can occasionally be loose fitting
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite – Best Budget
If you’ve ever had a graphite rod break on you, you know that durability isn’t something to dismiss. This is one case where you can believe the hype. Shakespeare is right to call its Ugly Stik Elite, “bomb-proof”.
The Elite rod is made of a composite blank that combines the best features of graphite and fiberglass.
- Most durable rod regardless of any
- Well-designed long handle
- Sensitive tip
- Exceptional guides
- Makes long casts well
- Doesn’t have the premium feel of our top picks
BERKLEY Inshore Spinning Rod
Berkley fishing rods are made from carbon fiber and are the choice of professional anglers around the world. These are note-worthy inshore saltwater fishing rods with maximum comfort and control and will stand up to the test of time.
- Fuji DPS reel seat
- Carbon fiber blank that is both powerful and responsive
- Stellar balance
- One-piece construction with a bulky handle
HURRICANE Calico Jack Inshore Spinning Rod
Calico Jack rods are strong, durable, and sensitive. All models are crafted with Fuji reel seats and genuine cork handles to keep your content in place. This model is built with a durable frame and graphite reel seat to keep your line tight, while featuring Fuji DPS reel seats and cork handles to provide an elegant look for your rod and reel.
- Fast and responsive action
- Handy hook keeper
- Superior-quality IM7 graphite
- Fuji DPS reel seat
- Eye rings are known to pop-out occasionally
St. Croix Tidemaster Inshore Rod
This 7’6” light model is a flounder rod of the highest quality, and remarkably sensitive and strong. You won’t find the “steel” in this blank until about a third of the rod takes a bend, but once there, you’ll know the Tide master means business.
The Tide master, with its smooth and comfortable grip, is a great choice for all-day fishing. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced angler, there’s no need to worry about the size.
- Premium quality components throughout
- Sensitive tip
- Excellent blank
- Great guides
- Nice long handle
- Casts well
- Graphite that lacks the durability of a Penn Battalion or a Shakespeare
The Estuary is a technologically advanced fishing rod that offers you the same strength and performance as its more expensive counterparts. The only hassle, anglers may experience, is the one-piece construction—which makes traveling with the rod somewhat difficult.
- American tackle microwave air guides
- Durable reel seat
- Comfortable AAA cork handle
- Blank made from IM7 graphite.
- One-piece construction that makes it less portable
13 FISHING Omen Green
The Omen Green is a rod for the strong-willed angler. Its strong, rigid graphite blank is coupled with an innovative concept that allows it to be cast with a flat line with ease. This inshore rod is a balanced medley of power and sensitivity, with a needlepoint tip that provides great line control.
- Unbelievably lightweight
- Durable Zirconium guide inserts
- Comfortable AAA cork handle
- Custom Evolve Ported Reel Seat
- 11 line guides that provide enhanced control
- Odd, shaped hook keeper
Buying Guide—Best Inshore Fishing Rods
If you’re looking for an inshore fishing rod, you will quickly realize that there’s a variety of materials to choose from. Fiberglass, graphite, or composite will all do the job and have their own benefits.
Choosing the right fishing rod is no small decision. The best inshore fishing rods need to be powerful enough to make a difference, but not so sensitive that you can’t feel a bite. When it comes to inshore fishing, size does matter. When you’re inshore fishing for flounder and bluefish, a medium-light rod is ideal. But if you’re going after redfish and speckled trout, a medium-power rod is.
Many new anglers make the mistake of thinking that freshwater and saltwater fishing rods are the same because of their size and appearance. But that’s a costly mistake, as a freshwater rod taken to the sea is sure to break.
Saltwater fishing rods are more resistant to the corrosive power of the ocean. New freshwater rods, however, are not. Even after just a few trips, you could find yourself with a rod that barely functions. It’s important to know if the rod you’re looking at is salt-resistant or freshwater-resistant, as not all of them are.
Who doesn’t dream of having a house on the water, with a prime inshore fishing spot just 100 yards (ca. 91 m) away? But unfortunately, that just isn’t the case for most of us, as many must transport their goods at fair distances in order to enjoy the sport.
One-piece rods provide a greater level of sensitivity, but they’re difficult to travel with. A two or three-piece rod is the perfect solution for someone who’s constantly on the move.
To make your life easier, there are a variety of fishing pole solutions to suit just about every situation. The CADENCE CR5, for example, offers a premium inshore fishing experience in a two-piece rod.
Not everyone needs a two or three-piece rod, but many of the best inshore fishing rods come in multiple pieces to make life easier for the traveling angler.
Actions is really about a fishing rod’s ability to handle different fishing situations and conditions. It is an important factor in choosing inshore fishing rods. It’s measured on a speed scale and determines how fast the rod snaps back to its original shape when pressure is applied.
Fast action rods are designed for quick hook sets and can be used for any type of fishing. Featuring a fast, responsive tip, they’re the perfect choice when targeting fish that like to strike quickly, like barracuda or tarpon.
Moderate action rods are designed to be fast and comfortable, without sacrificing rod power. When an angler sets the hook with a moderate action rod, the rod absorbs some initial pull, rather than transmitting the full force directly into the mouth of the fish.
Generally, a rod with a slow action will provide more cushion on the hook set.
Nearly every manufactured rod comes with a rod power rating, to give anglers an idea of how much weight it can handle.
The rod power rating is a measure of the force that a blank can handle when directly applying pressure against it. The scale is measured in terms of weight, from light to heavy.
- Light—Rods with a light power rating are designed to be quick and responsive. They often have a slightly thinner blank and shorter handle to provide maximum control.
- Medium—With a balanced range of power, medium power fishing rods are equipped to handle bigger fish, but still give anglers the ability to control the fish they catch.
- Heavy—If you’re fighting a large fish, such as tuna, shark, or marlin, heavy power rods are the perfect choice. These rods have a lot of strength and can handle bigger fish without turning back.
Modern inshore fishing rods can be made from a variety of materials, including fiberglass, graphite, and carbon fiber.
- Fiberglass is not as light or as sensitive as graphite, but it is usually less expensive and can be incredibly strong. It’s often used for fishing rods, especially if you need a bit of extra strength.
- Graphite is an excellent material for fishing rods and is a popular choice for its stiffness and lightness. It can be prone to breaking if it’s been subject to bumps or knocks, but that’s the tradeoff for how light graphite is.
- Carbon fiber is the stiffest, strongest, lightest, and most expensive material used for rod blanks. Its performance is unparalleled, but so is its price!
You’ll find this length in the hands of most fishermen you run into, and for good reason. The 7′ to 7’6” rod length is a versatile all-rounder that’s perfect for inshore anglers.
The material, shape, and weight of the guides is a critical aspect of a good rod. You might not notice the difference at first, but if you want to catch more fish than you lose, you’ll want to invest in the best guides.
When fishing, the guides help take on the line’s strain. The friction that builds up between the line and the guide material can be intense, especially if the guide material is not of high quality or designed for that purpose.
Generally speaking, more is better, so an increase in guide count means that each one takes less strain. Less friction results at any point, which means less wear and tear. A good rule of thumb is one guide per foot.
What is the best size rod for inshore fishing?
Longer rods enable you to cast farther while shorter rods provide more power for fighting fish. For most situations, a 6-7 foot long rod is preferred. The added length gives you the ability in shallow water to cast further without having to get right on top of your target fish.
What is the best inshore spinning rod?
The Penn Battalion is a great spinning rod for anglers looking for a perfect day of inshore fishing from the coast all the way to rivers and streams, making it the perfect choice for a day on the water.
The Battalion is a versatile line of products, with models for different lifestyles. Each model offers its own special features and traits!
There are two types of handles: the split-grip cork handle and the extended EVA handle. Regardless, they both work nearly the same because they are all attached to graphite blanks that provide a better sense of sensitivity and control.
Our line guides remain intact even after years of use, so you can be confident that your braided line will stay that way for years to come. Built for mean fish and hard fights, this rod shaves weight without compromising performance, offering premium Fuji guides and a long handle with plenty of grip space.
The best inshore spinning rod is one that has the right balance of power and sensitivity to make inshore fishing easier. We hope you’ve found this article helpful in finding a new favorite! If not, keep looking through our blog for more reviews on different types of rods. If you need more information on any product before making a purchase or if want recommendations based off of your fishing style, feel free to reach out with questions! Happy Fishing!