Best Spinning Rods (Reviewed & Compared)
Knowing that this market is full of products of all kinds and shapes, finding the right spinning rod for you can seem like a challenging task. Worry not, though, as we’ve already reviewed the top models in this category so that you don’t have to. Without further ado, here are our picks for the title of the spinning rod:
Best Spinning Rods For The Money: Comparison table
1. UglyStik GX2 Spinning Rod
Despite its name, Ugly Stik has actually been producing high-quality products for ages. The GX2 series is the next generation of spinning rod from this manufacturer, and it aims at providing performance coupled with the strength Ugly Stik is known for.
- Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction
- Durable Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel guides
Thanks to its graphite and fiberglass construction as well as ultra-durable and corrosion-resistant stainless steel guides, the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is all you need when it comes to high performance and enhanced sensitivity. No matter which fishing environment you’re exploring, the GX2 won’t disappoint.
The Ugly Stik GX2 sports the company’s Clear Tip design at the very end of its tip, which can come in handy when you’re trying to detect light strikes. Not only that, but the rod also features EVA foam grips on the butt-end, which are both durable and lightweight.
Do you want even more good news?
You can choose whatever configuration you feel comfortable using. The Gx2 comes in one, two, or even 4-piece rods, which are available in a plethora of lengths (from short to long) and weighs (from ultralight to heavy). No matter which combination you have in mind, you’ll be able to achieve it with the GX2 spinning rod.
All in all, The Ugly Stik GX2 rods check all the boxes when it comes to the best spinning rods money can get you today. Using one of these, you’ll get premium performance, beautiful design, and increased sensitivity, all at a price that’s hard to resist.
- Affordable price
- Comes in different sizes and weighs
- Strong and durable
- High performance and increased sensitivity
- EVA foam handles may seem uncomfortable for some anglers
2. Daiwa Minispin Ultralight Spinning Rod
If you’re one to enjoy fishing while on the move or during camping trips, you’ll undoubtedly like the Daiwa Minispin Ultralight Spinning Rod, which is compact, lightweight, and easy to throw in your backpack, truck, or boat hatch. It even comes with its own hard carrying case, which makes moving this unit around a breeze. What else could you ask for in the best break-down spinning rod?
- Terminal tackle not included
- Ultra compact hard case
Being lightweight, this rod is suitable for line in the 2 to 6-pound test range. The reel is equally compact and light, and it comes with a ball bearing drive, 5.1:1 quick retrieve gear ratio, and multi-disc drag.
The Daiwa Minispin rod measures 4.5 feet long, and it can be broken down into five pieces that fit perfectly in the rugged hard case with which the setup is shipped.
Overall, although there is a lot to like in the Daiwa Minispin rod, we especially like how lightweight and compact it is. Granted, it’s not the best spinning rod when it comes to performance, but if you’re looking for a model that’s ultralight and compact and that comes with a rugged case that guarantees facilitated and protected transportation, the Daiwa Minispin rod would be the best spinning rod for you.
- Compact and lightweight
- Comes with a hard carrying case
- The package includes both a rod and a reel
- The rod is a bit lacking when it comes to performance
3. UglyStik Elite Spinning Rod
Moving on with our list with yet another one of the best spinning rods you can get today from the world-renowned UglyStik – the Elite Spinning Rod.
- Elite spinning rod with 35% more graphite for exceptional strength and feel
- Virtually indestructible blank construction with a combination of graphite and fiberglass
The Elite Spinning Rod offers all the strength and durability Ugly Stik is known for while being lighter than other models in the same series thanks to the added graphite in the rod’s construction. In other words, using this rod, you won’t have to worry about inserts coming out mid-battle. Add that to the padded reel seat and hood that ensure rock-solid mounting of your reel, and you’ve got yourself a beast when it comes to durability.
Not only is this rod strong and lightweight, though, as it’s also comfy and won’t cause any muscle fatigue thanks to is Cork handles. You can get this rod in a plethora of weights (from ultralight to medium-heavy) and lengths (from 4.5 feet to 7.5 feet).
No matter which combination you prefer in your spinning rod, you can definitely get it with the Ugly Stik Elite. That’s why this model is suitable for users of all skill levels, especially that it also features a Clear Tip design at the very end to help you detect the faintest of nibbles.
Ugly Sik is a world-famous brand – and for good reason. Each rod from their ever-expanding catalog is innovative, reliable, and affordable, which is why they sell like hotcakes. Sure, the Elite Spinning Rod may be on the expensive side of the spectrum, but for the durability and performance you’re getting in such a lightweight build, the price shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
- Durable build
- Solid construction
- Comfortable handles
- Comes in various lengths and weights
- A bit costly compared to the rest of the products on our list
4. Shimano FXS 2 Piece Spinning Rod
With a handy two-piece breakdown design and a durable aero glass construction, the Shimano FXS manages to be one of the best and most versatile spinning rods you can get today.
- Durable Aeroglass Blank Construction
- Reinforced Aluminum Oxide Guides
The Shimano FXS comes in various weight levels (from ultralight to medium-heavy) and lengths, (from five to seven feet), which means that it’s suitable for different angling styles and can fit your needs no matter which method you prefer.
Besides being strong and versatile, the Shimano rod is also comfortable to use for extended periods of time thanks to its well*-built EVA foam handles. Such a unique construction makes this rod a truly versatile piece – one that can handle anything from saltwater to freshwater.
All in all, it’s pretty hard to beat the Shimano FXS within its price range. It’s strong, it’s versatile, and it’s comfortable, all while being affordable. What else could you ask in a budget-oriented spinning rod?
- Suitable for anglers of all skill levels
- Comfortable thanks to EVA foam handles
- Comes in a plethora of lengths and weights
- Not as high-performing as other products on our list
5. Shimano Solora 2 Piece Spinning Rod
The last recommendation on our list is another spinning rod in the budget sphere. The Shimano Solora offers all the strength and durability you’d need in the best spinning rod in a compact size, making it sturdy and easy to move around.
- Medium power, fast action spinning rods with durable aeroglass blank construction
- Solid locking graphite reel seat
The rod blank is made of aero glass, while the guides sport an aluminum black oxide construction. Both materials contribute to extending the longevity of the Solora as the first boosts strength while the latter provides smooth surfaces for your fishing line. The grip, on the other hand, features a classic cork design, and the rod sports secure reel seats.
Unfortunately, the Solora doesn’t offer as many combinations as the rest of the products on our list, but you still get a decent number of choices, from medium-light to medium-heavy when it comes to the weight and from 5.5 to 7 feet in length.
Many users have reported that the rod is stiffer than listed, but that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as you can bypass that issue by stepping down in power size when picking your setup. Other than that, this is an excellent option to consider when looking for the best spinning rod.
Overall, if you’re looking for a spinning rod that won’t blow a hole in your wallet, the Shimano Solora, despite its drawbacks, is a decent option to consider. Of course, you’ll have to make some sacrifices when it comes to durability and performance, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the price of this rod.
- Two-Piece design
- Limited setup options
- Not as high-performing and durable as high-end rods
Choosing the Best Spinning Rod – Buying Guide
Buying a spinning rod is no small feat, which is why we’ve prepared the following buying guide, in which you’ll find all the factors that you need to consider before making your final choice.
Types of Fishing Rods
As we mentioned, spinning rods – and all sorts of fishing rods, for that matter – come in all kinds of types and shapes, which can make picking the right model for your angling arsenal seems like an impossible task.
A lightweight spinning rod is one that typically measures 7 feet long with a moderate/slow action, and it’s the ideal setup for smaller fish, such as smaller bass, trout, panfish, etc.
A heavyweight spinning rod is one that measures 8 feet in length with fast action, and it’s ideal for casting big lures to catch large, predatory fish. Using this setup, you can cast heavy spoons for pike and musky or jigging for saltwater fish.
A Medium Weight spinning rod is one that’s 10 feet long with a moderate action, and it’s suitable for casting average weights for long er distances. In other words, it’s the perfect setup if you’re fishing off the shore for catfish or casting lures for steelhead or salmon.
Thanks to the medium weight and extended length of this type, you can use a plethora of lures and baits, and the moderate action allows for flexible fighting ability and good hooksets.
All of that barely touches the surface when it comes to the combination you can use, of course. The possibilities are virtually endless, and you can certainly find the perfect setup no matter your fishing style.
Factors to Consider Before Buying
When looking for the best spinning rod, there are three factors to consider: the weight, action, and length of the rod.
A rod’s power or weight reflects its strength and fighting ability. It’s basically the pulling strength of the rod, and it correlated to the amount of bend per weight unit.
As a general rule of thumb, the heavier the rod, the stronger it is, and the easier it can pull weight while bending less. A lightweight rod, in contrast, flexes easily and cannot pull as much weight.
Spinning rods, including the ones we reviewed above, come in different weights, which range from ultralight to heavy. If you fight big fish often, you ought to get a heavy spinning rod, as bigger fish tend to fight fiercely and pull strongly.
The action of a rod refers to how much it’s designed to bend. Spinning rods come in various combinations of three actions: slow, moderate, and fast. A slow action rod is one that bends throughout its entire length, while a fast action model is one in which only the tip bends.
To get a setup that you can comfortably and confidently use, you need to balance the weight and action of your spinning rod.
The length is yet another critical factor to consider when looking for the best spinning rod. This metric ranges from a couple of feet to more than twelve feet.
Choosing the right length will depend on where you often fish, your fishing style, and the fish specifies that you intend to target.
Longer rods can cast further, which is why they’re preferred for surfcasting, whereas shorter rods are more accurate because of their limited casting distance. The latter type is also more convenient if you’re planning to cast near any kind of brush or structure.
That said, the weight and action of a rod have more impact over its casting and fishing ability, which is why you need to consider all three factors when looking for the best spinning rod.