Top 5 Best Spinning Rod Under 100 For Anglers On A Budget

by Thavius | Last Updated:   April 11th, 2022
Top 5 Best Spinning Rod Under 100 For Anglers On A Budget


A fishing rod is one of those things that an angler can’t do without. To put it simply, a fishing rod is a stick connected to a line that ends in a hook, and its length can be anywhere between 2 to 50 feet. Different types of fishing rods are used by anglers today, they include spinning rods, baitcasting rods, fly rods, spincasting rods, etc.

If you are an amateur or casual angler, you should be looking to get a spinning rod. This type of rod is designed to work with a spinning reel which can be seen hanging below it. Spinning rods are a popular choice for anglers due to their simplicity and efficiency. Unlike other rods, they have a short learning curve yet can be used to capture large fish.

What’s more, you don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on a good-quality spinning rod. Spending below $100 on your spinning rod doesn’t mean that you are sacrificing quality for affordability. However, finding such fantastic deals isn’t a straightforward process.

So, I have compiled a list of the best five spinning rods available on the market today to save you valuable time and money. I will also be providing a buying guide later in the article.

IN A HURRY? HERE ARE OUR TOP PICKS…

Reviewing The 5 Best Spinning Rods Under 100

Finding the best spinning rod under 100 doesn’t have to be so difficult. Here are the best five products on the market based on user reviews, brand reputation, special features, and my personal experience.

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik is one most popular and trusted brands in the fishing industry. The GX2 spinning is an upgrade to an older model and it’s one of my favorites due to its excellent construction and lightweight. If you are on a tight budget, this is one fishing rod that you don’t want to miss out on. It is a composite rod that is built with a combination of graphite and fiberglass.

Don’t be fooled by the name of this rod, it is easily one of the most visually appealing spinning rods on the market. The full black matte frame and beautiful overall beautiful design are guaranteed to catch the eye of other anglers during your fishing trip. However, this spinning rod offers more than just looks. Many users have raved about its durability and high performance.

Though the predecessors of this rod were known to be highly durable, they lacked sensitivity. This was why the manufacturer decided to give its customers something more satisfactory. The graphite and fiberglass materials in this rod give it much-needed sensitivity without taking away the durability of older models. Even though it still can’t match the sensitivity of full graphite rods, it’s an upgrade to the older GX2 models.

Furthermore, the spinning rod is equipped with an EVA foam handle. This offers great comfort, balance, and grip, making it suitable for all-day fishing. It also comes in various lengths, starting from 4’6″ to 9′. Hence, finding a length that suits your skills and needs shouldn’t be a problem. Finally, the new Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod is available in 1 to 4 piece variants, and I prefer the 1 piece and 2 piece models. The choice is still up to you though.

Pros
  • It is highly durable
  • It offers great value for money
  • It provides balance
  • It is beautifully constructed
  • It comes with an EVA handle
  • It is available in various power variants
Cons
  • It lacks the sensitivity of full graphite rods

Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

Cadence isn’t one of the oldest brands in the fishing industry. However, the brand has been hugely successful at introducing innovative gear during its relatively short time. The Cadence CR5 is a great spinning rod that is available in a wide variety of lengths, action, and line weights. It also has several features that make it one of the best spinning rods under 100.

To start with, the blank is built with 30-ton carbon material which is widely used in rods today. The main reason for the popularity of this spinning rod is its lightweight and comfortability on the hands. But despite its lightweight, the rod is also highly durable and sensitive. This means you will be able to detect even the slightest contact on your rod and reel in aggressive fish without damaging it.

The stainless steel guides with SiC inserts on the rods are another standout feature. Excellent guides are meant to offer a blend of strength and sensitivity, fortunately, these SiC guides don’t disappoint. The guides also operate smoothly and they should serve you for a long time since stainless steel doesn’t rust. What’s more, both 1 piece and 2 piece models of the rod are available to ensure easy storage and transportation.

Additionally, this spinning rod was specially designed to allow you to enjoy fishing for long periods. This is thanks to the combination of a cork handle and a Fuji real seat. Cork handles are my favorite because they remain slip-resistant even in wet conditions. The handle will also give you an edge over big fish and prevent you from hurting your hands.

Pros
  • It is travel friendly
  • It is durable yet lightweight
  • It is quite weatherproof
  • It is comfortable
Cons
  • The handle may seem a bit narrow

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

We have another entry from the Ugly Stik brand and like the GX2, the Elite spinning rod offers great value for money. Few spinning rods can match the overall value of this rod despite its low price. It is loved by anglers around the world for its versatility, durability, and flexibility.

With this spinning rod, you won’t have anything to worry about when going up against medium to large fish. Though it is also made of fiberglass and graphite, its graphite content is 35% greater than that of the GX2. This makes the Elite spinning rod lighter yet as durable as any product from Ugly Stik.

Additionally, this spinning rod is available in a wide variety of sizes. You can choose between 5′ to 7′ depending on your unique fishing needs. You should note that the power of the rods increases with their length. I love the 7′ size for the ultralight power it provided. Most sizes can also be purchased in either 1 piece or 2 piece styles.

Thanks to the incredible versatility of the rod, it will perform excellently with any fishing line you choose including braided lines. The high sensitivity of the rod also means that there is minimal chance of fish getting away with your bait. As for the guides, they are made of stainless steel. The Ugly Tuff guides guarantee comfort and prevent inner pop out. Hence, you should be pleased with this product.

Pros
  • It is versatile
  • It comes with stainless steel guides
  • The rod’s tip is highly sensitive
  • It has an ergonomic cork handle
Cons
  • Some users found the rod heavy

Cadence CR7 Spinning Rod

The CR7 spinning rod is another excellent product from Cadence and like the CR5, it also surpasses expectations. At first glance, you are bound to be impressed by the aesthetics of the rod but that’s not even close to all it has to offer. Let’s take a look at some reasons why this spinning rod can be your perfect fishing partner.

As you should know, the best spinning rods are usually built with high-quality graphite and the CR7 spinning rod is no different. It is made from 40-ton graphite material that makes it lightweight and sensitive yet so durable. The sensitivity of the rod is boosted even further by the Fuji reel seat. Asides from sensitivity, the Fuji reel seat also provides comfort as it serves as a resting spot for your palm.

Another reason why this product is one of the best spinning rods under 100 is that it is equipped with stainless steel guides. The guides feature a forward-swept design so you won’t be hindered by wind knots while casting with braid. As for the guide rings, they are made from silicon carbide (SiC). This is a material well known for its incredible smoothness and toughness.

Furthermore, you can be assured that you can rely on this line when going up against fish. Not only does it offer the necessary balance, but it also has the strength needed to drag the fish out of cover. What’s more, the grips are built with high-quality cork and EVA to guarantee comfort during long hours of fishing. A drop shot style hook keep has been added to provide storage space for your hooks.

Pros
  • It is suitable for both freshwater and murky water
  • It comes with an ergonomic design
  • It features a carbon wrap that boosts its strength and durability
  • You can catch all kinds of fish with it
Cons
  • Some users have complained about the weakness of the rod

Falcon Rods Coastal Spinning Rod

Falcon is one brand that has continued to release high-quality fishing rods year after year and I love the fact that the rods are made in the USA. The brand also has a wide range of products to satisfy the needs of its customers. It released the Falcon Coastal spinning rods for anglers that are into inshore fishing.

If you are an inshore angler, you should know how essential it is for you to fish with accuracy. Fortunately, this spinning rod is available in the right lengths, actions, and power to offer you the accuracy you need. The rod is also built with high-quality materials to ensure that it serves you through several seasons.

The materials used in manufacturing this spinning rod are durable and corrosion-resistant. So, it is the perfect rod to have when bass fishing in saltwater. Additionally, the spinning rod offers a combination of lightness and toughness thanks to the graphite rod. It also features Fuji exposed blank reel seat and a cork handle so that you can fish with comfort.

Furthermore, this spinning rod is suitable for catching all kinds of inshore fish including redfish, speck, flounder, etc. When fishing with this line, you will be able to feel every nibble and cast over long distances thanks to the cork grip and graphite construction. It is also strong enough to withstand pressure from large gamefish.

Pros
  • It is suitable for saltwater fishing
  • It comes with ergonomic handles
  • It is lightweight yet durable
  • It has 100% Fuji guides
  • It is designed for inshore fishing
Cons
  • A 2 piece option isn’t available

Our Top Choice

Just as I promised, I have narrowed down the best spinning rods under 100 on the market to 5. However, I will be recommending the Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod as the best spinning rod under 100. The rod serves as an upgrade to its predecessors yet it still comes at a pocket-friendly price.

Also, the rod is lightweight and comfortable on the hands even in wet conditions. This means you will always be able to count on it regardless of how long you will fishing or the weather conditions. Though the rod may not be the best in terms of sensitivity, the durability it offers makes it an absolute bargain. So, you shouldn’t overlook this product if you want to learn how to fish without breaking the bank.

Learn how to cast a spinning tackle

Buying Guide For The Best Rod Under 100: How To Choose

One thing you need to know about spinning rods is that one excellent product won’t work for everybody. Hence, you need to find what suits your fishing needs. To find the best spinning rod under 100, you need to consider several factors including length, action, power, and your preferred fishing style.

Start your search for the best spinning rod under 100 is to think of the type of fishing you’re interested in. What’s your target fish? In what environment will you be fishing? What line pound test and lure weight will be required?

Ask yourself if what you need is a spinning rod for freshwater or saltwater. Do you need something suitable for fishing bass or small baitfish? Or do you need a rod that will be suitable for a wide range of situations? This way, the process of finding the best spinning rod under 100 for you will become more straightforward.

Once you have an idea of what your spinning rod should look like, check out the factors that will affect its performance:

Length

Spinning rods are available in a variety of lengths. A rod’s length will tell you how much control it offers and how far it can cast. So, you should select the length of your spinning rod based on your casting position, the necessary casting distance, and preferred bait.

The fastest tip speeds are provided by longer rods and this allows them to cover a wider area during casting. This type of spinning rod also prevents line breaks during fights with large, aggressive fish by absorbing shocks. Hence, you should get a long spinning rod if you are interested in surf fishing, fishing bigger fish, or fishing in open waters.

As for shorter spinning rods, they offer greater precision and control during casts. However, you should only use this type of rod for short to medium-distance casts. The properties of shorter spinning poles also make them suitable for fishing in environments with heavy cover. Finally, shorter rods are the right option for anyone casting from kayaks or boats.

Watch this video to learn about the differences between a spinning rod and baitcasting rod:

Weight

The weight of a rod determines how strong it is and the amount of weight that its tip will withstand before snapping. You can choose between different categories of weight, from ultralight to extra heavy. However, the right option will depend on certain factors.

If you are interested in a type of fishing that requires a good amount of power, you should opt for a heavyweight rod. Some examples of heavy fishing tasks include surf fishing, offshore trolling, and deep-sea fishing. A heavyweight rod will also be suitable for large species, heavy lures, and lines with high pound tests.

Additionally, you should opt for a light or ultralight rod if you are interested in open water fishing, going after small fish, or using lightweight lines and baits. These types of rods have the sensitivity and features that are necessary for 2-6 pound lines and 1/32-ounce lure weights. As for medium-weight rods, their versatility makes them suitable for all kinds of fish, lines, lure weights, and cover.

You shouldn’t underrate the importance of getting the weight of your spinning rod right. Hunting baitfish with a heavy rod will be inconvenient and may even result in the breakage of large lines. Similarly, lighter rods are not the most suitable option for capturing large fish as they can easily snap.

Furthermore, you should think about comfort and durability too. A heavy rod will offer great strength and durability but won’t be suitable for fishing for long periods. On the other hand, lighter rods offer more comfort but are more susceptible to breakage.

Action

The action of a rod simply refers to how and where it bends when carrying a load and the rate at which it recovers after the removal of the weight. It determines the way a rod casts and the situation that it is most suitable for. The different options of rod actions available range from slow to extra fast.

Extra-fast action rods and fast action rods barely bend. This makes them highly sensitive, so you will be able to detect even the slightest contact. They are also known for creating fast hooksets and their suitability for jigging and trolling.

As for medium action rods, only their top half bends. This gives them a decent level of sensitivity and flexibility. They also create good hooksets and ensure that treble hooks remain in place. If you want to cast midweight crankbaits and lightweight lives over good distances, get a medium-action rod.

The entire length of slow action rods bends and they create a parabolic curve in the process. They have great flex and are the best for ultra-light fishing. Also, they absorb shocks to protect the line and rod. Hooksets made with these rods are gentler.

Blank Materials

The overall performance and ease of using a spinning rod are determined by the blank. Since spinning rods are more compatible with smaller baits, their blanks have to be lightweight and sensitive. However, the blanks also have to be durable so that they won’t snap during fights with fish. This is why graphite blanks are commonly found in spinning rods.

Graphite/carbon fiber blanks are known to be durable, strong, flexible, and responsive. They are also easy to use and carry around. However, they have to be handled carefully due to their brittleness.

Additionally, experienced anglers who don’t need highly sensitive rods should consider getting fiberglass blanks. They are particularly good for fighting large, aggressive fish like largemouth bass thanks to their greater strength, weight, and durability. They also cost less.

But if you want to get the best of both materials, you should opt for a blank with composite construction. This type of blank is made with a combination of fiberglass and graphite.

Type

Portable spinning rods come in two categories. As their name suggests, 2 piece rods are designed in a way that allows users to break them down into two small parts. This makes them much easier to transport.

Telescopic rods are collapsible rods that are designed to allow anglers to pack and transport them with ease. They usually go from a length of 20 to 30 feet when in use to less than 2 feet when collapsed.

1 piece rods aren’t the easiest to transport. However, they are the best in terms of sensitivity and performance thanks to their continuous construction.

Additionally, saltwater spinning rods are specifically designed to withstand the corrosive conditions in saltwater. In addition to their corrosion-resistant construction, the rods also have the strength and durability needed to fight the large and aggressive fish in saltwater.

As for freshwater spinning rods, they have a lightweight construction to suit the smaller fish in freshwater and the lighter lures and lines need to capture them.

Durability

Since you are investing your hard-earned money in a fishing rod, it is only right that you will want it to last as long as possible. You can access the durability of a spinning rod by looking at its construction, power, and components.

The most durable rod blanks are made of fiberglass. Though graphite also offers a good amount of strength and durability, it can be brittle.

You should also consider the quality of the rod’s components, the reel seat, and line guides in particular. The reel lock-down should be made of metal or at least, have metal reinforcement and fit tightly. Excellent examples of line guides include Fuji’s concept guides, ceramic guides, and silicon carbon (SIC) inserts.

Additionally, the strength of a rod is determined by its power. Heavy power rods tend to be stronger and more durable while lighter options tend to be susceptible to damage. You can easily damage a light rod by casting heavy lines or baits with it. Also, this type of rod isn’t suitable for fishing in heavy covers or reeling in aggressive fish.

You should avoid using a freshwater spinning rod in saltwater if you want it to last long. Saltwater spinning rods can withstand the harshness of saltwater due to the presence of corrosion-resistant coatings and components.

But regardless of how durable your rod is, you still need to know how to maintain your rod:

Grip

The amount of control that you will have over a spinning rod under 100 will depend on its grip handle. A good handle should remain comfortable throughout your fishing session regardless of its duration.

That said, the best materials used for handles are EVA foam and cork. Both materials are soft and offer a good grip. However, EVA is known to be more resistant to stains while cork handles are more slip-resistant and visually appealing.

If you will be fishing for extended periods, you should opt for an ergonomic handle to reduce hand fatigue. Also, some reel seats have split-grips on both sides to allow users to wrap fingers around them and hold them securely.

Finally, the length of the handle has to suit your preferred fishing style. For example, short handles are more suitable for kayakers due to the limited motion in a fishing kayak. Meanwhile, longer handles offer lots of room for long-distance casts and two-handed castings.

You may also check out the best baitcasting rods for your next adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best spinning rod under 100?

After comparing several products based on their user reviews, brand reputation, features, and my experience, I’ll be recommending the Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod.

There are several good reasons why this beautifully designed product is the best spinning rod under 100. It is lightweight yet so strong and durable. It also comes with safe and comfortable handles and it’s suitable for fighting different types of fish.

Is a heavy spinning rod better than a light spinning rod?

The right weight for you will depend on several factors such as your fishing location, fishing style, and the type of fish you are looking to capture. You should also consider the weight of your fishing line and baits.

You should opt for a heavy rod when dealing with heavy fish, lines, and lures. Heavy rods are also suitable for environments with thick vegetation and techniques such as surf fishing and deep-sea fishing. On the other hand, lighter rods are suitable for lighter lines and lures. They will enable you to capture small baitfish such as panfish and crappie.

Is a spinning rod a good choice for bass fishing?

Though several anglers may say that they prefer using baitcasting rods for bass fishing. However, there are two major reasons why you should use a spinning rod as a bass angler. Firstly, spinning rods are super easy to use. They are also the best option for lightweight and finesse techniques.

How can I clean my spinning rod?

For your rod to serve you well for a long time, you need to keep it in good condition. The easiest way to do this is to rinse the rod after every use to get rid of salt and dirt.

As for tougher stains, you can get rid of them using a soft brush and mild cleaner. Once you have cleaned it thoroughly, rinse it gently and leave it to dry. Apply a lubricant to preserve the finish and then grease the rod guides.

What is the best way to store my spinning rod?

After cleaning, drying, and oiling your spinning rod, the next line of action will be to store it properly. To ensure that your spinning rod doesn’t get damaged during storage, put it inside a sleeve or cover before proceeding to store it safely in a case.

Avoid leaving it to lean on a wall as it can result in damage. You should also avoid storing it in a rod tube to keep out moisture. Finally, you shouldn’t store it in any area where it will be exposed to harsh weather conditions.

I've been a fisherman for over 35 years. From catching small bullheads with my grandfather at his pond to catching strippers on the backwaters of the Chattahoochee, I love to get out in the wild and have a marvelous day on the water.