The 6 Best Spinning Rod For Traveling and beginners

Spinning rod with river as background
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If you are looking for the best spinning rod for traveling and different fish species, then this article is meant for you! Here, we will look at the best spinning rod for people on a budget, bass and trout fishing, inshore fishing, and more. Once reviewing the best spinning rods, we share the main difference between a spinning and casting rod. Also, we explain how to determine the best spinning rod for you near the end of the article.

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What is the best spinning rod?

Best spinning rod and reel combo

This spinning rod features a non-slip EVA & cork handle to ensure a firm and comfortable grip even during wet conditions. It also has 8 ceramic guides that minimize line friction resulting in longer smooth casts. It is also made out of a triple layer carbon fiber which results in a powerful, lightweight and yet sensitive to fish bites design. The fact that this is a 2 piece spinning rod makes it easy for storage and transport.

A minor drawback to this spinning rod is that it doesn’t come with a hook holder at the rear. As such, there’s the risk that the hook and bait start scratching, or incurring damage to the blank’s surface.

Pros
  • Ergonomic design
  • Good quality
  • Portable
Cons
  • No hook holder

We’ve also reviewed the best spinning reel for different budgets and species for your convenience!

Best spinning rod for bass

This rod offers much better control after setting the hook by having enough power to keep the fish from running for cover. Thus, it is an ideal choice if you use live bait and jigs. It also features an EVA cork handle resulting in a non-slip handle that offers a firm and comfortable grip regardless of weather condition.

In addition, this spinning rod is lightweight and sensitive making it ideal for jigging with minimal strain on the wrist and arms. Also, this spinning rod has the power and strength you will need to easily pull a large bass out of the water smoothly and with very little effort. Because of this, it is also the best spinning rod for trout.

Since the spinning rod blank is made of graphite, there’s a risk of breaking it under stress. Though it will most likely not break with proper use, you should be careful not to exceed the line and/or lure weight capacity. Also, it has subpar casting ability and shock absorption since the rod only bends at the tip. That said, this is a flaw that applies to all fast rods in general. 

Pros
  • Comfortable grip
  • Good performance
  • Good quality
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • Fragile
  • Low shock absorption

Best spinning rod under $100

 The Ugly Stik elite spinning cork rod handle comes with an excellent grip that adds friction and makes handling easy and comfortable while out on a fishing trip even when wet. It is made of composite which combines the ruggedness of fiberglass with the sensitivity and lightweight characteristics of graphite. Also, the exposed blank style reel seats with cushioned stainless steel hoods ensure the reel is in a secure position and increases anglers’ contact with the blank. As such, it is also one of the best spinning rod for trout fishing.

Given that this is a one piece spinning rod, it isn’t ideal for traveling. Also, the reel seat is quite small so be mindful that not every spinning reel will fit onto the rod. 

Pros
  • Comfortable grip
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for trout fishing
Cons
  • Not portable
  • Small reel seat

Best inshore spinning rod

Depending on what works for you, the EVA handles are available in a split grip and full grip option to enhance comfort and improved performance. There is also a cork for the handles, ensuring more practicability when using the fishing rod. Also, the spinning rod is equipped with SIC guides and an adjustable Fuji reel seat for even better performance.

The spinning rod offers high quality at an affordable price making it the best spinning rod under $50. You also have the option to purchase the rod as a 2 piece making it easier for traveling and storage. Overall, it’s an ideal fishing rod for gamefish which include freshwater fish such as walleye and trout, but also a great rod for inshore species such as speckled trout, redfish as well as flounder along with a rinse after fishing. 

As a drawback, the reel seat doesn’t stay tight perhaps due to the fact that the diameter of the handle is narrow when compared with other rods. Another possibility is that the screw clamp/handle mechanism gets loose after a couple of usage.

Pros
  • Good design
  • Portable
  • Wide range of application
Cons
  • Subpar quality

Best travel spinning rod

The reel seats are made of high-quality abs material and EVA split grips provide all-day comfort. It also features 7+1 corrosion-resistant guides with ceramic inserts, perfectly spaced for virtually friction-free line flow and maximum casting performance. Since it’s a 4 piece rod design, it makes it ideal for air travel, backpacking, or kayaking. To finish off, it also comes with a solid carry case for storing the spinning rod once done fishing. 

A slight drawback is that the reel seat is made of plastic. As a result, it is not a good choice for hard fighting fish since it can easily break.

Pros
  • Good design
  • Portable
Cons
  • Fragile

If interested in more information regarding the best travel fishing rods, then be sure to check out the following article.

Best ultralight spinning rod

Specifications

Length

4.5ft, 5ft, 6ft, 6.5ft, 7ft

Weight

2.5 oz, 3 oz, 3.35 oz, 3.7 oz, 4.45 oz

Action type

Moderate, Fast

Power type
Light, Medium, Heavy
Line weight capacity
1-4 lbs, 2-6 lbs, 4-8 lbs, 6-10 lbs, 8-12 lbs, 10-20 lbs

Lure weight capacity

1/32-1/8 oz, 1/16-1/4 oz, 1/8-3/8 oz, 1/4-1/2 oz, 1/4-5/8 oz

Material type

Graphite & carbon blank + titanium guides

The spinning rod is made of lightweight material such as titanium guide frames, graphite reel seats, EVA handle and a composite blank made of graphite and carbon. In addition to that, it is very sensitive making it ideal for jigging with minimal strain on wrist and arms. Therefore, it is an ideal spinning rod for pan fishing and trout fishing.

That said, the manufacturer doesn’t always deliver the spinning rod in perfect condition which could be due to a lack of a quality inspector. Thus you might receive a spinning rod where the reel is loose, non straight guides or a crooked tip. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable grip
  • Good design
Cons
  • Poor consistent quality

If you are also looking for the best ultralight spinning reel, then be sure to check out the following article.

What is a spinning rod?

Spinning rod parts

The combination of ease of use and reasonable price tag is why many people prefer spinning rods as their beginner rod. They differ from other fishing rods like casting rods by having the guides at the bottom of the blank with the guide closest to the handle being the largest and the guide furthest from the handle being the smallest. Given the spool orientation, the fishing line flows off the spool with no resistance when casting. Furthermore, the larger first guide reduces drag as the fishing line comes off the spinning reel which is why spinning rods are known for having long castability, especially with light lures. They can work with most lines, but the ideal ones are monofilaments in the 6-12 pound range. 

They also vary in lengths and actions for catching a variety of fish. For instance, short or light action spinning rods are good for catching panfish or trout. If you are interested in catching bass fish then look for 6 to 7 foot spinning rods with a medium-heavy action. Lastly, long and heavy action rods with elongated grip handles for two-handed casting are best for surfcasting for saltwater fish or steelhead and salmon fishing .

Although there are different types of fishing rods on the market, it seems that most people can’t decide between picking a spinning rod or a casting rod. If you happen to fall under these group of people then it’s important to know that making the right choice depends on your fishing technique and situation. The following video briefly explains when to choose a spinning and casting rod so that you are certain to have the right gear when out fishing. 

How to choose the best spinning rod

Choosing a spinning rod can be a challenge for new anglers. Generally, the best spinning rod for you will depend on your fishing style and the type of bait that you intend to use it with. Below we will highlight five factors that heavily influence the type of spinning rod you end up with. For a quick overview of how to choose a spinning rod, here’s a short video from Sportsman’s Warehouse ambassador and professional angler Chad Lachance.

Action

Rod Selection - All About Action
Source: Fix.com


There are three main aspects that are influenced by the rod’s action:

Castability

A heavier, faster action rod will not bend that much and is therefore less likely to cast a lighter lure very far. Whereas a lighter, slower action rod which features a more parabolic bend in it will offer more of a bend and ability to load up on that and cast a lighter lure much farther. 

Fish fighting performance

A lighter, slower action rod will give when a fish makes a surge, which prevents the hook from pulling free and thus keeps the fish pinned down even when it’s moving towards the boat. On the flip side, a lighter or slower action also makes it more difficult to set the hook when a fish strikes, which is why a heavier, faster action rod is preferred when focused on driving a hook into a fish’s mouth. 

Lure performance

Light, slow action rods are good for casting very light baits and multi-hook lures such as crankbaits, rattle baits and jerk baits. As an example, for crank baits with treble hooks, an angler needs a variation of a medium power and action rod. This lighter action will flex more, which allows for better hook ups when a fish strikes and prevents a fish from pulling loose after it’s hooked. 
Medium action rods are the most versatile rod and thus effective for a wide variety of presentations and line sizes. They are good for bottom baits with its increased sensitivity and have the flexibility to be effective with treble hook lures. 
Fast, heavy action rods are ideal for fishing single hook lures in heavy cover such as grass or timber. They are also good for heavier lures, bottom fishing, strong fish and for throwing spinnerbaits, soft sticks, jerk baits and topwaters. 

Power


The power describes the strength or lifting power of the rod. A heavier power rod is made for heavier lures and higher strength lines. It is fairly important to keep your lure weight and line test within the limits printed on the rod since a heavy power rod will snap light lines too easily and heavy lines can snap a light rod. The type of water you’re fishing will also help determine the power of the rod you choose. Thick, heavy cover will require a strong rod to get the fish out before it can tie you up. Clear, open water will often require thin, hard to see lines in order to get bit, meaning you will need a lighter power rod.

Length


Long fishing rods allow you to cast farther and take up more line on a hookset. They are an ideal option when using a texas rig or a jig so that you have a better chance of setting the hook into the fish once it starts heading towards you. Longer fishing rods are also good for frogging or topwater where you make a long cast allowing you to cover a lot of water as you reel in the lure. On the other hand, a short fishing rod is preferable if you are bankfishing or kayak fishing. This will allow you to maneuver and cover better and make it easier to store the rod on the kayak deck. In addition, a shorter fishing rod offers better accuracy when casting, pitching and skipping.

Material


Fishing rods can be crafted from graphite, fiberglass or composite.
Graphite is lighter, more robust and the most sensitive making it easy for you to pick up on even the lighter bites. They provide more line speed than similarly powered fiberglass rods and their lighter weight reduces fatigue. However, they are more brittle and require more care than fiberglass rods.
Fiberglass is extremely durable, cheaper, sturdier and easier to maintain. However, they are not sensitive and the added weight can cause fatigue. Many pros prefer them when they go with crankbaits and when they go for larger fish whereas graphite rods are preferred for casting jigs or worms. Many beginners prefer to start with fiberglass rods then graduate to graphite as they evolve.
Composite options simply combine fiberglass and graphite which combines the ruggedness of fiberglass with the sensitivity of graphite.

Construction


Starting from the bottom, you need to determine the desired length of your handle. If your fishing style requires you to put a lot of action such as with a jerkbait or topwater, a shorter handle might prove to be more convenient. Also, a short handle is essential on a kayak given the limited range of motion. On the other hand, you may want a long handle if you want to gain more leverage for longer casts or like throwing with both hands. Next is the reel seat, where you have to make sure that the reel lockdown is metal or reinforced with metal. Pure plastic lockdowns break when overtightened. Beyond that, whether the handle is split or full is your choice. If possible the rod should have a hook keeper to have a convenient means to keeping hooks/lures from getting caught on things and/or your line tangled. Lastly, we have the rod line guides in which there are three rules to keep into account. The first is that there should be one guide for every foot plus the tip. The second rule is that single foot guides are better which implies that the inner diameter cuts down on the guides ability to pass these connection loops. The third rule is that stainless steel guides are mandatory and silicon carbon inserts are optimized for modern lines and are better than aluminum oxide.

How to cast a spinning rod

Person learning how to use a spinning rod in front of water

Below is a summary of the steps needed to follow when casting a spinning reel:

  • Grip the rod in your dominant hand and hold it horizontal, so the reel is below the rod, facing the ground.
  • Reel in your line slowly, until you have 6-12″ of line hanging off the tip off your rod.
  • Align the line roller with your rod.
  • Pull the line off the roller with your index finger, holding it against the rod’s grip.
  • While maintaining your grip, use your free non-dominant hand to flip the reel’s bail up.
  • Bring the rod back up over your head just past vertical, and then use a forward throwing motion, releasing the line with your index fingers as your arm is at 45 degrees.

For more information such as the three different ways of casting a spinning reel, be sure to watch the following video. 

Ally Mash
Ally Mash
Ally is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has spent most of his free time backpacking through South America, Iceland, Vietnam, and Europe. He loves sharing his experience through blogging. His mission is to get more people in the mindset of protecting our planet by sharing its beauty.

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