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Fishing rod lying on a dock. Credit: Getty Images

The Best Fishing Rods of 2022

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Fishing rod lying on a dock. Credit: Getty Images

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Product image of Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This spinning reel fishing pole features a collapsible rod for easy transport and storage, as well as corrosion-resistant materials perfect for both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Read More

Pros

  • Reversible handle
  • Collapsible, telescoping rod

Cons

  • Some users report telescoping breaks
  • Some users report guides snap off easily
Product image of Oddspro Kids Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Kit

Oddspro Kids Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Kit

This small fishing pole features a spincast push-button reel with all of the gear that your kids need to get started fishing included. Read More

Pros

  • Includes all equipment needed
  • Easy to use and store

Cons

  • Right-handed only orientation
  • Will need replacement as kids improve
  • Some users report defects
Product image of Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo

Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo

This basic spin cast rod and reel set includes everything that a beginner fisher needs to get started, with an easy-to-use setup. Read More

Pros

  • Reversible handle
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Some users report defects
  • Less casting control with push button reels
Product image of Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, Fly Rod

Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, Fly Rod

This high-quality graphite 9-foot fly fishing rod comes preinstalled with chartreuse floating fly line, and includes a box of flies to get you started. Read More

Pros

  • Quality materials
  • Rod breaks down for transport
  • Line and flies included

Cons

  • Users have reported product defects
Product image of KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Baitcasting Reel Combo

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Baitcasting Reel Combo

This baitcasting pole is a solid addition to any fishing outfit, perfect for taking on larger fish. Read More

Pros

  • Heavy duty setup
  • Smooth casting
  • Heavier line

Cons

  • Some users report quality issues
  • Cannot switch handle side

Fishing is an excellent way to get out of the house, away from the screens, and out into nature. Whether you’re fishing from shore, waist-deep in a river, or from a boat, it’s a wonderful way to spend a few hours. While there’s nearly no end to the supplies and gear you could get, all you need to get started are a rod, a reel, and a few lures and hooks.

Different reels are going to work best for different applications and levels of experience. Spincaster reels are the most basic—you cast by holding and then releasing a button on the reel. Anyone, even children, can learn to use a spin caster in a few minutes. Spinning reels are a bit more complicated, requiring holding and then releasing the line itself at the right time for your cast. However, they are more accurate and can cast farther than spin casters. Finally, flyfishing and baitcaster reels are better reserved for more experienced anglers, as they each take some practice and skill to use, but will be able to land larger fish.

Whatever your experience level, there’s a rod and reel ready to get you out on the water fishing.

Editor's Note

The recommendations in this guide are based on thorough product and market research by our team of expert product reviewers. The picks are based on examining user reviews, product specifications, and, in some limited cases, our experience with the specific products named.

Product image of Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

This Plusinno fishing rod and reel combo feature a Toray 24-ton carbon matrix telescopic fishing pole, and a stainless steel spinning reel. Fully extended, the fiberglass pole is nearly 6 feet long but is less than 18 inches when collapsed for easy transport and storage. The rod is designed to flex and bend when you hook a fish, allowing you to keep tension on the hook without breaking either the rod or your line. The stainless steel guides with zirconium oxide rings resist corrosion, reduce heat from line friction, and allow you to cast farther and more accurately.

The spinning reel, which sits below the rod for improved balance, has a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a large line capacity. The zinc alloy driver gear, aluminum spool, and ball bearings all resist corrosion, making this a solid setup for both freshwater and small-fish saltwater fishing. The handle on the reel is also reversible, so it's easy to use for both righties and lefties. The kit includes a convenient carrying case, as well as line and lures, so you can just pack up and go. This is a great fishing pole for folks looking to get a bit of fishing in while traveling.

Pros

  • Reversible handle

  • Collapsible, telescoping rod

Cons

  • Some users report telescoping breaks

  • Some users report guides snap off easily

Product image of Oddspro Kids Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Kit
Oddspro Kids Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Kit

For a young child interested in getting into fishing, this is a quality combo kit that includes everything they need to get started. The rod is designed to be held and controlled by little hands, with an anti-slip grip and a trigger handle to hold onto. The three-eyelet version is not quite 4-feet long, giving your child enough length to cast without getting out of control. The rod is also collapsible for easy transport and storage in the included carrying case.

The reel is a spin-cast, push-button style that gives them an easy-to-use casting setup with anti-tangle technology. It comes preloaded with the line so your kids can get started fishing right away. The combo kit also includes all of the lures and tackle that they'll need for their first few trips, as well as a practice plug to learn how to cast in the backyard. And for kids who need a bit of a distraction sometimes, the kit comes with a bait net for them to use to hunt minnows, snails, and tadpoles along the water's edge. For a kid just starting out, this is a hard setup to beat.

Pros

  • Includes all equipment needed

  • Easy to use and store

Cons

  • Right-handed only orientation

  • Will need replacement as kids improve

  • Some users report defects

Product image of Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo
Zebco 33 Spincast Reel and 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo

If you're looking for a solid, affordable starter fishing rod and reel, then the Zebco 33 is a quality option. Zebco is one of the most known names in the fishing world, and their SpinCaster was the very first push-button reel on the market back in the fifties. The push-button makes for an easy learning curve for beginners to get the most out of their first few times on the water.

And just because the Zebco 33 is affordable doesn't mean that it's lacking. The crank can be swapped to either the left or right hand, the reel has drag adjustment, and it even has a built-in bite alert system to let you know when you have a fish on. The all-metal gears on the inside give this reel a longer potential lifespan.

The rod itself is six feet long for improved distance and accuracy and breaks down into two pieces for transport and storage. There's also no need to worry about set-up—the pole comes ready to use, pre-spooled with a 4-pound Zebco Cajun line. As soon as it arrives, you can take it out fishing. If you're looking for a low-cost entry into the fishing world, then the Zebco 33 is one of the best choices on Amazon.

Pros

  • Reversible handle

  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Some users report defects

  • Less casting control with push button reels

Product image of Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, Fly Rod
Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, Fly Rod

Fly fishing is a different beast than the more traditional fishing that many of us think of, and as such, it requires specialized equipment. If you're interested in getting into fly fishing, then the Wild Water 9-foot fly fishing rod and reel combo is a good place to start. The rod is made of flexible black graphite with a cork handle and accent rings, and an aluminum reel seat with double lock rings. The rod, which breaks down into four pieces, features a medium-fast action to get good movement on your flies.

The reel, made of die-cast aluminum, has an 85mm spool and adjustable drag. It's pre-installed with a chartreuse floating fly line, with a 9-foot 5x tapered monofilament leader. The reel can be changed from left to right-handed for maximum flexibility. In addition to the reel, the kit includes a small floating fly box with 9 total flies of various weights and sizes for you to experiment with. Everything included fits inside the strong carrying case with a shoulder strap and ring holder. This kit has everything you need to get out on the river on day one to start catching fish.

Pros

  • Quality materials

  • Rod breaks down for transport

  • Line and flies included

Cons

  • Users have reported product defects

Product image of KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Baitcasting Reel Combo
KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Baitcasting Reel Combo

If you're a moderately experienced fisher looking to up your game, then this baitcasting setup might be a good option for you. Baitcasting can take both more and heavier lines than spin cast or spinning reels, so if you're looking to take on bigger fish, then make the upgrade. This baitcasting reel has an aluminum spool, a powerful drag, stainless steel ball bearings, and a magnetic braking system.

The 7-foot rod is made of graphite and comes apart into pieces for easier transport and storage. The super polymer handle provides maximum grip to give you control when the big fish are pulling back, even in wet conditions. The stainless steel guides with zirconium oxide rings make casting easy and smooth no matter what kind of line you're using. For anyone looking to tackle larger fish, the KastKing Crixus is an excellent stepping stone.

Pros

  • Heavy duty setup

  • Smooth casting

  • Heavier line

Cons

  • Some users report quality issues

  • Cannot switch handle side

Product image of Dr.Fish Saltwater Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Dr.Fish Saltwater Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

If you're on the hunt for some of the larger fish prowling the ocean surf lines, then the Dr.Fish saltwater surf fishing rod and reel combo can get you started. This 12-foot rod is made of high-density carbon fiber to stand up to the beating that it takes from larger fish, while still offering the sensitivity you need to feel what the fish is doing.

The setup includes 100 yards of a 50 lb braided fishing line, which is plenty for most surf-cashing applications. The high-speed, tangle-free spinning reel is designed to maximize the distance of your casts, getting out deep into the surf where the big fish lurk. And to get you started right away, the setup includes several lures, including an 8-inch popper, 2 bucktail jigs, and octopus hooks.

Pros

  • High density carbon fiber rod

  • Shallow spool for surf casting

  • Tangle-free casting

Cons

  • Some users have reported manufacturing defects

Meet the tester

Jean Levasseur

Jean Levasseur

Contributor

Jean Levasseur became a professional writer over a decade-long career in marketing, public relations, and technical writing. After leaving that career to stay home to care for his twin boys, Jean has continued to write in a variety of freelance roles, as well as teaching academic writing at a local university. When he's not reviewing tools or chasing toddlers around the house, he's also an avid fiction writer and a growing woodworker.

See all of Jean Levasseur's reviews

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