10 Best Fishing Poles for a Successful Fishing Trip

While patience and skill are certainly key to catching fish, the quality of your equipment will also increase your odds. Perhaps above all other accessories, a fishing rod is the single most important tool at your disposal. A poor rod will ruin the overall fishing experience while a quality rod will only add to it.

The kind of rod you need to pick depends on the kind of fish you want to catch and the kind of reel you are going to use. If you want, you can kill two birds with one stone and get a rod/reel combo.

There are many rods out there, which can make the decision difficult. Luckily for you, we are here to tell you what’s what. We put together this list of the 10 best fishing poles of 2020 for your viewing pleasure. We chose and ranked these rods based on their utility, durability, versatility, performance, and overall value.

Without any further ado, let’s get to it!

Best Fishing Poles – Comparison

PictureProduct NamePowerRod LengthPrice
Ugly Stik GX2 Ugly Stik GX2 Medium-heavyMaltiCheck Latest Price
KastKing Perigee IIKastKing Perigee IIMedium7′Check Latest Price
Cadence CC6Cadence CC6Medium-Heavy7’0”Check Latest Price
Plusinno Telescopic ComboPlusinno Telescopic ComboMediumMaltiCheck Latest Price
Shimano StimulaShimano StimulaUltra-Light 5’6″Check Latest Price
Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0Medium and heavy6’9″Check Latest Price
Piscifun Torrent IPiscifun Torrent I Medium Heavy and MediumCheck Latest Price
KastKing Blackhawk IIKastKing Blackhawk IIMedium Fast6’6Check Latest Price
Abu Garcia Ike SignatureAbu Garcia Ike Signature7’0″/7’10”Check Latest Price
Berkely Lightning RodBerkely Lightning RodMedium7’0″Check Latest Price

 

10 Best Fishing Poles – Reviews

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Combo

Up first on our list is the classic Ugly Stik Fishing Rod/Reel Combo. The Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod and reel combo is one of the best budget spinning rods out there and is a great choice as an entry-level rod. The Ugly Stik is made from durable fiberglass and graphite composite materials. The new GX2 model increases the graphite ratio to 35% which means the rod is lighter than ever while still retaining that trademark Ugly Stik durability.

The Ugly Stik GX2 is our go-to rod for beginners due to its simplicity and ease of use. The GX2 is lightweight, flexible, and has a special clear tip that makes learning how to case and retrieve easy. The guides have single-piece stainless steel construction and are corrosion resistant.

The GX2 comes in 23 different models from ultra-light variants to medium-heavy ones. That means that the Ugly Stik can be the perfect rod for basically any size species of fish from small to large.

The included spinning reel on the Ugly Stik has a 3+1 ball bearing construction and an aluminum spool. The included reel has a dedicated anti-reverse bearing which allows for smoother hooks sets and better gear feel. The reel comes pre-spooled with 12 lbs line which is always a nice touch. The graphite reel seat is sturdy and keeps the reel stable when cranking the handle.

Speaking of handles, the reel handle has durable rubberized tips that are easy to grasp. The handle of the rod is made from a durable EVA foam which is durable and does not dampen vibrations too much.

Overall, the Ugly Stik GX2 is not a professional level rod but it is probably the best fishing rod you can get for the price.

What We Like:

  • Durable graphite/fiberglass construction
  • Stainless steel guides
  • Clear tip is responsive and sensitive
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Dedicated anti-reverse bearing

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Clear tip can snap under pressure
  • Reel can slip if cranked too fast

2. KastKing Perigee II

KastKing Perigee II

Up next is the KastKing Perigee II. KastKing is a well-known manufacturer of fishing equipment and the Perigee II is a solid fishing rod to add to your lineup. It features a quality carbon fiber blank construction which gives it enormously high tensile strength and lightweight. The Perigee II is also very affordable which makes it an excellent entry-level or more mid-range choice.

The Perigee II features KastKing’s signature Fuji O-rings line guides which include corrosion-resistant inserts. The reel seat is made from sturdy graphite that keeps the reel steady and secure. The Perigee II is actually 2 rods in one. One of the included tips is meant for spinning reels while the other is meant for baitcasting reels. At a sub-$100 price, getting two-quality rods for the price of one is a steal.

The KastKing also features their PTS spigot joints. Each blank is pieced together so that is transfers power evenly down the rod, maximizing response and action. The 4 line guides have been placed using the aid of computer simulations to jump the optimal line angles for retrieval. Between the PTS joints and the computer-placed line guides, it has some of the smoothest performance we have ever seen.

The Perigee II works well with either a spinning reel or baitcasting reel. If you go for a lighter model rod, we would recommend pairing it with a spinning reel. A heavier rod might make better use out of a baitcasting reel. Don’t let these suggestions truncate your options though, you can mix and match to create the perfect rod for your unique fishing style.

What We Like:

  • Durable carbon fiber blanks
  • Spigot joints make action smooth
  • Line guides placed for optimal line angle
  • Solid graphite reel seat
  • 2 rods for price of 1

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Threaded tip connectors can wear
  • Split handle bottom is a bit too small

3. Cadence CC6 Spinning Combo

Cadence CC6 Spinning Combo

Coming in at third is the Cadence CC6 Spinning Combo. This combo option comes with both a rod and a reel so it’s basically ready to go right out of the box. The Cadence is made from durable 24-ton graphite that has a high tensile strength. The reel features an aluminum frame and carbon composite side plates, both of which contribute to the overall strength of the reel. The Cadence CC6 is made of quality materials that give it impressive durability.

The included reel is Cadence’s CS6 spinning reel which features an efficient 6.03:1 gear ratio. Higher gear ratios are usually better for spinning reels as they can be reeled with more finesse, good for when catching lighter species of fish that may need a more delicate touch.

The reel of the Cadence has a 7+1 ball bearing construction with dedicated anti-reverse bearing. The inclusion of the anti-reverse bearing makes casting smooth and prevents any kickbacks when reeling.

Cadence also donates a portion of its proceeds from each sale to charitable organizations that offer fishing lessons to children. So you can buy the Cadence knowing that a portion of your money will be going to a good cause.

In terms of the performance, and the Cadence is a great mid-level rod that has fast action and high sensitivity. It also has a durable cork handle with a split grip design. Unfortunately, as is common with split grips, the bottom half is just a bit too small for our tastes.

What We Like:

  • Quality rod for an affordable price
  • Durable natural cork handle
  • 24-ton graphite construction
  • 7+1 ball bearing construction
  • Corrosion-resistant guides

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Split-grip is small on bottom
  • Cork handle can get gummy if not taken care of

Also Read: Best Fishing Kayak – Smooth Fishing Experience

4. Plusinno Telescopic Combo

    At 4th is the Plusinno Telescopic Combo fishing rod. The Plusinno has an extendable telescopic design which means it collapses in on itself when not in use. The Plusinno measures about 16” long when collapsed and can extend to 1.8-2.4m, depending on the size of the rod you get. Each section of the rod is made from lightweight and flexible carbon fiber. The reel seat of the rod is made out of stainless steel and the line guides along the back of the rod are each made from stainless steel.

    The included spinning reel of the Plusinno has a 5.2:1 gear ratio and a 7+1 ball bearing design. It has a dedicated anti-reverse bearing and high-strength power-drive fears. The gears are made from a single piece and cut to fit together as efficiently as possible.

    The spool of the spinning reel is made from aluminum with one line hole. The reel is a bit stouter than most spinning reels which give it more line capacity than a lot of similar spinning reels. The high gear ratio is good for light-species fishing though it’s also in a good range for catching medium-species fish.

    Every component of the Plusinno is treated to resist corrosion so it works equally well in freshwater and saltwater. The rod has a comfortable EVA foregrip that does not get slippery when wet and repels water.

    What We Like:

    • Telescopic design is great for travel
    • Carbon fiber/fiberglass construction
    • Anti-reverse bearings and power gears
    • Larger line capacity tha average
    • Anti-corrosion treatment

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • Blanks can get clogged with dirt and sand
    • EVA handle is a bit too thick and a bit too small

    5. Shimano Stimula 2-Piece Spin Rod

    Shimano Stimula 2-Piece Spin Rod

    At the halfway point is the Shimano Stimula 2-Piece Spinning Rod, a high-quality fishing rod from Shimano, a well-known manufacturer in the fishing world. Shimano has a reputation for high-quality products and the Stimula 2-piece is no exception. It has high-quality performance but has a simple and easy to use design with not too many bells and whistles.

    The Shimano features a graphite composite blank structure and low-profile aluminum oxide line guides. Aluminum oxide is a good material for line guides as it is low-friction but we notice they have a tendency to form grooves over time, especially if you are using a thicker line.

    The Shimano breaks down into 2 pieces, each around 3.5 feet long. That makes it easy to transport. It will easily fit in the back of your car without too much trouble. The rod has a hook holder which is nothing fancy but works well enough.

    One of the best assets of the Shimano is its price. It handles like a $200+ rod but costs a fraction of that price. Even at the lower price point, it is a quality fishing rod.

    The Shimano is designed for use with spinning reels. It has a solid graphite reel seat and only comes in ultra-light power. That means you will want a correspondingly light spinning reel. We would not recommend using any heavier of a reel with the Shimano.

    As we said earlier, the Shimano is not fancy but it has exceedingly reliable performance. We appreciate the sturdy cork handles that have plenty of room to grasp. The ultra-light design makes it very sensitive but it does have a relatively slow action.

    What We Like:

    • Great quality for an affordable price
    • 2-piece construction is portable
    • Low-friction line guides
    • Ultra-light and ultra-sensitive
    • Custom cork handle

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • Relatively slow action
    • Threads can wear if screwed too tight

    6. Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Spinning Rod

    Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Spinning Rod

    Our next item on this list is the Abu Garcia Veritas 2.0 Spinning Rod. Abu Garcia really pulled out all the stops on this one and created a versatile and powerful rod that fares well under a wide variety of conditions. The Abu Garcia has a nice mixture of lightness and balance giving it great overall handling. The frame of the rod is made from a 30-ton graphite composite material that has high tensile strength and good flexibility.

    The Veritas 2.0 is a medium-heavy power rod so it’s better suited for catching heavier species of fish. The reel seat contains a nifty micro-click reel hood design that makes it easy to attach pretty much any spinning reel that you want. The rod has high action as the tip is very flexible and sensitive. The graphite frame does a good job of transmitting vibrations down the rod.

    The Veritas features a split handle design with reinforced EVA handgrips. Once again, we found that the bottom part of the handle was too small. The EVA grips are tough and effective though.
    Unfortunately, we found that the rod has some breakage issues, especially if the hook is not completely set when you start to retrieve.

    Overall the Abu Garcia Veritas is a good choice for a mid-range rod. It has that kind of reliability you would want out of a rod and it works equally well for most fishing purposes. The only problems we could find were the small handle and the breaking problem.

    What We Like:

    • Reliable quality and construction
    • Flexible graphite construction
    • Balanced
    • Sensitive tip and fast action
    • Good vibrations transmission

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • Split handle too small on the bottom
    • Tip prone to breaking when hook not set properly

    7. Piscifun Torrent I

    Piscifun Torrent I

    The Piscifun Torrent I is somewhat of a ringer on this list. Piscifun is not very well known compared to some other brands we have covered on this list, but that does not mean they don’t have anything good to offer. The Piscifun Torrent Baitcasting Rod is designed for baitcasting reels and is a medium-heavy power rod. The Piscifun Torrent is a versatile tool that works well in a wide range of circumstances.

    The Piscifun Torrent I is designed for baitcasting reels, which are on the heavier and tougher side of the spectrum when it comes to reels. The rod has a graphite and fiberglass composite construction and a sensitive tip that gives the rod fast action. It has a single piece EVA foam handle which is comfy to hold and does not get wet. The lightweight design balances well in the hand

    The rod also features high-quality stainless steel guides with special zirconium inserts. Zirconium is a good material for guide inserts as they have low friction and are anti-corrosive. The reel seat is made from graphite which is the material you want out of a medium-heavy rod.

    What We Like:

    • Good for baitcasting and catching heavier fish
    • Sensitive tip
    • Solid graphite reel seat
    • Low-friction zirconium guides
    • One-piece EVA handle

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • Guides are good but look cheap
    • EVA handle is a bit too thick for our tastes

    Also Read: 10 Best Marine Batteries – Best Boating Experience

    8. KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Rod

    KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Rod

    Our eighth entry is the KastKing Blackhawk II telescopic rod, another good travel rod. The Blackhawk II is made out of carbon fiber blanks that are reinforced with fiberglass. The Blackhawk also has a sensitive and durable glass tip that transmits every strike with perfect accuracy. The Blackhawk comes in 13 different models, including spinning, baitcasting, and inshore casting versions. The basic spinning rod option measures 14” when collapsed and extends out to a full 6’6” long.

    The Blackhawk features oversized stainless steel guides that work together to give the rod the performance and feel of a one-piece rod. Each guide has a ceramic insert that keeps the kine from snagging and tearing. It has a durable EVA handle in a split-grip design. The Blackhawk II is truly a multipurpose rod and can be used in saltwater or freshwater.

    Unfortunately, like most telescopic models, the dirt and grime can get caught in the blanks of the Blackhawk, making it difficult to extend and collapse. As long as you clean it after every use you should avoid this problem.

    As far as performance goes, the KastKing Blackhawk II gives smooth casts and good stability. The reel seat is a solid graphite that keeps the reel in place.

    What We Like:

    • Telescopic design is portable and efficient
    • Ceramic guides are smooth
    • 13 different options available
    • Smooth casting and good stability

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • Can get clogged by dirt and grime
    • Split handle is small

    9. Abu Garcia Ike Signature Casting Rod

    Abu Garcia Ike Signature Casting Rod

    The Abu Garcia Ike Signature Casting Rod is designed and promoted by professional angler Michael “Ike” Iaconelli. It’s designed by a professional so you know that the specs have been dialed in just right. The Ike Signature is made from 36-ton graphite that has a lightweight and balanced design. The Ike Signature is a refined rod that makes an excellent addition to any fisherman’s arsenal.

    The Ike Signature features stainless steel Fuji O-ring guides with zirconium inserts, a low-friction material that prevents snags and line tears. The rod has high medium power and is designed for baitcasting and baitcasting reels, though a solid spinning reel will perform just as well. The rod bends in such a way to make a parabola that is the ideal shape for crankbait fishing.

    The split handle is balanced and features an EVA foam handle-grip. Both the top and bottom of the split handle are large enough to comfortably grasp. It has a great overall value and performs like a rod that is much more expensive. The rod-to-reel connection is sturdy and the rod has good action for catching medium-species fish.

    What We Like:

    • 36-ton graphite
    • Fuji reel seat
    • Stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts
    • Designed by a professional
    • Parabolic action good for crankbait and baitcast reels

    What We Didn’t Like:

    • EVA foam is a bit thick
    • Quality control issues from manufacturer

    10. Berkely Lightning Rod Spinning Rod

      Last on our list is the Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning rod, a great budget-friendly fishing rod with a lot of great features. First of all, it has a natural cork handle which is pretty uncommon for a rod in its price range. The rod body is made from 24-ton carbon composite blanks that are fit together to flex properly.

      The Lightning Rod has stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts. These inserts are smooth but might have problems later down the road as constant line pressure might form grooves. It has a unique double-locking reel seat that keeps the reel in place under pressure.

      The rod comes in 7 different models from a 5’6” light model to a 7’0” medium model. No matter which one you pick, the rod performs well, though we noticed that the lighter versions have a tendency for the tips to break under pressure.

      The Berkley is not professional quality, but it makes a great entry-level rod or a good spare in case you need a backup. It is extremely affordable and has a performance much higher than the price range would suggest.

      What We Like:

      • Budget-friendly
      • Good quality
      • Multiple models available
      • Cork split handle
      • Locking reel seat

      What We Didn’t Like:

      • Not high-quality
      • Cork gets gummy when wet

      Conclusions:

      No matter what kind of fish you are catching your choice of rod is of utmost importance. Whether you are going for light trout or some heavier bass, you need to match your rod selection to your fishing goals. These rods were chosen for their versatility and overall quality so anyone makes an excellent rod for multiple purposes.

      Recommended Resources:
      Derek S. Webb
       

      Derek Webb is a family man, outdoor enthusiast, and Editor-In-Chief at Outdoor On! He is a regular columnist in big media publication - writing from fishing to camping to various outdoor stuff.