Rick is a former news reporter who decided that the corporate world wasn't for him and took off to travel the world. He's been to every continent (yes, even Antarctica!) and has tried out a multitude of outdoor gear along the way. From tents to hiking boots, he's probably tested it all. Now, he's one of our full-time product testers and experts.
Bryan is one of our leading experts since he's got a vast expertise in practically everything connected to the outdoors. He's been hiking since he was a young boy, was an organizer of kayaking tours which later led to another passion of his - kayak fishing. Now, he's a part-time expert consultant involved in our multiple product tests and topic research.
Last updated: April 09, 2022
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The best saltwater fishing rods are fortified against the weight of a big catch and can take on saltwater without any corrosive damage.
Narrowing down the options from the 30 we initially had to the ten presented to you below was no easy task. However, in the process, we discovered the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods. These devices are fast action fishing rods made mainly from graphite. Nevertheless a few of the components are made with different materials. Among the great features of the invention are the aluminum oxide guides that don’t damage easily from friction with fishing lines. Nine other products are mentioned that could be just as good a purchase, depending on the buyer’s circumstances and tastes.
There is, of course, a surefire way of sorting out quality products from the riffraff. This is where you spend a significant amount of time comparing items and ranking devices from top to bottom, depending on positive attributes. As to the features, you need to check for length, materials used, action, and other additional benefits. This information is available on each product from the manufacturer as well as vendor sites, which is why countless hours have been spent reviewing them. The fruits of such labors are the buying guide, detailed reviews, and a comparison table presented below so you at least won’t have to go through the same rigorous process to find the best saltwater fishing rods.
Other features: 8 hard aluminum-oxide guides, Fuji DPS reel seat with black hoods, split-grip/premium-grade cork handle, Kigan hook-keeper, 5-year warranty
Generally, if you use devices in the recommended way, they tend to have a longer life than others, and as such, you should take into consideration the user guidelines that come with owning this model. Buyers are encouraged to use the device with inshore fishing sites where the water is much calmer. Another benefit of you following up with that piece of advice is that you can use a smaller boat for such fishing trips. The features of the device are listed above, and as such, you should be able to see the rod is made of SCII graphite. Consequently, this device is a little more sensitive, allowing you to react fast when the fish takes the bait.
Currently, you can get this rod for close to 150 dollars. You also need to budget for a reel as well if you are only starting out in the fishing world. Veterans may have a reel or two lying around that they can recycle instead of buying new ones. Once you have it, attaching it on to the DPS reel seat shouldn’t be too much hassle.
With its aluminum oxide guides, this device exhibits fast-action features meaning the distance you can cover with your rod is longer. Also, you are bound to notice the split cork grip on the handle as you are using it. All these components and features come with a five-year warranty to protect your investment, which is all the more reason to make this purchase.
What stands out?
It is a fast action rod allowing you to cast further
The device is sensitive, and that ensures you react on time to reel in the fish
Product is relatively light to carry and use
What cons did we manage to find?
Unless you receive a damaged product, this product doesn’t display any cons for now
Other features: lightweight graphite frame and side plates, bronze alloy main gear, stainless pinion gear, 1-year warranty
Right from the onset, the PENN Squall Level Wind Fishing Combo is an aesthetically pleasing item. As such, it is easy to jump into conclusions about the usability of the device. However, we would advise against this preferring that you go through the motions of checking out all the features. Consequently, you should be aware of the construction of the device. The 6’- 6’6” are mainly made of a mix of both graphite and a bronze alloy. The point of this exercise is likely to incorporate the sensitiveness of the graphite part while maintaining the durability of the bronze alloy.
Where action is concerned, the medium-fast disposition exhibited by this device will have bending occurring at the middle. Also, be aware of how to properly use the tool as that will help you keep the piece of equipment for longer.
The power is rated at medium to medium-heavy. As such, this device can be used for larger fish without breakage than lighter counterparts.
Why did it make our list?
Comes with an attached reel
What is not ideal about it?
It is difficult to use this tool if you are left-handed
Other features: CNC machined aluminum reel seat, carbon oxide plated metal guides, plastic protective cap, EVA handle
If an exciting design concept were the basis of grading each product, then this item would be the editor’s choice. However, you also have to check on functionality, affordability as well as a few other key features. Consequently, a key selling point would be that the device is sold as a combo that includes the rod as well as a reel. Another critical element likely to influence a buyer’s decision is the device’s retractable nature. It thus fits in a small carry bag whenever you need to travel with your gear. Once you are at your fishing destination, the process of reverting the device to full size is not a complicated one either.
A protective cap works to maintain the integrity of the guides as well as the tip of the rod while it is in its compressed state. Nevertheless, the guides themselves are made of metal and are robust even without the protective measures. You can own the rod for between 60 and 70 dollars, which to us seems like a good bargain.
What makes it special?
Easy to carry
Comes with a protective cap
Comes with a reel
What cons did we find?
Some users have mentioned the size of the reel to be too small
Other features: high-density EVA foam handle, one-year warranty, 5 heavy-duty roller guides, aluminum gimbal butt with cap
This is undoubtedly the shortest rod length we have on our list. However, knowing how to use the equipment helps you plan adequately and therefore this tool will likely end up sufficient for your fishing needs. Where aesthetics are concerned, you will probably not be disappointed with the devices’ polished look. Of course, elements of the construction include a graphite body, which is sometimes brittle. Nevertheless, experienced users are likely to find a way around that to make maximum use of the tool.
At a price point of about 60 dollars, you can see that the device will not cost you much to purchase. However, there are positive attributes that anglers seem to appreciate as well. Among them is the design of the guides. Where other makers insist on a simple design, this model has roller guides that will thus make it easier to cast. Additionally, you get the machined aluminum reel seat. The durability of this particular component is something to write home about on its own as it is also corrosion-resistant. You can as well bank on the EVA foam handle to keep you comfortable while fishing.
Other features: European spigot ferrules, five zirconium guides, 2-tip actions included, non-slip grip
Similar to the Okuma Nomad Xpress Inshore Rod by the same manufacturer, this device will as well come in three parts. This means that you will have to put these components together before you can go on your fishing trip. You need to be able to follow instructions to the letter if you are going to do this as that will not only influence the durability but also the usability of the device as well.
The construction of this item is positive enough that you would be comfortable making this a long term investment. It involves having a graphite interior to the rod. You want fast reactions at the slightest tug of your line to make sure that your fish do not get away. This is why the graphite has been included. On the other hand, the manufacturer also needs to plan for durability. If they didn’t, they would incur losses due to easy breakages and bad reviews as a result. This is probably why you find the carbon outer wrap is included in the rod.
On the 7’ frame, you only get five zirconium guides, which some people might consider a limited number. Nevertheless, you also get two tip actions included with the device. You can switch between these two as one is heavier while the other is lighter, increasing the number of use options you may have for the tool. Another similarity to its predecessor by the same manufacturer is the European spigot ferrules. Given its three-piece nature, this is more or less a requirement to ensure that all the pieces are attached well before you start angling.
What do we love it for?
Comes with two separate tip actions
Easy to carry due to its three different pieces
What were we disappointed with?
Also, due to the three-piece composition device is more tricky to set up
If the goal is to get a longer rod that is in the budget range, then the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod could be a winner. However, the cost may go up considerably since you will also need to be on the market for a reel. Nevertheless, once you have both products in your possession, attaching the reel using the extreme exposure reel seat should be a walk in the park.
Carbon fiber is what makes up the bulk of the rod, which means this is one of the stronger products in our line up. You will thus be able to do more with it if you are a beginner without worrying needlessly about potential breakages. Also, due to its construction, the device is stiffer than some counterparts on the list. Consequently, it falls in the medium and moderate fast action range.
Guides are limited in number with only a total of five and are made of both stainless steel and ceramic components. This ensures they are not only durable, but that friction is also minimized. These are necessary elements that allow the angler to cast long.
Each of the three component pieces of the tool measures 3’ which, when combined, will measure the 9’ of the rod. The same is the case for the other two sizes of 11’ and 13’ with the length being evenly distributed among the three parts. Extra benefits of making this your priority purchase include a protection/carry bag along and a one-year warranty.
Other features: 6 guides + tip, aluminum oxide guide inserts, waterproof travel bag with shoulder strap, European spigot ferrule connection, 1-year warranty
The product is similar in design to the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod. You can see this in the images provided for both items. In addition to the looks, there are also a few similarities in structure. The first is, of course, the graphite construction. As such, graphite material makes the bulk of the body with exceptions being in the handle and also with the guides. Speaking of guides, this item has six of them made of aluminum oxide.
Another thing you would be wise to take note of is the European spigot ferrule connection, which helps to connect the three pieces of the rod blank into a single item. These make the purchase a little stiffer than some counterparts without actually making it stronger. Nevertheless, if used the right way, there should be no breakages happening.
Power and action for an angler will also often influence the type of fish you can reel in. Being a medium action rod, you can expect to see some bending in the middle of the rod when trying to bring in the hooked fish. Also, with the medium-light power, you would be better off not testing this purchase with larger, more aggressive fish.
Why are we impressed?
The device is relatively affordable
Comes with a waterproof bag along with a 1-year warranty
What negatives must you be aware of?
Setup is a bit more complicated than with other models
Other features: Sls3 blank construction, seven guides with alconite inserts, non-slip foregrip, Pac Bay aluminum reel seat, aluminum gimbal
With this device, you get three sizing options to choose from, depending on which you feel most comfortable with. The power of each is also likely to change with the size. Sls3 blank construction stands out with this device mostly because it is a unique blend to find in a rod. Also, with each rod, you get seven guides, no matter the size you buy. On the insides of these inserts, you find alconite components that are meant to help with both casting and reeling your catch.
Next to the non-slip foregrip, there is an aluminum reel seat and then a secondary grip that you might find necessary, especially if the fish are aggressive. This enables you to keep both hands on the rod, and thus the fish is less likely to get away from you.
What do we love it for?
Three options to choose from
The aluminum reel seat is durable and impervious to corrosive elements
What were we disappointed with?
The device is already expensive and is made more so by the fact that you also have to purchase a reel
Other features: DPS reel seat, double foot guides, a multi-purpose hook keeper, 6-9 guides, EVA foam handle, free rod case, 1-year warranty
Just like the Fiblink Surf Spinning Rod, this tool needs its three components to be complete. When combined, they measure a total of either 6’,7’, or 8’. Since carbon fiber and fiberglass are the main components of this particular tool, you are at least guaranteed of its long-lasting nature. Also, another common theme that you find with rods that have three or four parts is that they come with bags that make them easy to transport to the fishing site and back.
Ceramic guide components, as mentioned earlier, are less prone to wear as they reduce friction with the line, and you can thus understand why they were included. The fishing line also needs to be in tip-top shape if you are going to be hauling a big fish until it is out of the water.
What makes it special?
Less friction between line and guides
Easy to transport
Can be used in salt water as well as freshwater bodies
What cons did we find?
This is a standalone product, and thus you will need a few accessories to make it fully functional
Other features: includes a fishing reel, WF5F/WF7F line, backing, leader and tippet; 16 pieces of flies with box
As the name suggests, this is one option that you can pick, and as soon as the product is delivered, go on a fishing trip. This is because it comes with almost all components that you would need to go fly fishing inclusive of the reel. Beginners rather than fishing veterans will be better served by this product. This is also reflected in the carbon fiber material used as that is less likely to break from the mistakes a beginner would make. Nonetheless, there are no rules against buying this if you already have stripes in the field.
What you do get with the package is a 9’ fishing rod, which has been subdivided into four parts. Also in the box is a fishing line set consisting of up to 16 pieces of flies. Although most devices we have mentioned are ideal for saltwater, some of them can as well be used in freshwater, and this is one of them. This is also visible in the flies that support freshwater angling, as well.
What are our favorite features?
Will not require that you make any additional purchases
Relatively easy to use
What could be better?
Some users have complained that it doesn’t come with adequate instructions on setup
Things to Consider
Chances are you can’t buy all the saltwater fly fishing rods in the market. To prevent a turn of affairs where you end up regretting a purchase, you can arm yourself with the right information. As such, the buying guide below is just as essential as the top products mentioned above.
Features to consider when choosing a saltwater fishing rod
As you can see from the images, features listed, and descriptions provided above, not all saltwater boat fishing rods are built the same. Where one performs well, another will do dismally and vice versa. This is why features are essential in determining the suitability of each product to your needs. Consequently, a list of the same is given below, along with any other information that would be useful in a shopping situation.
Spinning vs. baitcasting is a question you will grapple with a lot, especially if you are starting out in fishing. Of course, each has a set of benefits not available if you go with the other type of rod. The spinning rod will allow you to cast further, and this is in addition to there being less backlash. As such, a beginner is better off with this type of boat/shore fishing rod. More experienced anglers will opt for a baitcaster simply because it offers more control. As such, if you don’t know what you are doing with the baitcaster, you will tend to get a lot of backlash. This is something that should reduce as you get better and better at using the rod.
How many pieces it consists of
As seen with some of the products mentioned above, you can have as many as four pieces making up a single rod. This is bound to affect the action and power of the rod in some way or another. Nonetheless, the benefits of detachable pieces include easy transportation and storage. It is, however, up to you to always ensure components are correctly attached before you start fishing. This is so you don’t lose a catch or even some of the pieces of the rod in the water.
A new angler will probably think that rod length doesn’t matter when it comes to fishing, while others more experienced in the field know better.
A rule of thumb is that the longer the rod, the farther you will be able to cast.
Conversely, the benefit of shorter options is more casting accuracy than their counterparts.
The power of each rod is relative to the weight that will cause it to bend. Where power is ultra-light, it won’t take much weight for the tool to bend with the reverse being true for when a product is rated as ultra-heavy. The two mentioned are on opposite ends of each other with a few power ratings, such as the medium exhibited by the Okuma NOMAD Travel Spinning Rod being in the middle.
Rods will usually bend when you are trying to haul in fish. Where the device bends along the blank is indicative of the action. Consequently, devices that bend closer to the tip are determined to be fast action rods. On the other hand, those that start bending closer to the handle are the slower action rods. Medium action items occupy the middle ground between the two options mentioned.
Another thing that should heavily influence your choice in rods is the material used in construction. As a whole, there aren’t that many options to choose from, with common ones being graphite, carbon fiber, and fiberglass. Graphite is not that popular with newbies since it is brittle and may break if mishandled. However, experienced persons will have a field day with the same devices since they appreciate the sensitivity and have the know-how to manage them, so they don’t break.
Conversely, fiberglass is less prone to breakage and is even lighter to carry. Both of these options are good for different kinds of fish and various types of settings. With more experience, you will be able to judge for yourself which material to use for a particular fishing expedition.
There are as well a few other things that matter in making the device overall a joy to use. One of them is corrosion resistance, as you find in the Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Trolling Fishing Rod with regards to the reel seat. You must remember that saltwater can be corrosive and, thus, measures to protect the device should be appreciated.
Also, you will find that some devices come with reels, and others don’t. The Okuma Nomad Xpress Inshore Rod, for example, only provides you with a reel seat giving you the job of filling it up. You are therefore going to be in control of which type of reel to use and can thus choose options you are more comfortable with. Typically rods that come with reels are pricier. However, buying a reel as a separate attachment may end up being even more expensive.
Other components of these devices are the guides that come in different shapes and sizes. A unique device is the Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Trolling Fishing Rod that has wheels in its guides. Your goal here is to find guides that reduce friction on the line as much as possible.
Often you will find thicker materials in the construction of saltwater fishing rods. They are also likely protected against corrosion from saltwater. That being said, no rule specifies that you can’t use freshwater fishing rods in the ocean. However, you might dramatically shorten the lifespan of a freshwater rod when you do this.
Clean the tool after use with soap and water, dry it thoroughly, and apply wax to the ferrules before you put it back in storage. Also, you should know how to use the device while fishing to avoid breakages properly.
The PENN Squall Level Wind Fishing Combo is a well put together fishing rod that would make the top 5 list for anyone who has seriously looked into the benefits it provides. For starters, the presence of an incorporated reel will reduce the strain on the user to search for other pieces of equipment that accompany the rod. The blend of materials also ensures durability with a bit of sensitivity.
Another device that needs looking out for is the Goture Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo, which takes up the least amount of storage space even with the reel attached. Also, the fact that it is easy to carry may make it the best tool to have around if your fishing trips tend to take longer than most.
A third favorite is the editor’s choice. The device is likely only suitable for anglers who know what they are doing. The most impressive attributes incorporated into this device include sensitivity, high-quality parts and to top it off a five-year warranty. It is, therefore, no wonder that this is a popular purchase. If also, you have any ideas as to which other products deserve mentions on our list, you can suggest a few via the comments section provided below.