Updated: December 2017

Fishing Rod Reviews:

Fishing has always been a favorite pasttime of Americans and it's still thriving today. We are going to talk about basic fishing (streams, lakes, rivers) and avoid deep sea fishing (ocean fishing) altogether. River and lake fishing are the easiest and most common types of fishing with many fathers teaching their sons/daughters how to put bait on a hook, cast the line, and hopefully catch dinner (fish). It's relaxing and peaceful to be out with nature sitting in a boat or standing on the side of a river bank. When it comes to buying a fishing pole, you need to consider a few factors to make sure you purchase the best fishing rod for your skill level. A spinning rod is great for freshwater or saltwater fishing and should 5 to 6 feet long. Graphite fishing rods are preferable to fiberglass rods because they are light, stronger and more sensitive. If you are just starting out, get a cheap rod ($40-$80) and see if you like fishing, then you can always upgrade once you get the hang of it. For the best selling fishing rods, keep reading below.

Fishing guides all agree that the Shakespeare Ugly Stik ($50) is what casual anglers should buy as a starter fishing rod. The Ugly Stik has the Shakespeare's exclusive Howald Process Double-Built construction with a graphite inner core and outside layer of E-Glass. Those feature help create a fishing rod with superior sensitivity and strength. Other features of the Ugly Stik are the blank-thru-handle, aluminum oxide inserts and stainless steel frames on guides, exclusive quick-taper Clear Tip design, durable EVA foam grips, and a solid warranty. Some users say the Shakespeare Ugly Stik can fight and land fish much larger than the price would make you think. St. Croix Rods are the best selling and most popular fishing rods on the market. They are made of the best materials, cast effortlessly, and combine strength with light weight. The St Croix rods cost between $140-$300 and are well worth it for the avid fisherman. Other top casting rods are made by Berkley and Fenwick. Some of the Penn rods that our fellow anglers haved used tend to break more easily and repairing them is not worth it. The telescoping fishing rods are great when space is a premium but I prefer the old fashioned style fishing poles like the St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Rods. In our search for fishing rod reviews we found some in depth comments from consumers on sites like Tackletour.com, About.com in their fishing section, Myfishing-guide.com, and on Cabelas.com. Epinions also carries fishing pole reviews as well as Consumersearch.com. We also visited our local Fisherman & Marine store to ask the salespeople just which makes and models were selling well this year. You can see the entire inventory of spinning rods, casting rods, and fly fishing rods online here.

Fly Fishing Rod Buying Guide:

Fly fishing is a little different than traditional fishing and takes much more practice to become proficient. A fly fishing rod performs differently than a regular rod and having some background on what to choose should help in the buying process. Look at the material the rod is made of, the fly fishing rod flexibility, and the length. Fly fishing rods are either made of graphite or fiberglass and each has advantages or disadvantages. Fiberglass fly fishing rods are cheaper, last longer, and can be used by both beginners and experts. A graphite fly fishing rod is more expensive than fiberglass, is lightweight, and gives more accurate casting. The "action" that a fly fishing rod has relates to the flexibility or stiffness associated with the rod when casting or reeling in fish. A slow-action fly fishing rod has the most bend, are great for catching lightweight fish, perform accurate short range casting but are not so easy for beginning fly fisherman to control. A medium-action fly fishing rod is best for beginners with more control and enough flexibility for short or long range casting. Fast-action fly fishing rods are stiffer and therefore are excellent for long distance casting or reeling in larger fish. The last of accuracy tends to frustrate beginners who need the control while casting. Length is the last variable to consider when buying a fly fishing rod. Anything less than 8 feet long is considered a short fly fishing rod and these are perfect for tighter fishing areas near trees, bushes or narrower sections of rivers. A medium fly fishing rod (8 to 9 feet) is what most people use since they are good for long casting and are better equipped than shorter rods at handling more weight. If you want big-game fish, then go with a large fly fishing rod (more than 9 feet). The top rated fly fishing rods are the Sage TCR ($715) - best casting rod for distance and accuracy, Thomas and Thomas Helix ($640) - easy to cast and lightweight, Powell Tiboron II ($499) - good line speed and power. Other top models include the Sage XP Series, Sage Fli, G. Loomis Streamdance GLX Max, Scott S3 Series, Sage Launch, Winston Boron IIx, Orvis T3, and the St. Croix Legend Elite Fly. You can browse the most popular fly fishing rods online here. They carry Sage, St Croix, Fenwick, Orvis, and Wild Water gear.

Kids Fishing Rod:

Lots of kids like the idea of fishing and want to try it at least once. Don't spend $100's on a new fishing pole for your child unless you know they are going to use it consistently. Otherwise, go with a cheaper model from a name brand manufacturer to allow them to at least try the sport of fishing and if they enjoy it, upgrade them to a better fishing rod and reel down the road. We buy most of our fishing rods at Target for our kids. They offer a nice selection of brand name fishing rods at cheap prices. Some of their more popular fishing rods are the Rapala Spincast Kids Rod and Reel Set with Tackle ($15.99), Storm 2-pc. Spincast Reel Combo Stick with Eva Grip-B - 6' ($19.99), Rapala Reel and Rod Combo - 6'-6" ($39.99), Complete SpinCast Fishing Kit ($19.99), Shakespeare Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo ($39.99), and the Master 2-pc. Rod and Reel Combination - 9' ($39.99). Check out the best selling kid combo rod and reel kits sold online here.