3 Best Rod And Reel Combos For Northern Pike

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Hey there anglers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best spinning rod and reel combos for Northern Pike this year. Pike fishing gives us a unique angling experience however for many, they can be a challenging proposition as well.

And unless you are appropriately equipped with the best rod and reel combos to handle these aggressive and hard hitting fish, this can be even harder. So for those of you looking to get yourself a good combo for your Northern Pike (and Muskie as well by the way) fishing exploits, I have had a good look around and come up with three good options below.

Let’s check them out…

My three recommended spinning rod and reel combos for Northern Pike

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

02/19/2024 05:36 am GMT Lasso Brag

What are rod and reel combos?

As we know, a fishing combo is a rod and reel sold as a matched set. In most cases, the rod and reel are from the same manufacturer or matched by the retailer due to compatibility. Whichever the case however, the idea behind purchasing a combo is that they are matched in terms of balance in size and also usually a bit cheaper.

When it comes to catching Northern Pike, the combo you choose needs to be large enough to handle the fight of the fish and durable enough to last a few years as well.

best rod and reel combos for striped bass - rod and reel combo

What should you be looking for?

Now, as you have probably guessed, when it comes to purchasing a new rod and reel combo there are things to consider for both the rod and the reel. In my experience, I would always place greater scrutiny on the reel over the rod however you should still consider size and weight there too.

Let’s then check out some of the factors to consider in a reel and then the rod…


  1. Line capacity
  2. Drag system
  3. Gear ratio
  4. Braided-line compatibility
  5. Other considerations


  1. Material
  2. Length
  3. Power
  4. Action
  5. Additions


Considerations for the reel include:

Line capacity

The reel’s line capacity is the maximum length of line that the spool can hold without getting overloaded. Because the diameter of the fishing line increases with its strength, generally the stronger it is, the more space takes up more space on the spool.

Braided fishing line of course assists with this however large Pike can take a real lot of line as they ‘run’. Hence, you will need to consider the size of the fish you intend to catch when choosing a reel and match the line capacity accordingly. For Northern Pike, look for a reel that can hold 200 – 300 yards.

Drag system

The drag’s purpose is to limit how much force can be applied to the line before the spool slips and lets out more lines. This avoids line breakage giving it a little more strength as well as protecting your reel at the same time.

Granted it is almost impossible to purchase a spinning reel that doesn’t have a drag system included these days however you should always check the manufacturer’s strength limitations to ensure it can handle the type of fish you will be chasing.

Most work via the movement of internal aluminium plates that ‘give’ under pressure however some are also made from carbon fiber for greater strength and smoothness as well. For this species, look for around 15 to 20lb of drag.

Gear ratio

Another critical aspect of a good spinning fishing reel is its gear ratio. The gear ratio indicates how many times the rotor revolves for one handle rotation. With a 6.2:1 gear ratio, the line will wrap around the spool 6.2 times for every handle rotation.

When it comes to Northern Pike fishing, you will find that the larger reels tend to sit around the 5.2 – 6.0 mark which is good as you can play with the drag without the line coming in too fast which can place extra strain on the line and gear.

rod and reel combos for northern pike - pike on red line

Braided line compatibility

Because of its strength, casting distance and sensitivity, braided fishing line is a popular choice for most Northern Pike fishing. On the other hand, a braided line is known to either slide around on spools when reeling in or ‘bite’ into itself when casting.

To counter this most reels are lined with a mono backing to keep the braid tight however some also offer a rubber grip material where the line makes contact with the spool to help mitigate the effect. Instead of slipping around, the line will catch on the rubber material and provide you with leverage to pull some of that line back.

Of course you could also try a line spooler as well…

Other considerations

Other considerations include:

  • Ball bearings – Ball bearings in a reel work in the same manner as a car wheel in that they provide extra smoothness as the handles etc. are turned. When it comes to a reel, the greater the number of ball bearings you can get for the price, the better. And if the reel will be used for ocean or surf fishing, anti-rust or shielded bearings are also highly recommended.
  • Anti-reverse – This feature prevents the handle from turning backward allowing the line to be reeled in but not released. Some spinning reels have an anti-reverse feature that lets the angler spin the reel back to let the line out while keeping the bail closed.
  • Corrosion-resistance – The best fishing reels are designed using corrosion-resistant materials, such as anodized aluminum or carbon. Furthermore, excellent fishing reels typically have sealed components to keep water out of the gears allowing them to remain smooth, precise, and fully functional.
  • Handle – Most are plastic or EVA but make sure it fits comfortably in your hand (more expensive models are carbon fiber).


Considerations for the rod include:


Choose a fishing stick made of ideal materials for your fishing needs. Most rods are made of one of three materials:

  • Fiberglass – Very strong and durable with very little maintenance required (rinse off after fishing is generally all that is needed). Also, very cost-effective with many good options available that don’t cost the earth – although these types of rods appear to be less available these days due to the introduction of carbon fiber technology.
  • Graphite – Graphite rods are generally more rigid with higher power ratings (see below) however tend to have greater sensitivity than their fiberglass cousins. Their composition also means that a little more cleaning is required over time to avoid them becoming brittle and snapping. These are good for shorter rods too as they can handle bigger fish without the ‘give’ that longer rods have.
  • Carbon Fibre – This is a newer compound in fishing rods being more rigid than the fiberglass/ composite rods but also lighter – which is great for heavy offshore fishing. These types are becoming more and more popular for all levels of experience due to their toughness and versatility.


Good rods for Northern Pike typically measure around 6′ to 7′ in length. Such lengths make them easy to work with when using both bait and lures and the best options carry a lot of power as well making them incredibly strong and reliable.

Some modern rods are longer and have greater strength, lightness, and flexibility making them adaptable for chasing other species too.


Choose a rod with the appropriate power for your needs. The amount of force or weight required to bend a rod is called its power. It is typically defined as:

  1. Ultralight – really bendy – even whippy
  2. Light
  3. Medium light
  4. Medium
  5. Medium heavy
  6. Heavy – hardly any bend

For Northern Pike, look for a rod in the medium to medium heavy range with heavy options also good for trolling in deeper waters.

rod and reel combos for northern pike - man with pike and rod


A rod’s action is affected by its construction material and method. When you apply pressure to the fishing rod’s tip, the action describes where the rod bends and how quickly it returns to its neutral position. This feature can be slow, medium, fast, or a combination of the three.

This applies whether you are casting or have a fish on the end of the line with settings as follows”

  • An extra-fast action rod bends only at the tip.
  • A fast-action bends in the upper 1/3 to 1/4 of the rod.
  • A rod with a moderately fast action bends over the lover by one-third.
  • A medium/moderate action rod bends over the last half.
  • A slow action bends all the way to the rod’s handle.

For Pike fishing, I would recommend a moderate to fast action so that the rod will bend over the water and allow you to feel when it is fighting and/or running.


  1. Bent butt – Using a bent butt fishing rod relieves strain on your body and allows you to concentrate on reeling in your catch.
  2. Reel seat – This fishing rod component secures the reel to the rod, typically with locking metal rings or sliding bands. Inside diameters of reel seats are always larger than those of the fishing rod blanks on which they will be installed.
  3. Rod handles – Cork and EVA foam are the two primary materials used in fishing rod handles (also called Duplon). Cork handles are lighter than foam handles and retain residual heat in cooler temperatures. On a cold day, this means they are warmer to the touch. EVA foam handles are generally less expensive than cork handles, but they are also far more durable. Unlike a cork handle, a foam handle does not dent or chip when mistreated.


What size reel should I use for Northern Pike?

Northern Pike can get quite large and hit pretty hard as well. For this reason I would be looking at a reel around the 4000 – 6000 mark. Load it with 20 – 40lb braid and a flouro leader and you are good to go.

What size rod should I use for Northern Pike?

This depends on whether you are fishing from the beach or in a boat. Stick to around 7 – 8ft although the longer the rod, the farther you can cast which is good if you are fishing from the bank. Shorter rods however give greater accuracy and movement in a boat.

My three recommendations broken down


So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

My first rod and reel combo option is lightweight, fas, and powerful which makes them perfect when looking for Northern Pike. It is designed for comfort with a golf club style handle and excellent specifications as below:


  • Model: Kastking Crixus
  • Bearings: 7 + 1 double shielded stainless ball bearings
  • Ratio: 5.2:1
  • Composition: Carbon infused frames with precision CNC machined internal components
  • Drag: Front of spool – carbon fiber drag washers
  • Weight: not stated

Other inclusions:

  • Superpolymer Handle


  • Brand: Kastking
  • Composition: IM6 graphite
  • Length: 5’6″ – 7′ (I would go the 7′)
  • Power: Light – Medium heavy (go medium heavy)
  • Action: Moderate – fast

Other inclusions:

  • Non-corrosive reel seat
  • Stainless Steel Guides w/Zirconium Oxide Rings
  • Golf Style Superpolymer Handle

Why have I chosen it?

This spinning combo is a well-balanced, light to medium-heavy action setup ideal for targeting anything, including Northern Pike. The rod is a medium-heavy IM6 graphite blank with enough backbone to bring in big fish without giving up sensitivity. The spinning reels are made of carbon and have an aluminum spool. This is a fantastic option for those looking to get themselves into some Pike on a budget.


2. Abu Garcia Revo X LTD Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

This second rod and reel combo option offers a rugged build to help you in many angling seasons. The reel is braid ready and with the rod, able to handle anything that Northern Pike can throw at you.  See its specifications below:


  • Model: Abu Garcia Revo X
  • Bearings: 6+1 stainless steel HPCR™ bearings + 1 roller bearing
  • Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Composition:  C6 carbon body and side plate with CNC machined stainless steel components
  • Drag: Front of spool – Carbon Matrix hybrid drag system
  • Weight: 0.51lb

Other inclusions:

  • Infinite anti-reverse
  • Lightweight graphite rotor
  • 225/6 175/8 140/10 Mono capacity


  • Brand: Abu Garcia
  • Composition: Graphite
  • Length: 7′
  • Power: Medium heavy
  • Action: Moderate – fast

Other inclusions:

  • Non-corrosive reel seat
  • Stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts
  • High density EVA grips

Why have I chosen it?

This product is extremely reliable and durable with the perfect rod length and a heavy duty reel able to handle all conditions.  I have Daiwa reels myself and have always found them reliable and long lasting.  This is a great option for avid fishers who like to chase Northern Pike and a few other species as well.

3. Penn Battle III Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

This last option is a high-quality reel that is reasonably priced and will last you for years if properly cared for. It is incredibly smooth in both casting and retrieval and is perfectly balanced with a 7ft graphite composite rod. See its specifications below:


  • Model: Penn Battle III 6000
  • Bearings: 5 + 1 fully sealed stainless steel
  • Ratio: 6.2:1
  • Composition: Full Metal body and side plate with precision CNC machined internal components and soft EVA handle
  • Drag: Front of spool – HT-100 carbon fiber drag washers – up to 25lb
  • Weight: 12 oz (352g)

Other inclusions:

  • Stainless ball bearing
  • CNC gear technology


  • Brand: Penn
  • Composition: Tubular graphite composite
  • Length: 7′
  • Power: Medium heavy
  • Action: fast
  • Line weight capabilities: 12 – 25lb mono, 20 – 40lb braid

Other inclusions:

  • Non-corrosive aluminum alloy reel seat
  • Rod Butt Gimbal
  • EVA handle and fore grip

Why have I chosen it?

I take a Battle III 4000 size with me out on the boat lined with 40lb braid. It is low in maintenance and withstands the rigors of saltwater perfectly. If you are in the market for something that will last for years and not let you down then you could do a lot worse than this one.

02/19/2024 05:36 am GMT Lasso Brag


There you have it – my three best rod and reel combos for Northern Pike. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun


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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.