Hey there my fellow fishing enthusiasts. Today, for those looking to get themselves started on their fishing adventures, I have had a good look around and come up with my 3 best fishing rods for beginners to cast this year. Fishing is a fantastic pastime and for those of you who are looking to get started and have yourself a fishing reel that you have found in the back of the cupboard or garage, we will see if we can match a good rod for you as well.
As always however, there are many different types and lengths of fishing rods around including those designed for specific purposes such as surf or ocean fishing. Today then we are going to look at some rods suitable for general use in a number of environments. So, with that in mind, let’s what we can come up with…
My 3 recommended fishing rods for beginners
I will review these in more detail below but if you just want to get moving without all the carry on, my 3 are listed here for your convenience:
|Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod||$||CURRENT PRICE|
|Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod||$$||CURRENT PRICE|
|St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod||$$||CURRENT PRICE|
What should you be looking for?
Now, as per most things to do with fishing, everybody has an opinion in regards to what you need to be successful in your fishing endeavours. I am going to rely heavily on my own experience here so as usual, if you have different uses or have identified something that you think may work a little better, please do not hesitate to comment below. Anyway, let’s run through some of the influences you may need to account for when it comes to selecting a good rod for general fishing use.
As always, it is generally a good idea to match the type of equipment you are using to the location in which you want to use it. These influences can definitely determine the type of rod you would usually use in terms around how far you need to cast. For example, if you are fishing from a kayak or boat, then you generally do not need to cast as far as you would in the surf.
That is why surf rods are usually a lot lot longer than one for a boat. For general fishing however, you may use them here but also in lakes, off jetties, river banks and estuaries as well. So, when it comes to your purchase, just check your local waterway for the following:
- Holes: If there are any holes on the waters edge then that will also reduce casting requirements.
- Rocks and other obstacles: Will you want to cast into them our over them?
- Current: is there a strong tidal current running? If so, larger tackle may be needed.
- Wind: Windy waters are harder to cast in for obvious reasons.
- Mangroves etc.: Casting here will require accuracy.
There is more to this but from a beginner’s point of view, as we mentioned above, longer casting requirements will generally necessitate a longer rod and strong currents will need heavier tackle. In these cases you will generally need to ensure that the rod you choose is capable of casting heavier lines and sinkers if your location makes distance a requirement.
In general, fishing rods are made from one of three main materials, Fiberglass, Graphite and Carbon Fibre with qualities as follows:
- 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 if 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.
- Glass Tip – Glass Tips or ‘Hybrid’ rods are made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass. These are designed to give the best of both worlds with extra strength of the graphite rod added to the sensitivity of the glass tip. Great if you are using the rod in a number of locations and water types.
- 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 general fishing or fishing with kids. These types are becoming more and more popular for all levels of experience due to their toughness and versatility.
Good carbon fibre rods have come down dramatically in price in recent times as well making them, in my opinion, a great choice for general fishing.
When it comes to a fishing rod, size can definitely matter and we touched on rod length above in terms of possible casting needs. Shorter rods also provide for greater accuracy which can be helpful if you are fishing amongst trees, mangroves or other hazards. Slightly longer rods are again better if you are looking to cast a little further away or want to ‘jig’ a lure along the bottom. So, depending on your location and casting requirements, you can choose from the following lengths:
- 5 – 6 foot – Use when dropping directly below a kayak or jetty or precision of casting is needed. Not great for longer casting but can generally handle heavier sinker weights etc.
- 6 – 7 foot – These are a good middle of the road rod – especially if you only take the one. These allow for longer casting whilst maintaining some accuracy.
- 7 – 8 foot – You are getting to the end of length suitability here for a general rod but these can work well if you are going to be drifting or trolling with a lure or need that extra casting distance.
- 9 – 13 foot – These are your surf rod lengths. I would avoid these unless you are going to be fishing exclusively in the surf. In this case I would be checking out my post covering surf rods for beginners.
For a general fishing rod, I would recommend anything in the 6 – 7.5 ft line unless you are using in surf as well then perhaps extend out to 8 ft or so.
Many beginners will look at purchasing a combo set but if you already have a reel that you are planning to attach to your rod, then you will just need to make sure that the one you purchase will attach to it properly (most do but still worth checking) and is not too big or heavy for the rod.
Also, you will need to ensure that you know the difference between a spinning reel and a baitcaster one as the rods are not interchangeable.
There are plenty of technical terms for the power settings of a fishing rod but in simple language, I have always known the power rating as a measure of how ‘bendy’ it is. Light power rods bend with little force and heavy need a lot of pressure to bend. So, in short:
- Light – very bendy – even whippy – will bend a lot with even the smallest fish.
- Medium – needs a bit more pressure to bend – this is a good measure for those who wish to fish in a number or different environments.
- Heavy – takes a lot to make it bend – these are a bit harder to cast but I like a heavier power setting in my really short rods – especially if I have not need to try and cast in mangroves etc.
There is also a measurement that some rods have in regards to what they call Action or Speed. This is determined by where the rod bends. Fast action bends from the top third which increases their sensitivity whereas slow rods bend down towards the reel. To be honest, I had never really taken much notice of this until I purchased a rod for surf fishing with fast action. It is the best as you can really feel everything and casts a mile!
For a generalist rod, I would go moderate or medium, unless to have a need to cast a long way from your location, then maybe edge towards a faster rod as they allow for heavier rigs.
This has nothing to do with the art of catching fish rather than the weight and comfort of it. Some common options include:
- Hard foam – sort of like a very hard version of a pool noodle.
- EVA – Soft Rubbery stuff.
- Cork – often very light and commonly used in these types of rods.
- Rubber Shrink Tube – soft and extremely durable and also can be quite light.
I like the EVA handles myself as they are comfortable and very light. One of mine however does have a rubber shrink tube handle and it is very comfortable to hold as well.
When it comes to fishing rods, whether you have a full piece or a split piece (where the rod pulls apart into two or more pieces) is, in my opinion, a matter of circumstance… I have used both and if I am being brutally honest, I really don’t see enough of a difference when it comes to catching fish. After all, on the days I have not caught anything or worse, lost a big one that I had managed to hook, I guarantee that the fact that my rod comes in two pieces had nothing to do with it…
The question to ask yourself here is how you will be transporting the rod to your fishing spot. If you don’t have the space or means to move a one piece rod, then a two or three piece it is…
What do I use?
My very first fishing rig as a beginner was one that I bought as a rod and reel combo. The rod is a 6.7ft spinning rod with with specs as follows:
- Made from: Fiberglass
- Length: 6ft 7in
- Power: Medium
- Action: Medium
- Composition: Two piece
- Handle: Foam
This is an older rod but has worked perfectly for me in just about every environment that you may need for general fishing including the beach and light ocean fishing. It is a little heavier than most modern rods – which is to be expected – however the length and power/action settings have made this a very useful and versatile option which I still use today.
My three recommendations broken down
So based on the information above, and my own experience, I recommend the following for for kayak fishing in closed waters.
1. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod
I have chosen this first rod based on the fact that is the best I have seen for the budget minded fisherman. There are two different length options and it breaks down into 2 pieces making it easy to transport. It is a good, solid and durable product that is light to hold with specifications as follows:
- Made from: Graphite and Fiberglass
- Length: 6 to 9ft (stick to the 6 – 7ft for general fishing)
- Power: Light – Medium Heavy (go the medium to medium heavy)
- Action: Not started
- Composition: 2 piece
- Handle: EVA
Other advantages include:
- Clear tip design for strength and sensitivity
- Stainless steel guides for smooth casting and reeling.
- Can handle up to 15lb mono line.
Why have I chosen it?
This is a good little rod for a good price as it is lightweight, sensitive and easy to handle. There are a number of length and power options allowing for specific needs with choices to cover most environments as well. The graphite and stainless steel build is low maintenance (simply rinse off) with great durability and versatility in all conditions.
2. Berkley Lightning Rod Spinning Rod
My second rod is a good one for the both the beginner and more experienced angler who is planning to do a little more fishing and hence wants something that will do the job with great durability and usability. Rod lengths range from 5.6 – 7ft to handle most locations and line/tackle requirements. It is also not as expensive as some of the other carbon fiber models on the market with specs including:
- Made from: 24 Ton Multi Modulus Carbon Composite
- Length: 5.6 – 7ft
- Power: Medium Light to Medium
- Action: Moderate
- Composition: 2 piece
- Handle: Rubberized cork
Other advantages include:
- Extreme lightweight composition .
- Stainless steel guide frames with Aluminium Oxide inserts.
- Double up locking reel seat
Why have I chosen it?
I like this one as it is a good lightweight, durable rod that will work well with a number of reel sizes. It is a great price for a carbon blank and its specification range would allow it to handle most fishing conditions including the ability to cast a bit further if needed. Stick to the 6 – 7ft models as they will handle most line and tackle setup requirements that you would be using in most conditions and environments.
3. St. Croix Premier Spinning Rod
The third rod I have chosen is a little more expensive but for general fishing, it is almost the perfect rod. It is available in a number of lengths making it a good all round rod for those who want to use it a variety of conditions and environments. The SCII carbon construction is part of the reason for the higher cost but it also means that it can handle the bigger catches whilst maintaining the sensitivity that new anglers need. Its specs include:
- Made from: SCII Carbon construction
- Length: 6 – 7ft
- Power: Medium
- Action: Fast
- Composition: 1 piece
- Handle: Cork
Other advantages include:
- Premium quality SCII Carbon.
- Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminium-oxide rings.
- Premium grade cork handles.
Why have I chosen it?
As I have mentioned above, this rod is a great one for fishermen of all experience levels who a looking for a little quality over price. The carbon build and specifications make it a very versatile rod for most conditions and needs with the ability to handle most applicable line strengths as well. This is a rod with strength capabilities that would not see it out of place in the surf or on the ocean as well
And there it is – my 3 best fishing rods for beginners to cast this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please 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