Best Kayak Fishing Rod in 2021 | Picked By Successful Anglers

I picked up fishing as a hobby not long ago, and I tend to go fishing on a kayak and I love this. It’s proven to be a fun and rewarding activity, albeit a difficult one. Fortunately, I was able to minimize the difficulty with the right fishing equipment – one of which is a fishing rod.

With a good fishing rod, I am able to catch fish quickly and easily. It’s also really important as it helped keep me comfortable and maintain full control of my catch. As such, I have created my review of the best kayak fishing rods in the market.

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Top 10 Fishing Rod for Kayakers

Top Rod Picks

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Budget Friendly

Okuma Classic Pro GLT Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod (8- 20 Lbs, 7-Feet  6-Inch, Medium-Light)

  • Happens to be best Salmon Trolling rod
  • Super perfect as downrigger rod as well
  • Best budget trolling rod you will ever have

Our Best Pick

PLUSSINO Fishing Rod and Reel ComboPLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit Fishing Rod Kit …

  • Super strong and sturdy for fishing
  • The whole setup can easily be packed up in your backpack
  • Reel turning is really smooth with it


Ugly Stik Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod ComboUglyStik USSP602M30CB Shakespeare USSP602M/30CBO GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo, 6 Feet, Medium Power

  • Comes with a good rod with a fantastically smooth reel
  • Even perfect for 10lb monsters
  • A combo that makes confident on fishing

Best Kayak Fishing Rod

10 Best Rods for Kayak Fishing

1. Falcon Rods Coastal Spinning Rod

Falcon Rods Coastal Spinning Rod (7-Feet/Medium)

This rod takes fishing performance in saltwater to the next level. It features a graphite blank which has a medium power rating for strength and responsiveness. It also has Fuji stainless steel chrome finish guides which are significant for improving corrosion resistance. The Fuji guides also ensure the accuracy of the line and promote long distance casts.

Similarly, it is equipped with a Fuji reel seat to firmly affix your spinning reel and improve the rod’s sensitivity. To ensure durability in saltwater, it has a double flex coat finishing which will also give you a competitive advantage over other fishers.

The other important feature about this rod is that the butt cap and cork handle are designed to provide you with a comfortable grip.


  • Comfortable grip
  • Graphite blank with medium power for strength and responsiveness
  • Contains a double flex coat to ensure its durability in saltwater
  • Corrosion resistance


  • The reel seat does not last long

2. Okuma’s Nomad Rod

Okuma's Nomad Inshore Saltwater Multi Action Travel Rods-NTi-S-703ML-M (Blue/Black, 7-Feet)

If you are planning to travel with your fishing rod, then the Okuma’s nomad rod is the perfect solution for you. It is designed for anglers who like to enjoy quality fishing time during their travel as it comes with a carrying case to fit. It can be assembled in 3 different pieces for easy transportation with each rod having two tips with different actions.

It is known for its great performance in all fishing conditions and is ideal for various fish species. The weight is well-balanced so you can hold it tightly and give you a better feel regardless of the fish you’re targeting. It is perfect for catching big fish since it provides you with more power and control.

Additionally, it is constructed with a European spigot ferrules connection which gives it a rock solid feel and the sensitivity of a one-piece rod. Lastly, its reel seats are hooded and made of stainless steel.


  • Ideal for casting various fish species in long distances
  • Can be assembled in 3 pieces for easy transportation
  • Stainless steel reel seat
  • Non-slip and comfortable grip
  • Constructed with a durable graphite blank


  • Grip is short and low

3. Daiwa Ultralight Spinning Rod

Daiwa PSO664ULFS-TR Presso Ultralight Pack Spinning Rod, 6'6 Length, 4Piece Rod, Ultralight Power, Fast Action

The Daiwa Ultralight fishing rod is a rod that offers true performance. It is perfect for anglers on the move since it comes with a travel case. It also has a guide system which aids in sensitivity, accuracy, and great hooking. The guides are coated with aluminum oxide to increase rust resistance, thus making it ideal for fishing in freshwater.

The rod is constructed with dark graphite blanks for maximum sensitivity and power. Similarly, it features the micro-pitch blank tapping during the curing process which ensures even distribution of both the graphite and resin. This superior rod also comes with shock-absorbing action in order to deal with strong fish on the ultra-fine lines.

I love the fact that the cork handle is lightweight and split so as to provide you with a firm and comfortable grip. The reel seat is designed with stainless steel and a cushioned hood to give a powerful performance when struggling with your catch.


  • Grip is designed with a cork for a comfortable grip
  • Rust-resistant construction


  • Rod may easily break

4. St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods (76, MLF)

The St. Mojo spinning rod is designed specifically to be used in saltwater inshore fishing. It performs well because of the premium quality SCII graphite blank which is lightweight and gives the rod strength and durability.

It comes with a split grip handle to give you a better balance and provide you with a comfortable feel. The cork handle not only makes the rod attractive but also enhances its functionality during inshore fishing.

I love the fact that you can place the lure exactly where you want it due to the great action of the rod. Lastly, the flex coat slow-cure finish gives it a clean and durable look.


  • Premium cork handle
  • Aluminum oxide guides
  • Premium quality graphite blank


  • No cons so far

5.  Daiwa Conventional Rod

Daiwa BFBT70HR Beefstick Salt Water Conventional Rod (7- Feet, Heavy, 20-50 Pounds)

The Daiwa conventional rod is a top choice for most fishermen due to its high performance and durability. The heavy action makes it ideal for anglers who want to catch large and heavy saltwater fish. Apart from being a heavy-action rod, it is made of a stainless and corrosion-resistant material to enhance its performance.

Just like most spinning rods, it features a graphite construction for smooth holding and free movement of the line. You will also appreciate the sensitivity of the fiberglass blanks.

It comes with stainless steel guides that have a multi-coat Epoxy finish. The protective coating ensures smooth flow of the lines when casting and prevents corrosion from occurring.


  • Durable construction for heavy catches
  • Very affordable
  • Sturdy and stainless seat to secure your reel
  • Great heavy action rod


  • Not suitable for novices because of its heavy action design

6. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod 7' - Medium Light - 1pc

The Ugly Stik Elite spinning rod is one of the most iconic fishing rods and is known for its durable and lightweight design. If you want to have an exceptional and memorable fishing experience, you should consider this product.

It is constructed from fiberglass and graphite for lighter weight yet increased sensitivity. You can use it all day without getting tired and carry it around with ease. The strength and quality of this rod will enable you to catch any type of fish irrespective of its weight or size.

You will appreciate the fact that it has an exposed reel seat so your hand can be in contact with the blank. This minimizes the chances of missing out on great catches. It is constructed with a cork handle to provide a strong and comfortable grip when wet.


  • Made of lightweight graphite
  • Comes with a cork handle for a better grip
  • Stainless steel guides to ensure durability
  • Clear tip design for increased sensitivity
  • Flexible and sturdy


  • Casting fewer lures can result in inaccuracy
  • Small reel holder

7. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Micro Series Spinning Rod

If you’re looking for an ultra-light action with a fishing rod, then the Shakespeare Micro spinning rod is perfect for you. It has a decent length which can be adjusted to your preference and the species you are targeting.

Moreover, it is very versatile and can perform different actions flawlessly. It comes with a full cork handle to ensure comfort and a better grip while fishing. Additionally, it is strong and sturdy due to its graphite construction. Apart from productivity, the graphite composite makes the rod more sensitive to enable you to catch more fish.

 The other feature that will amaze you is the stainless steel guides and inserts. It also comes with a conventional reel seat and cushioned hoods for a powerful fishing performance.


  • Great action
  • Great for light lures
  • Full cork handles for better grip
  • This rod can bend almost halfway


  • Comes as a single piece of stick

8. Okuma Classic Pro

Okuma Classic Pro GLT Downrigger Rod (8- 20 Lbs, 7-Feet  6-Inch, Medium-Light)

The Okuma Classic Pro offers a perfect combination of performance and dependability. It is built using the highest quality materials, making it a dream reel for most professional anglers. It is made of corrosion-resistant and lightweight graphite both on the frames and side plates. The spool is also made of graphite to provide protection from corrosion.

Additionally, the Okuma Classic Pro is built with an anodized aluminum spool for durability and strength. Again, the handle arm is made of anodized aluminum and T-style knobs to secure your grip. The guide system is stainless steel to ensure an even line lay.

Any angler will love the fact that this reel comes with a self-lubricating gear system to minimize the maintenance required. Hence, the drive shaft and main gear will operate smoothly in all conditions. Lastly, it has a multi-disc Rulidium drag system that ensures better performance with reduced heat.


  • Made of lightweight and corrosion-resistant material
  • Durable and affordable


  • The leader is behind the spool
  • Performs better when hooked to a trout

9. PLUSSINO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon Fiber Telescopic Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Sea Saltwater Freshwater Kit Fishing Rod Kit …

This is a fishing kit that includes important accessories for fishing and is great for a novice. It provides you with flexibility for both the rod and reel combo and is perfect for use in freshwater and saltwater due to its stainless steel reel seat that offers protection from seawater corrosion.

The blank is constructed of graphite which makes it extremely sensitive and allows you to feel when there is a bite. It also has increased sensitivity with its fiberglass construction.

Besides, it is a fast action rod that bends a little, making it ideal for heavy and large catches.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Convenient grip
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Affordable compared to other combos


  • The ring attaching the reel to the pole is loose

10. Ugly Stik Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

UglyStik USSP602M30CB Shakespeare USSP602M/30CBO GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo, 6 Feet, Medium Power

A well-balanced reel and rod combo can give you an enjoyable fishing experience. As such, this Ugly Stik spinning fishing reel and rod combo have an innovative design and eye-catching colors for a modern look. Not only is it beautiful, it is also known for its strength and durability due to the anodized aluminum spool.

The rod is made of fiberglass and graphite to make it lightweight and sensitive. The glass of the reel is also filled with a nylon material that protects it from rust and corrosion. The stainless steel ball bearing protects this combination from wear and tear and facilitates a smooth performance.

The Ugly Stik spinning real and rod combo feature a one-piece guide that is stainless steel and eliminates insert pop-outs. It has a clear tip design for added strength and sensitivity to help improve your catch rates. This combo is budget-friendly and can be used by beginners.


  • Stainless steel ball bearings
  • The reel is lightweight and durable
  • Corrosion and rust-resistant
  • Smooth and reliable balance


  • The rod is too long

How to Choose the Best Rod for Kayak Fishing

Having the right fishing rod will improve your performance and give you an outstanding experience. However, it can be difficult to choose the right rod for your needs. I picked the following factors that you need to consider when looking for fishing rods:

  • Rod Action

This is an important feature to should consider when buying a fishing rod to use on a kayak. It describes the flexing of the rod along its length and how fast the rod tip will return to its original position. Action helps the rod to perform well while you are casting or reeling. In most cases, the action will depend on the size, lures, and material of the blanks.

The action can be fast, medium, or slow depending on the type of fish you want to catch. For instance, a fast action rod is ideal for catching big fish, while a medium action rod is perfect for a medium-sized fish. If you need to catch a small fish, the slow action rod will work best.

  • Material

Basically, fishing rods are made of materials such as graphite, carbon, fiberglass, and composite. Each type of material has its own unique features which are likely to affect the action and feel of the rod. Your choice of material will depend on your personal taste and budget.

A fishing rod made of carbon fiber is most preferable because it gives superior performance and speed. However, it is extremely expensive and not a good choice if you are a first-time buyer.

Graphite is great for fishing rods since it retains the weight. It makes the spinning rods and reel flexible and powerful which also helps prevent breakage. It can also enhance the sensitivity of the rod to allow you to catch more fish.

  • Type

Before you make any buying decision, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various fishing rods in the market. This will help you know which is right for your fishing needs.

The first type of kayak fishing rod is the spinning rod which is suitable to use in lure and bait fishing. It is suited for kayak fishing and can be used to catch small to medium-sized fish from the shore.

On the other hand, bait casting rods are more versatile and suitable for experienced anglers. When used by a novice, there is a higher chance of it tangling on the prone. It is the perfect solution if you are looking for accuracy and more control while casting.

  • Rod Length and Weight

It’s vital to know where you will be fishing and the type of fish species you are targeting so you can select the right length and weight of your fishing rod. Also, when you know the size of fish you want to catch, it will be much easier to determine the level of durability fit for your rod.

A lightweight, thin, and long rod is suitable for smaller species while a short, solid, and heavier rod will be appropriate when targeting large and heavy species. Fishing conditions may vary from the sea, freshwater, and saltwater.

Tips for a Successful Kayak Fishing Activity

Kayak fishing is a great way to take on a fishing adventure and connect with nature. In order to be successful in kayak fishing, you need to be familiar with various tips and tricks. I have compiled some handy tips that will make for a successful kayak fishing activity.

  • Pick the Right Gear

Before heading out to kayak fishing, it is wise to have all the essential gears in hand. The first most important gear is the paddles as they will make a difference between an enjoyable and dull kayak fishing experience. Invest in a good quality paddle so you can be assured of better performance.

You also need to pick an excellent kayak fishing rod which is easy to use and increases your chances of catching more fish. It should be lightweight, durable, sturdy and travel-friendly. The other thing to keep in mind is the type of kayak that is right for your needs and the water conditions where you plan to fish.

  • Master using the Paddle One-Handed

We highly recommend getting some training on how to handle the paddle one-handed. Although this technique is challenging, it becomes effective when you are trying to battle a fish. Therefore, take some training so you are able to handle the paddle on one hand and fish on the other.

  • Understand the Location Where You Will Be Kayak Fishing

Understanding the location where you will spend most time fishing will not only save you time but also give you brilliant results and make your outing easier. Do adequate research to find out which species exist in the location you plan to fish. Another tip is to fish in a circular motion rather than paddling farther away.

Kayak fishing can be very versatile, and you can find multiple locations where you can fish. However, you need to understand the rules of the location where you plan to fish beforehand.

  • Safety

We cannot stress enough the importance of taking the right precautions before heading out on kayak fishing. Make sure that you always have a float jacket and a float bag which will prevent your kayak from sinking. Also, make sure that you carry a first-aid kit in case of an accident. Other essential gears include a helmet, floating device, and spray kit.


Final Notes

It is the dream of every angler to have the best rod in the market. This is because having the best fishing rod enhances your fishing experience and makes you a better angler.

Make sure you research about the quality of the fishing rods and ensure that you get value for your money.

Also, ensure that it will help you catch your target species and is productive in the conditions of the location. With my list of the best kayak fishing rods, you will have a great experience catching fish irrespective of your level of skill.