Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners

If you’re still learning how to fish, it’s important to pick fishing gear that is easy to use. So, we reviewed some of the top fishing rods and reels on the market to find you the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners.

If you are in a hurry:

Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners.

Now, let us move to our in-depth reviews.

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners Reviews

Here is our pick of the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners:

There are many types of fishing rods out there. Some are suitable for beginners, while others are great for experienced fishermen. To help you pick the right one, we’ve reviewed each reel on price, performance, and ease of use.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Combo

Ugly Stik USSP602M30CB Shakespeare...

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is one of the most popular beginner rods on the market. A combination of graphite and fiberglass makes it durable, sensitive, and lightweight. It offers great balance and responsiveness for beginners.

At the same time, it is quite flexible, which means that even the biggest of fish won’t be able to snap this rod. Whether lake, river, seashore, or ocean, this rod can do it all.

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is available in different lengths, actions, and power ratings. The different power options include Ultra Light, Light, Medium, and Medium-Heavy. We recommend beginners to go for the 6′ medium power 2 piece rod which comes with an 8-20 line rating.

It is a middle-of-the-road rod that is neither too extreme nor too costly. It is the ideal fishing rod to get started. You can use it to catch freshwater fish like bass, walleye, and trout. It works surprisingly well for catching inshore fish as well.

The rod comes with a matching spinning reel. The reel has a 5.5:1 gear ratio. It features a strong aluminum frame and carbon side plates. The frame, rotor, and side plates are corrosion resistant. The spinning reel is very smooth and not prone to jamming.

When it comes to ease of use, we find that there is nothing better. It is compact, convenient, easy to use, versatile, and affordable. Yet it is tough enough to deal with big and powerful fish. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 is the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners as per our reviews.

Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

PLUSINNO Spinning Rod and Reel Combos...

The Plusinno is one of the top-selling combos on the market. It comes with a spinning rod, reel, case, lures, and extra line. No need to buy any extra pieces or worry about matching gear.

The medium power rod is flexible and sturdy. It casts seamlessly and delivers everything you’d want in a classic beginner rod. High-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass makes it lightweight and versatile.

The build quality is better than most other fishing rods at this price. In fact, it is one of the most durable rods out there.

We like telescopic rods as they are easier to handle. There is no need to disassemble the rod when it’s time to go home.

The rod comes with a size-3000 reel. The spinning reel has a 5.2:1 gear ratio. It comes with an instant anti-reverse and power drive gears. The stainless steel hooded reel seat is resistant to saltwater. The aluminum spool has a large line capacity so that you can avoid the hassle of changing lines.

Plusinno is known for great fishing equipment and this combo is no exception.  It is a great choice for gifting. All the standard features are here with some good upgrades. It is second on our list as the Best Beginner Fishing Rod Combo.

Sougayilang Spinning Rod & Reel

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Combos with...

Sougayilang fishing rod combo comes with a rod, a spinning reel, spare spool, and 110 yards of fishing line. It also includes 3 fishing lures, accessories, and a carrier bag.

The Sougayilang is another good beginner fishing rod. It comes in different sizes from 5.91 feet to 7.87 feet. We recommend beginners buy the 6.89′ rod.

The graphite composite makes it strong, lightweight, and sensitive. You can feel every minor nibble of fish like walleyes, panfish, and other light-biting fish. But the sensitivity doesn’t take away this rod’s exceptional power. The rod has high tensile strength with great impact resistance.

The steel guides help with long and accurate casting. We like the high-quality cork handle, which makes this rod comfortable and easy to hold.

The double lock fishing reel seats are another aspect of this rod that we like. The spinning reel has 13 + 1 ball bearings, precision gears, and a 5.5:1 gear ratio. The stainless steel hooded reel seats add to the durability.

Sougayilang is great for beginners who love to fish while traveling or backpacking. The design blends in with the surroundings. The fish will never even know you are there until it is too late.

Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo

Wild Water Deluxe Fly Fishing Combo...

Wild Water is one of the top-rated fly fishing combos on the market. It is yet another great pick for any beginners looking for a great fishing experience.

The kit comes with a fly fishing rod, a die-cast fly reel, 100 feet of fly line, a tapered leader, and 18 flies. It also includes a line nipper tool, a retractable zinger, and a rod case.

The IM8 graphite rod is lightweight, accurate, and durable. When it comes to performance, this is as good as it gets. At the same time, the rod has a medium-action design. Even the biggest fighting fish are not going to be any kind of a match.

The rod is very comfortable to hold even for long periods of time. You will barely notice that it is in your hands. This is very convenient when you are new to fishing.

As the 4 piece rod comes apart into multiple sections, it is ideal for traveling. You can take it apart and put it in your camping pack when it is time to get going. You can screw the pieces together when it’s time to catch the big fish.

Penn Battle II Fishing Combo

PENN Battle II Combo

Penn Battle II rod comes in different sizes. We suggest you go for the 7′ medium light 1 pc rod. Thanks to the awesome sensitivity, you will feel even the lightest of nibbles.

The rod is extremely lightweight making it easy to use even for long periods. The handle adds to the comfort when holding the rod for extended periods.

The solid build quality makes it a good choice for beginners as well as experienced anglers. Yet, it is flexible enough to catch big fish without snapping. It is great for catching trout, crappie, panfish, perch, or walleye.

The rod comes with an ultralight spinning reel. The fishing reel has stainless steel ball bearings that are smooth as expected. It comes with a powerful HT-100 carbon fiber drag.

The main advantage of the Penn Battle II is versatility. It comes will all the features you expect and a build quality that will last.

Solid build quality is one of the hallmarks of Penn. Battle II is no exception. This rod and reel combo isn’t going to quit on you.

Penn Fierce II Fishing Rod Combo

PENN Fierce II Combo

Penn Fierce II is a solid “no fuss, just fish” kind of a fishing combo. After all, we want fishing gear to last, and last it will! There are no bulky bells and whistles to weigh it down.

The super sleek 6.6FT one-piece spinning rod is very durable due to its high build quality. It has a whole lot of tensile strength and impact resistance. Yet, the flexibility allows you to catch even the biggest of bass or catfish.

An almost exclusive graphite blank makes the rod quite lightweight. The dura-guides fit into one piece to prevent pop-outs. The handle offers ease of use, comfort, and a great grip.

The spinning reel comes full of grease. It is one of those “little touches” that you don’t know of while buying, but most appreciate while using. The HT-100 carbon fiber drag system makes it powerful.

Line capacity rings are a nice touch. You know exactly how much line is still there.

Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo is great for light to medium fishing. We had no issues with the inshore, boat, or surf fishing.

ShinePick Starter Fishing Rod

ShinePick Fishing Rod Kit, Telescopic...

The ShinePick is a complete starter fishing kit. It comes with a telescopic fishing rod, a fishing reel, 100 meters of fishing line, and a dustproof protecting bag. The accessories include line connectors, lures, hooks, and a travel bag. All this for an unbeatable price.

The telescopic rod is available in two sizes: 2.1M and 2.7M. The carbon fiber construction is consistent with the newer spinning rods on the market. The handle has an ergonomic design to make gripping easy enough.

The spinning reel has 13 stainless steel ball bearings, an instant anti-reverse, and a front drag. It is pre-loaded with a braided fishing line for a 40% stronger pulling force than the normal line.

The full kit comes with a few different lures, hooks, and connectors. It gives you a chance to try different lures such as fluorescent, live bait, octopus shape, and a classic hook. All these lures are a little different and there’s no way to tell which will work for you without trying.

The ShinePick is a great choice for someone looking for an all-in-one fishing kit. It includes most things that you need fishing for the first time. It even has a protective bag inside the travel bag.

NetAngler Starter Fly Rod Combo

NetAngler Fly Fishing Rod and Reel...

NetAngler Fly Rod Combo makes it easy for beginners to hit the ground running. It comes with a good beginner fly fishing rod, a fly reel, a fly box, 16pcs flies, and a stainless steel line cutter.

The lightweight rod is suitable for catching sunfish, and small trout. It is a great pick for fishing small streams. You can assemble and disassemble the 4-piece rod quickly. The assembly process here is among the easiest we have seen.

Like most of the other rods on our list, the NetAngler fly fishing rod is excellent for beginners. It has premium cork handles that help in reducing fatigue. Oversized stripping guides and color-coded alignment dots give some subtle touches.

The reel is loaded with the line, backing line, and leader. Pre-spooled reels are a real timesaver for beginners. The reel features a click-drag system for quick engagement. There’re also 9 different fly patterns and a stainless steel line cutter to give you some good options.

The combo comes with a hard case to hold everything. It can be a great gift for someone starting out.

Daiwa D-Wave Surf Fishing Combo

Daiwa DWB40-B/F702M D-Wave Saltwater...

Daiwa D-Wave combo comes with a saltwater rod and a spinning reel. But you will need to buy other supplies for your fishing trip. You will need hooks, lures, sinkers, and a few other accessories too.

The two-piece graphite and fiberglass rod is sturdy. The aluminum oxide guides are corrosion resistant. It is durable and built to withstand the test of time. Yet it is flexible enough to catch different species of fish such as pike, bluegill, tuna, or bass.

It is one of the top surf rods to have in your arsenal. It is a good beginner rod for catching saltwater fish. You can use this rod for freshwater fishing as well.

The fishing pole comes with a size 40 reel. The gyro spinning rotor is well balanced and fuss-free. A smooth ball-bearing drive makes casting and reeling a breeze. The hooded real seats are suitable for saltwater use.

Daiwa D-Wave is a good rod and reel combo for catching bass, stripers, catfish, redfish, Snook, and baby Tarpon. It is a bargain pick as you can’t get a rod and reel this functional for what you’re paying.

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Combo

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Low...

Abu Garcia Black Max comes with a baitcasting fishing rod and low profile fishing reel. The 2-piece medium power rod is great for first-time anglers to catch a variety of fish. You can use this baitcasting combo for pond fishing, river fishing, pier fishing, or surf fishing.

IM6 graphite makes this rod very tough and durable. Not only it is durable, but flexible too. Even those big trout won’t be able to break this rod thanks to its flexibility and build quality. It is easier for beginners to catch big fish without having their rod snap.

The rod is ideal for long casts. You can cast close to 100 yards. Even though it is big, it is quite lightweight. The sensitivity makes it easy for beginners to feel even the smallest of nibbles.

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting rod can come apart into 2 pieces. You can take it apart and put it in your backpack when it is time to go home. It is easy to carry due to its lightweight.

How to Choose a Fishing Rod for Beginners

The first rod you pick will be one of the most important decisions you make. So, it is important to take your time and find a rod that is right for you.

A few other things to consider are length, power, and action.  Here is a summary of these factors to help you pick the right fishing rod.

Rod Length

Fishing rods are usually 6-12 feet long. The length of the fishing rod affects how further you can cast.

If you plan for longer casts or use heavier lines, or fish in windy conditions, you should go with the 9-foot rod. A longer rod means you can cast further and faster. But you need to practice releasing your line as it is harder to cast with a long rod.

If you plan on using the medium-weight line and fishing in typical weather conditions, you should use an 8-foot rod.

If you plan to make short casts and trying to catch smaller fish, you should stick to a 7-foot rod or smaller. We recommend that beginners go for a medium-length rod, about 6 to 7 feet. It will allow you to balance between casting distance, accuracy, and ease of use.

You can also take into consideration the traveling you will be doing with the rod. If you are going to travel far and need to fit your rod in a small space, then go for a smaller rod for easier storage.

Rod Power

Power is the amount of force necessary to bend the fishing rod.  The rod has to be flexible enough so it can bend with the movement of the fish. But at the same time, it has to be sturdy enough to withstand any jerks or tugs that may occur while reeling in a fish.

Rod power is typically measured as ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy, and heavy. The power and action of a fishing rod can be determined by the weight, length, and material of the rod.

Medium power rods allow you to catch different fish species. The lighter the power, the smaller the catch. Heavier fishing rods are less likely to bend.

Rod Action

Action is where the fishing poles bend. There are three common types: fast-action, medium-action, and slow-action. Each type of rod action has its own unique function.
A fast-action rod bends at the tip of the rod, while the rest of the rod stays straight and does not bend. Fast-action rods are the hardest to learn.

You would want to stick with a fast-action rod for larger fish. Fast-action rods allow for the longest casts as they are more durable during strong winds.

A medium-action rod starts bending about halfway down the rod around the middle. So, the middle of the rod and top will bend while the base of the rod continues to stay straight. It is a slight bit easier to learn than the fast-action rod.

Medium-action rods are good when fishing for medium-sized fish. You would use them for trying to catch fish such as trout. We recommend beginners to go for a medium-action rod as it is versatile and easy to use.

A slow-action rod will begin to bend about ¼ of the way down the rod and ease more into bending. Slow-action rods are the easiest to learn.

Slow-action rods have the smallest cast range. They are not meant for long casts. They are great for catching smaller fish. The slow-action rods allow for better fun when fishing as the rod is more flexible.

Rod Construction Material

Fishing rods are made from graphite, fiberglass, or graphite composite. We recommend beginners go for fiberglass, or graphite composite rods. Such rods are lightweight but have the strength to catch even bigger fish.

Most of the Best Beginner Fishing Rods use graphite as it is an extremely light material. It can be engineered into any shape and taper desired.  Experienced anglers go for graphite fishing poles as they are rigid and strong. Such rods are more sensitive so you can feel bites and nibbles.

Graphite rods are tough and can carry a good amount of weight. But they also run the risk of breaking under stress. If you wish to try saltwater fishing, you must go for a graphite rod. If you wish to pursue fishing as a hobby, begin with fiberglass rods.

Fiberglass rods are usually heavier but last longer. They can also make your fishing experience better. Fiberglass rods are better for catching different fish species.

The IM8 graphite makes a rod as durable and responsive as it can be. Graphite is often combined with fiberglass for durability and strength. Such fishing rods are a good choice for beginners as they have some of the pros of each material.

Types of Fishing Rods for Beginners

A fishing rod is any device used to catch fish. It can be anything from a stick with a string and weight at the end or a handheld rod with a fishing line.

There are many different types of fishing rods. But the most common types are spinning, casting, trolling, and fly fishing.

Rod Types and Applications

There are many different types of fishing rods available in the market. All fishing rods work great for specific fishing applications. So, picking the right one determines the chance of success while fishing.

There are a few things that you should keep in mind when choosing a fishing rod. The first thing you should do is decide on the type of fish that you will be fishing for. There are rods designed for specific types of fish. So if you know what kind of fish you will be catching, then your job becomes much easier.

Some of the factors you need to keep in mind include fishing conditions, size of fish, and place of fishing. Make sure you get the fishing rod that works for you.

Spinning Rod and Reel Combos

Spinning Rod and Reel

We recommend that beginners start with a spinning rod and reel combo. Spinning rods are the most common type of fishing rods and are easiest to use for beginners. They match with spinning reels.

The rods have their reel below the handle. They do not have a cover over the reel, which reduces the line friction during reeling in. The reels feature an anti-reverse mechanism to avoid reversing when you try to reel in the catch.

Spinning rods are ergonomically designed for use over longer periods. They allow even beginners to maintain firm grip and control.

Most telescoping fishing rods are collapsible spinning rods. They come in handy for easy storage and transport. But telescoping rods need more maintenance to ensure the joints stay functional.

Overall spinning equipment is more forgiving and easier to start with. They are easier to use than casting rods.

Baitcasting Rods and Reels

Baitcasting Rod and Reel

Baitcasting rods are great for catching bigger fish. They are strong and durable compared to other fishing rods. You can use them for fishing rivers and lakes.

The reel is mounted on the upper side fishing rod. You use a trigger button to release the line that makes it easy to operate. Casting reels use low gears, which makes retrieval a bit slow.

Casting rods require a little more skill and ability. They are usually chosen by experienced anglers. If you’re fishing for sport or going for the large game fish, then casting rods are a great choice.

As a beginner, we suggest that you opt out of baitcasting rods. It takes time and patience to learn the angels for casting. Similarly, avoid heavy trolling or a deep-sea fishing pole.

Trolling Rods and Reels

These are fishing rods used in boats. The reels feature fast gears or an automatic system to pull in catches while the boat is on the move.

The spool line on trolling reels is stronger for handling big catches. They are usually rigged at the back of the boat to pull the bait underwater. A trolling rod reel combo is great for catching big fish in the sea or lakes.

Fly Fishing Rods

Fly Fishing Rod and Reel

Fly fishing uses small colored baits such as flies to lure fish. The lure is pretty light and doesn’t have much weight. As it would be very difficult to cast without the weight to carry the lure forward, we put the weight in the line itself.

A fly rod enables you to cast small baits using the line weight and the length of the rod as a pivot.

Fly fishing rods are generally much longer than convention rods, spinning, or casting. I say generally as there are some very short fly fishing rods made for casting in tight spaces. But, generally, a fly rod will measure 8 feet to 9 feet. A typical conventional rod will be 6′ to 8′ in length.

Fly fishing uses a thick line that sinks into the water. So you need to use a monofilament line to reduce the line visibility underwater.

How to Choose a Fishing Rod & Reel Combo

Selecting the right rod and reel combo depends on a variety of factors. Whether you are targeting specific fish species, or you are looking to fish in a specific environment, there is a rod that will suit your needs.

Understanding how to choose the right combo will help you pick one that will suit your needs.

A Balanced Outfit

When you are a beginner, your gear shouldn’t be too focused or limited to one style. You need a fishing rod that is: Fun, Easy to Use, Lightweight, Strong, Versatile, and Affordable. You need a ‘Balanced Outfit’.

The rod size, power, and action should ‘balance’ with the reel size and weight. This is why we recommend that all beginners consider getting a rod and reel combo or a full fishing kit. It ensures all pieces work well together and saves you from getting stuck with non-matching gear.

A rod and reel combo comes with a matching rod and reel. Sometimes, the reel comes pre-spooled with line. A fishing kit also includes some fishing lures, hooks, fishing line, swivels, sinker weight, and few other accessories.

Beginner Rod and Reel Setup

A few tips for your first rod and reel setup:

  1. Look for a starter kit or a spinning combo to simplify your fishing gear.
  2. Go for a telescopic rod for ease of use.
  3. Look for pre-spooled reels if possible.
  4. A real cork handle is nice, but even EVA foam grips will do.
  5. Stainless steel ball bearings are important for spinning reels.
  6. Try different types of fishing lures and live baits.
  7. Don’t buy all fishing gear upfront. Start small and go from there.

How Much to budget for Starter Fishing Combo?

You can buy fishing a rod reel combo for less than $100 and in some cases less than $50.

It’s always a good idea to not overspend upfront. So many anglers buy all the latest fishing gear only to find out they prefer a style they didn’t buy.

In terms of value, the starter fishing kits, and rod reel combos have an advantage. You can make one purchase and get everything you need for your first fishing trip. It saves you money and takes out any guesswork.

Buying a fishing rod starter kit or a combo is the smarter way to go. It will allow you to spend money on what you know you’ll love.


Here is our list of the 10 Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners:

  1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Combo
  2. Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  3. Sougayilang Spinning Rod & Reel
  4. Wild Water Fly Fishing Combo
  5. Penn Battle II Fishing Combo
  6. Penn Fierce II Fishing Rod Combo
  7. ShinePick Starter Fishing Rod
  8. NetAngler Starter Fly Rod Combo
  9. Daiwa D-Wave Surf Fishing Combo
  10. Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Combo

Ugly StikGX2 is the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners as per our reviews. It’s not the most expensive or the cheapest but a great pick for beginners.

Similarly, Penn Battle II is another good fishing combo. It comes with a lot of power, durability, and flexibility. It’s convenient to use for beginners.

The ShinePick Fishing Kit comes with a rod, a reel, heavy line, extra lures, and a carrying case. It has everything you need for a great fishing experience.

Wild Water is a complete fly fishing combo for beginners. It comes with a fly rod, and all the fishing gear you would need for your first fishing trip.

When it comes to picking a budget option, you can go for the Sougayilang. It features an unrivaled level of toughness, flexibility, and a convenient design too. The spinning reels come with stainless steel ball bearings.

We hope you like our pick of the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners.

If you would like to suggest any fishing starter kits or combos, please let us know via the comments section. We will include them in our next update.