Welcome to TBFRG! Our goal is to provide you with all the information you need to go fishing and actually catch some fish. Below is a comprehensive guide we’ve provided for free (with helpful links) to help you get started. If you have any questions, please contact us. We focus on two big things on this website:
- We review the most popular fishing rods and fishing products to help you choose the best.
- We give fishing techniques that help build the foundation of your skills
Use this guide to find the best fishing rod and fishing tackle for your specific techniques, waters, and needs. After reviewing more than 50 different types of fishing rods for different objectives, we compiled the top fishing rods in the table below. Please see below for more tips on how to find the best fishing rod for you.
The 5 Most Popular Fishing Rods (Comparison Table)
Avg. User Rating
|Pflueger Trion GX 7 Spinning Combo||$30-70||4.5|
|Shakespeare Medium Action Ugly Stik Bigwater Combo||$30-70||4.5|
|Okuma Safina Pro Spinning Combo||$30-70||4.5|
|Roddy Hunter Pink Lady 2 - Pc. Spinning Combo 5 1/2'||Under $30||4.5|
|Quantum Fishing Ultrex Baitcast Combo||$30-70||5|
Choosing a “Good” Rod
The quality of a fishing rod depends on how each of the separate components come together to perform at the highest level. Here are three things to keep in mind as you go through the guide:
- The type of material each components is made of, including the blank, guides, and handle
- The type of fishing reel that feels best and fits onto your preferred rod
- The ergonomics of the rod, including the comfort, how it feels in your hands, and balance.
What is Your Purpose?
One of the biggest benefits of having the best fishing rod is having the right tools to target the fish you want. When many people begin fishing, they buy only low-priced rods assuming that there really isn’t a difference in quality. Little do they know, problems like snags and backlashes happen many times with bad rods. In addition, cheap rods can break more easily than the higher priced fishing rods, which is very frustrating when you are out on the water. Like the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
A good fishing rod is one that fits your purposes. When you’re looking for a rod, you should ask yourself these five important questions:
- Who is the fishing rod for?
- What type of fish are you targeting?
- When are you fishing?
- Where are you fishing? (Ocean, river, lake, sea, streams, etc.)
- How are you fishing? (Boat or bank)
Not only will a quality rod save you a headache, it can help you catch fish. Yes, in fishing, the equipment plays a big part in your success. For example, the sensitivity of a rod is how easily you can sense a fishing biting your bait. With stiff rods, you cannot feel when a fish bites your bait. If you can’t feel the bite, then you cannot react accordingly.
Many times, beginners will cast their line, and after 30 minutes of waiting, they will pull their line back only to discover that they were duped by a fish! Don’t get fooled once you find those fish in the water!!
The Four Factors of Fishing
There are four different things to consider before you pick the best fishing rod for your needs.
1. The type of fish you want to fish for.
People generally fish in the lakes, oceans, or rivers that are closest to their home. It would be helpful to research your surrounding area to find what fish live in your waters. I recommend specializing in one species of fish first, and then expand as you get better and better. Learn everything there is to know about your target fish, such as their feeding habits. This will help you find and catch more fish.
2. The rod parts that best suit your needs.
Understanding the different kinds of tackle (fishing tools) will help you decide what works best for you. Much of this depends on what kind of fishing you will do. For example, if you are targeting larger fish, you will want a baitcaster reel, which is made to cast larger bait. Do you want a long rod or a short rod? A long rod will allow you to cast longer distances, while a short rod will help you pull the game fish that love to fight.
3. The type of fishing you will partake in.
Choosing a fishing rod depends on if you will fish from the beach (called surf fishing), from a boat, from a pier, on ice, etc.. In addition, fishing in a lake or river requires different tackle than fishing in the ocean. This is because the saltwater fishing tackle is made of specific materials designed to prevent corrosion. If you use a freshwater fishing rod to catch saltwater fish, your line, hooks, and even reel can be heavily damaged.
4. Your budget.
For a beginner, it is recommended that you consider how much time you will invest in the sport. If you know that you will be fishing often, you should start with a rod that is a medium range cost and work your way toward a more advanced rod. Beginners should start with a medium action rod that is flexible, but not too flexible. If you are not sure if you will fish a lot, I would recommend buying a less expensive beginner rod (less than $30) to get acclimated to the sport. The benefit is that it will help you learn what you prefer in a rod, including the length, weight, and action.
Detailed Reviews: Our Top 5 Favorite Fishing Rods
This rod is recommended for beginners, because it is often difficult to feel when the fish bite the hooks. This rod is sensitive, making it easy to feel slight movements. The Pflueger brand makes high quality fishing rods in all price ranges. The 2-piece Echelon (medium action) rod comes with a cork handle and graphite body, which provides a balanced feel when casting. Because it can break down into smaller parts, it can be taken anywhere. The cork grip makes a great handle, both comfortable and sturdy.
The rod comes with a spinning reel with 5 stainless steel ball bearings, as well as a one-way clutch anti-reverse bearing. This is recommended for fishing in lakes and rivers.
#4 Quantum Vibe
This rod is good for fighting fish, and the overall outfit makes it great for making long casts. It is recommended for the casual fisherman due to its price and its quality. Its three-part cork handle allows for a firm grip and great control. The 6-ft frame is great for casting off the pier or from land.
The Long Strike spool allows smooth long casts, and the wonderful front drag allows you to fight fish during the longer fights. This characteristic allows for a fun sport fishing adventure. This combination comes with a spinning rod. Overall, if you do not plan on fishing a lot, but want a quality rod, this rod is particularly recommended for you.
One of Shakepeare’s most popular and well-known fishing rods is the Shakespeare Ugly Stik. This is a 2-piece, medium action rod. This isn’t a rod/reel combination, so be careful when purchasing (A great way to save money is to buy one reel, and different kinds of rods to fit your fishing needs). The rod is available from 5 to 9 feet, and uses an unconventional “Ugly Tuff” EVA foam grip and stainless steel framed guides. This handle is longer, making it a comfortable squeeze. One downside of this is that it isn’t as durable as the cork handle.
The Ugly Stik is one of the most durable rods on the market. They are tough cookies for sure. You can fight fish, toss it around, even step it on it accidently, and it won’t break. Even though it is a medium action rod, the balance provides a sensitive touch that allows one to feel even very light bites. In addition to the durability and strength, the rod is sleek. It is a jet black laced with gold grim. Just glancing at the rod, you will notice the immense amount of detail that was put into each and every rod they make.
All in all, this rod will last you a long time (unless you run over it with your car). It’s a great rod for the price, and will withstand a lot of beatings. The recommended use is for freshwater fishing such as lakes and rivers, but it can even be used for trolling. Overall, a great and versatile rod.
Most people who buy this rod wonder how such a high quality rod came at such a low price. This rod is a crowd favorite for sure, combining its medium action solid graphite rod with its spinning reel allows for excellent fishing experiences for years to come. Generally, the more ball bearings on a reel, the better. This is because it lasts longer. This is the one downside of this rod/reel combo – it has only 2-ball bearings. Whether you use this as a main rod, or a backup rod, it will serve its purpose. You might even switch this one out to use full-time after you get used to it. This rod is #2 on this list due to its quality and its price. You will get the most bank for your buck, especially if you are a beginner.
The front drag allows for great fighting experiences with the fish you are targeting. It is sturdy to handle the bigger fish, but sensitive enough to sense even the smaller bites. If you are looking for one of the highest quality rods at a low cost, this is definitely a great choice. In comparison to other rods, this rod outperforms many other more expensive rods.
This graphite rod provides a lightweight balanced feel with a solid design. It will be able to handle all fish sizes, and is great for all beginners and experienced fishermen. It is a strong rod that will help you have control of your fish. Abu Garcia has been long-known to produce great fishing tackle, and this is another great addition. While the price tag on this one is the highest of the Top 5, it actually is a moderately priced piece of equipment that is worth its price in gold. With Abu Garcia, you really do get what you pay for. They make some of the highest quality rods on the market available today.
The quality of the Abu Garcia Black Max speaks for itself. It is a tough rod and will give you plenty of good times on the lake. This rod isn’t necessarily made for beginners, as the baitcaster rods require a little more skill. Of course, everybody is a beginner until they learn. With a little practice, this rod will help you cast large lures and bait into your local waters, great for salmon, sturgeon, and even larger trout.