Revealed Might 1, 2023 1:00 PM

The highest saltwater rods are constructed not solely to battle the bigger fish current on the planet’s oceans, but in addition to withstand the extremely corrosive results of publicity to saltwater. Whether or not you’re concentrating on redfish and snook within the flats, or marlin and tuna far offshore, saltwater fishing rods have a a lot stricter case use foundation than freshwater in most situations. Subsequently, selecting the proper rod for the job turns into important in figuring out an angler’s success or failure.

With the market utterly saturated with quite a lot of nice fishing rods for saltwater, deciding the way to spend your hard-earned cash could be an comprehensible problem—particularly for anglers who’re simply starting to begin their adventures within the ocean. We’re right here to assist with our picks for one of the best saltwater rods you should buy proper now.

How We Picked the Finest Saltwater Rods

To find out one of the best saltwater rods, we first leaned closely on our personal experiences on the ocean. Many rods on this listing have been totally examined by members of the Area & Stream workers. In some situations, we examined these rods towards among the hardest-fighting sport fish on the planet, so we’ve found out what’s going to work within the salt and what received’t. Moreover, we fastidiously thought of a number of elements for every rod, evaluating a number of key elements on every. Most notably:

  • Development: What supplies have been used for the rod clean? What kind of guides and reel seats does the rod have?
  • Lengths: Are there quite a lot of lengths to suit a number of situations accessible? Or is that this a specialty rod with one particular goal?
  • Energy: Is that this a light-weight rod meant for smaller species within the flats like bonefish? Or is that this a heavy possibility meant for offshore tuna and swordfish?
  • Motion: Is that this a quick motion rod meant for jigging? Or is that this a sluggish motion higher suited to reside bait or trolling?

Finest Saltwater Rods: Evaluations and Suggestions

Finest Rod and Reel Combo: Daiwa BG Saltwater Combo

Finest Rod and Reel Combo


  • Lengths: 7’ – 10’
  • Energy: Medium mild, Medium, Medium heavy
  • Development: Graphite
  • Motion: Quick


  • Nice value level
  • Glorious drag system
  • Delicate one-piece graphite development


Coming in at $159 on the excessive finish, Daiwa has put collectively some of the inexpensive rod and reel combos available on the market that’s excellent for anglers new to saltwater. Whereas it has a budget-friendly value, it additionally has the sensitivity one would anticipate in a costlier rod as a result of graphite development. There are a number of completely different variants of those rods—some function cork grips and a one-piece development whereas others have EVA foam grips and are two-piece. Both approach, it’s arduous to go mistaken for a first-time saltwater rod. Particularly since Daiwa throws in an aluminum bodied reel with 6+1 bearing system. It’s a strong saltwater fishing reel that’s excellent for many inshore fishing alternatives.

The one actual grievance about this combo is the reel is somewhat heavier than we’d like. Consequently, some anglers may not discover it as snug for fishing all day. Nevertheless, for the value, this is a wonderful place to begin for newer saltwater anglers who aren’t fairly positive what to purchase.

Finest Fly Rod: Sage Salt R8

Finest Fly Rod

Sage Salt R8 fly rod


  • Line Weight: 8
  • Size: 9′
  • Motion: Quick
  • Items: 4
  • Guarantee: Sage’s authentic proprietor guarantee


  • Nice really feel and contact
  • Extraordinarily versatile for quite a lot of species and circumstances
  • Robust spine for large fish
  • Hundreds effortlessly


I examined the Sage Salt R8 this previous winter throughout a two-month-long journey to southern Florida. All through my time within the Sunshine State, the Salt R8 proved to be among the best fly rods I’ve ever forged. It masses effortlessly and may throw bombs at cruising fish on the flats. However the Salt R8’s very best quality is its skill to make quick, correct casts proper off the boat—one thing many saltwater fly rods fail to do. 

Best Saltwater Rods of 2023
Area & Stream Editor Ryan Chelius casts the Sage Salt R8 for bonefish within the Bahamas. Photograph by Max Inchausti

The Salt R8 was designed with this smooth contact in thoughts. And that’s precisely what separates it from many of the competitors—the power to ship exact displays with out sacrificing the ability and power wanted to deal with huge saltwater fish. I had no points punching lengthy casts by way of 25 mph winds, adopted up by dropping delicate displays to incoming bonefish at 30 ft. The flexibility of the Salt R8 is unmatched. To not point out it has a traditional look, a cushty deal with, and sturdy development that can ensure that it final for years on the flats. And if for some motive the rod doesn’t final season after season, the R8 is roofed by Sage’s authentic proprietor guarantee.  – R.C.

Finest Spinning: Penn Carnage III

Finest Spinning

Penn Carnage III


  • Lengths: 6’ – 8’
  • Energy: Mild by way of Heavy
  • Development: Graphite/fiberglass
  • Motion: Average, Average Quick


  • Versatile choices
  • Heavy obligation reel seat
  • Glorious guides


I put the Carnage III to the check a pair years in the past in Costa Rica and it delivered each inshore and offshore. The primary fish I tangled with was a 20-pound Jack Crevalle that gave a extremely gratifying five-minute battle. Though the true check was the subsequent day after I fought a 60-inch, 91-pound yellowfin tuna for about 35 minutes on a Carnage III. The guides had anticipated 40 to 50-pound tuna once we first began fishing them, so the rig was barely undersized for the one which took the bait. And tuna are powerful to land on spinning gear regardless. Nevertheless, the rod’s Fuji Okay-series guides and aluminum reel seat held admirably by way of each head shaking, line-peeling second of that struggle. If the Carnage has the spine for an outsized tuna, it’s powerful sufficient for absolutely anything that swims.

Best Saltwater Rods of 2023
Area & Stream Workers Author Travis Smola with the 91-pound yellowfin tuna he caught on the Carnage III in Costa Rica. Photograph by Travis Smola

About the one draw back I can provide you with is that the value tag is on the excessive facet and could be somewhat a lot for newer saltwater anglers, particularly if you’ll pair it with a comparable reel. We used the Penn Authority on that 91-pound tuna, and that reel begins across the $500 mark. Nevertheless, given the good ergonomics, and that Penn builds jigging, inshore, surf, sluggish pitch, and boat variants of those rods, there may be practically one thing for everybody right here. – T.S.

Finest Jigging: Bubba Tidal Professional Spinning

Finest Jigging

BUBBA Tidal Pro Spinning Rod is the best saltwater fishing rod.


  • Lengths: 7’ – 7’ 6”
  • Energy: Medium mild, Medium, Medium Heavy
  • Development: Graphite
  • Motion: Quick


  • Light-weight
  • Extraordinarily delicate
  • Double locking reel seat


  • Price ticket
  • Simply scratched grip

Jigging rods require a quick motion and nice sensitivity, and the Bubba Tidal Professional delivers on each fronts because of the all-graphite one-piece development. Moreover, the double locking reel seat helps maintain agency whenever you hook into a bigger fish. Bubba didn’t skimp on this rod, utilizing top quality Fuji Okay-guides. This can be a nice possibility for anglers who wish to fish all day due to the sunshine weight afforded by the carbon fiber deal with. Whereas this rod excels in jigging inshore, F&S contributor Max Inchausti additionally repeatedly took it offshore, the place he discovered it excels in casting too.

Though he additionally discovered the grip can scratch simply in the event you aren’t cautious. Our solely different draw back to this rod is the value tag. This isn’t an affordable rod, however it’s additionally not a stunning value contemplating the graphite development.

Finest Casting Rod: Fenwick HMG Inshore

Finest Casting Rod

Fenwick HMG Inshore


  • Size: 7’
  • Energy: Heavy, Medium, Medium heavy
  • Development: Graphite
  • Motion: Quick


  • Reasonably priced
  • Light-weight
  • Prime quality guides


  • Singe piece is difficult to move

The idea for this rod was quite simple, Fenwick took their traditional sequence of freshwater rods and tailored them with newer extra sturdy elements for saltwater. The result’s a rugged rod that works nice within the mangroves, the seashore, and nearly all over the place in between. Fenwick outfitted this rod with some high-quality Fuji Alconite guides, and a Seaguide graphite reel seat that helps add a ton of worth to this rod. Mix all that with a price ticket simply over $100, and this can be a strong fishing rod for inexperienced persons and skilled anglers alike. The rod’s quick motion offers it quite a lot of spine simply in case you hook up with one thing bigger like a drum.

The one draw back to this graphite rod could be the one piece development. A 7-foot rod is a bit lengthy for a single piece, which subsequently makes transport much more troublesome. It could be time to put money into an exterior rod rack for the car to go together with it.

Finest Inshore: Star Rod Seagis Inshore

Finest Inshore

Star Rods Seagis Inshore Spinning Rod is the best inshore rod.


  • Lengths: 7’ and seven’ 6”
  • Energy: Medium, Medium mild, Medium heavy
  • Development: Graphite
  • Motion: Quick


  • Light-weight
  • High quality guides
  • Extremely delicate


  • We want there have been heavier choices

For $159, the Seagis is a extremely inexpensive inshore spinning rod for working the flats or mangroves for quite a lot of species (and would pair effectively with among the best inshore spinning reels). This rod is repeatedly utilized by F&S contributor Max Inchausti, who discovered it really works nice for working huge topwater plugs, however nonetheless has the flexibility to work reside baits extra slowly. These are a sensible choice for kayak anglers because of the shortened butt part that makes casting simpler from a sitting place. Nevertheless, Star Rods didn’t skimp on the elements of this rod, together with Fuji Okay-series guides and a Fuji SK2 reel seat of both break up or full cork.

About the one draw back to this rod is that the lineup is to a few medium heavy actions on the excessive finish. Consequently, it might not be preferrred for situations the place you run into larger fish.

Finest Offshore: Shimano Terez

Finest Offshore

Shimano Terez


  • Lengths: 6’ 6” – 7’
  • Energy: Medium by way of Additional Heavy
  • Development: Glass clean
  • Motion: Quick


  • Variations for practically each kind of offshore angling
  • Loads of spine for bigger species
  • Prime quality elements


  • Is likely to be somewhat too specialised for normal anglers

Shimano makes quite a lot of nice fishing gear, however the Terez line stands out from the group of offshore choices. In the case of versatility, it’s arduous to beat the plethora of choices accessible right here. Presently there are such a lot of we can not even listing all of the completely different kinds, actions, and powers right here. Nevertheless, Shimano has case particular choices for trolling, deep-dropping, reside bait, and extra. The corporate even makes one particularly for the additional problem offered by swordfish. Shimano didn’t skimp on any of the elements right here both. Excessive-quality Fuji guides and reel seats are the norm, and it’s not stunning these rods run greater than $300 relying on the setup.

As a result of offshore angling presents a complete host of challenges past simply the rods themselves, among the Terez line could be too specialised for normal anglers. These rods are frequent on the decks of the world’s finest constitution captains. And that’s actually the one draw back we are able to provide you with on this line. For offshore anglers in search of one of the best, these are arduous to beat.

Finest for the Cash: Ugly Stik Carbon Inshore

Finest for the Cash

Ugly stick fishing rod


  • Lengths: 6’ 6” – 7’
  • Energy: Medium mild, Medium, Medium heavy
  • Development: Graphite
  • Actions: Quick and Additional quick


  • Unimaginable value
  • Nice handles
  • Nice appears to be like


  • Heavier choices not accessible

The Ugly Stik Carbon received one of the best saltwater rod class at ICAST 2022 and subsequently additionally made our personal finest fishing gear of 2022 listing. This rod is simply $100, and is ideal for stripers, snook, redfish, and flounder. There aren’t many different carbon rods with a value level this nice. Ugly Stik added stainless-steel guides, and the entire rod is produced from a single 24-ton graphite clean to carry sensitivity to the setup. A cork fore grip and shrink tube rear deal with simply add to the ergonomics.

About the one draw back to this rod is that we want there have been some barely heavier choices accessible. Nevertheless, that is one other strong entry-level rod for anybody simply getting began in saltwater angling. Moreover, this rod has slick beauty that may be appreciated by anglers of all expertise ranges.

Finest All Round: Penn Ally II Typical

Finest All Round

Penn Ally II Conventional


  • Lengths: 6’ and seven’
  • Energy: Medium, Medium heavy, Heavy, and Additional Heavy
  • Development: Tubular E-Glass
  • Motion: Average quick and Quick


  • Extraordinarily sturdy
  • Nice spine with out sacrificing sensitivity
  • Bought aluminum reel seat


The Ally II is one other rod I bought the chance to check briefly in Costa Rica and whereas I didn’t catch many fish with it, the rod nonetheless left an impression. Whereas that is primarily an offshore rod, however the smaller variations can transition properly to some angling inshore too. I caught the primary, and up to now, solely roosterfish of my angling profession on this rod. I’ll admit it wasn’t precisely a big fish. In reality, it might be one of many smallest roosters one may catch. However in any case, the rod was fairly stout, so I used to be stunned that I may nonetheless really feel the smaller fish’s headshakes.

This rod additionally has glorious ergonomics within the non-slip EVA grips. Penn provides this rod with both Seaguide PVD stainless-steel guides or PacBay Curler guides on the heavier fashions for bigger offshore species like tuna. Similar to the Carnage III, the one draw back to this rod is that it’s quite costly. – T.S.

What to Think about When Shopping for a Saltwater Fishing Rod

Most saltwater rods have very particular case use situations. For example, surf fishing rods are sometimes present in longer lengths of 10 to 12 ft. The additional size makes these rods simpler to forged, particularly into the biting, robust winds typically current on seashores. In the meantime, jigging rods are constructed to be additional delicate, typically utilizing graphite to detect mild strikes because the lure is in free fall.

Subsequently, anglers want to concentrate to the kind of rod they’re buying to make sure they’re getting one of the best one for the job. Whereas some rods are versatile sufficient to make the leap between offshore and inshore kinds, others are case-specific for precision casting within the mangroves or tailor-made particularly in direction of trolling for billfish.

Multi-Piece Rods and Rod Lengths

Many saltwater rods at the moment are a number of items, which makes them simpler to move and to retailer when not in use. Multi-piece rods additionally make for good journey fishing rods. Nevertheless, that portability typically comes at the price of sensitivity. Anglers who demand a extra delicate, one-piece graphite rod should additionally take into account how they may get it to the boat or seashore with out damaging it.

In the case of size, most fishing rods for saltwater fall within the 6 to 7-foot vary as of late. Longer rods are inclined to solely come into play when fishing windy circumstances and precision casting is required. As we’ve already talked about, the longer rod lengths of 8 ft or extra are perfect for surf fishing conditions.

Rod Motion and Energy

It’s also vital to think about the motion of the rod for the fashion of angling you’ll be doing. When speaking about motion, most individuals are referring to the quantity of flex a rod has. Quick actions flex solely on the tip of the rod and work finest for lengthy casting, single hooks, and jigging situations. Whereas sluggish motion rods flex considerably from deal with to tip and supply higher hooksets with trebles. A sluggish motion is normally a sensible choice for trolling.

Then there are reasonable actions that fall someplace in between quick and sluggish. These rods could be versatile for multiple fashion of angling however might take somewhat trial and error to dial them in excellent.

Energy is a bit more easy, and simpler to know. It merely refers back to the rod’s stiffness or resistance, and what it takes to make it flex. Mild energy rods are higher for lighter lures, baits, and displays whereas heavy rods are higher for beefier setups for bigger gamefish. Medium powers are inclined to fall in between these two extremes. Today, there are numerous subsections of energy resembling medium heavy, or medium mild that search to bridge the hole between the 2 actions, giving anglers one of the best of each worlds.


Can any fishing rod be utilized in saltwater?

Technically you need to use any rod in saltwater, however it’s not a good suggestion. Mainly as a result of saltwater fish are sometimes bigger, stronger, and require a lot heavier traces than saltwater fish. Secondly, saltwater corrosion can shorten the lifetime of freshwater gear considerably. Saltwater rods have elements particularly designed to fight this drawback.

What’s the finest saltwater rod materials?

This relies largely on case use situation and private choice though the 2 hottest are fiberglass and graphite. Though fiberglass rods are extra sturdy and inexpensive, they’re additionally not as delicate as a graphite rod. Whereas graphite gives extra skill to detect mild strikes, it’s additionally extra vulnerable to breaking, and considerably costlier. Many rod corporations now construct composite rods which might be a mix of each supplies. For sturdiness, go together with fiberglass, for precision angling and strike detection, go together with graphite.

What weight rod is finest for saltwater?

In the case of fly fishing, choosing the proper weight rod could be difficult. Most anglers choose to make use of at the least an 8-weight rod. Whereas thought of considerably mild, some wish to drop right down to a 6 or 7-weight for fashionable species like bonefish and redfish. For harder-fighting, bigger fish like tarpon, a ten to 12-weight rod is a more sensible choice.

Closing Ideas on the Finest Saltwater Rods

Saltwater rod know-how is absolutely at a pinnacle presently. There are such a lot of nice choices on the market for anglers each new and seasoned. The Sage Salt R8 and Carnage III are two of our favorites primarily based merely on the flexibility and the superior spine each have confirmed to us throughout on the water testing. Nevertheless, any of one of the best saltwater rods on this listing is a good selection on your subsequent angling journey on the ocean.

Why Belief Us

For greater than 125 years, Area & Stream has been offering readers with trustworthy and genuine protection of out of doors gear. Our writers and editors eat, sleep, and breathe the outside, and that keenness comes by way of in our product critiques. You may rely on F&S to maintain you updated on one of the best new gear. And once we write a couple of product—whether or not it’s a bass lure or a backpack—we cowl the great and the unhealthy, so you recognize precisely what to anticipate earlier than you resolve to make a purchase order.

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