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Professional anglers often prefer a separate rod and reel so they can pair the best fishing rod with the best fishing reel to give them the best setup. For the amateur or recreational anglers, this can get expensive. Plus, you will have to make sure the fishing line you have on your reel is suitable for the rod you have paired it with.
Placing a reel that has strong fishing line on a rod that can’t support it can cause the rod to break if you hook a large fish. At the same time, placing a reel that has weak fishing line on a rod that is stiff can cause the line to break when the rod doesn’t bend.
To put it simply: if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can create a rod and reel setup that is ineffective. And that’s the last thing you will want to do before your day on the water.
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Purchasing a rod and reel combo will guarantee that the rod and reel are suitable for one another to give you the best setup for the type of fishing you will be doing.
There are many rod and reel combos that are set up specifically for the type of fishing you will be doing. The best fishing reel and rod combo will be effective in targeting and hooking the fish you are after. This takes away all the guesswork that you would have to do if purchasing the rod and reel separately.
Effectiveness, affordability, and functionality are just a few of the benefits you get when you purchase a fishing rod and reel combo. We have compiled the best fishing rod and reel combos below so that you can spend more time on the water and less time researching rod and reel combos.
Best Premium Choice
1. KastKing Centron Spinning Reel Combo
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A spinning reel has fishing line wrapped around a spool that rotates perpendicular to the rod, which is the type of reel that is attached to this rod and reel combo.
The KastKing Centron rod and spinning reel combo is available in 4 different lengths: 6’, 6’6”, 7’ or 8’. The rod is made of graphite, so it is sensitive, strong, and flexible. It is made of IM6 blank graphite that makes it extremely lightweight.
The line guides of the rod are stainless steel with O-ring inserts that allow the line to smoothly pass through without getting caught or snagged. The handle of the rod is made of comfortable EVA foam that is contoured to fit perfectly in the hand for the most comfort possible. For 6’ to 7’ rods, the handle is split rear, and for rods larger than 7’, the handle is full rear.
The reel is the KastKing Centron Spinning Reel with a weight that is matched with the length of the rod. The 6’ and 6’6” rods have a Centron 2000 reel included, which should be used for fish up to 14 pounds. The 7’ rod has a Centron 3000 reel included that should be used for fish up to 14 pounds. The 8’ rod has a Centron 5000 reel included, which should be used for fish 15 to 30 pounds.
The line does not come on the reel, so you will have to purchase a fishing line to put on the reel. If using a Centron 2000 or Centron 3000 reel, you will need line with a 14-pound test or less. If using a Centron 5000 reel, you will need line that has a 15-pound test or more.
- High quality
- Different lengths and sizes to choose from
User rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
2. Shakespeare Alpha 6’ Baitcaster Rod and Reel Combo
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A baitcaster reel has line spun around a spool that is released and reeled parallel with the rod. When cast, you will stop the line from releasing by placing your thumb on the exposed line.
The Shakespeare Alpha 6’ baitcaster rod and reel combo comes with a pre-spooled reel on a 6’ graphite rod. The line is 8-pound test, which makes it great for panfish and small gamefish.
A baitcaster reel can be difficult to use, which is why Shakespeare has developed this reel with a multi-stop anti-reverse and ball bearing design. This will help the reel cast smoothly and prevent the spool from continuing to spin when the line is stopped, which causes backlash or bird nesting. Backlash or bird nesting is an entangled knot that occurs in the spool of the reel that takes minutes to fix.
The graphite rod is sensitive, flexible, and strong, making it perfect for targeting fish up to 8 pounds.
The handle is EVA foam that is comfortable, ergonomic, and can be held firmly in the hand.
- Not intended for large gamefish more than 8 pounds
User rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Best Budget Choice
3. Zebco 33 Spincast Rod and Reel Combo
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The Zebco 33 spincast may be one of the most tried and true spincast rod and reel combos of all time. A spincast reel is a reel with a button that you push to release the line to cast it. Once the line is in the water, you turn the handle on the reel until it clicks. This will lock the reel and keep it from releasing any additional line. This is what makes spincast rods so successful. They are easy to use and effective in getting the job done.
This Zebco 33 spincast rod is available in 5’, 6’, and 6’5” and comes in either pink or black. The rod is made of fiberglass, and the reel has a metal handle with rubber knobs for a comfortable grip. The reel can also be changed to fit the right hand or left hand, giving you the option to use the dominant hand that is the most comfortable for you when reeling. The reel is pre-spooled and includes 100 yards of 10-pound test line.
The fiberglass rod is two pieces and can be taken apart for easy transportation. The handle of the rod is made of EVA foam that makes it comfortable and easy to grip.
- Easy to use
User rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Best Overall Choice
4. Sougayilang Telescopic Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
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Another spinning reel on our list is made by Sougayilang and is attached to a telescopic rod. A telescopic rod is nice because you don’t have to worry about breaking the rod apart to transport it or store it easily. Instead, the rod will collapse within itself down to a smaller size so you can transport and store it easily, and that’s exactly what this rod and reel combo by Sougayilang does.
The rod is available in gold or red. It is an ultralight 36-ton carbon fiber reinforced with fiber composite. Composite is often a preferred fishing rod material because it is lightweight, strong, and sensitive. You can do a lot of different styles of fishing with different styles of lures with a composite rod.
The line guides along the rod are stainless steel and allow monofilament or braided line to smoothly glide through the guides.
The seat where the reel sits is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum. The reel itself has corrosion-resistant ball bearing, zinc gears, and a deep aluminum spool with a large line capacity. The reel can be changed between right-handed and left-handed, and the knobs of the reel are made of comfortable EVA rubber for a firm grip.
User rating: 4.3 out of 5
5. Magreel Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Set with Accessories
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If you are looking for a fishing rod and reel combo that comes with some gear and accessories, we’ve got you covered.
This Magreel telescopic fishing rod and reel combo has a 24-ton carbon fiber rod with a stainless steel hooded reel seat. There are stainless steel line guides with ceramic ring inserts to create a smooth transition as the line glides through the eyelets when cast and reeled.
The reel is extra smooth with a design that has an aluminum spool with a wooden knob and can interchange between being right-handed or left-handed. It has an extra smooth performance that makes it great for large fish.
The rod and reel comes with a spool of 17-pound test line, a tackle of lures, and an EVA carrying case with secure foam molds for perfect placement in the case.
- Smooth casting and reeling
- Strong and sensitive rod
- Right-handed or left-handed interchangeable
- Lots of accessories and carrying case included
- Heavy; best suited for bigger gamefish
User rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
6. Shakespeare Youth Fishing Rod and Reel
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If you teach a child to fish, you will feed them for a lifetime, and Shakespeare makes one of the best youth fishing rods and reels on the market today.
Shakespeare combines the simple spincaster technology with fun characters to give kids a personalized fishing rod and reel that represents them.
The rod is 2’6” long, making it easy to hold and cast from little hands. The thumb knob on the reel is round, and there is also a thumb button extension on the reel for easy casting. There is also a finger guard on the handle of the rod for little hands to easily hold.
The line on the reel is braided to make it strong enough to hook and reel a fish, and each style of rod and reel comes with a weighted practice lure to practice fishing before the inaugural debut on the water.
Styles to choose from:
- Toy Story
- Easy to use
- Lots of styles to choose from
- Not very strong
- Limited line capacity
User rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
7. Cadence Baitcasting Rod and Reel
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Another baitcaster rod and reel combo on our list is the BC5 baitcaster by Cadence.
The reel of the BC5 baitcasting rod and reel combo has a graphite frame and side plates with eight total corrosion-resistant bearings, making this a great reel option to withstand the elements. There is a carbon fiber drag system, aluminum crankshaft, adjustable magnetic brakes, and an aluminum spool with an aluminum spool tension knob.
The medium-heavy rod has 20-ton graphite blanks and stainless steel line guides. It is recommended to use line with a test between 10 to 20 pounds, as you will be able to catch good size gamefish with this rod and reel combo. The line guides on the rod are corrosion-resistant and smooth, making it easy for the line to transition smoothly through the eyelets of the guides.
You can choose three different size rods with both sizes being available in left or right-handed models, and each model has an EVA and cork handle for maximum comfort.
User rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars
How to Choose the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Fishing rod and reel combos come in all different lengths, materials, and types to give you a different fishing experience with each rod that is used.
So which one is the best?
Well, that answer depends mostly on the type of fishing you are doing.
Fish can be divided into two categories: panfish and game fish.
Panfish are small fish that can fit in a pan, and some of the species include crappie, bream, bluegill, sunfish, and perch.
Gamefish are larger fish that are longer and heavier than panfish. Some species of game fish include bass, catfish, salmon, trout, pike, and walleye.
We will give you the best rod and reel combos you can use for fishing these two very different types of fish. As we discuss the material, length, line weight, and line type, we will tell you if the setup is best for small panfish or bigger game fish.
First on our list is material. The material that the rod is made of will determine if it is best used for panfish or game fish.
The material of the rod can be fiberglass or graphite. Both are effective rod materials because they are flexible and strong.
Fiberglass is heavier than graphite. Because of this, it makes the rod heavier and less responsive when a fish strikes. This can delay your reaction to setting the hook, which can cause you to miss hooking a fish.
Fiberglass is cheaper than graphite, so if you need a quick rod and reel that won’t break the bank, fiberglass is a great option. Fiberglass is recommended for larger gamefish because it is durable and is less likely to break when a fish strikes the line aggressively.
Graphite is extremely light and strong, but it can shock under quick pressure. This means if you are using a line that is strong and braided, you run the risk of breaking the rod if a fish strikes the lure quickly or aggressively.
Graphite should be used when you want to feel the most action from the rod, as it is extremely sensitive. Graphite can be used for both panfish and game fish, but keep in mind that if you have a strong line in your rod and reel combo, you run the risk of the rod breaking if a fish bites too quickly.
Reel Type: Spincast, Spinning, or Baitcaster
Rod and reel combos will be classified as a spincast, spinning, or baitcaster reel.
A spincast reel is the simplest concept that most anglers learn to use at a very young age. To use a spincast reel, you push the thumb button on the reel, pull back the rod, and cast the line into the water. To remove the slack and lock the line into place, you will turn the handle on the spincast reel until it clicks. Spincast reels are extremely easy, useful, and effective, and are a great way to achieve some simple recreational fishing.
A spinning reel is often called an open-face reel, and it is a reel that has a spool that runs perpendicular to the rod. To cast a spinning reel, you will flip the mechanism over on the top of the reel to release the line. You will hold the line with your finger as you cast the line into the water, letting go of the line when you begin the cast. Then you will flip the mechanism back into place to lock the line.
A baitcaster reel is the most advanced reel you can choose. It is often the reel preferred by professional anglers because of the control they have when casting the line. To use a baitcaster, you will release the line by pushing a button and then cast the line into the water. When you want the line to stop, you will push your thumb down onto the line so that the spool stops spinning, and the line stops releasing.
Using a baitcaster can be difficult to master because of what is known as backlash or bird nesting. If the spool on the baitcaster continues to spin after you have placed your thumb on the line for it to stop moving, it will create an entangled knot called backlash or a bird’s nest. This can take minutes to get out, depending on how bad it is. For this reason, baitcaster rod and reels are recommended for those anglers who have experience using them.
Some rod and reel combos come with fishing line pre-spooled on the reel, while other combos require you to spool your own line on the reel.
Fishing line comes in three different types: monofilament, fluorocarbon, and braided.
Monofilament and fluorocarbon are both a single strand of material that makes up the line, while braided line is more than one strand of material that is braided together to make up the line.
Monofilament is the cheapest, but it is also the safest to use on graphite or ultra-light rods that can break under tight line tension.
Fluorocarbon is affordable and can be used on most rods when fishing for most types of fish. It is the most transparent line in the water, so there is very little visibility, which can be a benefit when fishing.
Braided line is the last type of line, and it is the most expensive. Braided line should be used with a strong rod that can withstand the tension and the diameter of the line. Braided line is best for large game fish and fish with teeth.
The strength of the line is called test, and this will tell you how big of a fish you can target with the line on your reel.
A short graphite rod with a 10-pound test is set up to target panfish or small game fish because the strength of the line will likely break if reeling in a fish larger than 10 pounds. Additionally, the graphite rod can snap if the line becomes too tight too quickly.
A long fiberglass rod with a braided 40-pound test is set up to target large game fish or fish with teeth so that the line and the rod can withstand the tension when the fish tightens the line.
The rod and reel combo is often the best way to go when choosing a setup to fish with. It is easy to use, already assembled, and sometimes may come with some lures you can use as well. The best part is that many of the best fishing rod and reel combos are extremely affordable, with all of the ones on our list coming in under $100.
Knowing the difference between the material of the rod and the different types of reels can help you decide which rod and reel combo is best for you with the fish you are trying to target.