The 7 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods Reviewed & Tested ( 2019 Hands-on Guide )


What Makes a Good Saltwater Rod?

rods in line



Choose a rod with the proper power for your purposes.

Power is the amount of force or weight it takes to make a rod bend. It is typically characterized as:

  • ultralight
  • light
  • medium-light
  • medium
  • medium-heavy
  • heavy

If you are after a huge yellowfin or blacktip sharks, you want a heavy rod because it can haul these big beasts in.

In contrast, it is an overkill for those trying to catch snappers and bonefish – you’d want something in the medium-light to medium power range.



saltwater rod action

Action is the amount of the rod that flexes when loaded.

  • Fast and extra-fast action rods only flex at the tip.
  • Slow action rods (sometimes called parabolic rods) flex along most of their length.

Slower actions usually provide better casting distance and they help reduce the odds of you yanking the lure out of a fish’s mouth too quickly on the hookset.

On the other hand, fast-action rods allow you to cast with much greater accuracy and can help experienced anglers set the hook in large fish.



rods of different lengths

When all other things are equal, longer rods enable you to cast farther than short poles do. So you want to use the longest rod that you are comfortable with when casting distance is important.

By contrast, if you spend a lot of time fishing from crowded piers or using jigging spoons, a shorter rod is more useful.


Rod Style

Choose a style that suits your skill and experience level.

In most cases, experienced anglers will get better results from baitcasting rigs than they will with spinning setups because baitcasting rods:

  • cast farther
  • hold much more line
  • ideal for the heavy tackle than spinning rigs
  • have superior drag systems than spinning rigs

However, baitcasting combos are much harder to cast and use than spinning gear which can be frustrating for novices.



Select a fishing stick built from materials that excel for your fishing purpose. There are two primary materials used to construct most rods:

  1. fiberglass
  2. graphite

Fiberglass rods are cheaper, tougher and better for battling big fish. On the other hand, graphite rods typically offer better sensitivity that allows you to detect even the lightest bites.

Several manufacturers also make composite rods which combine the best characteristics of fiberglass and graphite. However, you have to pay dearly for this type of performance. Casual anglers can just choose between fiberglass and graphite.

Nevertheless, there are a few things you’d want in just about any saltwater rod. For example, you’ll want a durable fishing stick that will last a long time after being exposed to salt, sun, and sand.


Final Thoughts

Many anglers who are new to saltwater angling become a bit overwhelmed when selecting a rod but this doesn’t have to be the case. Simply consider the criteria listed above and check out the rods we recommended.

Are there any other characteristics of saltwater rods you like to consider before making your purchase? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to learn more about fishing rods in general, check our “Choosing The Best Fishing Rod In 2019“.

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