Top 8 Best Fishing Rods for Saltwater Fishing

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You might be wondering what is the difference between saltwater and freshwater fishing. Simply put, freshwater fishing is done on a lake or a pond. Whereas saltwater fishing is done out on the sea. But the biggest difference between the two is that saltwater fishing requires a lot more skill and patience than freshwater fishing. That is because the fishes out in the sea are a lot bigger and stronger. So, if you are a beginner then start with freshwater fishing first before moving on to saltwater fishing.

However, if you have some experience with saltwater fishing and want to take your skills up a notch, then you need to get the right equipment. You need a specialized fishing rod for saltwater if you want to go for the big game. So, the question is, what aspects should you consider before getting a fishing rod for saltwater? Here is what you need to keep an eye on.

  • Material: The first thing you need to consider when choosing a fishing rod is what material it is made out of. Some of the most commonly used materials are fiberglass, graphite, and new generation composites. Fiberglass fishing rods are strong and flexible which makes them perfect for fishing in the rough sea. Whereas graphite is very sensitive as it can pick up on the slightest pull of your rod. New generation composites are made from a combination of both these materials so that you can have the best of both worlds.
  • Sensitivity: Speaking of sensitivity, you need to make sure your rod is sensitive enough to alert you when a fish pulls on the bait. When a fish gets caught on your hook, the vibration from the movement of the bait is very subtle. Bulky rods are not good at picking up these small movements. That’s why we prefer carbon fiber rods when it comes to sensitivity as they are capable of notifying you almost instantly when a fish is nibbling at the bait. The general rule is, the more lightweight a fishing rod is, the more sensitive it will be.
  • Length: The length of the fishing rod determines its purpose. Long rods have a much greater cast range and short rods provide you with a lot of leverage. Additionally, short rods are more accurate whereas long rods are more powerful. In most cases, a 7-foot rod is ideal as it has a nice mix of both power and accuracy. So, depending on the kind of fishing you want to do, the size of your fishing rod will vary. If you want more power and range then you can try 8-foot long rods. Or if you want to be more precise with your casts while still maintaining leverage, then a 6-foot long rod will be the best option.

Our Top Picks for the Best Fishing Rods for Saltwater Fishing

Without further ado, here is our list of the best fishing rods for saltwater fishing.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
  • Length: 6 ft.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam
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  • Length: 6’6’’ to 8’0’’
  • Roller Guides: Aluminum-oxide
  • Grip: Premium-grade Cork
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  • Max. Weight Class: 10-20 lbs.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel & Ceramic
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam
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  • Length: 10-20 lbs.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel & Ceramic
  • Max. Weight Class: Cork with EVA Foam
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  • Length: 5 ft. 6-inch.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam
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  • Length: 5 ft. 9-inch.
  • Max. Class Weight: 10-15 lbs.
  • Grip: EVA Foam
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  • Length: 7 ft.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Grip: Rubberized shrink wrapped handles
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  • Length: 5 ft. 9-inch.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Grip: Leather & EVA Foam
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1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2™

Specifications:

  • Length: 6 ft.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Construction: Graphite and Fiberglass
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod is the next generation of Ugly Stik that boasts its ancestor’s characteristics while maintaining the strength and durability for an ultimate fishing adventure.

This 6 feet long fishing rod is crafted with a combination of graphite and fiberglass, creating a powerful yet sensitive rod that feels balanced in your hands at all times. The spin rod’s Clear Tip design responds to even the lightest nibbles and strikes so that you can have instant response and pull the game out of the water.

It comes with a durable yet lightweight EVA foam grip, ensuring the rod stays firm in your hands to overcome hard-fighting fish with minimum effort. It features one-piece stainless-steel guides that eliminate insert pop-outs for ease of use. And with its classic diamond wind and sleek form, this fishing rod has an eye-catching design that is as stylish as functional.

However, given its shorter length, you will need to use quite a bit of your strength to conquer your game. Having said that, if you want a fishing rod that is packed with features & benefits, the Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod delivers excellent performance for anglers of all skill levels.

Pros

Great price to value ratio
Lightweight
Durable
Lots of Weights Available

Cons

Requires a bit of strength to control

2. St. Croix Tidemaster Rod

Specifications:

  • Length: 6’6’’ to 8’0’’
  • Roller Guides: Aluminum-oxide
  • Construction: SCII Carbon
  • Grip: Premium-grade Cork

There is a reason why St. Croix has been a household name for such a long time in the fishing industry. That’s because they make some of the most powerful yet sensitive fishing rods you can get. And the St. Croix Tidemaster Rod ticks all of those boxes. 

The Tidemaster can be found in three variations: medium/fast, medium-heavy, medium/moderate. All of them are available in a length of 6’6’’ to 8’0’’ and are made of SCII carbon blanks. Additionally, with a weight of only 5 lbs, this is one of the best-specced fishing rods you can get right now. 

It is equipped with hard aluminum-oxide guides and a corrosion-resistant frame. The Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods connects the rod with a premium-grade cork handle. But if you are still uncertain about the longevity of these rods, then do not worry as St. Croix is providing a 5-year warranty with them.

One aspect of the Tidemaster that we didn’t like is the cork grip is prone to deteriorating over time. But other than that, the St. Croix Tidemaster Rod is an excellent choice for fishermen who require both power and sensitivity.

Pros

Sensitive
Build quality
Comes in three different variants
5-year warranty

Cons

Cork grip may deteriorate

3. PLUSINNO Elite Hunter 7FT

Specifications:

  • Max. Weight Class: 10-20 lbs.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel & Ceramic
  • Construction: IM6 Carbon
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam

The perfect combination of performance, sensitivity, and power are hard to find amongst fishing rods. Luckily, the PLUSINNO Elite Hunter 7FT might be able to fulfill those needs.

All Elite Hunter Select fishing rods are constructed with IM6 Carbon matrix technology blanks that offer the ultimate strength to land the fish of a lifetime. It comes with stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts, making it smoother and more durable while reducing friction and improving sensitivity by transferring vibrations from the line through the guide to the rod and into your hand.

The spinning rod tips are designed to keep the fishing line from twisting, so you’ll never have to deal with a twisted fishing line again. This is a must-have for finesse pan fishing, trout fishing, and bass fishing. Between its non-slip EVA & cork handle sits an ergonomic graphite high-strength reel, which increases the contact between your hand and the grip to save you energy.

There is one flaw that we noticed which is it can be quite tough to clean once you are done fishing. But overall, the PLUSINNO Elite Hunter provides exceptional performance, sensitivity & power to ensure you never miss a game on the water.

Pros

Ease of Use
Durable
Sensitive
Ergonomic

Cons

Difficult to Clean

4. PENN Squall 2 Level Wind Conventional Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

Specifications:

  • Length: 6 ft. 6-inches
  • Max. Weight Class: 15 lbs
  • Roller Guides: Stainless steel
  • Construction: Aluminum

PENN makes some of the best fishing rods in the market. That is why we had to include the PENN Squall 2 in this list. The best part about the Squall 2 is that you are not only getting the fishing rod but rather the full set with the reel and everything like backpack for fishing

Coming in at a length of 6 feet 6 inches, this is ideal for almost any kind of fishing. The tubular glass blank is durable, light, and responsive with a maximum weight capacity of 15 lbs. That means you can catch some of the biggest fish in the sea. 

As for the reel, graphite is used in the construction of its frame and side plates while bronze is used for the main gear. 2 stainless steel ball bearings and one instant anti-reversing bearing is used to keep your reel working efficiently. And the big comfortable power handle makes using the PENN Squall 2 a breeze!

However, the PENN Squall 2 is not meant for budget-conscious anglers as it can cost quite a bit of money. But if you have the cash to spare, then the PENN Squall 2 Level Wind Conventional Reel and Fishing Rod Combo is one of the best fishing rods for saltwater fishing.

Pros

Responsive
Durable
Reel and rod combo
Simple to use

Cons

Very expensive

5. Cadence Essence Lightweight 24-Ton

Specifications:

  • Length: 5 ft. 6-inch.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Construction: Carbon Fiber
  • Grip: Cork with EVA Foam

Not all fishing rods that offer value for your hard-earned money are sensitive, but the Cadence Essence surely is! This lightweight fishing rod is very responsive to let you know whenever your catch is within range. 

The Essence’s 5 feet 6-inch-long spinning rod is constructed from a 24-ton carbon material to give you an extremely sensitive blank that is lightweight as well. It comes with stainless-steel guides and SIC inserts that provide exceptional casting performance and durability for your desired fishing game. This fishing rod’s full cork handle with EVA split-grip is engineered to give you maximum comfort while on water dealing with big games.

Unfortunately, the drawback of having a very sensitive fishing rod is that they are typically not very durable. But as a product, the Cadence Essence Lightweight 24-Ton offers high-performance features at an unbeatable value and is ideal for any saltwater game fishing.

Pros

Lightweight
Sensitive
Value for Money
Fast Action

Cons

Less Durable

6. Sougayilang Graphite Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod

Specifications:

  • Length: 5 ft. 9-inch.
  • Max. Class Weight: 10-15 lbs.
  • Rod Construction: Carbon Fiber, E-Glass Composite
  • Grip: EVA Foam

In any fishing adventure, fishing rods play a great role by being easily portable. And after using the Sougayilang Graphite Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod you’ll start believing it too! 

This 5 feet 9 inches long rod can telescope out and completely collapse for easy travel and storage. It’s made of high density 24 Ton Carbon Fiber and E-Glass Composite (construction: carbon fiber & e-glass composite), allowing you to deadlift up to 10 pounds effortlessly.

It comes with three-point welded stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts for braided or mono fishing lines and provides saltwater approved corrosion resistance and power Control. The exquisite reel seat is made of corrosion-resistant CNC machined aluminum (reel seat: CNC machined aluminum), ensuring many years of worry-free fishing. This fishing rod offers all-day comfort to any angler looking for action with an ergonomic high-density EVA foam grip. But given its weight capacity, it is not the most suitable for big game fishing. All in all, the Sougayilang Graphite Carbon Fiber Fishing Rod offers excellent portability & useability to be with you on any adventure!

Pros

Easy to Assemble
Portable
Ease of Use
Build Quality

Cons

Not suitable for big fishes

7. Berkley Big Game Fishing Rod

Specifications:

  • Length: 7 ft.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless steel
  • Construction: Fiberglass
  • Grip: Rubberized shrink wrapped handles

If you are on a budget and want to find a fishing rod that you can start with, then we recommend you to try the Berkley Big Game Fishing Rod.

With a length of 7 feet and constructed from fiberglass, this rod has both the power and sensitivity that you will need. It is equipped with stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts. The handles are fully rubberized giving it a very comfortable feel in your hands. All of these aspects make the Berkley Big Game Fishing Rod truly worthy of its name as it can help you reel in some of the heaviest fish.

But the weight and heft of this fishing rod is something we have to critique as it can be difficult to use if you are a beginner. However, for the price and quality of these rods, there isn’t anything out there that can beat the Berkley Big Game Hunting Fishing in terms of value.

Pros

Strong and durable
Budget-friendly
Comfortable to hold
Easily assembled

Cons

It may be too heavy to some

8. EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

Specifications:

  • Length: 5 ft. 9-inch.
  • Max. Class Weight: 200 lbs.
  • Roller Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Grip: Leather & EVA Foam

The EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod has Tournament grade construction, making it your perfect companion for marlin & big game fishing! With an overall length of 5 ft. 9-inch and 16-inch bent butts, it’s constructed with the most expensive composite blank and stainless-steel roller guides, capable of passing the most considerable wind on leaders for outstanding control at the boat side. It comes with span-wrapped construction to resist twists, which is essential when a fish takes off to the side. Besides, with its excellent backbone and sensitive tip, you can always have the best action possible.

This road features Premium leather grips with EVA foam for non-slip comfort and lets you handle fish weighing up to 200 pounds! It also features a gimbal cross on its end for rod holders and fighting chairs. One issue we found with this rod is it’s not as stiff as we would like it to be as it can bend quite easily.

Other than that, if you are looking for a fishing rod to tackle with big game conveniently, this EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod needs your consideration.

Pros

Strong and durable
Quality Roller Guides
Provides Minimal Twisting
Excellent Rod Length
Easy to Maneuver

Cons

Less Stiff

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the difference between saltwater and freshwater fishing rods?

To be fair, there isn’t much of a difference between the two. Realistically speaking, you can use both of these rods for saltwater and freshwater fishing. However, there are some very subtle differences. Saltwater fishing rods tend to be a bit stronger with a greater cast range. They are also more ruggedly built so that they can withstand the tough conditions at sea.

Q. Can I use a saltwater rod for freshwater fishing?

Yes you can. Since the differences between saltwater and freshwater fishing rods are so minimal, you can easily use them for both purposes. The advantage of using a saltwater rod for freshwater fishing is you can go after bigger catches as saltwater rods are designed to be a lot stronger and tougher than freshwater fishing rods.

Q. What size fishing rod should I use?

Fishing rods can range anywhere from 5 feet to 11+ feet. To answer this question, you must first figure out what kind of fishing you want to do. If you are boat fishing, then you can use a 5 to 6 feet long rod. Or if you are surf fishing by the beach, then you will need a rod that is around 10 to 12 feet in length. The size of your rod directly correlates to the type of fishing you want to do.

Q. How to take care of saltwater fishing rods?

Saltwater can cause your fishing rods to corrode. To avoid that, make sure to properly clean your rod after you are done using them. Use tap water to thoroughly clean out all the nooks and crannies of your fishing gear. Once you are done washing it, leave out your rod to dry out completely before putting it away.

Conclusion

If you are planning to go fishing out in the sea, then investing in a quality saltwater fishing rod is essential. Only a dedicated saltwater fishing rod can withstand the conditions of the ocean while still being strong enough to reel in your catch. You can use this article as a rough guide on what you should look for in a saltwater fishing rod as well as go through our top picks for the best fishing rods for saltwater fishing. 

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