This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link we may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Best Spinning Rod 2023 – [Buyer’s Guide]
A spinning rod and reel is normally how most anglers start out fishing.
However, a lot of bass anglers in particular will eventually move on to a casting outfit.
Spinning rods do have an advantage over a baitcasting rod in that they are much better suited to casting smaller lures or bait rigs.
Choosing the best spinning rod for your needs requires that you understand certain attributes of a rod before you but so that you can be sure it will be the right match for your needs.
The following specifications will normally be printed on the rod blank just above the handle:
- Length – all things being equal a longer rod will cast further than a shorter one, but a shorter rod will be more accurate.
- Power – rod power describes how “strong” the backbone of the rod blank is i.e what size lures and line it is rated for.
- Action – rod action describes where on the blank the natural bend in the rod will start to form, a fast action will bend higher up whereas a more moderate action will bend nearer the middle.
Understanding how these specifications will affect the performance of your spinning rod is paramount to matching it to the type of fish you are targeting and the kinds of fishing techniques you might be using.
A shorter rod with a fast action and an ultralight power rating will be better for smaller species when fishing on small rivers and streams for trout or any other panfish.
A longer rod with a more moderate action and a medium/heavy power rating would make a great crankbait rod.
A medium power rod of around 7′ in length with a fast action would make a pretty good all round bass rod for lighter techniques.
Best Spinning Rods
1. Ugly Stik Elite
2. St Croix Mojo
3. Fenwicks Eagle
4. St Croix Avid
5. KastKing Perigee II
6. Shimano Solora
7. Fenwick HMG
The best spinning rod to buy is one that the exact techniques you will be using when fishing.
If you are looking to cast really light lures then a fast action rod with an ultralight or light power rating in the 6′ to 7′ range is the best option.
But if you are looking to haul big catfish or inshore species then you’ll need a rod with a much stronger backbone.
Pairing a decent spinning rod with the best spinning reel is crucial to getting the most accurate casts possible.
If they are mismatched then you rod will become unbalanced and your casting performance will suffer not to mention your arm will tire from repeated casting.
Longer rods give you a bigger lever to wing when you cast which results in the ability to throw a certain weight further than with a shorter rod.
Long rods will also take up line quicker when you strike allowing for a quicker hook set.
Shorter rods are more accurate but won’t get the same kind of distance. A short rod is best suited to smaller rivers.
Most freshwater spinning rods will be in the 6′ to 7′ range. In saltwater they can go as large as 8′ in length.
Rod power describes ho heavily built the rod blank is or in other words what kind of weight it is designed to handle.
An ultralight rod will be rated for line in the 2 to 6 lbs range whereas a heavy power rod might be rated for 20 lbs plus line depending on the type of rod and it’s intended usage.
Most spinning rods for freshwater use will fall between and ultralight or a medium/heavy rating.
Trout fishing for example will use ultralight rods whereas bass fishing using lighter techniques like a ned rig will use a medium or medium/light power rod.
Rod action defines roughly where on the blank that the bend in the rod will start to form once some weight or pressure is applied to the rod.
It is usually described as one of extra fast, fast, fast/moderate or moderate.
A fast action will bend high up towards the rod tip and it offers the best sensitivity. You can also set the hook quicker with a faster action.
A moderate action is usually preferred when casting big weights or lures as it allows you to get more power into the middle of the rod which results in a much longer cast.
It is also better when using lures with big treble hooks like a crankbait as it will delay the strike for a brief second allowing the fish to fully engulf the crankbait before you set the hook.
There was a time when fishing poles were made from split cane.
More modern materials such as fiberglass then replaced split cane. For the past twenty years or so fiberglass has been all but replaced by graphite.
Graphite is lighter and can transmit a lot more feedback through the rod blank for better sensitivity.
It’s one major drawback though is that it is much less durable than a fiberglass spinning rod.
Fiberglass can take a lot of abuse but it is heavier and doesn’t have the same light crisp feel that a graphite rod does.
Very high end best bass fishing rods will have a carbon/graphite blend that gives you a lot of strength and sensitivity but with an even lighter rod.
The best spinning rods are made from graphite or a carbon/graphite blend.