Which size of rod is suitable for kayak fishing? The answer is often: The rods shouldn’t be very long, not too heavy, should lie comfortably in the hand, etc. But what actually makes a good kayak fishing rod? This guide will help you find the best kayak fishing rod for any occasion.
The rod should suit you personally, because everyone has their own choice. I also made the mistake of recommending individual rods that suit me. Now I always recommend trying different models so that the participants can get a better picture.
Best Kayak Fishing Rods in 2021
- Ugly Stik GX2 Strong Spinning Fishing Rod
- Berkley New Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods
- KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Spinning Rod
- PLUSINNO Elite IM-6 Hunter Fishing Rod
- Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo
- St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod
- ANGRYFISH AG·Anchovy Ultra-Light Fishing Rods
- Daiwa PSO704ULFS-TR Presso UL Spinning Rod
- Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX Spinning Rod
- Ugly Stik Elite Casting Fishing Rod
1. Ugly Stik GX2 Strong Spinning Fishing Rod
Material: Graphite and fiberglass
Rod Length: 7’
Weight: 4.6 oz.
Here we are talking about a graft (two-piece) fishing rod made of combination Graphite and fiberglass available in various sizes that differ from each other. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod is ideal for those who practice the spinning technique both in the sea and in fresh water.
Ugly Stik GX2 is also versatile, that can be used with all types of line, including braid. It is not as sensitive as a high-end rod but won’t break easily. Due to the addition of the graphite, the glossy black finish and classic diamond winding pattern, it is more eye catching with matte black finish.
The handle is made of Split cork and EVA and the durable and lightweight EVA grips offer comfortable handling. It will deliver dependable performance for anglers of all skill levels.
When thinking of a kayak fishing rod it’s just nearly impossible to think of an alternative to the Ugly Stik GX2 where you would get as much bang for your buck. It feels balanced in your hands and for the very affordable price point of under $40, it could be the best choice.
- Strong construction
- Lightweight and sensitive
- Value for the money
- 7 year warranty
- Compact but a little soft
2. Berkley New Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rods
Material: graphite and fiberglass
Rod Length: 7’
Weight: 4.4 oz.
Designed for budget anglers, Berkley Cherrywood fishing rod has an ideal length for kayak or shore fishing. It is handy, light and has a good backbone. If we are talking about how big of fish it will catch, then there is no real limit. It will be able to catch almost all freshwater fish.
This rod handles all lines equally well and threads are well built. It is long enough to accommodate many different baitcasting reels. The cork handle guarantees a firm and comfortable grip with a high level of grip.
Once folded, the rod has a length of 3.5 feet, making it very practical to carry.
It has a small hook staple type to hook a lure onto but as far as a specific hook holder like other fishing rods it does not have one. The Berkley fishing rod itself is pretty good looking if you like red. It is composite of graphite and fiberglass materials with hybrid design construction for un-matched sensitivity.
It is a great rod for kayak fishing considering the price. Very responsive, yet durable. You can find a better 2 piece spinning rod, but for a more portable casting rod, you won’t find many around this price.
- Easily manageable
- Easily transportable
- Designed for all fishing reels
- It is medium heavy
- Not a pro level rod because of its price
3. KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod
Rod Length: 6’6”
Weight: 6.4 oz.
The KastKing Crixus IM6 fishing rod is suitable above all for kayak. This is a two-piece rod made of Graphite available in four sizes that differ from each other. Available in light rod to heavy in 5’ to 7’6” lengths. It is perfect for any species in freshwater and you’ll also find them perfect as a saltwater fishing rod.
Crixus IM6 features a split rear handle design and are finished with a EVA fighting butt. This made of SuperPolymer which is comfortable, durable and exceptionally slip-resistant. The handle will give you maximum control over your rod in all conditions.
This KastKing fishing rod uses high-quality stainless-steel guide frames with Zirconium Oxide rings that deliver smooth casting and durable performance. It is lightweight because of the graphite construction. However, it has plenty of power to handle your best catch.
It is powerful and sensitive and built in KastFlex technology. They are available in 20 different power, action, and length combinations and all model constructed in 2-pcs for easy transport and storage. It will deliver incredible performance at a budget price.
I pick it top position if it is as durable as it appears, that will go up.
- Fashionable fishing pole
- Easily transportable
- Grips and handle feel great
- Very sensitive
- Great rod for the price
- Nicked near the bottom
- The tip guide ring is not very sturdy
4. PLUSINNO Elite IM-6 Hunter Fishing Rod
Rod Length: 7’
Weight: 6.0 oz.
PLUSINNO fishing rod is constructed with IM6 Carbon matrix technology, giving incredible performance, sensitivity and power. The carbon split grip with non-slip EVA & cork handle delivers a greater value than the competition. The cushioned hood keeps the reel tight in place and won’t lose when you are traveling long distances on choppy water.
The Tips of these spinning rods are designed to better prevent the fishing line from twisting, you will never struggle with the twisted fishing line again. It’s a one-piece construction fishing rob that keeps line slippage to a minimum, so you can reel in your catch without interruption.
The guides made of Stainless steel with Ceramic inserts make it more smooth and durable. And with sturdy plastic reel seat with double locking structure, you can easily assemble and disassemble it. Even kids can do it without any problem.
The carrying case is also effective. The rings are strong and secure. It is an exceptionally versatile fishing rod, compatible with all types of line, including braid. For the price, I do not think you can go wrong with purchasing one of these rods for your next kayak fishing trip.
- Anti-winding tip
- Sensitive and strong
- Double locking reel seat
- Compatible with all types of line
- The carrying case is cheap
5. Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Material: Carbon Fiber
Rod Length: 6’6”
Weight: 12.1 oz.
Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod is made of carbon fiber, highly flexible and very robust. This rod is recommended for those who want to catch fish with light lures. The rings present on the body are of good quality, allowing suitable management of the braided lines.
The power transmission gear is high strength. It is also very compact with two piece design, particularly suitable for those who practice spinning fishing. The rod is light, thanks to the good grip of the carbon of which it is composed.
In the package there is also a high quality spinning reel, it does not lack everything needed by the experienced fisherman, as well as the professional. The composition of the rod is well suited for kayak fishing with a comfortable grip thanks to the cork handle and flexibility.
Judged among the best fishing rods of 2021 in terms of ease of use and quality of materials, the Pflueger President XT deserves a place in this guide also by virtue of the low prices. However, some anglers consider it excessively soft, advising against its use for those aiming for a more competitive fishing.
- Well-balanced and sensitive
- Lightweight and comfortable handle
- Lots of action
- Included high quality spinning reel
- Entry-level fishing rod and reel package
6. St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod
Material: SCIII Carbon
Rod Length: 6’6”
Weight: 3.7 oz.
The St. Croix Rods Triumph is the latest addition to St. Croix’s fishing rod range. It has advanced technical characteristics. It is very robust, sensitive and light, perfect for kayak fishing with long casts.
The St. Croix fishing rod is made all the new SCIII Carbon construction technologies and combines with the Fortified Resin System (FRS). Its action is specially developed to progressively load the weight of the bait and release it thanks to the quick recovery tip.
The detachable EVA handle ensures strong grip and gives the rod a lot of lightness and at the same time a lot of sensitivity. This rod also comes with a soft and light canvass travel case.
This rod guarantees high performance both at sea and in freshwater. It is an all-around model for bottom fishing or with large floats. It is designed with a screw reel seat and ferrule rings. The St. Croix is available in four lengths and four weights for different anglers’ need.
- Premium grade construction
- Comfortable cork handle
- Light and fast
- Comes with 5-year warranty
- Great for entry-level to mid-level
- Very good value for the money
- Carrying canvass is average in quality
7. ANGRYFISH AG·Anchovy Ultra-Light Fishing Rods
Rod Length: 6’10”
Angryfish fishing rod is constructed with high-level 30T+40T X-shaped Carbon Fiber Blank, which makes the rod lighter and stronger than other similar size rods. And the strong and solid construction maximizes the strength while maintaining sensitivity. It looks decent and has really good color too.
The action is nice and the tip speed is fast. The stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts make this fishing rod more smooth and durable. It will cast well with medium weight lures. The 2 piece design is handy to carry while traveling because they fit together tightly with minimal slop.
It is constructed with IM6 Carbon matrix technology blanks and has ergonomic high-strength reel seats to ensure that reels stay firmly in place.
The handles are well built for overhand casting. And the handles and butts grips provide comfort and a sure grip in all conditions to help you overcome hard-fighting fish.
- High performance fishing rod
- Super sensitive and strong
- Ergonomic design
- Comes with 1 year warranty
- The opening is thin
- Stainless steel guides
8. Daiwa PSO704ULFS-TR Presso UL Spinning Rod
Rod Length: 7’
The Daiwa spinning rod is suitable for fishermen who like to engage with fish directly from the kayak, thanks to the good length that characterizes it. It is lightweight, allows to manage and transport in a simple way. This rod also doesn’t disappoint for the price. It provides a similar action and feel like high end fly rods.
Graphite construction determines the structure of the object in that it is resistant and overall flexible. The guides, wrapping, handle and hook keeper all are built in high quality.
It has four sections, however, is strong enough. The handle is comfortable and the opinions of users confirm that it is possible to cast even very far without particular efforts.
This rod comes with case. You can breaks down the rod and store it inside the rigid case. Then you can put the case in your car or truck. It would be a great choice if you want to be able to pack your rod away while hiking or even to do some fishing on hunting trips.
- Good structure
- Extremely Light
- Short cork rear grip
- Reasonable price
- Designed for very specific use
9. Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX Spinning Rod
Rod Length: 7’
Weight: 5.47 oz.
Among the cheapest fishing rods on the market, the Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX model suitable to provide great durability. Thanks to graphite construction, the rod retains its shape well, bending just enough according to the prey without any risk of breaking.
The two-piece structure ensures a seal and a degree of flexibility ideal for those who practice spinning with a reel seat. It features sic stone rings that can also be used with intertwined threads. The handle then returns a very tight and precise grip.
The structure of the barrel adapts to times when good versatility of the main body is needed. The overall length reaches 7 feet. And with six eyelets, it is suitable for both a nylon line and a braided line.
It is also excessively soft and flexible, all play in favor of adaptability and a long-lasting hold that will not disappoint. It is the right rod to have fun with using light lures from 1-4-3-4 oz.
- Features a custom reel seat
- Durable and long lasting
- Versatile actions
- Pole is a little bit thin
10. Ugly Stik Elite Casting Fishing Rod
Rod Length: 6’6”
Weight: 8.0 oz.
The Ugly Stik Elite Casting rod features pretty good construction but the line guides are a little rough but that can be fixed with some glue. The Graphite gives strength to the whole body, an aspect that however pays the price of a certain heaviness that has disappointed some users.
The length is the strong point of this rod, with a maximum extension of 6’6″ to fish in different contexts, from lakes to rivers, as well as in salty waters. As far as it an affordable rod, designed to give the right support even in adverse conditions, without nasty surprises during the fishing.
It a good companion for fishing, especially if well positioned on a pier suitable for the purpose. The six rings that make it up allow a good passage of the line, adapting well to both nylon and braid.
The handle is cork. However, I personally like foam that is more durable material for long term, but I think the cork look and feel better. They are not mushy as on lower end cork-handled rods.
- Strong and durable
- Great sensitivity even little pinfish
- Tough and smooth guides
- Fast action
- The reel seat is a little slippery
There are actually five important points that speak for good kayak fishing rods.
The rod shouldn’t be too long
Kayak fishing rods are generally a bit shorter than other rods for higher maneuverability requirements. However, personal consideration plays a role here. I always choose long rods so that I can lay the reel in front of me on the tip of the kayak so that I can get to the rod tip comfortably without having to dislocate myself.
Most kayak fishing rods are short enough that they won’t give you any problems. But if you are in a longer kayak, you might run into this problem. So, don’t be too short!
Action of the rod
Action describes the curvature of a rod when it is subjected to a force. When fishing vertically, it doesn’t really matter, because the action of the rod can be as hard as a board. When throwing however we should dare to do a balancing act, of optimal action and “one can barely cope with”.
I therefore recommend set the action of the rod a number lower, for example, when fishing with softbaits, not the “extra fast” stick, rather “regular fast” in order to have a little more buffer in the rod blank when casting. Because in our sitting position, the sequence of movements can go on the back or the hips. Especially at the end of the tour, they will contact you when you get up. But even during a longer tour, the muscles can cramp painfully. A slightly softer rod often works wonders in the long run.
Power refers to the ability of a rod to withstand a force, which is the amount of spring it produces when the force is released. Low power rods require the entire rod to move instead of relying on a quick base movement that is transmitted to the tip.
When fishing with high powered rods, you might also have noticed how the lure jumps when you pick it up, appearing to drag itself through the water, then bounce forward, before dragging itself again. This is due to the great tensile strength of high power fishing rods.
This is also an important aspect with your short kayak rods. The weight of the reel should be level on the rod handle with the blank (comfortably in the hand). So don’t be head- or foot-heavy so as not to go home with a sore wrist at the end of the fishing day.
Very important on a kayak, everything should always be securely attached to the kayak. The rods, so-called “rod leashes”, are also the least disturbing. Simply attach to the rod handle with the Velcro tape. Better to live with a bit of turmoil than watch the rod when it goes on a deep-sea expedition, never to be seen again.
Other features should also be considered
- Test: The test is the weight capacity of the fishing line, but it’s really more complicated than that. When the test is mentioned in the specifications of a fishing rod, it is the recommended load capacity for the line to be used with the rod, not the capacity of the rod itself. The load capacity is mainly dependent on the combination of the line test with the drag settings of your reel.
- Rear handle length: The back handle of a fishing rod is commonly referred to as the tail. Some fishing rods have long handles, perhaps 10 to 12 inches. This is not ideal for kayak fishing, as the most common complaint from kayak fishermen is that the rear handle is too long. It only hinders the little space they have. The long handles also cause the rod to sit higher in the kayak when in contact with the bottom of the seat, forcing the angler to keep their arms higher. The length is usually not listed in the product specifications, so it is more of an estimate based on the total length.
- Material: The two most common materials used in fishing rods are graphite and fiberglass. Graphite fishing rod is stiff and sensitive, which is ideal for jigging or using live bait. Fiberglass provides less sensitivity for more flexibility, which is ideal for using lures. Fiberglass is commonly used for budget rods, while high quality rods are usually made of layers of graphite and fiberglass.
- Price: The best way to start is an inexpensive bottom kayak fishing rod, with a fiber tip, about two and a half meters long, which can be bought around 20-50 dollars.
We know how important it is to have the right equipment, whether you are fishing, hunting or riding. That’s why our goal has always been to help people get out safely and affordably. Most kayak anglers prefer not to spend a fortune on a rod that may be damaged or even lost.
Check our other affordable fishing gears reviews: