10 Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviews for 2023

Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviews

Kayak fishing is a unique and thrilling way to explore waters and reel in impressive catches. To make the most of this experience, having the right fishing rod is essential. Do you ask yourself which size of rod is suitable for kayak fishing? The answer is often: The rods shouldn’t be very long, not too heavy, they should lie comfortably in the hand, etc. But what actually makes a good kayak fishing rod?

Well, the market is flooded with a wide array of kayak fishing rods, each boasting its own set of features and advantages. To help you navigate through the options, we tested different models for different kayaks and picked the top 10 models that are best suitable for kayak fishing.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started with kayak fishing, this guide is designed to assist you in making an informed decision. So, without further ado, let’s see the reviews of the best kayak fishing rods of 2023!

Best Kayak Fishing Rods in 2023

Take a look at our ranking of the best kayak fishing rods in 2023…

  1. Ugly Stik GX2 Strong Kayak Fishing RodOur Top Pick
  2. Berkley New Cherrywood HD CastingUltralight Fishing Rods
  3. KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Spinning RodEdior’s Choice
  4. PLUSINNO Elite IM-6 Hunter Fishing RodSuper Smooth Power
  5. Pflueger President XT Fishing RodBest Spinning Reel Combo
  6. St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning RodPremium Construction
  7. ANGRYFISH AG·Anchovy Fishing RodsErgonomic Design
  8. Daiwa PSO704ULFS-TR Presso ULStrong Kayak Fishing Rod
  9. Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX Spinning RodBest Value
  10. Ugly Stik Elite Casting Fishing Rod‎Moderate Fast

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Strong Spinning Fishing Rod

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Strong Spinning Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite and fiberglass
  • Rod Length: 7’
  • Piece: Two
  • Weight: 4.6 oz.

Here we are talking about a graft (two-piece) fishing rod made of a combination of Graphite and fiberglass. The Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod is ideal for those who practice the spinning technique both in the sea and in freshwater. This model is available in various sizes that differ from each other.

It is also a versatile rod, that can be used with all types of lines, including braid. It is not as sensitive as a high-end rod but won’t break easily. And because of the glossy black finish and the 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. The graphite reel seat offers a combination of lightweight construction, exceptional strength, and enduring comfort.

When listing the best 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 also feels balanced in your hands. And for the very affordable price point of under $40, this model could be the best choice.


  • Sturdy construction
  • Lightweight and sensitive
  • Value for the money
  • 7-year warranty
  • Versatile


  • Compact but a little soft

2. Berkley New Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rod

2. Berkley New Cherrywood HD Casting Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: graphite and fiberglass
  • Rod Length: 7’
  • Piece: One
  • Weight: 4.4 oz.

Designed for budget anglers, the Berkley Cherrywood fishing rod has an ideal length for kayak or shore fishing. It is handy, well-balanced and light. This unit also has a good backbone. If we are talking about how big fish it can catch, then there is no real limit. It will be able to catch almost all freshwater fish.

Berkley Cherrywood fishing rod handles all lines equally well and the threads are well built. It is long enough to accommodate many different baitcasting reels. The cork handle also guarantees a firm and comfortable grip with a high level of grip.

It has a small hook staple type so that you can hook a lure onto it, but as far as a specific hook holder like other fishing rods, it does not have one. Berkley fishing rod itself looks pretty good if you like red. It is a composite of graphite and fiberglass materials with a hybrid design construction for unmatched sensitivity.

Once folded, the rod has a length of 3.5 feet, making it very practical to carry. It is a great one-piece rod for kayak fishing considering the price. It is 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.


  • Lightweight
  • Easily manageable
  • Easy to transport
  • Designed for all fishing reels
  • A rubberized tip connection system


  • It is a medium heavy rod
  • Not a pro-level rod because of its price

3. KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod

3. KastKing Crixus IM6 Graphite Spinning Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 6’6”
  • Piece: two
  • Weight: 6.4 oz.

KastKing Crixus IM6 fishing rod is suitable above all for kayaks. This is a two-piece rod, made of Graphite available in four sizes that vary from each other. This model is available in light rod to heavy in 5’ to 7’6” lengths. It is perfect for any species in freshwater. You’ll also find them perfect as a saltwater fishing rod.

The Crixus IM6 spinning rod features a split rear handle design and is finished with an EVA fighting butt. It is made of SuperPolymer which is comfortable, durable, and exceptionally slip-resistant. The handle also gives you maximum control over your rod in all conditions.

KastKing IM6 fishing rod uses high-quality stainless-steel guide frames with Zirconium Oxide rings that deliver smooth casting and durable performance. It is also lightweight due to the graphite construction. However, this unit has plenty of power to handle your best catch.

It is powerful and sensitive and built with KastFlex technology. They are available in 20 different power, action, and length combinations, and all models are constructed in 2-pcs for easy transport and storage. It will deliver incredible performance in all weather conditions combined with all-day comfort. We could pick this model for the top position if it is as durable as it appears, that will go up.


  • Fashionable fishing pole
  • Easily transportable
  • Great grips and handle
  • Very sensitive fishing rod
  • Good choice for the price


  • Nicked near the bottom
  • Tip guide ring is not very sturdy

4. PLUSINNO Elite IM-6 Hunter Fishing Rod

4. PLUSINNO Elite IM 6 Hunter Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 7’
  • Piece: One
  • Weight: 6.0 oz.

PLUSINNO fishing rod is constructed with IM6 Carbon matrix technology, which gives you incredible balance, sensitivity and power. The carbon split grip with non-slip EVA & cork handle also 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 this spinning rod 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 fishing rod that keeps line slippage to a minimum, so you can reel in your catch without interruption.

The guides are made of Stainless steel with Ceramic inserts, making this rod more smooth and more durable. With a sturdy plastic reel seat and double locking structure, you can easily assemble and disassemble it. Even kids can do it without any obstacles. The carrying case is also very effective.

The rings are strong and secure. Overall, it is an exceptionally versatile fishing rod for kayaks, compatible with all types of lines, including braid. And for the price, we do not think you can go wrong with purchasing one rod from the Elite series for your next kayak fishing trip.


  • Anti-winding tip
  • Sensitive and strong
  • Double locking reel seat
  • Compatible with all types of line
  • Includes carrying bag


  • Carrying case is cheaply made

5. Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

5. Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Rod Length: 6’6”
  • Piece: Two
  • Weight: 12.1 oz.

The Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod Combo is a premium set that combines a high-performance reel with a well-matched fishing rod. It is made of carbon fiber, which is 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, making it particularly suitable for those who practice spinning fishing. With the pack size of ‎37 x 4.5 x 4.5 inches, you can easily transport it. It does not lack everything needed by the experienced fisherman, as well as the professional.

Pflueger President XT Fishing Rod is also light, thanks to the good grip of the carbon of which it is composed. The composition of the rod is well suited for kayak fishing with a comfortable grip, thanks to the cork handle and considerable flexibility.

Judged among the best kayak fishing rods of 2023 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 more competitive fishing.


  • Well-balanced and sensitive
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Comfortable to handle
  • Lots of action
  • Includes high-quality spinning reel


  • Reel isn’t high-end
  • A bit expensive

6. St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod

6. St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: SCIII Carbon
  • Rod Length: 6’6”
  • Piece: Two
  • Weight: 3.7 oz.

The Croix Triumph is the latest addition to the Croix’s fishing rod range. It has advanced technical characteristics. Its robust and lightweight design makes this model perfect for kayak fishing with long casts. It is crafted to be highly sensitive, allowing you to feel even the slightest of nibbles or movements underwater. This is crucial for detecting when a fish is biting.

St. Croix fishing rod is made of all the new SCIII Carbon construction technologies and combined with the Fortified Resin System (FRS). The detachable EVA handle ensures strong grip and gives the rod a lot of lightness and at the same time a lot of sensitivity.

It is designed with a screw reel seat and ferrule rings. Thanks to the quick recovery tip, the action is specially developed to progressively load the weight of the bait and release it.

This kayak fishing rod guarantees high performance both at sea and in freshwater. It is an all-around model for bottom fishing or with large floats. This series is available in four lengths and four weights for different anglers’ needs. It also comes with a soft and light canvas travel case.


  • Premium grade construction
  • Comfortable cork handle
  • Light and fast casting
  • Great for entry-level to mid-level
  • Very good value for the money
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty


  • Carrying canvas is average in terms of quality

7. ANGRYFISH AG·Anchovy Ultra-Light Fishing Rod

7. ANGRYFISH AG·Anchovy Ultra Light Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 6’10”
  • Piece: Two
  • Weight: Light

Angryfish fishing rod is constructed with high-level 30T+40T X-shaped Carbon Fiber Blank, which makes this rod lighter and stronger than other similar size fishing rods. The strong and solid construction maximizes the strength while maintaining sensitivity. It looks decent and has really good color too.

The stainless steel guides with ceramic inserts make this rod more smooth and durable. It will cast well with medium-weight lures. The 2 piece design also ensures very handy to carry while traveling. Because they fit together tightly with minimal slop.

Angryfish fishing rod is more than light enough to be used with one hand and allows for good maneuverability. 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 action is nice and the tip speed is fast.

The handles are solid and built for overhand casting. And the handles and butt 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
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Comes with 1 year warranty


  • Opening is thin
  • Stainless steel guides

8. Daiwa PSO704ULFS-TR Presso UL Spinning Rod

8. Daiwa PSO704ULFS TR Presso UL Spinning Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 7’
  • Piece: Four
  • Weight: Light

The Daiwa Presso UL is a highly regarded ultralight spinning rod, known for its performance and versatility. It allows you to manage and transport in a simple way. It is suitable for fishermen who like to engage with fish directly from the kayak, thanks to the good length that characterizes it.

It has four sections. However, it is strong enough to catch large fish. Graphite construction determines the structure of the object because it is resistant and overall flexible. The guides, wrapping, handle and hook keeper all are built in high quality.

The handle is comfortable and the opinions of users confirm that it is possible to cast even very far without particular effort. It doesn’t disappoint for the price by providing a similar action as high-end fly rods. With a generous length of 7 feet, this rod offers extended casting distance and improved line control.

Daiwa fishing rod comes with a carrying case rather than just an ugly plastic tube. You can break 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
  • Includes outstanding quality carrying case


  • Designed for very specific use

9. Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX Spinning Rod

9. Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX Spinning Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 7’
  • Piece: Two
  • Weight: 5.47 oz.

Among the cheapest kayak fishing rods on the market, the Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX model is suitable to provide excellent durability. Thanks to graphite construction, the rod keeps 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, making it 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 an adequate tight and precise grip.

The structure of the barrel adapts to times when good versatility of the main body is needed. However, the overall length reaches 7 feet. With six eyelets, it is suitable for both a nylon line and a braided line.

Shimano SLXS70MH2 SLX fishing rod is also excessively soft and flexible; all play in favor of adaptability and long-lasting hold that will not disappoint. It is the best kayak fishing rod to have fun with using light lures from 1-4-3-4 oz.


  • Features a custom reel seat
  • Durable and long-lasting design
  • Versatile actions
  • Short handle


  • Pole is a little bit thin

10. Ugly Stik Elite Casting Fishing Rod

10. Ugly Stik Elite Casting Fishing Rod Best Kayak Fishing Rods

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  • Material: Graphite
  • Rod Length: 6’6”
  • Piece: One
  • Weight: 8.0 oz.

The Ugly Stik Elite Casting rod features pretty good construction, but the line guides are a little rough. You can fix it with some glue. However, Graphite gives strength to the whole body, this is an aspect that pays the price of a certain heaviness. This 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. It is also an affordable fishing rod, designed to give the right support even in adverse conditions without nasty surprises during fishing.

It features a fast action and bends mostly in the tip section. The six rings make it up to allow a good passage of the line, adapting well to both nylon and braid. It is a good companion for kayak fishing, especially if well positioned on a pier suitable for the purpose.

The handle is cork. However, we prefer covered foam for this type of rod, which is more comfortable for long-term uses. But the cork looks good and feels better. They are not mushy as on lower-end cork-handled rods.


  • Strong and durable rod
  • Great sensitivity even little pinfish
  • Tough and smooth guides
  • Premium cork handles
  • Fast action


  • Reel seat is a little slippery

Buyer’s Guide: Best Kayak Fishing Rod

If you’ve never bought a kayak fishing rod before but would like to have one, you will likely find yourself lost in all the variables to consider. There are actually five important points that speak for good kayak fishing rods.

Rod shouldn’t be too long

Kayak fishing rods are generally a bit shorter than other fishing rods for higher maneuverability requirements. However, personal consideration plays a role here. For example, I always choose long fishing 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.

The best kayak fishing rods on the market are short enough and 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!

The action of the rod

Action describes the curvature of a fishing 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”.

We therefore recommend setting the action of the rod a number lower. For example, when fishing with soft baits, not the “extra fast” stick, but 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 kayak fishing 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, and then bounce forward before dragging itself again. This is because of the great tensile strength of high-power fishing rods.


Balance is also an important aspect of 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.

Well leashed

Everything should always be securely attached to the kayak. The rods, so-called “rod leashes”, are also the least disturbing. Simply attach it to the rod handle with 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. 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 and force 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. On the other hand, 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.
  • Reel Compatibility: Ensure the rod is compatible with the reel you intend to use. This includes checking for the appropriate reel seat size.
  • 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 you can buy for around 20-50 dollars.


Most kayak anglers don’t prefer to spend a fortune on a fishing rod that can be damaged or even lost. At the end of the day, we recommend that you go with one of the rods available in various lengths, powers, and action values. This way you can choose all the specifications that best suit your specific needs.

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. Whether for fly fishing or lure aboard a kayak, our recommended models are suitable for each fishing technique.

Check our other affordable fishing gear reviews:

Best spinning rods under 50 dollars and Best spinning rods under 100 dollars. Also, do not hesitate to consult our complete guide on the best fishing kayak under $500 and the best portable fish finders under $200 at the moment.

Liam Dean is a Professional Blogger and Outdoor Enthusiast. He completed Masters in Sports Sciences and spend all of his free time doing sports and other outdoor activities. During vacations, he goes hunting, fishing and mountaineering.

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