Top 8 Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviewed

Best Kayak Fishing Rods

If you’re looking for the best kayak fishing rods, you’re in the right place!

For beginners who are new to fishing, it may be challenging to find a good rod for fishing on land, let alone for kayak fishing. Fishing from a kayak involves constant rocking, instability, and limited space for movement. As a result, the rods needed for kayak fishing are different from those used on land or boats. Not only do they need to be lighter, but also more compact. Considering these factors, along with the usual criteria for a good fishing rod, we have selected the top eight kayak fishing rods on the market.

Among these options, there are some that stand out. The Abu Garcia IKE Signature is the one that stood out the most. With its high-quality materials, strength, and sensitivity, it’s hard to find a better kayak fishing rod.

If the Abu Garcia IKE Signature doesn’t meet your needs, don’t worry. You still have seven other great choices to choose from. There are kayak rods for those looking to invest more, budget-friendly options, and even travel rods.


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CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE

QUICK OVERVIEW

Top 8 Best Kayak Fishing Rods

PRODUCTS
FEATURES
ūüŹÜ EDITOR‚ÄôS PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Power: Medium
at Amazon
‚̧ԳŹ Most Reviewed
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
at Amazon
ūüĎć TOP PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Alconite
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Handle Material: Cork
  • Power: Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium Heavy
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Power: Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Power: Medium Light
at Amazon
‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
at Amazon


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OUR EDITOR’S Pick

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Spinning Rod

Best Kayak Fishing Rods

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Spinning Rod
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

Features To Consider When Choosing A Rod For Kayak Fishing

As you look through the best kayak fishing rods, scrutinise each one carefully.

Remember that the best option depends on what you want. You’ll need to spend some time comparing the options and understanding what you’re looking for. Doing so may take more time and research, but it’ll help you find the right rod.

Length

The length of your kayak fishing rod will determine how far you can cast. A longer rod gives you more leverage and casting distance.

The ideal length depends on the type of water you plan to fish in. If you’re fishing in a lake or similar large body of water, a longer rod will allow you to cast farther. On the other hand, if you’re fishing in rivers or smaller areas, a shorter rod will be more suitable.

In most cases, a fishing rod with a length of 6-7 feet works well for kayak fishing. Longer rods can be more challenging to control in a kayak, while shorter rods may limit your casting distance.

If you’re unsure, I recommend going with a 6.5-foot fishing rod. It provides a good balance between casting distance and maneuverability, making it a versatile choice for kayak fishing.

Power And Action

Power and action are important considerations when choosing a kayak fishing rod. Power refers to the rod’s strength and is measured by the force required to bend it. Action, on the other hand, refers to the rod’s sensitivity and is measured by how much the rod bends when pressure is applied to the tip.

Rod power ranges from ultra light to extra heavy, while rod action ranges from slow to extra fast.

The choice of power and action depends on the size of the fish you intend to catch. Larger fish require a stronger and heavier power rod, while smaller fish call for a more sensitive and faster action rod.

However, since kayaks can be less stable than other fishing platforms, it’s generally recommended to target small to medium-sized fish. For this reason, a medium power rod is usually sufficient.

In terms of sensitivity, if you’re targeting small species, a more sensitive rod with fast or extra fast action is ideal. However, if you’re going after larger fish, even a rod with slow action can be suitable.

Personally, I prefer using a medium power rod with either fast or moderate fast action. However, there’s no harm in choosing a heavier power rod for extra strength. It’s always better to have more strength than needed. The same goes for sensitivity – a more sensitive rod allows you to feel even the softest fish bites.

Material

There are three main materials used in fishing rods: fiberglass, graphite (also known as carbon fiber), and composite.

Fiberglass is the more affordable option and is known for its durability. It is a great choice for anglers who don’t want to spend too much money on their fishing gear. Fiberglass rods can withstand harsh conditions and are less likely to break or get damaged.

Graphite rods, on the other hand, are lighter in weight and offer increased sensitivity. This makes them ideal for kayak fishing, where maneuverability and detecting subtle fish bites are important.

Composite rods are a combination of fiberglass and graphite, offering a balance between sensitivity, weight, and strength. They provide a good compromise for anglers who want a rod that is sensitive, lightweight, and durable.

It’s important to note that the power and action of a rod are larger determining factors in its performance. For example, a fiberglass rod can be lighter and have faster action, while a carbon fiber rod can be heavier and have more power. So, it’s essential to consider the specific power and action ratings of a rod when making a selection.

Handle


When it comes to handles, there are several options to consider: EVA foam, cork, rubber shrink tubing, and stainless steel. Handles can also come in a single or split design.

EVA foam handles are affordable and durable, but they may not offer the best grip. Stainless steel handles are durable but may not provide the best grip either.

Cork handles, while not the most durable or water-resistant, offer excellent grip. Many experienced anglers prefer cork handles for better control and comfort.

Rubber shrink tubing handles offer the most secure grip, but they may not be as durable as other options.

The choice between a single or split handle design is a matter of personal preference. A single handle design is suitable for those who prefer to hold their hands close together, while a split handle design is better for those who like to keep their hands apart and desire more sensitivity in their fishing experience.

Guides

The guides on a fishing rod are the loops that the fishing line passes through. They help prevent tangles and keep the line in place while you fish. There are two main materials used for guides: stainless steel and aluminum oxide.

Stainless steel guides are highly durable and can withstand exposure to water without deteriorating. They are resistant to bending or losing their shape, making them a long-lasting option. They are a good choice for beginners due to their durability.

Aluminum oxide guides are lighter in weight, which allows for longer casting distances. However, they may not be as durable as stainless steel guides.

When choosing between stainless steel and aluminum oxide guides, consider your priorities. If durability is important to you, stainless steel guides are a reliable choice. If you prioritize casting distance and prefer a lighter rod, aluminum oxide guides may be a better option.

Reel Seat

The reel seat is the part of the fishing rod that holds the reel in place.

There are two common materials used for reel seats: graphite and aluminum. Aluminum reel seats are more affordable and known for their durability, making them a good choice for beginners or those concerned about the rod’s strength and longevity.

Graphite reel seats are lightweight, which helps reduce fatigue during long fishing sessions. While not as durable as aluminum, graphite is still quite strong.

Both materials can work well depending on your needs, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re unsure, starting with an aluminum reel seat provides added durability until you feel more comfortable with fishing.

Reel seats also come in different sizes, but most products are designed to match the rod’s size. However, if you need to replace a reel seat, it’s important to check the size to ensure a proper fit and avoid mismatching.

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater fishing does have some differences compared to freshwater fishing, primarily due to the corrosive nature of saltwater and the specific fish species found in saltwater environments.

One key consideration in saltwater fishing is the potential for saltwater corrosion. Saltwater can cause oxidation and corrosion on fishing equipment, including rods. Therefore, it’s important to use durable rods specifically designed for saltwater conditions to prevent damage.

Saltwater species of fish are generally larger than freshwater species. However, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations of your equipment and the stability of your kayak. It’s generally recommended to avoid targeting larger fish from a kayak due to the potential for instability and limited space for storing larger catches.

When fishing in saltwater, you may also need to obtain specific fishing licenses or permits. Some regions offer general fishing licenses, while others require separate licenses for saltwater and freshwater fishing. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the local regulations and obtain the necessary permits before engaging in saltwater fishing.

Additionally, the water conditions in saltwater environments can be rougher compared to freshwater. This means you’ll want to choose a fishing rod that is durable enough to withstand the harsher conditions and potential impact from waves.

By considering these factors and using appropriate gear, you can enjoy a successful and enjoyable saltwater fishing experience from your kayak.

The 8 Best Kayak Fishing Rods

Now that we’ve gone through the buying guide, you can go through these eight best kayak fishing rods with the buying guide in mind.

1. Abu Garcia IKE Signature Spinning Rod

Abu Garcia IKE Signature Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Power:¬†Medium
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam

First up, the Abu Garcia IKE Signature Spinning Rod is really strong and won’t get damaged easily, even in rough conditions. It has a handle made of EVA and stainless steel guides, which are tough materials.

This fishing rod is very durable and has stainless steel guides and an EVA handle. I also like the Powerlux 300 blank because it makes it easy to feel even small fish biting, like trout.

The medium power is good enough for catching medium-sized fish, and the fast action allows you to go after smaller fish too.

It’s also worth mentioning that this rod is lightweight. This is because of the special resin it uses, which also helps you feel even the slightest movements. However, because it has high-quality materials and features, it is a bit more expensive.

Overall, this fishing rod is a good all-around option. It’s versatile and great for kayaking in different locations. It’s sensitive and built to last, even in tough conditions.

2. St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod

St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork + EVA Foam
  • Guides:¬†Aluminum Oxide
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Light to Extra Heavy
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

Next on the list is the St. Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod. I really liked that I could choose from many different actions and strengths to find the perfect size. It’s also great that there are longer options for fishing in bigger bodies of water.

What’s also nice is that the handle is made of cork and EVA, which makes it strong and comfortable. The rod is seven feet long, so I can cast the line pretty far, especially when I want to fish in deeper waters.

But the most impressive thing about this rod is its power. It’s extra heavy and as strong as rods can get. It’s also lightweight and made with high-quality materials, which makes it the best fishing rod for catching bigger fish while kayaking.

3. Dobyns Rods Fury Series Spinning Rod

Dobyns Rods Fury Series Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Guides:¬†Alconite
  • Power:¬†Medium Light
  • Action:¬†Fast

Number 3 on the list is the Dobyns Rods Fury Series Spinning Rod. It’s made of graphite, which makes it very sensitive to feel fish bites. The rod has a split handle and a Fuji reel seat, so you can hold it comfortably and keep your reel stable.

This rod is extremely light, weighing only 0.3 pounds. Its lightness allows you to fish all day without getting tired.

The alconite and cork handle are also durable and of high quality.

The cork and split-handle design make it easy to grip. The fast action of the rod makes it sensitive for catching small fish, but the medium light power may not be strong enough for medium-sized fish.

I wish there were different lengths available for this rod, so I could have more options.

If you’re looking for a lightweight rod to catch smaller fish while kayaking, this is the best fishing rod for you.

4. Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod

Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium Heavy
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

As you keep going through the list, the Fenwick Eagle is a great choice that comes in multiple pieces. The stainless steel and aluminum oxide materials make it really durable and strong for fishing.

I really liked that this graphite rod comes in two pieces, which makes it easy to take apart and store or transport.

The split cork handle is also strong and comfortable to hold.

However, since the rod can be taken apart, there is a possibility that it might crack, break, or become loose if you try to catch a really big fish.

If you’re a kayak angler who wants a fishing rod that can be taken apart into multiple pieces, this is the one for you. It’s also good for people who want to cast their line far and fish in bigger bodies of water.

5. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium Heavy
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel

The Ugly Stick Elite spinning rod is designed with 35% more graphite to make it stronger and more sensitive. The cork handle splits in the middle, making it comfortable to hold the rod at two points.

One positive aspect is that there are different sizes available, so you can choose the combination that you prefer. I also liked the cork handles and split grip because it’s more comfortable for me to have my hands separated while fishing.

But the best thing about this rod is its price. It may not be the cheapest option, but it offers great quality for its price. It also has a medium heavy option, so if you’re on a budget but still want a strong rod, this is a good choice to consider.

6. Shimano Solara Spinning Rod

Shimano Solara Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Aluminum Oxide
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium
  • Action:¬†Fast
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork

Let’s move on to the Shimano Solara Spinning Rod, which offers four size options at an affordable price. It’s interesting to note that the rod has an aero glass design, which makes it more sensitive but slightly less durable. However, it does have a graphite reel seat.

I really liked the sensitive design of this fishing rod and its durability due to the aero glass construction. What’s even better is that it’s very inexpensive, so I could buy it for a quick fishing trip without breaking the bank.

I did notice that this rod didn’t cast as far as some other options, which could be a problem for some users. I also found the two-piece design a bit inconvenient at times because the rod could come apart and required adjustments.

However, many people will appreciate the cork handles and split design, which make it comfortable and easy to grip. It also has great guides that help with smooth line casting and easy retrieval compared to other options.

Choose this fishing rod if you’re on a budget or don’t want to spend too much on your first rod. With its balanced materials and overall benefits, it’s a good option for those looking for affordability.

7. Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod

Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Power:¬†Medium Light
  • Action:¬†Moderate
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam

If you’re looking for an excellent option, the Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod is a great choice. It has a fast action and is made of multiple materials. The blend of graphite and EVA provides sensitivity while improving durability, creating a good balance.

I really liked that this fishing rod can be split into two pieces, making it easy to break down and travel with. I also noticed that it’s great for catching smaller fish because of its fast action, while still being durable due to the blended material.

However, I was disappointed that the fishing rod only comes in one size, so there aren’t different options for strength and action. Additionally, the action is only moderate, so you may not feel subtle bites.

On the positive side, it has a split cork design, allowing you to grip the rod at different points based on your needs. The seven-foot length of the rod also means it can cast a good distance if you want to fish in larger bodies of water.

If you plan to travel frequently, this rod is a good choice since it can be easily taken apart for transportation.

8. Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod

Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork + EVA Foam
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Light to Medium Heavy
  • Action:¬†Fast

The last rod on the list is the Cadence CR5 Spinning Rod.

I was really impressed that this fishing rod weighs only 0.1 pounds, making it super lightweight and easy to carry on kayaking trips. It’s available in both one-piece and two-piece options, so you can choose between stability or convenience when transporting it.

The handle is made of a combination of cork and a standard grip, which makes it comfortable to hold and also durable. The graphite blank of the rod helps to balance its weight, durability, and sensitivity.

However, keen observers will notice that this rod is lighter than our “best lightness” pick. The reason for this is that it’s not as durable and well-rounded. That’s why we decided that the slightly heavier but higher-quality rod deserved the title of “Best Lightness”.

Final Verdict

When choosing the best kayak fishing rod, it’s important to refer to the buying guide and consider factors such as materials and guides that suit your preferences. After careful assessment, we highly recommend the Abu Garcia IKE Signature rod for its excellent balance and high-quality design. Although it may be a bit more expensive, it is definitely worth the investment.

If you’re also in need of a fishing kayak, we have provided a comprehensive list of the best pedal fishing kayaks to assist you. Best of luck with your fishing adventures!