Top 7 Best Musky Rods Reviewed

Best Musky Rods

Hello fellow angler! I’m here to share my review of the best musky rods. If that’s what you’re interested in, keep reading!

Muskies are very big fish, sometimes weighing more than 70 pounds. Your musky rod needs to be strong enough to handle these powerful fish, but also lightweight so you don’t get tired quickly. It should also be sensitive enough to feel when the musky bites and allow you to set the hook in time. Lastly, it’s important to have a high-quality rod that won’t break after only a few uses.

With my 21 years of fishing experience, I have found the 7 best musky rods and made a list for you. I also considered affordability while doing my research.

Based on these factors, my top recommendation is the St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod. It’s strong enough for big muskies, light enough to cast easily, and made with good materials for sensitivity. This rod has everything you need for musky fishing at a reasonable price. There are other muskie rods that may be lighter and tougher, but those are wants, not necessities. This musky rod has all the essentials for musky fishing.

If it’s too expensive for you, don’t worry! There are 6 other rods to choose from.


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Top 7 Best Musky Rods

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  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Titanium Alloy
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
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  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
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  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Titanium
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
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OUR EDITOR’S Pick
St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod

St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Medium Heavy

Let’s talk about the St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod, which is a really good musky rod. It’s light, strong, sensitive, and has a cool extra feature.

This rod uses a special kind of carbon fiber called SCII carbon. It’s stronger than regular carbon fiber, which is great for catching big muskies. With less carbon fiber, it’s also easy to cast all day without getting tired.

The aluminum oxide guides and cork handle make the rod even more durable. Aluminum oxide is a smooth and strong material for the guides. The cork handle is also long-lasting and provides a good grip. This rod will last a long time.

When it comes to sensitivity, this fast action rod can even feel when small muskies bite. The carbon fiber makes it very sensitive, which is important for fishing.

And as a bonus, it has a handy Kigan hook-keeper to keep your rod safe during transportation or storage.

All in all, the St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod is a reliable choice for catching muskies. It has everything you need and more. The best part is that it’s reasonably priced, so you don’t have to spend too much money.

2. St Croix Legend Tournament Musky Rod

St Croix Legend Tournament Musky Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Heavy

Made in the USA, the St Croix Legend Tournament Musky rod is truly exceptional. It’s designed to be the strongest and most durable rod available, while still being lightweight and sensitive. It even has an upgraded version of the Kigan hook-keeper.

St Croix has been a trusted brand for over 70 years. They’ve worked tirelessly to create the best rods possible. The exclusive technologies used in this musky rod are FRS, ART, and IPC.

FRS and ART make the rod incredibly strong without adding extra weight. FRS is an advanced manufacturing process that makes the rod 33% stronger than standard rods. ART is a special carbon fiber that makes it 10 times sturdier than regular carbon fiber rods. With these technologies, less material is needed to achieve exceptional strength. This results in a musky rod that’s unmatched in durability and power.

IPC, the Integrated Poly Curve tooling technology, is responsible for the rod’s amazing sensitivity. It eliminates any transitional points in the rod, enhancing both sensitivity and power. This makes the St Croix Legend Tournament Musky one of the most sensitive musky rods available.

And yes, it also comes with a Kigan hook-keeper.

In summary, this advanced rod is the best musky rod money can buy. However, the St Croix Premier Musky mentioned earlier is still a great choice and covers all your needs. But if you want the absolute best and have the budget for it, this is it. Plus, it’s backed by a 15-year warranty for your peace of mind.

3. Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Muskie Rod

Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Muskie Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Titanium Alloy
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork + EVA Foam
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Heavy to Extra Heavy

Now, let’s talk about the best musky rod for beginners, which is the Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod. We consider it the top choice for beginners because it offers everything you need for musky fishing at a more affordable price compared to our overall best pick.

This rod features a Powerlux 300 blank. It uses Powerlux resin to surround the carbon fiber core. Since Powerlux resin is lighter than carbon fiber, it makes the rod lighter without sacrificing strength or action. In fact, the Powerlux 300 enhances the stiffness and responsiveness of the rod.

The other components of this musky rod are also excellent. The core of the blank is carbon fiber, which is known for being lightweight and providing great action. The titanium alloy guides are lightweight as well and have a long lifespan.

The Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod is a sturdy rod that can handle big muskies. Its lightness makes it easy to cast, and its fast action allows you to feel even subtle bites.

I particularly like the cork and EVA foam grip, which provides a firm and comfortable hold. The cork is durable and will last for a long time.

While it’s not as sturdy or robust as our overall best musky rod, and it’s slightly heavier with slightly less sensitivity, the price justifies it. It’s about $25 cheaper but still provides everything you need for musky fishing. If you’re a beginner looking for a high-quality rod at a more affordable price, the Abu Garcia Veracity Casting Rod is an excellent choice.

4. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Musky Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Musky Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Power:¬†Heavy

Now, let’s talk about the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod, which is a great option for those on a tight budget. This rod will bring you joy because it costs less than a quarter of the price of the previous musky rods. Surprisingly, it still has enough strength to handle large muskies.

Let’s start with its durability. Ugly Stik is famous for making incredibly tough rods. While it’s an exaggeration to say they’re indestructible, they are known for their exceptional durability. They achieve this through their unique Ugly Tech Construction, which creates stronger and more long-lasting rods. This musky rod also combines fiberglass with graphite, adding even more strength since fiberglass is stronger than graphite.

The powerful combination of Ugly Tech Construction and fiberglass makes this musky rod capable of withstanding tough conditions and abuse.

You’ll also find an EVA foam grip on this rod, providing comfort and a secure hold even when wet.

So, what’s the catch? How is this musky rod only a fraction of the price of the previous rods?

Well, compared to the higher-end rods, this musky rod is heavier. The extra weight comes from the heavier fiberglass and the absence of advanced strength-enhancing technologies found in more expensive rods.

This drawback may be a deal-breaker for some people. However, considering the significantly lower price, it’s a fair trade-off. The main downside is that you may get tired more quickly using this musky rod.

Nevertheless, this rod is still capable of reeling in large muskies, which is what any angler desires. If you’re on a very tight budget, the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod is worth considering.

5. Okuma EVx Musky Rod

Okuma EVx Musky Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Extra Heavy

Telescopic fishing rods are often known for their tendency to break easily. However, the Okuma EVx Musky Rod stands out as one of the exceptions.

This fishing rod is constructed with IM8 graphite, which makes it lightweight and highly responsive. IM8 graphite is the highest grade available, with IM8 being the strongest, lightest, and most sensitive. In fact, this musky rod is even categorized as extra heavy power while still being lighter than the St Croix rods mentioned before.

The best feature of this musky rod is its portability. It can extend to a length of 8.5 ft, but it can also be shortened to just 16 inches. This means it can easily fit into your office suitcase or backpack, providing maximum convenience.

If you’re specifically looking for a telescopic musky rod, the Okuma EVx Musky Rod is your best choice. It offers a combination of lightness, responsiveness, and durability that is hard to beat in the telescopic rod category for muskies.

6. Shimano Sojourn Casting Musky Rod

Shimano Sojourn Casting Musky Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Medium Heavy

At number 6, we have the Shimano Sojourn Casting Rod, which is also a budget-friendly option. However, it differs from the Ugly Stik GX2 in terms of weight.

While the GX2 Casting Rod was noticeably heavier than the other rods on this list, the Shimano Sojourn weighs about the same as those lighter rods. This means that you can cast the Shimano Sojourn with the same ease as the other lightweight rods.

It performs well in other aspects too, with a fast action that allows you to detect subtle tugs on the fishing line. It has a medium-heavy power that is suitable for most muskies.

However, it’s important to note that the Shimano Sojourn is not designed to handle monster muskies. The medium-heavy power may not be sufficient for such large fish, so be prepared to potentially lose them.

Essentially, the price of the Shimano Sojourn is comparable to that of the Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Rod. If you want a musky rod that can handle gigantic muskies but is heavier, the Ugly Stik GX2 is a better choice. If you prefer a lighter rod that may not be as sturdy, then the Shimano Sojourn is worth considering.

7. Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Muskie Rod

Abu Garcia Veritas Casting Muskie Rod
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Titanium
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Light to Heavy

When it comes to lightness, the Abu Garcia Veritas Casting rod takes the lead. This rod is specifically designed to be both rugged and incredibly lightweight, making it ideal for those who prioritize lightness above all else.

Weighing an impressive 5 ounces at a length of 7 ft, this musky rod stands out as the only rod of its kind in terms of weight. It is more than 2 ounces lighter than any of the St Croix rods and 1.8 ounces lighter than the next lightest rod on this list.

Despite its feather-light construction, this musky rod still maintains sufficient stiffness to handle even the largest muskies. This can be attributed to its Powerlux 100 blank, which not only strengthens the rod but also contributes to its lightness. The carbon fiber used further enhances its lightweight properties.

In summary, the Abu Garcia Veritas Casting rod is a well-rounded option that offers unparalleled lightness without compromising on durability. If you prioritize lightness above all else in a rod, this musky rod is the perfect choice for you.

Buying Guide

There are many terms used in this list that may sound foreign to new anglers, such as action and power.

This buying guide will clear up any confusion, and more importantly, teach you how to judge a musky rod.

Rod Length

Rod length is an important consideration when choosing a musky rod, as it can impact both casting distance and rod strength.

Typically, longer musky rods are capable of casting further distances. However, in this case, we’re prioritizing strength over casting distance. The length of the rod also influences its overall strength, with longer rods generally offering more power.

For musky fishing, it is recommended to select a rod length between 7 to 9 feet. A 7-foot rod is the minimum length required to provide the necessary strength for musky fishing. Shorter rods may lack the required sturdiness.

On the other hand, it is not advisable to exceed 9 feet in length. Going beyond this range is unnecessary as muskies do not require such extreme strength, and longer rods tend to add unnecessary weight.

In my experience, the optimal musky rod length is around 8 feet. This length provides sufficient strength while keeping the rod weight manageable. Additionally, an 8-foot rod offers good versatility and makes it easier to catch muskies.

Ultimately, choosing a musky rod length of 8 feet strikes a balance between strength, weight, and ease of use.

Rod Power

Rod power refers to the stiffness of the rod and determines how much force is required to bend it. For musky fishing, it’s important to choose a rod with the appropriate power to handle larger fish.

Flimsy rods are more likely to break when faced with bigger fish, so it’s crucial to select a stiffer rod for larger species like muskies. Heavier power rods are better suited for these types of fish.

When it comes to musky fishing, a minimum of medium-heavy power is recommended. A medium-heavy rod provides enough power to handle big muskies, although it may not be sufficient for monster-sized muskies. For such large muskies, a heavy power rod is preferred.

It’s worth noting that heavier power rods are better suited for heavier fishing lines as well. Since muskies require heavier lines, it’s important to have a rod that complements the line weight. A medium-heavy rod is the minimum requirement to match the heavy line needed for musky fishing.

Personally, I prefer heavy power rods for muskies, as they allow me to tackle prize-sized muskies effectively. However, if you don’t intend to target exceptionally large muskies, a medium-heavy power rod should suffice.

On the other hand, if you want a rod that can handle fish species even larger than muskies, opting for an extra-heavy power rod is advisable.

In summary, the ideal range of rod powers for musky fishing is from medium-heavy to extra-heavy, depending on the size of the muskies you plan to target and the line weight you’ll be using.

Rod Action

Rod action refers to the part of the rod that bends when pressure is applied to the rod tip. The higher up the rod bends, the faster the rod action, resulting in increased sensitivity.

Fortunately, muskies have relatively strong bites, even the smaller ones. While you won’t need an extremely sensitive rod to feel the bites of smaller muskies, it’s still advisable to avoid getting a slow action rod to avoid missing out on those bites.

Another factor to consider when selecting rod action is the type of lures you’ll be using. For heavier lures, a moderate action rod is recommended, while lighter lures benefit from fast action rods.

Personally, I prefer moderate-fast action rods as they work well for both heavier and lighter-weight lures. However, considering that musky lures tend to be larger, you can opt for a slower action rod.

In general, I suggest sticking to the moderate to extra-fast action range. If you want to be able to detect even the slightest bites from tiny muskies, an extra-fast action rod is the way to go.

Line Weight

When fishing for muskies, it’s crucial to use heavier line weights due to the size and strength of these fish.

When we talk about line weight, we are not referring to the actual weight of the line on a scale, but rather its pound test rating, which indicates how much weight the line can withstand before snapping.

For musky fishing, it is advisable to use a line with a minimum pound test of 65 pounds. Anything lighter than this, and you will likely experience frequent line breakages when battling muskies.

To ensure you have ample strength to handle large muskies, I recommend using an 85-pound line. You can certainly opt for even higher pound test ratings if you prefer, but be sure not to go below 65 pounds to maintain the necessary strength for musky fishing.

Lure Weight

When it comes to lure weight for musky fishing, it’s important to consider the size and appeal of the prey. Just like a lion would prefer to go after a zebra rather than a mouse, muskies are more likely to be enticed by larger lures.

There isn’t a specific minimum weight requirement for lures to be attractive to muskies. It depends on various factors such as the lure’s action, color, and other characteristics.

In general, musky fishing involves using heavier lures, so it’s crucial to choose a musky rod that can accommodate the weight of the lures you’ll be using.

By following the guidelines and recommendations I have provided throughout this guide, you can ensure that you select the right rod for musky fishing.

Durability

Durability is indeed a crucial factor when choosing a musky rod, as you want to ensure it will withstand the rigors of fishing without falling apart prematurely.

To ensure durability, look for rods made with high-quality materials. For the guides, stainless steel, alconite, titanium, and other robust metals are excellent choices. These materials offer resistance to corrosion and provide long-lasting performance.

When it comes to the rod blank, fiberglass and high-quality carbon fiber (also known as graphite) are reliable options. These materials offer strength, resilience, and durability, ensuring the rod can handle the challenges of musky fishing.

Another indicator of durability is the reputation and brand of the rod. Established brands like St Croix and Abu Garcia have a long history of producing high-quality rods with lower chances of being low-quality or prone to early wear and tear.

While it’s not to say that rods from new or lesser-known manufacturers are inherently low-quality, opting for well-known and reputable brands can provide added assurance of durability.

By considering the materials used and the reputation of the brand, you can select a musky rod that is built to last and withstand the demands of musky fishing.

Warranty

Warranty is an important consideration when purchasing a musky rod, as it provides peace of mind and protection against defects or issues that may arise after your purchase.

While there isn’t a fixed answer regarding warranty length, a general rule of thumb is that the more expensive the rod, the longer the warranty should be. This is because higher-priced rods typically come with more advanced features, materials, and craftsmanship, and as a result, manufacturers may offer longer warranty periods to assure customers of their quality and durability.

Having a longer warranty for a higher-priced rod is fair, as it ensures that your investment is protected and that you won’t lose your money if any defects or issues emerge over time.

When considering different musky rods, it’s beneficial to take note of the warranty terms provided by the manufacturer. Longer warranty periods can provide added confidence in the quality and durability of the rod.

Ultimately, a warranty serves as a safeguard against potential defects or problems, and it’s worth considering the length of the warranty when making your decision.

Final Verdict

To summarize, muskies can grow to large sizes, requiring high-quality rods to handle their strength. Each rod on this list is excellent in its own way, but for most anglers, the top choice would be the St Croix Premier Musky Casting Rod. It offers all the essential features sought after by musky anglers while remaining affordable by excluding unnecessary extras.

Now that you have found your ideal musky rod, it’s time to consider pairing it with the best musky reels. Best of luck in your freshwater fishing adventures!