Top 9 Best Spinning Rods Reviewed

Best Spinning Rods


If you’re in search of the best spinning rods, you’ve come to the right place! Spinning rods, paired with spinning reels, offer great versatility for various fishing situations. They are capable of handling large fish while also allowing for casting lightweight lures with finesse. With the multitude of spinning rods available, finding the best ones can be overwhelming. After extensive research and evaluation, we have identified the top nine spinning rods based on criteria such as durability, strength, sensitivity, and lightness.

If you’re short on time and seeking our top recommendation, we suggest the St Croix Premier. This exceptional rod excels in toughness, strength, sensitivity, and affordability.

However, if the St Croix Premier doesn’t meet your specific requirements or if you prefer more budget-friendly options, don’t worry! We have compiled a list of eight other outstanding spinning rods that cater to various preferences and price ranges.


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CHECK OUT OUR EDITOR’S CHOICE

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Top 9 Best Spinning Rods

PRODUCTS
FEATURES
ūüŹÜ EDITOR‚ÄôS PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material: Cork
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‚̧ԳŹ Most Reviewed
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Titanium Alloy
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
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ūüĎć TOP PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Cork
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‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Graphite
  • Guides: Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Fuji O-Ring
  • Handle Material: Cork
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  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Rubber Shrink Tubing
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‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: EVA Foam
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‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Composite
  • Guides: Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material: Cork
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‚ėÖ BUDGET PICK
  • Blank Material: Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material: Cork + EVA Foam
  • Rod Length: 5.5-7 ft
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OUR EDITOR’S Pick

St Croix Premier

Best Spinning Rods

St Croix Premier
  • Durable Aluminum Body
  • Versatile Sling Mounts
  • Inline Bolt System

1. St Croix Premier

St Croix Premier
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Aluminum Oxide
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Ultra Light to Extra Heavy
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

The St Croix Premier spinning rod is a true masterpiece, handcrafted in the USA, and represents the pinnacle of spinning rods. This exceptional rod is renowned for its durability, responsiveness, and unparalleled power-to-weight ratio. Adding to its appeal, it is backed by a 5-year warranty and includes a convenient Kigan hook-keeper.

One of the standout features of the St Croix Premier is its aluminum oxide guides and cork handle. Aluminum oxide guides are highly corrosion-resistant and offer a smooth surface for optimal line flow. Meanwhile, the natural lifespan of cork exceeds 50 years, ensuring a reliable and comfortable grip for years to come.

Constructed with SCII carbon, this rod delivers exceptional sensitivity and boasts a fast action rating. Its high strain rate sets it apart from standard carbon, making it significantly stronger. In addition, the St Croix Premier incorporates the innovative Fortified Resin System (FRS) technology. While the technical details of FRS are complex, it’s important to know that rods built with FRS are consistently 33% stronger than those constructed using standard resins and curing methods. This combination of SCII carbon and FRS results in unmatched strength, making the Premier series ideal for tackling even the largest oceanic monsters.

Weighing a mere 2.1 ounces, the St Croix Premier is the lightest spinning rod available. The advanced strength-enhancing technologies utilized in its construction allow for the use of less material while still achieving remarkable strength. Contributing to its lightweight design, the Fuji reel seat is one of the lightest available, further enhancing the rod’s overall performance and ease of use.

To top it all off, St Croix provides a 5-year warranty, ensuring your investment is protected. Additionally, they have added a Kigan hook-keeper to prevent your hook from damaging the rod during transportation or storage on your fishing trips.

The only drawback to the St Croix Premier is its price, as it is not the most affordable option on the market. However, considering its outstanding qualities, exceptional warranty coverage, and long-lasting performance, it is worth every penny. If you’re seeking the absolute best spinning rod and have the budget to accommodate it, the St Croix Premier is the unrivaled choice.

2. Abu Garcia Veritas

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

The Abu Garcia Veritas spinning rod is constructed using Abu Garcia’s Powerlux 100 resin system, which gives it exceptional strength and durability while maintaining a lightweight design. The Powerlux 100 resin system evenly distributes nano particles between each carbon fiber, enhancing the rod’s overall robustness.

Featuring titanium alloy guides, this spinning rod is highly resistant to rust. Unlike other materials like aluminum oxide or alconite, titanium alloy is completely rust-proof, ensuring long-lasting performance and durability. With the combination of the Powerlux 100 resin system and titanium alloy guides, the Abu Garcia Veritas exhibits the same level of sturdiness as the St Croix Premier.

The medium-heavy power rating of this rod showcases its impressive strength, making it suitable for various fishing scenarios.

Beyond its strength, the Abu Garcia Veritas excels in sensitivity, boasting an extra-fast action rating. This sensitivity allows anglers to detect even the slightest nibbles and increases their chances of landing fish successfully.

In terms of weight, the Veritas is relatively light, with the lightest option weighing just 3.8 ounces. This lightweight design contributes to enhanced maneuverability and reduced fatigue during extended fishing sessions.

While sensitivity is undoubtedly a standout feature of the Abu Garcia Veritas, it’s important to note that this rod also offers remarkable durability and a lightweight construction. For those seeking a versatile spinning rod with exceptional sensitivity, strength, and lightness, the Abu Garcia Veritas is an excellent choice.

3. Fenwick Eagle

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

The Fenwick Eagle spinning rod may not excel in any specific area, but it offers satisfactory performance across the board.

In terms of durability, the stainless steel guides of the Fenwick Eagle are not as rugged as those found on the previous four rods. While they may be slightly less hardy, they still provide reliable performance.

When it comes to strength, this rod’s stiffness reaches a medium-heavy rating, which is quite decent. In my experience, it felt slightly stiffer than the stated rating, indicating that it may offer even more strength than expected. This makes it a reliable option for handling various fishing situations.

In terms of action, the Fenwick Eagle exhibits a slightly faster responsiveness than listed. With a fast action rating, it performs well in this aspect, allowing for quick hook sets and precise control over the line.

In regards to weight, the Fenwick Eagle is slightly lighter than average, although it is still heavier than the previous four higher-end rods mentioned. While it may not be the lightest option available, it still offers reasonable weight for comfortable handling during fishing sessions.

Overall, the Fenwick Eagle spinning rod delivers adequate performance without excelling in any particular aspect. It offers a more economical choice compared to the higher-end rods mentioned earlier. If you are seeking a high-quality spinning rod for casual fishing and do not require the exceptional qualities of the previous rods, the Fenwick Eagle is a suitable option.

4. G.Loomis Classic

G.Loomis Classic
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Graphite
  • Guides:¬†Fuji Alconite
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Ultra Light to Medium
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate Fast to Fast

The G.Loomis Classic is widely regarded as the best trout spinning rod available, thanks to its exceptional durability, sensitivity, and lightness.

In terms of durability, the G.Loomis Classic is equipped with Fuji Alconite guides, which are known for their superior strength, lightweight design, and smooth performance. Compared to aluminum oxide guides, Fuji Alconite guides offer enhanced durability. Additionally, the rod features a Multi-Taper Design, which reinforces the areas under the most pressure during fishing. This design approach increases the rod’s ability to withstand abuse and ensures its longevity. The premium cork handle further contributes to its durability, making it a rod that will last for years. In fact, the G.Loomis Classic is considered even tougher than the St Croix Premier in terms of durability.

The Multi-Taper Design also plays a significant role in the rod’s lightness. By strategically allocating material to areas that require the most strength and reducing material in less stressed areas, the G.Loomis Classic achieves a strong and lightweight construction. The use of graphite, the lightest rod blank material, further enhances its overall lightness. With this combination, the rod offers a comfortable fishing experience, allowing anglers to fish all day without feeling fatigued.

While the G.Loomis Classic may not have the highest power rating, topping out at medium, it is more than sufficient for targeting even the largest trout. Although it may not be suitable for snagging trophy-sized fish, its medium power provides ample strength for trout fishing.

One of the standout features of the G.Loomis Classic is its remarkable sensitivity, attributed to its handle design. The split handle design exposes the reel seat, enhancing sensitivity and allowing anglers to feel even the slightest movement or bite. Coupled with the inherent sensitivity of graphite rod blanks, the G.Loomis Classic excels in detecting subtle trout strikes.

Overall, the G.Loomis Classic is considered the top-tier choice for trout fishing rods. While the St Croix Premier is versatile for various fish species, when it comes to trout fishing specifically, the G.Loomis Classic stands out as the unmatched option in terms of durability, sensitivity, and lightness.

5. Shimano Teramar

Shimano Teramar
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Fuji O-Ring
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Light to Medium Heavy
  • Action:¬†Fast

The Shimano Teramar is a top choice for bass fishing rods, offering excellent features at a more affordable price point compared to the previous options.

Starting with its construction, the Shimano Teramar features a cork handle and Fuji O-Ring guides. The O-Ring guides, made with aluminum oxide, provide smooth line flow and durability. Paired with the long-lasting cork grip, this rod ensures years of reliable service.

In terms of strength, the Shimano Teramar’s highest power rating is medium-heavy, which is more than sufficient for targeting bass. Bass typically do not reach sizes that require heavier power ratings, making the medium-heavy option suitable for most bass fishing situations.

The Shimano Teramar also offers good sensitivity, thanks to its fast action rating. With this fast action, anglers can detect even the slightest movements or bites, allowing for better control and responsiveness while targeting bass.

In regard to weight, the composite blank of the Shimano Teramar, which includes fiberglass, makes it slightly heavier than the previous rods mentioned. However, the rod’s well-balanced design helps offset this extra weight, ensuring that it still feels relatively lightweight and comfortable to handle.

Overall, while the Shimano Teramar may not possess the same level of power as the St Croix Premier, it provides ample strength for bass fishing. As a dedicated bass spinning rod, it offers excellent performance and value for the price. If your focus is primarily on bass angling and you’re looking to save some money, the Shimano Teramar is a smart choice that delivers quality without breaking the bank.

6. Okuma Rockaway

Okuma Rockaway
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†Rubber Shrink Tubing
  • Power:¬†Ranges from Medium Light to Medium Heavy
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Moderate Fast

Designed for beach fishing, the Okuma Rockaway comes in every rod length you need for fishing in the surf.

No matter how far out into the surf you need to cast, the Okuma Rockaway will have the right rod length. Beach fishing calls for rods no shorter than 8 ft. And when fishing for the giants far away from shore, it’s not uncommon to see surf anglers with a 12 ft rod. Knowing this, Okuma made sure to include every rod length from 8-12 ft for the Okuma Rockaway.

You’ll also notice that this rod’s handle is different from all the rods before it. Rubber shrink tubing provides the most secure grip among all the different rod handle materials and maintains this grip even when wet. This makes it ideal for fishing in the surf, where your rod will undoubtedly be in contact with water often and for long periods of time.

By now, it should be clear why the Okuma Rockaway is the best fishing rod for fishing in the surf.

As for its other aspects, it’s outfitted with stainless steel guides, medium heavy power, moderate fast action, and is lighter than most other surf rods.

You’ll also be glad to hear that the Okuma Rockaway is quite wallet-friendly at approximately $100.

7. Ugly Stik GX2

Ugly Stik GX2
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†EVA Foam
  • Power:¬†Medium
  • Action:¬†Fast

Cheap but long enough for catching fish in the surf, the Ugly Stik GX2 was made for anglers who want to go fishing at the beach on a budget.

Although you’ll see quite a few different lengths on the product page, the 9 ft option is the only one you can take fishing in the surf. That’s why we only listed the power and action for that option.

9 ft of leverage allows you to cast just past the breaking surf, where the panfish and moderate-sized fish are. This means the medium power is just enough to take them in hand. And the fast action will enable you to feel the tugs of the small panfish.

You’ll be able to get all these for a mere 50 bucks. The catch is, the Ugly Stik GX2 is markedly heavier than the Okuma Rockaway. That’s why I would advise you not to get this unless you really have to.

The thing is, this is the only bargain surf rod that won’t fall apart after a few casts. As such, if you want to fish in the surf on a budget, this spinning rod is your best bet.

8. Ugly Stik Elite

Ugly Stik Elite
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Composite
  • Guides:¬†Stainless Steel
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork
  • Power:¬†Medium
  • Action:¬†Extra Fast

This next spinning rod is all about sensitivity. The Ugly Stik Elite is the best alternative to the Abu Garcia Veritas for those on a tight budget.

Like the Ugly Stik GX2, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning has only one option that’s extra fast. Look for the 6.5 ft 2-piece medium power option on the product page. That’s the only one that’s extra fast, and the only one whose specifications we listed.

Similar again to the Ugly Stik GX2, the Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod is much heavier than most other rods, and will cost you just $50. To acquire the sensitivity of the Abu Garcia Veritas at less than half the price, I’d say the extra weight is a fair price to pay.

Anglers hunting for extraordinary sensitivity on a shoestring budget might want to give this spinning rod a shot.

9. Cadence CR5

Cadence CR5
Features:
  • Blank Material:¬†Carbon Fiber
  • Handle Material:¬†Cork + EVA Foam
  • Rod Length:¬†5.5-7 ft
  • Action:¬†Ranges from Moderate to Fast

The customer service of the Cadence CR5 fishing brand stands out as the best among all the fishing brands. Its specifications may not be extraordinary, which is reflected in its price range of approximately 58 dollars. However, what impressed me the most was that despite its affordable price, Cadence treated me with VIP-level service when I reached out to their support team.

The reason I contacted their support was due to an incident where my hook got stuck in a tree, and my excessive force caused the rod tip to snap. Upon emailing them and providing a picture, I received an immediate response from Cadence, requesting further details. T

hey promptly sent me a replacement without any hassle. Cadence genuinely values its customers, regardless of the amount they spend. Their response times are quick, and there is no back-and-forth communication attempting to place blame on the customer for a damaged rod (even though it was my fault, haha). Additionally, while the Cadence CR5 may not match up to the St Croix Premier, it is still capable enough to handle most fish, which is why it earned its place on the list.

Things To Consider When Buying A Spinning Rod

With so many good spinning rods around, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to get. We feel you.

Here‚Äôs what to look for to thin the herd and distinguish the finest spinning rods from the rest.

Power

Rod power refers to the stiffness of your fishing rod, which indicates the amount of force required to bend it. This characteristic provides valuable insights into how your rod will perform in real-world fishing scenarios.

The rod powers available include a range of options: ultra-light, light, medium-light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and extra-heavy.

Naturally, the size of your target fish will determine the ideal power for your rod. Rods with light power or lower are specifically designed for catching panfish, offering the appropriate sensitivity for such species.

For moderate-sized fish like bass, both medium and medium-light power rods are suitable, providing a balanced combination of strength and sensitivity.

If you’re aiming to catch larger fish such as muskies or striped bass, you’ll need a rod with a power level above medium, as these rods provide the necessary strength to handle such challenging catches.

Furthermore, it’s important to consider the fishing environment. When fishing in saltwater, keep in mind that offshore species tend to be larger than their inshore counterparts. Therefore, it is crucial to adjust your rod power accordingly for optimal performance.

By selecting the appropriate rod power based on your target fish and fishing location, you can enhance your angling experience and increase your chances of success.

Action

The action of a fishing rod is determined by the extent of bending along its length when pressure is applied to the tip.

As the bending point moves closer to the handle, the rod becomes less sensitive and exhibits a slower action.

Similar to selecting the appropriate power, choosing the right action is crucial based on the species you intend to target.

Smaller fish typically have softer bites, necessitating a more responsive rod to detect when they take the bait. In contrast, for larger fish, you can opt for less sensitive rods as their bites are more forceful.

Remember, the sensitivity and speed of response of your rod should align with the specific requirements of your target species.

Length

The length of a fishing rod directly impacts the leverage and casting distance you can achieve.

In general, most fishing styles do not require long casts, so rod length is not a major concern unless you are specifically going beach fishing.

When it comes to beach fishing, surf rods are typically used, and they range in length from 8 to 12 feet.

An 8-foot rod will provide enough casting distance to reach just beyond the breaking surf, allowing you to target panfish species.

A 10-foot rod offers greater casting distance, enabling you to reach moderate-sized fish that may be slightly farther from the shore.

For those seeking to reach the larger, more elusive catches located far out in the sea, a 12-foot rod is the ideal choice.

Keep in mind that the length of your rod should be selected based on your fishing goals and the specific requirements of your fishing environment.

Guides

Guides play a crucial role in fishing rods, and their quality is a significant indicator of a rod’s overall performance.

While the number of guides on a rod does matter to some extent, it is the quality of the guides that truly determines the rod’s excellence. Guides can be ranked based on their materials, with the top-quality options being titanium alloy, alconite, aluminum oxide, and stainless steel.

If you are unsure about the quality of your guides, there is a simple way to assess them. Take a length of fishing line and thread it through one of the guides. Hold the line with one hand on each side of the guide, as if you were trying to saw through the guide using the line, and then move the line back and forth.

If the guide breaks under this light pressure, it is a clear indication that the rod’s guides are not up to par, and it may be time to consider investing in a better-quality rod.

By paying attention to the materials and durability of the guides, you can ensure that your fishing rod performs optimally and provides a reliable angling experience.

Handle

The handle of a fishing rod significantly impacts your overall fishing experience, and it should offer both comfort and a secure grip.

When considering different handle options for spinning rods, cork handles stand out as a popular choice due to their pleasing aesthetics and durability.

On the other hand, EVA handles excel in providing a secure grip. They offer excellent comfort during prolonged fishing sessions.

For anglers seeking the firmest grip, rubber shrink tube handles are a great option. These handles are tough and provide a reliable grip even in wet conditions. Additionally, they tend to be more affordable compared to other handle materials.

Ultimately, the choice of handle material depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of your fishing style. Whether you prioritize aesthetics, comfort, or a firm grip, selecting the right handle will enhance your overall fishing experience.

Materials

Spinning rods are crafted from a range of materials, with carbon fiber (also known as graphite), fiberglass, and composite being the primary options.

Graphite rods are renowned for their lightweight nature and exceptional sensitivity. While they may be the weakest in terms of overall strength, their lightness allows for increased maneuverability and enhanced sensitivity, making them a popular choice for anglers who prioritize sensitivity over raw power.

Fiberglass blanks, on the other hand, offer unmatched durability and strength. These rods are more robust than their graphite counterparts but tend to be heavier and less sensitive. They excel in handling heavier loads and rough fishing conditions.

Composite rods combine the best qualities of graphite and fiberglass. They offer a blend of lightweight construction, sensitivity, and the sturdiness provided by fiberglass. Composite rods strike a balance between the sensitivity of graphite and the strength of fiberglass, resulting in a versatile option that suits a wide range of fishing scenarios.

Ultimately, the choice of material for a spinning rod depends on your specific fishing preferences, target species, and fishing conditions. Whether you prioritize lightweight sensitivity, durability, or a combination of both, understanding the characteristics of each material will help you select the spinning rod that best suits your needs.

Lines And Lure Weight

Spinning rods typically have specified line and lure weights indicated near the reel seat. These values provide valuable information about the rod’s capabilities and the range of fish it can effectively handle.

It’s important to consider these specifications as they give you a good understanding of the rod’s intended use. While it may be tempting to exceed the stated line and lure weights and pursue larger fish, it is generally advisable to avoid doing so. Exceeding the recommended limits can put excessive strain on the rod and compromise its durability and performance, regardless of your fishing skills.

It’s essential to respect the manufacturer’s guidelines and use the rod within its designated limits to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. By staying within the specified line and lure weights, you can enjoy a more reliable and satisfying fishing experience while minimizing the risk of damaging your rod.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, spinning gear is an essential tool for any angler due to its versatility and ability to adapt to various fishing styles. While casting rods excel in certain aspects, such as casting heavier lures with precision, the spinning rod remains the more versatile option overall.

We have provided a wide range of excellent spinning rods for you to choose from, which might make your decision challenging. However, if you’re still unable to decide, I highly recommend considering the St Croix Premier. This exceptional rod offers unparalleled strength, remarkable lightness, durability, and responsiveness, making it a reliable choice for any angler.

Once you have found your dream spinning rod, it’s essential to pair it with a suitable spinning reel that complements its performance. To assist you further, we have also compiled a list of the best spinning reels to consider for your spinning rod.

With the combination of a top-quality spinning rod and a compatible spinning reel, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle various fishing situations and enhance your angling experience.