The Best Fishing Rod Brands That You Should Know

Everyone has a favorite fishing rod brand that is their go-to brand. However, knowing the best fishing rod brands will enable you to choose the right rod for different fishing scenarios and techniques. That way, regardless of where you want to go for fishing and what you want to catch, you will always have the right fishing rod at your disposal.

Trying to research and find the best fishing rod brands can be tedious and time-consuming. That is why I have done the legwork and research for you so that you do not have to spend time finding the best fishing rod brands from the numerous brands that are available online. So, without much ado, here are the best brands that you should take a closer look at:

Brand Founded Our Rating
Berkley1937, USA★★★★☆
Shimano1921, Japan★★★★☆
Okuma1986, Taiwan★★★★☆
Penn1932, USA★★★★☆
St. Croix1977, USA★★★★★
Ugly stik1976, USA★★★★☆
Daiwa1958, Japan★★★★☆
Hardy1872, UK★★★★★
Orvis1856, USA★★★★★
Lew’s1949, USA★★★★☆

Top 10 Fishing Rod Brands

1. Berkley Fishing

From humble beginnings, Berkley Fishing has become one of the most popular fishing rod brands in the world. Its high-quality fishing rods are designed for saltwater fishing but you can also use them in freshwater.

This brand has a choice of spinning and baitcasting fishing rods. You can purchase the rods with or without the reel. It also has rods that are specifically designed for surf fishing, ice fishing, and big game fishing. The rods come with a range of actions, right from moderate and moderate fast to fast and extra fast. The fishing rods are also available in a variety of lengths so you can choose the length based on what you want to catch and where you intend to fish.

If you are looking for a good fishing rod in the mid-price range, Berkley rods are a great choice. You may find that fishing for bass is easier with Berkley as this fish species can be aggressive during strike and retrieval. You will find that the rods are sensitive and durable enough for bass fishing, especially if you want to hook smallmouth bass.

Berkley best sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning...
159 Reviews
Berkley Cherrywood HD Spinning...
  • Hybrid design construction for un-matched sensitivity with the security of blank through handle construction
  • Lightweight stainless steel guides and inserts
  • Cork handles for added comfort and grip
Bestseller No. 2
Berkley BSLR602ML Lightning...
72 Reviews
Berkley BSLR602ML Lightning...
  • 24 Ton Multi Modulus Carbon Composite Blank Construction
  • Stainless Steel Guides with Aluminum Oxide Inserts
  • Double Up Locking Reel Seat
SaleBestseller No. 3
Berkley Big Game Spinning...
1,306 Reviews
Berkley Big Game Spinning...
  • X-veil high modulus blank
  • Fenwick custom ergonomic reel seat
  • Titanium guides with slim profile zirconium inserts

2. Shimano

Shimano logo

Shimano is a Japanese company and it is listed on the stock market. That itself evokes reliability. This brand has a large variety of different types of fishing rods. Hence, you can select a type based on your casting, budget, and experience among others.

The brand is renowned for its excellent customer service so you will be able to get the right assistance to choose the fishing rod that is perfect for your fishing needs. You will get your money’s worth by selecting Shimano fishing rods. The brand has a good selection of spinning rods that fall in the lower-mid price range, and these rods are the most popular out of all the different rods that Shimano offers.

This brand has a few fishing rods designed for professional fishermen. Their Sojourn spinning rods are a good example of that. Many professional anglers use this rod for competitions. However, these rods are expensive and as a recreational angler, you may not want to spend that kind of money.

Shimano best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Shimano Fishing Trevala 58 Xh...
137 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Trevala 58 Xh...
  • Fuji O or Alconite Guides
  • Fuji Reel Seat
  • Custom EVA
Bestseller No. 2
SHIMANO CIS150HGBK/CAC70MA...
20 Reviews
SHIMANO CIS150HGBK/CAC70MA...
  • CIS150HGBK/CAC70MA PRMT
Bestseller No. 3
Shimano Fishing Zodias CST...
6 Reviews
Shimano Fishing Zodias CST...
  • Carbon Monocoque Grip: Carbon Monocoque grip is a carbon-molded grip that is lightweight with high sensitivity, transferring even the smallest vibration to an angler’s hand. The Carbon Monocoque Grip increases sensitivity by 30% compared to traditional rod handles and utilizes a hollow structure that eliminates unnecessary parts of the rear grip to improve weight reduction and vibration transmission.
  • Hi-Power X construction uses diagonally-wrapped carbon tape to form an array of “X” shapes on the rod blank’s outermost layer. The width of the tape, its winding angle and the part of the rod being wrapped are fine-tuned according to the target fish species. This manufacturing process allows Shimano to adjust these wraps during construction for precise actions, enhanced overall strength and added twist resistance. Hi-Power X construction delivers sharp and crisp rod control for the angler.
  • Ci4+ Reel Seat: Shimano's original material reinforced with carbon fiber. It is lighter and has higher strength than conventional resin material. This highly technical material is 2.5 times more rigid than CI4 and is used in Shimano reel seats to increase sensitivity and to reduce weight. Use of CI4+ for the reel seat also delivers remarkable rigidity for perfect reel fixation which results in better rod efficiency.

3. Okuma Fishing

Okuma Fishing is a Taiwan-based fishing rod and reel manufacturer. The brand ensures that anglers and fishermen have access to high-quality fishing rods that are not just lightweight but also accurate. That helps to increase your catch ratio.

You can get all types of fishing rods from Okuma Fishing, including fly rods, baitcasting rods, spinning rods, and more. The quality is amazing and the brand strives to provide anglers with the best fishing experience when they use Okuma fishing rods with Okuma reels.

The rods are dynamically designed using best-in-class materials. If you enjoy trout fishing, you may want to check out the Okuma Celilo. It is affordably priced, performs as well as some of the more expensive trout fishing rods. The brand has other more expensive rods that are also a great choice.

Okuma best sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Okuma RA-S-1002MH Rockaway...
436 Reviews
Okuma RA-S-1002MH Rockaway...
  • Tip over butt Ferrule connection for improved balance
  • Zirconium inserts offer compatibility for both braid and mono
  • Included components: surf-fishing-rods
SaleBestseller No. 2
Okuma Fishing Tackle...
163 Reviews
Okuma Fishing Tackle...
  • 30-Ton carbon, ultra-sensitive and responsive blank construction
  • ALPS stainless steel double footed guide frames for increased distance
  • Non slip rubber shrink tube handle with tapered rear grip
Bestseller No. 3
okuma Celilo Graphite...
1,973 Reviews
okuma Celilo Graphite...
  • Crafted from the highest quality material
  • Perfect for outdoor and even indoor use
  • Made in China

4. Penn Fishing Tackle Company

Penn has been around for more than 75 years and excels in saltwater fishing rods. When you use a Penn rod, you will be able to enjoy a seamless saltwater fishing experience. The rods are designed to tackle game fish with ease and many professional anglers use Penn rods. In fact, Penn has the distinction of holding more than 1,400 International Game Fish Association world records.

The brand sells fishing rods as well as a combo of rods and reels. You will find great deals if you are looking for combos and they are more affordably priced compared to what you would pay if you buy the rod and reel separately.

One of the most popular Penn fishing rods is Squadron II Inshore Rod that you can use for inshore fishing. However, even the brand’s spinning rods are great and you may want to check the Carnage II Boat Spinning Rod.

Penn best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
PENN Pursuit IV Spinning Reel...
896 Reviews
PENN Pursuit IV Spinning Reel...
  • HT-100 drag washers provide smooth drag under heavy loads
  • 4 sealed stainless steel ball bearings
  • PENN Dura-Guides
Bestseller No. 2
PENN Battle III Spinning Reel...
431 Reviews
PENN Battle III Spinning Reel...
  • Full Metal Body and Sideplates
  • CNC Gear Technology
  • HT-100 Carbon Fiber Drag Washers
Bestseller No. 3
Penn Fierce III Combo, Red,...
15 Reviews
Penn Fierce III Combo, Red,...
  • Full metal body and sideplate keep precise gear alignment under heavy loads
  • Techno-Balanced rotor gives smooth retrieves
  • 4 shielded stainless steel ball bearings

5. St Croix

St Croix should be your go-to fishing rod brand if you are looking for high-end rods for different types of fishing. Not only does St Croix make rods for freshwater and saltwater fishing but you can also get rods for ice fishing as well as surf fishing.

In all probability, this brand makes the best fishing rod for surf and pier fishing. The Triumph Surf may not be the most advanced fishing rod for surf and pier fishing but it is a high-performance rod that is built to last and come at an affordable price.

Even trout and panfish anglers will find a fine selection of fishing rods to help you catch the fish you want and the accuracy of these rods helps you increase your catch ratio. You can be certain that St Croix will have the rod you are looking for and you will not be disappointed by your purchase.

St. Croix best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
St. Croix Rods Triumph...
491 Reviews
St. Croix Rods Triumph...
  • PREMIUM SCIII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: The premium SCIII carbon rod combines with the Fortified Resin system (FRS) for unparalleled strength and durability
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Contoured handle ensures you maintain a strong grip on your fishing rod
  • MORE FEATURES: Sea Guide Atlas Performance SS304 with black finish guides; Sea Guide XDPS reel seat with sandblasted hoods on spinning models; Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
Bestseller No. 2
St. Croix Rods Legend...
38 Reviews
St. Croix Rods Legend...
  • ADVANCED REINFORCING TECHNOLOGY (ART): Adds an exotic carbon fiber material for much greater strength with virtually no increase in blank diameter or weight, allowing you handle a powerful hook set or fish battle
  • INTEGRATED POLY CURVE (IPC) TOOLING TECHNOLOGY: Eliminates all transitional points in the Legend Tournament walleye spinning fishing rod blank to provide smoother actions, increased strength, and greater sensitivity
  • FEATURES: High-modulus/high-strain SCIV Carbon w/ FRS; Fuji K-Series tangle-free guides w/ Alconite rings & Corrosion Control matte finish frames; Machined-aluminum wind check & trim pieces; Kigan hook-keeper; Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish
SaleBestseller No. 3
St. Croix Rods Premier...
591 Reviews
St. Croix Rods Premier...
  • PREMIUM SCII CARBON CONSTRUCTION: The premium SCII carbon rod combines with the Fortified Resin system (FRS) for unparalleled strength and durability
  • PREMIUM-GRADE CORK HANDLE: Comfortable handle ensures you maintain a strong grip on your fishing rod
  • MORE FEATURES: Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames finish; Fuji DPS reel seat with frosted silver hoods; Kigan hook-keeper; Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish

6. Ugly Stik

Ugly Stik offers fishing rods that are durable and performance-oriented and you do not have to worry about emptying your bank account to buy them. If you are new to angling, Ugly Stik is the right choice. You can use the fishing rod to hone your technique.

Unlike other cheap fishing rods, Ugly Stik rods are sensitive and also strong. In fact, their baitcaster rods, like the Elite, are not just sensitive and durable but also affordable. You will find that the Elite is a good bargain if you are in the market for baitcasting rods for under $50.

The best part about Ugly Stik fishing rods is that they are built using a combination of graphite and fiberglass. Hence, the rods are strong and durable and you will find that the tips are quite sensitive because of the fiberglass. That makes them a worthwhile investment.

Ugly stik best sellers

SaleBestseller No. 1
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod,...
3,168 Reviews
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod,...
  • Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction
  • Durable ugly tuff one piece stainless steel guides
  • Pre-spooled with 6 pound line
SaleBestseller No. 2
Shakespeare USYTHSP30CBO Youth...
5,428 Reviews
Shakespeare USYTHSP30CBO Youth...
  • Youth Fishing rod and reel combo ideal for equipping the whole family for fishing trips
  • Graphite and fiberglass construction offers lightweight durability and sensitivity
  • HT-100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag without sacrificing smoothness
SaleBestseller No. 3
Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting...
2,064 Reviews
Ugly Stik USCA662MH Casting...
  • Durable, lightweight fishing rod offers a balanced feel for lighter weight
  • Virtually indestructible blank construction with a combination of graphite and fiberglass
  • Clear tip design delivers added responsiveness and strength

7. Daiwa

Daiwa makes a wide variety of fishing, be it rods for freshwater fishing, trolling, fly fishing or even travel fishing. You will find that this brand offers cheap rods and does not undermine quality. The rods are well built and made to last.

Did you know that you can easily find a spinning combo by Daiwa for about $40? And, you do not have to worry about the performance. All spinning rods, be it with or without the fishing reel, work beautifully and effectively.

While Daiwa is a Japanese rod and reel manufacturing company, it has its production unit in North America. Hence, you can rest assured knowing that the fishing rods are quality products. In fact, many pro anglers use Daiwa rods and that should give you peace of mind when you invest in them.

Daiwa best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
DAIWA Ballistic X Tele Spin,...
  • Length: 6.23 Feet
  • Lureweight/Castingweight: 0.14-0.53 ounce
  • Weight: 3.52 Ounce
Bestseller No. 2
Daiwa, Proteus WN 1 Piece...
1 Reviews
Daiwa, Proteus WN 1 Piece...
  • Daiwa's exclusive D-VEC WINN grip tape
  • X45Bias graphite construction
  • BRAIDING-X carbon fiber braiding technology
SaleBestseller No. 3
Daiwa REVLT20-4BI/G665M...
30 Reviews
Daiwa REVLT20-4BI/G665M...
  • Fishing Rod/Reel Combo

8. Hardy

Hardy is our top brand choice for multiple reasons. Based in England, Hardy specializes in fly fishing rods. So, if you are a fly fishing enthusiast, you cannot ignore Hardy fishing rods. It is renowned for its high-quality and innovative fly fishing rods that will not disappoint anglers.

Hardy is one of the few fishing rod manufacturing companies in the world that excels in making double-handed fly rods, like Zenith Sintrix. These rods come with a lifetime guarantee and are designed to last.

In case you are looking for an ultra-light fly fishing rod, you cannot go wrong with Zephrus. It is made from 3M nanoparticles and is considered the strongest and the lightest fly fishing rod on the market. It has a superior finish and offers fly fishers the ultimate experience. It is highly accurate and performance-oriented. You will be amazed how far you cast with this rod. Hardy Zephrus is often used by anglers for saltwater fly fishing due to its durability, extremely fast line retrieval, and superior butt action.

Hardy best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Hardy Wraith Sintrix Fly...
4 Reviews
Hardy Wraith Sintrix Fly...
  • Award-winning Sintrix 550 material is unique to the Hardy brand
  • REC Black Pearl recoil guides
  • Fuji titanium stripper guides for reduced drag
Bestseller No. 2
Hardy Hremarg030 Marquis Lwt...
22 Reviews
Hardy Hremarg030 Marquis Lwt...
  • Made in alnwick, England
  • Bar Stock 6061 construction
  • Improved range of adjustment
Bestseller No. 3
Hardy Ultralite MTX Fly Reel,...
7 Reviews
Hardy Ultralite MTX Fly Reel,...
  • Hybrid carbon fiber and aluminum alloy construction
  • Carbon fiber disc drag System
  • 340-Degree color-coded drag regulator

9. Orvis

In case you are looking for another great fly fishing rod brand then take a look at Orvis. It offers affordable rods, making it the apt brand for beginners. Even if your technique is poor, you can hone it using Orvis fishing rods.

The cheapest line of fishing rods is the Encounter. It is the right choice for beginners. While you will find that the Encounter line is more expensive than baitcasting and spinning fishing rods, do not let that deter you. Encounter rods help you to gain better traction that most other brands do not offer.

On the other hand, if you are looking for high-quality and premium fishing rods, Bamboo and Helios rods will not disappoint you. They boast superior craftsmanship and are designed to be quick, accurate, and performance-oriented.

Orvis best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod...
5 Reviews
Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod...
  • FULL CLEARWATER FLY ROD AND REEL COMBO includes Clearwater Large Arbor fly reel, Clearwater fly line, backing, leader, and rod/reel case
  • BLACK CHROME BLANKS with white accents and quick rod identifier
  • CHROME SNAKE AND STRIPPING GUIDE with a ceramic insert
Bestseller No. 2
Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit...
7 Reviews
Orvis Encounter Fly Rod Outfit...
  • ENCOUNTER FLY ROD OUTFIT provides performance for serious anglers. Does everything you need it to do, and does it all beautifully
  • ACCESSIBLE FOR BEGINNING ANGLERS and is the perfect fly fishing kit to get younger anglers started on their journey
  • 4-PIECE FLY ROD AND REEL COMBO packaged with an Encounter large arbor fly reel, weight-forward floating line, backing, and leader
Bestseller No. 3
2021 Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod...
31 Reviews
2021 Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod...
  • Includes Orvis rod, reel, fly line, backing, leader, rod case and reel pouch
  • This is the exact same rod, reel and line as the 2022 version without the rod/reel case.
  • Rated "Best bang for your buck!" in several comparison reviews.

10. Lew’s Fishing

Whether you are a seasoned angler or a beginner, you will find numerous options when it comes to Lew’s fishing rods. These rods are engineered to be durable, light as well as sensitive. Lew’s Fishing has a variety of collapsible fishing rods aimed at beginners. For the more experienced anglers, Lew’s offers a wide range of spinning and baitcasting fishing rods that you can easily pair with the right fishing reel.

The baitcasting and spinning fishing rods are lightweight and easy to use. You will find that they have great action and sensitive tips. You will be able to cast the line far and with accuracy, and the high speed of retrieve enables you to fish faster and more during your fishing trip.

Lew’s Fishing is about innovation and performance. The brand’s fishing rods make it easy to handle feisty bass or catfish and you will be able to pull crappie onto the deck with relative ease. What more does an angler want?

Lew’s best sellers

Bestseller No. 1
Lew's Fishing Laser Lite Speed...
128 Reviews
Lew's Fishing Laser Lite Speed...
  • Fishing rod and reel combo: This LEW'S spinning combo features a 4 bearing system spinning reel and one-piece IM6 graphite rod
  • Spinning reel: The rugged, lightweight, graphite body and skeletal rotor design features a four quality ball bearing system, 3 ball bearings, a Zero Reverse clutch bearing and strong and balanced aluminum bail wire
  • Spinning reel: Reel features an anodized aluminum spool, oiled felt multiple disc drag system for smooth performance and a thin, compact, gear box
Bestseller No. 2
Lew's Mach Smash SLP 6'10'-1...
181 Reviews
Lew's Mach Smash SLP 6'10"-1...
  • ICAST 2019 best of show Baitcast combo award winner. With a once year limited combo
  • Reel features: 1-piece lightweight Super Low Profile (SLP) graphite frame and sideplates with 3 drain ports. High strength solid brass Speed Gears, cut on precision Hamai CNC gear hobbing machines. Externally adjustable Magnetic Control System (MCS)
  • A premium 8 bearing system with stainless steel double shielded bearings and zero reverse 1-way clutch. Machine, anodized, large capacity aluminum 32 millimeter spool and Graphite star drag.
Bestseller No. 3
Lew's Mach Smash 30 Spin...
144 Reviews
Lew's Mach Smash 30 Spin...
  • Reel Features: Rugged, lightweight graphite body, 8-bearing system (7 plus 1) with Zero Reverse one-way clutch bearing. Skeletal graphite rotor
  • Reel Features: Anodized ported knurled aluminum spool. Fold down anodized aluminum handle with Combat Gri. Strong and balanced aluminum bail
  • Reel Features: High strength solid brass Speed Gears, cut on precision Hamai CNC gear hobbing machines. Oversized multi-disc drag system for smooth performance.

What to Look for When Buying a Fishing Rod?

When you are looking at the best fishing rod brands, being able to find the right rod for your fishing needs is a must. Here are a few things that you should look for when you want to buy a fishing rod.

Related read: The best fishing reel brands

Length:

The length of a fishing rod can be anywhere from 4ft to 14ft. It is essential to match the length to your fishing. The length determines how far you will be able to cast the line. Longer rods allow you to cast farther than shorter rods. However, longer rods are more difficult to control and maneuver compared to shorter rods. If you are a beginner, a 7-foot rod should suffice your fishing needs.

Rod Material:

Fishing rods can be made from fiberglass, graphite, or composite. The performance of the rod will be dependent on the material that is used to make the rod. Fiberglass rods are durable and long-lasting. They are a good choice for beginners. While fiberglass rods are flexible, they are not that sensitive. So, you may find it hard to detect when a fish takes the bait. Also, you may find that fiberglass fishing rods are heavy and it can be tedious if you have a feisty fish.

On the other hand, graphite fishing rods are lighter and come with different degrees of stiffness. The stiffer the fishing rod, the lighter it will be. Graphite rods are sensitive and their lightweight makes casting a breeze. However, these rods are not as long-lasting as fiberglass rods and can also be more expensive.

A composite rod is a mix of fiberglass and graphite. It allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds and you can use a composite fishing rod for freshwater or saltwater fishing. However, these rods are expensive and if you don’t mind paying for them, they are worthwhile.

Rod Action:

The rod action can be slow, medium, or fast. That is determined by the shape of the rod and the material used to make the rod. The action affects the handling of the rod. If you are a beginner, choose a rod with slow action. You will find it easier to handle. Slow action rods are considered ideal for trout and panfish fishing.

Rod Power:

Rod Power refers to the ability of the rod to withstand pressure. So, the heavier the fishing rod, the more pressure it will be able to withstand. That is why heavier fishing rods are ideal for catching large fish while lighter fishing rods are meant for catching smaller fish species. Rod power can be ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy, heavy, and ultraheavy.

The Verdict

These are the best fishing rod brands you will find on the market. Out of these, our top choice is Hardy Fishing. It is the best brand choice for fly fishing enthusiasts and you will find that each rod is designed to last, has superior performance, and offers value for money.

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Updated: April 7, 2022