Best Salmon Fishing Poles: Top Rods for 2023

Kristian Ole



Our Top Choices:

Best Salmon Fishing Pole Overall: UglyStik Elite Pole

The UglyStik Elite Pole is an all-rounder, delivering exceptional durability and versatility. It’s perfect for any style and technique, making it the top choice for salmon fishing.

Best Salmon Fishing Rod for Bank Fishing: Fenwick Eagle Salmon Casting Rod

The Fenwick Eagle Salmon Casting Rod offers superior casting ability and sensitivity, ideal for bank fishing. Its innovative design and quality construction ensure that you never miss a bite.

Best Salmon Fishing Pole for the Price: Okuma Celilo Spinning Rod

With the Okuma Celilo Spinning Rod, you get outstanding performance without breaking the bank. It offers excellent balance and sensitivity, providing top-notch value for its price.

For those who are passionate about salmon fishing, the significance of possessing top-tier salmon fishing rods cannot be overstated. Indeed, the mark of a proficient angler lies in their selection of quality equipment.

In pursuing this majestic game fish, be it the beloved Sockeye Salmon or the distinguished King Salmon, a robust and high-performing fishing rod is absolutely necessary. The right gear can radically transform your fishing experience, catapulting your angling skills to a new level.

Whether you’re on the verge of embarking on your first salmon fishing trip, or have already waded in and are seeking to improve your catch, this article is tailored for you. We’ll delve into the essential features to consider when purchasing the ultimate salmon fishing rod, ensuring you’re fully equipped for a successful outing.

As always, we won’t leave you in the lurch – we’ll also be revealing our top picks for the best salmon fishing rods in the business. So, stay tuned and get ready to enhance your angling adventure.

The 5 Best Salmon Fishing Rods in 2023

UglyStik Elite Pole

Shakespeare Ugly Stik 8’6” Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod, Two Piece Salmon/Steelhead Rod, 8-14lb Line Rating, Medium Rod Power, Fast Action, 3/8-3/4 oz. Lure Rating
48 Reviews
Shakespeare Ugly Stik 8’6” Elite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod, Two Piece Salmon/Steelhead Rod, 8-14lb Line Rating, Medium Rod Power, Fast Action, 3/8-3/4 oz. Lure Rating
  • UGLY STIK 8’6” ELITE SALMON/STEELHEAD ROD: Designed especially for salmon and steelhead. 35% more graphite than the Ugly Stik GX2. From the makers of the #1 rod series in the world.

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best thing about this fishing pole is that it will work with any style and technique. It can be used in both salt and freshwater. You can use live and plastic bait for it. This pole also works with other types of fish.


  • This pole is durable
  • Strong tip
  • Affordable for beginners
  • Suits every style of fishing


  • Not very flexible


These poles are strong yet lightweight. So they won’t break easily. The material used is graphite which ensures that it has excellent flexibility.


Most anglers find that it offers good comfort. It is easy to grip, and you can use it for many hours.


Ugly Stik also comes in sizes ranging from 4’6’’ to 7’6’’. There is also a variety of weights with this. So, you can choose a lighter or heavier pole with the same design.


The handle is made up of cork, while the pole itself is of graphite.

This pole will be the best for you, even if you are a beginner. Casting with this is very easy and simple. As the tip is sensitive, you will know immediately when there is a bite.


While cost should never be the first factor, it is still important. We can’t ignore it. No one wants to empty their bank account on a fishing pole.

The good news is that Ugly Stik Elite Pole is an affordable option. It is durable, so you will also be making this investment in the long term. Purchasing something for its durability is always a wise decision as it is better than investing money multiple times in something that breaks easily.

So, overall Ugly Stik Elite features many features and benefits that people love. It has improved functionality that makes fishing more enjoyable. Often, the gear can make or break your fishing adventure. The best salmon fishing pole will only enhance your experience.

Okuma Celilo Graphite Salmon/Steelhead Spinning Rod

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Exceptional sensitivity due to graphite blank construction
  • Durable with high-quality materials and construction
  • Comfortable handling with quality cork grips
  • Versatile, supporting a range of line weights and lure sizes


  • Might be slightly less comfortable for beginners due to its professional-grade features
  • May require more care to maintain due to sensitive graphite construction


Created with the highest quality materials and rigorously tested for reliability, this rod will not let you down when it matters most. The aluminum oxide guide inserts and stainless steel hooded reel seats add to its durability.


The quality grade fore and rear cork grips ensure a comfortable, firm grip even during long fishing sessions. These grips enhance control and reduce hand fatigue.


With a length of 9’6” and a medium-light action, this rod is perfect for versatile fishing styles. Its 6-12lb line rating and 1/4~1/2 lure weight capacity further enhance its utility.


The rod’s sensitive graphite blank construction allows for precise casting and superior sensitivity to bites. It also includes aluminum oxide guide inserts and stainless steel hooded reel seats for additional durability.

Fenwick Eagle Salmon/Steelhead Casting Fishing Rod

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Made with high-quality 24 Ton graphite
  • Premium cork and TAC grips for comfort
  • Stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts for better casting
  • Minimal reel seat for enhanced bite sensitivity
  • Comes with a 5-year limited warranty


  • May require careful handling due to high-quality materials


Constructed with 24 Ton graphite, this rod is built to last. The stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts further enhance its longevity and performance.


Comfort is a key factor with the Fenwick Eagle rod. The premium cork and TAC grips ensure a firm, comfortable grasp, allowing for prolonged fishing sessions without discomfort.


The Fenwick Eagle rod, with its 8’6” medium action design in 2 pieces, is a versatile choice for salmon fishing. Its size makes it suitable for various fishing styles, while the two-piece construction allows for easy transport and storage.


Designed with an ergonomic minimal reel seat, this rod promises to transmit even the lightest bites, providing you with an edge when fishing. The stainless steel guides with aluminum oxide inserts facilitate increased casting performance with less friction.

In conclusion, the Fenwick Eagle Salmon Casting Rod, backed by a 5-year limited warranty assurance, stands as a testament to Fenwick’s seven decades of experience and innovation in fishing gear.

St. Croix Rods Triumph Salmon & Steelhead 2-Piece Casting Rod

St. Croix Rods Triumph Salmon & Steelhead 2-Piece Casting Rod
54 Reviews
St. Croix Rods Triumph Salmon & Steelhead 2-Piece Casting Rod
  • premium quality scii carbon; premium-grade cork handle

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Constructed with premium quality SCII carbon for durability
  • Comes with a premium-grade cork handle for comfort
  • Sea Guide Atlas Performance slim aluminum-oxide guides enhance casting
  • Double-coated with Flex-Coat slow cure finish for increased lifespan
  • 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix superstar service


  • Premium features may come with a higher price tag
  • Medium-Heavy/Fast tension level may not suit all fishing styles


The rod’s premium quality SCII carbon construction ensures exceptional durability. Further, the double coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish enhance its lifespan, making it a reliable companion for your fishing adventures.


The premium-grade cork handle of the St. Croix Triumph rod provides comfort for long fishing sessions. This ensures a firm, comfortable grip, allowing you to fish longer and more effectively.


The St. Croix Triumph rod is 8’6” in length with a medium-heavy power and fast action. Its line weight capacity is 8-17 lbs, and it can handle lure weights of 3/8-1 oz. This two-piece rod offers great versatility and easy transportation.


In a striking Deep Run Blue color, this rod features Sea Guide Atlas Performance slim aluminum-oxide guides with black frames, enhancing its overall look and casting performance. The rod’s design enables effective line control and reduces friction while casting.

KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combo

KastKing Centron Spinning Combos,8ft Heavy-Full Handle,5000 Reel
2,017 Reviews
KastKing Centron Spinning Combos,8ft Heavy-Full Handle,5000 Reel
  • Lightweight and Sensitive Toray IM6 Graphite Blanks – Centron Spinning Combos feature a sensitive and light-weight Toray IM6 Graphite blank designed to provide exceptional value and performance for all anglers. All combos are 2 pc and come in lengths from 6’ for Bass, Trout and Panfish and go all the way to 8’ for Catfish, Steelhead and even Salmon.

Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  • Lightweight and sensitive, providing superior casting and control
  • Versatile in handling a variety of fish species and conditions
  • Comfortable contoured EVA handles
  • Includes a well-matched spinning reel with a smooth action and strong drag system


  • May not meet the high expectations of professional anglers

The KastKing Centron Spinning Combos are a fantastic choice for anglers seeking a high-quality spinning rod and reel setup. These combos, which have been carefully crafted using Toray IM6 Graphite Blanks, offer excellent value and performance.


These combos use lightweight and sensitive Toray IM6 Graphite Blanks, ensuring a durable and long-lasting performance. The stainless-steel guides with O-ring inserts are robust and are designed to perform well with both mono and braided lines.


The KastKing Centron Spinning Combos are finished with contoured EVA handles and a fighting butt. These features make the rods comfortable to hold, providing a sure grip for all-day fishing sessions.


The KastKing Centron Spinning Combos come in lengths ranging from 6’ to 8’, offering versatility to handle different species and fishing conditions. The included Centron spinning reel ranges from a compact size 2000 to a powerful size 5000, perfect for the 8’ heavy action rod designed for larger species like catfish, salmon, and steelhead.


The design of these combos is focused on performance and comfort. The lightweight Toray IM6 Graphite Blanks provide sensitivity and power, while the stainless-steel guides with O-ring inserts and the contoured EVA handles ensure excellent performance and comfort. The included KastKing Centron spinning reel completes the combo, offering smooth reel action and a strong drag system.

What to consider when looking for a fishing rod for salmon fishing

What factors should you consider before purchasing a fishing pole or pole for salmon? For great functionality, look for the best features.

The Reel

First, you must understand what a fishing reel actually is. So, let’s get to know the reel. There are two basic kinds: baitcasting and spinning reels. Unless you’re a fly fisherman, then we got another article for you.

Baitcasting Reels

Baitcasting reels are for experienced people who need some time to learn them. Also, they are expensive as compared to the other ones. It does have a better line capacity, though.

Due to its lesser weight, it also has a better drag.

Spinning Reels

Spinning poles are the best for beginners. These have more line capacity than the other ones. Also, they are more accurate and smoother. Furthermore, spinning poles are affordable.

Based on this information, you can now make an informed choice when purchasing the best salmon fishing poles. If you are a beginner, I suggest you opt for a spinning pole.


A wide range of lengths is available from 4 ft. to 12 ft. Longer poles are easy to disassemble and carry around.

Shorter poles

Shorter poles are better for short distances and lightweight lures.

Longer poles

On the other hand, a long pole can cast further. So, they are better for surfcasting.

You can cast even while standing on the shoreline. Also, longer poles need a heavier lure.

You also need to consider your space while fishing. If you have lesser space, you won’t be able to use long poles.

You should opt for a pole of 8 to 10 feet for salmon fishing. Your preference is also based on your style and technique.

We would recommend choosing longer poles for the best salmon fishing poles.

Pole Action

The pole action is an important feature for the best salmon fishing poles.

Fast Action

These poles are stiffer than the other ones. So they will lack flexibility. Also, these are slightly bent on the tip.

Medium Action

These poles are quite flexible in the middle and tip parts.

Slow Action

These poles are flexible and also bend well.

For salmon fishing, you should opt for a fast or medium-action pole instead of a slow-action one. The choice between fast and medium depends on your personal preferences.


Most fishers are comfortable with lighter poles. They are easy on the hand and wrist. Also, lighter poles are easier to use while traveling. Apart from weight, balance is also essential. If your fishing pole is not lightweight, it should be balanced.


Most fishing poles are made of a composite of graphite and fiberglass. The two materials can also be used separately.

Both have their pros and cons. For example, graphite is known to be a sensitive pole, while fiberglass poles have better strength.

So, it’s always better to combine the two materials when choosing the best salmon fish finder.


Often, fishing poles break very easily. Many brands don’t find a good combination of strength and weight. So, make sure that you purchase a durable pole.

You will find all the specifications of the fishing pole between the handle and the end. The specs have information about the length of the pole, the pole’s action, the range of line and also the lure sizes that can be used. If you follow this sequence, you will easily understand what the specs on the pole mean.


What size rod do you need for salmon?

The rod size needed for salmon fishing depends on the size of the salmon and the type of fishing you will be doing. Generally, a rod range of 8 to 10 feet is suitable for salmon fishing, but depending on your specific circumstances, you may need a longer or shorter rod.

What type of rod is best for salmon?

The best type of rod for salmon fishing depends on the type of fishing you will be doing, but a fast-action, medium-heavy power rod is a good option for many salmon fishing situations.

Can I use a surf rod for salmon?

You can use a surf rod for salmon fishing, but it may not be the best choice, as surf rods are typically designed for larger saltwater species and may not be suitable for the specific requirements of salmon fishing. A rod designed specifically for salmon fishing will likely be a better option.

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About Kristian Ole

Kristian Ole Rørbye, a marine biologist and seasoned angler, shares his fishing adventures and expertise on FishingKris. Join him as he explores the world's waters, one cast at a time.

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