Best Saltwater Rods

Best Saltwater Rods

Defining the best saltwater fishing rods is no easy feat because ‘the best’ changes in every fishing situation. We’re going to look at saltwater fishing rods for every occasion, from fishing off of the beach to offshore fishing, and everything in between.

These are the best saltwater fishing rods on the market, and fishing with this equipment will lead to catching more fish on a regular basis. As you are well aware, different types of fishing require specific types of gear and that’s why I’ve put together this list. So, if you are serious about fishing and want to put more fish in the freezer then you should heed the advice below and pick up one of the best saltwater fishing rods below.

What is a saltwater fishing rod?

A saltwater fishing rod is a variant of the traditional fishing pole that is specifically designed to be used for ocean or sea fishing.

Such a rod contains the same basic elements as any other; a handle, reel seat, and set of guides all mounted on a blank. However, saltwater fishing rods are quite different from freshwater, surf rods, and fly rods.

Saltwater rods are typically far larger and heavier, as they are designed to catch fish 30 lbs and up. As such, anglers can find products as short as 5’, clear up to 15’. The wide range gives anglers the chance to choose a specific size that is most suitable for their style of fishing, or the species they are targeting.

Furthermore, all of the best saltwater fishing rods are fashioned with anti-corrosive materials, to prevent salt from eating away at the product.

Saltwater Rods Vs. Freshwater Rods

Saltwater and freshwater rods resemble each other in many ways, but they are often radically different for numerous reasons.

For one, freshwater rods are often far smaller and more suited for lighter species. As such, they typically fall into the range of 5’ to 7’. This short length allows anglers to maneuver lures through the water, and feel when smaller species take the hook.

On the contrary, saltwater rods are often large pieces ranging anywhere from 6’ to 12’. The increased size allows anglers to cast heavier bait, fight stronger fish, and apply more pressure to the rod as a whole.

However, saltwater rods are also specifically designed to be resistant to the saltwater corrosion that chews up unprotected pieces. If an angler does make the mistake of bringing a freshwater rod to the sea, they may end up with a seriously damaged piece.

Types of Saltwater Fishing Rod Materials

How do you choose a saltwater fishing rod that best suits your needs? The first thing to consider is the material, whether that be fiberglass, graphite or new-generation composite:

  • FIBERGLASS: The most widely used saltwater fishing rod material, fiberglass is strong, durable and flexible. It’s able to withstand the abuse on boats and rough seas and is a tried and trusted general all-around rod material. Disadvantage: weight; it’s difficult for anglers to detect subtle strikes or bait pickups.
  • GRAPHITE: A performance-oriented material, graphite results in smaller diameters and lighter blanks that are highly sensitive and superb for detecting subtle pickups and strikes, as well as the feel of the fighting antics of different game fish. Disadvantage: brittle; nicks from banging around on a boat can weaken the blank, making it susceptible to breakage under ­pressure in that area.
  • NEW-GENERATION COMPOSITE: These new and powerful saltwater fishing poles pack a lot of punch in small-diameter and lightweight designs. They’re formulations of both fiberglass and graphite. In short, manufacturers are seeking the toughness and durability of fiberglass combined with the sensitivity and lightness of graphite. As a result, some of these top-quality rods are rated for up to 200-pound lines, yet they are the size of a 15- to 20-pound spinning or baitcasting rod.

Features To Look For In Saltwater Fishing Rods

Once you establish the fact that there’s nothing better than saltwater fishing, the next step is to find the perfect fishing rod for all your saltwater fishing activities. The availability of different brands and models on the market today makes the selection process tedious and prolonged, especially when you have no clue what to keep an eye out for. The second part of this article caters to these thoughts and provides all the essential factors you must consider before investing in a specific fishing rod.


The first thing you need to pay attention to when getting a saltwater rod is what it’s made of. You’ll find that your options are mainly graphite, fiberglass, or both.

Graphite rods are pretty light to carry, so they’re not a nuisance to use for prolonged periods of time. Thanks to their low weight, they are also highly sensitive to movements and bites. You’ll feel everything with a graphite rod.

Their downsides are price and durability. Graphite rods can be very pricey, which won’t work for you if you’re on a budget. Also, they’re not the most durable kind of rods, and that means you’ll have to take care of them to last longer.

On the other hand, fiberglass rods are much easier on your wallet. Furthermore, they are as tough as nails, which is highly needed since you’ll expose them to the sun, sand, and saltwater. In addition, they bend from top to bottom when under pressure so that they don’t snap.


A rod’s length is another aspect that affects your fishing experience more than you think. You can find rods with lengths ranging from four to nine or even fourteen feet. We categorize these lengths into short, medium, and large. Short rods are within the four-to-five feet area. Medium rods lie within five to seven feet. Large rods are anything from eight feet and above.

Each length is targeted for certain needs. Short rods work great for short casts and close combat. Long rods are preferred for long casts and saltwater fishing. Medium rods are great all-around options; most people who can’t decide go for the 7-feet length.


If you don’t consider a rod’s power before getting it, you have nobody else to blame when things don’t go right. A rod’s power or weight refers to how much pressure or weight it takes to push the rod to bend. You’ll find power options ranging from ultralight to ultra-heavy. These powers reflect how light or heavy your rod will be for you, as well.

Lighter, or less powerful rods work well for small fish, lures, and lines. They also tend to be more sensitive. Heavier, or more powerful rods work for large fish, lines, and lures. Any situation that needs a stiff rod needs a more powerful rod.


We can’t stress enough how essential rod actions are when choosing your saltwater fishing rod. Action refers to how much and where a rod bends when under pressure. Actions are categorized in terms of slow, moderate, and fast. Slow rods bend at the lower third of the rod, moderate rods bend at the top half, and fast rods bend at the top third.

The flexibility of slow rods is desired in soft presentations, catching soft-mouthed species, and better casting distance. On the other hand, fast rods, which are naturally stiffer, provide more accuracy, better hook setting, heavier baits, and higher sensitivity.


A rod’s portability is affected by two things: weight and number of pieces. Rod’s weight has already been discussed above in material and power, but what about the number of pieces? Rods can come in one-piece, two-piece, or multi-piece constructions.

One-piece rods are strong and sturdy; they always feel superior in quality, and they last a lot longer. In addition, one-piece rods are highly sensitive, thanks to the whole blank being intact. However, they are the hardest to store or carry around when traveling.

Two-piece and multi-piece rods are a dream to store in small spaces or carry around when traveling long distances, which makes them the most convenient options. Yet, they won’t give you the durability or sensitivity a one-piece rod can give you.

Other portable options are telescopic rods that are made of sections that collapse into each other for easier storage and portability.

Our Top Picks

1. Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik developed a reputation decades ago for making rods that were virtually indestructible. The rods have changed over the years but the concept of producing the toughest rods on the planet remains part of the Ugly Stik philosophy. The company’s Bigwater Saltwater Spinning Rod is another great option that is made to withstand anything you might happen to hook on the open ocean.

This rod is made with Ugly Stik’s Clear Tip technology for added toughness and boasts a 7-year warranty. It’s made with a combination of graphite and fiberglass to be strong, but still offer the sensitivity you need to feel subtle bites.

The rod is made with Ugly Tuff stainless steel guides that are made to withstand extreme amounts of pressure and prevent pop-outs that can cause you to lose fish. However, these can fray braided line. It’s available in a variety of different sizes ranging from 6 feet to 12 feet in length. The Ugly Stik Bigwater is a great saltwater fishing rod when using a monofilament line.

2. Penn Carnage II Saltwater Spinning Rod

Penn Carnage II Saltwater Spinning Rod

The Penn brand name is synonymous with saltwater fishing and has been for nearly a century. For anglers who are willing to invest a more sizable amount of money into their tackle, it’s hard to find a better rod than the Penn Carnage II Spinning Rod. Made to catch the largest trophy game fish, this rod is designed to be used with braided line and is capable of withstanding the usual strain associated with braid.

Crafted with Penn’s new SLS3 blank construction, this rod offers a slim profile that’s incredibly strong. It features Fuji K guides coupled with Alconite inserts for unwavering toughness and a reinforced Pac Bay aluminum reel seat.

Anglers will appreciate the Penn Carnage II Spinning Rod’s non-slip handle and optional aluminum or rubber gimbal. This is arguably the best saltwater fishing rod on the market today, but the higher price might turn some novice anglers away.

3. Fiblink Saltwater Spinning Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Spinning Rod

Fiblink is a brand that’s relatively new to the fishing industry, but anglers are quickly taking notice of them. This Fiblink saltwater spinning rod is an excellent choice that is designed to function as a solid multi-purpose saltwater rod. It allows anglers to fish well off a boat whether that is offshore or on the reef. The gimbal butt fits well in fixed rod holders. This rod is made with high-quality carbon and the two-piece design makes it much more portable than one-piece designs.

The carbon-fiber material is extremely sensitive and works when targeting smaller game fish that have a less aggressive bite. The stainless steel guides are designed to be corrosion-proof against damaging saltwater. Anglers report that the EVA foam handle is both comfortable and easy to maintain your grip on while fighting even larger-sized fish. The Fiblink saltwater spinning rod is an excellent choice for any angler as it is both affordable and well-made. This rod is also covered by a one-year warranty.

4. Calstar T 220

Calstar T 220

The Calstar T 220 is a great rod for inshore fishing, with 8-foot 6-inch rods that make it more maneuverable than longer models. This rod is made of durable fiberglass, and EVA materials can hold up outdoor fishing while lending themselves towards sensitive feeling bites so you can react promptly.

What’s more, the Deckhand style cork tape handle provides a comfortable grip no matter what time of day you’re trying to reel in the catch!

5. SHIMANO TREVALA Saltwater Fishing Rod

SHIMANO TREVALA Saltwater Fishing Rod

The Shimano Trevala Spinning Rod comes your way in this article as an elegant creation that properly balances design with function. This is a graphite jigging spinning rod designed and distributed by a leading manufacturer in the fishing gear industry. For years, this fishing rod has made family and friends fishing trips a more enjoyable experience thanks to its sturdy build and unconventional design.

This saltwater fishing gear is highly innovative in design, and features many exciting elements such as high power fishing reels and a top carbon butt section. The new blank design of this rod results in its lightweight structure, which ultimately increases its compatibility and portability. The rod is diamond polished and has a Fuji aluminum oxide reinforcement used for its guides; a feature meant to supplement the unit’s resistance to corrosion and heat dissipation.

The Shimano Trevala spinning rod is well suited for both amateurs and professionals. It can be used from generation to generation and is the perfect gift you can ever give your father, uncle, brother or friend who loves the outdoors and enjoys a great fishing trip. It comes in a myriad of sizes, which make it a perfect tool for everyone.

6. EAT MY TACKLE Sabiki Saltwater Fishing Rod

EAT MY TACKLE Sabiki Saltwater Fishing Rod

We can never say this enough; having the EAT MY TACKLE Sabiki Fishing Rod in your midst gears you up for greatness always. The best saltwater fishing gear in the history of fishing rods is here with an impressive design and a fantastic performance that will leave you in awe.

Our team of explorer have tested this fishing rod to find out everything unique about it, and they came up with exciting results. The Sabiki fishing rod stands at the height of seven feet, which is more than enough for all your fishing endeavours. It features a flexible system which allows you to hold your rod and keep it away in storage if you have to move or travel long distances to fish.

The material used in constructing this model of a fishing rod is sturdy and robust enough to withstand any pressures; it is built from plastic fittings which work together with a durable fibreglass base to enhance the durability of your rod. A single purchase provides you with a lifetime warranty which signifies the strength and durability of this model. After seeing the Sabiki in action, you’ll never think of any other fishing rod.

7. Okuma Rockaway Carbon Saltwater Fishing Rod

Okuma Rockaway Carbon Saltwater Fishing Rod

Heavy duty rods are not the be-all and end-all. Fast and flexible can be just what you need in your lures in order to ensure a strike. This rod is best suited to casting up to 1.5oz. You may feel that limits you, however, big fish still take small lures all the time. Besides which, with the pull of the tide and a lightweight rod such as this, even smaller fish will feel like monsters, which is part of the fun.

Heavy duty rods are not the be-all and end-all. Fast and flexible can be just what you need in your lures in order to ensure a strike.

This rod is best suited to casting up to 1.5oz. You may feel that limits you, however, big fish still take small lures all the time. Besides which, with the pull of the tide and a lightweight rod such as this, even smaller fish will feel like monsters, which is part of the fun.

8. Daiwa Tatula Saltwater

Daiwa Tatula Saltwater

Introducing one of the best fishing rods on the market. Featuring the Daiwa Super Volume Fiber graphite technology for strength and exceptional flexibility, this rod will take your fishing to the next level.

Finished with Fuji Alconite ring guides, a machined aluminum reel clamp, custom Daiwa reel seat, and a micro-pitch clear finish, this rod is not only capable of catching big fish, but also comfortable to use.

Every Angler knows that the difference between success and failure is often defined by the quality of your gear, and nothing is more important than the rod you choose. The Tatula will get the job done, tackling big fish with ease and comfort.

9. Winston Saltwater Air

Winston Saltwater Air

The world’s finest fly rods are made by a company of men who love to fish. That’s their secret! We here at Rugged Man have an immense appreciation for men, such as these, who place honor and integrity at the forefront of everything they do and are passionate about the quality of their work.

We close our eyes and sigh in deep remembrance of such times where this was a common characteristic of men. We have to remind ourselves that there are plenty of us still out there and it is our responsibility to carry the torch and uphold such traditions.

10. Redbone Hurricane Inshore RDB-761MS

Redbone Hurricane Inshore RDB-761MS

Plenty of professional guides hand a Redbone to their customers, and more than a few use them themselves. That’s an incredible testament to the quality you get for the money, and it’s simply amazing that these rods don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Blank quality is excellent, combining sensitivity and strength. This relatively long rod casts to the next county (or parish!), and its backbone really begins to strut its stuff about a third of the way toward the handle. You’ll find plenty there to help you muscle a brute from cover, turn a runner, and set your hook.

How to Take Care of Saltwater Fishing Rods

  • Thoroughly rinse rods in fresh water, especially the guides and reel seats, and towel dry.
  • Periodically remove the reels from the rods, and lubricate reel seats, fasteners and any roller guides.
  • Check guides for pitting or corrosion and check the guide wraps for signs of wear.
  • Pull a thin piece of sock through each guide to check for nicks. If the sock hangs, even slightly, a guide is damaged.
  • Aboard a boat, rack rods where they won’t bang against hard surfaces or other rods in choppy seas.
  • Modern rods have durable finishes. Apply a light coat of bowling-alley wax to help preserve that slick and polished look.

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