Fishing rod & reel combos - Buying guide, Reviews & Comparison


If you want to find the best fishing gear, but you don’t have time to go through the buying tips and reviews prepared by our research team, this short paragraph should tell you everything you need to know about the best rod and reel combo. After analyzing a lot of feedback coming from both amateur and professional fishermen, we have concluded that the Plusinno TM Spin is the best if you’re looking for a dependable spinning kit. The rod is made of blended carbon fiber and fiberglass, which means that it is both flexible and durable, as well. Having been created with the needs of expert and beginning anglers in mind, this product can make sure that it withstands the test of time as it is resistant to corrosion and even features a padded grip. Plus, the telescopic design enables it to be easy to transport and store. If the Plusinno TM Spin is unavailable, you should consider the Ready 2 Fish Bass as it is a reliable alternative in terms of performance and quality if you’re looking to do some bass fishing.



Comparison table




Deciding to purchase a rod and reel combo is a great idea, particularly if you are a beginner fisherman. It really does not matter whether you are interested in using the combo for saltwater fishing, fly fishing, bass fishing, or ice fishing, as the best rod and reel combo will definitely do its job in all these circumstances.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand what features you should look for if you want to get the rod and the reel separately. They might be made with different materials, have different sizes, and perform differently in terms of convenience and durability. Furthermore, buying them individually is somewhat risky, as you might have the unpleasant surprise of realizing that they do not fit.

Fortunately, manufacturers package the appropriate gear for every kind of fishing. After all, these combos are particularly designed to fit perfectly, which means that all you have to do is just learn how to use them. Moreover, buying the best rod and reel combo in 2017 can help you to save money, because most varieties come with extra accessories.

All things considered, manufacturing companies often organize sale discounts and offer packages at a friendly price, particularly if they are trying to get rid of a model they launched years ago. It is common knowledge that new and improved units come out every year, but since they are more expensive, their older counterparts need to be sold as quickly as possible.

In terms of both looks and functionality, the rod and reel in a combo go together like peanut butter and jelly. That is why the combo is the favorite option of beginner and amateur fishermen.



Benefits of rod and reel combos


One of the greatest advantages of purchasing a combo is that a buyer does not need to go through the hassle of setting the equipment all by him or herself. Obviously, this is a net plus for people who are just beginning to learn their craft. Most of the packages that are now available on the market are ready to use out of the box. All one has to do is wind the line onto the spool.

As previously mentioned, when a buyer intends to purchase rods and reels separately, he or she has to pay a lot of attention to matching them. A prospective consumer needs to consider flexibility and gear ratio.

If you are not an experienced fisherman, you might not even know what these terms mean. Therefore, a combo is a neat alternative of getting the right equipment without risking anything in terms of quality, which could be threatened by a user’s limited knowledge.



Our top choices - Find the best combo for your needs



Best spinning rod and reel combo


Plusinno TM Spin


If you enjoy fresh and saltwater fishing this rod and spinning reel combo might be exactly what you are looking for. Manufactured by Plusinno, the telescopic rod easily collapses for convenient storage, and can be extended for long, accurate casts. The rod is constructed from blended carbon fiber and fiberglass to ensure that it is flexible, and resistant to breaking.

The rod also comes with a stainless steel seat for the spinning reel. It is resistant to rust and corrosion from salt water and the padded grip ensures that the rod is comfortable to hold. Its lightweight construction is ideal for younger fishermen, and experienced pros will love the smooth performing Plusinno spinning reel.

This spinning reel comes with a larger spool that is designed to hold heavier lines, and its aluminum construction is lightweight and durable. The spool will smoothly release and retrieve the line with its powerful gear drive, and you will appreciate the anti-reverse bearing when there is a fish nibbling at your line. No matter where your favorite fishing spot is located, this rod and spinning reel combo will deliver the smooth performance you need to have a successful fishing trip.


  • This rod and spinning reel combo from Plusinno is designed to be used in fresh or saltwater.
  • You will appreciate its telescopic design that makes storing and carrying the rod convenient and easy.
  • The rod and spinning reel are lightweight, well balanced and resistant to rust and corrosion and you can also find this fishing combo at a surprisingly affordable price.


  • It should be noted that this fishing kit does not include a holder for the rod, and while this is a convenient extra it will not affect its overall performance.



Buy from for ($333.25)




Best rod and reel combo for bass fishing


Ready 2 Fish Bass


If you’ve always wanted to learn how to fish or simply want to brush up on your basics, this Bass Spin Combo Kit from Ready 2 Fish might be the perfect choice for you. The sturdy construction of the rod and reel also make this a great setup for younger children.

The rod is constructed from lightweight and durable fiberglass, and comes with guides to help you with the rigging. The clearly illustrated guides will explain exactly how the reel and pole should be rigged for almost any application. Not only will this help beginners get started, the informative guide is also a great way for pros to brush up on the different rigging techniques.

The spin reel is already wound so you can immediately start casting for small game fish. The single ball bearing helps to ensure a smooth cast and retrieval, and the spool spins without any jerks or stops. To complete the kit, this combo also comes with lures and bait. The plastic bait is designed to lure fish in, and if you prefer to use live worms the kit also includes the appropriate hooks.


  • Everything a beginner needs to get started is included with this rod and reel combo, including hooks and lures.
  • With the illustrated guide book children and beginners can learn how to rig the line, and experienced anglers can also take advantage of the helpful tips to improve their own techniques.
  • The rod and spinning reel are able to provide a relatively smooth performance, and the lightweight construction is ideal for children and adults.


  • It should be mentioned that this a rod for beginners, and the single ball bearing might not provide the smooth performance experienced anglers expect from their setup.



Buy from for ($40.22)




Best surf rod and reel combo


Okuma Tundra Surf

With just one cast of this spinning reel and rod combo you’ll be able to see why it is used by anglers around the world. The 10 foot fiberglass rod is well balanced and lightweight, and flexible enough to bend without breaking. Its longer length is ideal for casting in and past the surf, and even experienced anglers will appreciate the ceramic guides that help make rigging quick and easy.

Along with Okuma’s two piece rod, you also have the advantage of the smooth performing spinning reel. The size 80 reel can hold up to 260 yards of 25 lb line, which is ideal for seeing what you can bring in from the surf. The large reel is also able to provide you with smooth casts and retrievals with the single stainless steel ball bearing.

Every aspect of this rod and spinning reel combo is designed for comfort and performance. The padding on the rod is not only comfortable to grasp, it also prevents the pole from slipping out of wet hands when you are trying to reel a fish in. You will also appreciate being able to easily break the rod down into two manageable sections for convenient storage and transportation with the rest of your fishing gear.


  • Manufactured by Okuma Fishing, this rod and spinning reel combo is a popular choice with experienced and beginning anglers.
  • The sturdy construction is designed to last for years, and it is also designed to be comfortable to use.
  • The 10 foot rod is ideal for surf fishing, and the spinning reel is able to provide you with a smooth and consistent performance.


  • Some consumers have noted that the rod can feel “stiff”, but this is usually corrected after a couple of casts.



Buy from for ($42.55)




Best rod and reel for saltwater fishing


Okuma Spa-S-802M-50 Safina Pro


You can fish for sea trout or fresh water species like bass and catfish with this rod and spinning reel combo from Okuma. It is designed for surf fishing, but its smooth, reliable performance also makes it a great choice for most fresh water varieties. The 8 foot long rod gives you the longer reach you need in the surf, and its’ well balanced designed makes it easy to handle.

The sturdy rod is lightweight, flexible and comfortable to hold. The padding on the rod prevents it from slipping out of wet hands, while also providing you with a comfortable place to grip. The spinning reel is designed to give experience anglers the performance they are looking for, while beginners will appreciate how easy this combo is to use.

With four ball bearings you can expect a smooth and reliable performance with every cast and retrieval, and the aluminum spool easily releases the line. It is also machined to enhance performance, along with ensuring a lightweight and well balanced design. When the spinning reel is combined with the composite graphite rod, you have a well performing fishing combo that Okuma is known for.


  • The 8 foot rod is constructed from lightweight and durable composite graphite for long lasting durability.
  • You will appreciate the smooth performance of the spinning reel, especially when you are trying to bring in a fish.
  • Not only is this rod and reel combo designed for freshwater fishing, but it is also effective in the surf.


  • Some consumers have mentioned that this rod and reel combo might be too difficult to rig for some beginners, but it should be noted that it is designed to be used by experienced and professional anglers.



Click to see the price on Amazon!




Best fly rod and reel combo


Adamsbuilt HO2 Fly


This fly rod and reel combo is ready to go right out of the box. Beginners don’t have to waste time trying to load the line, and experienced anglers will enjoy simply being able to cast for fish in their favorite spot. Manufactured by Adamsbuilt, you can rest assured that you are getting a quality product.

The rod uses a medium fast action to smooth cast the line, and its lightweight design won’t cause arm or wrist fatigue. The rod is also well balanced, and you will appreciate how comfortable it is to hold. The reel comes preloaded for convenience, and it is constructed from a lightweight and durable aluminum.

Its lightweight construction ensures that the combo is well balanced for optimum casts, and with the 5wt line already loaded you are ready to start fly fishing as soon as it is out of the box. This rod and reel combo also comes with convenient cases that make storage quick and easy. The case is felt lined to protect the reel so you can always rely on its smooth performance. For added peace of mind, this fly fishing combo is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty.


  • The nine foot graphite rod is designed to be lightweight and well balanced.
  • You will appreciate the smooth performing reel that comes with the backing already loaded.
  • Since this rod and reel combo arrives preassembled, the only thing you need to do is find the perfect spot to fish.


  • It should be noted that while this rod and reel combo is ideal for those new to fly fishing, it will still require plenty of practice and patience before your cast is perfected.



Buy from for ($132.63)




Buying guide


How to choose a top rod and reel combo

While purchasing a unit is as easy as logging into an online marketplace and ordering it, there are some details to consider if you want it to be worth every penny. After all, it should bring you the most pleasure when practicing your hobby. The first question you need to ask yourself is: what type of fishing do you plan on doing? Are you more interested in saltwater fishing or in freshwater fishing?

Sure, cheap rod and reel combos can be found everywhere on the internet, but choosing a bargain without considering your needs and preferences is the wrong way to go about it.

The next question you need to ask yourself is what type of fish you are planning to catch. While the species is not all that important, the type and size of the fish you are targeting are two critical considerations. The heavier the fish, the heavier the rod needs to be. The same goes for smaller game, as it undoubtedly requires lightweight equipment.

Preliminary research has a great say if you want to get the right value for the right price. We recommend going through some rod and reel combo reviews before making up your mind about buying a model. If you have other friends who are interested in fishing and are somewhat more experienced than you are, it might be a good idea to ask for their opinion.

Going to a specialized shop is yet another tip, in this case, as the personnel can recommend you the right gear for your fishing level and for your expectations. This will allow you to try the combo first and understand whether you are comfortable with using it or not.

If you are having trouble finding the rod and reel combo reviews, it might be a good idea to look for them on websites such as Amazon and Ebay. Basing your decision on other buyers’ opinions is the right strategy to adopt, as consumers are known to express their point of view as directly as possible. In addition, if any of these reviewers has come across an issue with the combo he or she has bought, these ratings can let you know just what to expect.

Obviously, brand reputation and warranty are two other considerations to analyze. The shadier the brand, the higher the risk of buying a low-quality combo. Nowadays, even the most respectable companies use Chinese parts. If you want to get a 100% American or 100% European variety, look for info regarding the origin of the combo you are buying. As a general rule, try to pick a package that is backed by at least a 1-year warranty and devote some time to investigating the customer support offered by the company of your choice.




Another thing to take into account when looking for the best rod and reel combo out there is the consumer’s budget. Being overly enthusiastic about your newly discovered passion can make you spend much more than what you normally would. Set a minimum and a maximum sum of money you are willing to invest in fishing gear, and whatever you do, do not go over it. Getting carried away while shopping is easy, but you need to always evaluate your expertise in the field and eventually understand that, in the future, you might not even require the beginner gear you are purchasing now.

Even though most combos are available at specialty fishing shops, sporting goods stores and tackle shops, some of the most convenient offers can be found online. Most of the time, the same model can be purchased via an online marketplace at a much fairer price compared to a specialized shop.

The prices of rod and reel combos vary depending on a wide array of factors, from the materials that have been used in the product development to the brand reputation. We have found that beginner combos can be purchased for as little as fifty dollars on a variety of websites.



Rod and reel combos and the different types of fishing


There are four factors to consider when fishing, and one of them we have already mentioned earlier on - the type of fish you are targeting. If your time allows it, read as much info as possible on the species you are planning to catch and make it your goal to learn about its feeding habits. Doing so will allow you to catch more fish.

Fishing types differ on a variety of factors and the most important one is the area you will be fishing in. Normally, one needs a type of tackle for each type of fishing. However, we have found that some rod and reel combos work with virtually any type of fishing. Most of these models are manufactured by world-known brands such as Shakespeare, which is why they might be a little too pricey for some beginners. Even so, they are definitely worth having a look at, as they are versatile and convenient and allow you to target anything from trout to sea bass.

For example, it is said that surf fishing requires different tackle compared to fishing in a lake or river. Granted, this is true up to a point. Yet, in this case, a telescoping rod and reel combo can make a difference if you are looking for a product that performs well under various circumstances. The telescoping variety is easy to use and carry around. Most users leave it in their vehicles until the perfect fishing spot arises.

It goes without saying that a telescoping rod does not compare with a full-length one, particularly when it comes to stability and reliability. Nevertheless, this is an option to consider, especially when starting out.

If, for instance, you plan on fishing both in saltwater and in freshwater, you might be better off with a combo that is corrosion and rust resistant. Utilizing a freshwater fishing rod to catch fish in saltwater will inevitably lead to the damage of the line, hooks, and reel. This is why, sometimes, it is better to buy a saltwater variety even if you do not need one now. You never really known when you might leave on a fishing expedition with your friends and end up in the ocean.



Parts of the fishing rod


If you’re just starting out, the terminology used to describe the different parts of a fishing rod can be absolutely daunting. To make matters easier, we’ve put together a short list of the components one might find in a rod, regardless of its size and purpose.

The butt cap is located at the bottom of the handle.

The handle, also known as the grip, is the one you’ll be holding with your hands.

The reel seat is the exact spot where the rod is attached to the reel. The most common mechanism that is available today is the hood one, which screws on the foot of the reel.

The hook keeper can be used to temporarily store the hook, so that it does not pose a risk to the integrity of the user.

The butt is the closest portion of the rod, right next to the handle.

The butt guide is located on the butt and is basically the guide that is closest to the handle.

A ferrule is a part that exists only in rods that can be broken down into two or more pieces. In fact, a ferrule is the actual joint where the segments fit together.

The guides are the rings that can be seen all the way down the fishing rod. As a general rule, the more they are, the better. A good-quality rod should be constructed in such a way that it has a guide for each foot in length.

The windings are the spots where the guides go on the rod. They’re made of string that has been covered with a protective surface.

A tip top can be found at the end of a rod. It is said that it is the most likely part to be broken, so try to protect it if you can.


Parts of the fishing reel


Compared to the fishing rod, the reel can be broken down in just three parts. These are the reel handle, the line spool and the drag adjustment.

The reel handle is the one that is responsible with winding the line after casting it.

The line spool is where the line is released from and then wound back onto.

The drag adjustment can be utilized in order to set the resistance that the fish is able to feel. Drag adjustment is a matter of trial and error, as fishermen have to set the resistance of the line as precisely as possible. Avoiding to do so will lead to too much tension on the line and the risk of having it broken.

These are the three components in the vast majority of fishing reels that now exist on the market. Most of the models that feature these three parts can be split into three types: spincast reels, baitcasting reels, and spinning reels. Of these techniques, baitcasting is by far the most complicated one, which is why the reel is difficult to work with. However, unlike its counterparts, the baitcasting reel takes the cake when it comes to accuracy, once the user learns how to properly use it.




What are the most popular brands of fishing combos?


After having gone through countless units and after having analyzed the opinions of many buyers, we found that the most trusted brands on the market today are the following: Shakespeare, Okuma, South Bend, Daiwa, Pflueger, and Zebco.


Shakespeare has been on the market ever since 1897. Over 115 years of experience have made the brand one of the most well-known out there. The main goal of this company is to turn fishing from a potentially frustrating experience into an easy and enjoyable one. Nowadays, Shakespeare manufactures anything from trucker hats and T-shirts to baitcast, spinning and spincast combos. Some of the most popular products from Shakespeare include the Salamander spincast combo and the Agility spinning combo.


Okuma is yet another reputable name in the industry of manufacturing rods and reels. The fishing tackle produced by Okuma is known for its excellent capabilities, as the brand has over time focused on developing high-quality gear. Most of the items developed by the company are manufactured using carbon fiber, which greatly contributes to the product durability and reliability. Okuma launches new and improved units every year. Choosing this brand is advantageous because it produces anything from mooching reels and fly reels to spin fishing accessories.


South Bend. As is the case with the previously mentioned Shakespeare company, South Bend has been on the market for over 100 years. By contrast, South Bend was created at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1906. In time, South Bend has acquired a lot of popularity because it has put a lot of effort into designing products that are affordable, dependable, and convenient. This company took fishing to a whole new level when it developed the Ready2Fish variety, one of the easiest to use tackle combos that are available today.


Daiwa is somewhat new compared to the brands we have described earlier on. One of the first offices of this company was opened in 1955. Two core features of this brand are innovation and quality, as its developers work towards improving the tackle that can now be bought. Daiwa sells anything from tackle and lures to line and accessories.


Pflueger is one of the oldest tackle manufacturers that we stumbled upon. This name has been on the lips of beginner and advanced fishermen ever since it opened its first assembly line, back in the beginning of the 1880s. The Pflueger Baitcast, Spinning, Ultralite and BigWater reels and combos are among the most acclaimed products in the line. The brand also produces fly reels and fly kits.


Zebco. Yet another trustworthy brand in the field of engineering good-quality rods and reels is Zebco. The company has been around for over 80 years. All of the products from Zebco are designed with usability in mind. It is one of the few brands of which a product has been featured in an Academy Award-winning movie. The Zebco 33 variety is used by Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in “Walk the Line”, while playing the parts of Johnny Cash and June Carter.


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