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Best for Kids: PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Rod and Reel Combo at Amazon
"Perfectly sized for smaller hands."
Best Lightweight: Pflueger President Spinning Rod and Reel Combo at Cabelas
"Made of lightweight anti-corrosive graphite, this reel can accommodate 1/8 to 1/2-ounce lures."
"Famous in fishing circles for its strength and durability."
Best Spincast: Zebco 33 Fish Pistol Spincast Combo at Tackle Direct
"Makes for more accurate casting and improved line retrieval."
Best Baitcasting: Lew’s American Hero Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combo at Tackle Direct
"Made from multilayer IM6 graphite for added structural strength and sensitivity."
Best for Bass Fishing: Penn Squall Level Wind Combo at Amazon
"Ideal for targeting big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions."
Best for Fly Fishing: Orvis Clearwater 3-Weight FLY ROD at Orvis
"The 3-weight fly line is easy to learn on and can be threaded quickly."
Best for Ice Fishing: Shakespeare Glacier Ice Fishing Spinning Combo at Amazon
"Treated with Cold Gear lube so it can operate smoothly in the lowest of temperatures"
Our Top Picks
Best for Kids: PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
The PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Rod and Reel Combo includes a telescopic rod and an easy-to-master spincast reel. At 3’9” in length and 2.2 ounces in weight, the rod is perfectly sized for smaller hands, while the foldable design makes it easy to transport and store. The combo also includes fishing line and an impressive set of lures, including crankbaits, float bobbers, jig heads and soft lures. A variety of sinkers, swivels and stoppers completes your child’s first fishing set. A handy tackle box can be added to your purchase for a small extra fee.
Best Lightweight: Pflueger President Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
Pflueger's President Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is perfect for fishermen who are constantly on the go. Made of lightweight anti-corrosive graphite, this reel can accommodate 4- to 17-pound test line and 1/8 to 1/2-ounce lures. The included spinning wheel has nine stainless steel ball bearings, one anti-reverse bearing, and a speedy 5:1:1 gear ratio, so it's easy to cast out bait and reel in anything you catch. The soft handle is compatible with right or left-handed use.
Best Spinning: Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo
For casual spinning excursions, you can’t go wrong with the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo. With excellent value, the combo comes in seven different models, ranging from an ultralight set-up with a 4’8” rod to a medium heavy combo with a seven-foot rod. Whichever you choose, your purchase includes a two-piece Ugly Stik GX2 spinning rod, famous in fishing circles for its strength and durability. The rod’s graphite and fiberglass construction also help to give it superior balance and sensitivity.
The stainless steel guides are compatible with all fishing lines (including braid), while the EVA foam grips ensure your hands don’t slip while reeling in your catch. The included spinning reel features a double anodized aluminum spool and compression bail springs, both of which increase its lifespan. Two or three ball bearings (depending on which reel size you choose) make for smooth line retrieval; while an additional anti-reverse bearing allows the hook to set instantly. Soft-touch knobs on the handle protect your hands from blisters and calluses.
Best Spincast: Zebco 33 Fish Pistol Spincast Combo
Spincast combos are ideal for beginners on a budget, and the Zebco 33 Fish Pistol Spincast Combo is a classic from one of fishing’s most popular brands. It includes a 5’6” medium light action rod, made of durable Z-glass. The pistol grip is designed for straightforward one-handed casting, while the two-piece construction makes for convenient transport and storage. The reel features a lightweight graphite frame and a metal handle with comfortable rubber knobs.
An updated line management system makes for more accurate casting and improved line retrieval, aided by a ball bearing drive. The anti-reverse function allows you to strike without losing tension on the line, while the 3.6:1 gear ratio is perfect for high resistance lures. Other reel highlights include the changeable right or left-hand retrieve; the in-built hook holder and the fact that it comes pre-spooled with 100 yards of 10-pound Cajun line.
Best Baitcasting: Lew’s American Hero Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combo
Experienced anglers looking for increased casting accuracy should consider the Lew’s American Hero Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combo. It includes a 6’10” medium heavy one-piece rod made from multilayer IM6 graphite for added structural strength and sensitivity. The rod also boasts stainless steel guides, EVA foam split-grips and the brand’s patented No Foul hook keeper. The baitcasting reel features a graphite composite frame and side plates, an anodized aluminum spool and a solid brass main gear and crankshaft.
Weighing just 7.2 ounces, the reel has a 7.1:1 gear ratio for super fast line retrieval. Four corrosion-resistant ball bearings add smoothness, while the zero-reverse clutch bearing eliminates back play to give you the best possible chance of landing your fish. The drag system is fully adjustable, providing up to 15 pounds of drag power. The custom paddle knobs on the aluminium handle are designed for comfort throughout long days at the lake or river.
Best for Bass Fishing: Penn Squall Level Wind Combo
Intended for both recreational and charter use, the Penn Squall Level Wind Combo is ideal for targeting big game fish in a variety of saltwater conditions. There are two different models to choose from: a 20-size reel with a six-foot medium action rod or a 30-size reel with a 6’6” medium heavy rod. Both reels have a large enough spool to accommodate the amount of line necessary for bass fishing.
With a graphite frame and a bronze alloy main gear, the reels are both light and strong. The level wind distributes line evenly over the spool, while the carbon fiber drag system creates the perfect blend of power and smoothness. Both reels have 2 + 1 corrosion-resistant ball bearings and a powerful 4.9:1 gear ratio. The rod is a one-piece tubular glass blank with a solid tip.
Best for Fly Fishing: Orvis Clearwater 3-Weight FLY ROD
Most fly fishers use a bespoke rod-and-reel combo, with each element purchased separately to best fit how they fish; however, beginners new to fly fishing will benefit by starting out with a ready-made combo as they begin to figure out their own preferences. Orvis, famous for its fishing products, makes a great rod for people who are new to fly fishing. Made for fishing in small streams, this medium-action rod measures 7 feet 6 inches. The 3-weight fly line is easy to learn on and can be quickly threaded through the chrome snake and stripping guide. Buyers also loved how easily it was to cast the line out. And if you ever need to get your rod repaired or you're unsatisfied, Orvis has a 25-year guarantee.
Best for Ice Fishing: Shakespeare Glacier Ice Fishing Spinning Combo
There's more to the Shakespeare Glacier Ice Fishing Combo than its impressively affordable price tag. The 30-inch medium rod is perfect for icy conditions because it's made from durable fiberglass. It also features a 15 degree tilted orientation and an extended stem to give you more clearance and control. The included spinning reel has stainless steel inserts and guides for easy retrieval, however, reviewers noted that this fishing rod doesn't come with an anti-reverse bearing. It's treated with Cold Gear lube so it can operate smoothly in the lowest of temperatures, and the EVA handle has graphite sliding rings for a comfortable grip.
What to Look for in a Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Sport First, you need to decide what type of fishing you primarily want to do. Some rod and reel combos are designed specifically for certain types of fishing, like fly fishing or ice fishing, so you'll want to know where and how you'll be fishing before you start shopping.
Level Fishing rod and reel combos tend to be designed for beginners, who are keen to get out on the water as quickly and easily as possible. If you’re a more advanced fisher, you might want to shop for your rod and reel independently, but it's worth taking a look at the combos available. With all the options out there, you may just find all the advanced features you're looking for with one purchase.
Cost Rod and reel combos tend to be cost-efficient in general, but that doesn' t mean they are all super cheap. If you're just starting out, there are some budget-friendly options to get you up and running quickly, but once you are more advanced it's probably worth it to spend a little more for durability and the exact features you know you want.