The 7 Best Kids’ Fishing Poles of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Pole Combo for Youth Fishing at Amazon

"Includes almost everything you need to introduce your little one to the sport."

Best for Beginners: Lil' Anglers Jimmy Houston Fishing Combo Kit at Field & Stream

"The training lures have large holes, so it's easy for kids to attach them to the fishing pole."

Best for Older Kids: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Youth 2-Piece Fishing Rod/Reel at Amazon

"Increases the chance of your kid becoming a lifelong fishing fan."

Best Complete Kit: Lanaak Kids Fishing Rod & Reel Combo Kit at Amazon

"Incorporates everything your child could need for a fun-filled day by the water."

Best Tangle-Free: Kid Casters Tangle-Free Fishing Combo at Amazon

"Feeds the line through the center of the shaft."

Best for Skill Progression: Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spinning Rod & Reel Combo at Bass Pro Shops

"Reviewers noted that this fishing pole is great for catching different types of fish."

Best Lightweight: Bass Pro Shops TinyLite Rod & Reel Combo at Cabelas

"Features a compact graphite body and a lightweight aluminum spool."

Our Top Picks

01 of 07

Best Overall: PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Pole Combo for Youth Fishing

Portable Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Youth Fishing by PLUSINNO
Courtesy of Amazon.com

One of the most popular options on Amazon, the PLUSINNO Kids Fishing Pole Combo includes almost everything you need to introduce your little one to the sport. The highlight is the telescopic fishing rod, which measures 3.94 feet in length and weighs just 2.2 ounces. It features a non-slip EVA foam handle that’s just the right size for little hands; and folds down into a compact 14.5-inch package perfect for storing in the toy cupboard back home. The combo also includes a spincast reel, which can be mounted for right or left-hand use.

The reel’s simple design is ideally suited to teaching young kids to cast. It’s less complex than a baitcaster and less prone to line twists and tangles than a traditional open-faced spinning reel. The 5.2:1 gear ratio gives budding anglers just the right blend of power and speed. The combo also comes with fishing line and tackle, including a selection of crankbaits, float bobbers, jig heads, soft lures, swivels and sinkers suited to a range of different fishing situations. A tackle box is also offered for an additional fee.

02 of 07

Best for Beginners: Lil' Anglers Jimmy Houston Fishing Combo Kit

Lil Anglers Youth Jimmy Houston Fishing Kit

 Courtesy of Field & Stream

It's easy to get your youngster starting to fish with the Jimmy Houston Fishing Combo Kit by Lil' Anglers. This kit features everything your kid needs to practice fishing, including a safe hook, casting plugs, and training lures. The training lures are biodegradable, so there's no need to worry if they wade too far out into the water. These training lures also have large holes on top, making it easy for kids to attach them to the fishing pole's plastic hooks.

Measuring 29.5 inches in length, this rod is sized down for even the smallest anglers, and the 8-pound line is light enough for kids to cast easily but sturdy enough to withstand snapping in the water. This kit includes a tackle box for simple storage and comes with a one-year warranty.

03 of 07

Best for Older Kids: Shakespeare Ugly Stik Youth 2-Piece Fishing Rod/Reel

The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Youth Two-Piece Fishing Rod is a five-foot, six-inch medium action spinning rod ideally sized for older kids. Its graphite and fiberglass construction makes it both durable and lightweight; while the brand’s Clear Tip design allows for added responsiveness to even the lightest nibbles and strikes. The latter leads to a better success rate, increased confidence and a greater chance of your kid becoming a lifelong fishing fan.

The EVA split grip is specially designed for smaller hands. The rod breaks down into two pieces for easy transport and storage and includes a spinning reel with a sturdy anodized aluminum spool and one ball bearing for smoother casting and retrieval. You can adapt the handle to suit right or left-handed users. With a six-pound line, the reel has a maximum capacity of 145 yards. This increases to 255 yards when using lighter found-pound line. 

04 of 07

Best Complete Kit: Lanaak Kids Fishing Rod & Reel Combo Kit

While all rods on this list include a reel and various accessories, the Lanaak Kids Fishing Rod Combo Kit incorporates everything your child could need for a fun-filled day by the water. As well as a telescoping rod and spincast reel, this 47-piece set includes a minnow net, a beginner’s guide to fishing and a tackle box with equipment to suit all occasions.

Little ones will love learning when to use the floating bobbers, jig heads, plastic worms and crank baits; while hooks, swivels and split sinkers make up their tackle box essentials. The net can be used for catching live bait. The rod measures five feet, one inch in length but folds away to just 17 inches for storage in the included carry bag. 

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Best Tangle-Free: Kid Casters Tangle-Free Fishing Combo

Repeated line tangles are a surefire way to make bonding time at the lake both stressful and frustrating. Keep things fun with the Kid Casters Tangle-Free Fishing Combo, which feeds the line through the center of the shaft instead of through guides mounted on the exterior to reduce your kid’s chances of getting tangled.

Available in four different colors, the 41-inch rod also telescopically folds for easy transport. The attached spincast reel comes with a six-pound line already spooled and has a gear ratio of 3.1:1.

06 of 07

Best for Skill Progression: Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spinning Rod & Reel Combo

Abu Garcia Ike Dude Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

 Courtesy of Dick's Sporting Goods

If your child has outgrown their beginner fishing poles in terms of skill but is still too small physically for a standard adult rod, consider the Abu Garcia Ika Dude Spinning Rod & Reel Combo. Designed by Mike "Ike" Iaconelli, a successful angler on the Bassmaster Elite tour circuit, it's made from durable graphite. The EVA foam handle makes the rod comfortable and lightweight to handle.

The rod comes with a two-ball-bearing drive system, pre-loaded with a six-pound line. The drive system is designed for smooth operation and is ideal for teaching your kid a more controlled casting technique. The reel has a maximum capacity for 110 yards, which is enough to catch larger species, and reviewers noted that this fishing pole is great for catching different types of fish.

07 of 07

Best Lightweight: Bass Pro Shops TinyLite Rod & Reel Combo

Bass Pro Shops TinyLite Spinning Rod & Reel Combo

 Courtesy of Cabelas

The Bass Pro Shops TinyLite Rod & Reel Combo is the perfect companion for all your adventures. The rod features a compact graphite body and a lightweight aluminum spool, making it easy to transport and hold. It also has a two-bearing system with anti-reverse to reel crappie or trout in steadily. Reviewers noted that although this rod feels lightweight, it can easily handle catching 1-pound bass. Measuring 4 feet, 6 inches this rod is the perfect size for kids of all ages.

What to Look for in Kids' Fishing Poles

Special Features Fishing can be a frustrating experience for kids just starting out, thanks to tangling lines and, well, the patience (and quiet) it takes to reel in a fish. Some poles have features like no-tangle casting that help cut down on these little frustrations to help make the overall experience more encouraging and fun.

Cost If you’re just starting out with your little one or don’t plan on fishing a lot during the year, it's probably best to save a little money where you can on gear. There’s a whole range of price options out there, so pick one that you’ll get good cost-per-use out of for the best value.

Kit vs. pole If your child is truly just starting out, it makes sense to get a combination kit that comes with everything from the pole to the line, tackle, bobbers, and lures. From there, you can customize and add on as you like. However, a kit's basics might not offer the quality or specifics more advanced fishers want.

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