6 Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

Fishing for beginners can be discouraging. In the beginning, most fishermen are not the most patient, so waiting and casting for hours with no results can be very hard on them. To get past that first lull and into being a pro fisherman, they need to be able to land their first fish. This means good equipment.

The best fishing pole and reel combos for beginners can all be found on Amazon.com:

  1. Shakespeare UglyStik Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  2. Penn Fierce II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  3. Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  4. Okuma ROX Spinning Combo
  5. Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  6. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

My favorite combo is the Okuma Combo set.

#1: Shakespeare UglyStik Combo

Like most things Shakespeare, the quality is stunning. The UglyStik is a favorite of mine, and despite most of the rods being on the more expensive side of things, they are a common go-to for me. This rod/reel combo is cheaper on Amazon.com than buying the rod separately in a store.

The durability of this combo is very high. While speaking to a few friends who are big Shakespeare fans, they said that they have had rods that lasted over 10 years, and the durability of Shakespeare rods just keep on getting better!

The reel is very smooth and is very silent. The spool is aluminum, and the rotor is plastic. This does not say much to the durability of the rod, but it does seem to last people a while.

Many people on Amazon enjoy the rod as beginners, but there are also one people that give the rod combo as a gift during father’s day. They always state that they use the rod and are able to catch fish.

The rod is aesthetically pleasing in many ways. On the back of the rod, the logo is heat pressed into the foam, just before the reel seat section. The foam is comfortable and feels nice when casting. The design from the rod seat to the actual rod is nice and matches well with the red reel.

The rod is also good for teaching small children to fish. The rod comes in sizes 4’8″, 5′, 6′, 6’6″, and 7′. The 5′ rod is perfect for kids, especially those who are in the age range of 10 – 13. Anyone shorter or younger should use the smaller one or found a different rod.

The guides on the rod are stainless steel with an inserted cover of a different material. This addition helps keep the abrasion down and will make sure the line will not break

The larger ones can be powerful tools in the hands of an expert. Every UglySTik has the potential to catch an unlimited amount of fish. The price of this rod comes in just under $45, an incredible price.

#2: Penn Fierce II

The Penn Fierce II is the second attempt to create a great combo rod and reel. Just like the first, original Penn Fierce I, the combo is amazing. This is an amazing deal.

The rod itself is made of graphite. Graphite rods are very sensitive. It is what they are known for, and its what they do best. Their extreme sensitivity is sometimes a downside, though.

After you know what you are feeling for, graphite rods can alert you too early and you will end up setting the hook too early, resulting in losing the fish. But that can easily be made into a habit of avoiding. Making sure that you wait for a second or less before setting the hook can become a great habit.

These rods are strong as they are sensitive. The butt of the rod is thick, and that continues up the rod until the tip. The thickness of the rod is great for beginners because it will let then pull at the fish and be in very little danger of breaking the rod.

Another benefit of the rod’s thickness is that it will be able to throw bigger baits and lures. Without the fear of breaking the rod. But there is a downside to the combo.

The reel is not the best of quality. It is very smooth and is quiet of the retrieval. The handle is rubber and shaped nicely. The bail is twice the size of the last Fierce line, which has its benefits.

The reel is somewhat saltwater resistant, but will still need to be aired out and washed out before it will work the same. It would work even better with some reel oil afterward.

The rod and reel combo is just under $70, truly a steal for a Penn product. The quality is great and will last a long time. The reel is very nice but might have some problems with pieces rubbing together. It is an easy fix, however.

The rod has an easy disassembly process and is easy to put back together. This makes cleaning the reel very easy, especially for cleaning out saltwater residue.

The rod has an easy disassembly process and is easy to put back together. This makes cleaning the reel very easy, especially for cleaning out saltwater residue.

The line that the combo comes with is very weak and is not spooled correctly. But that is not a very large downside because you usually will not want to use the line that comes with it anyway. You can buy some monofilament line on Amazon (here) for very cheap.

This rod seems like it can be used in a variety of different situations. These rods are meant for freshwater fishing, like in rivers and lakes, but I have heard of people using these rods to surf fish at beaches.

#3: Penn Battle II

This rod is a straight upgrade from the Penn Fierce II. The reel and rod are just at a better quality when it went through a quality check. The reel is a little heavier than the other rods.

The rod and reel are good colors and are just very aesthetically pleasing.

The drag is smooth and sounds nice as well. It has a lot of range that can be changed to be at the level that is wanted. The reel holds a lot of fishing line and can take a lot of the larger diameters.

That makes it a very good rod for some saltwater fishing. The reel is very smooth on the retrieval and is silent, as long as the drag does not kick in.

Overall, the reel is a very good rod. It is more pricey, so it might not be chosen over the other rods. It is a great rod for beginners because of how easy it casts and how it feels in your hand.

The rod does not have issues that pertain to itself, but instead, there are issues with packaging and delivery confusion. This is a common problem with rods, especially those with more sensitive and smaller rod tips.

Be sure to order your rod from trustworthy sites so that you would be able to send the combo back and get a new, unbroken rod. The tip is sensitive but is somewhat weak. Out on the water, though, the stress put onto the tip will be transferred to the rest of the rod.

This makes the rod even more sensitive. The rod is made of graphite and fiberglass composites. The composite rods take the best of both types of materials.

It takes the durability of the fiberglass, the strength, and the long-lasting properties, and it also takes the extreme sensitivity of graphite. Together, it makes for one of the best combinations of rod materials.

#4: OKUMA ROX Spinning Combo

The Okuma rods and reels have a very special place in my heart. I learned to fish on some of the older models of the Okuma Series, and I’ve continued to use Okuma’s rods.

In my experience, Okuma produces quality rods for a very low price. This is great material for beginner fishermen and can lead to growing the desire to fish more.

The quality of this combo is worth at least $80 for a regular reel, and another $40 for the rod. But the combo comes down to an incredibly low $51.35.

The reel is super smooth and has no problems with reeling in silently. This is important because when using lures that require action when being used, the silent and smooth retrieval means that it will be attractive to the fish and not spook them.

The drag on the rod is smooth as well. The range that the reel has can go from stopping any line going out, to letting the line fall out because of its own weight.

The rod is very sturdy and durable it can go through a lot and not break. As with every rod, the tip is the weakest part of the rod and needs to be protected and checked after receiving it.

The tip is very sensitive and feels a lot of what is going on in the water. After the fish strike, the rod will be able to tell you exactly when the fish is on. The set should be easy enough.

The backbone of the rod is also very durable. The rod is also made of a graphite composite rod, meaning that it is sensitive, but it also will have a very durable blank.

Overall, the rod and reel combo is one of the best out there. For the price and for the quality, this might be the best rod for beginners. It’s perfect for freshwater fishing, on rivers and lakes, but it can also be a good rod for saltwater fishing. Just be sure to clean out the reel.

#5: Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcasting Combo

Abu Garcia equipment is always a very nice quality. Personally, I am not too familiar with Abu Garcia, so I called up my friend that I know is and he said that one of his favorite rod and reel are both found in the Black Max combo.

He sent me a video of him using the combo and he landed around 5 fish in about half an hour. Getting the fish back was easy, so he had some fun with it.

He wouldn’t let me put int he video, but I almost did it anyway. It was good footage.

From what I could tell, the reel was very smooth and incredibly light. When he flicked the rod around, it pivoted around his hand, instead of where the reel was. When he reeled in, there was no clicking sound as the gears grind together.

The time that there was sound was when the drag was turned on and lighter. It sounded nice and was effective

Another one of the biggest selling points, for me at least, was the fact that the reel could take anywhere from 8-pound line to even around a 30-pound test. This makes the rod very diverse and able to be used in a lot of situations.

The rod is light, which makes it an easy rod to use over a long period of time. The rod puts less stress on the wrists and arms. This allows you to be outside longer than if you were to use a heavier rod.

The rod is made of graphite. As I said earlier in this article, graphite is very sensitive and lets the angler know what the fish is doing, once you get used to the feel of the rod and after watching the tip react to the fish’s strikes.

Graphite rods, and similarly this rod, have a very sensitive tip. This doesn’t mean that it will move more dramatically than other less sensitive rods, but instead, it means that the rod will move the same with less stress affecting it.

But just because this rod is sensitive does not mean that it is not strong. The rod has a very strong backbone. This means that when the rod bends a lot more than the rest of the curve should allow it, the backbone lets it go even further without letting the line or rod break from the stress.

Sometimes when rods bend too far, they tend to break around the handle area. This is the widest part of the rod, but as the rod continues to bend, the rod will not break because of the strong backbone.

This rod is very good for the beginner fishermen because it is an easy rod to use due to the sensitivity, the rod being very easy to cast, and because of its accessibility as an entry-level rod while still being nigh end/quality.

#6: KastKing Sharky III Spinning Combo

Overall the quality of the rod and reel are at the same level that all KastKing products are at. Their products have always been top tier and rest at the top with Okuma and UglyStiks.

The reel is a very smooth retriever and is very silent.

The drag system on the reel is also top tier as well. Once the drag is set, and it can be set very specifically, the sound it makes is quiet, but loud enough to tell you that the fish is fighting harder than the drag was set to.

Another amazing quality of the Sharky III reel is the bail. The bail can hold a lot of line and can easily handle the larger diameters of mono, and can also handle the slippage of the braid.

But the combo becomes lacking when it comes to the rod. There are a few small problems with the rod, such as the first eyelet being too small for the reel to be able to move around and let line out.

There have also been a few cases that stated that the rod is fragile, but I couldn’t tell if those cases were because of shipping damage or because of other reasons. Be careful when you order fishing rods online. They sometimes will come damaged. Just be sure to catch it before the due date to return the product has passed.

Most companies would not mind returning it and sending it back fixed. While the reel is amazing, the rod is a bit weak. This still all comes down to the preference of what rod to use.

The price for this is very high, which is a reason that it is last on the list. It is a great combo for the beginners, but the price rests around $119.98. That is an investment for aspiring anglers or the weekend warriors.

Fishing can be a very fun hobby, and it doesn’t cost that much to get too involved in the sport. It is easy to participate with $40 out of the pocket on the rod, and then another $10 or $15 on the necessary accessories.

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