11 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods Reviewed 2020 [TOP Models Tested]
No matter what kind of fishing enthusiast you are, I’m sure you’ll agree with what I’m about to say.
There are few things more enjoyable than fishing in the open sea. To tell the truth, I’m not sure whether it’s the breeze, the smell of the water, of the breathtaking beauty of the ocean.
Whatever it is, it does the trick for me, as it does for plenty of other fishermen and women too.
The market for this crucial item is massive, so I’ve decided to break it down into my top 11 best saltwater fishing rods of 2020.
At the end of the article, I’ve included a buyer’s guide, to help you do your own research and an FAQ section.
But that’s enough of an introduction: let’s get into the products themselves.
- TOP 11 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods 2020
- Sougayilang Fishing Rod For Saltwater
- Okuma’s Nomad Travel Saltwater Multi Action Fishing Rods
- UglyStik Spinning Fishing Combo Kit
- Goture Fishing Rods – Casting & Spinning Fishing Rods
- UglyStick Elite Spinning Rod
- Fiblink 3-Piece Heavy Spinning Fishing Rod
- Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod
- Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod Retractable Fishing Pole
- Shimano Tallus TLC-70HB Blue Water Series Rod
- Fiblink Surf Spinning Fishing 4-Piece Graphite Rod
- Agool Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
- Buyer’s Guide to Saltwater Fishing Rods
TOP 11 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods 2020
Sougayilang Fishing Rod For Saltwater
Review: Including a carbon fiber telescopic fishing rod, a fishing reel, a carrier bag, three fishing lures, and a fishing line, as well as some other useful fishing accessories, this is an excellent starter kit for those just getting going with saltwater fishing.
The rod itself is made from high-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass, making it hard, durable, and lightweight.
The guide ring is made by SIC ceramic and adds better heat dissipation to the piece, while the lower friction coefficient ensures the product has a long life. Being telescopic, it’s portable and can easily be collapsed to fit into a car trunk, boat, or even a backpack.
- 1 year worry-free warranty.
- All-inclusive pack of fishing equipment.
- Aerospace-grade aluminium honeycomb spool.
- The pole is made cheaply and can snap.
- The spinning reel can fall apart.
Okuma’s Nomad Travel Saltwater Multi Action Fishing Rods
Review: Made out or durable graphite, this set of fishing rods includes a carbon outer wrap for each item.
The rod itself is made with three distinct sections, allowing for easy breakdown while traveling or for storage, while the European spigot ferrule connection offers the feel of a 1 piece rod without sacrificing the added versatility of the 3-piece design.
ALPS high rise 316 stainless steel guide frames and ALPS pyramid-shaped two stone anodized aluminum reel seats complete the rod itself, which is robust and comes with enough features to keep any fisherman happy out on the water.
- Limited lifetime warranty.
- Selection of colors available.
- On the more expensive end of the spectrum.
UglyStik Spinning Fishing Combo Kit
Review: Including a spinning rod and a reel together, this pack comes with everything you need to get out onto the water.
The two-piece spinning rod is 7 feet long and comes with its own 7-year warranty, while the spinning reel is made out of graphite and includes a ball bearing, as well as coming pre-spooled with line.
The spinning rod was designed to be heavy to provide more strength and resistance during the fishing itself, and with the durable EVA grips, it’ll never slip out of your hands unless you want it to.
The pack also comes with assorted big water tackle, while stainless steel guides and ceramic inserts are also a part of the overall product.
- 50 size graphic spinning wheel comes pre-spooled with 14lb line.
- Cheap compared to some of its competitors.
- Can be a little heavy, which means it’s not suited for especially long fishing expeditions.
Goture Fishing Rods – Casting & Spinning Fishing Rods
Review: Designed with 30-ton carbon matrix, which helps it to achieve the best balance between strength, power, and rod sensitivity, the reel seats on this spinning rod are made out of top-notch ABS material, while EVA split grips provide comfort that will last you all day long.
The 4 piece rod design makes it a breeze to carry—whether that’s via air travel or for backpacking—while the fact that the rod itself is so lightweight helps it to feel balanced in your hand.
The 7+1 corrosion resistant guides come with ceramic inserts, which are perfectly spaced apart for practically friction-free line flow, all of which adds up to an impressive casting performance.
- Goture includes a lifetime guarantee, where if anything goes wrong they’ll replace your product for free.
- They will also send replacement parts for products which aren’t completely broken.
- It’s one of the more expensive rods out there, given that it doesn’t come with any extras.
UglyStick Elite Spinning Rod
Review: Another offering from industry heavyweights UglyStik (who are one of the best saltwater fishing rod brands), this elite spinning rod was constructed with 35% more graphite for exceptional strength and feel.
The blank construction, with a combination of graphite and fiberglass, is billed as being virtually indestructible, while the Clear Tip design delivers added responsiveness and strength to the lightweight, flexible spinning pole.
The handle is made out of cork, which provides comfort during lengthy fishing outings as it means the hands don’t have to grip quite as tightly as they would otherwise, and fatigue can be delayed or avoided altogether, which is a major plus.
- The 1-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides eliminate insert pop-outs.
- This rod can be used with all types of line.
- The reel seat is too small to hole a 5000 size spinning wheel.
- The two pieces aren’t quite equally long, so it can be difficult to fit into tight storage.
Review: The durable rod case & 3-piece design makes this heavy spinning rod easy to carry, while the sensitive and solid carbon fiber construction enhances the degree of sensitivity available, making this suited for boat fishing as well as saltwater fishing.
The rod delivers the toughness of solid carbon without sacrificing on some of the precisely-tuned details that are necessary for fishing off of a boat, while despite the tremendous strength available in the pole it’s not too heavy, and feels light in the hand.
A one year warranty rounds out this product, which is good at all of the aspects you’d expect in one of the best saltwater fishing rods.
- High-density EVA handles and butt grips provide comfort and a sure grip.
- The reel seat is designed to resist even the most extreme exposure to the elements.
- While it’s well made, the quality control could be better and some customers have wound up with defective products.
Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod
Review: OC9 technology, which was used in the construction of this fishing pole, creates a durable graphite rod blank with a carbon outer wrap.
The 3 sections are easily broken down for increased portability, while unlike the first item on this list from Okuma, this item comes complete with a waterproof travel bag that has a shoulder strap.
The models are all 7 feet long with inshore actions (there are 2 tip actions included per rod), while the feel and flexibility of a 1 piece rod is offered by virtue of the European spigot connection.
- Structurally and cosmetically beautiful.
- The case would be more protective if it was hard instead of soft.
- This is one of the most expensive rods on the market today.
Plusinno Telescopic Fishing Rod Retractable Fishing Pole
Review: Made from a hybrid mixture of carbon fiber and fiberglass, this fishing pole is hard and durable.
Featuring aluminum oxide guide inserts that only weigh 8 ounces, the stainless steel hooded reel seat is anti-seawater corrosion, making it perfect for saltwater fishing.
An EVA foregrip is included to boost the comfort for the user, and the attractive design, skillful manufacture, and sophisticated technology work together to provide superior touch feeling for the telescopic fishing rod. It’s portable, and when closed it’s small enough to be easily carried around, be that in the back of a car or in a backpack.
- Adopted carbon material ensures this item is lightweight and reliable.
- Industry leading 12 month warranty.
- It’s very thin, which could lead to it breaking while casting.
- It can be difficult to collapse.
Shimano Tallus TLC-70HB Blue Water Series Rod
Review: 7 feet long and cast in a stylish blue, this rod can handle line between 50 and 100lbs, which is great news for those among us who like their fishing poles to be versatile.
It’s a powerful, fast-action piece of equipment, designed to handle even the most challenging of conditions.
Shimano Tallus Blue Water rods are regionally specific in their design, meaning they’ll exceed the expectations of anglers everywhere, while their lightweight feel and powerful actions combine with an awesome appearance to elicit confidence from even the most inexperienced of fishermen.
- Top-quality fishing rod construction.
- Versatile and lightweight.
- Very expensive.
Review: The solid carbon fiber construction that went into this product doesn’t compromise on sensitivity, but in fact improves performance-action and feel, while still delivering extraordinary toughness.
The guide, which is manufactured from stainless steel mixed with ceramic, makes using the item smooth and avoids having nasty foul-ups with the line getting stuck in the guides.
The non-slip rubber shrink tube handle with a tapered rear grip offers serious amounts of durability and comfort for the user, while the wheel seat with stainless steel tapered hood transitions above and below are tough enough to hold out even in the case of extreme exposure to the elements.
- The excellent design is a result of precise data calculation.
- Friction is minimized, allowing smooth, long casts.
- Sensitivity is enhanced by transferring vibrations from the line, through the guide, all the way to the rod and your hand.
- Can break if used to jerkily.
Agool Telescopic Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
Review: One of the best saltwater fishing rod and reel combos out there, this full fishing rod kit was custom-designed for fans of the sport, and as such includes all of the necessary accessories for fishing.
This is great because it means you won’t have to buy anything else and can proceed straight to the water once your product arrives.
Made out of high-density carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass, the pole is hard and durable without losing elasticity, and the piano porcelain guide rings are colorful, beautiful, and high-quality in their manufacture.
Super light, smooth, and powerful, this rod is even left / right interchangeable, as the aluminum spool wit high-tensile gear completes the package.
- Unconditional 60 day refund and 1 year warranty.
- Package includes rod, reel, carrier bag, line, lures, hooks, and assorted other accessories.
- Beautiful to look at.
- The reel doesn’t always fit the rod.
- The reel only holds about 25 yards worth of line.
Buyer’s Guide to Saltwater Fishing Rods
Portable or One-Piece?
This is probably the first question you should ask yourself as you’re contemplating which saltwater fishing rod to add to your collection.
Most portable rods are broken into two, three, or even four pieces, designed to be telescoped together for ease of transportation.
On the other hand, one-piece rods are sturdier (owing to the lack of any unnecessary joints), often last longer, and provide more of a touch, which the experienced angler will appreciate.
The answer to this question depends on whether or not you’re going to be doing a lot of traveling with your rod, and if storage is an important factor for you.
Rod On Its Own vs. a Pack?
Many of the items on the list above come packaged with reels, lures, tackle, and even fishing line as well.
In contrast, others are simply the rod on its own.
But which should you go for?
My reasoning is that if you’re not a beginner, you’ll be able to choose your own accessories. And if you’re really interested in that one particular rod, then, by all means, go for it.
Otherwise, though, it’s best to build up your own stock of accessories, given that they’re usually much more well-made than those that come with rods in a package deal.
Strength vs. Touch
As any fishing enthusiast will tell you, the two most important factors that make or break a rod are its strength and its touch.
The stronger a rod is, the bigger the fish you’ll be able to battle with, and the tougher the line you’ll be able to use.
On the other hand, heavy and powerful rods can often lack the finer details of a precision touch, which for many of us can be the most enjoyable part of fishing—learning to read every vibration you feel in your hands.
I’m going to recommend that if you’re confused about which one to go for, you should probably opt for the stronger rod, because it’ll prove more useful in a wider range of situations, and because if you don’t absolutely need the added touch, there’s no benefit to choosing a less powerful pole.
When it comes to saltwater fishing, your equipment is exposed to a lot more wear and tear than if it were standard stream or freshwater fishing.
This is because the ocean herself can be a cruel mistress, not to mention all the salt and spray you’re bound to encounter on such an expedition.
For this reason, it’s crucial to ensure that the equipment you buy comes with erosion-resistant materials: the reel especially needs to be durable enough to withstand all the abuse it’ll have to take.
Definitely, don’t skimp on durability.
While more durable products are often more expensive, it’s money well-spent when you consider that you won’t have to replace the item anywhere near as quickly as you would with less durable rods.
Can I Use My Freshwater Rod and Reel for Saltwater Fishing?
The answer is essentially yes, but with a couple of caveats.
The rod may not be strong enough to withstand the force of the ocean, and the reel may not be tough enough to handle the salt and spray.
You can certainly try, but don’t expect your equipment to thank you for it.
How Do I Maintain My Saltwater Reel?
This is one of the single most common questions I get asked, so I decided to do some research and see if I could find a good YouTube video about it.
After all, with maintenance, it’s best to be able to see first-hand what you should be doing.
Is Getting a Telescopic Rod Really Worth It?
Similar to the first point in the buyer’s guide, this is going to come down to convenience, but the answer is generally yes.
Even if you do have plenty of room right now to store a full-length one-piece rod, you might not in the future.
And while you will sacrifice some touch, it’s often a good trade-off, since the force of the ocean can sometimes overpower any added benefit from a greater-feeling rod.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this article, which was my personal list of the best saltwater fishing rods of 2020.
I also hope the buyer’s guide and FAQ section was useful.
You know what they say, after all—knowledge is power, and especially with fishing, the more you know, the better you’ll be able to handle the environment.
Speaking of knowledge, do you have any tips about rod selection I might have missed?
If so, please let me know in the comments below. I’m always looking to improve.