10 Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners

For a beginner, choosing the right equipment can be very confusing. There are hundreds of options in all price ranges.

And pairing a good beginner rod with a suitable reel can be a nightmare too. To overcome this obstacle and make it easy for a first-time angler, a lot of manufacturers offer rod and reel combo.

Buying a combo guarantees that the reel and a rod are perfectly compatible. Experienced anglers usually don’t buy it in a set, but to gain enough experience to be able to make your owns combo, you have to start somewhere.

To find out what are the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners and how to choose them, read the following chapters:

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Types of Fishing Rods and Reels for Beginners

As a beginner, you should focus on suitable fishing gear.

Avoid complicated things for professionals. There is no point of having the best reel on the market if you have no idea how to use it.

You should spend more time fishing and less time struggling with the equipment. Get to know the basics first ...

- Fishing Rods

Among all the types of rods, beginners usually choose spinning rods. Those are easy to use, very affordable, widely available and versatile. They enable long casting with different lures, which is important because as a beginner, you have to learn how to cast properly.

They have the mount for the reel beneath the rod. Most of these are lightweight. Length usually varies between 5 – 8 feet, and they have 5-7 eyes.

Some beginners opt for spin casting rods too, but spinning ones are better for this use. These basic rods feel very comfortable in the hand and are suitable for various locations, lures and fish species.

A lot of rods available in combo kits for beginners are telescopic rods. Those can easily be closed and opened, they come at a reasonable price and transporting them is hassle free.

- Fishing Reels

Fishing reels have to be compatible with the rods.

As a beginner, you should avoid baitcasting reels because they are hard to operate if you don’t have previous experience. Spinning reels can’t compete with baitcasting reels when it comes to precision but they are a great starting point.

Some beginners choose spincast reels because those have a closed housing and are suitable for almost anyone. However, they are not as good as spinning reels.

Spinning reels are great for a beginner ...

They can be paired with many basic rods; they are easy to operate and offer numerous fishing possibilities. These open-faced reels are available in numerous sizes, made by various manufacturers.

How do I Choose a Fishing Rod?

When choosing a rod, first you have to make sure that it is made by a reputable manufacturer (Shimano, Daiwa, Pulsinno, etc.).

You want the rod to last. Secondly, decide do you want to fish in fresh or salt water. Some rods and reels are suitable for both options.

Consider the length. Don’t choose very long ones because manoeuvring with those in thick vegetation or from a small boat can be hard. Too short rods are also a problem because casting will be short. As a new angler, choose something around 7 feet long, which is great for almost every occasion.

Handle should be comfortable. When it comes to materials, some are better than others, but this will be a beginner rod, anything is good to learn how to properly handle it.

Another thing to consider is the size of a closed rod. A lot of combo kits for beginners have telescopic rods, which are easy to close and store. Those with few sections are ideal because they can fit almost anywhere and are easy to transport.

Reel mount is available in different options too, but that is something to consider later on, when you will be buying a “real” rod.

Don’t go for heavyweight option, your first fish won’t be the biggest one ever caught. When it comes to rod action, medium one is the one you should consider.

Even if you have unlimited budget, don’t buy anything too fancy, chances are, you are going to misuse it and break it.

How do I Choose a Fishing Reel?

As already said, it has to be compatible with the rod.

Forget the large sizes, over 10000. Also, avoid the smallest ones too. Same as with rods, choose a medium size. It will be suitable for both smaller and larger fish.

When it comes to gear ratio, also go for the medium ones, between 5.4 and 6.4 : 1.

Choosing a medium option may seem like choosing something that is not good enough for anything but for a beginner, its quite the opposite. You will have the opportunity to try different styles and with experience you will be able to decide what you want from fishing.

Medium reels, although not perfect, are good for all kinds of lures and lines.

When it comes to materials, usually they are made from graphite or aluminium. The latter one is more suitable for freshwater as it will rust in saltwater. Graphite is not as strong, but it is lightweight.

You will notice that some have front drag and some have rear drag. Both are fine, but with the rear drag, changing spools will be easier.

If you can, choose the one with anti-reverse function, as that will prevent backward motion.

Ball bearings are a part of every reel too, and the more it has the better it is. But keep in mind that the price goes up with those.

Reels also have weight classes, and that is important to pair it with a rod. The combination has to be balanced. That is why beginners often buy rod and reel combo.

How do I Choose the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners?

When choosing the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners, you should consider all of the factors mentioned in the previous chapters.

When it comes to the price range, choose the ones you can afford. The manufacturer will pair the best rod and reel so you don’t have to worry that they will not fit together.

As already mentioned, combos are used by beginners, so most of them will satisfy the needs in terms of length, strength and everything else. Combos mostly have spinning reels too.

Most combos come with a carry bag, and with lines, or even a small tackle box with a few complementary lures.

Some combos are available in different sizes. You can always consult with the seller and ask for advice. Usually they vary from small to medium sizes and are suitable for different fish species. Choose the one that will suit your needs. For smaller fish, like trout, 2000 reel and a 6 ft rod are sufficient. For a fish like walleye, 4000 reel and a bit more than 7ft rod are the best. For those aiming for catfish, choose 8000 reel and 8 ft rod.

What About the All-Around Fishing Rods?

All-round rods are made to be used in any situation.

They are not perfect for a certain specie or fishing technique, but you can use them in any situation, and some of them are decent enough to do the job.

However, those are mostly for kids or those who want to fish once a year, in different locations, for any available fish species. As a beginner who has some idea on what you want from fishing, this is not the best option.

These rods can be used for bottom fishing, float fishing, surface fishing, and are quite affordable.

Same as other rods, some of the models can be used in both fresh and saltwater. In my opinion, this option is good for those who plan to stay “beginners” forever.

These rods can be paired with various reels too, which is one of their benefits.

Here are: 10 Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners

Besides all the mentioned advantages, buying a combo is usually cheaper than buying two separate items. Here is a lost of the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners.

#1 Best Seller: PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Carbon fiber, telescopic, for saltwater and freshwater fishing

This rod and reel combo is available in four different sizes, where the rod is available in different lengths. The smallest option is 5,92 ft, followed by 6,89 ft, then 7,87 ft and lastly, the largest one that is 8,86 ft.

This rod is made from high density carbon fiber and fiberglass. That makes it very elastic and responsive, as well as durable and strong. Real mount is made from stainless steel which is corrosion-resistant. These features enable the combo to be used in saltwater too.

If you are a complete beginner, avoid the largest option, because you could struggle while fishing with a rod of that length.

This medium-power fishing rod is easy to transport because of its small size when closed. The grip lays well in the hand and it is comfortable enough for long use during fishing days.

Spinning reel, 3000 size, comes with a 5.2: 1 ratio, which fine for a beginner. Line capacity is quite large, starting from 0.20/240 (mm/M). Anti-reverse will stop the backward motion.

The price varies from 60 – 90 dollars. You can buy this rod and reel combo on Amazon (here) for very cheap.

#2: PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Carbon fiber, telescopic, for saltwater and freshwater fishing, welded (stainless steel) guides

Another PLUSINNO combo is available in four sizes, starting with 5.91 ft rod. Another possibility 6,89 ft, or a bit larger 7,87 ft. The longest one comes at 8,86 ft. Power and elasticity are enabled by combination of carbon fiber and fiberglas material.

Unlike the previous model, this one comes with welded guides made from stainless steel, which enable accurate and distant casting.

The spinning reel is the same size and gear ratio as with the previous model. Collapsible handle is interchangeable from left to right and 12 ball bearings make it really smooth to operate.

With slip-resistant handles, this rod is easy to use in various condition, and you will never lose your grip.

The reel mount is made from corrosion resistant aluminium which makes it suitable for saltwater fishing.

This combo comes at starting price of about 50 dollars and up. Find it on Amazon (here).

#3: PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Carbon fiber, telescopic, for saltwater and freshwater fishing,  heavier reel

This combo has exactly the same specifications as the previous model when it comes to rod length, materials used in construction and reel characteristics. Even the design and the colour almost match each other.

The only difference is that this combo has a reel that is slightly heavier. For the shortest option the difference is 0.1 oz. This rod weighs 6.3 oz, while the previous model weighs 6.2. When it comes to the largest option, this rod weighs 9.1 oz, which is heavier than 8.4 oz which is the weight of the previous model of the same size.

Another difference is the section number. This one has 5 in the shortest version, while the previous model has 6. This model in the smallest size is slightly shorter when closed, but that difference is almost non-existent. The largest version has a closed length of 17,5 inches, while the previous one is a bit shorter, and it comes at 16,15 inches.

This combo costs from 60, up to 90 dollars. Check it here!

#4: SHINEPICK Fishing Rod and Reel Combo (Kit) - telescopic, for saltwater and freshwater (boat) fishing

This combo is ideal for beginners who want to try boat fishing, in both fresh and salt water. It is lightweight and easily portable.

There is only one size available, and that is 6,8 ft rod with a 3000-size spinning reel. This rod size is suitable for anyone, no matter how inexperienced they are. It is easy to manoeuvre on a small boat and near vegetation.

This rod is powerful and flexible, due to high density carbon fiber material. Handle feels well in the hand and this rod and reel combo, although suitable for freshwater, is better to be used for saltwater fishing.

Reel has 5:2:1 gear ratio, front drag reel has instant anti-reverse. 13 bearings make the reel smooth and precise.

This kit is available at a reasonable price, which is around 55 dollars. This is a great price because it includes a bag, fishing line, tackle box with lures, hooks and line connectors.

If you buy it, there is no need to buy anything else for your first fishing trip because all the included items are a perfect match for this combo.

#5: SOUGAYILANG Speed Bass Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Spinning & Casting, light weight, Carbon fiber, for freshwater fishing

Unlike the previously mentioned kits, this one is different.

It is made for freshwater fishing, for those who are beginners with a baitcasting reels, not complete beginners.

Two different options are available, 6,89 ft rod or 7,89 ft rod, and both options have left or right-hand reels available, so you can choose the one you like.

It comes with a baitcasting reel. Although for saltwater use, it is made from corrosion resistant material and it is very dependable. Gear ratio is faster than previously mentioned, and it is 8.1:1. This will require some previous experience from the angler.

Carbon fiber rod is comfortable in the hand, corrosion resistant and has a decent grip. Guides are made from aluminium that is gentle to the fishing line and it will not scratch it.

This combo is highly sensitive and it enables accurate and distant casting. It is light-weight and suitable for some fast fishing action. The only downside is that it has 4 sections that can’t be closed completely, so transporting the rod may be a bit harder.

This affordable Combo (Kit) costs on Amazon between 40 and 85 dollars.

#6: ZEBCO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Spinning & Casting, comfort grip handle and instant Anti-reverse reel

This bright-orange freshwater combo looks great, and feels well in the hand. This 2-piece rod is 6 ft long, which makes it great for manoeuvring anywhere. The downside is the length when closed.

Fully closed spincast reel is suitable for the most inexperience anglers. This kit comes with a fishing line too, so you will not have to hassle with spooling a new line. Instant anti-reverse is a good feature on this reel.

The reel has just 3 ball bearings, which is a lot less than the previous models. However, it still enables a decent usage. Retrieve is interchangeable and suitable for both left and right-handed anglers.

Line capacity is 10/110 and it enables the usage of small to medium lures, suitable for small to medium fish, such as trout or bass.

The rod itself has a medium-fast action. This option is good for children too. The combo has a reasonable price that varies in regards to a specific seller.

There is one more advantage of this rod and that is a 1-year warranty. The manufacturer has been on the market for decades and the product is dependable.

#7: SHAKESPEARE Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Spinning, graphite and fiber-glas, lightweight, for freshwater, 

This durable freshwater rod is made from graphite and fiberglas combination. Those materials are lightweight and very dependable.

There are different types of this combo available and those are 4,8 ft ultra-light, 6ft medium, 6,6 ft medium-heavy, 6,6 medium and 7 medium-heavy.

The spinning reel gear ratio is 5,2:1 and it has 3 bearings. Anti-reverse enables backward motion control and smooth operating.

Rod grips are comfortable and suitable for hours of usage. It lays well in the hand.

The rods are 1-2 piece, depending on a size, which makes them harder to transport. Depending on a size, the smallest one is suitable for 2-6 lbs fish, while the strongest model, 6,6 ft medium-heavy, can catch you a 20 lbs fish.

This combo comes on Amazon at price, from 118-128 dollars. It is pricier than the previous models but it offers more possibilities.

#8: WILD WATER Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Complete Starter Package (rod and reel and all of the other necessary items), graphite

This 9ft, 4-piece, slow action rod is made from graphite. Every section comes at the exact same length, which is 28 inches. Aluminium reel mount has double lock rings which enable firm and strong reel hold.

The handle is made from cork and it feels great in the hand. The surface is grippy and you should have no problems while using it.

The fly reel that comes with this kit has 85 mm spool and adjustable disc drag. The great thing about it is that it comes ready for fishing. The reel is equipped with chartreuse, floating fly line, monofilament leader and all of the other necessary items that you will need while fly-fishing.

This kit also includes a rod bag that is extremely useful for transporting this 4-piece rod. Besides that, you will get a box with all the additional equipment, including 18 flies all together, spare leaders, line nipper and poker for cleaning the hook eyes. The box itself can hold a lot more equipment and it floats.

This kit is suitable for beginner fly-fishers and it is best to be used on streams and ponds of medium size.

The price is 107 dollars.

#9: WILD WATER Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Complete Starter Package (rod and reel and all of the other necessary items), graphite, shorter

This combo is made by the same manufacturer as the previous one and it has certain similarities. This 7ft, 4-piece, fly-fishing rod is also made of graphite but it is shorter than the previous model.

It is also lighter, and each section is 22.5 inches long. This rod also comes with a bag for easy transport. Handle materials and reel mounts are the same.

Fly reel is also smaller and it has 75 mm diameter. It comes with all the features preinstalled and has a bit lighter fly-fishing line. This reel, same as the previous one, can be used by both left and right-handed anglers.

Additional equipment is similar too, but this one comes with 14 flies. Spare parts are the same too.

Because of the size, this option is great for those who like long hikes and locations that are not easily accessible.

Price of this kit is also lower, and you can buy it for about 95 dollars. Check it on Amazon (here).

#10: NETANGLER Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo - Complete Starter Package (rod and reel and all of the other necessary items), carbon fibre

This last combo is also for fly-fishing. This complete set includes a rod, reel, bag, rod tip, preinstalled lines, tools and flies. For about 110 dollars you will get almost everything you need as a fly-fishing beginner.

The 4-pece rod is 8ft long. Made from carbon fibre, this rod is light but durable. Cork handle enables secure and comfortable grip.

The guide is made from chromed stainless steel which is very gentle to the fishing line.

The reel is made from die cast aluminium, and is interchangeable for both left- and right-hand use. This reel comes with a line, leader and backing line which makes it ready to use.

Gear ratio is 1:1, one way bearing system has 2+1 ball bearings. It is a decent beginner fly-fishing reel.

An extra rod tip is very useful for beginners, especially if something goes wrong with the first one. This combo is a great deal when you consider everything you get.

Everything you get in this set can be packed and carried in a bag that is included in the price. 

And for The End: 5 Important Beginners Rod and Reel Tips

When buying the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners, there are some useful tips to follow:

1. Reputable manufacturer – you may think that saving 20-30 dollars is easy, and that you can buy the “same” product for a lower price. The seller can list all the fancy features but keep in mind that material quality and durability are going to be quite different. And you will end up buying a new one, and it will cost you more in the end.

2. Graphite is sensitive - graphite rods are more sensitive and may result in hooking the fish too early, so maybe you will need some time to get used to it.

3. Ball bearings – its not just the number, it’s the quality too. Having 4 ball bearings that are quality made is better than 8 low quality ball bearings.

4. Budget buying – there is nothing wrong with buying a slightly used gear from a reputable seller because you will save some money. Try to search online forums and similar, a lot of people are selling stuff that they only used a few times.

5. See how it feels – if you have the opportunity, try to hold the rod and see how it fits in your hand. Try a few similar beginner options and pick the one that feels comfortable. You will spend a lot of time with the rod in your hand.

Conclusion

Now when you know what to look for when searching for the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners, you can choose and buy the best option that suits your needs.

Buying a combo has numerous benefits, all of which were mentioned, but most importantly, it will make your life easier and you will not have to deal with numerous choices.

No matter which fishing technique you want to practice, or where you would like to fish, when it comes to rod and reel combos, there is something for everyone! And wherever you go, make sure you obey all the fishing rules and regulations.

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I'm Sina, the guy behind Slo-fishing.si. This site is base camp for fishing enthusiasts from all over the world. I love fishing and want to share all my stories, knowledge and my experience with any and all potential anglers. Read more ...

 

 

 

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