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10 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for Bringing in Monsters

When it comes to saltwater fishing, don’t bother for anything less than the best saltwater fishing rod you can get your hands on.

You just never know what you hook up on. Missing out on a dream fish because you weren’t prepared is no excuse and will lead to the misery of not knowing what could have been.

Top Saltwater Fishing Rods

sample-table__imageBest Bent Saltwater RodEatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod
  • Bent Butt
  • 4 Pack
  • 2 Year Warranty
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sample-table__imageBest Saltwater Rod PackEatMyTackle Roller Guide Saltwater Fishing Rod
  • 130-160 lb Class
  • 4 Pack
  • 2 Year Warranty
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sample-table__imageBest Big GameShimano Tiagra Ultra A Standup
  • 20-30lb Casting Weight
  • Rollers
  • 2 Piece
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sample-table__imageOkuma's Makaira Fishing Rod
  • Carbon Composite Blank
  • Stainless Guides
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sample-table__imageBest Saltwater Fly RodWinston R.L Fly Fishing Saltwater Rod
  • Light and Fast
  • Big Game Ready
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sample-table__imageBest Saltwater Jigging RodShimano Trevala
  • High-Quality
  • Great Performance
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sample-table__imageBest Saltwater Casting RodDaiwa Tatula Casting Rod
  • Designed in USA
  • Premium Rod
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sample-table__imageBest ComboPenn Squall Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
  • Level Wind for Big Game
  • HT 100 Carbon Fiber Drag
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sample-table__imageInshoreShimano Talavera Spinning Rod
  • Sensitive
  • Solid
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sample-table__imageBudgetUgly Stik GX2
  • Bulletproof
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Best Saltwater Fishing Rod
The right saltwater rod will make your day enjoyable on the water.

Some saltwater rods can be pricey. However, most of the more expensive rods come with a no questions asked lifetime guarantees. This will ensure you have a rod for life.

Purchasing new rods can be a difficult proposition, and trust me I have made my share of mistakes.

In this article, I am going to cover several of the best saltwater rods, as well as what makes them better than most on the market.

10 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods for 2021 Reviewed

1. EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

Best Bent Saltwater Fishing Rod Pack

EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod | Blue Marlin Tournament Edition (100-120lb. 4 Pack)
  • (4) 100 lb - 120 lb bent butt Blue Marlin Tournament Edition...
  • Rod measures at a comfortable 5'9" with the butt attached....
  • 4 wide mouth wind on leader roller guides, and a double...

Say you just got yourself a boat and you want to go after some big fish. Chances are you’ve already spent way too much on the boat and need to find a bit of breathing room in the wallet for your upgraded gear.

Well, you’re in luck. Here’s a four-pack of bent 100-120lb bent butt rods that are made of high carbon composite blanks and loaded with rollers. They are all five feet nine inches with the butt attached. There has been some issue with the rollers, but these rods come with a two-year warranty so you should be able to exchange them no problem if they do not live up to spec.

2. EatMyTackle Roller Guide Saltwater Fishing Rod

Best Saltwater Fishing Rod Pack

EatMyTackle Roller Guide Saltwater Fishing Rod | Blue Marlin Tournament Edition (130-160lb. 4 Pack)
  • 4 Custom Blue Marlin Tournament Edition 130 - 160 lb. class
  • Wide mouth roller guides capable of passing the largest...
  • High carbon composite blank with span wrap construction to...

Along the same lines as what we talked about in our pick above, if you’re looking to outfit an entire boat with rods, then it’s hard to pass up these EatMyTackle rods. Are they the top of the line, best of the best? Probably not, but they will bring in fish effectively and save your wallet a little pain.

Here’s another four-pack of 130-160lb rods that are made of high carbon composite blanks and loaded with rollers. They are all five feet six inches long. Their handles are great so you’ll have some comfort for the hours it takes to bring in that big marlin. Throw on a Shimano TLD 25 and you’ll be all set!

3. Shimano Tiagra Ultra A Standup Saltwater Fishing Rod

Best Big Game Fishing Rod

This rod means serious business. If you’re looking to go after the biggest marlin, swordfish, or other pelagic species, then you need to have this rod in your arsenal. It comes equipped with roller guides, is stout yet powerful 5.41 feet long, and has a casting weight of 30-50 pounds.

The nice part is that it’s a two-piece so you can take this with you on an airplane. This could be your next Cabo San Lucas rod of choice!

4. Okuma’s Makaira Saltwater Carbon Fishing Rod

Okuma's Makaira Saltwater Carbon Technology Fishing Rods-MK-TR-5101-80B (Black, 5-Feet/10-Inch)
  • Carbon composite rod blank technology
  • Hard Zirconium guide inserts for compatibility with braided...
  • ALPS deep press 316 stainless guide frames and ALPS aluminum...

Okuma stands behind their products with their lifetime warranty. That means you can rest assured that if one of those monster groupers comes out of nowhere and throw some hurting on your rod that they’ll have your back.

This is a lightweight rod made from the powerful yet durable E-glass rod blank. This is a quality rod that will not let you down. We like that they put stainless steel guide frames with hard zirconium inserts which last a long time with braided line. This rod is worth looking into.

5. Winston R.L Fly Fishing Saltwater Air Series Fly Rod

Best Saltwater Fly Rod

We couldn’t let the fly fishermen not have any fun on this list. We wanted to make sure we listed a high-quality saltwater fly rod in case you want to up your inshore fun.

This rod uses carbon fiber combined with SuperSilica resin to provide a sensitive yet tough fly rod. You’ll have enough backbone to bring in even the biggest fish.

6. Shimano Trevala

Best Jigging Saltwater Rod

SHIMANO Talavera 7'0 Inshore Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Passionate saltwater anglers choose the Shimano Talavera...
  • Built upon top-notch high-composite graphite blanks; the...
  • Lowering price without sacrificing performance; the Shimano...

This rod is made out of a carbon blank that offers added pulling power without the loss of sensitivity.

It has Fuji components. The grips are made of high-density EVA foam for added comfort and a sure grip no matter the conditions.

This is a good rod for any type of application whether you are on a charter in the middle of the ocean or fishing from a pier. Put a Shimano Butterfly on the end of it and you’ll be deadly!

7. Daiwa Tatula Casting Rod

Best Saltwater Casting Rod

OKIAYA COMPOSIT 30-50LB Blueline Series Saltwater Big Game Roller Rod 6FT
  • Offshore Stand Up Trolling Rods
  • Premium Quality Rod
  • Designed in the USA

This rod uses Daiwa’s Super Volume Fiber graphite technology which gives it crazy flexibility, strength, and barely any blank twist.

It’s not uncommon for guy’s to be fishing Daiwa rods for years. We always keep a few around because for whatever reason they are just bulletproof and will not let you down. This rod isn’t any different.

8. Penn Squall Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Best Budget Saltwater Rod and Reel Combo

Penn Squall 30 Level Wind Fishing Rod and Trolling Reel Combo, 6.5 Feet
  • Level wind trolling reel for big game fish in a variety of...
  • Durable construction with lightweight graphite frame and...
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system provides powerful drag...

This rod is made out of a glass blank.

This support system allows for good flexibility as well as retaining its memory. Even when bent almost double.

It comes with stainless steel rollers with ball bearings to aid in a smooth saltwater reel in of even the biggest fish. It has an aluminum reel seat that is very corrosion resistant as well as very durable.

This rod is rated for 50-80 lbs which are perfect for trolling and pulling in big mahi-mahi, as well as yellowfin tuna!

9. Shimano Talavera Spinning Rod

Best Inshore Spinning Rod

Fiblink 1-Piece Saltwater Offshore Trolling Rod Conventional Boat Rod Carbon Fishing Pole(6-Feet, 30-50lb/50-80lb/80-120lb)
  • Sensitive and Solid Construction - Carbon and glass fiber...
  • High-Quality Roller Guides - Smooth polished line protecting...
  • High Density EVA Handles - Non slip high density EVA handle...

This rod has a very sensitive and solid construction. It is made from graphite composite for improved action and increased sensitivity. The solid blank offers great pulling power.

This rod is equipped with high-density EVA foam handles for a non-slip gripping surface. As well as a hook keeper to make sure your rod can be rigged up before and after you leave your favorite fishing area! Not to mention it can cast far.

10. Ugly Stik GX2

Best Budget Inshore Saltwater Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod
  • Strong, yet balanced graphite and fiberglass construction
  • Durable Ugly Tuff one piece stainless steel guides
  • Clear Tip design for strength and sensitivity

The UglyStik GX2 rod is the pinnacle of versatility, it is very sensitive as well as very, very strong. I have never seen one of these rods break unless of course they are damaged due to user error.

These rods are made out of a fiberglass blank with paralleling glass fibers in resin to add sensitivity and durability to the rods.

These rods work very well if you are targeting fish up to 15-30 lbs. Anything bigger and you can expect some wear and tear on your rod.

What Makes a Good Saltwater Fishing Rod?

Saltwater rods come in a variety of sizes. Obviously, if you are going after larger fish you will need a larger rod than you would for smaller fish.

This is the same principle that applies for example to surfcasting rods, which are longer than the average saltwater rod you would use from a pier.

Durability and Sensitivity

When you go looking for a good fishing rod you look for two of the more important things, durability, and sensitivity.

Durability means the rod will hold up well to more than just a couple of fishing trips as well as withstand saltwater condition and strain.

Man pier fishing with a saltwater fishing rod
Pier fishing can lead to some unexpected monsters. Make sure your rod is ready!

Sensitivity means the rod has a good feel all the way down to the handle. This allows you to feel the slightest nibble.

Buying Criteria

These are the two main factors to take into account when shopping for a new fishing rod. Cheaper rods, that are produced more regularly, will not have the same feel or reliability as the more fine-tuned custom or expensive rods will.

The more expensive rods have stainless steel eyelets, reel seats, and cork or PVA foam handles for grip. All of these choices aid in corrosion resistance and with appropriate care will last lifetimes.

An added feature to take into account is flexibility. If a rod is not flexible enough to bend under the heavy strain of most saltwater fish, it will break!

Rod Sensitivity

When fishing for smaller fish like flounder or sheepshead, sensitivity is a key factor. This is crucial in feeling the bite caused by the fish or when your line is being tapped by the rocks.

The more sensitive the rod is the more vibration is transferred to the rod from the light bites of the smaller fish. Carbon fiber is the way to go when it comes to sensitivity.

Best saltwater fishing spinning rod
Make sure you match your rod with a high quality reel.

Carbon fiber rods transfer more vibrations through the shaft of the rod when the fish bites.

Compared to fiberglass or graphite, carbon fiber is more lightweight and flexible. Which adds to the vibrations from the small nibbles from the fish. Always remember the lighter rod the more sensitive it becomes.

Rod Durability

Carbon fiber is more lightweight. However, what it lacks in is durability. Fiberglass rods are king. Especially when it comes to big fish such as musky, pike, striped bass, etc.

When you need a very strong durable rod for heavy fighting fish such as Grouper, Blacktip Shark, or Sailfish, fiberglass rods are preferred. This is more so over the stiff brittle carbon fiber rods.

Most professional fisherman, myself included choosing a good carbon fiber rod to use when fishing the ocean. They work well for most applications from swim baits, topwater, vertical jigging, to simple bait fishing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the best saltwater fishing gear?

A: As with any fishing gear it all starts with the rod. The best is the Shimano Terez.

Q: What is the best fishing rod brands?

A: The best fishing rod brands are as follows: Uglystik, Shimano, Lew’s, and Shakespeare.

Q: Who makes the best ocean fishing gear?

A: The best ocean fishing gear is made by Shakespeare, Fiblink. (But Opinions vary).

Q: What is the best two-piece fishing rod?

A: The Fiblink Saltwater Offshore Extra Heavy 2-Piece Conventional Boat Fishing Rod(30-50lb/50-80lb, 6-Feet) has to be our pick.

Q: Are custom saltwater fishing rods worth the money?

A: In my opinion, custom rods are nice but they are not really worth the hype or necessary for the everyday fisherman.

Some if not all are higher on the price spectrum, and can run into the thousands of dollars.

Insider Advice

The winner of this is going to have to be the Shimano Terez.

This rod is meant for big fish and if you are fishing deep into the ocean on a charter this rod is for you!

This rod is designed to last for years if taken care of correctly.

Whether you are fishing inshore, on a jetty, or out on a charter, all of these rods we have featured today will handle the job at hand.

They are all versatile as well as dependable for anything you can throw at them.

The Anglers Behind This Article:

Johnny Harvill

Sushmita Lo

Jon Stenstrom

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