When purchasing fishing equipment, you can choose one of the two paths. The first one is dedicating a lot of time and effort into searching for each piece of the gear. The other is purchasing kits that contain more than a single equipment piece. The newbies often decide to find the best rod and reel combo out there instead of purchasing them separately.
If you want to find out more about these units, we prepared an extensive buying guide that provides all the information you ever wanted to know about this equipment. We also made a list of the top-rated combinations in our rod and reel combo reviews, and we hope it will make the selection process easier.
Our experts only tried to include the currently most popular combos in the market. It is up to you to check out the reviews and see whether any of those items are what you are looking for.
Best Rod & Reel Combo Reviews – Top-Picks 2021
1. Wild Water
Wild Water offers everything you need for fly fishing in a single package. The nine-feet rod has four different sections that you can disassemble for simpler transport. The manufacturer used IM6 graphite as the preferred material for the rod. You can use the rod on a five or six weight line, and you should expect slow action from it.
When it comes to the reel, you will notice that it is a reasonably big arbor aluminum unit. The manufacturer already mounted a floating line and a tapered leader. You can easily convert the reel between left and right-hand retrieve so that it can suit all anglers out there.
You can use the reel in both saltwater and freshwater, but since it is a value deal, do not expect impressive durability. It is, however, an excellent choice for beginners that need to practice their angling skills.
2. Orvis Encounter
Here is another fishing package for newbies that includes a four-piece rod that is easy to assemble. The manufacturer went with graphite as the chosen material, and the rod comes with a 5 WF line.
The reel is made of composite material, and it is fairly durable. However, if you like saltwater fishing, make sure to wipe it as soon as you are done as that may promote its longevity.
The cork handle is comfortable and easy to use, which the newbies that work on their casting technique will welcome. The reel has already been spooled, which means you do not have to worry about setting everything up. The fly line weighs forward, and you can easily switch between right or left-hand retrieve depending on your preference. It is worth noting that the manufacturer also includes a bag to make moving around easier.
3. KastKing Centron
KastKing offers several different combinations of rods and reels so that you can choose the one that best fits your fishing approach. If you are looking for a versatile reel, go for an all-purpose combo, such as the one offering a 7’ rod.
The rod has two pieces, which makes it easy to assemble and reasonably easy to transport.
The company used carbon fiber graphite to design the rod, and it seems reliable. However, you should make sure to choose the appropriate fish types based on the rod you selected as too much force may break the rod.
As for the reel, it is a spinning reel that has a total of 10 (9+1) ball bearings, and a gear ratio of up to 5.2:1. You will notice the graphite frame, as well as the aluminum handle and spool that should secure easy control of the reel.
4. PENN Squall Level Wind
Unlike the rods we presented so far, this one comes in a single piece. It may make the transport a bit trickier, but the important thing is that you will get a fairly sturdy and durable rod. The total length of the rod is six feet, and six inches and the manufacturer put it in the group of medium-heavy rods.
You will also get a level-wind reel that, as well as a line guide that should ensure equal distribution of the line when you are winding it. The product comes with two ball bearings made of stainless steel, and also features an anti-reverse bearing.
The handle design could have been a bit better as you need to be careful not to scratch yourself or your gear when you remove the pole from the holder. Fortunately, this can quickly be resolved with a bit of extra care.
5. Zebco/Quantum 33 His & Her Spincast Combo
If you are heading on a family trip, and you want to take your children fishing, here is a rod and reel combo you may consider. Let’s clarify things right away and say that this is not professional-quality equipment. Instead, it is an affordable deal for an entry-level rod and reel perfect for beginners and fishing small types of fish.
For the price, you won’t get one, but two combos – one of the variants is purple, and the other is black, which makes them great for boys and girls, too. It also means you can take your partner fishing and enjoy an afternoon together.
The manufacturer pre-spooled the product with a 100-yard line on the spincast reel. Each rod comes in two pieces and is five feet and six inches long. The EVA grip is fairly comfortable, and you can switch between left and right-hand retrieve easily.
6. Daiwa Mini System Minispin Ultralight Spinning
If you are an angler that often changes locations, you need lightweight equipment that is easy to carry around. That is what the manufacturer had in mind when making this unit.
Some users may consider the 4.5-foot rod to be short for their fishing endeavors. However, if you are satisfied with that length, this rod can meet your expectations in terms of durability and performance. The rod can be disassembled into five pieces that are easy to pack in the durable case provided by the manufacturer.
As for the reel, it has a ball bearing drive, which is fairly smooth. The gear ratio is 5.1:1, which is relatively acceptable for both types of anglers – those looking for speed and others looking for power.
Overall, Daiwa’s combo seems to be one of the most durable on our list. As long as you are comfortable with its specifications, it can be a smart investment.
7. Lews Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel
If you need a rod and reel you can rely on for different fishing trips; you may consider this unit. It comes in a single piece, which is always a sign of extended longevity and sturdiness. You will notice that the frame and side-plates are made of graphite composite material, which makes them light and suitable for transport.
The bearing system features eight bearings made of high-quality stainless steel and an additional clutch bearing. Whether you love power or speed, it will be a pleasure to use this product. The unit is pre-spooled with 120 yards of line. Please note that you can choose between multiple combinations which vary in terms of length of the rod.
While this is an entry-level rod and reel combo, it is also quite durable and suitable for catching even some heavy and challenging fish out there.
8. UglyStik Spinning Fishing Combo Kit
The important thing to note is that this combo kit comes in two forms – for saltwater and freshwater fishing. We will focus on the former because the saltwater kit is of higher quality, and you can also use it in a freshwater environment.
The rod comes in two pieces, and it shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds to assemble it. Its length is set at seven feet, and the manufacturer places it among the medium-heavy rods. The grip is ergonomic, and the guides are made of stainless steel.
As for the reel, it is a spinning reel made of graphite that features a durable 14-pound line. The handle is of questionable quality, but a bigger problem is that you may feel it is not that tight. You can easily solve this by tightening it yourself, which may be wise to minimize the danger of losing it while fishing.
9. KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
The rod is eight feet and six inches long, and it belongs to medium-heavy rods. If you compare it to some other entry-level combos, you can use this unit for large and heavy fish. However, you do not want to push the rod too far as its durability is average at best, which should be enough for most fishing endeavors.
The greatest thing about this combo might be the reel. Its gear ratio is 5.2:1, but the bearings are of exceptional quality. They are made of stainless steel, and there is a total of eleven (10+1 clutch bearing) included in the unit.
The carbon drags are quite powerful and can handle up to 39.5 pounds. Combined with the IM7 graphite rod, it makes for a long-lasting product overall.
If this is not your preferred combination, take a look at the other available combos from the same line of products.
10. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
According to the manufacturer, this model has a particular purpose and should be used for ice fishing. It may be suitable for other fishing adventures, too, but keep in mind that it is a lightweight unit and it probably can’t handle very big fish.
On the plus side, it is more than suitable for average-sized species that most of us fish. The handle is comfortable and makes the entire product easy to control. Even a beginner shouldn’t have any problems with controlling the rod as it delivers a light feel.
The spinning reel has only one ball bearing, but it still manages to do a fairly good job. The ported aluminum spool can add to the longevity of the product.
It is worth noting that the combo has an affordable price tag and may be a smart choice for those looking to improve their fishing skills before they buy a premium rod and reel.
11. KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo
Are you a fan of using “flies” to attract fish? If the answer to that question is yes, this might be the combo for you. The rod is made of sturdy and durable graphite that you can disassemble in four pieces for easier relocation. It seems like you get more than an entry-level rod as it can deliver solid performance whenever that is expected of it.
Apart from that, you will receive, an aluminum reel, line, leader, a carrying case, and even 12 hand-tied flies. In short, you will get a complete kit to start your fly fishing adventure today.
Keep in mind that this combo is a bit heavier than some others in our list. If you are looking for light rods, look otherwise, but if you need a reliable unit with improved control, this might be the right choice.
12. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
The rod is made of combines materials as the manufacturer used carbon fiber and fiberglass. The hooded real seat of stainless steel improves corrosion resistance and makes the unit suitable for saltwater environments.
The gear ratio of the reel is set to 5.2:1 and it has an instant anti-reverse feature. The line capacity is fairly large, and another great addition is the carrying case. It doesn’t only fit your entire equipment, but it also looks visually appealing so that you can proudly walk around with it.
It is a value deal, which means that some components may be of limited durability. The line is of questionable quality, but it only takes a bit of knowledge and skill to replace it with a better one. Alternatively, you can only purchase a rod and reel combo without the additional things included in the kit.
Best Rod and Reel Combos Comparison Chart
Wild Water Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
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Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 9′ Fly Rod Outfit
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KastKing Centron Spinning Reel – Fishing Rod Combos
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PENN Squall Level Wind Reel & Rod Fishing Combo
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Zebco/Quantum 33 His & Her Spincast Combo
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Daiwa Minispin Ultralight Spinning Reel and Rod Combo
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Lews Fishing Laser MG Speed Spool Series Reel
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UglyStik Spinning Fishing Combo Kit
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KastKing Sharky III Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel Combos
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Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Ice Fishing Reel & Rod Combo
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KastKing Emergence Fly Fishing Combo
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PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combo
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What is a Fishing Reel and Rod Combo?
The name is quite self-explanatory as this combo includes both fishing reel and rod in a single package.
A fishing rod is a long pole or stick that is a vital piece of every angler’s gear. You attach this rod to a line that has a hook on the end. It depends on your fishing style or the type of fish you are aiming to catch, but a rod can be as short as two feet, or as long as 20 feet.
Rods are usually made of various materials, including but not limited to carbon fiber and fiberglass. They are flexible and suitable for both recreational and competitive fishing.
As for the fishing reel, it is a device that you connect to the rod. It winds and stows the fishing line, which is why it is also an essential piece of an angler’s equipment. You can find many reels with modern additions that assist in casting to achieve optimal accuracy and distance.
Rod and Reel Combo Buying Guide
Do you want to know more about rod and reel combos? If the answer is yes, please take a look at our buying guide to discover more details about this product.
The Considerations to Buy The Best Rod and Reel Combo
Let’s take a look at questions you should ask during the process to ensure you make the right choice when buying a rod and reel combo. An ultimate guide for fishing reel types might give you an in-depth look about that equipment piece, but our goal is to offer crucial information on how to choose the ideal rod and reel that meets your expectations.
Do You Need a Fast or Slow Action Rod?
If you are not aware of the difference between the two at the moment, you shouldn’t worry because we will explain everything in a moment.
When you say action, you are thinking about the point where the rod starts bending after someone (fish, user) applies pressure on its end. Slow-action rods will bend in the direction of the base while others will move toward the tip. The thickness of the rod can also influence the bending process.
A fast-action rod has increased sensitivity, and you can pull the rod quickly to place the hook. They accelerate the process and are suitable for those looking for high-paced fishing action.
On the other hand, slow-action rods are more suitable if you want to achieve maximum casting distance.
Is the Rod Responsive?
Here is another question related to the rod, and one that can be very important depending on your fishing preference and skills.
When we are talking responsiveness, we are thinking of flexibility. It describes how much time the rod takes for releasing energy and getting back into position.
Two things affect responsiveness – the weight of the rod and the material used for making it. The general rule is that light rods are more responsive, but you should also make an optimal choice depending on the type of fishing you plan to perform, and the fish you want to catch.
Why Are Ball Bearings Important for a Fishing Reel?
We will answer this question so that you will be aware of why you should pay attention to this information in the product’s description. It is quite simple – a higher number of ball bearings make the reel smoother.
The majority of reels will use balls made of stainless steel, and they should be a fairly durable choice. When it comes to the number you should aim for, two is a bare minimum that can do an adequate job, but if you have the chance, always go for a reel that has at least four ball bearings.
The Type of Fishing You Plan to Carry Out
Fishing is an activity that can always provide something new for a dedicated fisherman. The challenges often come from a broad spectrum of fishing types and techniques you can apply to stir things up when necessary.
The two basic types of fishing are:
- Saltwater fishing
- Freshwater fishing
The names are quite self-explanatory, so let’s take a look at different fishing types you can carry out in salt or fresh water.
Deep Sea Fishing
It is a type of saltwater fishing that involves heading to the sea with your boat and casting your rod into deep water. While it may not be the best choice for beginners who have never had any angling experience, deep-sea fishing can be incredibly exciting, and you can catch some large fish this way. If you want to take things one step further, you can take your boat into the ocean and fish there.
In this fishing approach, you stand on the shoreline and cast your bait or lure into the surf. Surf is the bubbly and foamy surface water that is brought close to the shore by the ocean waves. The majority of surf fishing is done in salt water for obvious reasons, although you may find a couple of exceptions from this rule around the world.
Lake and Pond Fishing
This is a type of freshwater fishing that may be the most suitable for those who prefer to stay on the land. The chances are you will find plenty of fish in every lake, and you can even head to a reservoir as long as fishing is allowed there.
If you are still a beginner that wants to practice, you might want to try fishing in a pond first. Their suitability for newbies lies in the fact that they are smaller environments than lakes.
River and Stream Fishing
When it comes to freshwater fishing, you may consider this a challenge, although it depends on the stream or river that you choose.
Some rivers are large and may require a boat to reach the best place to cast your lure or bait. On the other hand, streams are challenging because you will often encounter current, which can make catching fish tricky.
The Size and Type of Fish you Are Targeting
Apart from the fishing type that attracts you the most, you can also choose the desired location based on the size and type of fish you want to catch.
Some Types of Saltwater Fishes
- Mahi-mahi – a saltwater fish that you can find in open oceans, but also coastal areas. It is a predator that also has impressive looks, and you can easily recognize it by its different colors.
- Tuna – the exciting thing about tuna is that it has “warmblood.” The temperature of its body is often higher than the water around it.
- Amberjack – you can easily recognize it for its long body and a forked tail. You can find them in the Pacific or Atlantic oceans.
Some Types of Freshwater Fishes
- Bluegill – an excellent choice for beginners because they are attracted to different baits.
- Walleye – here is an interesting thing about it – it has a huge mouth with canine-like teeth. If you are want to catch perch that are a challenge, go for a walleye.
- Trout – you can catch different types of trouts, including a rainbow, cutthroat, or brook trout.
Fishes You Can Catch in Both Saltwater and Freshwater Environment
- Bass – if you are hunting for largemouth or yellow bass, find a suitable freshwater location. You can also find some basses in the sea, but that doesn’t happen that often. It is interesting that basses vary from one to 120 or more pounds depending on the type you are pursuing.
- Catfish – a hardhead catfish solely grows in salt waters, but other types of catfish can be found in slow-moving and deep freshwater.
- Salmon – anglers in the USA often go for salmon during their fishing trips. You can find them in rivers where they are spawning, but they often head to oceans, too.
Make sure to check what types of fish are expecting you in the location you plan to visit. It will enable you to prepare the right gear accordingly.
What Kind of Reel Do You Want?
The dilemma people often have is that they are not sure who is the winner in the comparison of baitcaster and spinning reel. The truth is that each reel can be great as long as it meets the angler’s expectations. That is why it is crucial to consider what kind of reel do you want.
A baitcaster is an excellent choice for those who have some fishing experience. However, if you are only starting your angling adventure, perhaps you may be better off with a spincast or spinning reel. Let’s find out a bit more about these types.
If you are a beginner, the chances are you won’t go wrong with this option. Most of these reels come with a mechanism that is easy to control, and you will learn how everything works in a couple of minutes.
In the last several years, the manufacturers even improved the drag of spincast reels, which used to be a problem for many anglers. Today, an adjustable drag feature is a normal addition to this equipment peace.
Ultimately, the durability and quality vary from one unit to another, but as long as you make a smart choice, a spincast reel will be a long-term investment.
The great thing about spinning reels is that they are incredibly versatile. They are also dependable and smooth, which is the reason why you will find many professional anglers using them. If you want to perform a cast, all you need to do is to release the line by flipping up the bail wire.
The bail feature makes the entire process more manageable and, once you get used to how it works, it will be a piece of cake to catch different fishing types.
Most Important Rod & Reel Combo Features and Specifications
It is important to tailor the choice of your rod and reel combo to your preference, but you should know a thing or two about this product’s features if you want to make the right selection. With that in mind, here are some critical specifications to consider during the purchasing process.
Fishing Rod: Features to Consider
Each rod will have a power rating, which may vary from light to heavy, as well as have some in-between description. It is an important feature because it is in charge of giving the lifting strength to the rod.
It is vital to know what is the rod’s weight as you want to ensure it matches the line’s weight. You don’t want the rod to snap the line or the line damaging the rod.
When choosing the desired rod power, consider the type of fishing you plan to carry out and pick accordingly.
You should aim for high-quality guides because they will increase the overall longevity of your unit. If you choose guides made of top material, they can provide admirable corrosion resistance.
Silicon carbide may be a smart material choice for the guides. However, you can also choose titanium or any other material as long as you are sure that it can resist corrosion. Pay special attention to the quality of the guides if you are fishing in saltwater.
Fishing Reels: Features to Consider
A drag system is vital to ensure that the entire process of casting and winding the line goes smoothly. You have two options when it comes to drag systems:
- Star drags – you will find a knob in the shape of a start that you can use to adjust the resistance.
- Lever drags – unlike start drags, you operate this by holding a button or bar.
Lever drags can be a bit more expensive, but in most cases, they are also more precise, which can play a vital role to ensure an optimal cast.
If you know a thing or two about bikes and cars, you also know the basics of gears that can be found in a fishing reel. The idea is simple – if you need power, you will get it in a low gear. However, if you are looking for speed, you should aim for a model with additional gears available.
Reels have a gear ratio, which presents a number of revolutions that the internal gears have to make for a single revolution of the hand crank. In most cases, you will find ratios between 2:1 and 6:1, although there are reels that offer higher speeds, too. Consider your preference and how you plan to use the reel and choose accordingly.
Benefits of Buying Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners
It is not easy to make a decision whether you should buy rod and reel together, or purchase them separately. It is why we tried to make a list of benefits that you could expect from choosing to buy a combo:
- They will be a great match – veteran anglers know that rods and reels are often a bad combination, which can compromise your fishing experience. That is not something you should worry about if you go with a combo product as the manufacturer already found an excellent match for you.
- A fantastic option for beginners – as a newbie, you may not have the knowledge or skills to go too deep when it comes to choosing your angling equipment. A fishing rod and reel combo will ensure gear that you can rely on upon without having to overthink.
- Saves time and effort – instead of searching for two products that fit your needs, you will be searching for only one.
Some other fishing equipments that the beginners will need include fishing sinkers, cork or plastic bobber, a nail clipper or plier, bucket, tackle box, fishing sinkers.
- Q: What Fishing Gear Should Every Beginner Have?
Fishing is both exciting and relaxing and, once you start with this activity, you can quickly become addicted to it. However, it does take some time to learn the basics of this activity. We are not talking only about catching the biggest fish. Although that feeling is great, the primary focus should be on maximizing your experience and having a good time.That is why you should always ensure to have the right fishing gear with you. Let’s take a look at what pieces of equipment a beginner should always have:
- License – many states and countries require a fishing license. Make sure to check with the local regulations and be certain that you comply with all the laws.
- Reel and rod – this article may help you in choosing the right ones.
- Hook – the size may vary, but the recommended one for beginners is between six and ten.
- Line – a high-quality line is essential to boost the chances of making a catch.
- Lures and baits – you can choose artificial lures or go with live baits, and it depends on the fish type and your preference.
- Q: Why should I buy a rod and reel combo?
A: It is a smart choice if you want to save some money and time in the process, as well as to make sure that the rod and reel fit well with each other.
- Q: Should I choose a reputable brand when buying a rod and reel?
A: Yes, choosing a reputable brand is always a smart way to go because you increase the chances of getting an original and high-quality product.
- Q: What materials are used to make fishing rods?
A: In most cases, you will encounter carbon fiber or fiberglass materials. However, modern composite, graphite, and titanium can also be an option for some users and manufacturers.
It may be a wise choice to buy a rod and reel together. Especially if you are a newbie and you do not know a lot about fishing equipment. We hope that our buying guide managed to improve your knowledge and answer the burning questions you had about this product.
Do you already know what the best rod and reel combo that suits your needs is? Make sure to keep in mind that it is not always about buying the most expensive product. You should strive for one that can meet your expectations.
Our rod and reel combo reviews might be able to help you with choosing the most suitable package for your next fishing trip. When selecting the desired combo, make sure to consider the preferred fishing approach you use and the types of fish you want to catch.