Best Kayak Fishing Rods [Top 8] – Rod For Kayak Fishing

Best kayak fishing rods

Kayak fishing is one of the best activities you can engage in while kayaking since you get to exercise, decrease your blood pressure, have fun, move items cheaply, and catch fish. Not all of the fishing gear available will allow you to fully appreciate your kayak fishing experience. Kayak fishing rods must meet your demands and level of expertise while also being of the highest quality.

A good fishing rod is necessary for a productive fishing experience. Even the most seasoned fisherman may find it difficult to choose this equipment. In order to help you purchase the best rods and reels available today, we have created a helpful purchasing guide. The best kayak fishing rods and reels choices are listed below.

Best Kayak Fishing Rods – Quick Comparison

Product imageProduct nameEditor's ratingPrice
Ugly Stik GX24.9See pricing details
KastKing Perigee II4.8See pricing details
Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning4.8See pricing details
Ugly Stik Elite4.7See pricing details
KastKing Blackhawk II 4.7See pricing details
Ugly Stik GX2 Casting4.7See pricing details
Cadence CR5-304.6See pricing details
Shakespeare Micro4.6See pricing details

Review Top 8 Best Kayak Fishing Rods

1. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Reel and Fishing Rod Combo

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The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo top our list of the best fishing rods and reels. Fiberglass and graphite were combined to create this amazing combination, which is ultra-sensitive, strong, and light. This is also the best kayak fishing rod.

Split EVA grips provide you with all the relief you need for long-haul paddling and fishing adventures. The Ugly Tuff guides facilitate uninterrupted progress along the lines. A one-way clutch, three ball bearings, and glass-filled nylon are all included in the construction of the reel’s construction.

They all work well together to avoid line reversals and make the process go more smoothly. You are also assured of longevity since the spool is made of aluminum. The rod that is available in various lengths, including five, six, and even seven feet, is the last item that truly sticks out.


  • Fiberglass
  • This blank is made of fiberglass and graphite.
  • Multi-day outings are perfect for split EVA handles.
  • The spinning reel is almost indestructible.


  • Casting a long distance is a little challenging.


2. KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods

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KastKing is one of the best fishing companies in existence today, with an astonishing variety of rod styles and sizes. They have swiftly grown to become a top option for high-quality inexpensive tackle and equipment. For kayak anglers, choose the ideal rod for kayak fishing from the astonishing range of models offered by KastKing.

The one-piece, 7.1 medium-fast spin rod is ideal for both inshore and kayak fishing. These rods use Toray 24-ton carbon matrix blanks and are loaded with high-end features to satisfy any fisherman. They offer power, strength, and precision thanks to the use of Toray’s highly-advanced carbon matrix technology.

As long as you start with the appropriate setup, a very well-liked rod line has you protected for just about every fishing condition or scenario. Check out our assessment of the top saltwater fishing pliers for more inexpensive quality from KastKing, which is ideal if you’re fishing in challenging conditions.


  • Excellent value is given what you get at that price.
  • O-ring line guides from Fuji.
  • Graphite reel seat that is ergonomic.
  • Flexible technology
  • Aesthetic appeal.
  • Highly regarded.


  • Make sure you get the proper model since the options might be a little overwhelming.


3. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

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The GX2 from Ugly Stik is a flexible kit that naturally lends itself to kayak fishing. It comes in a variety of sizes and can be purchased as one or two-piece rods. Well-balanced and constructed from a mix of graphite and fiberglass to guarantee that you receive a lightweight but robust fishing rod.

The EVA foam handle provides enough comfort and control, according to users, and the six-foot variant is suggested as suitable for kayak usage. The clear-tip design and very strong stainless steel make these guides more durable.

The GX2 from Ugly Stik is very well-liked for kayaking and is a superb rod for a variety of fishing situations and is suitable for novices. If you truly want to travel light, do it with one of these inflatable fishing kayaks as it is also incredibly portable.


  • Fantastic pricing range
  • Robust and long-lasting design.
  • Possibilities for size selection.
  • Highly regarded.


  • Anglers with more experience may want to search elsewhere.


4. Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

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The 7-foot Ugly Stik Elite rod has a cork grip and medium-light power and motion. Although it’s not the best for hauling a large fish out of cover, you can really test this rod. This is a wonderful option if you’re searching for a sensitive tip to feel light hits in a rod that won’t break under strain.

The Ugly Stik Elite is made out of a single component. It accepts lines with breaking strains of 4 to 10 pounds and lures weighing 18 to 12 ounces. When choosing a rod, keep in mind that you’ll need to be more cautious when being transported.

Safety concerns have been raised about the quality and longevity of the guides provided by B&W Welding, particularly when using braided lines. Although stainless steel is a good choice for a guide, there are better (and more costly) alternatives that can be made from a number of different materials.


  • Strong and long-lasting


  • The durability of a single-piece guide might be a problem.


5. KastKing Blackhawk II Telescopic Fishing Rods

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One of the best telescopic rods available is the Blackhawk II from KastKing, which is also a superb kayak fishing rod and reel. The rod has a 24-ton carbon matrix blank and a solid glass tip section that together provide unmatched sensitivity, performance, and longevity.

The various floating line guides enhance casting performance while the six-piece telescoping construction provides reliable one-piece performance. Furthermore, the snug-fit ferrules, which provide full-length power transfer, ensure that the rod is always in contact with the fishing line at all times.

Outstanding quality, fast and simple installation, overall outstanding quality, and practical packaging and storage possibilities round out this rod’s numerous great features. Everything from sea fishing and kayak fishing to bass and trout fishing is appropriate for the multi-purpose fishing rod.


  • One to believe.
  • EVA controls.
  • Highly regarded.
  • Lightning-fast assembling.
  • Excellent pricing range.


  • Not everyone should use telescopic rods.
  • Unlike a one- or two-piece travel rod, less robust.


6. Ugly Stik GX2 Casting Fishing Rod

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The Ugly Stik Elite series is similar to the spinning option I previously covered in every other respect and is also available in casting combinations. I advise using the 7′ medium-heavy rod for big freshwater species like muskie, pike, and bass. It will perform as expected, giving your line a ton of strength and unexpected backbone once you fully engage the blank.

These Elite Stiks make wonderful crankbait rods for smaller species like bass, but I’d be wary of using a composite rod like this to fish for worms or other finesse approaches. Simply said, you won’t be stiff enough to give off a great feeling. It loads incredibly nicely with bigger lures and casts like a dream as well.


  • More robust rods at any price won’t be found
  • Powerful blanks
  • Outstanding guides
  • Pleasant long handles
  • Good casting


  • Best for very powerful fish like pike, steelhead, and muskie


7. Cadence CR5-30 Spinning Rod

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The 7-foot, medium-light, fast-action Cadence Fishing CR5 rod is delivered as a single unit. It has an eight-guide system, including the tip, and a Fuji reel seat. Each guide has a silicon carbide ring where the line makes contact and is composed of stainless steel. You can be certain that your line will remain cool and undamaged in a battle.

This rod can throw lures weighing from 1/8 to 5/8 ounces and accepts lines from 6 to 12 pounds. Customers agree that this rod is “quality,” delicate, and light. There have been concerns with breakage, the longevity of the cork handle, and wiggle issues with the reel seat. If you’re looking for the line and lure combinations that fall into the “sweet spot,” this is a wonderful place to start.


  • Positive feeling
  • The best guides
  • Lightweight


  • Alleged breakage
  • The cork handles can break soon.
  • The reel seat might be slack.


8. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

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Shakespeare Micro spinning rod is our choice for ultralight fishing since kayak fishing is like small rods and lightweight movement. Both beginners and experts may benefit from the outstanding mobility and casting accuracy that short rods provide.

We have created a rod that is responsive, light, and robust enough for light and ultralight action. Although it is not the strongest rod available, you can throw the light lines and lures with relative ease with it. The blank of our rod is built of a graphite composite, making it responsive and light to throw in all weather conditions.

Cork grips provide the highest level of comfort and control. Stainless steel guides and inserts provide an unsurpassed, lightweight casting solution for flawless casting at the lowest cost. The sizes of this rod range from short to medium and are 4’6″, 5’6′, 6’6″ and 7′ lengths, and are available in light and ultralight powers. The weight range for lines is 2 to 20 pounds.

Additionally, our rod is available in one-piece and two-piece configurations so that you may achieve the exact sensitivity and mobility that you want. This rod’s tip, which is prone to breaking if you’re not cautious, is something we would improve. Shakespeare Micro spinning rods come in a variety of sizes and have ideal light and lightweight actions. They are also extremely reasonably priced.


  • Alternatives for various sizes and powers
  • Guides and inserts made of stainless steel
  • Complete cork handles
  • Possibilities in one piece and two pieces


  • The tip is delicate and easily breaks.


Factors To Take Into Account When Selecting The Best Kayak Fishing Rods


For adults, rods typically range from 6 to 8 feet in length, and every inch counts. We advise 7-foot rods since they are an excellent all-around length. Your rod’s length is the most important factor to take into account when selecting a fishing rod. It has an impact on almost every element of its performance, including strength, speed and weight. Choosing a shorter, stronger rod if you’re pursuing large, powerful prey.

A longer rod acts as a spring, absorbing impact and bending more when all other factors are equal. You can throw further with longer rods. In wide water, the coming closer can startle fish in ways that might be advantageous. Greater accuracy is possible with shorter rods in situations when accuracy is crucial, such as casting into cover, but the difference between enjoyment and frustration may be significant.

Freshwater or Saltwater?

This is particularly true when it comes to rods, reels, and tackle as they may corrode under adverse conditions. Make sure your rod is strong enough and coated with anti-corrosion technology for saltwater fishing if you are fishing in such conditions.

If you’re looking for additional information on the best saltwater fishing rods, check out this review. If you’re also looking for the best tackle bags for saltwater, see this post. Despite all of that, there’s still a good probability that saltwater will ultimately wreck everything…

Power and Movement

The strength and action of a fishing rod determine how forcefully you can muscle a fish toward your kayak while it’s on your hook. While less powerful rods need more skill yet aid in detecting soft strikes, more powerful, slower action rods enable you to pull a fish from the cover. For the sake of this assessment, we’ve chosen rods with medium to medium-light power and quicker actions.

Higher stiffness equates to more power. The more muscle you can use to set a hook and manage a battling fish, the more power a rod has and the slower it moves. It’s safe to assume that the lighter the power and the faster the action of a fishing rod, the better its angling performance will be.

With ultralight rods, you can feel every jolt and bump since they have limited power and a “fast” movement. This increases the excitement of battling even the tiny fish. However, this also implies that you cannot exert any force on them. Rods with slow action are simpler to use to set the hook and provide you far more control over the movement of large fish. The strongest, stiff rod is one with heavy or medium heavy power for the largest, strongest fish.

In general, adjust the power and action of your rod to the size and design of the lures you employ, as well as the kind of fish you like. While huge fish like tuna need a lot of strength and a sluggish action, little fish like bream require less power and are more enjoyable to catch with light or ultralight rods. When choosing a lure, it’s crucial to take a rod’s power and motion into account.

Fishing Method/Species

Different rods and methods will be used for inshore, offshore, fly, spinning, and baitcasting, to name a few. When selecting a rod setup, it’s important to consider the style of fishing you’ll be performing and the species you’ll probably be pursuing.

To fully explain this would take a lifetime; suffice it to say that in order to get the best kayak fishing rod and reel set for an effective day on the water, you need do your study on the who, what, why, and where of fishing. Check out this post on the best rods and reels for catfish as another starter example.

Construction Material

Graphite and fiberglass are the two materials used to make fishing rods. The majority of rods are made of graphite, which is often a superior material. Although fiberglass is hefty, it has the unique ability to flex consistently. This is perfect for several types of rod designs.


The choice of handle material and design is mostly personal. Generally speaking, cork and EVA foam are the two materials that rule the market. Cork is less resilient than foam while being lighter, more appealing, and warmer to the touch. Foam is soft, lightweight, and strong. If you’re not cautious, rod holders can potentially harm it.

There are two basic types of handles: split and continuous. Longer handles provide additional throwing force and space for large hands. Whether to use split or continuous handles mostly depends on choice. Take a hold of a rod and feel it, if you like it, that’s all that matters!

A short cork handle is included on almost all fly rods. Spey rods include two handles on the bottom, which enable two-handed casting for greater distance. Grips on lighter rods often taper toward the front, but handles on larger rods typically have a reverse taper. But more and more, contemporary fly fishermen are learning to value a reversed taper and plenty of handle girth for a secure grip.


The term “test” used in fishing rod specifications often refers to the recommended line test rating rather than the rod’s rating. Typically, the drag settings of the reel and the line test work together to determine a fishing rod’s load capability. There isn’t an industry standard for ranking fishing rods based on “tests”.

Weight of the Line and Lure

It’s possible that instructions for lures and lines are written on the side of the rod, close to the reel seat, but this may not always be the case. When choosing your line and lures, it’s critical to pay careful attention to these specifications since going above the manufacturer’s recommendations can hinder your rod’s performance.


Ferrules are the connectors that make it possible to put together and take apart rods for transportation. While most rods are available in two sections, some are available as a single item. All manufacturing rods that disintegrate have sturdy ferrules to keep them in working order.


The first factor is the kind of rod since fiberglass rods are heavy and graphite rods are light. The second factor is power, which offers you the option of going light or heavy. One-piece rods are common because they are robust and there is little chance that they will break. They also have the power to impart a weak and low-quality feeling on other rods.

Multi-piece metal rods are far more comfortable to keep in compact locations and are simple to transport. They are also very sensitive since the whole body is interconnected. One-piece rods, however, might be difficult to move if they are long or heavy, so multi-piece are more practical.


When you cast and retrieve, your line passes through rings called guides. They may be made from a range of materials, including metals like aluminum oxide and stainless steel or ceramics like silicon carbide. Although important, guide quality is often disregarded. A rod with more guides is considered to be of higher quality.

Good guides prevent line abrasion and breakage – try sawing line against them to test them. Cheap guides will eventually break when you’re battling a powerful fish, so find another rod if the line breaks. By reducing friction, good guides prevent damage to the fishing line.

Reel Seat

The most important part of any fishing reel is the connection point – and it’s crucial to make sure they fit correctly. Your reel’s connection point is called the reel seat, which consists of a collar that you hand-tighten to hold the reel in place. It’s best to test a reel seat with the reel you want to use, not the one you’re currently using.

On a fly rod, the reel seat is behind the handle, and a ring that fastens toward the blank or toward the butt secures the reel in place. These uplocking and down locking patterns both work well. You won’t likely ever notice the difference in the water since it is mostly a question of personal choice.

Spinning Reels

You’ll have to decide between a spinning reel and a baitcasting reel as one of your first big decisions. Anglers that utilize lighter lines for their fishing are more likely to use spinning reels. This is due to the fact that they often have less backlash than baitcasting reels, which facilitates casting plugs or lightweight lures into the wind.

Baitcasting reels are better at handling heavier lines and are more widely used for saltwater kayak fishing. You’ll need to get used to stopping the spool with your thumb, but once you do, you’ll have a lot more control. Choose a baitcasting reel nearly usually if you want to run a line with a ten-pound test or above.

Baitcasting reels are more suited to high-speed angling than spinning reels, as they often have greater gear ratios and are compatible with all three of the most popular line types. A baitcasting reel will allow you to run a monofilament, fluorocarbon, or braided line, depending on your preferences.


There’s a good chance that eventually everything else will sink to the bottom of the body of water you’re fishing in. Try to keep things as inexpensive as you can when purchasing kayak fishing gear and accessories. Spend top dollar on one of these high-end pedal fishing kayaks; you won’t regret it.

Therefore, knowledgeable kayak anglers will advise you to save your expensive rods for when you’re on the bank or shore and instead search for good kayak fishing rods that you wouldn’t mind selling if the unthinkable happened. Because of this, the prices in the review above are nicely balanced, with nothing too expensive.

Travel and Telescopic Rods

Given the restricted space aboard a kayak, it is highly recommended that you consider using a telescopic or travel-friendly rod as your primary weapon of choice. Both alternatives have the potential to be very affordable as well as portable and used almost everywhere.

High-quality travel rods often provide one-piece performance in the portability and convenience of a portable pole, making them a wise option for kayak anglers. Telescopic rods are perfect for anybody who considers themselves to be kayakers first and anglers second. They can quickly toss them in with your kayak for a quick fishing expedition.

You are reading: Best Kayak Fishing Rods [Top 8] – Rod For Kayak Fishing

Fishing From A Kayak: The Great Rod Length

Shorter rods are simpler to cast with, carry in your kayak, and move about with. It’s not always true that longer fishing rods are preferable for kayak fishing. Longer rods are heavier and harder to manage in a kayak. However, longer rods have larger throwing distances. Where is the duration of diminishing returns then?

Shorter rods result in more accurate casting

Casting accuracy will be much greater with shorter fishing rods than with longer ones. Backwater fishing locations include tiny streams, canals, and even sloughs, all of which have a lot of overhanging bush and vegetation. With a reduced rod length, you can move about in these spaces with ease.

A shorter rod makes it much simpler to cast topwater frogs or plugs into narrow holes and lighter baits to match the forage in these waters. If you’re fishing near boat docks, ropes, or cables, you’ll also discover that the shorter rods are simpler to control. The practice of “skipping” baits back under docks to fish that are sheltered and hidden in the shadows is a fairly common fishing method.

Your rod tip needs to extend all the way to the kayak

The rod tip should be directed toward the front of the kayak for the best results while fighting a fish. From bow to stern, your kayak is more stable than it is from side to side. You must swiftly reposition your rod tip if a fish runs under you from one side to the other.

Fishing with a rod tip that extends past the bow of your kayak can make it difficult to follow a fish as it swims under it. When feasible, attack the fish from the front of your yak rather than the side. Remember that you should maneuver the kayak such that you are following the fish.

Longer rods result in further casting ranges

A longer fishing rod will throw further and provides greater hook-setting leverage. This is crucial if you’re fishing for fish that may spook if you get too close, such as tarpon or redfish. Wind and other factors may play a role in moving your lure or bait off target as the rod gets longer and you cast farther.

Longer rods can cast farther and cover more water. When employing crankbaits, the baits also have a tendency to sink somewhat deeper. The leverage you gain from a longer rod allows you to drive that hook set deeper into the rod. The longer rods may hang up quite frequently if you are fishing in a creek, river, or near shorelines.

Cut the Butt Length Shorter

The butt length is the space between the reel and the bottom (butt end) of the rod handle. In contrast to a longer split grip or rod handle, a shorter butt length won’t catch in your PFD, shirt, or jacket. The butt lengths on many of the bespoke rods I make will change based on the customer’s demands or fishing preferences.

However, if you’re worried about getting tangled in your clothing, pick a rod with a shorter handle! The end of the rod often gets tangled up on your clothes, safety gear, or waterproof suits whether you are wearing a life jacket or PFD, a shirt, a jacket, or similar items.

Take into account two-piece rods while traveling

A two-piece rod is better than one that is the same length, but a longer rod sustains damage more often. Two-piece rods fit better under the vehicle seat or while going in a kayak when carrying fishing equipment. I’ve snapped off the top portion and closed them in vehicle and truck doors! Even worse, a couple of rods have been stuck in a truck’s tailgate.

A two-piece rod is far more sensitive to dampening than a single rod, meaning that even the smallest nibbles are still felt! The ferrules, or the connection between the rod pieces, were once made of metal, which made the rod quite stiff and heavy. Several high-tech materials are used in the rods of today.

FAQs related to Kayak Fishing Rods

What Characterizes a Quality Kayak Fishing Rod?

A good kayak fishing rod is simply a decent fishing rod that is the correct size and kind for the sort of fishing you wish to perform. Because of their particular shape and length, rods that are advertised as being made exclusively for kayaking may not be as well-balanced. If you’re pursuing a fish that will fight, the length must be just perfect.

If your rod is too long and the kayak begins to move in the direction of the fish, the slimy devil may fling a lure out of the water because the rod can’t keep up with his speed. If you get the length, action, and power (along with a solid reel) correct, kayak fishing should be a breeze.

How is a kayak different from fishing?

In a kayak, you can move around, cast effortlessly in any direction, and work a fish while standing while fishing from an open boat or the beach. Although a lot of contemporary kayaks are sturdy and let the angler fish whilst standing, most stay seated to optimize safety. So what makes kayak fishing special? Everything is based on space.

Fishing from a seated position is very different from how you use a spinning rod on land or in a powerboat. Even if you stand, your range of motion is relatively constrained. You can’t throw sideways or spin 180 degrees to battle a fish that runs around the back of the kayak. Instead, your body must be twisted and twisted.

What Important Factors Should You Bear in Mind When Choosing a Spinning Rod for Kayak Fishing?

When kayak fishing, it’s crucial to have a spinning rod long enough to work a fish around the kayak’s bow and stern. A typical fishing kayak is about 11 feet long and 30 inches or more wide. Assuming a typical sitting position in the middle, the ideal spinning rod is typically 12 times that length.

Many fishermen choose long rods in the 7 to 7 12 foot range, ignoring the bow and stern problem, to get longer throws from the restricted sitting posture. The rod handle must also be taken into account while kayak fishing. While the style is unimportant, the distance from the spinning reel to the butt of the handle can be significant. Select a handle with a long enough handle that is long enough for casting and fish-fighting, but short enough to be maneuvered while seated and wearing a PFD.

Given the wide range in arm’s length and body structure, there is no formula. There are spinning rods in a variety of lengths with every conceivable power and motion, so there’s no need to settle. Spinning rods constructed from at least 24-ton carbon fiber blanks are more lightweight and delicate, so stay away from hefty fiberglass blanks.


Kayak fishing enables you to explore in ways that other watercraft simply cannot, regardless of whether the nearest body of water is freshwater or saltwater. It’s entertaining for a bunch of friends who want to compete to capture the largest fish of the day. Additionally, you’ll grow to enjoy your local rivers even more.

Kayak fishing involves much more than simply your kayak – you’ll also require all the necessary accessories to make a successful angler. The accessories you choose can have a significant impact on how well you fish, so we’ve put together a selection of the best kayak fishing rods to choose from above.

Furthermore, the act of angling from a kayak presents an unparalleled and invigorating encounter, where the significance of possessing the appropriate gear cannot be overstated. While the quest for the ideal fishing rod remains paramount, the significance of deliberating upon best kayak rod holders becomes indispensable.

These holders serve the purpose of providing a practical haven for your fishing rods during those intervals of non-active fishing, ensuring their steadfast security while maintaining unfettered accessibility. Whether you’re skillfully navigating turbulent currents or momentarily reveling in the picturesque panorama, the proximity of your fishing rods, easily within reach, amplifies the entirety of your fishing odyssey.

Within this realm, an array of rod-holder options exists – from seamlessly embedded choices to adaptable holders meticulously tailored to house a diverse array of rod dimensions. By seamlessly integrating the preeminent kayak rod holders into your arrangement, the expedition becomes an immersion into the very essence of angling exhilaration, freeing you from the mechanics of equipment management.

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