The best fishing rods expert review

Are you ready to take out the catch of the day? We’ve studied today’s market in detail, bought some of the best spinning rods and tested each of them over several weeks to help you make the right choice when choosing your next rod. Our experts tested these rods in a wide variety of conditions, from bays to lakes to rivers. We took detailed notes on how each one performed in parameters such as performance, versatility and portability. Whether you’re looking for superior quality or exceptional value, our hands-on evaluations will help you choose the perfect rod.

To complete your kit, check out our favorite lines, reels and fishing nets. We’ve also tested some great coolers to help you keep your catch fresh. If you’re going camping and planning to cook your catch for dinner, our favorite portable grills will help you get your meal ready in no time.

St. Croix Triumph Travel rods

St. Croix Triumph Travel rods
St. Croix Triumph Travel

First place in our review goes to the St. Croix Triumph Travel rod due to its winning combination of versatility, performance and balance. The excellent feel of this rod allowed us to feel the tiniest nibble and easy hooking. This rod throws farther and with more accuracy than other models in our test. It’s also portable: it can be broken into four pieces and packed in a travel case, which is a big plus for those who like to travel with their fishing rods. The cork composition of the handle provided a comfortable feel in the hand and allowed for noticeable balance. Without a doubt, the St. Croix is an unmistakably high quality product.

So what’s the catch? Honestly, we don’t have many complaints about this rod. The disassembly and assembly is certainly not as intuitive as some of the other contenders. Nevertheless, we think this is a fairly minor problem, and the St. Croix Triumph Travel is still a great all-around rod that we recommend.

Features and characteristics


  • PREMIUM-CARBON CONSTRUCTION SCIII: The SCIII premium carbon rod combined with the Fortified Resin System (FRS) provides unmatched strength and durability.
  • PREMIUM-SERVICE CORNER Grip: Contoured handle provides a secure grip on the rod.
  • ADDITIONAL CHARACTERISTICS: Sea Guide Atlas Performance SS304 with black guides; Sea Guide XDPS reel seat with sandblasted shrouds on spinning models; two coats of Flex-Coat slow-cure finish.
  • Length – 6’0″; Power – L; Action – fast; Pieces – 1; Line weight – 4-8 pounds; Bait weight – 1/16-5/16 ounces; Fishing rod weight – 2.7 ounces; Handle – 2
  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY: St. Croix Superstar Service Guaranteed


Brand‎St. Croix Rods
Color‎Deep Run Blue
Fishing Technique‎Spinning
Item Weight‎0.5 Pounds
Model Name‎St. Croix Rods Triumph Spinning Rod
Grip Type‎Split
Tension Level‎Medium-Heavy/Fast
Handle Material‎Cork
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎36.4 x 8.2 x 5 inches
Package Weight‎1.04 Kilograms
Brand Name‎St. Croix Rods
Warranty Description‎5 Year Manufacturer
Suggested Users‎unisex-adult
Manufacturer‎St. Croix Rods
Part Number‎TSR66MHF4
Model Year‎2021
Style‎6’6″ Medium-heavy/Fast 4 Pc.
Included Components‎Fishing Rod

About versions of rods

The rod comes in 6 variations:

  1. Triumph Casting Rod TCR70MF
  2. Triumph Rod Spinning Rod TSR70MF
  3. Bass X Casting Rod BAC68MXF
  4. Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod JIS70MF
  5. Premier Spinning Rod PS70MHF
  6. Mojo Bass Casting Rod MJC68MF.

Characteristics of each rod:

Rod MaterialPremium Quality SCII Carbon ConstructionPremium Quality SCII Carbon ConstructionHigh Performance SCIIPremium Quality SCIII Carbon ConstructionPremium Quality SCIII Carbon ConstructionPremium SCIII Carbon Construction
Rod FeaturesIncredibly light, super sensitive and durable.Incredibly light, super sensitive and durable.Strength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting PowerIncredibly light, super sensitive and durable.Strength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting PowerIncredibly light, super sensitive and durable.
Length Power & Action7’0″ rod Medium Power/Fast Action7’0″ rod Medium Power/Fast Action6’8″ rod – Medium Power X-Fast Action7’0″ rod -Medium Power, Fast Action7’0″ rod – Medium Heavy Power, Fast Action6’8″ rod Medium Power Fast Action
PerformanceLength provides extra feel with medium fast action for lighter baitsLength provides extra feel with medium fast action for lighter baitsGreat choice for smaller swim baits and lipped crankbaitsLength provides more feel. Great for Jacks, seatrout, redfish, and moreAll Purpose length which heavy fast action for heavier baitsAll purpose length, works best with top water techniques
Characteristics of each rod
St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Elite rods

Ugly Stik Elite  rods
Ugly Stik Elite

If you want a well-built, lightweight rod that’s easy to get to your favorite fishing hole, check out the Ugly Stik Elite. Don’t be fooled by its small size. It’s very sturdy and has impressive fighting power, as has been proven on several occasions when we’ve pulled fish that seemed too big for this rod. This Ugly Stik was versatile enough for a variety of fishing styles, whether we were casting a hook and worm or just casting with a bait. It was also one of the best when it came to balancing, sitting comfortably in our hands all day long.

While the pros were many, there were also a few cons to consider. This rod is a small size, so the throwing range was reduced. This was to be expected because of the size of the rod, but still worth considering if most of your fishing involves casting. It also has a fairly short handle, which makes it a little difficult to work with two hands. Overall, it was a pleasure to use this rod. So, if you need a small rod that can handle the rigors of everyday fishing, you should try the Ugly Stik Elite.

Features and characteristics


  • Elite spinning rod with 35% more graphite for exceptional strength and feel
  • Virtually indestructible blade construction with a combination of graphite and fiberglass
  • Clear Tip design provides added responsiveness and durability
  • Cork handles provide comfort during extended fishing
  • One-piece stainless steel Ugly Tuff guides prevent pads from popping out and can be used with all line types


Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎40 x 2 x 2 inches
Package Weight‎0.18 Kilograms
Item Dimensions LxWxH‎1 x 1 x 1 inches
Brand Name‎Shakespeare
Model Name‎USESP602M
Suggested Users‎unisex-adult
Number of Items‎8
Manufacturer‎Pure Fishing
Part Number‎USESP602M
Style‎6′- Medium- 2pcs
Included Components‎Elite Spinning Rod 6′
Size‎6′ – Medium – 2pc
Fishing Technique‎Spinning
Handle Material‎Cork
Grip Type‎Split
Shakespeare Ugly Stick Elite Spinning Rod Review and Field Test

St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod

St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod
St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod

In terms of sensitivity this rod belongs to the fast action class, so you can count on feeling even the pulls of small perch. As far as power goes, the rod has high power, which allows it to handle even the biggest bass.

The only aspect in which they differ is weight. The St Croix Premier is a bit heavier, so it’s also a bit cheaper than the Abu Garcia Veracity. Those who find the Abu Garcia Veracity too expensive will be happy with this alternative.

  • Premium quality SCII carbon.
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with slim, strong aluminum-oxide rings and black frames.
  • Kigan Master Hand 3D top with SiC ring on musky models.
  • Fuji® ECS, TCS or PSS reel seat with frosted silver hood.
  • Premium-grade cork handle.
  • Kigan hook-keeper.
  • Two coats of Flex-Coat slow cure finish.
  • 5-year warranty backed by St. Croix Superstar Service.
  • Outstanding strength, sensitivity and hook-setting power.
  • Designed and handcrafted in Park Falls, U.S.A.
BrandSt. Croix Rods
ColorClassic Black Pearl
Fishing TechniqueCasting
Item Weight0.01 Ounces

Features and characteristics


  • PREMIUM-CARBON CONSTRUCTION SCII: Premium quality SCII carbon with FRS for unmatched strength and durability
  • PREMIUM-SERVICE Cork Grip: Comfortable cork handle provides a secure grip on your rod.
  • FEATURES: Kigan Master Hand 3D guides with aluminum oxide rings and black frames; Fuji ECS, TCS or PSS reel saddle with matte silver caps; Kigan hook holder; Outstanding sensitivity and hooking strength.
  • TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS: Length – 6’6″; Power – M; Action – Fast; Pieces – 1; Line weight – 10-17 lbs; Bait weight – 1/4-3/4 oz; Stick weight – 4.2 oz; Handle – 3
  • 5-YEAR WARRANTY: St. Croix Superstar Service Guaranteed.


Brand‎St. Croix Rods
Color‎Classic Black Pearl
Fishing Technique‎Casting
Item Weight‎0.01 Ounces
Model Name‎St. Croix Rods Premier Casting Rod
Item Dimensions LxWxH‎78 x 3 x 3 inches
Grip Type‎Split
Tension Level‎Medium/Fast
Handle Material‎Cork
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎77.01 x 1.5 x 0.98 inches
Package Weight‎0.09 Kilograms
Brand Name‎St. Croix Rods
Warranty Description‎5 year warranty
Suggested Users‎unisex-adult
Manufacturer‎St. Croix Rod
Part Number‎PC66MF
Style‎6’6″ Medium/Fast 1 Pc.
Included Components‎Fishing Rod
Sport Type‎Fishing

Also has six variations

  1. Model of a spinning rod Premier PS60MLF2
  2. Casting rods PremierPS66MLF2
  3. Spinning rods Premier PS70MLF2
  4. Spinning rods Avid AVS60ULF2
  5. Spinning rods Avid AVS66MHF2
  6. Mojo Bass Spinning Rod MJS68MXF

Characteristics of each rod:

Rod MaterialHigh Performance SCIIHigh Performance SCIIHigh Performance SCIIHigh-Modulus SCIIIHigh-Modulus SCIIIPremium SCIII Carbon
Rod FeaturesStrength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting PowerIncredibly light, super sensitive and durable.Strength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting PowerIncredibly light, super sensitive and durable.Strength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting PowerStrength, Sensitivity and Hook-Setting Power
Length Power & Action6′ rod – Medium Power Fast Action6’6″ rod Medium Light Power Fast Action7′ rod – Medium Light Power Fast Action6′ rod Ultra-Light Power Fast Action6’6″ rod Medium Heavy Power Fast Action6’8″ Medium Power Extra Fast Action
PerformanceAll-purpose 2-piece medium fast action spinning rodAll-purpose 2-piece medium light fast action casting rodAll-purpose 2-piece medium light fast action spinning rodSpecialized 2-piece ultra-light fast action spinning rodSpecialized 2-piece medium-heavy fast action spinning rodAll purpose length, works best with top water techniques
Product Guide: St Croix Casting Rods



The relentless nature of the coastal environment is home to many trophy commercial fish. Whether you’re casting a topwater troll for bluefish, casting a mullet on a circle hook to catch tarpon, or sinking crabs on rocks to catch black drum or red drum, you’ll need tough tackle. The IMX-PRO BLUE collection has the same toughness and character as the saltwater anglers it’s designed for. The variety of action in the IMX-PRO BLUE line allows inshore crusaders to stay ready for any inshore situation. While this variety allows anglers to adjust their setups to their preferred techniques, each rod in the collection has a sturdy, high-modulus graphite rod that can withstand the brute force of a splash of albies in the surf or a large cobia devouring a drifting eel. Lightweight and powerful, the IMX-PRO BLUE rod pushes the limits of performance in one of the toughest fishing zones in the country.

Features and characteristics


  • All IMX-PRO Blue line rods feature fully cork front and back handles, Fuji reel seats and new rugged Fuji Fazlite K-Frame guides designed for use with braided line and saltwater corrosion resistance. MSRP ranges from $350 to $385. All G. Loomis rods are handmade in Woodland, WA, USA.


Brand‎G. Loomis
Fishing Technique‎Casting
Item Dimensions LxWxH‎86 x 3 x 3 inches
Grip Type‎Split
Tension Level‎high
Handle Material‎Ethylene Vinyl Acetate
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎90 x 4 x 4 inches
Package Weight‎1 Pounds
Brand Name‎G. Loomis
Number of Items‎1

Also have 7 variations

IMX-PRO BLUE 843C MF7’0″MediumModerate Fast115-50A$405.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 845C M7’0″HeavyModerate130-80B$420.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 863C XF7’2″MediumExtra Fast115-50A$405.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 903C M7’6″MediumModerate115-50C$440.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 904C MF7’6″Medium HeavyModerate Fast120-65D$440.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 905C M7’6″HeavyModerate130-80D$440.00
IMX-PRO BLUE 933C F7’9MediumFast115-50B$450.00
7 types of dots
G. Loomis IMX-Pro Blue Review

KINGSWELL Telescopic Fishing Rod

KINGSWELL Telescopic Fishing Rod
KINGSWELL Telescopic Fishing Rod

The Kingswell telescoping rod is made of 24/30 high-modulus graphite carbon. In addition to the standard fixed guide lugs, it features “floating guides” that are adjustable to increase casting range while maintaining a compact profile when folded.

Kingswell S3000 Fishing Reel
Kingswell telescopic rod and reel kits combine with our S3000 reel. It features an aluminum reel and has a 15lb pulling force with stainless steel ball bearings for a smoother release when tackling big fish. The reel can be switched for both right-handed and left-handed use.

Have you ever come to a beautiful place with a lake and wished you had a fishing rod? The 5’7″ and 6’9″ models are designed with portability in mind. Both rods fit in a standard 21.7″ x 13.7″ bag, allowing you to fish anywhere a fish bites.

The telescopic rod is designed to be a versatile travel rod. Our 6’9″ and 5’7″ rods fold down to 22″ and 19″ respectively, making them portable and easy to carry. Both rods have a medium stiffness profile that provides the sturdy base needed when tackling big fish and a sensitive tip for fishing crankbaits, worms and spinnerbaits. The rod features a natural wood handle, an EVA foam grip, and a removable butt cap. The rod and reel comes complete with our S3000 5+1 stainless steel spinning reel with ball bearing. (line not included)

Features and characteristics


  • All in one travel kit. Includes 6.80 ft telescopic rod, 3000 size spinning fishing reel. The carrying bag and fishing line are not included.
  • Telescopic rod. Kingswell 6.80ft (6ft 9in) telescopic fishing rod is fully unfolded and made of Japanese 24/30 ultra-high density carbon fiber. It folds down to 22 inches, making it easy to transport and store. It can handle casting baits or weights up to 1.5 ounces.
  • Spinning Reel S3000. The Kingswell S3000 reel has an aluminum body, 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings and a gear ratio of 5.2:1. The handle can be changed between left and right hand. The reel is capable of holding up to 15 pounds. Ideal for fishing for large trout, bass, salmon, yellowtail.
  • Floating Guide System. Improve your casting with our floating guide system. This telescopic rod has 5 fixed and 2 floating guides, which reduces line friction when casting, allowing you to achieve maximum casting distance.
  • Easy assembly. There are markings on each section and rod guide that aligns each rod guide and section, making it easy to assemble.


Color‎Rod / Reel
Material‎Stainless Steel, Aluminum, Graphite, Carbon Fiber
Fishing Technique‎Casting, Spinning
Model Name‎609MHRR
Gearbox Ratio‎5.2
Hand Orientation‎Ambidextrous
Fishing Line Type‎Monofilament
Item Package Dimensions L x W x H‎24 x 5.5 x 5 inches
Package Weight‎0.64 Kilograms
Part Number‎609MHRR

In conclusion

When selecting a fishing rod, it is important to consider the type of fishing you plan to do. For example, if you plan to fish in freshwater for small trout, a lightweight and flexible rod may be best. However, if you plan to fish in saltwater for larger game fish, a stronger and more sturdy rod may be necessary.

The material of the fishing rod is also a crucial factor to consider. Fiberglass and graphite are the two most commonly used materials in fishing rods. Fiberglass rods are more affordable and durable, making them a great choice for beginners. On the other hand, graphite rods are lighter and more sensitive, providing a more precise feel while fishing.

Finally, the design of the fishing rod, including the length, power, and action, can greatly impact the performance of the rod. Longer rods can cast farther and provide more leverage when reeling in larger fish, while shorter rods offer greater precision in smaller bodies of water. The power of the rod refers to its strength and ability to handle heavier fish, while the action determines how quickly the rod bends and rebounds.

In conclusion, selecting the right fishing rod can greatly enhance your fishing experience. By considering factors such as the type of fish you plan to catch, the material of the rod, and the design, you can find a high-quality fishing rod that meets your needs and helps you catch more fish.

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