Abu Garcia is one of the tried and tested brands, and they reveal exactly why with the dynamic duo that they present with the Abu Garcia MLF Baitcast Combo.
Rod Material: 24-ton graphite
Action: Moderate Fast
Reel Bearings: 4 + 1
Reel Gear Ratio: 6.4:1
Made for comfort
Specialized rod handle grips
Dynamic look and style
The rod can be a bit fragile
Reel can suffer from brake problems
The Abu Garcia MLF baitcasting setup is our top pick for the best fishing rod and reel combo because it balances functionality, aesthetics, and price.
The most fantastic aspect is its price.
At more or less a hundred dollars, anglers can get access to a reliable piece of workhorse combo that’s particularly suited for bass fishing.
If you’re planning to take this best fishing rod and reel combo out for a spin, take it to fish some striped bass and see what it’s all about.
Of course, its construction doesn’t disappoint.
The rod is made with 24-ton carbon, making it light yet firm.
The fishing pole also features a great paint job that will stand out among other anglers while remaining protective of the inner material.
Best of all, bass anglers will love the rod’s split-type EVA handle is made with Abu Gracia’s polymer Dri-Tac grips.
This creates a good grip that can stay reliable even during inclement weather.
But the baitcasting reel is also a great feature of this rod.
With a one-piece graphite frame for sturdiness, graphite side plates, and a machined aluminum spool, this rod is sure to be sturdy yet not add too much weight to the rod.
It also has 4 + 1 stainless steel bearings, a MagTrak brake system ideal for baitcasting applications, dependable MagTrax brakes, and a PowerDisk adjustable disc drag with just the right amount of grip.
However, cons include a fragile rod tip that can easily break off, mainly because it’s only made of 20-ton carbon. Moreover, the reel brakes are also one of the trouble areas of this combo.
2) Second Best: PENN Warfare Star Drag Conventional Rod and Reel Combo
The Pflueger President has long been known as one of the fan favorites for spinning reels and paired together with Bass Pro Shop’s Granite Series rod; there’s nothing that this simple setup can’t do.
Material: IM-8 graphite
Reel Bearings: 9 + 1
Tested spinning reel
Cheap yet functional
A responsive and sensitive rod
Rod doesn’t have the same quality as the reel
The rod itself is made with IM-8 graphite. This means it’s made using very light material, but it can still create a decent strength for casting or fighting.
Moreover, the Bass Pro Shops rod also features excellent components.
For one, it has stainless steel guides and aluminum oxide inserts for added functionality when fishing with a braided line.
The rod also features graphite reel seats, and contoured cork handles to keep your hands happy as you feel the day away.
With decent line capacity and a versatile application for any kind of lure fishing technique, the Pfuelger President has stood by the test of time to be one of the most beginner-friendly, functional reels around.
The reel is made of all-metal construction: the main shaft, shields, and all of the reel’s other components are metal for increased durability.
Plus, the reel features nine stainless steel ball bearings plus an anti-reverse.
The higher the bearings, the smoother the action is going to be – with nine bearings and one anti-reverse, this reel moves like butter.
Overall, if you pair this kind of reel to an excellent rod such as Bass Pro Shops, you know that you’re getting the maximum value for your buck.
Although, like many items on the list here, the rod is the first one to break off in case of an emergency.
5) Best for Big Fish: Ugly Stik Bigwater Spinning Rod and Reel Combo
Ultra-light fishing is fun, functional, and cheap with the Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo.
Material: Graphite and fiberglass
Power: Ultra Light
Reel Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
Durable reel construction
Ugly Tuff guide construction
Highly sensitive yet durable blank
Reel has no wheel switch
Rod might be damaged during shipping
The Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod and Reel Combo is another Ugly Stik rod and reel combo for you to enjoy, but this time bringing this brand’s signature rigid construction to ultralight spinning rods.
Ugly Stik’s brand promises super-tough composite rods – and they don’t disappoint with this offering.
The GX2 spinning rod is made with their signature graphite and fiberglass combo, yielding a rod with plenty of backbone.
Made to have ultra-light power, this rod is also incredibly sensitive, and the added Clear Tip design on the rod tip makes it very responsive for small fish.
Its components are also excellent.
The rod is made with Ugly Tuff guides – durable stainless steel melded into the blank to create a durable one-piece guide design that lets the fishing line flow smoothly without the risk of inserts popping out.
The handles are also firm, made of full-size EVA for a sure grip and enduring comfort.
Ugly Stik calls this rod’s reel one of the “toughest in the market,” There might be some truth in that.
The GX2 reel is made to be strong indeed, with a three-bearing system and one instant anti-reverse for a smoother cast and retrieve.
It also features a double-anodized aluminum spool and an oversized bail wire for convenience.
This rod and reel combo will have what it takes, whether you’re boat fishing, skipping lures, or casting heavier lures.
One curious thing about this reel is that it doesn’t have any anti-reverse switch, so you’ll have to rely on its instant anti-reverse kicking in.
The rod might be durable in the water, but nicks and small bumps can easily damage this ultralight rod during shipping.
7) Best Baitcasting Combo: Lews American Hero Baitcast Combos
If you want something that you can bring around without worrying about the significant and frankly annoying space that a long rod consumes, the Plussino Telescopic set is there to the rescue.
Material: Carbon fiber and fiberglass composite
Reel Gear Ratio: 5.2:1
Reel Size: xx
It comes with a kit bag
It comes in a complete set
Great for beginners and recreational fishers
If you want a simple rod that you can bring around everywhere, these telescopic graphite rods from Plusinno might be what you’re looking for.
This telescopic rod compresses to a much shorter size when you want to store it, and it even comes with a backpack with the rest of its fishing kit for better portability.
At the price it’s being offered, this reliable, complete fishing kit is something you can bring around with you anywhere without worrying about accidentally losing it.
However, it’s not the best rod or reel quality.
The top-heavy rod blank and components aren’t the best quality, although it’s sturdy and sensitive enough for everyday fishing.
For example, it’s not corrosion-resistant, so you need plenty of maintenance if you want to use it on saltwater fishing.
This is a rod that’s only suitable for beginners or if you want a cheap travel rod that you wouldn’t put through the wringer.
If you’re looking for better quality, or if you’re looking for something that will fight trophy fish, this is not a safe choice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How to choose a rod and reel combo?
There are many different rod and reel combos, and you need to choose the one most suited for your needs. Thus, you first need to consider what kind of fishing you'd like to do and then decide on the level of quality you're willing to pay for.
What's the best rod and reel combo?
The best rod and reel combo should combine have the best rod and reel quality available for their offering price. In this case, the Abu Garcia MLF Baitcast Combo suits this category perfectly well.
What's the top rod and reel combo for ice fishing?
The Ugly Stik Shakespeare GX2 Ice Fishing combo has all the properties you'd want for the best fishing rod you need to have with you when ice fishing, all at a very accessible price.