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8 Best Saltwater Fishing Rods In The Market

Written by James Schulz

If you’re a fishing enthusiast, specifically saltwater fishing, then you know that having the right salt water fishing rod can make all the difference when tying to snare that prized catch.

Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve been at it for a long time choosing the right saltwater fishing rods can be quite tricky at times with the sheer number and availability of options out there.

Trying to pick the right kind of rod while pursuing this hobby can be a major challenge.

With so many options it can sometimes even be intimidating.

In most instances, one can compromise on features but never compromise on build quality.

Besides the quality and one’s own inclination of choice, it may also be considered that the right biomechanical aspects such as the weight, grip, features, and rod size play a crucial role in determining whether a certain fishing rod is right for you.

So, if you’re willing to take the time and make a more informed decision you have arrived at the right place.

We have selected the best saltwater fishing rods from the top shelves of the market to help you make your next fishing escapade your most memorable one yet!

At A Glance

Top 8 Saltwater Fishing Rods Of 2022

1) EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod

EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater fishing rod is an ideal rod for Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and Wahoo saltwater fishing.

The Rod is constructed keeping in mind the harsh saltwater fishing conditions and fares pretty well.

The blank of this rod is made using the high-grade composite that ensures robust performance for years to come.

The rod comes in different weight classes ranging from 80-100, 100-120, 140-160, & 160-200 lb and has a length of 5’9’’(160-200lb. is 5’6″).

This bent butt saltwater fishing rod will allow you to remain seated and still keep the reel in a comfortable position.

Bent butt design is quite popular among saltwater anglers who sometimes spend days in the sea.

Pros

  • Stainless steel roller guides
  • Provides minimal twisting
  • Great Pricing

Cons

  • Some users report corrosion

The EatMyTackle Bent Butt Saltwater Fishing Rod is one of the best saltwater rods available right now because of its bent butt design and robust performance in the sea.

Saltwater anglers use these saltwater rods for long sea expeditions to catch fish such as Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna, and wahoos.

With a weight of around 3 lbs, it is lightweight and won’t hurt your arms on a long fishing adventure.

As far as the bent butts are concerned, these saltwater rods come in two configurations.

The 80-100 & 160-200 lb. rods are equipped with 16 inches bent butts while the 100-120 & 140-160 lb. rods are equipped with 12 inches bent butts.

Therefore you can choose between them according to your needs.

The saltwater rod comes with stainless steel guide frames and has a span-wrapped construction to resist twists.

The guides are made with the finest components and the double wrap on them provides extra strength.

You can expect to have amazing control on this saltwater rod even in high wind conditions.

Moreover, the overall design of this saltwater fishing rod is quite attractive and you will surely turn a lot of heads when competing in a fishing tournament.

The robust backbone and highly receptive tip of this fishing rod provide great action to fight and tackle fish.

The premium leather grips made for non-slip and comfort of your hand is an excellent feature.

And if you go with the 160-200lb class weight you can get EVA foam grips.

The gimbal cross on the end of this saltwater rod is great for securing it with rod holders or a fighting chair.

With the span wrap construction, this saltwater fishing rod offers minimal twisting when the fish takes off to the side.

Most rods tend to go with the flow but this is not the case with the bent butt saltwater fishing rod.

It is close to being unbreakable and with the combination of wide-mouth wind on rollers, it is great for big game fishing.

If you are a saltwater angler that regularly takes part in tournaments for Marlins or Woohoos you should get this fishing rod.

It is highly effective and can withstand strong winds due to its robust construction.

Moreover, its bent butt angle is within the optimal range therefore you can easily fit it in your rod holders and manage to fight big fish.

It also comes with a 2-year warranty giving you peace of mind making it an excellent choice and the best saltwater fishing rod with a bent butt.

2) Okuma’s Makaira Saltwater Carbon Technology Fishing Rods

Okuma's Makaira Saltwater Carbon Technology Fishing Rods

The Okuma’s Makaira Saltwater Fishing Rods series is one of the best saltwater fishing rods due to their 24T carbon blanks, premium-quality component, and gorgeous aesthetic design.

These saltwater fishing rods come in 6 different casting models to choose from and also have one saltwater spinning rod option.

Therefore if you are someone who wants to cast ultralight lures and lightweight lines you will not be disappointed.

You’ll discover a true value in the quality and performance, not to mention a more than the reasonable asking price from these rods.

The series offers high versatility and you can find a model that is according to the needs of your application.

The six casting models come with a one-piece T24 carbon blank with fast action, though they vary in power ratings.

Saltwater anglers not only enjoy the performance of these rods but also like the overall sleek design of the rod.

Pros

  • Very Responsive & Sensitive
  • Value For Money
  • Attractive Design

Cons

  • Carbon Can Become Brittle If Left In Sun

Okuma’s Makaira Saltwater Carbon Technology Fishing Rods are the best saltwater fishing rods because of the value they offer at this price point.

These fishing rods have come with a carbon blank that has a tensile strength rating of 24 tons.

This means that it can take on heavy fishes and their tackles more easily while being lightweight with plenty of strength, yet not brittle enough to snap.

When it comes to the guides of these rods you will find them to be from ALPS.

The Okuma Makaira Rods come equipped with ALPS Deep Press frames.

These guide frames also have an extra-wide ring that enables each insert to lock into place.

This reduces the chance of inserts popping out of the guide frames and gives the angler peace of mind.

The ALPS guides frames help you to lock the inserts into place, the inserts used on these fishing rods are also very high-quality.

These inserts are made from zirconium, therefore they are capable of handling fishing braided lines even though these are rated for mono.

Zirconium provides extra strength and prevents the braided line from digging in and breaking the insert.

In addition, Zirconium repels rust as good or better than stainless steel.

To ensure that all the components give a streamlined experience the Okuma Makaira fishing rods use aluminum reel seats and line guides.

Most similarly priced options have hard plastic reel seats that are not durable.

The rods come with a split style grip from top to bottom handle that incorporates a shrink tube above the reel seat and a slick EVA grip on the handle below.

Moreover, the gimbal of these rods is constructed from aluminum for locking into a rod holder.

To provide the angler with a comfortable experience, the sharp edges of this gimbal are covered with a rubber cap.

This allows them to freestyle without worrying about tearing their clothes.

Last but not the least, these rods come with a decorative underlay.

Okuma usually provides this on its custom rods but for this particular series they mixed things up and came up with this beautiful livery.

The abalone look that shows for several inches near the rod base adds an elegant feature to a powerful fishing tool.

In short, Okuma’s Makaira Saltwater series is the best saltwater fishing rods because of the versatility and performance they provide at such an affordable price point.

3) Shimano GLF Saltwater Fishing Rods

Shimano GLF Saltwater Fishing Rods

The Shimano GLF saltwater fishing rods are the best fishing rods under $100.

They have a decent parabolic action that provides you with the right amount of power and strength to tackle the gulf fish.

Moreover, it is super light if compared with other similarly priced options currently available in the market.

The rod has 24 ton + 30-ton graphite blank construction that not only makes it lightweight but provides it with the strength needed to catch fish such as trout and striped bass.

The recommended setup for these saltwater fishing rods is to get a 3000 series reel combo to strike the perfect balance and make the most out of your fishing adventure.

Pros

  • Price Under $100
  • Super Lightweight Rod
  • Amazing Power & Sensitivity

Cons

Too Flexible Sometimes

The Shimano GLF Saltwater Fishing Rod is the best saltwater fishing rod under $100 because of its high sensitivity, super lightweight, and excellent strength.

This spinning rod comes with a graphite blank that makes it ultralight but also provides the power and action to deal with larger fishes.

The rod bends and responds to every twitch and movement made by the fish thus keeping you well-informed about what is happening under the water.

The titanium oxide guides on these rods provide smoother operation and durability.

The EVA grip provides a comfortable handling experience and makes it a joy to hold it all day long.

EVA grips can easily outlast cork handles and are much better when it comes to non-slip handles and provide a firm grasp.

Moreover, in the box, you will have the Shimano Custom reel seat.

The rod has a one-piece construction so you will not have to worry about securing its pieces now and then.

Most anglers that use these rods throw lures of 1oz or 1.5oz jig heads and soft plastics.

With speckled trout and striped bass being the most common type of fish species that are fished.

Most users have bought this rod for their trout setup and combine it with the Stradic 2500 to get the best experience.

You can expect this rod to perform all day without any difficulty or malfunction.

Anglers have been reported having caught trouts ranging between 20-24’’ without any difficulty.

If given the choice most users will buy it again because of its robust and durable performance.

With a 7 feet length, medium-heavy power, and fast action you might find it to be too flexible or whippy but if you use ½ oz to 1.5 oz jig heads or lure you can solve this problem.

In short, the Shimano GLF saltwater rod is the best saltwater fishing rod when it comes to performance and affordability.

It offers a similar application to rods that have a high price point and have much better construction and components.

If you are an angler that wants to make the most out of their money we would definitely recommend you to go with this rod.

It will be light on your pocket and last you for a couple of years before you will need to head out and find a new one.

4) Sougayilang Saltwater Fishing Rod

Sougayilang Saltwater Fishing Rod

The Sougayilang Saltwater Fishing Rod is a great saltwater fishing offering currently available in the market.

This particular fishing rod has a carbon fiber construction that provides it with a super lightweight easy-to-handle structure.

It is a beginner-friendly offering and you can easily find it with the reel combo that will not only be pocket friendly but provide you with good value.

The rod comes in 4 piece construction therefore it also has great portability and you will not have to worry about finding a big enough storage space for it.

Its high-grade chromed stainless steel guide rings keep the line from getting damaged under high-stress situations such as when tackling a large fish.

What makes it stand out is that when you buy it as Sougayilang Saltwater Freshwater Fly Fishing Rod with Reel Combo Kit you will get almost everything in the box.

Therefore if you are someone who is just starting out and has no saltwater fishing gear this combo will complete your collection.

Pros

  • Carbon Fiber Construction Makes It Lightweight
  • Offers Great Portability
  • Fixed Reel To Avoid Loose Swing

Cons

  • Build Quality Issues

It is rated as the best saltwater rod on our list because of its lightweight design that is ideal for fly fishing and its low price.

Moreover, the Sougayilang Saltwater Fishing Rod has a number of rod and reel combos that offer great value for your money.

The rod boasts a 4 piece design that is best for people who like to keep their saltwater fishing gear in the trunk of their car.

When pieced together the rod is almost 9 feet long and has a carbon fiber construction.

It offers the right amount of power and flexibility when it comes to fly fishing and gives a gentle touch down to your fly.

The gentle touchdown allows your fly to look natural and it does not spook out the fish that are under the water.

The fishing reel on this rod has a line weight rating of 5 / 6 wt and has a diameter of 3.35 inches.

The reel has an approximate weight of 5.7oz, a die-cast aluminum body that keeps the balance of the rod perfect.

You can also interchange it to the left or right-hand setting.

The one-way clutch bearing offers a smooth and immediate drag engagement.

With a cork grip that is rated to be A grade, you can expect great handling and non-slipping experience even in harsh conditions.

The solid aluminum reel seat has a wooden texture and looks great.

The fixed fish reel reduces the loose swing phenomenon in fishing and brings stability to the rod.

As compared to other fly fishing options the Sougayilang Saltwater Fishing Rods have excellent performance and decent build quality.

They are lightweight and offer great usability to anglers.

However, you might find certain shortcomings in the build of this rod but they can be overlooked due to the price it is offered at.

We will recommend this fishing rod to people who have recently entered into angling.

The rod and reel combo kit by Sougayilang will surely be a great addition to your fishing gear.

So if you want to get the most out of your purchase we will recommend you to go with this option because you will not only be getting the best saltwater fishing rod but you will get other essential gear needed for fishing adventures.

5) Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

Just the original Ugly Stik, the new GX2 Saltwater Spinning Fishing Rod offers the same value for money and has the latest updates to further enhance your experience.

These saltwater spinning fishing rods start at around $39.99, therefore you will have remorse about spending large sums.

Although the rod comes in multiple configurations we would be focusing on the spinning model.

The GX2 Ugly Stik incorporates most of the design features from the original Stik, such as a cleat tip which offers great durability but there have been quite a few improvements.

Such as the new construction uses graphite combined with fiberglass which gives it a clean matte black finish and gives it a subtle but aesthetic look.

Moreover, the guides on this new Stik have been redesigned.

Now they have a single-piece construction made from stamped stainless steel which gives them durability and adds to the strength of the robust design.

The overall balance from the tip to the rod butt has been improved considerably and gives a better handling experience.

The new model is a lighter rod compared to the previous model and feels much better in the hands.

You can easily cast it all day long without tiring yourself.

Pros

  • Great Value For Money
  • Lightweight
  • Durable construction
  • Lots of weights available

Cons

  • Foam vs. cork handle
  • 2 piece models can break

The Ugly Stik GX2 saltwater spinning rod is one of the best saltwater fishing rods because of its excellent construction, lightweight design, and durability.

The new generation of Ugly Stik uses a technology called Ugly Tech and has a new blank through reel seat design.

This design incorporates a combination of traditional fiberglass with graphite.

The addition of graphite gives the rod a black finish with a touch of glossiness making this rod more attractive to the eye.

The rod is then highlighted with the classic diamond winding pattern in silver and red right above the grip.

Ugly Stik’s signature clear tip is also present on this saltwater spinning rod and gives you a sense of owning the original Ugly Stik.

But the clear tip not only provides aesthetics but also provides great sensitivity and flexibility so you can sense the smallest twitches that occur due to the movement of a stealthy fish.

Not only this but the clear tip also provides the strength and power to handle a 50 pounder easily.

Another stand-out feature in this model is the one-piece guides.

This new one-piece design is a new feature and one of the most notable changes.

The previously used guides were tough but they were constructed with the conventional pop-out ceramic insert that had the potential to get broken.

The new one-piece design makes it impossible to destroy these guides and makes them highly durable, and they will surely last for years to come.

The new grip is made of an EVA material which feels very comfortable in your hands even after hours of casting and retrieving.

In short, if you want to get your hands on a saltwater spinning rod that is from a reputable brand and also has a number of applications you should go with this option.

This saltwater spinning rod offers great versatility and application for casting lures.

It is a great rod for gifting to an angler or someone who is just starting.

And at such a low price point you can keep one or two extra of these for when you have company on your boat.

These are surely the best saltwater fishing rods you can currently buy.

6) Fiblink Saltwater Fishing Rod

Fiblink Saltwater Fishing Rod

The Fiblink Saltwater Fishing Rod is a great fishing rod for catching predatory fish.

The rod offers great utility and provides a quality experience to the user

This saltwater rod offers extra strength and makes it extremely easy to handle some seriously large fish.

Moreover, these trolling rods can easily withstand the added stress from a moving sea vessel allowing you to move your lure in the most natural way possible.

The Fiblink offshore fishing trolling rods are not only made for the open ocean but you can also use them for inshore fishing as well.

Pros

  • It has BRHG roller guides
  • Secure grip thanks to the EVA handle

Cons

  • Might Be Too Stiff

The Fiblink Saltwater Rods are one of the best saltwater fishing rods because they are heavy duty and made for catching large fish species found in the ocean.

When purchasing a rod for your fishing adventures the most important thing to consider is the length of the rod.

The length of the rod determines the number of things such as the overall power, action, flexibility, and convenience of the rod.

These are extremely important factors because they will influence your fishing technique and experience.

Being an angler you would know that shorter rods are more powerful.

Therefore, when it comes to fishing big games, the more power the better it is.

The Fiblink trolling rods are 5 feet and 1-inch in length, have a lot of power, and do not bend a lot, therefore, it is easier to handle.

When it comes to the overall balance of the rod, it is determined by a range of different rod features such as the length, handle design, weight, and others.

The high-density EVA foam handle, as well as foregrips on this rod, provide a good handling posture for your hand.

The handling posture is one of the key factors when ensuring spot-on balance.

It will allow you to tackle larger fish more easily without feeling tired or exhausted.

The rod blank of the Fiblink Saltwater fishing series is made from E-Glass Graphite composite that is a highly reliable material and extremely lightweight.

And it also ensures that the rod is not too whippy or flexible to be more precise.

It gives the rod heavy power and does not let it bend too much.

Having high power is one of the key features you will require when it comes to tackling big sea fish.

A rod that bends less will keep in check not only the fish that has been hooked but the force of the thrashing winds found in the open sea.

These fast-action saltwater trolling rods do not bend much but also have the right amount of flexibility at the tip.

This allows you to feel every nibble and fish bite with high sensitivity.

Since it is a fast action rod it will also return to its original state quite quickly so you can tackle the fish with extreme force and precision.

The Fiblink saltwater is one of the best saltwater fishing rods because of its exceptional design and heavy power that allows it to perform very well in harsh water conditions.

If you are a saltwater angler that takes part in big-game tournaments, then this rod is for you.

It offers great balance and well-combined features that cannot be found on any other fishing rod.

7) PENN Carnage II & Carnage III Fishing Rod

PENN Carnage II & Carnage III Fishing Rod

The PENN Carnage II & Carnage III Fishing Rod are some of the finest saltwater spinning rods that are truly made for saltwater angling.

If you are someone who is into offshore fishing you should get the PENN Carnage Series because of their excellent features and ease of usability, the Carnage saltwater spinning rods are designed keeping one thing in mind that is to offer the best fishing experience.

Whether you are bottom fishing, high speed or slow pitch jigging, trolling, or casting, from Snapper, Cobia, Amber Jack, Kingfish, Mahi, to Grouper, Blackfin, or Yellowfin, these rigs won’t disappoint!

These rods have Fuji K guides and Alconite inserts that are super lightweight to handle and do not leave you exhausted after a long day of fishing.

Pros

  • Extremely Durable, Exceptional Built Quality
  • Excellent Non-slippery Grip
  • Power Ladden
  • Lightweight Design
  • Great For trolling With Braided Line

Cons

  • A Little Expensive
  • Can Only Be Handled By An Expert

The Penn Carnage might be a little expensive but they are the best saltwater fishing option that is currently available on the market.

They offer a premium experience and if you happen to buy one you will find it to be a great all-around fishing rod that has no weak points.

They are designed extremely well and equipped with the right kind of components.

These rods can easily take on extra strain caused by braided fishing lines.

Moreover, they have the right weight and ergonomics so you never miss out on your target.

The rod has a 2-piece SLS3 composite blank construction that gives it a thin diameter that provides light ergonomics features such as long handles that rest on the inside of the forearm easily during the casting motion.

This reduces the chances of feeling fatigued and increases casting accuracy at the same time.

The Carnage Spinning rods come with a fuji graphite reel seat and fuji k guides and Alconite inserts that provide the rod with high durability and sturdiness.

To incorporate the fuji reel seats this rod has been specifically designed.

This way it can have these light and compact reels that ensure proper protection and durability.

Moreover, you can use the rod for specific fishing techniques such as surfcasting and fishing with downriggers as well.

Another great feature is the non-slip rubber shrink tube that gives you the best grip even when there is a big fish at your hook.

This allows your spinning rod to bend more at the top and offer more sensitivity to feel and catch the fish.

The use of braided line is made possible by the Carnage series so you can have better reach during a fish fight and you will be able to easily handle the strain caused by the fish.

Also, it helps to absorb the shock of a fish when it strikes.

These rods are designed with a shorter length and thicker blank to provide more power to pull up the catch easily.

The aluminum gimbal of this rod is another added feature that allows it to be locked with the rod holder and keep the rod butt well planted in a fish tackle.

The PENN Carnage II and III Fishing rods are the best saltwater fishing rods in terms of overall performance therefore if you do not want to go into too much detail and have a good budget you should choose these.

8) St. Croix Rods Avid Series Inshore Spinning Rod

St. Croix Rods Avid Series Inshore Spinning Rod

The St. Croix Rods Avid Series Inshore Spinning Rod is a great inshore fishing rod with a lightweight design and is primarily for saltwater inshore fishing.

The St.Croix Avid has been redesigned to make sure that it reaches the pinnacle of perfection.

Although this rod is a premium option the value provided by them justifies the price tag.

You can easily determine the quality of components when you first handle the Avid in your hand.

The rod blank of these St.Croix Rods is made from premium quality SCIII graphite and the guides are made from Kigan Master Hand Zero with very slim aluminum-oxide rings and titanium frames that offer the highest level of protection from saltwater and tangle-free construction.

Pros

  • Handcrafted Rod
  • Premium SCIII rod blank
  • High-Quality components
  • 15-year warranty

Cons

  • Priced at a higher-end

The St.Croix Rods Avid Series for inshore fishing is one of the best saltwater fishing rods because of its high quality built and premium components that offer performance that has high sensitivity due to its graphite blank.

The Fuji reel seat with a gunsmoke hood and super grade cork handle give this rod an excellent finish that is aesthetically pleasing.

If we compare the St. Croix Avid with the St.Croix Mojo, we can easily recognize that the former is a step up from the latter.

If you want a rod with a high-end feel then we would recommend the St.Croix Avid.

The Fuji DPS reel seats used on the St. Croix Avid are well-known for their quality and durability. This reel seat allows you to transfer the nibble and fish bite to your hand and give you excellent feedback.

This increased sensitivity also allows you to be more conscious and helps you to improve your tackles and have a fast reaction.

These rods also boast a Kigan hook keeper that allows the angler to hook at the right spot and with the sideways design you can have peace of mind that the hook tip will no longer dig into the rod weakening it.

The rods are also equipped with super-grade cork handles.

These handles are sturdy and provide a great handling experience to the user.

The rod is also covered with an epoxy finish that is used to seal the rod.

It wraps the rod in a way that there is no chance of spoiling the rod.

This provides for a clean look and a long lifespan.

The St. Croix Rods Avid Series for inshore fishing is a great saltwater fishing option that is best for the anglers that want a premium option and are willing to buy the more expensive saltwater fishing rods.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What size rod is best for saltwater fishing?

The recommended rod length for saltwater angling is 6.5 and 7 feet. A longer rod will enable you to cast farther while shorter rods will provide more power when fighting fish. Most versatile rods will have a length of around 6.5 to 7 feet.
 

How do I choose a saltwater rod?

While choosing a rod you will need to consider a few things such as its length, power, and action. Longer rods have a longer casting distance while short rods have more power. Action is rated from "fast" for a rod that is stiff to "slow" for a rod that bends to the handle.

What is the best gear ratio for saltwater fishing?

The recommended gear ratio is 4:9:1 for saltwater fishing.

Can you use worms to fish in saltwater?

Yes, you can use worms for saltwater fish. Although we will recommend you to use sea worms you can also use worms from your garden as well.

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