What’s better than going fishing on a warm and sunny day? The only thing better is landing that perfect fish you can’t wait to show off. For a better opportunity to catch that prized fish, you need a top-notch rod and reel combo. You need a combo made of solid material to hold up no matter how large the fish is, and durable enough for you to go out and do it again. These are some of The Best Rod And Reel Combos for 2021.
Every pro angler knows that you can’t attach a random reel to a pole and expect a successful fishing trip. It may affect rod balance and make it difficult to detect heavy bites.
Newbies on the other hand don’t know so much about rod-reel compatibility, and they’re the major reason why rod and reel combos were designed.
These unique fishing gear eliminate the hassle of having to select compatible poles and reels. They are superb options for price-conscious anglers that want to avoid the relatively high cost of buying separate rods and reels.
Combos are easy to use, but selecting the right one for your skill level, target fish species, and fishing area can be quite tricky.
To help you solve this puzzle is this buying guide on rod and reel combos, and a quick read through it will help you understand what makes a good combo so that you can select the best the market can offer.
What are the factors to consider when buying rod and reel combos?
The quality of combos boils down to the features of the individual rods and reels. For rods, these features include length, material, power, and action. Reels also come in different types that are custom-made for a variety of fish targets and water conditions.
What is rod action?
Rod action is a major specification to consider when choosing a rod and reel combo. In simple terms, it is the precise location along the rod where a bend occurs when pressure is applied. Fishing rods typically come as fast, medium, or slow action, but they may be split into smaller designations like medium-fast, ultra-fast, and whatnot.
Fast action rods bend at the top of the blank. This rigid design makes them perfect for detecting tiny bites and fighting aggressive fish species.
Rods in the slow action series bend at the bottom of the blank. The flexibility of these rods makes them ideal for catching smaller and less aggressive fish species.
If your target fish species are fast, your go-to should be medium action rods. They may not be the most sensitive to bites, but they make up for it by casting baits over longer distances and allowing multi-bait setups.
What is the best rod length for rod and reel combos?
The rod is one part of the combo, so you must consider its length while shopping. The ideal rod length to choose depends on your experience and target fish species.
Most models measure between 6” to 12", so that means you have a wide spectrum of options to choose from. Short rods are easier to control and handle, and this makes them perfect for amateur anglers and for catching aggressive fish species. On the downside, they can only cast bait over short distances.
If you’re an expert, longer rods should be your go-to. They can cast lures over long distances and are perfect for catching small fish like panfish and trout.
What are the types of reels?
Reels are the other half, and there are two general types: Baitcasting reels and Spinning reels. Baitcasting reels can handle line weights of between 10 lb and 300 lb, which makes them perfect for luring and catching heavy fish species.
Spinning reels on the other hand can only handle line weights of 30 lbs at most, courtesy of their narrow spool. This means that they are the ideal choice if your target fish species are small and less aggressive.
Does rod power matter in rod and reel combos?
Rod power significantly affects the overall performance of a combo, so you should definitely look out for it. It ranges from ultra-light to ultra-heavy, and your choice should be based on the target fish species.
A general rule of thumb to remember when contemplating the right rod power to go for is, “The heavier the fish, the more rod power required." Choose the suitable rod power using this information.
What is the best rod handle to go for?
Rod handles differ in two aspects; material and length. Most rods come with handles made of EVA foam or Cork, and there’s almost no distinction between these two.
Choosing between them is usually down to preference. Note that EVA foam handles are highly durable, stain-resistant, and economical, although they offer less cushion and bite sensitivity.
Are adjustable rod and reed combos available?
The market offers some combo models that feature telescopic rods designed to offer size flexibility and versatility. With these models, you can easily adjust the length of your combo to various ranges, depending on the specs. These telescopic rods also make your combo easy to store and transport over long distances.
Which rod material is the best?
The best rod and reel combos come with rods forged out of fibreglass or graphite. Fibreglass rods should be your go-to if you’re an amateur angler; they are cheap, low-maintenance, easy to control, and ideal for catching aggressive fish species. On the downside, they are heavy and less sensitive to bites.
On the other end of the spectrum are graphite rods, and they’re an experienced angler's favourite. Though relatively delicate and costly, these rods are light and easily detect even the tiniest of nibbles.
Combining the best of both worlds are composite rods made from a blend of fibreglass and graphite. These rods are versatile, highly sensitive, and simple to use - even for amateurs. Composite rods are arguably the best of the bunch, and as you can expect, combos that have them will cost a pretty penny.
Note that you may find steel rods in some shopping sections. These models are good alternatives, but before selecting one, confirm that it is galvanised for protection against salt corrosion and general weathering.
Best Rod And Reel Combos FAQs
Why do manufacturers expect right-handed anglers to operate spinning reels with their left hands?
The reason behind this is not far-fetched. This design lets anglers do the relatively simple task of turning the reel with their non-dominant hand (left), while they handle the rod and fight fish with the dominant hand (right).
Can rod and reel combos be used in saltwater?
Combos can be used in seawater, but some models are well-suited for such conditions than others. Salt corrodes materials, especially in the presence of sunlight and water, so if you will be fishing in seawater, we recommend that you go for heavy-duty combos with anti-corrosive properties.
How much do rod and reel combos cost?
There are many combo variations in the market, so there’s no set price for them. However, there’s a combo for every budget. If you’re price-conscious, you can go for $15 combos and still enjoy some real value. If you want to go big, the market has top-tier rod and reel combos that cost up to $100 or more.
Drew likes to say that he grew up in the wild, which is partially true. He grew up in a farmhouse, surrounded by woods, fields, and a creek. Drew has spent much of his life outdoors, and is excited to guide you through his never-ending list of the best products to keep you from falling to the perils of nature. Nowadays, there is rarely a weekend goes by where Drew isn't out camping, hiking, or just back on his parents' farm.