Whether fishing is a hobby to you, or you’re a tournament angler, an essential part of your setup that you cannot afford to joke with is choosing the right equipment for your expenditure. One of these tools is a saltwater rod and reel combo, and the difference between a massive haul and severe disappointment often lies in the quality of the product used.
Rod and reel combos eliminate the stress associated with matching a rod to a reel, making fishing a whole lot more enjoyable and profitable. After all, no one would love to waste the better part of the day trying to otherwise fit a reel on a rod when they could otherwise be fishing.
That said, some of the very best inshore saltwater rod and reel combo products you can find on the market that will make your fishing experience generally more enjoyable.
Top 5 The Best Saltwater Rod And Reel Combo
1. PENN Squall Level Wind Reel and Rod Fishing Combo – Best Deep Sea Fishing
This is one product that is suitable for recreational, as well as commercial fishing activities. The Pen Squall fishing combo is available in two main options – a 20-size reel with a 6’ long glass rod or a 30-size reel housed on a 6’6” rod.
Although lightweight, the rod is made of highly durable tubular glass material that doesn’t break easily. Rod action ranges from moderate to fast and is powerful enough to reel in massive fishes.
With a generously long reel that eliminates the need for frequent re-spooling, you can cast your line into the deepest depths of the sea, where the big boys reside. The frame of the reel is crafted from graphite, and the main gear is a bronze alloy product – both resilient materials that resist wear and tear.
Without a doubt, the PENN Squall Level Wind is one of the best rod and reel combo products in the market. This product combines an excellent design with sturdy parts and features to provide an enjoyable fishing experience for users.
It is also suitable for all kinds of fishing operations, from the casual fishing operations to serious business such as shark-hunting.
To cap it off, the Left Wind is moderately priced, and you don’t need to drain your finances to purchase one.
- Smooth operation.
- Light and easy to handle.
- The reel is easy to use.
- The sturdy rod is powerful enough to handle massive fish.
- Great drag.
- It is reasonably priced.
- Butt-end of the handle comes off easily, consequently exposing a dangerously sharp edge.
2. KastKing Sharky III – Best Saltwater Spinning Rod And Reel Combo
The very first thing that’s sure to leave an impression when you first encounter the KastKing Sharky III Spinning combo is its premium design, but this is a product that offers so much more.
This combo’s rod is crafted from highly durable graphite blank material, which contributes to its light weight and sturdiness. Accordingly, you will get a fair bit of usage on the rod before wear and tear eventually sets in. Rod lengths for this model range from 6’6″ to 9′, and they are suitable for hunting bass, catfish, trout, salmon, and panfish.
The fishing rod also features stylish anti-slip EVA foam on the handle, which provides a tight grip, even in moist conditions, thereby ensuring your rod won’t slip off and helping maintain balance while fishing.
As for the reels, KastKing employs the use of lightweight graphite material in its construction. Ten stainless steel shielded ball bearings, plus an additional roller bearing located in the reel, help control spool movement and ensure both smooth casting and withdrawal of the fishing line. Reel sizes for the different rod models range from a modest 2000 to a massive 5000 for the longer poles.
The triple-disc carbon thread drag system contained in this spinning reel ranks among the more powerful models on the market, and it can handle sea species that weigh up to 39.5lbs.
Additional features include a special K.I.S.S (KastKing Intrusion Shield System) feature that protects the reel from dirt, water, and corrosion. The drive gear located in the reel is corrosion-resistant, making the saltwater suitable for use in saltwater conditions.
Without a doubt, the KastKing Sharky III is one of the better saltwater rod and reel products on the market, with features extensively designed to help both new and experienced anglers land their choice catch. Additionally, the fact that the product is relatively inexpensive makes it worth giving a try.
- Attractive design.
- The fishing rod is easy to handle.
- The spool moves smoothly.
- Powerful drag system.
- It can reel in the massive catches with ease.
- Several users have reported the breaking of the rod after a few days of usage.
3. Ugly Stik Saltwater Spinning Combo – Best Entry-level
Another equally good saltwater rod and reel combo you should consider getting as an angler is Ugly Stik’s Saltwater spinning combo. And as evidenced by its name, this combo is mainly designed to perform in corrosive saltwater conditions.
The product package contains a two-piece spinning rod that stands seven feet tall and is suitable for most mid-range fishing activities. The rod is built of graphite blank with a fiberglass wrap for better durability. This build keeps the rod lightweight, and also gives off its aesthetically pleasing matte black finish. The Stik rod is also incredibly strong, and several users have verified that it is nearly unbreakable.
User comfort is emphasized in the ergonomic handle design as the Ugly Stik rod possesses comfortable EVA padding, which provides a secure grip for anglers.
Additionally, the rod features the signature Shakespeare bright tip, which makes it easily distinguishable from other poles in a pile. This clear tip also contributes to the high sensitivity of the Stik rod by making it easier for anglers to detect slight motions caused by the movements of the stealthiest fish.
The combo’s reel is built with graphite and comes pre-spooled with Aluminum line that weighs 14lbs in total. For a smooth movement of the fishing line, the Ugly Stik’s reel has one stainless steel ball-bearing with a sturdy one-piece design.
Shakespeare is a household name in the fishing industry, and their Ugly Stik Saltwater combo is a product that caters to the needs of both amateur and experienced anglers. The rod is incredibly strong, but truth be told, improvements to the quality of the reel need to be made. However, the product is moderately priced, and it comes backed by an attractive seven-year warranty offer; hence you can fish knowing someone’s got your back.
- Rod comes in different weight options.
- Rod is light.
- Exceptional strength and durability.
- Budget-friendly price.
- Reel quality should be improved upon.
4. Daiwa BG2500/701MML BG Saltwater Pre-Mounted Combo – Best All-Around
The Daiwa saltwater combo, which is packaged by the Japanese company, Daiwa, is another equally good fishing rod and reel combo that is highly recommended for anglers looking to land the catch of their dreams.
The rod itself is a one-piece, seven-foot-long pole made of a combination of graphite and carbon composite blanks. The use of graphite in making the fishing rod is the underlying reason for the great strength and sensitivity shown by it; both features anglers would love. The pole also features cut-proof aluminum oxide guides, ensuring that anglers detect strikes by fishes caught on the hook. The rod emphasizes an ergonomic design to make handling super easy for handlers, and this is emphasized by the presence of EVA foam and cork grips.
The combo’s reel, which comprises an aluminum frame and side plate, is rugged and can do battle with saltwater fishes without incurring damage. The reel features a durable design that provides a great combination of both the drive and pinion gears for greater power and strength. Furthermore, the reel has six ball bearing guides, plus an additional roller bearing guide that combines to ensure smooth casting and retrieval of line.
Other features of the Daiwa saltwater rod and reel combo include an ABS (Advanced Ballistic System) Aluminum line and the Twist Buster II roller, which reduces line tangling on the retrieve.
The Daiwa BG2500 is an excellent all-round product that provides great satisfaction to users – numerous positive reviews are a testament to this. This is one product we highly recommend for anglers looking to take their fishing game to the next level.
- Great build.
- Smooth line casting and retrieval.
- Sturdy reel.
- Multiple users have reported receiving a package with a missing handle.
5. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos – Best Portability
The final product on our list of the best inshore saltwater rod and reel combos is PLUSINNO’s telescopic rod and reel combo. One feature anglers are particularly interested in about this combo is the fact that the position of its handle is interchangeable, making it convenient for both left and right-handed use.
The fishing rod, which is crafted from a mixture of high-density carbon and fiberglass, is available in various lengths, ranging from 5.9 to 10.8 feet. Although the graphite design ensures great sensitivity, it is worth noting that there have been several complaints from users about the rod’s sensitivity.
The rod is designed in such a way that it can fold in on itself, thereby ensuring great portability and making it easy for users to carry about. User comfort is also given priority in the rod design, with the EVA foregrip providing a comfortable handling experience for anglers.
Now, on to the spinning reel, PLUSINNO employs the use of highly durable plastic to construct the casing of this essential piece of the combo. The reel seat is made of corrosion-resistant steel material, thereby making it suitable for fishing in saltwater.
The reel also features an instant anti-reverse mechanism that prevents it from turning backward, as well as powerful drive gears. Aluminum oxide guides located in the reel ensure the smooth passage of line, whether you’re casting or retrieving.
The PLUSINNO rod and reel combo is an outstanding product with a budget-friendly price that makes it an attractive option for anglers. The retractable rod makes this product highly portable and easy to transport around; Chip in the fact that the graphite material used in constructing the pole is highly durable, and you have a product that will serve you for a long time.
- Easy to carry about.
- Great price.
- Superb customer service.
- Interchangeable handle position.
- Reel seat often comes loose.
- Rod sensitivity issues.
- The telescopic design makes the rod susceptible to breaking.
Best Inshore Saltwater Rod and Reel Combo – Buyer’s Guide
What is a Saltwater Rod and Reel Combo?
Simply put, a saltwater rod and reel combo is a piece of equipment in which the parts are built together and designed to carry out a specific type of fishing operation in saltwater regions.
Traditional spinning rod and reel products come with separate parts that need to be assembled in what can prove to be quite a stressful task, but a combo comes ready to use. All you need to do to use a combo is to wind a line around the spool, but some models have this taken care of already.
Fishing with a saltwater combo eliminates the need to worry about rod action continually, and the corresponding reel gear ratio, as these have all been sorted by fishing experts working with the manufacturers.
Who needs a rod and reel combo?
A rod and reel combo is suitable for use on a small scale, recreational setting, and commercial fishing activities. A combo is an inexpensive rig suitable for anglers who want to go fishing in the evening casually, and it equally comes in handy for those who are relatively new in the fishing game.
However, it would be wrong to limit combos to casual uses, and there are some sophisticated models, complete with quality components that are suitable for use on a commercial scale.
Features to look out for when buying a saltwater rod and reel combo?
Before you purchase an inshore saltwater rod and reel combo, there are some factors you need to put into consideration. This is to ensure you choose a model that is perfectly suited to carry out whatever fishing operation you have in mind.
Some of the factors you have to look out for when shopping for a rod and reel combo include the following:
1. Purpose of fishing
One thing you need to consider before purchasing a rod and reel combo is the fishing operations you intend to carry out with it. Combos, because they are designed with pre-installed parts, are limited to specific types of operations. You can’t carry out fly fishing and surf fishing with the same rod and reel combo.
Hence, before you purchase a product at all, examine its specifications to ensure it is capable of handling the fishing tasks you have lined up.
2. Corrosion protection
Rod and reel combos used for fishing in saltwater are susceptible to damage from acidic elements present in the water. Therefore, you should go for heavy-duty saltwater reels built with shielded stainless steel or anodized aluminum that offers a certain degree of resistance to corrosion.
And although such models come at a cost, you won’t have to frequently replace damaged rods, thereby saving you money in the long-run.
3. Type of reel
Most saltwater combos come with two basic types of spools – conventional or spinning reels. Conventional reels are suitable for baitcasting and trolling, and will comfortably hold bigger fish species. Spinning reels, on the other hand, are more versatile, and are used to cast lures that are otherwise to light to be cast by conventional reels.
Other types of reels include the fly reel, centrepin reel, spin-cast reel, etc.
4. Rod length
The length of the fishing rod is another important factor that should guide your choice of a rod and reel combo and has been a source of debate among anglers worldwide, with many divided over the right size to fish with.
However, the consensus is that the longer the rod, the more distance it can cover in water. Shorter rods are noted for being easy to handle and maneuver, and these qualities come in handy when anglers are battling with fish. Shorter rods tend to be lighter in weight than their longer counterparts, and they generally offer greater balance.
The fishing technique also plays a huge part in the length of the fishing rod you should go for. If, for instance, you plan on going fly fishing with your combo, then you need a shorter rod. It is essential you know how and where you want to fish, as well as the kind of fish you are going for, to make the right rod and reel choice.
5. Quality of rod guides
Equally as important as the fishing rod itself is the quality of the rod guides. A good rod guide ensures the angler detects the faintest of strikes transferred from the fishing line to the pole. Guides are typically made of plastic, ceramic, or metal materials and are fixed to the rod’s windings. Aluminum or titanium guides are the best for beginners as they are typically heat and friction-resistant.
If you intend fishing for heavy saltwater species, the rod and reel combo you go for must have guides that won’t break off easily. Also, it is vital that the guides are correctly arranged on the rod for proper sensitivity, hence examine the product before buying to ensure this is the case.
6. Rod action
Rod action is an important quality that no angler should take with levity when choosing a rod and reel combo to buy. Simply put, rod action determines how far or how much the pole will bend when under pressure at the tip. Saltwater rod and reel combos are generally available in four-rod action types: slow, moderate, fast, and extra-fast.
Slow action rods come in handy when it comes to casting light baits and lures with multiple hooks, while the faster models are better suited to handle heavier baits. On the other hand, the reduced reaction time of the slow action rods makes it difficult to set the hook immediately a fish strikes, and inexperienced anglers might subsequently miss out on lots of catches. Fast action rods provide the speed necessary to drive the hook into a fish’s mouth immediately it bites the bait.
7. Rod Power
The power of a rod is a quality that describes the amount of pressure that would need to be applied before causing it to bend. Manufacturers generally classify rods as being light, medium, or heavy power. The heavy models typically bend only under high pressure, while the light models deflect easily.
Consequently, if you’re targeting big game, you should go for heavy power combos that won’t break easily under the strain of the big fishes. However, if your focus is on smaller fish, then the lighter models should get the job done.
Although popular, saltwater fishing is not an easy sport, and it can prove to be quite unforgiving to newbies. However, the use of a quality rod and reel combo simplifies the process and makes a complete novice seem like a master at the game.
At a reasonable amount, you’ll get a rod and reel combo that guarantees stable performance, a suitable length for deep-water fishing, and plenty of fish.