This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Which fishing pole is best?

For the right person, a quiet fishing trip away from today’s modern struggles is the kind of mental refresh that keeps them going. Whether you prefer to catch and release or you’re hoping for dinner, you need the right fishing pole. Fishing poles are surprisingly nuanced instead of the simple sticks they appear to be.

The best fishing pole is the St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod. It’s made to be strong and light with enough sensitivity to make you feel connected to your prey.

What to know before you buy a fishing pole

Fishing pole types

There are two main types of fishing poles.

  • Spinning: These poles have eyelets that face downward and an under-mounted reel. They aren’t quite as precise but those new to fishing typically find them easier to use.
  • Casting: These poles have eyelets that face upward and a top-mounted reel. They’re more difficult to use but allow for longer and more precise casts once mastered.

Fishing pole subtypes

There are many subtypes of fishing poles but some of the most common are:

  • Freshwater poles are as standard as they come. Use them in lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. 
  • Saltwater poles are built to resist the corrosion of salt and tend to be more powerful for longer casting distances.
  • Surf poles are special kinds of saltwater poles that are as long and heavy as possible so you can fish from the shore.
  • Ice poles are the opposite of surf poles. They’re as short and light as possible since ice fishing requires no casting.
  • Fly poles are specially built for fly fishing which requires different techniques and equipment than standard fishing.

What to look for in a quality fishing pole


Fishing poles typically have lengths of four to 14 feet. Some of length comes down to preference, but shorter poles do tend to make reeling in bigger fish easier. Shorter poles are also easier to travel with.


Also known as flexibility, a fishing pole’s action relates how much of the pole bends when put under pressure. It can be slow, medium or fast. Slow actions bend along the full rod, medium actions bend along the upper half to the upper third and fast actions bend only at the tip.


Also known as weight, power is a combination of a pole’s length, action and construction. It determines both how far you can cast and how heavy of a fish you can reel in without snapping the pole. It comes in five levels: ultralight, light, medium, medium-heavy and heavy. 

How much you can expect to spend on a fishing pole

They can cost as little as $15 or as much as $1,000-plus. Most pole types have plenty of good rods for $100 or less; only serious fishers need to consider spending more.

Fishing pole FAQ

What are the parts of a fishing pole?

A. Fishing poles are complex items with many parts. Moving from the bottom to the top, they are:

  • Butt cap: the very bottom of the pole. It seals the end closed.
  • Grip: what you hold onto. Its length varies from pole to pole. Some only leave room for one hand while others are long enough for two.
  • Reel seat:  what your reel attaches to.
  • Hook keeper: an optional piece. You place your hook on it when you aren’t actively fishing.
  • Rod blank: the sections of a pole. A pole typically has one-four blanks.
  • Ferrule: the sections that rod blanks attach to when putting everything together.
  • Midsection: the section between the top of the grip to the base of the tip.
  • Eyelet: little loops that run along the midsection and keep the line straight. There should be at least one for every foot your pole is long.
  • Tip: the ultra-thin top end of the pole.

Do I need a fishing license?

A. That depends on where you’re going and what you’re trying to catch. Always check the laws and regulations of the area you’ll be fishing in and obtain any paperwork that’s needed. Many fishing and general sporting goods stores sell licenses, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to get one.

What’s the best fishing pole to buy?

Top fishing pole 

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rod

What you need to know: This is an excellent all-around pole for both casual and more serious anglers.

What you’ll love: It comes in lengths of 5-7.5 feet with fast action and ultralight to medium power. It also comes in one, two or four pieces. It’s made of carbon for durability and sensitivity and has a cork handle for increased comfort.

What you should consider: A few consumers received broken poles due to poor shipping. Others had issues with rods breaking under less pressure than they should break at.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Top fishing pole for the money

Zebco 202

Zebco 202 Spincast Reel And Fishing Rod Combo With 27-Piece Tackle

What you need to know: This collection includes everything a burgeoning fisher needs to get started.

What you’ll love: The pole is 5.5 feet long and comes in two pieces. The tackle set includes six sinkers, six tail grubs, three large hooks, three small hooks, three swimbaits, three jig heads, two bobbers and a spinner attachment.

What you should consider: It’s mainly aimed at children and younger teens, but it’s still a great starter set for anyone who wants to learn how to fish.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Fishing Rod

What you need to know: It’s another great all-around pole for a lower cost.

What you’ll love: It comes in lengths of 4.5-7 feet with ultralight to heavy power. It also comes in one, two or four pieces and in black or pink. The graphite and fiberglass material is built to last and provides solid sensitivity.

What you should consider: A few purchasers received damaged poles. Others had issues with crooked joints or loose sockets which can see multi-piece poles fall apart.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals. 

Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.


Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.