Whether you’re a veteran fisherman or a newbie, owning proper fishing gear is the first order of the business. That’s why you need to know about the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money.
Has it ever happened that your rod broke in half while reeling in a massive fish? Or maybe the entire rod slipped away? Brought out your year-old gear to see that it’s all rust and dust?
If the answer to these questions is yes, then you need to get the better fishing gear right away. Luckily, we are here to help you find one for yourself!
It can be quite cumbersome not knowing which rod and reel complement each other. Especially if you are new to fishing and have no previous experience.
So to prevent a headache, go for a rod and reel combo! With customized and complementary features, they are the best of both worlds!
Top 13 Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money Product Reviews
To help you further, we’ve come up with a list of the best all around fishing rod and reel combo. Hopefully, this little guide will help you to find exactly what you have been looking for all this while.
So, let’s get right into it then!
1. Ugly Stik Baitcast Combo–Best Ugly Stik Combo
First, on the list, we have this Ugly Stik elite combo. This brand is pretty well known among anglers and fishermen for their fishing gear. So when they bring a new product to the market, you know it’s bound to be reliable.
Perfect for Baitcasting
Baitcasting is almost an art form to both professional and leisure-time fishermen. So it makes sense that you would also need a nice enough rod and reel combo to pull that off. And Ugly Stik Combo provides you just that.
Great Drag System
The minimum drag power for baitcasting is at least 10 pounds. The Elite Baitcast Combo by Ugly Stik will offer you a drag system of 12 pounds. And it’s made possible due to the 2 ball bearing system with an extra anti-reverse bearing.
Better Graphite and More Durability
The combo will also provide a 35% increase in graphite than its predecessors. As a result, it’s not only sturdier but also super sensitive to movements. The ugly tuff stainless steel and aluminum spool offers high durability.
Overall, it’s really reliable for some freshwater fishing experience.
- Best for freshwater fishing
- Suitable for saltwater as well
- Stainless steel offers durability
- 35% more graphite provides flexibility and sensitivity
- Well balanced overall.
- Not the best option for beginners
- Harder to configure for left handed people.
This beautiful blue Spinning Combo by Abu Garcia Revo x can easily be deemed as one of the best spinning reels for bass. The dura gear brass gearbox is perfect for hunting down basses effortlessly.
Abu Garcia Revo x combo is one of the best fishing rod brands out there. They have proven their worth over the years through their fishing gears. And the Revo X Spinning Combo is not any different.
Strong and Durable
The advanced polymer grip will provide you a strong grip for handling big and heavy fishes like basses. The X2 Craftic aluminum frame offers an overall strong core. The graphite rotor balances out the heavy aluminum.
Brake and Drag System
Furthermore, the hybrid brake system composed of a carbon matrix will ensure a playful match with your bass. That is, of course, before the advanced drag performance reels it in.
- Best for handling basses
- Trustworthy brand activity
- Strong core with a lighter rotor
- Smooth and productive performance.
- Needs proper care
- Needs time to be comfortable with the configuration.
The speed bass combo from Sougayilang is another one of our favorite best fishing rod and reel combo for the money. Composed of alumina guide rails for precision and carbon fiber for sensitivity, it offers a high-class fishing experience.
The length of your casts is boosted due to the lightweight carbon fiber core. Again, its being lightweight ensures high sensitivity.
If you are searching for the best bass fishing rod and reel for beginners, this should be your number one go-to.
Strong and Durable
The Golf material lever provides a strong grip which is perfect for reeling in basses and tunas. The alumina guide rails make sure to leave the fishing line unscathed.
Gear Ratio and Heat Insulation
Overall, the 7:0:1 gear ratio is pretty impressive for a speed rod. Plus the added heat insulation and moisture resistance make it one of the best fishing rod setups.
- Good insulation
- Lightweight and portable
- Great for beginners
- Heat and shock resistant
- Chemical corrosion resistant
- Convenient for both right and left-handed people
- Great accuracy.
- A bit tough to configure
- Some customers received faulty packages.
Next up, we have another one from Abu Garcia featuring the Black Max Baitcast Combo.
As we have said a while back, Abu Garcia is one of the best fishing rod brands out there. So you can pretty much expect a good and reliable product from them.
Durable and Lightweight
The high-density EVA handles provide a strong grip for reeling in trouts and other freshwater fishes.
The reel is made of strong material with a side of graphite frame and plates. The graphite makes it a bit more lightweight and boosts the casting length.
High Quality Ball Bearings
The combo also features 4 ball bearings made of stainless steel that enhance drag performance. Furthermore, the extra roller bearing makes it an effortless retrieve.
Overall, the 24-ton graphite core and a gear ratio of 6:4:1 make the Black Max lightweight and convenient for one of the best bass fishing rod and reel setups.
- Graphite reel delivers extra sensitivity
- Enhanced drag performance
- Extra gear power
- Pretty lightweight
- Can bend a lot.
- The graphite to metal ratio can cause the core to go brittle
- The rod performance might be underwhelming.
The Centron Spinning Reel by KastKing is another one of the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money. And for a spinning reel, it’s definitely worth the money.
The Centron Spinning Reel comes in five different rod models, reel types, action and gear ratio. And each of them is suitable for a specific function or fishing purpose.
From small crappies and trouts to huge salmons and steelheads, the Centron is a model for them all.
Their lowest and highest rod lengths are 6′ and 8′ respectively. All the models feature Toray IM6 graphite blanks and stainless steel guides. As a result, they are both lightweight and durable at the same time.
From low to medium to heavy action, the reel sizes are gradually upgraded for a stronger grip. The aluminum spool with a 9+1 ball bearing enhances the overall drag performance as well.
All in all, the separate specifications for a separate fishing experience, truly make this combo one of a kind.
- Detailed specifications for all types of fishing
- Separate and advanced gears for deep water fishes
- Best for freshwater fishing
- Pretty good for beginners
- Lightweight but balanced core.
- Guides underperformed for some
- Not really compatible with saltwater fishing.
Next up we have another one from the KastKing, featuring the Crixus Combo! Pretty much the same specifications as that of the Centron Combo with just a few tweaks here and there.
If you are looking for the best fishing rod and reel combo for saltwater this just might be the one!
Tough Build Quality
Like the Centron, Crixus is also a freshwater combo with separate specifications for a multi-level fishing experience. The aluminum spools, stainless steel ball bearings and carbon fiber frames – all contribute to better performance.
The guides include Zirconium Oxide that improves the casting distance. And the rod length ranges from 5.6′ to 7.0′ suitable for all light and heavy action fishes.
Plus the easy configuration makes it one of the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners.
- Pretty smooth performance
- Good for beginners
- Best for freshwater fishing
- Durable handles made of super polymers
- Two-point easy transportation system
- Suitable for both right and left-handed people.
- Not compatible with saltwater fishing
- Rod and reel can corrode if exposed to saltwater.
Time to check out some of the best saltwater fishing rod and reel combos for the money! We’ll be starting off with the Battle II and III Spinning Combos from Penn.
Strong Build Quality
The model features an extremely durable full metal setup with a grade-level aluminum core and guide. To balance out the heavy armor, it’s equipped with a drag system of HT-100 carbon fiber.
Ball Bearings and Drag Power
Meanwhile, there are a total of six ball bearings; five stainless steel ones and the other one’s an anti-reverse bearing. All six of them provide a massive drag power to hunt down your saltwater fishes.
Furthermore, a full metal body and aluminum spool prevent corrosive properties. All in all, the durability and high performance make this model one of the best spinning combos for saltwater.
- Best for saltwater fishing
- Tough and durable
- The metal body prevents corrosion
- Carbon fiber drag balances out the heavy core
- A high precision and performance level overall.
- Needs special maintenance
- Some customers received poorly packaged products.
Next up we have another saltwater gear from PENN – the Spinfisher VI Spinning Combo! The specifications are pretty much on the same PENN industry-level spectrum.
Strong Metal Body
The Spinfisher VI also comes with a full premium metal body to provide that extra resistance against the saltwater current, making this product one of the best surf fishing rod and reel combo.
The drag performance is supported by 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings. In addition, the aluminum rotor is techno balanced for strong retrievals.
The body is sealed by IPX5 tech to prevent the saltwater from getting inside and cause corrosion. As a result, the important parts of the combo are protected. The spool is also aluminum-based and thus there’s increased longevity.
The overall gear is based on CNC technology and it offers high precision, performance and durability. A special live liner system allows the rear drag settings to be adjusted according to user preference.
That puts this model pretty high on our list of best saltwater spinning combos.
- Best for saltwater fishing
- Rear drag settings can be adjusted accordingly
- Inclusion of CNC Gear Tech
- Core’s made of premium metals
- IPX5 sealing prevents corrosion.
- Some customers claimed to have received poorly packaged products
- Can be pretty heavy to handle properly.
As we keep on going, Ugly Stik makes an appearance once again. We have already mentioned how reliable this brand is in providing the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money.
Well, the major difference from the previous Ugly Stik model’s on this list is that this one’s compatible with saltwater. The Bigwater features an aluminum spool with special Ugly tuff guides that prevent corrosion.
Lightweight and Precise Performance
The reel is made up of a graphite and fiberglass composition. As a result, it is a bit more lightweight and precise. The clear tip design also contributes to the sharp precision performance.
The gripping reel is designed to effortlessly drag in deepwater fish. Meanwhile, the EVA handles provide a smooth but strong fishing line extension as well.
- Made for saltwater fishing trips
- Trusted brand awareness
- Super-sensitive carbon-fiber core
- High precision point
- Great for all-around usage.
- Can become brittle without proper care.
The Alpha Medium combo from Shakespeare is one of the most budget-friendly models on our list. It also serves a purpose as a pretty great baitcaster.
The graphite reel comes with an 8-pound spool line making it lightweight and convenient. The low-profile rod can be taken apart in 2 pieces for easy transportation.
The model also features EVA handles which are responsible for a smooth and strong grip. As you know, a strong grip will ensure you catch as many fishes as you can, so this is a great feature.
Strong and Durable
The rod material consists of tubular glass that claims to increase sensitivity and overall strength. We think this is an amazing product, and whether it is the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money or not is your choice.
- Easy configuration
- Easy transportation
- Long spool line
- Great for beginners.
- Underwhelming reel performance
- Not much compatible for saltwater.
The Pro-Designed Youth Reel by Abu Garcia is on our list for being the best rod and reel combo for trout fishing. It’s also equally good for basses and any other pan fishes.
Lightweight Graphite Body
Like most other freshwater models, this one also features a lightweight graphite body and rotor. The graphite composite blank contributes to heightened sensitivity.
Shock Resistant Spool
The spool is made of aluminum and is shock-resistant. A lengthy fishing line with 2 ball bearings is good for some light action fishing.
The strong EVA handles make it easier to grip onto and catch fish in freshwater. You want a strong tool with you on your fishing trips and not a flimsy one, and this one is as durable as it needs to be.
On top of that, the trusted brand reputation of Abu Garcia makes this model a worthy investment as a beginner fishing rod setup.
- Aluminum spool
- Graphite composite frame
- Best for freshwater
- Great for trout and bass fishing.
- Comparatively older model
- Not compatible for saltwater.
Next up we have another one from Abu Garcia – The Black Max X. It’s one of the best saltwater spinning combo.
Durable and Strong
The Black Max X is the upgraded combo to the older Black Max model. Even though this features a spinning reel, the heavy metal body can work for some saltwater action as well.
The metal body can handle heavyweight fishes and fixate on the core strength. Meanwhile, the techno balanced rotor can easily reel in the fishes without any trouble.
In addition to improved core strength, it works great against corrosive properties too. The spool line is made of aluminum while the 4+1 ball bearings are made of stainless steel.
If you think this is the best saltwater jigging rod, don’t forget to check it out.
- Metal plate body and frame
- Aluminum spool line
- Balanced rotor activity
- All-rounder combo
- Highly efficient for freshwater fishing trips.
- Can be a bit heavy to handle
- Doesn’t come with a preferred line.
And for the final product of today’s list, we have the DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Combo from Daiwa. As the title suggests, this model is best suited for some fast-action freshwater fishing.
Spool and Drag System
The D-Shock spinning combo features an aluminum spool with a single bearing drag system. That makes it perfect for lightweight and ultra-lightweight fishing.
In addition to the digger drive system, this model also focuses on a twist-buster line roller. Both are great for an enhanced fast action performance.
Lightweight and Convenient to Use
It’s a pretty budget-friendly model and the lightweight configuration makes this model great for beginners. All in all, it’s one of the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money.
- Easy to configure
- Great for fast action fishing
- Ambidextrous model!
- Super affordable
- Extremely lightweight.
- Not compatible with saltwater
- Can expose to TDI- like chemicals.
Factors to Keep In Mind While Buying the Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money
It’s not enough that you know about only the best fishing rod and reel combo product reviews. You need to have some basic equipment knowledge to know why they are the best on this list.
We humans have a terrible habit of forgetting the simplest of things at times. So here are some of the stuff you should keep an eye out for while shopping for a reel and rod combo.
Freshwater or Saltwater?
Not only just rod and reels but most gears are actually designed separately for freshwater and saltwater fishing. Yes, there are some combos that support both but it is still better to go for different setups if possible.
The reason why such separate specifications are needed is because of the current rate and salinity level. Saltwater means ocean areas while freshwater means normal marshy lands like lakes, rivers, etc.
Unlike the rivers which are mostly calm to an extent, the ocean has a deep ongoing current. That’s why you need a stronger support system for your fishing rod and reel in saltwater.
Therefore, before you buy the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money, make sure to find out if it has the necessary features or not.
No matter what the brand or model is you need to make sure that the rod material is of premium quality.
A fiberglass rod might offer more flexibility, but it might break more easily. On the other hand, a graphite rod might be stronger but it will replace the flexibility with stiffness.
Rod length needs to be decided on the action level and how far you want the fishing line to go. A comparatively longer rod will allow you to cast it really far but it will be harder to control.
A 7′ to 8′ rod accounts for medium-heavy to heavy action that is good for larger 10-30 pound fishes. Similarly, a shorter rod of 5′ to 6′ is good for reeling in trout and basses. And it’s much easier to handle, has a high precision point and provides ultra-sensitivity.
The action of your rod will determine how sensitive your line is. To be simply put, the heavier a fish is, the more it will tug on the line. And the more it tugs the more your fishing rod’s tip will bend.
Different kind of rod actions is specified for different categories of fishes. For example – fast and extra fast rod action offers the highest sensitivity and is good for ultra-light fishing.
The medium-action rods are a little less sensitive with a little more strength. These rods are good for spinner baits and will let you reel in heavier fishes.
At last, the slow-action rods will bend the most and get your fishing line the farthest. But, it’ll lack proper accuracy and control unless you’re a pro at slow action fishing.
If you observe a size and specifications chart, you’ll see that the gear ratio slowly increases from fast to heavy action. The gear ratio tells you how fast the fishing line is retrieved once hooked.
Go for a high gear ratio for deep-water fishing where there’s a strong current. And a moderate gear ratio will work just fine for most freshwater fishing experiences.
The number of ball bearings is there to ensure the smoothness of your reel performance. Always go for high-quality bearings even if they cost a little extra. It’ll help you in the long run.
The number of ball bearings increases with the increase of rod action. For saltwater fishing over a 100 feet depth, 7+1 or 8+1 bearings are necessary to ensure the smooth reel-in.
Also, do not forget about the high-quality material part. Bearings made of stainless steel will prevent corrosion and protect your key internal features.
On the other hand, bearings made of copper or chrome steel will just corrode easily in contact with saltwater. So while buying the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money, be sure to get the right ball bearings.
Where is the fun in fishing, if you aren’t playing out the waiting game once your fish is hooked? A drag system helps you to enjoy the wait while keeping your fishing line safe.
Once the best fish is hooked, the drag system will allow the fishing line extension and prevent breakage. As a result, you can reel in and out at ease without having to worry about backlash.
This part of the gear can generate excessive friction due to continuous extension and retrieval.
So make sure to go for a high-quality material with added heat insulation. Nowadays carbon fiber drag systems seem to be pretty popular and reliable.
So if you are indeed looking to buy the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money, watch out for all these features!
Frequently Asked Questions
Our last segment of the day is an FAQ session, where we attempt to answer a few questions that you might still have. Hopefully, these answers will give you overall clarity and help you to make up your mind!
Can I use Freshwater Combos for Saltwater and vice versa?
In short, you shouldn’t. As we have mentioned before, the freshwater and saltwater fishing gears need separate specifications.
A combo for freshwater will corrode easily in saltwater, and it won’t be able to withstand the strong current either. Similarly, a saltwater combo will be too heavy for freshwater and lack accuracy and control.
So unless the product specifically says that it’s fine for dual purposes, don’t. Stick to the guidelines and use separate gears for both. In our opinion, the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money would be the one with dual purposes.
Should I go for a Baitcasting reel or Spinning reel?
Depends on how you’re used to casting your line. Generally, a spinning reel serves an all-round purpose. It’s also easy to configure so great for beginners.
Baitcasting, on the other hand, requires a bit of skill. So if you are already experienced and have lots of practice, baitcasting reels are the way to go.
What gear ratio should I choose for a Spinning reel?
Spinning reels are great for overall all-around performance. And it works the best for medium-light to medium-heavy action rods.
As the ideal gear ratio for medium action rods is 5:1, we would suggest that for spinning reels as well. It works for both surface and in-depth fishing, thus, is the best of both worlds.
Can you use a Baitcaster reel for a Spinning rod?
Technically, yes. But should you? No. The configurations for spinning and baitcasting are polar opposite to each other.
One relies on general spin tactics while the other focuses on torque and speed. The skill level for both is different as well.
As a result, since they aren’t designed to fit each other shoes, it’s best not to use them together.
Does the reel size Impact the overall Casting Distance?
Definitely. A spinning reel with a large spool and great core flexibility will travel substantially further.
However, the length of your fishing line should be up to the mark as well. If not, you’ll face problems during extensions and of course, retrievals.
Anyone who’s ever gone on a fishing trip knows what an absolutely great sport it is. The calm ambiance, playful adventures and the adrenaline rush of reeling a fish in – it has it all.
So it goes without saying that a rod and reel setup is imperative to make that trip as smooth as possible.
We hope this article was able to help you find the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money. Hopefully, this little guide of ours was of great help to you. We tried our best to incorporate as much useful info we could for you.
With that, it’s now time for us to end this guide. Have a great day and make sure to have fun on all those fishing trips this summer!