There is a certain pleasure in shopping for a rod to match your newly acquired fishing reel. If you fish freshwater, there will be an enormous selection of rods to choose from. Freshwater fishing rods come in one, two, or more pieces and can even be telescopic. The best freshwater fishing rods don’t run as high of a price tag as saltwater models but higher quality rods will still ask for more. Spend a couple minutes getting acquainted with features that make a valued freshwater fishing rod and check out the following reviews.
Guide To Choosing The Best Freshwater Fishing Rods & Reviews
What Is A Freshwater Fishing Rod?
The designation of a freshwater fishing rod tells anglers it is not made for saltwater use. Freshwater fishing rods often cost less than saltwater models because they don’t have to spend extra money on anti corrosive parts. Freshwater fishing rods can be either fly rods, baitcasting rods, or spinning rods. This article will focus on freshwater spinning rod models.
Freshwater fishing rods can come in different makes as described above. Two piece versions are popular, travel fairly well, and are some of the cheaper rods. Outside of fly fishing, anything more than a one piece rod reduces its strength. This factor won’t make a difference for most trout and bass fishing situations. If you fish for heavier species like catfish and striped bass, consider using a one piece rod.
Telescopic freshwater fishing rods work with several sections that lock into place as they extend. They unlock and slide back down inside one another for extreme mobility. Telescoping rods are a camper’s favorite. You’ll find one included in the best freshwater fishing rods reviewed below, as well as cheaper and high quality models.
How Do Freshwater Fishing Rods Differ From Saltwater Rods?
You read about the fact that freshwater rods don’t need to be concerned about anti corrosive parts. Freshwater rods also tend to break down while saltwater rods are typically one piece. Besides that, ocean species grow much larger on average than freshwater fish and the rods are built much thicker.
How To Pick The Best Freshwater Fishing Rod
The best freshwater fishing rods are always subject to the needs of the angler. There are a few mistakes to know about that you will definitely want to avoid. Make sure you match rod and reel because spinning and baitcasting equipment don’t mix. It’s common for beginning anglers to make that mistake, ending up with rod and reel that don’t work together.
Best Freshwater Fishing Rod Specifications
Freshwater spinning rods work with the line guides pointing down towards the water and the reel under the rod. When choosing a freshwater fishing rod you’ll want to match the following specifications to your reel specs. These will also determine the size of fish you’re able to handle and how the rod behaves when it bends.
- Length: Every fishing rod is made out of a blank (or blanks in multi piece rods). The length is an important factor in rod behavior and is listed in the specs.
- Power: Rod power describes not only its thickness, but how easy or difficult it is to bend. Rods rated with heavy power are very stiff and hard to bend while light power rods bend very easily.
- Action: The action of a fishing rod tells you where the rod bends which obviously changes its behavior. Fast action rods bend at the tip then stiffen up through the rest of the blank. Medium action rods bend over to about the middle before they stiffen and slow action bends to the rod handle.
- Line Rating: This describes what size line the rod is built to handle.
- Number Of Pieces: Freshwater fishing rod specs will tell whether the rod is one, two, or more pieces.
- Handle Length: The length of the handle from the top grip to the bottom of the butt. This spec isn’t always provided.
- Rod Butt: The design of the rod butt can change. Some are slickbutt which fit comfortably into the stomach of an angler while others lock into boat rod holders.
Features Of The Best Freshwater Fishing Rods
Once you understand the specifications of a freshwater fishing rod, it’s time to move on to the features. These will be design or material specialties and are often used as marketing points. A rod may have a special graphite and fiberglass blend that sets it apart from other models. You’ll also find the type of line guides and reel seat as common features of the best freshwater fishing rods.
5 Of The Best Freshwater Fishing Rods – Hot Picks Of 2017
1. Okuma SST Ultra Light Trout Spinning Rods
The Okuma SST ultra light spinning rods start the list and offer a dependable rod at a very low price range. Okuma builds the SST ultra light rods in four models that range in length from 5’6″ to 7′ and handle 2 to 8 pound monofilament line. All Okuma SST ultra light rods come in two pieces made of IM-8 graphite which is stronger than common graphite.
Okuma SST rods have power ratings just like their name, ultra light. They have either 5, 6, or 7 line guides depending on the rod length which does not include the tip. Okuma doesn’t list rod action in the SST series, preferring to call it rod taper instead. All SST ultra light rods list a medium taper which means they bend to about the middle of the rod.
Keep in mind that Okuma SST ultra light rods are made specifically for trout fishing, though there’s no reason you couldn’t use them for other light freshwater fishing. The guides are made of stainless steel with zirconium inserts (the rings inside the line guides). Reel seats are custom made, the handles features nice cork grips, and rods shine with a eye catching coppery finish. Used properly, Okuma SST ultra light rods can’t be beat for the asking price. They easily make any list of the best freshwater fishing rods.
2. Daiwa Triforce Spinning Rods
Second on the list of best freshwater fishing rods is the Daiwa Triforce spinning series. Daiwa makes several rods in the Triforce series that are one piece and a few two piece sets. The rods featured here are the two piece models and work fine for regular freshwater bass fishing.
Daiwa Triforce two piece rods come in 3 lengths of 6′, 6’6″, and 7′. They all have the same line, power, and action ratings. Line ratings are 6-15 pound monofilament and the power rating is medium on these rod models. These three Triforce rods have fast action so the bend is mostly in the tip.
Rounding out the Daiwa Triforce spinning rods are a few noticeable features starting with IM-6 graphite blanks. Blanks in these rods follow through to the end of the handle and line guides use aluminum oxide material. Daiwa includes stainless steel hooded reel seats, corked handles, and corked butts in Triforce rods. These rods catch the eye and the fish at a price any angler can afford.
3. Shimano Stimula Spinning Rods
Stimula spinning poles by Shimano provide another example of some of the best freshwater fishing rods. These rods again keep the price way down and still perform up to the highest expectations. Shimano Stimula rods come in one or two piece models just like the Triforce rods above.
The two piece models transport well and hold line anywhere from 2-17 pounds depending on the rod. In total, there are six rods to choose from within the 2 piece models and they range in length from 5’6″ to 7′. Power ratings for these rods range from ultralight to medium heavy and they all have fast action.
Stimula rods use a composite graphite material in their blanks and aluminum oxide line guides. They feature a cork handle above the reel seat and a longer corked handle below. Reel seats use the aluminum hoods and screw down to fasten. Shimano provides excellent specs which include handle lengths and lure weight ratings besides the common listings. Fisherman can take advantage of the Stimula series of freshwater spinning rods as they have more size options to choose from.
4. St. Croix Triumph Spinning Rods
Anyone who’s been at fishing for more than a year or two knows the St. Croix name. They make some of the highest quality fishing rods available with a wide range of prices. The Triumph series spinning rods come in either 1 or 2 pieces and can handle line from 2-17 pounds. They’re all built with fast action and power ratings range from ultralight to medium heavy.
St. Croix uses what they call SCII graphite in Triumph rod blanks and describe it as a higher strength material than used in other common fishing rods. Other features of Triumph rods jump out like Fuji DPS reel seats and black framed aluminum oxide guides. St Croix rods come with a double coating of their specialized resin to ensure a good seal and provide additional strength.
Triumph freshwater spinning rods fall on the lower end of pricing for St. Croix and offer an incredible value for the quality of product. Anglers can be assured of their purchase with a 5 year warranty and top of the line customer service. There’s no way to go wrong when you invest in St. Croix and anglers tend to take better care of these extreme fishing tools.
5. KastKing BlackHawk Telescopic Travel Spinning Rods
Avid backpackers and hikers can easily store telescopic rods and break them them out when a fishing opportunity presents itself. KastKing leads the market in building dependable fishing gear at some of the lowest prices available and BlackHawk Telescopic rods fit that description perfectly. How does a telescopic rod work? Just tap on the tip and it all falls down, one section inside another.
BlackHawk freshwater spinning rods telescope out and they do have specifications. Anglers can choose from six models which range in length (fully scoped) from 5’10” to 11″10″. The model that’s nearly twelve feet look like the long surf casting rods you see on beaches. BlackHawk rods all have medium heavy power and a line rating of 5 – 15 pounds depending on the model.
The amount of guides on each rod depends on its length and range from 3 to 6 not including the tip. The action on BlackHawk rods is moderate which means the bend goes from tip to middle. The material in the rod shafts is a high density graphite and fiberglass mixture which provides plenty of strength and durability. Last but not least, the rods do use stainless steel line guides and can be switched over for saltwater use. Pack it in and pack it out with a crazy low price and a KastKing 3 year warranty.
Finding The Best Freshwater Fishing Rods For Your Purposes
Freshwater fishing offers great adventure and can be a targeted activity or part of a larger trip. The list provided gives a varied selection of the best freshwater fishing rods the industry has to offer. Read through the guide at the beginning of the article and ensure your understanding. It’ll help you make the right choice of rod for the uses you intend. If any part is unclear, please don’t hesitate to ask and you’ll get an explanation promptly.
The best freshwater fishing reels don’t have to be expensive but they do have to get the job done. It’s also prefferable that they last more than a year or two. Fishing rods have delicate parts and should be stored and transported with care.
Always wash your rod off with slowly running clean freshwater after each use. Inspect all your line guides for any damage including the inserts which can fall out. Take advantage of the reviews provided and you’ll find everything you could need in a freshwater spinning rod. Cheap rods, quality rods, and even a telescoping model are there and they do it all.