Best Kayak Fishing Rod Reviews in 2022 | Top 10 Picks

Hopping on the kayak and taking a stroll across the river or lake feels fantastic. But nothing compares to doing that while fishing.

Fishing on a kayak is the best way to get close to populated waters without making much of a mess so you can catch fish more easily. To make that possible, you need to use the best kayak fishing rod.

In a Hurry? Check Our List of Top Rated Kayak Fishing Rods

Product NameRatingCheck Price
Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite4.6 check price on Amazon
Shakespeare UglyStik GX24.4 check price on Amazon
PLUSINNO Fishing Rod4.2 check price on Amazon
Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod3.9 check price on Amazon
Sougayilang Fishing Rod3.9 check price on Amazon

It will improve how well you can handle the gear. And it will also make it easy to get the fish out of the water from an unstable place like a kayak. Sure enough, you’ll want to know how it works and how you can get the right model.

Well, that’s what we’re going to teach you in this article. If you want to learn all that and more – then hop on!


10 Best Kayak Fishing Rod Review

Fishing rods come in a wide array of designs, builds, and with tons of different features. If you want the right one, you’ll have to consider as many of them as possible. Here we have ten that you may find excellent options:

1. Shakespeare Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Rod

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Shakespeare is one of those brands that look like all others, but in reality, it is something way different. And with the Ugly Stik Elite, they make it clear.

This is a spinning rod, which means it has the sensitivity and strength to provide amazing fishing performance. You won’t have any problem getting fish out of the water with this rod.

The exciting part about this rod is the vast array of sizes and pieces. You can get it going from 4.8-feet in one piece, up to 7’6” in two parts. Whatever you prefer depending on your needs, this Ugly Stik from Shakespeare makes it possible.

It is an ultra-tough product, nonetheless, boasting an Ugly Tech graphite construction. You can also enjoy the Clear Tip design for extra responsiveness when fishing and a set of Ugly Tuff guides for better line attachment. Sure enough, you get exposed blank reel seats and a superb cork handle for extra grip.


  • Excellent Ugly Tech build
  • Responsive & sensible Clear Tip design
  • Practical Ugly Tuff line guide


  • The sensitive tip may wear down lines fast

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a large and heavy reel on this rod?

A: No, it is recommended to use an ultra-light model instead.

Q: Can I fish salmon and large-mouth bass with this rod?

A: Yes, but only to a certain point. This is better for small species.

Q: Will a 20-pound line fit this rod?

A: Yes, it will run through the lines and perform well enough.

2. Shakespeare UglyStik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo

Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 Fishing Rod and Spinning Reel Combo

Want a reel and rod combo that stands out? Go for the UglyStik GX2.

This brand makes it possible to enjoy superb fishing without having to spend a fortune. And the GX2 is a perfect example of that.

You will get a 3-ball bearing system with an anti-reverse feature. This allows a smoother experience, so you won’t have to pull that much when on the kayak.

Apart from that, you get a set of compression ball springs that increases the life of the reel. And with the excellent aluminum construction spool, you can get decent durability.

What stands out is the 6-feet rod. It comes with a medium build so you can use it for small and large fish without problems. But you may also pick the lightest ones, at 5-feet, 4’8’’ or 7’.

The rod is a 2-piece build which adds practicality when storing. And with the 5:5:1 ratio, it doesn’t leave performance behind.


  • Superb aluminum spool
  • Various sizes for ideal results
  • Two-Piece build for versatility


  • The inefficient reel may get stuck from time to time

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this a salt or freshwater rod?

A: It works better in freshwater fishing.

Q: What kind of line does it use?

A: The rod can handle a 140/6lb mono cap line.

Q: Can you reverse toggle the reel?

A: No, this rod boasts an anti-reverse system.

3. PLUSINNO Fishing Rod

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos

Want supreme versatility & portability with your rod? Then go no further than the PLUSSINO.

This fishing rod comes with a superb telescopic design that will make it easy to enjoy a portable product. Especially if you have to travel broad paths on foot before fishing, this rod will work like a gem.

The rod is composed of a high-density carbon fiber material with fiberglass that produces an ultra elastic but durable product. You will still get an EVA Fore Grip, ideal for comfort without leaving behind security when casting.

Sure enough, you get a stainless-steel reel seat so that you can place any reel. And it will not corrode, even with saltwater.

The most fantastic thing is the aluminum spool with power-drive gear. It delivers impressive strength and cones with an anti-reverse design that makes fishing more comfortable.

You can use practically any line without problems, and you will receive a gear ration of 5:2:1, which makes it an adequate performer.


  • High-Quality carbon fiber build with fiberglass
  • Superb power-drive aluminum spool
  • Practical telescopic handle for versatility


  • The rod is stiffer than expected

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I fish bass with this rod?

A: Yes, but only small specimens. Large ones can break the rod.

Q: Can I extend the handle on this rod?

A: Yes, you need to unscrew the original one first to add the extension.

Q: Will the collapsed rod fit in my backpack?

A: Yes, the smallest 5.9-feet model can collapse to 15.75 inches.

4. Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

Shakespeare Micro Spinning Rod

When it comes to fishing from a kayak, nothing will meet your needs the most than an ultra-light rod. And that’s precisely what you get with the Shakespeare Micro.

In any of its seven presentations going from 4.6-feet up to 7.6-feet, you will receive an outstanding performance.

The whole rod is made of graphite composite, which ensures an ultra-light action and light construction. You can use this rod with ease, even in the hardest of situations.

This rod also boasts stainless-steel guides, ideal for durability & resilience towards saltwater. And with the cushioned hoods on the reel seat, you will have the chance to pair it up with any bearings.

Add the full-cork handle, and you will get a decently comfortable and grip-oriented product. If you want the proper experience when fishing from your kayak, few models will feel as reliable, easy-to-use, and convenient as this one.


  • Various size options for convenience
  • Extremely affordable for the quality
  • High-Quality graphite construction for durability


  • Not ideal for fish over 5 pounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this a one-piece or two-piece rod?

A: The Shakespeare Micro is a two-piece rod.

Q: What kind of reel fits better with this rod?

A: A 10-pound line reel will fit magnificently well.

Q: Can I use this rod with a spin-cast reel?

A: Yes, it fits most kinds of reels without problems.

5. Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combos

Sougayilang Fishing Rod Reel Combos

A telescopic rod with a WQ reel makes this combo an excellent choice for kayak fishing users.

This rod is made with 24-ton carbon fiber, which increases the durability of the product. You can pair this up with an E-Glass construction that supports fish of up to 10 pounds without problems.

You can rely on the guides as well, boasting a stainless-steel construction with a 3-point design. They even come with ceramic inserts for more corrosion resistance.

As for the reel, you’ll get a CNC aluminum spool, ideal for long casting but also providing perfect lightness performance with power. This pairs up well with a reel seat made of fantastic ABS.

For superb comfort, you’ll receive a high-density rubber handle. It will help you get a decent grip even in the moistest of situations.

And sure enough, every gear and bearing are perfectly machined to help you catch any fish while enjoying superb durability. Whether you want it for kayak fishing or any other type, this rod will perform just well.


  • Exceptional carbon fiber construction
  • Durable & reliable CNC aluminum spool
  • Resistant and well-made ABS reel seat


  • Not the most sensible rod out there

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can a 6-year-old kid use this rod?

A: No, it is recommended for teens and adults only.

Q: Is this rod flexible?

A: Yes, it can handle difficult 3-pound fish without breaking.

Q: What kind of line can I use with this rod?

A: You can use anything from 10 to 30 pounds.

6. Okuma Classic Pro GLT

Okuma Classic Pro GLT & Rods

For anyone who wants an ultra-cheap and ultra-light performer that still manages to work wonders with any fish – the Okuma Classic Pro GLT will come like a gem.

It boasts an E-Glass blank construction, a fiberglass build that stands out in flexibility and durability. You wouldn’t break this rod easily, even if you tried your best.

That goes well with a set of titanium oxide inserts alongside stainless-steel guide frames. You will get a decent construction that makes sure your line fits, the rod resists, and even the hardest fish won’t escape.

The tip-over-butt ferrule section also manages to deliver excellent strength with its 2-piece construction. And with the pipe reel seat and shrink tube, you can achieve proper reel installation when needed.

Moreover, the grip is made of rubber, which makes sure you won’t lose any control even when wet. Overall, it gets to another level of performance-oriented fishing without leaving behind an excellent cost. Without breaking your bank, this rod will not disappoint you.


  • Flexible & resistant E-Glass build
  • Resilient steel guides & titanium inserts
  • Comes in 4 different sizes for convenience


  • Ferrule butt with triangle shape can be uncomfortable

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What kind of line should I use with this rod?

A: You can use anything from 8 pounds to 20 pounds lines.

Q: Is this a collapsible rod?

A: No, but it can separate in two pieces for secure storage.

Q: Is this rod useful for casting?

A: Yes, it works well in large bodies of water like oceans & lakes.

7. St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods

St. Croix Rod Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod

A sleek design with one of the most durable constructions in the market – that’s what this St Croix Mojo rod stands out for.

St. Croix is one of those brands that beginners and experts love. And it all starts with their constructions. This one, for example, comes with a magnificent SCII graphite build, along with aluminum-oxide guides and corrosion-resistant frames – working together to deliver exceptional durability.

As for the seat for the reel, you will get a Fuji DPS model, an excellent option for those who want the perfect place for even the strongest reel to work well.

Add the cork handle with split-grip design, and you won’t be disappointed with its durability, grip capacity, or comfort. It even comes with a Kigan hook-keeper with a Flex-Coat double coating cure finish.

Let’s not forget it also comes in models going from 7 to 7.6-feet so you can pick the ideal product according to your needs.

Whether it is sensitivity, strength, or resistance, you will get it all with the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rod.


  • Super-Resilient SCII graphite build
  • Exceptional Fuji DPS reel seat design
  • Top-Notch split-grip cork handle


  • More expensive than its competitors

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is this a 2-piece or 1-piece rod?

A: This is a 1-piece rod that doesn’t collapse.

Q: What kind of line do I need for this rod?

A: An 8 to 17 pounds line will be your best option.

Q: How many guides does this rod have?

A: It has eight guides for a super-secure & sensible line installation.

8. Okuma NOMAD Travel Spinning Rod

Okuma NOMAD Travel Spinning Rod

Let’s go back to Okuma rods, and this time let’s review the NOMAD spinning rod. As you can see, it is not the most affordable option in the list – but it’s worth it.

Why? Well, this is a 3-section rod of 7-feet. Yes, you can piece it up in three parts to travel around easily with it wherever you go. But it is not how versatile it is what makes it amazing, but the superb graphite construction with European spigot ferrule build.

This pairs up well with the Alps 316 SS guide frames that last a lifetime, along with Zirconium guide inserts. Together, they make sure no line ever breaks, and no insert leaves something to be desired.

But that’s not enough, this set of two rods offers a double-top section so you can use them for either light or hard fishing. Add up the foam grips, and you’ll have a decently comfortable rod no matter the strength you use.

For its magnificent portability, durable construction, and comfortable grip – you won’t have a single thing to complain about this rod.


  • High-Quality graphite build with spigot ferrule
  • Comfortable & resilient foam grip
  • Ultra-Portable 3-section design


  • Super-Heavy build can be difficult to handle in kayaks

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does this rod come with a case or bag?

A: Yes, you will get a cloth case for easy carrying.

Q: Will this rod handle fish over 20 pounds?

A: Yes, it can handle small, medium, and large catches.

Q: What kind of line will fit this rod?

A: You can use anything from 20 to 30-pound lines without problems.

9. OKIAYA COMPOSIT The Slayer Roller Rod

OKIAYA COMPOSIT 30-50LB The Slayer Saltwater Big Game Roller Rod

Quality comes in many different ways, and roller rods are one of them. Directly from one of the best brands in the market, The Slayer from OKIAYA is not a bad rod to consider.

You will get five guides so you can handle decently long lines for extra strength & flexibility. The guides come with a gold trim that keeps the line safe for long.

But it is the CNC aircraft-guide composite fiber construction that stands out the most. It makes sure you can receive a durable product that doesn’t leave sensitivity behind. You can handle all kinds of fish without losing strength and flexibility.

It comes at the right length for kayaking at 5’6’’, so you won’t have any problem handling it correctly. And to make it even better, it comes with 80 to the 130-pound line for extra strength.

The grip is made of thermoplastic, ideal for durability and resistance. You won’t have to worry about the grip wearing off or losing adherence over time.

Pairing it all together makes it one of the most convenient & reliable products in the market.


  • Superb composite fiber build for strength
  • Gold-Trim guides for line effectiveness
  • Thermoplastic grip for durability


  • Heavier than expected

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a steel line on this rod?

A: Yes, the rollers on the guides will not get damaged with steel.

Q: What kind of line should I use on this rod?

A: You can use any line from 20 to 100 pounds.

Q: Is this rod collapsible?

A: No, this is a 1-piece rod that doesn’t collapse.

10. Daiwa D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo

Daiwa DSK20-B/F602ML D-Shock Freshwater Spinning Combo

Don’t want to waste time picking the ideal reel for the piece? Then don’t worry – you can always get a decent combo like the Daiwa D-Shock.

Here, you’ll enjoy two of the highest-quality products from this brand at such a fantastic price that you won’t believe it.

This is an entire spinning combo that will take your fishing performance to another level. It all starts with the aluminum spool, which ensures a durable and corrosion-free experience. This pairs up well with the ultra-smooth Digigear construction.

As for the rod, you’ll get a medium-light product with fast action so you can catch small fish easily on your kayak. With a 6-feet length and 2-piece construction, you won’t have any problem bringing it around. And with the cork handle, you won’t have any difficulty receiving proper grip.

The rod is made of graphite with rugged fiberglass, perfect for a flexible yet durable product in its entirety. This rod takes performance to another level and for an unbeatable cost.


  • Outstanding cost with immense quality
  • Top-Notch graphite with fiberglass build
  • Exceptional reel with Digigear construction


  • Won’t handle fish heavier than 5 pounds

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use this rod in saltwater?

A: No, it is specially designed for freshwater only.

Q: Is it possible to change the direction of the reel?

A: Yes, this is an ambidextrous design that allows easy change of direction.

Q: What kind of line should I use with this rod?

A: We recommend 8 to 12-pound lines for the best experience.

Features to Consider Before Buying a Kayak Fishing Rod

Sure, reading some reviews can be immensely helpful if you want to pick the right model. But it won’t be nearly enough. That’s why it is necessary to take a look at the different factors you need to consider. Here are some of them:


Whether you are on a river or lake or trying to go kayaking on the ocean, you will need the right model that meets your standards and needs. Also, remember to consider your level of experience and how much you can carry when fishing.

Remember that fishing on a kayak demands tons of versatility and a light-enough or small-enough option. That’s why you should always go for ultra-light and practical models above any others.

But apart from that, you should consider whether you want a 1-piece or 2-piece model, or if you prefer a telescopic rod for easier storage.

The whole purpose is to pick something that matches your kayaking needs, but also your demands. As long as it fits exactly what you’re looking for, then it shouldn’t be a problem getting the right model.


Apart from its type, the second most crucial part is the length. This has a significant impact on how well you can handle the rod as well as how much you can get from it.

For example, if you are an experienced fisher who knows how to manage the rod and has tons of experience fiddling with fish – then a 7-inches rod will come like a gem. But if you aren’t too experienced and need something easy to handle, then go for a 5-inches model.

Of course, the length also affects the weight and how far the rod can reach. But overall, sticking to 6-inches or less when going on a kayak will be ideal.


The material refers to the type of construction the rod has. Here, you will find all kinds of materials going from carbon fiber to fiberglass, graphite composite, and many others.

But the best ones are always carbon fiber and fiberglass. They are pretty resistant and can handle tons of weight without breaking. But with a super-resistant and reliable product comes a hefty price tag, so that can make these materials less than ideal.

Graphite composite is not a wrong choice, but it tends to be more fragile and easier to break. Especially if you’re looking to catch large fish, a graphite composite model won’t be your best choice. Luckily, it tends to be magnificently affordable and decently durable if you know how to use it.

Action & Power

The action refers to the speed a rod bends when a fish bites and pulls. You could say this is the flexibility the rod has, and the more action, the smaller the fish you can handle.

Action is essential, but you won’t get the most out of it unless you also consider the power. Here’s where you’ll find things like Ultra-Light, Light, Medium Light, Medium, Medium-Heavy, Heavy, and Extra Heavy.

The ultra-light and light models are usually for the smallest fish out there, often the fastest actions out there. You can use these amazingly well in kayaks as they are often lighter in weight as well and won’t demand much strength to get fish out of the water.

Medium-light to medium-heavy rods can handle anything from salmon to large-mouth bass. But they work mainly on boats. A medium-heavy will only work on bass boats with deck hooks for the rod.

And sure, a heavy or extra-heavy is for the largest fish out there, and only work on large boats with tons of anchor strength.

In short, if you want to get the most out of your kayak fishing experience, go for an ultra-light or light rod with fast action. The lighter the power and the fastest the action, the better it will be to use in kayak fishing.

Reel Seat

After you go through the type, length, construction, and power of the rod – make sure it also has a proper reel seat.

This is where you’re placing the reel or spool mechanism for the rod to function. That’s why it is necessary to get a decent seat for it to fit perfectly.

We recommend corrosion-resistant seats that can handle saltwater, and straightforward designs so you can mount any reel without problems. Also, make sure it can work well with the kind of reel you need for kayak fishing, which is often the small & light reel.


A guide is where the line passes through. Here, you need to make sure that it can handle lines of the weight and strength you need. But it also needs to be resistant and durable.

We recommend aluminum and stainless-steel guides for the best experience. And if you can pick a rod with as many guides as possible, then go for it. Having eight guides throughout the rod will be ideal. Of course, this also depends heavily on the length of the model, but that would be a perfect number.


Lastly, make sure the rod you’re getting come with a comfortable and grip-oriented handle. Here, we recommend going for cork if you can. These are often the most resistant and capable when it comes to delivering proper grip.

Rubber models won’t be a bad choice either; they won’t have the lightness or grip as cork. And if you go for plastic or silicone models, you can expect a less durable grip in its entirety.

Tips for Kayak Fishing

Hopping on the kayak and expecting to get fish at first try is something that rarely happens. You will instead have to go deep into fishing and try your best. For that, we have a few tips you can follow:

Grab the Essentials

You’re going on a kayak, so it is critical to have all the necessary items before sailing. Here, you can consider the paddles so you can move easily. Also, make sure to have the right baits and lures in a proper storage case. This will help you prevent wasting time and effort.

Then, try to come with the right clothes. Remember, you’re on a kayak, so you’ll need waterproof clothes and footwear. Focus on something that fits tightly so you can enter inside the kayak easily. But also go for something thick enough to prevent any water from getting inside.

Use the Paddle with One Hand

When fishing on a kayak, you’ll know how hard it is to use one hand for the rod and one hand for the paddle. But it will help you enormously.

Without the right technique, you will waste a lot of time switching from the paddle to the rod, and so on.

You can make this easier if you pick a rod holder for the kayak. Some models come with these from the factory, but you can always get one to install and make it easier to handle the rod.

Find the Right Place

Kayaking is not easy, especially if you’re also going to catch fish. That’s why it is vital to know precisely where you’re going to fish and make sure it is the right place.

We recommend lake and large calm rivers above all other bodies of water to fish at.

Places with too many waves or movement will be too difficult to fish. Open sea, beaches, and rapids are almost impossible to fish at from a kayak. So, try to avoid them.

Bring Your Safety Equipment

When you’re kayaking, safety should be your first consideration. And this gets even more important when you’re doing so while fishing.

That’s why we recommend bringing a float jacket, a float bag, a kayak helmet, pads for knees and elbows if possible, and a small first aid kit for accidents. Bringing all these will be essential for a safe and effective fishing experience on a kayak.

Frequently Asked Questions

We know how many questions can come to your mind before buying a rod for kayak fishing. To help you relieve them, here are some of the most common questions with their respective answers:

1. Can I attach my rod to the kayak?

Yes, there are rod holders you can buy to anchor directly from the kayak. Some kayak models come with these holders from the factory.

2. What is the ideal weight for a kayak fishing rod?

It all depends on your level of experience and age. For adults, heavy rods will be handy for extra strength. But for teens and kids, we recommend the lightest rods possible.

3. Where can I store my rod when not using it?

If you have a collapsible or telescopic model, you can always store the rod on the kayak storage compartment. But for standard models, you’ll have to carry the rod along at all times.

4. How can I prevent my rod from falling to the water?

Fishing on a kayak will be difficult, especially holding the rod at all times. That’s why we recommend attaching to your kayak using a rod holder or fishing line tied to the handle.

5. What kind of fish can I get when kayak fishing?

You can catch practically anything you want. Just remember that kayaks can be a little unstable, so large fish over 20 pounds can be tricky from a kayak.

6. What kind of fishing can I do from a kayak?

You can do any fishing as long as you respect the fact that you will be doing it from a pretty unstable place.

7. Is it recommended for a beginner to do kayak fishing?

Yes. Fishing beginners should stick to shore or beach fishing. Kayaks can be very tricky for inexperienced anglers.

8. How many kayak fishing rods do I need?

You only need one. If you’re fishing with a partner on the same kayak or with two kayaks, then you’ll need two. It is not necessary to have more than that.

Final Thoughts 

You’ve made it to the end of the article. This means you’re entirely interested in one of these rods, but you may still not have an idea of what to go for. Well, don’t worry.

If you’re an inexperienced angler who wants to get something almost ready for instant action, the UglyStik GX2 Spinning Fishing Reel and Rod Combo will be a perfect choice.

Furthermore, if you are a more experienced user who wants the best kayak fishing rod, the St Croix Mojo Inshore Spinning Rods will come like a gem.

Whatever you go for, remember it is all about knowing what you need and how you can meet those needs with the right rod. Luckily for you, we explain all that in this article. Choose right, and you won’t regret it!

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