Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo in 2023 – Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Reviews and Ratings

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo in 2023 – Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Reviews and Ratings
We spent over 45 hours researching and testing 20 different types of fishing rods and reels and found that rod strength, rod length, and material were most important. The Mitchell 300 Pro rod and reel scored high marks in all categories and is our top pick. We liked the 24 ton graphite rod which was more powerful than fiberglass. The adjustable drag can be adjusted up to 14 pounds. The spinning reel provided accurate and smooth casting with good distance capability. There is an aluminum spool on the reel as well. This rod and reel combo provided a great fishing experience.

1. Mitchell 300 Pro

Best Overall Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

5/5 Product Rating
The Mitchell 300 Pro Spinning Rod and Reel is the top pick because of its superior balance in a rod and reel combo and the versatility for freshwater fishing. The rod is a 24 Ton graphite rod, giving it more strength and power than fiberglass rods. The guides and inserts on the rod are made of durable stainless steel. This medium weight rod can handle test line from 180 yards and 12-pound test to 210 yards and a 14-pound test giving you a large variety of fish it can handle. The rod features an adjustable drag has the ability to adjust up to 14 pounds. The rod has an EVA handle for greater comfort over many hours of fishing. The rod comes in 2 pieces for easier storage.

The spinning reel provides smooth and accurate casting with good distance. The reel features 10 bearings with a gear ratio of 5:8:1 giving it 33” per turn. There is an instant anti-reverse feature which gives you a smooth operation and greater control over the line. The Bail Halo is an innovative technology giving the rod and reel combo superior strength to other rod and reel combos in its class.

The reel includes an aluminum spool. The adjustable drag is made of a hybrid carbon fiber for more accuracy. It is made from polymeric material which is water resistant. This unit offers fluid casting and smooth action in the reel for a high quality fishing experience.

Jonathan Maxwell

2. Zebco

Best Overall Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Runner Up

4.7/5 Product Rating
The Zebco Medium Heavy Spincast Fishing rod and reel combo is a top pick because of its features and durability. This is a heavy action rod that is 7 feet long in come in two pieces for easier storage. The rod features a Z-glass construction and an EVA grip for increased comfort on the handle.

The reel is stainless steel and has a ball bearing drive at a gear ratio of 2:6:1. The anti-reverse feature includes a multi stop function. The drag is adjustable and can be changed with a simple dial. The reel is also interchangeable for left or right handers. The reel comes with 20-pound mono filament on the spool.

One unique feature for this rod and reel is the auto bait alert that lets you know when you have a fish on the line. The reel can take up to 100 yards of 20-pound line. This rod and reel set is perfect for beginners.

Jonathan Maxwell

3. Plusinno Spin

Best Budget Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

4.5/5 Product Rating
The Plusinno TM Spin Rod and Reel Combo features a telescopic rod that is perfect for traveling and fishing while on the road. This set can be used in both freshwater and saltwater applications, so whether you are fishing at the pier or on a lake, you will be able to carry one rod and reel for the most common travel fishing needs. The rod reduces down to a compact size and is easy to store on your boat, kayak or other location. This high quality telescoping rod is a higher quality than most of the market.

The rod is made from carbon fiber mixed with fiberglass giving you the best of both worlds as far as strength and durability. A strong durable pole that can handle the heavier weight of smaller saltwater fish and all sizes of freshwater fish. The spool is aluminum and water resistant and features and instant anti reverse for greater control. The handle features an EVA grip for increased comfort. The medium weight rod features stainless steel reel seats that are anti corrosive, which is important in salt water applications. This rod is best for fish under 15 pounds and offers a quiet smooth action that is compact enough to travel with you anywhere.

Jonathan Maxwell

Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Buying Guide

Fishing Rod and Reel Combo Reviews

What is a Fishing Rod and Reel Combo?

Fishing Rod and Reel Combo1Fishing equipment comes in a wide variety because the kind of fishing is so varied. When you are looking for fishing equipment there are several questions you need to ask yourself before identifying the right equipment for your fishing needs.

The rod and reel combos come with a rod (not a pole) and a reel. A rod features a guide for the line and a way to attach a reel. A pole is basically a long stick without the specific parts to improve fishing efficiency.


Where Will You Fish. The two main types of fishing are freshwater and salt water fishing. Freshwater fishing requires a smaller and shorter rod that has increased flexibility. The weight of the line and the size of the reel should all be consistent with the smaller rod you will be using. Trout, bass, and other lake or river fish respond to different types of bait and lines, that are used with different size rods. Saltwater fishing can be from the shore, a pier or a boat. Pier and shore fishing can generally work with a saltwater/freshwater combo rod, where boat fishing for larger fish, requires a rod dedicated for saltwater fishing. Freshwater boat fishing on a lake does not require a larger rod than shore fishing.

What Type of Fish Do You Want to Catch? The rod and reel you choose will be determined by the kind of fish you are seeking. Different lakes, rivers and bodies of water carry different breeds of fish. The size of fish is important when choosing the rod and reel and the type of fish you want will determine where you fish and what bait you will choose to use. It can also impact fishing strategies such as casting or trolling.

How Will You Fish. The two basic types of fishing are spinning or fly fishing. Spinning is typically used on the shore or a boat, where fly fishing can be done in the water of a river or stream. Spinning and fly fishing require separate equipment for success.

What Storage Do You Need? Rods are long and fragile. The tips can break off easily and this will impact the quality of your fishing experience. Most poles come in two pieces and can be broken down without removing the reel or the line. Telescopic poles are more compact and better for travel, but suffer from low quality selections, in many cases. You need to be able to store your poles between uses, as well as break them down so they can be transported in your car, boat, or kayak.


What Kind of Reel Do You Need?

Fishing Rod and Reel Combo2Spinning Reels come in three basic types. They are Spincast, Baitcast and Spinning Reels.

  • Spincast reels are close faced and have all the parts underneath the cover. These are the most basic reels and easiest to use. Beginner fishermen and children most commonly use Spincast reels due to their ease of use. Simply hold a button down and cast. For those looking for more accuracy and further distances with your cast you may want to upgrade from the Spincast reel.
  • Spinning Reels are the most popular used among the general public. They are an open faced reel that offers longer cast distance and greater accuracy. They are still relatively easy to use and have a lot of line capacity. You are also able to buy an extra spool and switch it out easily, while fishing. This will allow you to work with different line strength on the same trip, without having to restring your line. Spinning reels are best for fish under 20 pounds.
  • Bait Cast Reels are the most difficult to use and the most experienced fishermen use these due to the higher accuracy in casting. With a Baitcast reel the spool turns when you cast and this can result in too much line being let out if you do not know how to control the cast. It takes some practice but provides the most accurate casting once you get the hang of it.

What Weight Does the Rod Need to Be?

The weight of the rod is determined by the type of fish you want to catch. There are three different rod types which are Fast Medium and Slow. This indicated how much the rod will bend and flex when it is loaded.

  • Fast rod is the stiffest of the three. It will only bend at the tip.
  • Medium Rod is the most popular type of rod and bends deeper than the fast rod and will have flex to the middle of the rod.
  • Slow rod is the most flexible and will bend all the way from the tip to the end of the rod.

What Material Should the Rod Be?

Rods are typically made out of fiberglass or graphite. The rods may be tubular or solid. A tubular rod will be lighter because the center of the rod is hollow as opposed to a solid piece of material. Solid rods are heavier and can handle bigger fish but are heavier to hold.

  • Fiberglass Rods do not take much to maintain and are resident to rust and corrosion. These are strong and flexible and great for beginners.
  • Graphite Rods are both lighter and stronger than a fiberglass rod, though they can be fragile in the sense that the tips will break easier if hit against a vehicle or boat.

Do You Need a Freshwater, Saltwater or multipurpose Rod?

Freshwater rods are usually water resistant but not necessarily corrosion resistant. Salt water can be very hard on materials and rod designated for saltwater will have additional features to increase the life of the rod in more robust conditions. Freshwater rods typically accept 4 to 10 pounds of line because the fish will be smaller you also do not need as long of a pole. A six-foot pole or less will generally be all you need. Salt water poles support greater weight and therefore the pole will be heavier and will accept a stronger line. Rods designed for both saltwater and freshwater a going to have higher weight capacity and salt water resistant features. These poles are generally best for shore or pier fishing rather than boat fishing, because of the size requirements for ocean fish.

What Line Weight Do You Need?

Fishing Rod and Reel Combo3While line weight is not about the rod and reel, the rod and reel you choose will determine the weight of line you are able to use. This is again determined by the kind of fish you are after the where you will be fishing. Line is measured by pounds, which identifies the amount of weight it can withstand without breaking the rod. Fishing line comes in fly fishing line, braided nylon or mono filament line.


When choosing a rod and reel you must match the size of the line for both the rod and reel. Failure to accomplish this can lead to an off balanced line that will not work as efficiently. Getting a rod and reel combo solves the problem of having to read and determine which rods will go best which reels, because they pair is designed to work together.

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