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Best Fishing Rod Brands [2020 Buying Guide]

Most consumers do not remember the first fishing rod that they ever used. At the time, you were probably focused on the memorable moment presented as well as learning the craft of fishing. As you better understood the hobby, you gained more knowledge about the different characteristics and features associated with fishing rods. Trusting the top brands for reliable products is a great way to start researching what fishing rod you should buy.

We recommend reviewing the top brands in fishing for your fishing rod needs because of their commitment to reliability and user experience. A helpful metric for evaluating these brands are by reading reviews provided by other consumers. While we continously gather reviews and talk to consumers, our team had to be the final ones to test the actual products. This list provides the best fishing rod brands offering the best models within the industry.


Fenwick

  • Best Rod – Fenwick World Class Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Fly Rod – Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod
  • Popular Rod – Fenwick Eagle Spinning Rod

Fenwick prides themselves on delivering dependable performance. The brand name “Fenwick” actually originates from a lake in the state of Washington. In 1952, the company was founded by a group of avid flyfishermen and has since revolutionized the fly fishing industry. This company is always discovering new ways to further improve their fishing rods and have led strong initiatives into further reinvestment in product research and development. Fenwick is a legendary, trusted brand that is used by professional anglers world-wide.

Fenwick focuses more on the fishermen and their needs. They introduced the first graphite rod and have since continued to uncover new ways to fish. The company as a whole respects the sport of fishing and displays that respect towards their customers. Fenwick offers a fishing rod as a lifelong contract of friendship and loyalty to its new owner. They hope that their hard work as a company results in satisfying experiences for all fishermen who purchase their equipment.

To this day, Fenwick has done a great job keeping that promise. They emphasis their fishing rod knowledge across all types of fishing: bass, walleye, fly, and especially saltwater. Fenwick rods were known to fishermen back in the early years of the company. Now, Fenwick is known as a leader in today’s fishing rod industry.


Abu Garcia

  • Best Rod – Abu Garcia IKE Signature Power Casting Fishing Rod
  • Spinning Rod – Abu Garcia Veritas Spinning Rod
  • Popular Rod – Abu Garcia Vengeance Casting Fishing Rod

Abu Garcia is a leader among fishing manufacturers for offering high quality rods at affordable prices. A long storied history dating back to 1921, pro fishermen have put their tackle to the toughest tests. Not only is the price very fair, but the detail and performance is also terrific. With origins dating back to early Swedish craftsmen, these rods were designed and built to be handed down from generation to generation. Founded by August Borgström, the company orginally focused on pockets watches, phone timers and meters for taxis. The negative effects of the World War II caused the company to make a strategic shift – fishing reels.

While the first fishing reels were built in the 1940s, their products didn’t take off until the early 1950s. The company leveraged a growing economy and an increased passion for fishing as an opportunity to grow their revenue and enhance their market share in the industry. Abu Garcia markets their fishing tackle as high-quality products that last for life.

Today, the company offers lightweight and balanced fishing rods. They feature stainless steel guides with zirconium inserts. These are beautiful rods that provide an comfortable fishing experience. With their product mix, Abu Garcia remains one of the world’s top brands for high quality rods for consumers looking for value in their purchases.


Shimano

  • Best Rod – Shimano Trevala , Graphite Saltwater Casting Rod
  • Freshwater Rod – Shimano Stimula, Graphite Spinning Rod
  • Popular Rod – Shimano FXS 2 Piece Spinning Rod

Shimano is a publicly traded company headquartered in Sakai, Japan. They are a multinational manufacturer of cycling, fishing tackle as well as rowing equipment. Fishing is very popular in the country of Japan. They rely on fishing as a major supplier of food for those who live on the coast. In 1921, Shimano was built by the ideas of a Japanese visionary, Shozaburo Shimano, who had a goal to make Shimano the leader for fishing tackle for all of Japan. He believed that if he could provide products great enough to lead the fishing efforts in Japan, they could certainly compete with the best in the world.

Shimano specializes in providing a wide variety of fishing rods. They also offer numerous products in reels, fishing line, accessories and fishing lures. Their top product continues to feature their spinning rods and reels.

The company has continued their success to the present day. They provide high-quality rods at a good value with a great-looking design. They offer rods for both saltwater and freshwater anglers. Their Sojourn Spinning rods also attracts a great amount of interest from professional fishermen as they are equipped with a low-profile aluminum oxide for a cleaning line play. As a larger public company, they provide really good customer service with a duty to answer to all of their stakeholders.


Penn

  • Best Rod – Penn Carnage II Boat Spinning Fishing Rod
  • Combo Rod & Reel – Penn Battle II Spinning Fishing Rod and Reel
  • Popular Rod – Penn Squadron II Inshore Rod

Penn has been the leader in saltwater fishing tackle for over 75 years. As my personal favorite choice for my saltwater tackle, it provides incredible quality for a flawless saltwater fishing experience. While their tackle tends to run a little more expensive compared to most, they make up for it with their attention to design and detail. Otto Henze helped build the blueprint for the company in an effort to provide anglers with reliable tackle for the most powerful game fish in the ocean. With his unexpected death, his wife Martha was tasked to help fulfill the dream that he had.

Penn is the ultimate tackle for the professional sport fishermen. Actually as of 2004, Penn states that their models hold over 1,400 IGFA world records. IGFA stands for the International Game Fish Association which is filled with legendary fisherman figures within the fishing community. With that resume, I trust their gear to withstand any of my saltwater fishing battles.

As I purchase my fishing rods in today’s landscape, I have relied on buying many rods and reels from Penn. I actually try to look out for the Penn rod and reel combos for great deals. Since I remain confident in both types of equipment, I prefer to purchase a combo that ends up being sold at a better deal compared to buying each piece separately. Most local fishing shops should carry these fishing rod and reel combos.


KastKing

  • Best Rod – KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rod
  • Walleye Rod – KastKing WideEye Walleye Fishing Rod
  • Popular Rod – KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod

KastKing, part of a bigger company in Eposeidon, prides themselves on selling their products directly to the consumer. They are able to provide the latest advances in fishing technology at a more affordable price. The company is very new compared to the other companies already reviewed on our list. They were founded by a group of college friends during the summer of 2011. Their were able to grow their knowledge and passion for fishing to provide fishing tackle that everyone could afford. The key advantage to keep prices low has been their factory direct sourcing.

The company does a great job in gathering opinions from the fishing community and directly creating products to solve those existing problems. With this philosophy, the consumer becomes an important element to the development process and a key tool for the company’s innovation. Consumers have used their fishing rods in ranges from small freshwater fish to large saltwater game fish.

KastKing has seen a tremendous surge in popularity over the past couple of years. I’d expect them to continue to build momentum on their product innovation and ability to enhance the experience for fishermen. KastKing’s business model works and will continue to capture more of the industry’s market share in the coming years.


Conclusion

For most consumers, purchasing a fishing rod isn’t as easy as just buying the best rod from the best brand. It requires a careful balance of having that rod satisfy your fishing needs at a well-justified price. When to comes to buying tackle from any of these best fishing rod brands, you are pretty confident that you are going to get a rod that works well. All of these companies are known within the fishing community for creating everlasting rods. For you, it is important to understand the type of fishing that you will do with this rod. Different rods offer different advantages depending on the fishing adventure.

All in all, when evaluating how you review the best fishing rod brands, focus on how the user experience has been. Successful products do equal happy customers. Buying a new fishing rod is an exciting event within the hobby of fishing. It will be one of the most important tools in helping you catch that fish that ends up being a new personal best.