Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best kayak fishing rods and holders. Find a top-rated model for your next kayak fishing expedition.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviewed

We have reviewed and compared the best kayak fishing rods and holders. Find a top-rated model for your next kayak fishing expedition.

by Andrew

by Andrew

Anglers venturing offshore often run into the same problem: it’s nearly impossible to go undetected when on a big vessel with a loud motor.

Kayak fishing gives anglers a versatile and stealthy alternative to boat fishing. The process itself can take some practice to master, especially when casting, which is why it’s important to select the right gear for your kayak fishing adventures. 

Kayak Fishing Rod Comparison Table

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Material

Rod Action

Check Price

Tica BILD Kayak Fishing Rod

Tica BILD

4’6” And 5’6”

Graphite With Fiberglass Composite

Fast

Ugly Stik Elite Spinning Fishing Rod

Ugly Stik Elite

4’6” To 7’6”

Graphite And Stainless Steel

Fast

St. Croix TRS60MF Triumph Graphite Spinning...

St. Croix Triumph

5’0” To 7’6”

Graphite

Moderate To Fast

KastKing Perigee II Fishing Rods, Casting Rod...

KastKing Perigee II

4’6” To 7’6”

Carbon Fiber And Graphite

Moderate To Fast

Cadence Fishing CR5 Spinning Rods | 30 Ton...

Cadence CR5-30

4’8” To 7’0”

Carbon Fiber And Graphite

Moderate To Fast

Okuma Nomad Inshore Graphite Travel Rod-...

Okuma Nomad NTI-C-703M-MH

7’0”

Graphite

Fast


Importance Of Kayak-Specific Fishing Rods

Kayak fishing can be intimidating for anglers at first, for understandable reasons. A kayak is great for allowing you full control over your movement on the water, but a smaller vessel also means that you’ll need quick reflexes if you come up against strong winds or currents.

Casting while sitting down can be challenging, but anglers can adapt by casting one-handed or making other minor adjustments. An anchor works to an angler's benefit by keeping the kayak stable when casting lines and fighting fish.

Being able to adapt to a new style of fishing is a necessary skill, and this is especially true when matching your gear to your fishing environment and preferences. Whether angling in freshwater or saltwater environments, anglers can find a kayak-specific fishing rod that suits their fishing needs.


Buyer’s Guide: Choosing The Best Rod For Kayak Fishing

Rod Type

Anglers might opt for a casting or spinning rod depending on their casting preferences. Casting rods can be optimal for going after large target fish because they are usually equipped for heavier lines and lures. However, these rods also tend to be heavier and can be prone to backlashing.

Spinning rods are beginner-friendly, great for accurate casts, and the more versatile option. Because these rods tend to be lighter in weight, they are ideal for taking on a kayak fishing trip. Anglers going after bigger target fish can also find larger spinning rods and reels that can handle a fight.

Durability/Frame Quality

A graphite rod can be depended on for strength and durability, though usually at higher price points than rods made with fiberglass material. A rod made with bamboo material is light and flexible, so this type of material could work well for anglers targeting small to midsize fish. Bamboo rods are less common today as the demand increases for other materials like graphite and carbon fiber.

Target Fish & Environment

Because kayaks are compact and easy to maneuver, anglers can fish in open and narrow waterways without issue. Fishing in saltwater or freshwater environments impacts the types of fish species you can target. The size of your target fish plays a role in rod selection as well. For instance, if you’re targeting larger fish, you might need a medium to fast action rod with more length and power.

Rod Length

Your angling preferences can impact which rod length is best for you, but typically, rods between 6 ½ to 8 feet are optimal for kayak fishing. With a rod in this size range, you’ll be able to achieve long-distance casts and handle a fight when reeling in your target fish.

Rod, Line & Lure Weight

Rod, line, and lure weight can vary and has a lot to do with a rod’s length and power. Anglers should look for a kayak fishing rod with a test weight capacity that can handle their target fish’s weight. Shorter rods will have less line capacity and are best suited for lighter lures and smaller fish. A rod’s power can also impact test weight capacity.

Rod Action & Power

For kayak fishing purposes, it might not be necessary to opt for an extra heavy, extra fast action rod. Heavier power and fast action rods are great for targeting larger fish, but for anglers who want a highly sensitive option, a rod with a lower power and fast action could serve them well. 

It’s best to consider all the factors at hand and decide which power and action combination best suits your fishing habits.

Other Features

Rod features differ from rod to rod, especially when it comes to casting and spinning rods. For instance, there tend to be fewer line guides on spinning rods than casting rods because the reel is situated under the rod instead of on top of the rod. A rod designed with multiple ferrules can be detached and reattached for convenience when traveling and storing.

Price & Warranty

Kayak-specific rods can vary in price depending on the type of rod, material, and length. Rods that are good-quality and well-constructed are worth the investment, and most brands will offer warranty coverage in the case of manufacturing or operational issues. Before purchasing a rod, take note if a warranty is included.


6 Best Kayak Fishing Rods Reviewed

1. Tica BILD

Best Kayak Fishing Rod

Rod Length

4’6” and 5’6”

Handle Type

EVA

Material

Graphite with fiberglass composite

Rod Power

-

Rod Action

Fast

The Tica BILD is the best kayak fishing rod on the market today for a number of reasons.

Anglers have the option to choose between one-piece and two-piece models, both of which have a test weight capacity between 10-20 pounds.

The rod itself is constructed from high modulus graphite material and strong fiberglass composite. The engineers behind the BILD kayak fishing rod chose to incorporate this material as part of the rod’s foundation because it is among the highest-quality materials available.

Structural choices such as this enhance the rod’s durability, flexibility, and longevity. Anglers can trust that the brand's engineers designed this rod to serve multiple purposes for kayak fishing. The ability to choose between a single-piece and two-piece model gives you, as the angler, the freedom to decide how compact you’d like your rod to be.

Special features that are noteworthy for this rod are the Fuji Sic guides, the solid tip construction with fiberglass composite, and the APS reel seat. These features contribute to a smooth action and versatility while on the water. Anglers with this rod can achieve accurate casts and fight bigger fish. Compared to other rods on the market, this is also an affordable option for anglers testing out kayak fishing for the first time.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • High modulus graphite
  • Fiberglass composite
  • Fuji Sic guides
Cons
  • Not as well-suited for heavier saltwater species

2. Ugly Stik Elite

Best Spinning Rod For Kayak Fishing

Rod Length

4’6” to 7’6”

Handle Type

Cork

Material

Graphite and stainless steel

Rod Power

Ultra Light to Medium

Rod Action

Fast

The Ugly Stik Elite is the best spinning rod for kayak fishing. Anglers can choose between seven models to find one with the right length and power for their specific fishing needs. Rod power for the Elite ranges from ultra-light to medium.

The Ugly Tech™ Construction in this rod incorporates graphite material to ensure that the Ugly Stik Elite is lightweight and highly durable. The exposed blank-style reel seats are paired with cushioned stainless steel hoods. The stainless steel material contributes to the rod’s corrosion-resistance, and the hood feature protects the reel seat and improves stability at the same time.

A two-piece Elite rod can be appealing for anglers who are constantly on the move. The ferrule features allow anglers to attach and detach the rod blanks within a minute, making it possible for anglers to condense the size of their 5’ or 6’6” rod and travel without worry.

Many of us pass up on opportunities to fish while traveling because our gear is too bulky and heavy. With this rod, travel is convenient and simplified.

Other features include the premium cork handle, stainless steel guides, and an Ugly Stik® Clear Tip® design. With the purchase of this rod, anglers also receive seven-year warranty coverage.

Pros
  • Cork grip
  • Blank-style reel seats
  • 7-year warranty
  • Ugly Tech™ construction
Cons
  • High demand and limited availability

3. St. Croix Triumph

Best Rated Kayak Sea Fishing Rod

Rod Length

5’0” to 7’6”

Handle Type

Cork

Material

Graphite

Rod Power

Ultra-light to Medium-Heavy

Rod Action

Moderate to Fast

Because of the St. Croix Triumph’s high-quality construction and performance, this rod is regarded as the best rated for kayak sea fishing.

The premium graphite construction makes for a durable structure that can withstand wear-and-tear even after years of use. Though the material quality is exceptional, the rod is affordably priced and can be purchased in different models.

Anglers looking for the right rod for kayak sea fishing can trust that the medium-heavy power fast action rod will be able to handle the bigger fish you’ll find in saltwater environments. On the opposite end of the spectrum, St. Croix offers an ultra-light moderate action rod for times when you want to target small to midsize fish and have the most sensitivity possible.

The premium-cork handle allows for a comfortable grip regardless of how many hours you spend out on the water, and the Fuji DPS reel seat is designed with a frosted silver hood. When it comes to the rod’s guides, they are constructed from hard aluminum-oxide to ensure that the guides won’t detach from the rod when you battle heavier fish.

This rod is coated with two layers of flex-coat slow cure finish, and it’s also worth noting that St. Croix extends five-year warranty coverage over Triumph spinning rods.  

Pros
  • Single and multi-piece
  • Cork handle
  • Graphite construction
  • 5-year warranty
Cons
  • Not as stiff as some anglers might prefer

4. KastKing Perigee II

Best Saltwater Kayak Fishing Rod

Rod Length

4’6” to 7’6”

Handle Type

EVA

Material

Carbon fiber and graphite

Rod Power

Ultra Light to Heavy

Rod Action

Moderate to Fast

The KastKing Perigee II is the best saltwater kayak fishing rod because anglers can truly find a spinning or casting model that complements their fishing style.

Anglers can choose between single-piece and two-piece rods, depending on their preference. Constructed with a carbon fiber blank, this rod is guaranteed to provide the right amount of power, strength, and accuracy.

A Perigee II rod with heavier power, whether a spinning or casting model, will perform exceptionally well in saltwater environments. Anglers can consider which type of rod they prefer and choose between spinning and casting size options.

Features of this rod include Fuji O-Ring guides, an ergonomic graphite high-strength reel seat, and an EVA handle. Anglers have the option to select a twin-tip rod, which allows for some variation in the power performance of the rod.

Not all kayak fishing rods can be adapted efficiently or for long-term use in saltwater environments, which is why it’s important to have access to rods that can deliver on this front. The KastKing Perigee II lives up to anglers’ standards on how a rod should perform when saltwater kayak fishing.

Because this rod can also be used in freshwater environments, anglers can truly make the most of any kayak fishing trip.

Pros
  • Casting and spinning rod models
  • Single and multi-piece
  • Premium construction
  • Versatile
Cons
  • High demand and limited availability

5. Cadence CR5-30

Best Casting Kayak Fishing Rod

Rod Length

4’8” to 7’0”

Handle Type

Cork and EVA; carbon split grip or full grip

Material

Carbon fiber and graphite

Rod Power

Ultra Light to Medium-Heavy

Rod Action

Moderate to Fast

The Cadence CR5-30 is the best casting kayak fishing rod, especially for freshwater gamefish and inshore saltwater species.

Constructed with a carbon matrix graphite blank, this rod is durable and long-lasting while also affordably priced. There are two main handle configurations for the Cadence CR5-30 models so that anglers can choose between a carbon split grip and a full grip. The handles were made using both cork and EVA material, which is great for spending hours on the water without discomfort.

Additional features include the SiC guides with stainless steel frames, the Fuji reel seat, and the inclusion of a carbon veil to enhance the rod's durability further. The guides' design is worth noting because of its ability to reduce friction and improve sensitivity when fishing.

This rod is offered in one-piece and two-piece models for anglers who want to make time for kayak fishing during their travels. The lightweight and easily portable design only add to the appeal. Anglers will appreciate the various length, power, and action options because these options allow you to weigh the options without questioning the rod's quality. Whether you decide to go with a 4'8" or 7' model, this rod is worth the investment.

Pros
  • Single and multi-piece
  • Various models
  • Carbon matrix graphite
  • Premium materials
Cons
  • Casting rods can be difficult for anglers to master

6. Okuma Nomad NTI-C-703M-MH

Best Travel Kayak Fishing Rod

Rod Length

7’0”

Handle Type

Cork; split-butt rear grip

Material

Graphite

Rod Power

Medium Light/Medium or Medium/Medium-Heavy

Rod Action

Fast

When it comes to kayak fishing while traveling, the Okuma Nomad NTI-C-703M-MH is the best rod for any fishing venture.

While other rods in this review offer two-piece models, this rod stands out for its three-piece blank design. This feature enables the rod to be more compact without sacrificing the rod's actual length, which is 7'0" for all models.

Anglers can detach and reattach the blank pieces with a few quick adjustments. The blank itself is constructed from graphite material with a carbon outer wrap. This aspect of the design gives the rod a lightweight but powerful feel.

The ferrule connections that join the blank pieces are designed so that the blank sections overlap when assembled. In effect, you have a multi-piece rod with a one-piece feel. The two tip sections of the rod impact the rod’s sensitivity, so you’ll be ready for action when a fish makes contact.

Additionally, the rod is equipped with a split-butt rear grip design, an anodized aluminum reel seat, and a nonslip grip above the ferrules for a simple assembly process. Durable core fore and rear grips make for a long-lasting comfortable experience from the first cast to the retrieval of your catch.

This rod is also backed with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Two tip sections
  • Graphite material
  • Cork handle
Cons
  • More assembly is necessary

Kayak Fishing Rod Setup & Mounting Tips

When it comes to rigging a kayak for kayak fishing, keep in mind that you’ll need the front of the kayak to be clear of gear because this can get in the way of paddling. Designate a spot near the back of the kayak for your tackle and rods and install a fishing rod holder ahead of time. You can drill into a kayak to mount gear so long as you use waterproof silicone. Remember that some kayaks come with a flush mount rod holder.

You'll likely cast your line near vegetation when kayak fishing, so it's important to find a fishing line that can cut around these areas without breaking. A good option is this fishing line by Daiwa. A rod leash is another necessary piece of equipment so that you won’t lose your rod if it falls out of the kayak.

Other Essential Accessories For Kayak Fishing

Having the right rod for kayak fishing is crucial, but there are several other factors that you should consider before setting out on the water. Along with having the best kayak and rod, it's essential to invest in good-quality kayak paddles and kayaking shoes. Anglers looking for a great rod holder should invest in the YakAttack Omega.

From rod leashes to rod attachments, be sure to have all of your essentials covered.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

How dangerous is kayak fishing?

Kayak fishing requires anglers to do multiple tasks at once, and because of this, anglers need to continually be alert. This type of fishing can be dangerous if anglers lose a paddle and are unfamiliar with their fishing environment. Knowing if an area is heavily populated with boaters or home to predators like alligators is extremely important.

What is the best rod leash for kayak fishing?

Anglers can build their own rod leash, but there are plenty of great-quality rod leashes on the market. An excellent, top-rated option is the PROYAKER paddle and rod leash.

Do kayak fishing rods come with warranty coverage?

Yes, but this isn’t the case for all kayak fishing rods. Most brands will provide warranty coverage, but it’s always a good idea to compare a rod’s design and warranty plan with others on the market to make sure you’re investing in the right gear.

How do I take care of kayak fishing rods?

Taking care of your kayak fishing rod comes down to regular maintenance and cleaning, especially after each fishing trip. When angling in saltwater environments, rinse your rod immediately after you’re done fishing. We recommend purchasing a rod case to store your gear in between uses as well.

Where is the best place to buy these kayak fishing rods?

Amazon is the best place to find and purchase any of these rods and acquire other essential gear necessary for kayak fishing.


Conclusion

Investing in the best gear for your next kayak fishing venture is of the utmost importance. Among our top-ranked fishing rods, the Tica BILD stands out as the go-to rod for many anglers because it is specially-designed for kayak fishing. Whether you’re a novice or well-seasoned angler, kayak fishing can be mastered by anyone with quality gear and the right amount of know-how.

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