Buyer’s Guide & Information

Fishing Combo Reviews

We review and compare the best fishing combos on the market. These rod and reel models are great for anglers of all experience levels.

by Andrew

Buyer’s Guide & Information

Fishing Combo Reviews

We review and compare the best fishing combos on the market. These rod and reel models are great for anglers of all experience levels.

by Andrew

by Andrew

If you go on Amazon and start your search for the best rod and reel combos, you’ll quickly discover that the market is saturated with some good, some great, and some terrible units.

Knowing the water type and fish species you hope to catch will narrow down your search, but picking the right one may still seem impossible. This detailed guide was created for anglers looking for quality rods and reels that will last them years, not sessions. If this sounds like you, then you’re in luck.

Preview

Product

Rod Length

Rod Action & Power

Gear Ratio

Check Price

KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo,...

KastKing

Crixus

6’6”

Fast & Medium-Heavy

6.5:1

Abu Garcia Black Max Baitcast Low Profile...

Abu Garcia

Black Max

7’

Fast & Medium-Heavy

6.4:1

Orvis Encounter 5-Weight 8'6' Fly Rod Outfit...

Orvis Encounter

5-Weight

8’6”

fast & Medium

N/A

PENN Battle II Combo

Penn Battle II

6000

7’

Medium-Fast & Medium-Heavy

6.2:1

KastKing Centron Spinning Combos,6ft...

KastKing

Centron

6’

Medium & Moderate Fast

5.2:1

Wild Water Fly Fishing 9 Foot, 4-Piece, 5/6...

Wild Water

9’

Slow & Moderate

N/A

PLUSINNO Fishing Rod and Reel Combos Carbon...

PLUSINNO

6’9”

Medium Power

5.2:1

Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Combo

Ugly Stik

Catfish Spinning

7’

Medium-Heavy & Moderate Fast

4.6:1

Quantum Strategy Spinning Reel and 2-Piece...

Quantum

Strategy

6’6”

Fast & Medium

5.2:1

Lew's Wally Marshall Speed Shooter 100 6' Med...

Lew's Wally Marshall Speed Shooter 100 6'

6’

Medium & light

5.1:1

Why Invest In A Fishing Combo: Key Benefits Explained

Fishing combos are a better investment than buying rods and reels individually, especially as a novice angler building up their fishing arsenal. If you like to have multiple presentations while fishing, it's smarter to buy combos as you'll save a lot more cash than purchasing everything separately.

In the past, many manufacturers made combos specifically for kids or young teens so they could be introduced to fishing in a fun way. Nowadays, there are more technique-specific combos created with a range of power and action ratings so you can fish where you want and catch the species you prefer, from the best trout rod and reel combos to catfish combos and more.

We’ve listed a bunch of rods and reels to suit many styles of fishing in our review.


Considerations When Buying Fishing Rod & Reel Combos

Intended Use

  • Target Fish/Fishing Environment
    You might want your new combo so you can sit and relax by a lake or pond for pan-sized species. Or, you might prefer fast-fishing environments in moving water for larger, hard to catch trout fish. Whatever it may be, the environment and the fish found there should be considered before buying.  
  • Fishing Style/Technique
    Not all fishing combos can jig, skip, or move baits in the same manner. If you know you’d like to deep-sea fish or topwater jig, then be sure your new combo is suitable for that technique.
  • Fishing Skill/Level
    As you’ll see from our reviews down below, there are many combos specifically built for beginner, intermediate, or experienced anglers in mind. If you know you’ll use your combo to better your skills, then don’t choose a combo only suited for beginners.

Rod Features

  • Rod Type
    Choose between a spinning, baitcasting, or fly fishing combo. We have some of each in our reviews, and we go through the differences of each further into our guide.
  • Rod Size/Length
    This will depend on the rod type you choose. Fly fishing rods are longer, and a good length should be between 8 ft to 9 ft 6 inches. Baitcasting rods tend to be between 5 ft to 5 ft 6 inches. And spinning rods are usually about 6 ft or under.
  • Sensitivity
    You are much more likely to successfully set the hook and catch more fish if you’ve got a sensitive rod. Some species, like the largemouth bass, will need a higher level of sensitivity as they often pick up the bait and spit it quickly. One-piece rods will have the most sensitivity, so consider these for hard to catch fishes.
  • Strong Guides
    The guides keep your line in place up and down the blank. Choose a rod with high-quality guide construction, like stainless steel or graphite.
  • Rod Action & Power
    The action on a reel determines where the blank will flex the most, whereas the power refers to how much pressure it takes to flex the rod. The bigger the fish you’re hoping to catch, the heavier the power rod you will need.
  • Material Composition
    The composition of the blank, handle, and guides will differentiate a weak rod from a reliable one. Now, you should expect a good quality rod to be composed of fiberglass or graphite, or even a composite of both.
  • Handle Quality
    We recommend choosing a rod with a handle composed of either cork or EVA foam. These will be comfortable to use all day long. Plastic or poorly made foam handles simply won’t cut it for a long day by the water.

Reel Features

  • Durability/Frame Material
    Reels are often composed of either aluminum, graphite, or magnesium. Aluminum frames are stronger and more durable than graphite, but graphite is lighter and more resistant to corrosion.
  • Reel Size & Weight
    Fishing reel sizes can range in weight class from 1000 - 9500. Fly fishing is a little bit different. Their sizes run from 3 weight (3WT) to 12 weight (12WT). No matter the type of reel, the higher the number, the heavier the reel will be.
  • Drag Strength
    The drag should be set to the line you are using, and it should never exceed 1/3 of your line's breaking strength. For example, if you're using a 60 lb braided line, your drag setting will be between 15 and 20 lbs at strike.
  • Gear Ratio
    A slower ratio will give you a lot of torque, which works well for reeling in large gamefish. Faster gear ratio allows for rapid lure retrieval, so they work great for fishing fast. A gear ratio between the range of 5.2:1 to 6.2:1 is a good start for novice anglers.
  • Ball Bearings
    Manufacturers say that the more bearings a reel has, the smoother it will be. However, we found reels with fewer bearings made with high-quality steel to be a lot more reliable and smoother than poorly made reels with a ton of bearings. Shielded and double-shielded ball bearings work best, in our opinion.
  • Spool & Line Capacity
    Each manufacturer will indicate which type of line is suitable for the spool on your new reel. They will also indicate the line capacity so you won’t over or under spool the internal or skirted reel in your combo.
  • Reel Seats
    You will connect your reel onto your rod by the reel seat. Look for a well-constructed reel seat with secure attachments (double locking is preferred), preferably made of aluminum or stainless steel.
  • Anti-Reverse Handles
    Anti-reverse handles are either threaded, screwed, or riveted into the reel. Screw-in and riveted handles can come loose and even drop into the water at crucial moments during fishing. For this reason, we find threaded handles work best, and they’re better for long-term use.

Price & Warranty

Serious anglers who wish to better their skills should opt for a combo with high-quality materials and features. These higher-priced combos tend to have longer warranties and are built by brands to last longer.

There are more affordable combos on the market, which we recommend for beginner fishers. You should expect a standard 1-year warranty on these cheaper models.


10 Best Fishing Rod & Reel Combos Reviewed

1. KastKing Crixus

Our Top Pick!

Rod Length

6’6”

No of Pieces

2-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Fast & Medium-Heavy

Reel Weight

7.3 oz.

Gear Ratio

6.5:1

Water Type

Freshwater and Saltwater

The first rod and reel combo, and our top pick is by the well-known brand, KastKing. The company’s mission statement has always been "Keeping Fishing Fun," and with the creation of the Crixus rod and reel, they haven’t let anglers down. The rod and reel in this combo are full of innovative features, yet it remains incredibly affordable. Not only is it our top pick for the best baitcasting combo, but it’s also the best rod and reel for under $100.

We’ll start with the rod. The blank is constructed with powerful and sensitive IM6 Graphite, and it’s 6’6” in length. The power rating is medium-heavy, so it has a nice balance of power without losing its sensitivity. All down the blank, you’ll find high-quality stainless steel guides with Zirconium Oxide rings. These rings deliver long and smooth casts with a durable performance when paired with fluorocarbon, monofilament, or braided fishing lines.

Anglers won’t find the handle accompanying this rod uncomfortable. KastKing uses ‘Golf Style’ super polymer handles with each model within the series. These handles are comfortable, durable, and exceptionally slip resistant giving you maximum grip over your fishing rod even in the wettest conditions.

The reel is just as impressive as the rod. The frame is lightweight and carbon-infused for extra durability. It features a CNC aluminum spool and 5+1 double-shielded stainless ball bearings. What we loved the most with this baitcasting reel was its carbon fiber drag system and its magnetic braking system. For a combo this cheap, it’s hard to find features like these anywhere else.

We’re not the only anglers who love this rod and reel combo. There are hundreds of positive reviews on KastKing’s site.

Rick was one angler who reviewed this combo and said,

“The reel has a great feel and is very smooth. The rod came packaged well, and the combo was together in a few minutes. Can’t wait to haul some fish in on my next trip!”

Pros
  • Great weight and sizes for all-day fishing trips
  • Very smooth line retrievals with all line types
  • Affordable yet high-quality
  • 1-Year Warranty
Cons
  • Expect some birds nests for novice baitcasting anglers

2. Abu Garcia Black Max

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners

Rod Length

7’

No of Pieces

2-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Fast & Medium-Heavy

Reel Weight

7.9 oz.

Gear Ratio

6.4:1

Water Type

Freshwater

The Black Max rod and reel is the introductory offering in Abu's Max line of baitcaster equipment. This combo is for any novice angler who’s looking to get a low-cost baitcaster setup that still has all the quality and reliability you would expect from a brand like Abu Garcia. If you’re looking for a baitcasting combo for intermediate anglers, then the Silver Max combo is for you. And, for experienced anglers, you’ll be best suited with the Pro Max series.

The low-profile reel in this combo is beloved by many beginners entering into the sport of baitcasting. It’s built from a lightweight graphite frame and body. You’ll get 4 stainless steel ball bearings and 1 roller bearing within the reel for reliable operation and effortless retrievals. Some other patented features on the inside of the black max reel are:

  • Power Disk drag system
    Set the drag according to your preference and expect a smooth recovery each time.
  • Duragear brass gear
    Strong and sturdy. Suitable for freshwater fishing applications.
  • MagTrax brake system
    This will give you fewer backlashes and overruns
  • Compact bent handle
    Store away your reel easily and efficiently with this compact handle.

The rod is just as superbly made as the reel. It’s created with 24 Ton graphite construction, and it's accompanied by a high-density EVA handle for all-day usage. The twist-lock reel seat is placed just above the handle, and it is a recessed reel foot.

This allows for a more ergonomic reel design to be paired with the rod. Partner this rod and reel with a braided or monofilament line, and with the lures or baits of your liking, and you’re all set to go! It’s our number one choice for the best fishing rod and reel combo for beginners.

Pros
  • Braking system helps with less line overrun- perfect for beginners
  • Up to 15 lbs of max drag
  • Works with mono and braided line
  • 1-Year warranty on the reel, 3-year warranty on rod
Cons
  • Drag is hard to set up and use. With practice, it works well.

3. Orvis Encounter 5-Weight

Best Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

8’6”

No of Pieces

4-Pc

Rod Action & Power

fast & Medium

Reel Weight

4.1 oz.

Gear Ratio

N/A

Water Type

Freshwater & Saltwater

Fly fishing is a great way to get by the water. And, the Encounter Outfit by Orvis is packed with everything you need so you can get to the lakes and streams as fast as possible. Many fly anglers reviewed this series positively on the Orvis website.

One angler reviewed this set and said, “Getting back into fly fishing. Purchased the Encounter outfit and haven't looked back. It does everything I want it to. Highly recommended!”

The full Orvis outfit includes the following:

  • 8’6” Fly Rod
  • 5-WT Fly Reel
  • Orvis quality WF floating fly line
  • Dacron backing
  • Tapered leader
  • Orvis Cordura rod tube

Every Orvis Encounter reel is made from composite plastic. For some, this is a turn-off as you can get a fly reel composed of die-cast aluminum for just a couple of extra bucks. However, it can take a beating and works well with steady moving waterways. It can also withstand saltwater and freshwater applications, so you can bring it to numerous fishing spots.

The rod is constructed of graphite and breaks down into 4-pieces. It’s not full of power when it's being cast, but it will give you a lot of control, which is important when you're working with such a long pole. Whether you're a hiker, or a cyclist, getting to lakes, rivers, or shorelines won't be a problem once you break down this 4-piece rod and put it into your Cordura rod tube.

Unfortunately, the Encounter series of rods are exempt from the standard 25-year guarantee, but it does come with limited warranty protection against factory defects on the rod. We thoroughly enjoyed the whole outfit, so we had to choose it for the best fly rod and reel combo that’s on the market today.

Pros
  • Large arbor design
  • Interchangeable hand retrievals
  • Disc Drag System
  • Limited Warranty on Defects
Cons
  • The 25-Year Orvis Guarantee doesn’t apply to this combo

4. Penn Battle II 6000

Best Surf Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

7’

No of Pieces

1-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Medium-Fast & Medium-Heavy

Reel Weight

22.1 oz.

Gear Ratio

6.2:1

Water Type

Saltwater

Surf fishing is one of the easiest and most fun fishing techniques to take part in. Having the right equipment is crucial, though, as there are many corrosive properties in saltwater. That’s why we’ve picked the Penn Battle II Fishing Rod Combo as the best saltwater combo that’s on the market right now.

This deep-sea combo has one of the best reels that’s perfectly balanced between price and quality. It features a full metal body, rotor, and side plate with a machined and anodized aluminum spool. The carbon washers replace traditional felt washers; this also lengthens the reel's lifespan and provides an exceptionally smooth ‘non-jerky’ drag. It also looks incredibly clean with an improved paint quality compared to previous models. This protects the reel against saltwater spray and chemicals, which will always lead to corrosion if you are not careful.

The rod is just as stylish as the 6000 reel. It’s 7’ long and has a medium-heavy power rating. There are  8 aluminum oxide guides along with this one-piece blank. As it is just one piece, it’s not as easy to put in a backpack and go, but there are 2 and 3 piece models available with the same reel. We picked the one-piece design as it has the most sensitivity, so you’ll feel every bit.

Use this combo for trolling, long casting, and in deep-sea waterways. It’s versatile in every way, even with fish species.

RainMan15 reviewed this reel on PennFishing’s site. He said,

“I bought my Battle II just after it won the best saltwater reel at iCast. I've used it for just over a year and I love it. Perfect for largemouth bass, snook, redfish, small shark and even caught my first tarpon on it.”

Pros
  • Durable for freshwater and saltwater
  • HT 100 carbon fiber drag system
  • No backing required
  • 1-Year Warranty
Cons
  • Heavier reel compared to its competitors

5. KastKing Centron

Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

6’

No of Pieces

2-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Medium & Moderate Fast

Reel Weight

8.6 oz.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater & Saltwater

There are hundreds of spinning combos available nowadays. But there was no question for us which one would be our top pick for the best spinning rod and reel combo. It has to be the KastKing Centron. This model has a professional and sporty look with a black and electric blue design. Don’t let its looks fool you, It’s easy to set up and use, and many anglers have progressed their skills wonderfully with this combo.

The 6' rod is made of IM6 graphite, just like our top pick, so we already know it's strong yet light in weight. There are 7+1 stainless steel O-Ring guides along the blank that perform perfectly with both mono or braided lines. Finish it with a contoured split-grip and EVA handles, and you've got yourself a well-designed and thought-out rod. We loved how sensitive this rod feels, and it remained perfectly balanced alongside the reel.

Connect the reel onto the twisted lock reel seat, and you’re good to go. For the 6’ rod, KastKing pairs it with a 2000 reel size. Some of its features include a CNC machined aluminum spool, a 5.2:1 gear ratio, and a line capacity of 8-14 pounds, making this combo very versatile to catch fish like crappie, bluegill, panfish, trout, smallmouth bass, and walleye. Out of all of these species, we think it is the best crappie rod and reel combo out there, so enjoy!

RainMan15 reviewed this reel on PennFishing’s site. He said,

“I bought my Battle II just after it won the best saltwater reel at iCast. I've used it for just over a year and I love it. Perfect for largemouth bass, snook, redfish, small shark and even caught my first tarpon on it.”

Pros
  • Best combo for crappie species
  • Smooth triple-disc felt drag washers are powerful
  • Many sizes available in left and right-hand retrievals
  • 1-Year Warranty
Cons
  • Small reel size- may not suit all anglers

6. Wild Water

Best Panfish Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

9’

No of Pieces

4-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Slow & Moderate

Reel Weight

5.6 oz.

Gear Ratio

N/A

Water Type

Freshwater

The next on our list is the best for panfish. It’s the Wild Water Complete Fly Fishing Rod and Reel Combo. Just like the Orvis fly kit listed above, this comes with a whole set of flies and accessories so you can catch trout, panfish, and small bass in small to medium streams and ponds of all sizes. You'll receive a 32" hard tube case that's composed of black nylon. It also has a reel pouch and side storage pouches so you can fit all of the equipment in a shoulder-strapped bag.

The 9' rod in this set is lightweight yet sturdy as it's built with IM8 graphite. It weighs 4.4 ounces altogether and is slow in action, making it easy for even a beginner to cast. The super-high-quality 7" compressed cork grip keeps the rod light in weight, and we found it very easy to hold for numerous hours. The reel seat is constructed of titanium and has a machined sliding hood to keep the reel firmly in place.

The reel has an 85mm diameter spool that’s constructed of die-cast aluminum. Fear not fly anglers; the reel is already pre-spooled with 5 WT orange backing and floating fly line in the color chartreuse. This fly reel can be easily changed from left to right hand retrieve so any angler can buy and use it without worries.

As for the extras, you’ll receive a waterproof fly box with 9 different flies in total. You’ll also get a monofilament leader,  line nipper with nail knot tying tool, and a hook eye cleaner for easier maintenance. There’s not a lot more you’ll need for a day's trip when fly fishing, so we’re sure you’ll be reeling in panfish in a hurry with the Wilder Water Full Kit.

RainMan15 reviewed this reel on PennFishing’s site. He said,

“I bought my Battle II just after it won the best saltwater reel at iCast. I've used it for just over a year and I love it. Perfect for largemouth bass, snook, redfish, small shark and even caught my first tarpon on it.”

Pros
  • Full kit and travel bag
  • Pre-spooled with quality fly line
  • 1-Year warranty on the reel, Lifetime warranty on the rod
Cons
  • Best suited to beginners. Intermediate and experienced anglers will quickly become bored with this combo

7. PLUSINNO

Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for the Money

Rod Length

6’9”

No of Pieces

1-Pc (Telescopic)

Rod Action & Power

Medium Power

Reel Weight

N/A

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater & Saltwater

Plusinno has created a rod and reel combo that’s designed to be compact and portable. It’s a perfect choice for anglers on a budget or looking for the best fishing rod and reel combo for the money. From freshwater to saltwater, this combo is suitable for all water conditions, and it’s telescopic, so you can retract the rod, making it travel-friendly, too.

Choose between silver, gold, or platinum color options. Each size is as follows, but they all collapse to 20" in length.

  • .8M is 5’9” at full length
  • 2.1M  is 6’9” at full length
  • 2.4M is 7’8” at full length
  • 2.7M is 8’8” at full length

No matter the size you choose, you’ll receive a rod that’s composed of high-density carbon fiber that’s mixed with fiberglass. This composition gives you a hard and durable rod with just the right amount of elasticity when you need it most. The reel seat is hooded and created with stainless steel allowing it to be anti-sea water corrosive. You’ll also find an EVA split-grip handle on this telescopic rod. It’s not the most comfortable, but it is good against wear and tear.

The reel is what we loved as it’s high-quality and easy to set up. You’ll get good instant anti-reverse settings and power drive gears with this Plusinno reel. It has a thick coiled bail spring, and the spool is built with aluminum, and it’s deep, so you can put more line on the spool than other budget-friendly options. The reel handle is oversized, and you can change it for right and left-hand retrievals for you or your loved one. Overall, it’s the best bang for your buck, and we highly recommend this model for traveling.

Pros
  • Resistant to corrosion
  • Compact- great for long trips or plane journeys
  • 1-Year Warranty
Cons
  • The drag knob is a little loose
  • No precise information on the action of the rod

8. Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning

Best Catfish Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

7’

No of Pieces

2-Piece

Rod Action & Power

Medium-Heavy & Moderate Fast

Reel Weight

2.12 oz.

Gear Ratio

4.6:1

Water Type

Freshwater

The best catfish rod and reel combo have to be the species-specific model by Ugly Stik. The Shakespeare Ugly Stik Catfish Spinning Combo includes a 2-piece Ugly Stik rod and a 50 size ball bearing drive spinning reel. It’s our top pick for the best catfish rod and reel combo as it's durable and it's built to last. We're not the only anglers who love it.

"My wife and I both enjoy catfishing above all other. We both use two catfish ugly stick combos. I very rarely miss a hook set. And have yet to loose a fish due to equipment failure.”

This features a medium-heavy action and is 7-feet in length. It’s constructed with many of Ugly Stik’s patented design elements. These include:

  • Ugly Tech construction
    The blank is made using Shakespeare’s patented Howald Process construction. It consists of an inner layer of graphite for more strength, and the outer layer is fiberglass for extra protection against saltwater.
  • Ugly Stik Clear Tip design
    The tip of the rod is clear, which delivers added responsiveness and strength.
  • Ugly Tuff Guides
    These guides are constructed of one-piece stainless steel to eliminate insert pop-outs, so your line won’t break.

The 50 (also known as 5000) size spinning reel features 1 ball bearing plus one-way clutch instant anti-reverse bearing. We usually like to see 3 bearings within reels, but it didn’t let us down. It also features an oversized handle knob for fighting big cats, and the aluminum spool is perfect for a monofilament line. This rod and reel combo will have you reeling in mid-large sized catfish without a problem. It’s a fun yet durable combo when used correctly.

Pros
  • Great for small-mid sized catfish
  • Stainless steel guides
  • 7-year warranty on the rod, 1-year warranty on the reel
Cons
  • Small and light reel, may feel too flimsy for some anglers

9. Quantum Strategy

Best Rod and Reel Combo for Bass Fishing

Rod Length

6’6”

No of Pieces

2-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Fast & Medium

Reel Weight

3.53 oz.

Gear Ratio

5.2:1

Water Type

Freshwater & Saltwater

Having control is essential when you’re going against any bass fish, and you're sure to gain it with the Quantum Strategy 2-Piece Fishing Rod Combo. This fast action 6'6" rod has medium power and perfectly compliments the reel. With a medium power rating, it’s ideal for more than just bass. You can target walleye and a wide range of panfish with this combo.

Made of ultra-light IM7 graphite, the Quantum spinning rod comes equipped with deluxe D-ring guides and a classic cork full handle. You’ll also get a built-in hook keeper, which preserves the integrity of the rod guides and ceramic insert rings.

From the rod to the reel, this combo has silky smooth retrievals, and we believe it’s thanks to the elite drag performance and ball bearings. You get 5 ball bearings, plus 1 clutch bearing to keep everything operating with ease. And, the Continuous Anti-Reverse Clutch keeps you in control even when reeling in tough-to-catch bass fish.

Partner these reel features with a forged and machined double anodized spool which can hold a mono or braided line, and a balanced computer rotor; you’ve got yourself a killer reel. Quantum’s  TRU Balance rotor offers a fluid cranking motion, which, combined with the powerful drag, makes it easy to land some of the strongest bass fish. This combo is a fish-fighting set at a fraction of the price compared to their competitors.

Pros
  • Great line capacities for mono and braid
  • Computer balanced rotor
  • 1-Year Warranty
Cons
  • The bail arm is small in size

10. Lew's Wally Marshall Speed Shooter 100 6'

best Trout Fishing Rod and Reel Combo

Rod Length

6’

No of Pieces

2-Pc

Rod Action & Power

Medium & light

Reel Weight

7.8 oz.

Gear Ratio

5.1:1

Water Type

Freshwater & Saltwater

The last combo on our list is the Lew's Wally Marshall Speed Shooter. We have tried and tested this combo for trout fishing, and we must say, it did impress us thoroughly. It’s created and inspired by Mr. Crappie himself- Wally Marshall. This series features rods in all different actions and lengths, but we believe the 6’ model is the best for trout.

This Pro Series rod by Lew’s Fishing features a premium IM6 graphite blank with weight, sensitivity, and performance in mind. Its guides and inserts are constructed of stainless steel for reliable use with all lines, including monofilament and braided lines. It also means that these guides won’t erode with saltwater if maintained and cleaned correctly after every use.

The handle is constructed of premium cork with Duracork accents, so not only is it practical, but it looks snazzy, too. This combo's color option is an electric blue and green, giving it a very sporty look. It may not be the best design for anglers who prefer a traditional fishing set. From the split-grip handle to the super-sensitive tip, this moderate action, medium-light powered rod is a perfect catch for many fishing applications.

The reel is just as impressive, too. It has a lightweight graphite body and skeletal rotor design with 4 top-quality bearings. You’ll also get a Zero reverse one-way clutch bearing to help you with control. The ported aluminum spool is anodized twice, so it can be used without any wear and tear. And, the collapsible handle adjusts for left/right hand retrieve. For such a low-cost rod and reel, it sure knew how to perform when fishing for trout, so it has to be our pick for the best trout combo.

Pros
  • Sporty design- fun for young anglers, too
  • Great gear ratio for anglers looking for some fun
  • 1-Year warranty
Cons
  • The tip has been reported to break off by some anglers

Comparing Rod And Reel Combo Types For Fishing

  • Spinning Combo- Spin Fishing
    There are two types of combos you can get for spin fishing- spinning and spin casting combos. Traditional spinning reels can have an open or closed face design, whereas spincasters only have closed faces, which are meant to reduce tangled lines. Many anglers learn with spincasting combos as kids and teenagers as they’re easier to use.
  • Fly Fishing Combo- Fly Fishing
    Fly fishing rods are incredibly light in weight, and they’re used to cast specific fly lines by false casting. You don’t use lures with this combo; you can only use flies. Dry flies, nymphs, emergers, and streamers are some of the go-to’s for fly anglers as they imitate all forms of food fish feed on. Fly fishing is typically on moving water, although Stillwater fishing is done frequently by fly anglers.
  • Baitcasting Combo- Baitcasting
    Baitcasting reels can handle heavier lines with wider diameters than spinning combos. There is a lot more technique involved with baitcasting equipment as the line often tangles within the reel. This doesn’t mean they're not suitable for novice anglers; it just means a little more practice. Once you get the hang of your new equipment, you will cast longer and more accurately with a baitcasting rod and reel.

Fishing Combo Setup: Recommendations For Rod & Reel Sizing

Now that you have decided on your rod and reel combo, there are a few things to consider purchasing before you hit the waterways. The line, lures, and leaders are just a few, and they’re going to be based on your rod and reel.

Luckily for you, you already know the rod and reel are made to be balanced and perfectly paired. Within the specifications of each combo, the manufacturer will indicate which line is suitable, and they’ll also say the line capacity for each model. Next, you’ll need to focus on some lures that suit each power rating and the fish you can catch. Here’s a quick guide to help you complete your setup.

Line and Lure Weights for Specific Power Ratings

Ultralight to Light Combos

Good for very small fish
Use 2-6 lbs line
1/64 -ounce to 1/2-ounce lures

Light to Medium Combos

Suitable for small to medium-sized game fish
Use 8-12 lbs line
1/16-ounce to 3/16-ounce lures

Medium-heavy to Heavy Combos

Perfect for large game fish
10-20, or 17-40 lbs lines
1/8-ounce to 3/8-ounce lures

Basic Fishing Combo Tips For Beginners

Here are our top 3 fishing combo tips for beginner anglers:

1. Practice makes Perfect

Even if you’ve used a rod and reel before, it’s wise to practice casting your new combo on dry land before taking it to the water. This will help you with casting accurately when the time comes to shoot into waterways. You’ll also see how much line is coming off your spool so you can determine the best places to cast from on your fishing adventure.

2. Rig your Combo Right

There’s no point researching and buying a new fishing rod and reel combo if you don’t rig your equipment correctly. This will require appropriate lures and learning specific fishing knots. A good example of a knot for fly fishing is the Turle Knot. It’s a great fixed knot that makes your dry flies drift properly.

3. Plan your Fishing Trip according to your Equipment

If you buy a fishing combo that’s only suitable for freshwater applications, then stick to only freshwater lakes, ponds, and streams. Planning to bring your combo on a full fishing trip to the shoreline will just damage your gear for future trips to come.


People also Ask (FAQs)

Are there any special care and maintenance steps for these rods & reels?

When you use your rod and reel (especially after saltwater presentations), we recommend giving your equipment a light clean with a damp, clean cloth. This is a great way to check your equipment for any damages so they stay properly maintained. Deep cleans are essential after every 3-4 times of use. For deeper cleans, check out this helpful video, or you can read over our guide on how to clean fishing reels.

What is the difference between inexpensive and high-priced combos?

High-priced rods and reels are created for particular fishing techniques. They tend to be a lot slower or faster in action with specific power ratings. Tournament level anglers use these rods and reels, and they will require a lot more experience. Inexpensive combos were created so a beginner to intermediate angler could learn with them without breaking the bank buying them. They’re not as specific in ratings, nor are they constructed with top-of-the-class materials. However, there are more competitors on the market nowadays, so the quality is becoming higher every year.

As a beginner angler, do I need to get a fishing license?

Unless you fall under a small minority of individuals (like anglers over 65, for example), then you’ll need a license to fish. You won’t have to do a written exam nor a practical test. You simply buy a license through your state’s agency website. You can buy a license depending on how much you fish. There are one-day, annual, family, and even lifetime licenses available in many states.

What are the best brands for fishing combos?

Some of the best fishing rod and reel combos on the market are created by Lew’s, Penn, Shimano, and Okuma. These are just a few manufacturers that have released combos that many anglers rave about. New brands are arriving on the fishing scene every year, so keep your eyes peeled.

Where can I buy these fishing combos at a good price?

We recommend fishing around Amazon to find your preferred combo at the best price. There are a ton of sellers that have our top picks ready and available to buy. The review section allows you to read other anglers' opinions before you make your final decision. This means your new fishing combo could arrive at you in no time, and you’ll feel fully assured.


Conclusion

Set yourself up for success by choosing one of the best rod and reel combos on our list. You really can't go wrong with our top pick, the KastKing Crixus. It’s versatile, durable, and most importantly, it’s fun to use! If another combo seems better suited to your needs, then go for it! We love each combo for its unique features, so we’re sure you’ll love them, too. 

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