As their name suggests, rod and reel combos are a combination of both a fishing reel and rod which is pre-assembled together. For those who are beginners in particular and aren’t confident in matching up a rod and reel, this package offers them a great option.
Although buying a combo is relatively easy, there are still several factors to consider to ensure that you pick the right combo for you.
What are the benefits of using a fishing rod and reel combo?
One of the main benefits of choosing a rod and reel combo is that you will know that the specifications of each are going to be compatible with one another.
This means that you do not have to worry about whether the flexibility of the rod is going to be compatible with the gear ratio of the reel, a professional has already done the work and figured out which rod and reel combinations work best with each other.
If you are a more experienced angler you may want to try out your own combinations, however, for a beginner or intermediate fisherman, a combo set is great for those who just want to pick up their gear and start fishing, as it comes out of the packaging ready for use.
An additional benefit of a combo is the cost. Purchasing a combo is often cheaper than buying the two components individually and you will often find combos that retail at very reasonable rates.
If you are on a budget, opting for a combo will allow you to get some better quality equipment within your price range. This makes combos a much more affordable option than buying the equipment individually so this works very well for those who have particular budgets in mind.
Below are some of the top-rated rod and reel combos to give you a clear idea of what you should be looking for.
Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combos - Reviews
The Plusinno Spin combo comes with a rod made of durably constructed carbon fiber and fiberglass, an effective combination making this a strong and flexible rod.
The smaller parts are constructed from soft plastic and stainless steel, giving it a tactile feel, and even after being exposed to saltwater, this is going to be a great looking rod. This is a great versatile choice that can hold up in any sort of water.
This rod can be stored easily, as it can be folded and expanded with ease. It is a great choice for camping trips thanks to its lightweight and compact design so it isn’t going to consume a lot of room, whether this is in regards to storing or transporting the rod.
This rod can be carried anywhere you go.
The HA3000 model reel comes with this combo. It has a shorter metal body with anti-corrosive treatment and an aluminum spool which is longer. Weighing only 9.5 oz it is lightweight so you don't have to worry about carrying and packing a bulky reel. It has a 5:2:1 gear ratio and an anti-reverse handle.
Hooking a fish shouldn't be too difficult for a practiced angler as this gives it enough handling. With an S-Curve oscillation system, this combination has a smooth reeling in motion. The HA3000 model uses an innovative rotor balanced system which aids this further.
This set up means that when you are retrieving you won't experience much of a jerking motion.
Impressively, this rod also has EVA foregrip which is particularly useful as you are likely to be spending a lot of time holding your rod and this is going to make it a much more comfortable experience.
If you intend on doing some inshore fishing the Penn Battle II comes with a rod that is ideal for this occasion. With great responsiveness, it casts well from the shore.
However, many fishermen suggest that this rod has less desirable durability, which can become easily damaged, especially when fishing for and fighting larger fish. Due to this, you may find freshwater or small saltwater inlets more effective with this rod.
The Battle II uses Penn's signature drag washers, a defining characteristic. The HT100 drag washers are incorporated into the spool of the Battle II. Larger drags, a longer casting range and a smooth intake are all possible thanks to the design of the washer which enables the spool to use each side of the washer.
Each of these washers are greased with patented grease for increased longevity and the ability to combat corrosion more effectively.
The Battle II offers a range of performance capabilities depending on what you are looking for. There are eight different models, each with six bearings and a variety of other features too.
The gear ratios range from 5:2:1 to 6:2:1. Starting at 7ibs, the maximum drag range goes up to 25 lbs. The lighter and heavier models differ drastically in weight too.
You can choose from 7.9 oz up to 29.2 oz with many other options in between. If you are looking for something with plenty of options, this is a great place to start.
Constructed with a full metal body and side plates you can be assured that this is going to be a durable rod that is going to serve a period of longevity.
Best Baitcasting Rod and Reel Combos - Reviews
Shakespeare first introduced this rod in 1976 and for a long time, the Ugly Stik has been a staple in the fishing world. Since this time it has received some cosmetic upgrades and the matt black finish and the red and silver accents give it a modern aesthetic.
However, the improvements go much further than the changes to the appearance. The Ugly Stik GX2 is a sensitive rod made from a combination of graphite and fiberglass, giving the whole rod strength and a balanced feel. For increased durability and resistance against corrosion, the GX2 also includes stainless steel guides.
However, the Ugly Stik GX2 is known for being quite heavy, so if you are going to be using this throughout the day you may find that it wears you out.
With three ball bearings, this may cause frustrations for some as the reel ins aren't going to be the smoothest. For this reason, you may have to deal with some jerkiness. However, aside from this, this reel is a good versatile option for picking out lures and bait as it has a good balance of speed and power.
The magnetic cast control with adjustable settings is a notable benefit of this reel. This allows you to maintain good control over your casting when using this reel.
This is a great option for anglers of all levels regardless of whether you are a beginner or more professional and constructed using compression bail springs, this ensures that the reel is going to last for a long time.
This rod has been constructed using a single piece graphite frame, weighing only 24 ton, which is lightweight and durable with a sensitive feel too. However, as a single piece rod, it may be a little more difficult to store in comparison to the telescopic rods that we have reviewed. Available in three different sizes, you can choose the best length for your needs and hand orientation.
For the price range, the reel performs very well. With six ball bearings, a 6:4:1 gear ratio and instant anti-reverse bearing retrieve is going to be swift and smooth. This allows for reliable operation and also an effortless retrieve.
The MagTrax brake system allows for swift adjustments for line release, you can alter the brake control setting quickly if you are switching from different types of lures.
This allows you to alter the brake system to best suit your needs, also allowing for greater accuracy without requiring you to spend a lot of time adjusting the controls.
There are likely to be fewer jerks of the line along with fewer fish lost as the drag control is very smooth and dispenses the line smoothly.
It copes very well against larger fish too, even fish such as bass which you would expect to put up a big fight. You can easily alter the drag to your preference as it has several settings to choose from.
Best Spinning Rod and Reel Combos - Buyers Guide
Are you thinking about the features that you should be looking for in a rod and reel combo? if so you are not the only one. There are many features that you should consider before making your purchase, if you are a beginner who is familiarizing themselves with fishing, it can sometimes be a little difficult to understand each of the functions and features.
We have listed some below, to give you a clearer understanding of each so that you can make the best purchase that is going to be suitable for your uses.
The point in which the rod starts to bend when pressure is put on the bottom is referred to as action. A rod with fast action will bend at the tip, a rod with slow action is going to bend more towards the base.
Action is related to taper too. Taper simply refers to the thickness of your rod. The shape made by the rod as it bends is affected by the thickness. It is important to be aware of action because different types of action suit different purposes.
A fast action rod is going to be more sensitive and setting the hook requires less pulling of the rod. In cases where you will want to set the lure quickly such as single hook types, this is an effective option. There are advantages to rods with slower action too. They generally tend to be better suited to long casting.
A slow action rod works effectively with treble hooks. As they don't tend to hook as deep as larger single hooks, a slow action rod ensures that you don't end up pulling it from the fish's mouth by hooking it too quickly. The kind of action that you want is determined by the type of lures that you use.
Power is an important factor as it gives the rod its lifting strength. Often, this is referred to as the backbone of the rod. Heavy, medium, and light are the terms typically used when describing power ratings, but they can be anything in between this too. The rod's power should be compatible with the weight of the line so it is important to be aware of this.
A light line can be snapped by a heavy powered rod, likewise, a lighter power rod can be ruined by a heavy line. Consider the power that you are going to need for the type of fishing that you will be doing when picking out the best combo for you.
Responsiveness relates to the rod's flexibility. It essentially refers to how quickly the rod can release its energy before snapping back into place. The material construction of the rod and the weight determines the responsiveness. A rod can be built of different layers of multiple materials, so if you are only judging by the outer layer, the responsiveness could be slightly misleading.
Generally, a lighter weighing rod is going to be more responsive, particularly at the tip. You will want to choose a rod that has good responsiveness. You are going to get further and more accurate casts with a snappy pole and this is going to exert less energy on your body.
There are several reasons why the material and quality of construction of the guides are important. Not only is it going to determine the durability of the rod but also its ability to resist corrosion too. Silicon Carbides are what some of the best guides are made of because the friction means that they put up very little resistance.
This allows you to cast further and retrieve quicker too. Your line is going to be less likely to break or overheat too. Another good choice is titanium guides as they are less likely to break, which makes them more resilient than stainless steel and they maintain their resistance to corrosion in saltwater too.
A rod with more guides is going to perform better by utilizing the full strength, as it is going to apply the pressure more evenly across the pole too. The cost is going to increase with more guides, therefore you should consider your priorities beforehand.
The Ball Bearings
A ball bearing is a type of rolling element which serves the purpose of reducing rotational friction. The smoothness of the reelin is going to be determined by the number of ball bearings that the reel has.
Bushings are sometimes used instead of ball bearings on inexpensive reels, although these do not tend to perform as well. A reel with sealed stainless steel balls is going to ensure that the bearings remain durable. A good fishing reel will typically have two ball bearings at least, but there will be four to six on the more well-made models.
If you're happy to pay the premium costs you can get some deluxe builds which have as many as twelve ball bearings.
The Gear Ratios
A fishing reel has a gear ratio that is very similar to that of a car or a bike. You will get more power out of the lower gears whilst the higher gears are better suited for speed. With the majority of fishing reels, there will be a ratio of 2:1 up to a 6:1 ratio. This essentially means that for every one revolution, the internal gears make two revolutions to the hand crank.
Knowing what type of fishing you are most likely to do with your reel is going to be helpful. You will want a higher gear ratio if you are going to be rapidly drawing in your line.
However, a lower gear is useful for drawing in a lot of power. A reel model that has multiple gears that enable you to easily switch even at a moment's notice and will ultimately give you the best of both worlds.
The Drag system
The amount of resistance that the reel requires to pull the line away from the spool is known as the drag. It is paramount to maintain an optimal amount of drag because a rigid line that doesn't have enough slack is more likely to snap when dealing with bigger fish, especially when dealing with big fish that put up a fight. There will be a way to adjust the drag on every reel.
A reel with a low drag system is likely to result in a line that is jerky and likely to break. For this reason, you will want to find something with a smooth release. There are two varieties of drag systems available; star drags or level drags. On a star drag system near the handle, there is a star shaped knob which will increase or decrease the resistance.
However, a lever drag system is operated by holding down either a bar or button. There tends to be more accuracy and a smoother release with a lever system, however, they are typically more expensive than star gears.
The telescopic design
A telescopic fishing rod refers to a rod with components that slip into each other making them easier to open and close. This is particularly useful if you have a confined space to store your rod when it is not in use, but also it makes it much easier when it comes to transporting your rod between locations.
As it can be folded into a more compact size you do not have to carry any bulky equipment around with you. Commonly referred to as multi-piece rods they can be made from carbon, graphite, or fiberglass, or sometimes they may even be a combination of all of these materials.
What is the best combo to use for freshwater fishing?
Freshwater fishing is relatively simple to get into making it popular with anglers who are starting out. A hook, line, and pool are all you need to get started. It is likely that you are only going to need a simple and light reel and rod combo if it is primarily going to be used for freshwater.
As you are unlikely to be catching any sea monsters out of the lakes and rivers soon, this allows you to pack light whilst saving money with a small model.
The Sougayilang Spinning Combo is a great option for freshwater fishing. It is perfect for reeling in smaller freshwater fish thanks to its lightweight design. With a very smooth real, eleven ball bearings and a 5:2:1 gear ratio, it is a great choice if you are looking for a relaxing time on the lake.
As a lightweight combo, It is also convenient to carry around and particularly useful for camping trips as it has a telescopic design, ultimately allowing you to enjoy fishing regardless of where you are or how far you have to travel to reach your spot. It is made much easier thanks to its design.
What is the best combo to use for saltwater fishing?
Saltwater fishing is quite different from freshwater fishing. Saltwater fish are marine fish that are found in the ocean sometimes alone, but often in groups too. With saltwater fishing, the fish tend to be larger, more aggressive, and more likely to put up a fight. A reel and rod combo with a little more backbone is recommended for this reason.
The corrosive nature of the water is another important factor that you will need to consider when choosing your equipment. You may find that your gear falls apart quicker and deteriorates in quality sooner if you spend a lot of time fishing in the ocean and sea without paying attention to your equipment and the material that it uses.
The Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 combo is a great pick for the purpose of saltwater fishing. Not only is this rod very durable but it also has the strength to pull in bigger fish too, fish that you will commonly come across when saltwater fishing. The anti-corrosive parts mean that this rod can withstand saltwater. Although this reel doesn't have as much strength as some other options available, it makes up with it with its versatility and reliability so it is going to be good in saltwater.
However, we would recommend that you do some research and decide for yourself. Many variable factors affect the type of reels and rods that you are going to want to purchase. The place and environment that you are fishing in as well as the fish that you are catching are all factors that will influence your purchase. Your own personal preference is important too because you want to choose a rod and reel that you are comfortable with and happy to use.
As it is likely that you are going to be holding this rod for a lengthy period, comfort is going to be very important as you want to be able to hold it for this length of time while feeling any discomfort.
Luckily, with combos they do a lot of the work for you by already matching up your gear, therefore if you are not entirely confident in understanding what rod and reel should be matched with each, investing in a combo takes a lot of this hard work away from you.
A combo is a particularly useful choice if you are a beginner fisherman because you don't have to do the work yourself and they help to streamline the purchasing process too.
The reel that you are most likely to use for the type of fishing that you do is of course going to influence the combo that you purchase. Baitcast reels can handle heavier lines, allowing for longer casts.
Spinning reels tend to be smaller in size with a narrow spool. It is important to pay attention to this factor to ensure that you invest in the right equipment to suit your purpose.
The cost is also likely to influence your purchase. We have aimed to include examples from varying price ranges so that there are options available to suit everyone. Overall, as mentioned previously, opting for a combo is the best option if you are on a budget because you do not have to invest in the pieces of equipment individually, you receive both in one package.