Fishing is a task that teaches one many things including patience, skill, and planning. While fishing, as a hobby, comes with many benefits for the mind and the body, it can be difficult to navigate your way through it as a beginner.
Setting up the fishing rod and reel, casting the bait, and waiting for hours and hours for a win can get discouraging.
What can fuel that discouragement is spending time and money to buy equipment and finding it unsuitable for your needs when you try using it.
Often when people find their newly bought fishing equipment unsuitable, it is because it does not resonate with their skill level or it is not of the best quality.
This is why we have reviewed and compiled the top ten fishing rods and reel combo for beginners in an attempt to help you find the right equipment for your new hobby.
Quick Overview – Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combos for Beginners
- Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo – Features a spinning reel which is great for beginners.
- Penn Battle II Combo – Features a 6000 reel which is durable and exquisitely smooth.
- Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 – Great combo for beginners. Offers a smooth rod and reel experience.
- Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combos – Collapsible rod. Great combo for traveling! Comes with interchangeable left and right reel handles.
- Zebco Dock Demon –A great option for beginners and kids.
- Sougayilang Fishing Baitcaster Combos – Easily portable rod. Reel comes in right and left-handed options.
- KastKing Crixus – Offers great quality and is excellent for long term use.
- Daiwa Mini System Minispin – Easy to fit inside luggage or a backpack. Comes in a Hardcase with space for lures and reel.
- Pflueger President Spinning – A tool of good quality throughout. Comes with a pre-spooled braided line reel.
- Penn Squall Level Wind – Perfect for heavy saltwater fishing. Offers excellent durability.
Comparison of top 10 best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners:
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners Reviews
Finding the perfect rod and reel combo as a beginner requires a lot of thought. There are many things to consider including the size, reel type, durability, and skill level. With so many options on the internet, it can get overwhelming separating the good ones from the bad.
But don’t worry! We have reviewed some of the best fishing rod and reel combos for beginners and have highlighted the pros and cons of each. Read on to find the combo most suitable for your needs.
1. Daiwa D-Wave Saltwater Spinning Combo – Best Versatile Fishing Combo
This fishing rod and reel combo are perfect for saltwater and heavy freshwater fishing. It is durable and has user-friendly features which make it a great option for beginners. A versatile combo that can be used for light as well as moderately heavy fishing.
The Daiwa D-wave Combo is a great investment for anglers looking for durable, easy to use, and sturdy fishing equipment. Here are some of its features that stood out for us:
Comfort: The foam grips help the rod settle comfortably in the shape of your hand. The spinning reel is also the most recommended reel for beginners because of its accuracy and user-friendliness.
Durability: This Daiwa saltwater combo has excellent durability. The aluminum oxide guides and stainless-steel hooded reel seats protect the equipment from salt corrosion.
It has gathered especially great reviews in terms of the durability of the rod.
Functioning: It has a fiberglass rod and a gyro spin balanced rotor. The 7 feet rod, which is the ideal size for beginners, comes with a size 4000 reel which makes the line flow smoothly.
While it is made for saltwater fishing, you can use it for light freshwater fishing too.
We like this combo because it is an all-in-one package. The 4000 reel gives you an exquisitely smooth flowing line. It is the perfect combo for an overall effortless fishing experience.
- 1Corrosion resistant
- 24000 Spinning reel gives great accuracy and runs smoothly
- 3Rod is made of fiberglass which gives it flexibility
- 1The reel is susceptible to damage if used for intense heavy fishing
This combo is great for surf fishing, kayak fishing, boat fishing – you name it! It is perfect for casual shore fishing as well.
If you are looking for something sturdy to help you delve into your new hobby, this combo can be perfect for you.
2. Penn Battle II Combo – Best Exquisitely Smooth 6000 Reel
Penn is famous for bringing high-quality fishing gear to the market. This Penn Battle II Combo has an exquisitely smooth reel which attracts a lot of expert anglers to purchase this.
This combo is a great option for beginners looking for equipment that will last them a lifetime. Here are the highlights of this combo:
Comfort: The rod settles comfortably in your hand because of its foam grips. The reel is smooth and easy to use so it will take no time for you to get comfortable with it.
Durability: While the rod has garnered complaints from some anglers that it broke in the first few uses, the reel is exceptionally durable and truly the star element of this combo.
Its full metal body and carbon fiber drag washers add additional points to its durability.
Functioning: The Penn Battle II Combo features a full metal body, a 2-piece rod that can be separated, and a reel size of 6000.
It provides a quiet and steady operation. It is excellent for big catches and will maintain its quality against the most uncooperative of fishes too.
We like this combo because of the luxury it provides with the 6000 reels. The reel is a product of high quality and a one-time purchase that will last a lifetime.
- 1The Battle II 6000 reel is luxuriously durable and smooth
- 2The drag is strong and anti-reverse feature works wonderfully
- 3The reel is a great option for a long-term purchase
- 1The rod may not be durable and the tip might snap off
You might not be ecstatic about the quality of the rod. However, anglers love this reel. It is sturdy, it is exquisitely smooth, and it is durable which makes it worth the compromise.
3. Shakespeare Ugly Stik GX2 – Best Fishing Combo for Casual Fishing
This fishing rod and reel combo by Shakespeare comes as a beautiful deal for anglers. The rod comes in a one-piece construction and is durable and easy to use.
This product is ideal for beginners looking for a combo which will give them satisfactory performance. Some of the features of this combo that stand out are:
Comfort: This lightweight combo is great for beginners because it puts little stress on the shoulders. The rod is flexible and works well for freshwater and casual fishing. The rod has a good grip as well.
Durability: The rod is strong, flexible, and durable. All the elements of this combo are corrosion resistant. The rod comes with a 7-year c and the reel comes with a 1-year warranty. Thereby, you can be assured that you are getting the product promised to you.
Functioning: The rod is flexible and will stand well against casual freshwater fishing. The reel is not the best quality out there but it will work sufficiently well. The drag is smooth and the anti-reverse feature works comfortably too.
We like this combo because it is a great option for beginners who are trying out fishing equipment for the first time. The spinning reel works accurately and will allow you to develop your comfort level.
- 1Corrosion resistant
- Flexible and durable rod
- Smoothly functioning spinning reel
- The spindle of the reel does not go low enough which may make the line spool unevenly
All things considered, this Ugly Stik Rod and Reel Combo is ideal for beginners. It will allow you to have good quality equipment which functions smoothly and is comfortable to use.
4. Plusinno Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Ideal Combo for Comfortable Storage and Smooth Function
This combo comes with a telescopic rod and is another wonderful option for traveling with your fishing equipment.
This Plusinno Fishing Combo is great for you if you want to take your fishing equipment on vacation.
It has a collapsible rod which can be reduced to sizes as small as 16 inches. Read on to see some of the amazing features of this product that we loved.
Comfort: This combo is very comfortable to use and store. It also comes with a carrying pouch for the rod. The rod can be collapsed into a compact size – around 16 inches for a 6’2” rod.
The handle for this reel is left-right interchangeable so you can change it to whichever side is comfortable for your dominant hand.
Durability: The rod is made of carbon fiber infused with fiberglass which makes it flexible and adds to its durability.
The collapsible telescopic rod is a lot more durable and convenient compared to the split system used in the Daiwa five-piece rod.
Functioning: This combo features 1 collapsible telescopic fishing rod and 1 spinning reel with 12+1 bearings. The reel functions smoothly. The drag is strong and the anti-reverse feature also works very well.
We like this combo because of its compactness, smooth functioning, and comfort. It can be stored under your car seat or in your luggage.
The interchangeable handles also make it comfortable to use for left-handed people.
- Collapsible telescopic rod
- 3000 smooth reel
- Interchangeable handles for left-right hand orientations
- Not pre-spooled
This combo has a travel-friendly, sturdy rod and a smooth reel with an interchangeable handle. It is great for you if you are someone who likes to travel and enjoys durable, superior quality equipment.
5. Zebco Dock Demon Spinning Reel and Rod Combo – Best Choice for Beginners and Kids
This rod and reel combo is the perfect deal for you if you want something small in size and workable. It provides a good fishing experience and is an especially great option for teaching kids to fish.
If you are an absolute beginner and are looking for a simple fishing combo just for the sake of trying it out, this Zebco set is ideal for you. Have a look at some of its features.
Comfort: This Zebco Rod has a comfortable EVA handle which allows you to have a firm non-slippery grip of the rod.
The rod is also smaller in size, being 30 inches, which makes it ideal for kayak fishing as the small size will help you maintain your balance easily.
Durability: This combo is durable enough for light, casual fishing. It is not exceptionally durable for long term use but is excellent for beginners to enter the hobby with.
Functioning: This Zebco Fishing Combo has a 1 bearing reel which comes pre-spooled with a 6lb line. The reel is a little noisy, but it does the job well.
You can use a 20lb spider wire instead of the 6 lb line to significantly improve the reel function. The rod is flexible and great for casual fishing.
We like this rod because it allows a fun fishing day out with the whole family. The small size and simple functionality make it great for first-time fishermen and kids to comfortably learn with.
- Flexible and sturdy rod
- Ideal for beginners and kids
- The reel is noisy and not very smooth
- The pre-spooled line causes backlash
When you’re first dabbling in a hobby, you want good equipment but are not ready to make a long-term investment yet. If that is how you feel, this combo might be just the thing for you.
6. Sougayilang Fishing Baitcaster Combo – Great Combo for Anglers on the Go!
This set is perfect for game fishing including freshwater fish like Trout and Walleye. It is also a great option for anglers who love to travel as it can be easily transported and stored in limited spaces.
This Sougayilang Fishing Combo is perfect for anglers on the go. Its smooth functioning makes it a prime choice for many fishermen. Here’s why:
Comfort: The rod comes in a 4 piece set and can be assembled and disassembled comfortably. The multiple pieces make it easy to be transported in small cramped spaces.
Durability: The rod is made of slim carbonized fiber and the aluminum frame makes it corrosion resistant. These specifications make the rod and reel lightweight, sturdy, and durable.
Functioning: The Sougayilang Fishing Combo includes a 4 piece rod and a lightweight carbon fiber baitcasting reel. The reel for this set runs smoothly.
It has a line guide ahead of the spool which will help your line flow smoothly to the rod. The drag is crisp and the anti-reverse feature works solidly.
We like this combo because it is easily portable and functions smoothly as well, making it perfect for a fishing vacation. The baitcasting reel is a bit difficult to work with for beginners.
However, if you want to learn and challenge yourself, with a little bit of training, this is a good option to try it.
- Option to purchase left-hand oriented reels
- 4 piece rod easily transportable
- Solid drag and smooth anti-reverse feature
- The reel does not come pre-spooled
- The 4 piece rod function is not telescopic
All in all, this fishing pole functions adequately throughout. The reel runs smoothly and has strong bearings. The left-handed reel option makes it the combo of choice for many people.
7. KastKing Crixus Fishing Rod and Reel Combo – Smooth Reel and Sensitive Rod
This is a solid fishing combo because both the rod and the reel are great for use in freshwater and saltwater applications. The set, on the whole, is easy to put together and use.
If you appreciate quality, you will love this combo. All its parts offer good quality. Have a look at its features and the reviews.
Comfort: The rod settles firmly in the hand and the grips keep it from slipping. The combo is sturdy yet lightweight.
The majority of the anglers who have bought this product have absolutely loved it for its comfortable use.
Durability: Both the reel and rod in this combo are durable. This set is the kind of set which you purchase once to suffice you for a long time. This rod and reel both perform very well under pressure.
Functioning: The KastKing Crixus Combo features a two-piece rod. The reel in this combo has very smooth 5+1 stainless steel bearings which give a silky smooth performance.
The magnetic drag works exquisitely. You can get this reel in sizes of 2000 or 3000. The rod is sensitive and lightweight.
We like this combo for its smooth functioning. The sensitivity in the rod allows you to feel any lure bites. With this combo, you can be assured of a fun fishing time alone or with friends.
- Crisp magnetic drag and good anti-reverse
- 2000 and 3000 sized reels
- Sensitive rod
- Baitcasting reel is difficult to use for beginners
This product is great for long term use because it has value in everything. You can use this for all kinds of fishing applications which makes it great for a one-time investment in your fishing gear.
You can use it every day or occasionally on vacations and it will live up to its promise.
8. Daiwa Mini System Minispin Ultralight Spinning Combo – Best Combo for Vacations and Trips
This combo is perfect for travelers. It comes in a hard-compact case which can be stored under a car seat, in your backpack, or your luggage.
With this combo, you can easily take your fishing equipment with you on a vacation. It also gives a smooth fishing experience. Here are some of its prominent features, have a look!
Comfort: The spinning reel is easy to use and one of the most recommended reel types for beginners. The anti-twist function keeps the line from twisting and allows for a more comfortable experience.
Durability: The rod and reel are corrosion-resistant and durable. Furthermore, the hard case allows you to transport your equipment safely. It also has a built-in tackle box to store your lures and spare hooks.
Functioning: This mini-combo system includes a 5-piece 4.5 feet rod and an ultralight MS-S500T reel with gyro spin balancing. The reel is sturdy and has a multi-disk drag.
Its threaded spool along with the oscillating knob makes sure the line wraps evenly on to it and doesn’t scrunch up in one place. The reel works beautifully and the 5+1 bearings provide a sturdy fishing experience.
We like this combo because it is so easily portable; and that too, without fear of damage. The entire 4.5 feet rod splits into 5 pieces which can be fit inside the compact case along with the reel.
- Easy to transport with its hard-compact case
- Multi-disk drag
- Threaded spool
- Not suitable for big fish
The length of the rod may be a little short for the liking of some anglers. However, being able to transport it to remote fishing locations and vacations makes up for its inconvenience.
9. Pflueger President Spinning Combo – Great Lightweight Fishing Combo
This combo functions smoothly and is easy to use, making it excellent for fishing days with the whole family.
This Pflueger President Spinning Combo is a great option for beginners looking for a variety of size options to choose from. It runs smoothly and is perfect for catching all types of fish. Here’s why.
Comfort: The rod comes pre-spooled with a braided line which makes it easy for beginners to detect small fish bites.
A pre-spooled reel is great for beginners because it relieves you of the hassle of doing it yourself.
Durability: The aluminum handles and the anti-corrosive properties of the rod add points to its durability. The stainless steel guides also prevent corrosion.
Functioning: This fishing combo has a 10 bearing system and braid-ready spool. The reel works smoothly and has a crisp drag system.
When wound with a good quality mono, it prevents backlash and prevents the line from twisting. Since the combo features a spinning reel, it is a good option for beginners.
We like this combo because the rod and reel together function smoothly. The braid-line comes pre-spooled which considerably minimizes the preparatory time.
It is also durable and anticorrosive which makes maintenance of the equipment easy.
- The reel comes with a pre-spooled braid line
- Two-piece rods make traveling and storage convenient
- Braid line is sensitive and helps detect small lure bites
- Aluminum handles on the rod are anti-corrosive
- Some buyers have complained of the rod snapping during casting
- Braid line is slightly difficult for beginners to use
This combo is a decent option for anglers looking to purchase a lightweight combo. The reel functions smoothly and the rod is flexible and strong. Overall, it is a strong contender for the best fishing combo for beginners.
10. Penn Squall Level Wind Reel & Rod Fishing Combo – Best Versatile and Durable Combo
This Penn fishing combo works for all varieties of fishing styles and types. It can be used for light casual fishing and you can take this set out on the sea for heavy fishing too.
What makes this combo special is its versatility. It can be used for almost every type of fishing in the book. Take a look at our review of its performance.
Comfort: The rod has foam grips that will settle comfortably in your hand. It is comfortable to use for small fish as well as for the big ones.
Durability: The rod and reel are durable and the stainless steel makes it corrosion resistance against salt water. This rod also has a strong solid tip which adds to its durability.
Functioning: The reel has 2 stainless steel ball bearings and a one-piece tubular glass blank rod with a solid tip. It has a smooth drag system.
The reel itself is lightweight which makes it easy for transportation as well as use. The 2 stainless steel ball bearings make it function smoothly. Even under the pressure of a good-sized fish, this reel will crank without fault.
We like this combo for its durability, comfort, and smooth functioning. With this combo, you can be sure of having a companion with you against the most stubborn of fish.
- Perfect for all sizes of fish – big and small
- Good for saltwater fishing
- Smooth drag and great reel performance
- Not pre-spooled
Do you find yourself getting tired of buying combo after combo, only for them to break or lose quality after a year of use?
If you want to purchase something that will maintain its quality over time, the Penn Squall Level combo is for you.
Knowing how to choose your first reel and rod combo is important because there are many things to consider.
With the right combo, you can make learning to fish a lot easier for yourself. Here are some things that you should know to help you purchase the right fishing gear.
There are three main types of fishing reels: spin cast, spinning, and baitcasting.
The spin cast reel is very easy to use because there is much less chance of the line tangling or snaring.
It is also the cheapest out of the three types of reels which makes it the ideal choice for a lot of beginner fishermen.
A downside to this reel is that it does not cast as far as the other reels do so your area of fishing is very limited.
For beginners, spinning reels are a great option too. They are easy to cast and are accurate in their aim. They also cast much farther and faster than spin-cast reels.
Light lines work splendidly with spinning reels but the downside of them is that they don’t work as well with heavy lines. They are also more expensive than spin-cast reels.
Baitcast reels offer the most accuracy and speed but they require a lot of skill to be used properly. This is why they are not a good option for beginners. They are best for expert anglers.
On the downside, baitcast skills are also prone to tangles in the line and backlash which is another reason why they may be difficult to use.
Many beginner reels will come pre-spooled. But for several, you will have to do it yourself. The two most common types of lines used by anglers are monofilament and braid line.
A monofilament is a good option for beginners as it is easy to the spool, cast, and works well with most reels. However, it is not very sensitive so it’s difficult to detect when a fish has bitten the bait.
Braid lines are very sensitive but are a little tricky to use. This makes it difficult for beginners to cast.
Good fishing rods are sturdy with a flexible tip. As a beginner, you should look for a lightweight rod because fishing requires a lot of sitting and waiting which is taxing when you’re a beginner.
The ideal length recommended by expert anglers for when you’re just starting out is between 5’5” and 6’5”. If you’re looking for a rod for a kid, you can find many rods that are lightweight and smaller in length.
In the old days when we didn’t have synthetic lures, bait used to be in the form of worms or small dead animals. They were often smelly and uncomfortable to work with for most people.
They are also often made in bright colors which tempt the fish to bite it.
Best Fishing Rod and Reel Combo for Beginners (FAQs):
Looking for the right fishing equipment for the first time can get a little daunting; especially when there are so many things to consider.
It is reasonable to still have a few questions. To help with that, in this section we have addressed some of the most frequently asked questions by buyers.
✅ Are single piece rods better than multiple piece rods?
Multiple piece rods have the convenience of transportation and storage. However, they are generally less durable. Single piece rods offer more durability and greater flexibility in the rod and are less prone to damage.
✅ What things do you need for fishing for the first time?
Here is a checklist for you to ensure that you are well prepared on your first fishing trip. Your essentials for a basic fishing trip are:
• A fishing rod
• A fishing reel
• Monofilament (or another type depending on your preference) fishing line
• Fish hooks
• Fishing lures
• Learn the method and knots to set up your line on the gear
• Fishing weights or sinkers
✅ Is bait better than artificial lures?
While bait and artificial lures have their differences, fish like both. The fish in a certain area may be more attracted to a certain type of lure or bait because it resembles the food they usually get to eat. But both bait and lures work well in attracting fish.
When beginning a new hobby, it is very important to have the right equipment for yourself. Especially when exploring fishing for the first time, it is necessary that you educate yourself on what kind of fishing equipment will be the most comfortable for you.
From all the combos discussed here, our favorite combo is the PLUSSINO fishing rod and reel combo.
This is because it is versatile, durable, and functions smoothly. We also love it for its collapsible rod and interchangeable handles, offering comfort and convenience throughout.
For the beginners out there looking for a combo on the cheaper side, the Zebco Dock Demon Rod and Spinning Reel Combo is an excellent choice for you. It offers good features and can prove to be great for beginners to learn with.
We hope this review and buyers guide has put you in a better position to make the right choice of gear for your new hobby!